This is the cover page of a mimeographed pamphlet that the Station
Chief handed to each new DYE 4 arrival. The illustration is a
well drawn depiction of the site. DYE 4 was the only station
at which I served that offered an orientation like this, or any
||During my first week at DYE 4, I walked outside with my camera
and tripod to take pictures like this. The view is west, beyond
Angmassalik Sound, toward the icecap, and showing Greenland's largest
mountain range. The tunnel leading from the station to the Radio
Terminal Building (RTB) is behind me.
||Welcome to Kap Dan! Natives and Danes await supplies
and passengers outside the terminal building along the Kulusuk
Island airport runway.
||The runway itself bearing the Fairchild F27 that
brought me from DYE 3, via Sondestrom Air Force base, to Kulusuk
Island on Greenlands east coast in 1976.
||A view from above the station looking east & beyond,
||The radome tower rises just beyond the exhaust systems
for the power plant.
||A view of the station at the base of the radome tower.
Two station trucks are parked outside the lone loading dock. Beyond
is the main fuel tank and on the rise in the distance, ground-to-air
||The ground-to-air radio antennae and shack containing
the radio transmitter gear. Just beyond this rise was a nearby
respite from the drone of site generators where the only sounds
were the distant, slow-motion crashing of waves far below and the
rare muffled roar of a commercial airliner far above.
||The RTB held gigantic capacitors, called Klystrons,
plus big transformers & other gear that created and boosted
a communications signal east & west through four, huge, tropospheric
scatter antennae. I vaguely recall seeing the inside of this building
once, even though my security clearance didnt permit it. Note
the RTF building tunnel, to the left, which permitted access to
the facility regardless of the wind and weather, which could be
fierce. Regarding security, visitation to various sections of each
station were driven by strict right to know imperatives.
A power plant operations worker couldnt legally visit the
console area where I monitored radar scopes and vice versa, because
neither or us had a valid operational reason to be in the others
||One of our four tropospheric scatter antennae. The gun atop
the column to the left directed a signal into the dish,
which then scattered that signal like shotgun pellets.
The transmission would fire up into and be reflected back to earth
by the troposphere, eventually into a receiving antenna some 400
miles away. In this instance, the receiver was located at DYE 3,
where I also served for awhile. The tropo scatter principal is
similar to amplitude modulation (AM) radio transmission.
||This faded sign in English, Greenlander and
Danish was planted in front of the fuel tank near the entrance
to the station building. It failed to deter frequent visits by
all sorts of folks. Native men walked nearly 8 miles from the beachfront
village at Kap Dan to sell exquisitely carved ivory figurines called tupilaks (my
phonetic spelling) worked into the shapes of native deities. I
own about 12 of these. Native women would visit for other purposes.
Some enjoyed extended stays. I recall entering the bathroom during
a break in my graveyard shift to find three native women showering.
They werent embarrassed at all, but I was and left.
||Speaking of tupilaks, here are eight
that rested atop a shelf in a building at the Danish base station
at Kap Dan airport. Greenland, of course, was a Danish territory
in those years, so Danes performed much of the skilled work on
the icy continent, including (by treaty) construction work on Americas
DEW Line stations. This multilateral association paid dividends
at DYE 4 where we enjoyed Danish cheeses, beer, prawns and other
Scandinavian culinary delights in the mess hall.
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