Tag Archives: rci sackville

Former RCI Sackville transmitter site’s “slow transformation”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, David Iurescia (LW4DAF), who writes:

[Here’s] an interesting article about former RCI transmitter site (Sackville):

Former RCI transmitter site – slow transformation
By Marc Montgomery

The former RCI transmitter site near Sackville New Brunswick, sold to a First Nations group, is now in the process of being absorbed into native reserve land and some as yet undetermined use.

During the Second World War as Canada was working towards creating a shortwave service, an ideal site for the transmission of radio signals was found in New Brunswick. Located on the Tantramar marshes, it was ideal ground for propagation of signals from the complex array of antenna wires and towers.

The service was ended over six decades later as a result of severe budget cuts in 2012. The site was later purchased by Mi’kmaq First Nations in 2017 and plans are slowly taking shape to transform the 90 acre site into reserve land. That process involves consultations with neighbouring municipalities, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the New Brunswick provincial government and other indigenous communities. It’s expected to take two years, during which time the Mi’kmaq will decide the use for the land, whether cultural or economic or a combination.[…]

Click here to read the full article and view photos at RCI.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Requiem For Radio: Amanda Dawn Christie’s performance piece honoring RCI Sackville

(Source: Amanda Dawn Christie via Twitter)

(Source: CBC News)

Moncton artist bringing back sounds of former Sackville Radio-Canada towers

A Moncton artist has brought back to life the sounds of the 13 CBC Radio-Canada International shortwave towers that once stood in Sackville, N.B. on the Tantramar Marsh.

“It’s kind of like you’re conjuring ghosts of radio towers,” explained the artist Amanda Dawn Christie on Shift N.B.

Requiem For Radio: Full Quiet Flutter

The experimental sound art project Requiem For Radio: Full Quiet Flutter involves a scale model of the original towers, but a large model — about 16-metres wide, six-metres deep and five-metres tall.

Christie said the towers have red lights resembling the originals. They are made from pipes with four copper pads on each tower.

She added that when someone touches one of the copper pads, a wireless signal is sent to a computer, which then sends a sound file back to that tower of the actual, recorded sound the original tower made when it was operational. The sound is transmitted through a speaker on the model tower.

[…]But the model towers are more than something to be gazed upon and admired. They are musical instruments that Christie and two other musicians will be playing at one-hour performances on May 26 and 27 at the Aberdeen Cultural Centre in Moncton. The performances will also be broadcast on radio stations in Moncton, Montreal and New York.[…]

Continue reading at CBC News…

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RCI Sackville land sold to Mi’kmaq group

View of the western cluster of curtain antennas from the roof of RCI Sackville’s transmissions building. I took this photo in 2012 while the site was still in operation. (Photo: The SWLing Post) –Click to enlarge

(Source: CBC News)

A Mi’kmaq group has bought the land outside Sackville where 13 Radio Canada International towers stood for decades, CBC-Radio Canada confirmed Friday.

Five years after the Tantramar Marsh site was put up for sale, the New Brunswick non-profit Mi’gmawe’l Tplu’taqnn bought it for an undisclosed price.

“This transaction closes the book on an interesting chapter for CBC/Radio-Canada and Canadian broadcasting in the world of international shortwave broadcasting,” CBC’s Martin Marcotte wrote in an email.

A long broadcast history

The shortwave service ran for 67 years, and the site’s towers facilitated the service around the world until budget cuts in 2012.

The 90-hectare property was initially listed with the towers, to avoid the high cost of dismantling the facility, but in 2014, CBC began dismantling the towers in hopes the blank slate would entice more buyers.

“It’s tough to take something down that served such a purpose for the country, you know, during the Second World War,” Larry Wartman, CBC’s senior manager of transmission operations for Western and Atlantic Canada, told CBC News in 2014. “There’s just not that many of them around the world anymore.”

Building the future

The New Brunswick Mi’kmaq group Mi’gmawe’l Tplu’taqnn purchased the land Thursday but has yet to announce any plans or comment on the purchase, other than to confirm it. The non-profit group’s members are the nine Mi’kmaq communities in the province.[…]

Click here to read the article on CBC News.

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Spectres of Shortwave: Help Amanda put the finishing touches on her film

Curtain antennas in operation at RCI Sackville

Curtain antennas in operation at RCI Sackville

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Jason, who shares the following:

Not sure if you’ve seen this Indiegogo campaign to help finish a doc on the RCI transmitter site…I think I may have first heard about this from your blog?

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/spectres-of-shortwave-last-steps#/

Thanks, Jason! Yes, you might have heard about Spectres of Shortwave here as I’ve been posting updates on the SWLing Post since 2013!  I’m very happy to see the film nearing completion. Since my wife has worked in film production, I’m well aware of the enormous amount of time and effort it takes to produce a documentary on a shoestring budget.

I just sent support to Amanda through Indigogo. Click here if you’d like to support her, too.

Amanda is also posting preview clips on her Indigogo page–here’s a teaser she posted yesterday:

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