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H.M. WIRELESS STATION

EQUIPMENT

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Equipment

Masts

One of the most visible features of the H.M Wireless station was its three radio masts used to receive and transmit radio signals to other stations and ships in the area. Due to the sheer size of these structures many people wonder just how they could have been erected so long ago without the help of modern-day building equipment.

Erection of Masts

Having completed the first section, it was necessary to finish off the base structure that held the mast. The foundation had to be leveled off with concrete to its required height and the foundation plates had to be grouted in. Those in charge of pouring the concrete were instructed to make sure that no dirt came between the old and new layers of concrete which could possibly compromise the strength of the structure.

A cage was then attached around the mast and suspended from the erecting head. Four worm gear pulley blocks connected to the cage allowed the cage to be moved 25 feet up or down the mast, equivalent to two mast sections. During the time when the topmast was being raised, the cage would be secured to the topmast by means of chain slings to help eliminate the possibility of the cages being damaged.

to the top of the first mast section. On top of these plates the first tapering mast section was installed, bringing the diameter of the section from 3'6" to 2'6". Following every addition of a new mast section, it was necessary to add a set of half diaphragm plates on the top of the section allowing each section to be bolted together.

Four sets of stays were provided, each consisting of four stays. These stays would be connected to the mast, anchoring it to the ground preventing it from falling over. Until the permanent stays were in place, temporary stays were used during the erection of the masts to ensure the safety of the structure.

Once the erection of the mast was complete, it was time to deconstruct the erecting gear. The cage was shackled to the mast with chains and the topmast and the erecting head were unbuilt and lowered to the ground. It was devised that the topmast and erecting head be dismantled in three pieces. The main halyard bracket and sheave was fitted to the top of the mast allowing the cage to be unbolted and then lowered to the ground. In cases where the topmast and erecting head were not dismantled, the builders were instructed not to raise the topmast after the last two cylinders were erected and to leave the topmast and erecting head projecting 12 feet out from the mast.

Once erected, the winches were bolted down to the concrete foundations and they were then used for raising or lowering the aerials or main halyard.

Wireless Radio Set up There were 2 main generating sets installed at the H.M. Wireless Station Mount Pearl. Each set was capable of providing enough power to run the wireless motor alternators or the transmitting aparatus, and in addition enough lighting for both buildings and various auxiliary motors. Each generating set consisted of a high speed 6-cylindar oil engine of 110bhp direct coupled to a continuous current dynamo.

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