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Debacle of old Canadian Transmitter site




 
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Author Topic: Debacle of old Canadian Transmitter site  (Read 1559 times)
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WBear2GCR
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« on: January 23, 2018, 07:46:25 PM »

Imho, this bears some discussion.

Seems like a debacle to me.
The people who have this apparently have no idea what anything is...
...they've been "removing" things from the building.

YIKES!!

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/mi-kmaq-transmitter-radio-canada-1.4495286

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KC4VWU
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2018, 01:18:35 AM »

Excuse me, but bought by who?
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W1ITT
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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2018, 04:15:08 PM »

The Mi'gmawe'l Tplu'taqnn are native Americans, but I think they general refer to them as First Nations People in Canada.  Back in the 1980s, K1RQG (sk) and KA1BC and I went up to Labrador on a 432 moonbounce expedition.  Our drive took us past the Sackville site in all it's glory.  It seemed like we drove past it on the road for 10 minutes before it was all done, lots of towers and curtain arrays as far as one could see.  I have worked on many HF curtains worldwide, but I can't recall one that seemed to have so much real estate.  If they had kept a few towers and curtains up, they could have rented them out on DX contest weekends and made a bundle.
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W6TOM
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« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2018, 06:52:00 PM »

  I went down to LA in November with a friend to haul back some WWII radio gear we bought. On the way down we stopped at the Delano Voice of America site, the pictures don't do it justice. I'm told the site is a square mile, right on the flats of the Central Valley, a square mile of antennas. We could only look in from the road, there are curtain arrays that were steerable.

  I'm also told that the site is going to be sold and the antennas taken down, what a shame!!

 What fun it would to load a few of these antennas with low power rig and call CQ!!!


* Delano-1.JPG (132.1 KB, 1024x654 - viewed 98 times.)

* Delano-2.JPG (117.89 KB, 1024x614 - viewed 83 times.)
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KD6VXI
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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2018, 06:55:54 PM »

There is a way to get at the base of Delano antennas.

However, I wouldn't recommend it.  The last time I was there (I live 20 minutes away, and it's a nice motorcycle ride thru the farms) the Kern County Sheriff ran me off.  Supposedly the feds give them a call when they see anyone on the monitors.

I would love to load one of those antennas up!

--Shane
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WBear2GCR
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« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2018, 08:01:17 PM »

I have been advised by someone who is reliable that the site is essentially stripped of everything except for
the facade(s?) of the transmitter(s?). That was due to the prospect of "PCBs"... So, for $5k you get a basically empty
box, at least nothing that could be construed to be a transmitter of any utility or repairability... oh well. Sad

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W2PFY
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« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2018, 08:05:52 PM »

Way back in the day about 1967 or 68 I wuz living in NJ working repairing home electronic organs and other electronic musical stuff. In my travels do that home type service on some of those products, I happened to go by the VOA  that was located in Bound Brook, NJ that looked a lot like what you posted Tom. The station in Bound Brook was originally WRCA and they transmitted the programs for the VOA. Attached is a PDF of that early WRCA/VOA.

There must have been some enlargements over what is shown in the PDF because as I said above it looked like the photos Tom posted. Well to get on with the story, one day I spied the big antenna farm and I had to see if I could get in to see the transmitters. I was meet at the door of a very large brick building by one of the technicians and I asked him if I could see the equipment after explaining to him that I used to listen to the station in neighboring PA and that I was a ham radio opt. That did me no good, he said he couldn't let me in and that it was all big stuff and that I would probably be bored with the whole thing? Not me! Well anyhow, it wasn't operating all that long, perhaps a few years and it was shut down and demolished. It's probably all homes nowadays as that area was not a swamp like some areas of NJ. At night it was spectacular to see since it was probably in the flight path of Newark airport and neighboring NYC airports. They probably ran about 1/2 megawatt of lighting on all those towers! Now back to Tom, During the war with Japan there were transmitters at WGY in Schenectady NY that were broadcasting to Europe on SW to the troops and when that was winding down, WGY shipped all their SW transmitters to California. It may have been that site where all the transmitters landed. The reason for them being sent there was to broadcast to our troops and get their minds off Tokyo Rose as I recall. One last tidbit, sometime back there were very large records selling on eBay that had the VOA logo on them and they were in several languages and were in very good condition. I guess that's how they got the programs out as they were probably recorded somewhere in DC and then sent out to the transmitter sites? Dats all folks!!

