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WO Frank Heath's history of RC Sigs station VEA

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Returning to our antenna array for a moment, it is rather interesting to note that we were so particular and anxious to have everything "just right" and accurately set up to provide maximum "directional effect" on Mayo that, rather than change or compromise a matter of 30 feet the plotted position of our east mast and guy anchors, we persuaded the Territorial Government to chop off 30 feet from the end of an old R.C.M.P. barn (being used as a Govt. warehouse) to permit the mast being erected accurately.

We came to Dawson as strictly military personnel, to operate a somewhat modified Army Wireless Installation under army rules and Signals procedure, but since we would be working in close co-operation with the local Government Telegraph Service, and the general public, especially in the matter of exchange of traffic to and from Mayo and outside points reached by land line from Dawson' and since the G.T.S. was long accustomed to the use of what is known as "Commercial Procedure", it soon became evident that we would have to modify our procedure to suit the "Commercial" variety. In fact while personnel wrestled and struggled to install the station, plans were already underway to introduce us to strictly commercial procedure, commercial rates, message forms, book keeping and accounting under the guidance and instruction of the local G.T.S. manager Mr. Geo. A. MacLachlan.

To him and Major Steel and Lieut. Taber we owe our present procedure and accounting system which was lifted practically bodily from the G.T.S and first used between Mayo and Dawson, and later became standard for all our stations handling "Commercial Traffic".

Our introduction to the Yukon was for the purpose of establishing and providing reliable communication to and from Mayo and Dawson,. The Treadwell Yukon Mining Co., working rich silver deposits at Keno Hill, some 40 miles N.E. of Mayo, were already linked by telephone with Mayo, but that was all. Prior to our arrival Keno Hill and Mayo were literally marooned. It took weeks, sometimes months, to communicate with Dawson and the outside by mail - via river boats, June to mid-October, then by slower overland stage (Horse drawn sleighs) all winter. A wire link between the two points had been considered, but was soon forgotten and never again discussed as soon as "Radio Service:" proved its overall efficiency. Dawson was already linked to Whitehorse, and to outside points, by land line (the G.T.S.), so our job was to extend this facility by wireless into the Mayo and Keno Hill country. "Outside" by the way, is a typical Northern term for anywhere south of rail-head or terminus.

Well, despite the comparative simplicity of our gear and installation one or two "bugs" were encountered and had to be ironed out long before opening day. One of them was discovered the really hard way by Sigmn. Routh who, while transmitting, happened to touch an exposed part of the sending key which was at that time:"in" the high tension or plate circuit, and he connected with a 2000 volt D.C. wallop (low current, fortunately) via his left hand and the top of his head from the metal head-band of the Brown type head-phones. He was glued to the key and took the juice

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