CFXC New Westminster

Bits and Pieces of BC Radio History

CFXC New Westminster

Postby cart_machine » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:14 am

According to a story in the January 30, 1925 edition of the Vancouver Province, CFXC celebrated the first anniversary of its opening on January 28th with an “at home” in the Westminster Trust building.

CFXC was purchased by George Chandler and his brother, and morphed into CJOR in 1926.

The station was on the air before its official sign-on, running tests as early as 1923. No doubt the archives of The Columbian would reveal a lot, but they’re not on-line. Fortunately, a couple of stories about CFXC were published in the Chilliwack Progress. The first is from December 27, 1923.

Sam Pugh ran an electrical business in Chilliwack and was later a school board chairman and then the district’s fire chief for nine years until his death in 1955. The Victoria station mentioned was CFCL, which became CFCT, which became CJVI.

cArtie.

THE RADIO
Listening In
Sardis reports Mr. W.R. Clements as putting in a radio receiver.
Hugh Mercer, Fairfield Island, is reported the latest radio fan having put in a three tube set.
Dont burn out a valve filament through carelessness and expect your dealer to exchange it for another.
Don't make the prastic [drastic] error of connecting the plate battery to the filament terminals; watch all battery connections.
Ernest Roberts, Fairfield Island, plans to try out the Reflex circuit and is also getting the parts together for a stage of amplification. He has completed the building of his own radio frequency transformer.
If the aerial wire has been up any length of time it will have oxidized and taken on a covering of soot, etc. The covering increases the ressitance [sic] of the aerial and reduces input and should be cleaned off with sand-paper or new wire put up.
Mr. A. E. Willis has installed the four tube Northern Electric No. 2001 radio receiving set, which was on view in the windows of Mr. Sam Pugh for a few days previous to Christmas. This set uses the "peanut" tubes throughout and includes two steps of audio and one step of radio frequency amplification with the detector.
Frank Kickbush is reported as having splendid success with the step of amplification that he has added to his set. Peanut tubes are being used. Frank was among the early ones to take up the game here and like the rest his interest increases rather than lags as time passes.
Canon d'Easum broadcasted a Christmas message from the new radio broadcasting station at New Westminster on Christmas after noon. A short programme of appropriate musical selections followed. The date and time of the official opening of this new station CFXC, has not yet been announced. Local fans report hearing the Christmas programme very well.
The other evening Pete Riley, while listening to a Los Angeles broadcasting station on his radio receiving set had occasion to 'phone Mr. Sam Pugh, who also has a radio set in his home. Mr. Pugh's set is equipped with a loud speaker horn and amplification and happened to be tuned to the same broadcasting station that Pete Riley had been listening to, so that he was able to hear over the phone while talking to Mr. Pugh, the conclusion of the selection he had just been listening to himself.
On Friday the Centennial Methodist Church radio broadcasting station at Victoria will send out on the air the "Messiah" as rendered by combined choirs in the church. On Sunday afternoon Dr. Ernest A Hall will be heard over this radio on the subject "Arm in arm with the Drug Addict." This radio broadcaster is operated three times each Sunday—morning, afternoon and evening services—also on Tuesday and Friday nights by the Centennial Church, Rev. Clem Davis, minister.
Greater volume of sound seems the aim of the majority of fans. Those who started in last year with one detector tube have nearly all increased to two or are planning the additional tube now. It is one of the chief attractions of radio that it he done all at once. Satisfactory results are produced on one tube, the initial investment, later the stages of amplification may follow. One or two local fans who started out with the one tube have now reached the stage where they are experimenting with loud speakers.
During the past week the new radio broadcasting station at New Westminster has been making its tests and has reported as being heard at Vernon, B. C.; Calgary, Alta. and Seattle besides many intermediate points.
The broadcasting apparatus has been installed for the Westminster Trust by F. Stirling and Roy R. Brown, radio mechanics of the Hume & Rumble staff. The operating rooms and studio are situate on the fifth floor of the Westminster Trust Block, while the six-wire cage aerial and counterpoise are installed above the roof of the skyscraper building. The radiation power, developed from a 500-volt motor generator and sent out on a 440 meter wave length, will be capable of being heard within a radius of fifteen hundred miles. In the tests made so far, although the studio equipment is not yet complete and only very small microphones have been used, the results achieved have given great satisfaction, even the most distant receiving stations reporting the voice and music coming in clearly and distinctly with perfect modulation and free from mechanical noise or discord.
While detail[ed] plans are, as yet, in complete, it is the Westminster Trust Co.'s intention to use the station as a means of disseminating information of value and interest to New Westminster and the Fraser Valley, as well as for the broadcasting of news and musical programmes. Arrangements are being made to broadcast the city market prices each Friday evening, also stock and bond market reports. For the musical programmes amateur talent has promised to assist and R. M. Ross of the Columbia Piano House has kindly provided a piano and gramophone and has promised to keep a supply of the very latest and best records, for the latter, always available. Messrs. Hume & Rumble will operate the station for the Westminster Trust Co.
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Re: CFXC New Westminster

