Resolute Bay Ionosphere Station

(Thanks to Si Tucker, Vic Decloux and the late Al Simpson for identifying the equipment)


The station was on the bay at Resolute Bay, close to the JAWS weather station, but a separate complex. The story of the Resolute Bay Ionosphere Station has been written up by a couple of people


by Lloyd Cope          RESOLUTE BAY IONOSPHERE




References should be made to those sources. Here are a couple of aspects that have come up in the context of the JAWS project.


a) Personnel


Above List of Personnel received from Si Tucker


b) The Operating Station


Photo from the Mitch Powell Collection


This is the RB Ionospheric radio communications position. The equipment is:

  • Next to the message slots on the left is a manually operated "A" Scan Ionospheric Sounder

  • In the next rack, bottom, is a Marconi CSR5-A HF receiver

  • Above it is an audio control panel

  • In the next rack, bottom, is a National Bureau of Standards,NBS-1 HF receiver

  • Above it is the Telephone control/switching panel

  • The next rack to the right is a COLLINS two channel, 300 watt, HF transmitter, Model 30K4

  • On the extreme right, not very well seen, is a Hallicrafters (built for the military) BC610 500 watt

    HF transmitter

By the clock time, it looks like Mitch, and probably Don Watters dropped in for lunch.


Al Simpson commented :

We built that operating position while I was at Resolute, about 1953 or 54. Prior to that the equipment just sat on a long bench. To the right of the clock is a telephone handset which I mounted. The line ran over to the met station. To the left and down from the clock (above the CSR-5) was the audio amp unit for the old US military transmitter. It was a separate unit and fit in a 19 in rack nicely. You can see the meter, the name plate (on right) and a microphone hanging there.


The Collins 30K4 on the right replaced the old US surplus transmitter and would have gone into service at Resolute about the same time as the one at Baker Lake (Re-supply of 1951). It sticks in my mind that the 30K4 was not installed when I arrived at Resolute and based on my experience with the one at Baker Lake we got this one up and running.


The US built C-2 Ionosphere sounder was to the left of the operating position, out of sight.


The old manual sounders had a CRT in the center and two National type dials. The one on the left was the VFO for sweeping the transmitter through the spectrum and the one on the right was to control a height marker. The height marker was a blanking pulse that you could move from the ground pulse on the left side of the CRT to the reflection pulse and then read the height of the layer off the calibration on the right dial. The old Manual Ionosonder used 807 tubes with a thousand volts on the plates and they ran blue all the time and the tube element buzzed from the pulses hitting them. It ran one kilowatt Peak Pulse Power (if I remember correctly). That's pushing a couple of 807s to say the least.


On the left of the picture is a bunch of stacked slots for filing incoming and outgoing messages.


Prior to the installation of the Collins 30K-4 transmitters we used the US military transmitter (name and model escapes me now). It stood waist high, had a bank of three plug-in units on the right side of the top (oscillator and multiplier stages) and the three plug-ins were switchable for a three frequency operation, but you had to change amplifier coils (coil bay on the top of the unit an the left). The final was a 250 TH and had two 100 TH's for modulators. The interlock on the coil bay operated a relay and the relay contacts often welded together resulting in some bad burns when the operator changed coils.


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