CTV: Sackville towers will fall soon

1-IMG_2216(Source: CTV News Atlantic)

The international radio transmission towers that have been a fixture on the Tantramar Marsh for decades are being demolished – a lost landmark to people who live in the area.

[…]Radio Canada International erected the towers in Sackville during the Second World War due to the location, which is far enough from the earth’s magnetic pole and a former salt marsh, which means nothing interferes with the signal.

[…]“The little transmitter huts are gone. The antennas that stretch from tower top to tower top have all been removed,” says Sackville resident Allan Smith. “Now, they’ll systematically take down the towers.”

[…]“It’s an old, old technology in radio, and it’s not really used very much anymore,” says Smith. “But still, in places like the Canadian north and Africa, there are still people that use shortwave systems.”

The teardown is expected to take a few months.

Having visited Sackville and spent time with their staff (who have all been relocated or made redundant), I’m very sad to see such an amazing, modern transmitter site be demolished. Such a waste.

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15 Responses to CTV: Sackville towers will fall soon

  1. W4ASZ says:

    Modern governments are only interested in tracking and profiling the audiences, even down to the household level.

    This is a shame and a waste, but the towers must be dropped to prevent the return of actual broadcasting from RCI.

  2. Sheldon Harvey says:

    The mission of Radio-Canada/CBC management will finally be complete. For decades, going back to the first major cuts to RCI in 1991, it has been the the goal of the domestic service of Canada’s management, given the responsibility to look after RCI, to deteriorate the service to a level where no one would care if it was shut down completely. Since the service of RCI was converted on an on-line entity only, I’m surprised that Radio-Canada/CBC didn’t act more quickly to demolish the Sackville site in fear that it might once again rise from the ashes. They know that once Sackville is gone, the possible rebirth of RCI as an international broadcaster is pretty much impossible. Mission accomplished!

  3. LYNN KELLY says:

    THIS IS SIMPLY ANOTHER IN A LONG LINE OF DEPRESSING EVENTS WHERE SW SITES BOTH BROADCAST AND UTILITY ARE BEING HAULED AWAY TO SCRAPYARDS WORLDWIDE AND THE LAND QUICKLY BEING PUT TO OTHER USE, IN THIS CASE LIKELY A WINDFARM. THEY COULD NOT SELL THE SACKVILLE TOWERS BECAUSE NO MARKET EXIST FOR SW TRANSMISSION TOWERS AND NOW EVER MORE EVEN FOR MW AM BAND TOWERS AND TRANSMITTERS. THE LAST LARGE SW TRANSMITTERS FOR BROADCAST OR UTILITY WHERE MADE AROUND 1980 AND REPLACEMENT PARTS EVEN FOR THOSE ARE NOW IN VERY SHORT SUPPLY. IN 2006 WHEN THE COAST GUARD IN THE UNITED STATES REPLACED OBSOLETE TEN KW WX FAX-SITOR B SW TRANSMITTERS THE VERY LARGEST THEY COULD FIND WAS FOUR KW. WERE THEY SEEKING TRANSMITTERS NOW THE VERY LARGEST SIZE STILL BEING MADE IS ONE KILOWATT, THE POWERLIMIT ON THE HAM BANDS IN THE UNITED STATES. WE WONT SEE MANY LARGE SW SITES BEING HAULED AWAY FOR SCRAP IN THE FUTURE BECAUSE THERE ARE NOT MANY THAT HAVE NOT ALREADY WENT TO THE SCRAPYARDS WORLDWIDE. SIMPLE REALITY

    • Nigel Holmes says:

      Bollocks. Continental (Texas) & Ampegnon/Thomson/Thales/BBC (Turgi) will sell you a shiny new, high-efficiency hf broadcast transmitter at 100/250/300/500 kW capable of any modulation mode you can name. Several other operations (RIZ, HCJB & others) fill the gap 10-100 kW. RA has a shiny new Continental 418G, Vanuatu & Solomon Islands each have upgraded their domestic hf broadcast services with new 10 kW senders.

