Operating an amateur station at VLF is a very specialised area of experimentation. There are basically 2 different threads (1) earth-mode or utilities assisted earth-mode with propagation mainly along or close to roads and (2) radiated DXing in which a VLF signal is actually radiated and propagated to great distances. With (1) I have managed 6km with QRSS3 with 5W from a TDA2003 audio IC at 8.97kHz. Earth-mode gear can be low powered and simple to build.
|VLF amateur signals|
With (2) the Atlantic Ocean has now been crossed, i.e. quite remarkable distances with amateur powers and antennas. Usually very large loading coils are needed and making these can be “challenging”. As high voltages are likely, great care is needed. Of course, most DXing is done with very long stable transmissions in very narrow bandwidths. Most amateur VLF gear is home made with free PC software to allow signals to be seen. Casual listening is not effective. Most operation is now around 8.300kHz as this is unallocated in many countries.
News of VLF activity may be found at https://sites.google.com/site/sub9khz/ .