Tag Archives: Radio Canada International

Blueprints, maps, and test equipment: RCI Sackville items for sale

I snapped this photo inside the RCI Sackville transmitter site in 2012, a few months prior to its closure.

Earlier this year, we posted a note by Marc Goldstein who is in the process of dismantling the Radio Canada International Sackville, New Brunswick, transmitter building.

Marc is tasked with selling some of the equipment that used to make this site hum. The First Nations group who now own the site are using the revenue from sales to help fund site cleanup and renovation.  Mark recently passed along the following note:

We are trying to determine the value of the large quantity of 1940 era engineering blue prints of the station. I hoping your readers will be able to establish their worth.

While rummaging through an old file cabinet in maintenance building (RCI Sackville, New Brunswick), we located about a 100 or so more engineering blue prints (1938-1945), about a dozen black and white photos (RCI reporters interviewing what appears to be world celebrities), and annual engineering reports (1938-1980). Would any of these items be of interest to your readers?

Post readers: If you are interested in any of these items, Marc can be contacted via the following email address: pevna@hotmail.com. He is open to offers and happy to ship these items internationally.

CBC: “1940s transmitter finds new home in old jail”

Some of you might recall our story about this 1940s RCA transmitter–here’s is the follow-up:

(Source: CBC via Mike Hansgen)

The massive transmitter is being moved from the former RCI site to the former Dorchester jail

Bill Steele is a collector of odd things. A year ago, for example, he bought the site of the last double hanging in New Brunswick.

His latest purchase is less morbid but also a rare find: a massive 1940 shortwave transmitter that once broadcast Canada’s stories around the world.

The transmitter was installed around the end of the Second World War and used until the 1970s. The Radio Canada International site outside Sackville continued to broadcast, but the 50 kW transmitter, five metres long and 2½ metres wide, was decommissioned and used as a showpiece.

The RCI property was bought in February 2017 by Mi’gmawe’l Tplu’taqnn Inc., which had no use for the non-functioning equipment and put it up for sale.

Steele couldn’t help himself.

“I like weird and unusual stuff,” he said. “That’s why I’m putting it in my jail.”

He bought his jail — now a gym and bed and breakfast — last year as a retirement project. Guests bunk in a decommissioned jail cell.

The jail built in the 19th century was where the Bannister brothers of Berry Mills were hanged for murder in 1936, the last double hanging in the province.

Steele’s enthusiasm for historical objects is infectious even when he talks about the paperwork that comes with his latest purchase.

[…]Steele is hoping anyone with stories about the transmitter will share them with him on his Dorchester jail Facebook page, because, as Steele is the first to admit, this isn’t his area of expertise.

“I’ve never touched a shortwave radio, but look it, I’m going to have the biggest one in Canada.”

Click here to view at the CBC website.

CBC News picks up story about sale of RCI’s WWII era transmitter

After posting a story last week about finding a home for the old RCA transmitter at the former RCI Sackville site, I was approached by CBC reporter, Tori Weldon, who recently put together this piece:

(Source: CBC News)

‘It’s like Frankenstein’s lab’: Massive 78-year-old transmitter for sale

Mi’kmaq group hopes it finds ‘a good home’

A piece of radio history could be yours for $5,000.

A 1940 RCA 50 kW shortwave transmitter, located at the decommissioned Radio Canada International Site in Sackville, is up for sale.

The transmitter is a small room, about five metres long by two-and-a-half metres wide, and it’s filled with lever, buttons, glass tubes and wires.

The property was bought in February 2017 by Mi’gmawe’l Tplu’taqnn Incorporated (MTI), a group of Mi’Kmaq First Nations. Jesse John Simon, the group’s executive director, said workers are still taking electronic components apart and removing old equipment that won’t be needed now that property is no longer a broadcast site.

The old transmitter doesn’t work anymore, said Marc Goldstein, an electrical engineer helping to take out equipment no longer needed, adding it was decommissioned in the 1970s.
“It took three men to operate this radio,” he said.
“We’re trying to find a home for it.”[…]

Click here to read the full story at CBC News.

Want a gorgeous 1940 RCA 50 kW shortwave transmitter from the RCI Sackville station?

Many thanks to Amanda Dawn Christie who contacted me this morning regarding a message she received from Marc Goldstein, who is seeking a home for a beautiful piece of international broadcasting history. Marc writes:

We have been dismantling equipment at Radio Canada in Sackville, New Brunswick since July of last year. Most of the contents have been removed.

The original 1940 RCA 50 KW transmitter is still intact. First Nation’s–the current owner of the site–is looking for a home for this piece of history. […] I am hoping you may know someone, or an organization who may help preserve the radio. First Nations has requested $5,000 Canadian for the radio, and will remove and ready it for shipping at their expense.

Thanks for passing this information along, Amanda!

I actually snapped photos of this very transmitter when I visited the Sackville site in 2012–a few months before the site shut down. It’s an elegant piece:

I have no idea if this RCA transmitter is serviceable, but I did contact WBCQ with details just in case (if you recall, they’re in need of a 50 kW transmitter).

If you’re interested in purchasing this transmitter, contact me and I’ll put you in touch with Marc Goldstein.

Ian’s 80th birthday celebration

Ian McFarland (Photo: Colin Newell at DXer.ca)

Earlier this month, Colin Newell asked SWLing Post readers for birthday wishes and memories to share with former Radio Canada International host, Ian McFarland.

Yesterday, I received the following message from Colin:

“For a guy who just turned 80, Ian McFarland looks and sounds amazing.

For the 50+ folks that sent their best wishes for this veteran of World Band Radio, thank you, thank you and thank you.”

Colin has posted photos over at DXer.ca.

You’re right, Colin…Ian looks great! Thanks everyone!