New DOT Lab Plays Vital Role

In Radio Communications

TOUR NEW LABORATORY-When the Minister, accompanied by top air services officials, toured the department's new Ottawa laboratory recently, the visitors were photographed with laboratory staff.


Seen in the front row, from left: George Gill, Neville Whittaker, George Howell, Mr. Hees, A/V/M, A. de Niverville and J. C. Wyatt.


Behind them: M. R. Jack, Wilbur Smith, John Hornsby, L. E. Coffey, E. Adams, Douglas Barter, Douglas Gifford, F. G. Nixon, G. Paquette, W. J. Wilson, Walter Macklon, E. Carp, S. K. Tucker, Jack Reid and B. Grabien.


Equipped with the latest devices in the field of electronics, a team of Department of Transport radio engineers and technicians in a shining new laboratory on Ottawa's outskirts is rendering valuable service to the fields of business, industry and communications.


The lab's work includes type approval of new electronic and radio equipment, evaluation of new techniques of communications, calibration of field equipment, combatting radio interference, and repairing, maintaining and in some cases fabricating departmental equipment.


Type approval work includes the testing of prototype units of electronic and radio devices against departmental specification while new developments in communications are studied and tested carefully, in order to reach an accurate and unbiased assessment of their value and their possible worth in the department's operations.


Calibration of field equipment is an important facet of the laboratory work, for the complicated electronic precision measuring devices used by field men must be kept at the highest possible degree of accuracy.


About one-quarter of the laboratory work involves the testing of new radio, electronic and other devices to determine their potential for causing radio interference, and to devise means of reducing or eliminating such interference. To this end, the staff cooperates with manufacturers and importers of such equipment, so that their products, when put on the Canadian market, will be interference-free. Many kinds of devices fall into this category, from electrically-controlled garage doors to everyday household appliances.


Mechanical processes necessary to their operations can be carried out in the laboratory's well-equipped workshop and the skilled staff looks after repairs of departmental equipment.


In many instances, they fabricate special pieces of equipment needed for their work, since commercially-produced items may not fill the purpose or may not even be available.


The laboratory is also used for training staff in measurement techniques and the use of radio regulations division equipment.


In the workshop and garage, engineers and technicians check and install the special equipment used in the 72 radio interference tracking cars operated by the field inspection offices of the department's telecommunications and electronics branch. These cars are kept at various points across Canada and serve as "electronic watchdogs" in tracing radio interference from many common sources, ranging from faulty telephone or hydro installations to the worn out motor on grandma's floor polisher.


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