Cape Race was the location for Newfoundland's first wireless communication station. This station was established a couple of years after the first transatlantic message was sent by Marconi from Signal Hill. Due to the Marconi Station Cape Race became a centre for reporting news around the world Cape Race is a headland located at the southwestern extremity of the island of Newfoundland in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
In 1905, Marconi constructed a wireless station at Camperdown, Halifax, Nova Scotia (original callsign HX, MHX from 1907–1912, VCS thereafter). From 1905 until 1926, this station was to collect traffic from Sable Island (VCT) and Cape Sable (VCU) for manual retransmission via dedicated landline telegraph circuit to Halifax (AX). VCS later would serve as a coast guard marine radio station
at 11.40 pm, two young wireless radio operators at Cape Race, Newfoundland, Robert Hunston and James Goodwin heard the first distress call from the luxury liner RMS Titanic, en route to New York south of the Grand Banks. An iceberg had grazed the ship's side, popping iron rivets and shearing off a fatal number of hull plates below the waterline. The great ship, on its maiden voyage, sank just under three hours later. 1,517 passengers were lost at sea.
In 1904, the first wireless station in Newfoundland was built at Cape Race. This was one of the major land-based locations that received the distress call from the RMS Titanic, the other being, at least according to legend, the Marconi telegraph station on top of the Wanamaker's department store in New York City. On the night the Titanic sank, wireless operator Jack Phillips was sending telegraphs to Cape Race for relay to New York City. When Cyril Evans, wireless operator of the SS Californian, sent an iceberg warning to the Titanic, only a few miles away, Phillips was annoyed with the loud signal (due to the proximity) and responded “Shut up, Shut up, I’m working Cape Race.” This would become a famous incident, as the bored Evans soon went to sleep, and Titanic hit an iceberg only fifteen minutes later. After Titanic's distress call, Cape Race played a major role in relaying news of the sinking to other ships and land locations.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
In 1905, Marconi constructed a wireless station at Camperdown, Halifax, Nova Scotia (original callsign HX, MHX from 1907–1912, VCS thereafter). From 1905 until 1926, this station was to collect traffic from Sable Island (VCT) and Cape Sable (VCU) for manual retransmission via dedicated landline telegraph circuit to Halifax (AX). VCS later would serve as a coast guard marine radio station.
Louisbourg, Nova Scotia
As the original, powerful spark gap transmitters would create large quantities of electrical interference, stations could not transmit and receive at the same time - even if different wavelengths were used. By 1913, the increasing amount of trans-Atlantic radio telegraph traffic required that existing half-duplex operation be upgraded to a link which could carry messages in both directions at the same time. This was done by geographically separating the receiving stations from the existing transmitter sites; new receiving stations at Letterfrack, Ireland and Louisbourg, Nova Scotia effectively doubled the capacity of the Marconi Company to carry trans-Atlantic telegraph traffic. Instead of the 500 kHz and 1 MHz frequencies common in shipboard radio at the time, Marconi was to use longwave frequencies of 37.5 kHz for transmission from Glace Bay, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia to Letterfrack and 54.5 kHz for transmission from Clifden, Ireland to Louisbourg in order to establish reliable transatlantic communication day and night.
Antennas for longwave radio reception were to occupy huge amounts of land at these sites; while Lee DeForest's work had produced a vacuum tube (or "Audion") as early as 1906, many key advances in electronic amplifiers (which would allow smaller receiving antennas and more efficient transmitter designs) would only be made once improved communications became a military necessity during World War I. The design and construction of tuned circuits able to separate radio signals transmitted and received at different frequency and wavelength had also shown great improvement.
By 1919, improved transmitting and receiving tubes had made transatlantic voice transmission possible. By 1926 Marconi would be able to use shortwave radio to link the British Empire, making the former long-wave transatlantic service and its Louisbourg receiving station obsolete. The Marconi Towers transmitter site on Cape Breton was upgraded to broadcast voice and operated until 1945; the Louisbourg station closed in 1926.