|Radio 1 , starboard view. (Photo by Jerry Proc)|
|Radio 1 , port view. (Photo by Jerry Proc)|
HMCS HAIDA has four radio rooms, all serving a slightly different purpose. Radio 1 which is depicted in the above photo, is located on the port passageway, upper deck. This is the only radio room which is accessible to the public. Morse code was copied here at speeds of 25 word per minute. Messages were also and decoded here. Radio 2 is the only radio room that is located in the after section of the ship. This room contained a high powered transmitter which was used to send radioteletype messages from ship to shore. Radio 3 is found on the flag deck, port side near the bridge. It is a very small space which housed the remotely controlled UHF voice radios and was not staffed. Radio 4 is above the main galley, starboard side. This was the Electronic Warfare Room where messages and radar emissions from adversary vessels were intercepted. Thanks to the work of a dedicated volunteer, nearly all of the radio equipment aboard the ship has been made operational which makes these rooms come alive and provides an authentic setting for visitors.
All of the radio rooms were restored between 1992 and 1996 in order to recreate a historical display which illustrates RCN radio operations from a bygone era. These rooms are a tribute to all those Sparkers and Communicators who worked in them and operated such radio gear.
On Sept 1, 1993 all Morse Code operations ceased in the Royal Canadian Navy. To mark the occasion, the following clear text Morse message was sent by CFH (Halifax Radio) on August 31, 1993, on a frequency of 4255 khz.
The call tape sent at 25 words per minute (wpm), droned on to lead up to the top of the hour...
VVV VVV VVV DE CFH CFH CFH C13L C13L C13L (repeated three more times). The call tape stopped, whereupon the following message was sent at a speed of approximately 10 wpm.
P312300Z AUG 93 312300Z AUG 93
FM MSAX MILL COVE
TO ALL SUBSCRIBERS C13L BT
UNCLAS1. SEPTEMBER 1, 1993 HAVING BEEN DESIGNATED AS THE DATE ON WHICH REGULAR CW SERVICE CEASES IN THE CANADIAN NAVY, THIS IS THE FINAL OCCASION WHEN SPARKERS WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO PUT THIS DYING ART TO USE
2. FOR THOSE WHO CAN RECALL QUOTE BENS BEST BREAD UNQUOTE WILL ALWAYS BE A RHYTHM ON THE TIPS OF THE FINGERS
3. AS WE ENTER INTO THIS NEW ERA, THE MEMBERS OF THE OPERATIONS DEPARTMENT AT MILL COVE WISH TO SAY ONE LAST TIME RR CUL OM QRU QRUARAnd the text sped up from 10 wpm to about 25 wpm for a final round on the call tape...
VVV VVVVVV VVV VVV DE CFH CFH CFH C13L C13L C13LThe tape stopped, leaving only the background noise and a sadness in a Sparker's heart. To hear the actual off-the-air copy, select this link. David Ring Jr, N1EA provided the audio to MPEG conversion. ( 679 kb MP3). Allow up to 30 seconds to load. Works best with Real Player.
VVV VVV VVV DE CFH CFH CFH C13L C13L C13L
VVV VVV VVV DE CFH CFH CFH C13L N
For a comprehensive tour of HAIDA'S four radio rooms select this link .
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