The Alternator Hallands Län Grimeton Tjöloholmen
Discover the only remaining machine transmitter in the world with the Leica M and Kodak Tri X.
No mountain in sight from Grimeton to New York
The machine transmitter / long-wave transmitter in Sweden
We visit the only remaining machine transmitter / long-wave transmitter in the world, the Grimeton radio station. There were once 17 identical systems across the globe. Today, the radio station recalls the basics of global communication and explains why the Grimeton radio station was created in this desert. We are approaching the long-wave transmitter with classic media tools: the legendary Leica M report camera and the equally classic report film, the Kodak Tri X.
What does the Grimeton radio station have in common with Leica and Kodak Tri X.
Both the Grimeton radio station, the Leica M and the analog Kodak Tri X are reminiscent of their common task: to transmit messages. Often world-class. The Grimeton radio station for the word, the Leica with the Kodak Tri X for the picture.
Grimeton radio station goes on reception
and welcomes its guests
You don’t make a spontaneous turn to the Grimeton radio station. Stingy camper vans often use the free parking space without paying attention to the Grimeton radio station, interested visitors have learned somewhere that the Grimeton radio station is one of the Unesco World Heritage Sites in Sweden and get wet eyes with emotion when they see the huge antennas.
From a distance we actually notice the striking layout of the Grimeton radio station. Six antenna masts stand at a considerable height of 127 meters in a row at a precise distance of 380 meters in the flat landscape of Halland. The centerpiece is the main building of the Grimeton radio station, where the long waves are generated and thus enable frequencies that are or were required for this system.
A huge generator is set in motion for this, which runs at a constant 2,115 revolutions / minute and thus generates clearly defined electromagnetic fields. Now the signals can be sent while traveling. From the Grimeton radio station in southern Sweden to New York.
Sciene Fiction Science real
The whole thing would of course not work without the numerous oil pumps and also not without the small inconspicuous water basin in front of the station building, which works like a fountain to cool the liquid down. Because the oil must be kept at a constant 90 degrees Celsius.
We will describe the exact function of the Grimeton radio station in another article, at this point we will approach the Grimeton radio station photographically. We would like to portray the long-wave antennas in the same footage that was used by reporters for commissioning in 1924, and we would probably even find it in Scandinavia’s largest photographic collection, the Aland Photo Museum. Film and development materials that are over 100 years old are still stored here.
„The past was the future and our future will soon be the past. But probably more forgotten. "
Good news, bad news
Radio station Grimeton, Leica M and Kodak Tri X as transmitters
But we opt for working recordings for one of the most popular films in the analog news world, the Kodak Tri X. Because with it as much international news was transmitted as with the radio station Grimeton. And both the Kodak Tri X and the Grimeton radio station are milestones in the development of the transmission of messages. Just like the analog Leica M, which in my eyes should be included in the list of Unesco world heritage sites.
With the long-wave system of the Grimeton radio station, news could be distributed across the globe at the speed of light, and at the same time it felt and was captured with the Kodak Tri X moments that moved the world a bit.
Of course, not a matter of course
The requirement to be informed. No matter how. No matter where.
Today it goes without saying to be informed and to inform. It is doubtful whether this is still done with the same professionalism and passion as in analogue times.
But now we are here, at the origin, at the development, of the Grimeton radio station, which is unique in the world, with the equally unique analog Leica M and the unmistakable Kodak Tri X. Often, the use of it has changed the world for a moment.
As clear as the contrasts of the Kodak Tri X capture the different perspectives of the Grimeton radio station, the Leica M and the Grimeton radio station itself are so clear and structured. No detail too much and none too little. So the ideal symbiosis of making the moment and charm of this old industrial facility of the Grimeton radio station visible.
Map the passage of time
Good news remains.
Everyday news is and was something for the driven. Back then, it was all about sending messages and making contacts, today it’s all about spilling information and pseudo messages.
In the days of Kodak Tri X, the analog Leica and the radio station Grimeton, the news business was still a real craft, today the news is picked up unfiltered and distributed so quickly that it overwhelms others and then itself by its own mass.
If you were to build a Grimeton radio station today, the generator would probably run at 200,000 revolutions – regardless of whether it makes sense or not.
Long waves against boredom in the Grimeton radio station
Today’s compulsive hectic pace gets on our nerves, so we take two days to visit the Grimeton radio station without keeping all options open. By choosing the Kodak Tri X, I decided to take black and white photographs.
We have an exclusive tour of the system, immerse ourselves in the history of the Grimeton radio station and in the biography of the inventor of electromagnetic waves.
We go for walks again and again, sit on the grass, watch the motorhomes who will not leave their empire until they leave and until then fold out their own antenna system, their satellite dish, because they are obviously in the environment in which they are vacationing can’t do anything.
Allow to be touched
At the same wavelength.
Granted, you no longer need both, neither the Grimeton radio station nor the Kodak Tri X. But they still work. Today’s developments, which one honestly doesn’t need, but whose need is passionately defended, will no longer be considered after a comparable cycle.
And the independent and obvious technology of the Grimeton radio station, a real reportage camera like the Leica M and the Kodak Tri X, also makes a difference: they touch.
Regardless of whether it was the Grimeton radio station, the analog Leica M or the Kodak Tri X, these inventions were unique in their day and laid the foundations for our present day, so we should treat the old with respect in order to understand the future – so we do want.