A glimpse of Radio Canada International’s Sackville, New Brunswick transmission site

The large RCI sign that has long stood beside the Trans-Canada Highway in Sackville, New Brunswick. (Click to enlarge.)

Last Friday, I was fortunate enough to receive an extensive tour of the Radio Canada International transmitter site in Sackville, New Brunswick.

Of course, in light of the extensive cuts looming over this facility, the visit was bittersweet. It was an honor to see the transmitters and antennae I’ve listened to since I was eight years old, when I began listening to shortwave. But more impressive, still, are the people behind the scenes: despite a gloomy outlook, the site is busy and even humming due to their dedicated professionalism. The staff actively maintains the transmitters, antennae, and grounds, and it shows–the equipment, building and even floors are immaculate, demonstrating a palpable pride in a remarkable and still very useful site.  I thank them all, and wish them well…

Soon to come:  I’m writing a much more extensive post, outlining the tour and all that I learned.  I took hundreds of photos in an effort to photo-document the site.

Stay tuned!  Until then, here are a few teaser images:

The Sackville offices and transmitter building. I enjoyed a complete photo tour of this building, covering every hallway and office. (Click to enlarge.)

The new control station--completed only recently--allows for full remote operation of the site via the internet. (Click to enlarge.)

Shown above: the Harris transmitter, which almost exclusively carries the North Quebec service on 9,625 kHz. One of their oldest transmitters. (Click to enlarge.)

The right side of this double curtain antenna is used for transmissions to North Quebec on 9,625 kHz. (Click to enlarge.)

Yes, they use their RCI 4x4 truck all the time. The Sackville site is located on a marsh and experiences various challenging weather conditions. (Click to enlarge.)

The main floor, gleaming as ever. (Click to enlarge.)

When I post an article with the full tour and photos, search for the tag: Sackville

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11 Responses to A glimpse of Radio Canada International’s Sackville, New Brunswick transmission site

  1. Great that you’re doing this and that you’ve grabbed the station in its glory before things start to shut down. May be you can also profile the station managers with stories of behind the scenes? Kind regards from Jonathan Marks, xDX editor Radio Netherlands

  2. GregS says:

    I’ll look forward to reading your more extensive post on your visit.

    I was fortunate enough to get a tour of the Sackville facility back in the early 1990s. I was on vacation in the area and realized what I was driving past when I saw the antennas. On the spur of the moment I decided to see if someone would show me around the place, and one of the operators (an engineer or technician) kindly took me around and showed the facility to me.

    I’m interested to see your pictures – I wonder how much it has changed in the 20 years since I was there.

    Do you know if Sackville is being shut down after RCI leaves the air? There are a lot of other international broadcasters that use it as a relay – I was wondering if they’ll continue to use it as a relay station after RCI is gone.

    Greg

    • C. Sobieniak says:

      It sounds like they’re not, which is really hypocritical that the government isn’t going let those broadcasters pay them to lease the site for their signals to be heard. I’m starting to doubt any trust in the government or the CRTC these days.

  3. Eric says:

    Nice post, Tom. I look forward to seeing more of the photos.

  4. Pingback: Help us record shortwave history: Radio Canada International’s final day of broadcasts | The SWLing Post

  5. Pingback: Radio Vacation | The SWLing Post

  6. Thanks for this Post. Brief and practical.

    73 de Yimber

  7. Jamie Holubek says:

    Ever going to post the full tour, I’m very interested to see it. :)

    • Thomas says:

      Gosh–Jamie, you’re right! It’s been a year since I toured.

      I’ll start putting something together and will post. Hopefully, within the next 2 weeks, possibly faster if my travel schedule changes.

      Cheers,
      Thomas

  8. Bill The Dummy says:

    Speaking of RCI, what is going on there right now, it’s just sitting there and looking unkempt? I suspect that the CBC is plotting its destruction, but I haven’t seen anything to say for sure. I know one thing, it can’t continue the way it is.

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