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Wireless Terms

  • A.C. – Alternating current.

  • Aerial – A means for radiating or receiving radio waves.

  • Alternator – A dynamoelectric generator for producing ac voltages.

  • Ammeter – An instrument used for measuring current flows in amperes.

  • Antenna (Aerial) - An electrical device that sends or receives radio or television signals. The H.M wireless station used 305’ masts with both “T” type and “L” type aerials as their antennas. The height was necessary to guarantee the best possible chances of sending and receiving strong signals to ships and other stations in the area. Due to the exposure of the aerials to Newfoundland weather, it was important that the engineers come up with a way to remove any ice build-up on the aerials. They devised a method in which it was possible to send an electrical current up the wires warming them, resulting in the melting of any harmful ice buildup.

  • Booster – A preamplifier connected between the antenna and receiver to increase the signal strength at the receiver input.

  • Busbar(Bus) – In electronic computers, one or more conductors which are used as a path for transmitting information from any of several sources to any of several destinations. (Bars) The heavy copper bars used on switchboards to carry current. Also, an un-insulated copper wire of about 12 or 14 gauge.

  • Chokes (Coil)- A coil used to limit the flow of alternating current while allowing direct current to pass. (Joint) A connection between two wave guides which provides effective electrical continuity without metallic continuity at the inner walls of the wave guide.

  • Circuit – A network providing one or more closed paths.

  • Condenser (Capacitor) – A device consisting essentially of two conducting surfaces separated by an insulating material or dielectric such as air , paper, mica, glass or oil. A capacitor stores electrical energy, blocks the flow of direct current, and permits the flow of alternating current to a degree dependant on the capacitance and the frequency.

  • Continuous Wave – A radio wave in which successive cycles are identical (constant in amplitude) under steady state conditions.

  • D.C. – Direct current.

  • Fid - A piece of iron or wood used for fidding the topmasts and topgallent-mast when swayed up to keep them in place. Used to splice rope.

  • Fid hole - A hole cut in the topmast and the topgallent-mast. In regards to the masts at the H.M wireless station, bolts were inserted in to the fid holes rather than fids.

  • Flanges - Located along each end (horizontal) and up either side (vertical) of the mast sections, it is the area in which bolts would be placed to secure sections together. An example of this can be seen by viewing the picture of the mast section outside the Admiralty House Museum located in the image index.
  • Foundation Plates - The steel foundation to which the mast would be secured. The plate is secured to the concrete foundation block of the mast by means of twelve holding down bolts which pass through twelve anchor plates embedded in to the concrete foundation block.

  • Half Diaphragm Plates - Half-circle steel plates used to hold together the ends of the individual mast sections. Each mast section had a set of these plates connected to both ends. Holes located on the circumference of the plates allowed bolts to pass through and connect plates to one another. The diameter of the plates was the same as the diameter of the mast section it was connected to.

  • Halyards - Originally an order to "haul yards," these two words were corrupted into one which now designates any lines used for hoisting sails, flags, etc.

  • Henry - The unit of inductance. A device has an inductance of 1 henry when an electromotive force of 1 volt is induced in it by a current changing at the rate of 1 ampere a second.

  • Inductances – The property of a circuit or coil that causes an electromotive force (voltage) to be set up because of a change in current in the circuit or coil, or that determines how much electromotive force will be induced in one of two neighboring coils or circuits by a change in the other.

  • Insulator – An object that offers a great deal of opposition to the movements of electrons, used for supporting or separating conductors.

  • Kilowatts – A unit of electrical power equal to 1000 watts.

  • KVA – Kilo-volt ampere.

  • L.F. - Low frequency.

  • Mast – A vertical pole or structure supporting an antenna.

  • Nautical Mile – The length of a minute along a great circle on the earth. A united states land mile is .8684 of a nautical mile.

  • Receiver - A device for receiving radio waves.

  • RPM - Revolutions per minute.

  • Sheave - A wheel on which the rope travels, and is made of metal, lignum vitæ, or iron.

  • Solenoid – An electromagnet having a movable iron core.

  • Stays - Of wire or hemp, they extend from each masthead towards the stern of the ship, supporting the masts forward, preventing it from falling. In the case of the Wireless Station, the stays would be attached to the ground.

  • Tuner - A device capable of selecting the desired signal and delivering rf, i-f, or demodulated information to some other equipment.

  • Voltmeter – A meter used to measure electrical pressure or voltage in volts.

  • Watt – A practical unit of electrical power.

  • Wavelength - In a periodic wave, the distance between points of corresponding phase of two consecutive cycles.
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