Postby cart_machine » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:21 am

Here’s an account of an early broadcast of CFXC, perhaps the first one under its license, from the weekly Chilliwack Progress of January 31, 1924. It gives you an idea of the equipment being used.

Frank S.M. Stirling was with Hume and Rumble when the station went on the air. He later moved to Vancouver and worked for the Marconi Company before starting his own shop. He disappeared from the Vancouver city directory after 1930.

The writer doesn’t seem to have favoured paragraphs.

cArtie.

THE RADIO
From the windows of a suite of rooms several stories up in the Westminster Trust Block, New Westminster, it is possible to overlook a country ranging over some twenty-five miles of hills and mountains. But from these rooms the spoken word is heard many, many times the distance that the eye is able to reach and as instanteaneously [sic] over the long distance as the eye picks on the nearby object. The radio broadcasting station and studios of C.F.X.C., operated by the Westminster Trust Company and Hume & Rumble Electrical Company are situated there and recent replies to their concerts indicate that their broadcast is heard as far South as San Francisco and some hundred miles East of Calgary. "The Voice of the Fraser River," as the station is sometimes called, occupies a four-room suite. On entering, one first goes through a waiting room then enters the studio from which the programmes are broadcasted. This room is completely and attractively, draped in cloth. At first only the walls were drapped [sic] but it was found that the microphones were sensitive to the very least echo of the voice and the ceiling also was draped. A brief inspection shows the room to be equipped with late models of the player piano and of a phonograph well known for its clearness of reproduction. Next to catch the eye is the microphone or one of them, there being four in use. This instrument appears similar to a small nickel "can" with holes in its surface, and is supported on an adjustable stand. On investigation there is to be found microphones for the phonograph, for the piano and also for the operator. The station makes a specialty of programmes arranged by local talent. Singers and instrumentalists at first fear that they will not "get over" the microphone giving back no impression of how the audience is taking the part, and they sometimes try to sing or play with unusual strength. The microphone is, however, so sensitive that one may stand several feet from it and a low voiced conversation may still go out on the air clearly. The "station" itself or the broadcasting apparatus is in a separate room. Here one finds a large panel with several dials and metres [sic]. The panel supports six five-watt tubes, three oscillators to produce the carrier and three modulators for the voice reproduction. At present the station is operating at below full power while an additional piece of equipment is on its way from the East. Along with the main set is the speech amplifier comprising four "steps." For the piano selections three steps of amplification are used, for vocal selections only two are required while the operator, speaking into his special microphone which is very like an office telephone without a base, does not use the amplifiers at all. A filter reactor is used to smooth out the 500 plate voltage for the generator. There is also an elaborate system of filters to the use of which is credited the very clear broadcasting of the station. The aerial is a six wire cage affair with counterpoise, both suspended on high poles on top of the Trust Block.
Mr. F. Stirling, who is in charge of the broadcasting and of the programmes gives a wide range of service which is particularly designed to be of assistance to the rural communities, especially the farmers. Correct time is given out at 8 p.m. direct from the C. P. R. telegraph; on Friday night the New Westminster market prices are given out and the Westminster Trust supplies bond reports. Programmes now include very few records, local talent in many professions taking a keen interest in assisting the station to send out entertainment broadcast over the continent.
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Re: CFXC New Westminster

Postby cart_machine » Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:14 am

The answer to the question about when CFXC actually signed on is found in the January 3, 1924 edition of the Chilliwack Progress.

cArtie.

C F X C, the new broadcasting station at New Westminster operated by the Westminster Trust, officially came on the air on New Year's eve, His Worship Mayor Annandale broadcasting the season's greetings from the Royal City, Mr. E.A. Riddell, manager of the company, making an announcement and Ald. Hume of the firm Hume & Rumble, who installed the apparatus, explaining the technical details of the station. Songs and instrumental selections by local artists followed.
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