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WO Frank Heath's history of RC Sigs station VEA

- 9 -

In 1935 we received our first really worthwhile "break" - we pensioned off the Delco, Batteries and Motor Generator Set in favour of city power rectified by a separate and special Marconi Rectifier unit shipped in to us. None too soon, either! The Delco power plant and associated gear had done its fair share of work for 12 long years, and to keep it going much longer would have taxed our ingenuity and swindling sanity to the utmost.

Of course the new Rectifier had to arrive much the worse for wear and tear in transit, minus several vital parts broken or displaced in shipment. But we eventually tot it to work OK, and the day we switched over to rectified city power was indeed the "dawn of a new day" as far as we were concerned and the signal for a bit of a celebration to usher in the new and, as it turned out, more efficient era to follow; that was the start of many improvements, and the introduction of new and up to date equipment.

1936 was notable for our second experience with flood conditions. By June 9th water surrounded the station and barely covered the floors of the rear rooms which were 10" lower than the operating room. No equipment was moved out this time; we merely piled everything movable on the tables and counter, and also raised all wiring and leads as high as possible without disconnecting anything. No skeds were missed, and no serious inconvenience resulted this time, although we were forced to wade around in knee rubbers to get to and from the screen housing our thermometers, and had to resort to a boat or canoe for travel further afield.

We bid farewell to Sgt. Plunkett on June 20th, who remained for a few days to coach L/Cpl. Reid in his numerous and varied duties after Reid arrived in Dawson June 12th.

1937 brought us something really radical in the way of new equipment. We got our first glimpse and experience of and with the Marconi 2 cabinet or section 1 K.W. transmitter, new Marconi receivers and dozens of new type valves. No sooner was this imposing and awe inspiring apparatus set up - and the old SITD.500 , with its Marconi rectifier, shipped elsewhere - than we received and set up the wonder of wonders we'd been waiting for: the Marconi PT.200, 200 watt, cabinet type, S/W, crystal controlled phone and C.W. job.

We'd heard and read of such things; and crystals; and band-passes; intermediate frequencies; modulator power amplifiers; drive circuits, etc etc., but never laid eyes on such things until NOW.

Getting this new gear into the station, by the way, was a problem in itself. We had to take off three doors and door frames to start with, and one door opening had to be widened at least two inches by means of a saw; a special saw, that ripped through nails and spikes as well as the wood of the door frame. Then after the equipment was safely inside the room in which it was to be erected, we had to re-hang the doors, and make a new one for the enlarged frame.

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