VO1BZM Admiralty House Museum & Archive located in Mount Pearl
Licensed hams are welcome to bring along their license and use the Admiralty House club station during museum hours!
Admiralty House Museum and Archives is a modern museum and municipal archive nestled on 2.1 acres of beautiful gardens in the heart of the City of Mount Pearl, Newfoundland. SONRA has a seat on the Board of Directors of the museum and helps in the operation of the amateur radio station on site.
Originally constructed in 1915 by the British Royal Navy, Admiralty House was then known as HMS British Wireless Station – Mount Pearl.
During World War 1, HMS British Wireless Station – Mount Pearl was occupied by 22 British naval staff. The station provided North Atlantic communications for the Royal Navy under the call sign BZM and intercepted the communications of the German Navy, who were carrying out covert operations along the North Atlantic seaboard.
In 1925, the property was sold with Admiralty House being converted into a farm house while the three 305 ft towers were considered for use by the newly formed Dominion Broadcasting Company. In 1938 the Commission of Government took over this radio station and formed the Broadcasting Corporation of Newfoundland (BCN). The call sign was changed to VONF and, as Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949, the radio station became a part of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).
In 1968, the farm house and 101 acres of surrounding land were purchased by the partnership of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation. The farm house and adjacent lands were used as administrative offices while residential and commercial land development proceeded in the general area. Now, thirty years later, the work of this partnership is substantially completed. The City of Mount Pearl acquired the property in 1995 and a group of volunteers led efforts to rehabilitate the old structure and create the beautiful garden setting surrounding Admiralty House.
Today, the Society of Newfoundland Radio Amateurs is a partner in the restoration of this historic site as the custodian and operator of VO1BZM, the Admiralty House Amateur Radio Station. Visitors can see historic pieces of equipment alongside a fully operational, modern Amateur radio station boasting full HF, VHF and UHF capabilities.
The station was officially opened on June 25, 1997 by HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. We will be operating from the station at many times during the future so keep listening for VO1BZM on most bands.
Each April 15, we set up a special event station at Admiralty House to commemorate the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. The marine radio station at Cape Race relayed traffic to and from the ship as it crossed the Atlantic and heard the call for help, using the Morse letters, CQD (this was before SOS became the standard distress signal). In honour of the work done by Walter Gray, Jack Goodwin and Robert Hunston at the Cape Race station in 1912, we will be operating CW only.
For more info on the Titanic, check out http://titanic.gov.ns.ca