Friday, June 29, 2012

Radio Canada International in Pictures

As a follow-up to yesterday's Blog, I got up this morning wanting to get some more pictures of the RCI Shortwave facility, before it gets torn down (heaven forbid!) I would like to quote from my friend Gary Masson in his comment to yesterday - "Each time I drive by this I think about the expertise that has gone into building and maintaining this incredible site, that is "real Engineering" I think to myself."

Gary is so correct. This site should be kept standing, if or no other reason, than to be a monument to the  art of every kind of Engineering. Radio Engineering, obviously, because of the tremendous sophistication in that design of the antenna array, and the massive collection of Transmitters inside the building; Electrical Engineering with the rock solid overall performance that has endured many a lightening strike; Civil Engineering, as the antenna field is supported by almost two-dozen towers that have been sitting perfectly vertical in swampy ground through all kinds of storms ever since 1938; and Computer Engineering, as the massive array is switched to beam in many different directions at various power levels through each day and night.

I still have in my possession my College textbook on Radio Antennas, called "Antenna Theory, Analysis and Design" by Constantine A. Balanis. It's nearly 800 pages, with lots of diagrams and calculus. When I went to Community College in 1976-77, I really got deep into this, thinking it would unlock my career future. I aced the Radio and Antenna courses, but failed miserably at computers... I simply didn't get the idea of computers, and thought of them as something that only the Banking Industry might use!

So I set out early this morning to the road that leads to the back (eastern) side of the facility, called the Coles Island Road. I recall that at one time when I was quite young, the Broadcast AM transmitter and CBC Studio was also on this site, and the announcer would ID the station as "CBA Maritimes, from our studios at Coles Island". This road barely exists now. I had to park my car at the point where the road is nothing more than a wagon rut, and walk in about a kilometre to get the pictures I wanted. The main access to the facility is of course at the front road that connects to the Trans Canada Highway just South of Sackville.

I took most of the shots with panoramas in mind, as this is the only way the majesty of this site can be appreciated. I've also included some close-ups of the antenna webbing (could this be referred to as "the old world-wide-web" perhaps?)

Anyway, enjoy! Some other time this summer, I would like to go inside the site, with permission, and take a total 360 Panorama.

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