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WO Frank Heath's history of RC Sigs station VEA

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for several seconds before his predicament was noticed by Major Steel who quickly kicked off the high power switch. By this time Routh was shaking uncontrollably like a man with convulsions, breathing with great difficulty and evidently in a bad way. We carried him outdoors and resorted to artificial respiration for some time before he recovered sufficiently to tell us what happened, or rather how he came to touch the key with his left hand. We found the crown of his head and two fingers of his left hand badly burned, and examination and inspection of the set revealed that this danger of shock would always be present until receiver and transmitter were segregated - instead of a combined hook-up of one battery for all tube filaments controlled by a "change-over" switching arrangement.

However, we finally opened for general public business on Oct. 20th 1923, using army A, B and C message forms and a double word check procedure - word check or count as per army method plus the commercial count, present at the opening ceremony were Gold Commissioner (Governor of Yukon) Geo. P. MacKenzie and his wife; Inspectors Telford and Field of R.C.M.P.' Territorial Judge John Black' former Yukon M.P. Dr. Alfred Thompson; Geo. Coffey, manager of Yukon Gold Co.; Warren McFarland, manager of Northwest Gold Corpn.; G.B. Edwards, General agent of local White Pass and Yukon transportation company, and Art Devers of the Dawson news staff - plus R.C.S. personnel. Enthusiastic messages of congratulations were exchanged with Mayo's delegation of notables, and all concerned were highly pleased and delighted with results.

Long before this opening date the last boat had left for rail-head at Whitehorse. We don't recall if major Steel was aware of this or not;' he was so immersed in the construction work that it is quite likely he gave little thought to how or when he would leave for outside. Result was, he had to go out over the long 400 miles overland trail by horse drawn sleigh. He left us on Nov. 2nd 1923, and has never been back to Dawson; and we never did learn how he enjoyed his long and tedious experience.

At first, the traffic between Dawson and Mayo was not exactly heavy or demanding, especially after we became familiar with the hitherto unknown intricacies of tariff rates, commercial accounting, etc. But that first winter we did considerable testing and experimenting; for months we had daily tests and calls with High River, Alberta, about 1475 miles air line south of Dawson and - with our little 500 watt CW output, and our 4 "R: valve receiver - made numerous and quite satisfactory contacts, although far from consistent from day to day We learned even then, but didn't actually realize its significance until much later, that low power low frequency was too unreliable for long distance communication.

As time and winter conditions clamped down cold and long we also learned that atmospherical conditions varied considerably from day to day' that what we believed was;'static" was mad mane local interference;' that the Dawson Utilities distribution system of wiring was very "hay wire", leaky and full of faulty connections and electrical apparatus' that e were too far away from broadcasting

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