* VOARCA.pdf (175.23 KB - downloaded 36 times.)
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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2018, 10:02:04 PM »

Way back in the day about 1967 or 68 I wuz living in NJ working repairing home electronic organs and other electronic musical stuff. In my travels do that home type service on some of those products, I happened to go by the VOA  that was located in Bound Brook, NJ that looked a lot like what you posted Tom. The station in Bound Brook was originally WRCA and they transmitted the programs for the VOA. Attached is a PDF of that early WRCA/VOA.

There must have been some enlargements over what is shown in the PDF because as I said above it looked like the photos Tom posted. Well to get on with the story, one day I spied the big antenna farm and I had to see if I could get in to see the transmitters. I was meet at the door of a very large brick building by one of the technicians and I asked him if I could see the equipment after explaining to him that I used to listen to the station in neighboring PA and that I was a ham radio opt. That did me no good, he said he couldn't let me in and that it was all big stuff and that I would probably be bored with the whole thing? Not me! Well anyhow, it wasn't operating all that long, perhaps a few years and it was shut down and demolished. It's probably all homes nowadays as that area was not a swamp like some areas of NJ. At night it was spectacular to see since it was probably in the flight path of Newark airport and neighboring NYC airports. They probably ran about 1/2 megawatt of lighting on all those towers! Now back to Tom, During the war with Japan there were transmitters at WGY in Schenectady NY that were broadcasting to Europe on SW to the troops and when that was winding down, WGY shipped all their SW transmitters to California. It may have been that site where all the transmitters landed. The reason for them being sent there was to broadcast to our troops and get their minds off Tokyo Rose as I recall. One last tidbit, sometime back there were very large records selling on eBay that had the VOA logo on them and they were in several languages and were in very good condition. I guess that's how they got the programs out as they were probably recorded somewhere in DC and then sent out to the transmitter sites? Dats all folks!!

Terry,

That station, as I remember, was along River Road near the Bakelite Factory (Union Carbide) Not exactly in Bound Brook, that location I think is in Piscataway.  Back in the late 50s I would live (in the summer) at my grand mother's farm which was some distance behind that station.  I would pick berries (not sure what kind) in the woods behind the farm.  Doing so, I would come up behind the station where some antennas were located.  As I remember there was very tall wooded poles with wires on them.

Not sure if this is the same location of the original transmitter site described in the news story you posted.  Can't think of any other location in Bound Brook (the town is not that big) where a large antenna system could have been located.

Fred
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« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2018, 11:02:42 PM »

'm also told that the site is going to be sold and the antennas taken down, what a shame!!

 What fun it would to load a few of these antennas with low power rig and call CQ!!!
They could charge admission. Show your license. Pay the fee. Bring your own radio.
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W2PFY
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« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2018, 12:31:18 AM »

The stations are:     CBS - WCBX, WCDA and WCRC, Brentwood L.I., NY; Crosley’s station WLWO, Cincinnati; General Electric’s WGEO and WGEA, Schenectady, NY, and KGEI San Francisco; NBC - WRCA and WNBI, Bound Brook, NJ; Westinghouse’s WBOS, Boston; World Wide Broadcasting’s three transmitters WRUL, Boston; and Associated Broadcaster’s KWID.

