Marine Radio Station Inuvik
Call sign VFA
(See Frank Statham's photos of Inuvik station below)
VFA’s operation centre was co-located with the aeradio station out at the airport, when I first visited back in the late 1970’s. All the combined stations were split up during the 1980’s due to government reorganization so VFA moved into the Semmler Building in downtown Inuvik. When the new operations area opened up for the shipping season, I arrived just as the installation technicians were packing leaving little time for any training on this “new to me” system. They left me with a couple of dozen wooden crates of tools and equipment to ship out via truck, along with a steep learning curve. There were two satellite links leased from North West Tel, one to Coppermine and the other to Cambridge Bay. (I’ve not used the Innu names, as they were not in use at the time.) These links provided a safety and working VHF maritime mobile frequency at those locations. VHF and HF receiver and transmitter sites were out by the airport. My time there was for a month as another technician was hired (usually a recently retired one) from someplace in the CG organization. I did two spring tours.
The satellite links were reliable to a point, but when they went down, it could mean hours of trouble shooting with the telco techs in White Horse.
At that time Inuvik was in the Pacific region of the Coast Guard. I was an electronics tech working out of the Victoria Ship Electronics shop. Over the years I had several voyages in and out of the Arctic in CG vessels. Other duties involved Spring maintenance at Hay River getting the MacKenzie River CG fleet ready for the season.
7 March 2022
Inuvik's RX site in the 1980s
Inuvik's TX site
Frank Statham at Inuvik in 1990
Frank Statham at Inuvik in 1994
Inuvik's Operations Room
Inuvik's Equipment Room
VFA Inuvik - Frank Statham on the right
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