new equipment caused quite a flutter' we were as excited as kids
at Xmas as we carefully and eagerly delved into boxes and crates
without number and brought to light strange and mysterious gadgets,
pieces and parts; regular skeds and routine suffered considerably
as we gradually scattered a huge mass of material and equipment
all over the station prior to tackling the job of assembly and erection.
with instruction books in one hand and blueprints in the other we
approached the installation and final tuning job with a certain
amount of nervousness and trepidation, which soon wore off as we
became familiar with the various preliminary stages and phases of
the installation. Due to many interruptions and limited personnel,
progress was necessarily slow, and it was late in July before we
had the new gear set up and on the air.
we were all set with lots of power - a whole 1000 watts when necessary
- on long wave; and 200 watts output on short wave, and first class
modern equipment, including radio-telephone facilities which, to
us at that time, was quite a novelty. But strange to relate, the
1 K.W. job never did work with any outstanding degree of efficiency
on its full rated output, and when it did, would not kick out any
stronger signal than when on half power, at which setting we normally
worked it with no better results than obtained with the old reliable
SITD.500. But our PT.200, although not behaving according "to
the book" (and never had) did boost our morale and pride considerably,
with good strong signals and clear voice - whenever conditions were
favourable. With the advent of the IT.200 , and to a lesser extent
the 1 K.W. job, we had another worry to contend with - RELAYS, and
their adjustment and maintenance. We soon discovered we had a much
more complicated and delicate affair to handle than ever before.
by now the White Pass & Yukon Route had introduced summer and
winter air transportation into Dawson and district. Three planes,
including a Ford tri-motor job, were put into service as early as
1935, but the service was rather erratic and haphazard until the
planes were radio equipped and contacted by us in that summer of
1937. Then our work and routine increased by leaps and bound, as
frequent contacts with planes in flight helped maintain them on
some degree of regular schedule by providing weather and landing
data etc etc.
call for assistance brought Cpl. Jack Coderre to our aid in 1938.,
and after four years of steady daily routine as a two operator station
he was received with great glee and jubilation because new we could
take a day off occasionally; go see the doctor and dentist, and
get acquainted with our family again. Incidentally, now Major Taber
visited us this summer on an inspection tour, and he was with us
for several days before departing for outside again.
rather ideal three operator set-up didn't last long, however. War
was declared in Sept. 1939, and a few days later Coderre was posted
back to Depot, and left Heath, Reid and the messenger once more
"on their own".