dream on: equip in NORAD bunker in North Bay, Ont

Brent Hilpert hilpert at cs.ubc.ca
Tue Jun 12 22:54:07 CDT 2007

Paul Anderson wrote:
> I worked on an ANFSQ7 (SAGE) and I believe that North Bay was the only one
> still active in Canada at that time.

Mike Loewen wrote:
>     I don't know what you saw, but North Bay definitely housed a SAGE
> system at one time.  Online info says that some of the equipment from
> North Bay is at the Computer History Museum.
> http://ed-thelen.org/comp-hist/TheCompMusRep/TCMR-V04.html
> http://www.interesting-people.org/archives/interesting-people/199805/msg00023.html

Interesting, I never knew that there was a SAGE (AN/FSQ7) processor in Canada,
I thought they were all in those blockhouses in the States. The DEW Line was
well known and publicised up here (Canada) in the 60s - if you ask anyone over
50 what the DEW Line was you'll probably get a half-sensible answer - if you
ask what SAGE was you can expect a blank stare or 'that guy on the mountaintop'.

This suggests it's quite likely those were SAGE consoles: very large round
display tube with arrays of rectangular pushbuttons and indicators to either
side of the tube, the camera shot was too quick for me to spot if the light
guns were present.

The gist of the news story was that the DoD had moved their operations to new
aboveground digs, but was still paying for upkeep of the old underground site
- along the lines of $2 million a year. Suggestions for de-acquisition or use
were being considered, such as a private-sector data vault, all of which
suggests the junk may well get cleared out.

William Donzelli wrote:
> SAGE was the whole system - computers, radar, radios, modems and all.
> Nitpick.
> Anyway, look at Ed Thelen's website.

I have seen that site in the past, I'll take another look. I realised SAGE was
the whole system, not just the processors, but wasn't clear, for example,
whether the DEW line was a separate system with it's own monitoring or whether
the DEW line radars fed into the SAGE processors and hence part of SAGE. I get
the feeling you're implying the latter.

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