  4. LYNN KELLY says:

    ONE OF VERY FEW LARGE SW SITES LEFT BROADCAST OR UTILITY IS LOCATED NEAR GREENVILLE NORTH CAROLINA, ANOTHER IS AT BAUTA CUBA A FEW KILOMETERS FROM HAVANA. THE EQUIPMENT AT BOTH SITES IS 1960 VINTAGE TUBE STUFF. THERE WERE TWO IDENTICAL SITES AT GREENVILLE BUT ONE WAS DISMANTLED SIMPLY FOR PARTS TO KEEP THE OTHER SITE GOING AND WHO KNOWS HOW THE CUBANS KEEP THAT STUFF THEY HAVE IN BAUTA GOING. GREENVILE MANY EXPECT TO BE THE NEXT PLACE TO BE TAKEN AWAY TO THE SCRAPYARD WHILE BAUTA MAY LAST A BIT LONGER UNTIL LACK OF SPARE PARTS SENDS IT ALSO TO THE SCRAPYARD TO BE MELTED DOWN IN CHINA TO MAKE WHO KNOWS WHAT AND THE LAND TURNED INTO A RUM OR CIGAR FACTORY.

  5. Steve Rawdon says:

    What a shame shortwave is on the way out. It makes me so sad after all these years.
    STEVE
    WELLINGTON
    NEW ZEALAND

  6. Steve Rawdon says:

    such A SHAME SW IS ON THE WAY OUT.

    • LYNN KELLY says:

      WHEN DID ANYONE LAST SEE MAINLINE STRAM TRACTION, TURBO CHARGERS DID NOT SAVE STEAM FROM THE SCRAPPERS TORCH. DRM DID NOT SAVE SACKVILLE OR ANYOTHER SW AND NOW EVEN MW SITE FROM THE SCRAPYARD. FIBER DOES IT CHEAPER AND BETTER JUST AS DIESEL DID IT BETTER AND FAR CHEAPER THAN STEAM. THE FACT THAT THE INTERNET IS FAIRLY EASY TO BLOCK AND CONTROL IS A TRADEOFF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE INTEREST SEEM MORE THAN WILLING TO MAKE IN RETURN FOR THE VASTLY REDUCED COST, SIMPLE REALITY

  7. TP Reitzel says:

    Personally, I don’t see the unfortunate destruction of this facility as a bad sign. Rather, the destruction of Sackville reflects the inevitable failure of all governmental problems in due time. Private enterprise will void of departing governments. Although, I would have preferred to see a private buyer of Sackville, governments do tend to lavishly waste taxpayer’s money on huge projects to the point where only more taxpayer money can sustain them. The VOA facility in Delano, CA is another example of such governmental excess. Shortwave is simply undergoing a realignment, not a demise.

    • TP Reitzel says:

      Rather, the destruction of Sackville reflects the inevitable failure of all governmental programs in due time. Private enterprise will fill the void of departing governments.

      Honestly, the captchas are nearly impossible for humans to read.

    • LYNN KELLY says:

      THOSE WERE MORE OR LESS THE WORDS AND THOUGHTS OF MANY IN THE FIFTIES ABOUT STEAM TRACTION ON THE RAILROADS

      • TP Reitzel says:

        Apparently, you’re denying the inevitable failure of all governmental programs with enough time. Governments cause the misallocation of resources. You’re confusing governmental meddling in the marketplace with failure of technologies. Remember CompuServe? I’ll bet that you believe the infrastructure of the InterNet was primarily a product of the marketplace, too. ;)

        In the USA, we currently do NOT have free markets. We have corporatism, a fascist model where governments meddle in markets to the advantage of favored corporations. “Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power”. – Mussolini

  8. TP Reitzel says:

    Despite the hyperbolic marketing of Digital Radio Mondiale and the failure of the majority of digital broadcasters to employ a Main Service Channel (MSC) of 16 QAM on the shortwave bands, DRM will likely succeed regardless because of its superior technology. As I’ve stated previously, the advent of the xHE-AAC codec will allow better quality of audio at more robust configurations on shortwave. DRM’s popularity on the shortwave bands will continue to steadily grow as more broadcasters employ a MSC of 16 QAM in conjunction with the xHE-AAC codec.

    Despite the premature call of DRM’s death, DRM is still here and growing in popularity.

  9. TP Reitzel says:

    I find encouraging readers to expend some effort leads to better results. Search for RNZI on the reception forums at http://www.drmrx.org

    Currently, reception of a DRM broadcast with a MSC of 64 QAM will be marginal, though, until the recommended power level for digital broadcasts is increased to 60% of analog on the shortwave bands. Currently, the recommended power level for DRM broadcasts is 40% of analog which is clearly inadequate for a MSC of 64 QAM. Again, DRM isn’t at fault for its slow acceptance, but rather governmental meddling, poor configuration by broadcasters, and inadequate recommendations.

    Good luck. DRM is capable now and will soon will even more capable on the shortwave bands.

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