I think this is where I am confusing myself and you Fred. I remember distinctly Hearing the announcer saying "This Is The Voice Of America" coming to you from Bound Brook, NJ. USA, They never announced callsigns and from what I am reading and learning for the first time that originally it was WRCA, and later WNBI from Bound Brook which was the station I visited. The WRCA may have been located in Piscataway. The antennas that you saw were perhaps the earlier ones? I know from what I am reading that the US GOV was scrambling to get powerful transmitters on the air and as a result, big curtain antennas came online shortly thereafter. I'm 76 and the brain is still not scrambled.That has to be god's doing because despite my trying to burn it out, it still works Cheesy Cheesy  There is very little information on the web and I'll bet most of the people now in Bound Brook probably never heard of the station...
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« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2018, 12:51:29 AM »

If you get bored, there is a wealth of info on the VOA stations here in California.

In addition to Delano, there is / was Dixon as well as another whose name escapes my memory but was located in Nor Cal on the coast.

We also had a huge LF station in Chollas Heights down in San Diego. That was cool, it was featured in Pop Comm years ago.

I like hearing about the east coast stuff, never knew about most of the sites you guys are talking about.  New reading material!

--Shane
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KA2DZT
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« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2018, 12:58:03 AM »

The location I'm talking about is very close to Bound Brook.  It is possible that it is in Bound Brook rather than Piscataway.  I always thought you had to cross the RR tracks to get into Bound Brook.  They may have just promoted the station being in Bound Brook since it is a very close-by town on the map.  Piscataway is a large township covering many square miles.  I'm going to take a look at a map of the area to see where the station was.

Fred

Looked at an online map of that area.  That deeps woods between where the station was located and the back of my grandmother's farm has not changed,  it remains undeveloped.  The farm is no longer there, that got developed decades ago.

Still have not figured what town the station was in, have to look at a real paper map, which I have somewhere.
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« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2018, 02:13:06 PM »

Hi Fred, it would be great if you could locate the actual area that was used for the ratio stations. I looked at an are on google earth on River Road for evidence of a past at antenna farm. There are some areas that are over 1 mile wide from River Road to the west and probably that long running parallel to River Road. There are what appears to be many black topped roads that are laid out in squares and rectangles with no evidence that building were
once there. If I lived closer, I would visit the area. I plan to be down in that area in 2023 if I am still kicking.Are you busy that year? Maybe we could get together Cool Cool Cool

I just received a email from Scott Fybush and he said the following:

Quote
Hi Terry,

I don't have any pictures, unfortunately. What I know is that it was the former NBC Blue/WJZ transmitter site, developed for use around 1931-32. As with all the early VOA sites, it was hastily converted from private (NBC/RCA) use to government use as WWII ramped up. WJZ left the site in 1943. They literally dismantled the tower and trucked it in pieces up to Lodi, where it still stands now as WABC. I don't think VOA used the site for very long after the war. My understanding is that some of the transmitters were taken to other sites that remained in more permanent use, such as Bethany in Ohio.

Hope that helps!

I absolutely remember the big towers off in the distance with the large curtain antenna on it. It something at that time that I had never seen before so that's why it stands out in me brain.

Yes Shane, there is a bunch of stuff out west that I have read about. I am going to take this a bit further and see if there is a town historian and see if they have anything  on file for Bound Brook.

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« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2018, 03:54:59 PM »

Terry,

I had one old road map left from the 60s.  The WJZ transmitting site was marked on the map exactly where I said it was.  That location is actually in Piscataway NJ Middlesex County.  Bound Brook is about 1/4 mile north and is in Somerset County.  Your right there looks to be about a square mile of open land there.  The northern half of that area is where the Bakelite (later Union Carbide) factory complex is located.  The southern half of the square mile still remains undeveloped as far as I see nothing on Google all the way from River Rd east to the back of where the farm was.

That woods had an open area (width of a road) cut through it from the farm towards River Rd (I think there is an underground gas line running through the woods and farm).   I would walk down that open area towards River Rd.  I remember seeing the tall poles with the antenna wires.  IIRC I think only a few of these poles.  The area began to get heavily wooded with trees so if there were any towers somewhere further towards River Rd I may not have been able to see them over the trees.

I also was in the service business and have been up and down River Rd hundreds of times.  I think I remember seeing a small sign or maybe just on a mailbox "VOA". right where the WJZ site was located.

If I get a chance I'll try to get over there and look around.

Fred
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