The station opened on 18 September (see official report of opening).
There were only two staff, who handled operating and technical duties. Davies was the Officer in Charge, and James H Hampton was the Assistant Operator. They lived together at the station.
Ralph S Wheeler replaced John L Davies as Officer in Charge.
The Chatham Islands station (opened on the 18th September, 1913) established a much-needed link with the mainland of New Zealand. It also serves to extend the range of communication with ship-stations to the eastward. The position of the station is 47°57′ S, 176°31′ W – 416 miles from Radio-Wellington. The wireless set is a 2 1/2 kw Telefunken, with a normal range of 300 miles by day and 600 miles by night. The prime motive power is generated by an oil engine. A storage battery of considerable capacity ensures reliability. The aerial is of the T type, and is suspended at a height of 150 ft from two tubular steel structures 300 ft apart. An earthed counterpoise completes the aerial equipment.
– Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives: Post & Telegraph Department, 1914
Ralph S Wheeler left the Chathams.
A daily wireless weather report was authorized from the Chatham Islands, and commended on the 8th April, 1915; it has been maintained without a single break. Part of this message is also transmitted by cable to the Commonwealth Weather Bureau for research purposes. Forecasts are also occasionally transmitted to the Chatham Islands, for which a small charge is made by the Post Office, but usually the Wellington forecast suffices.
– Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives: Marine Department, 1916
Observations are being made at Chatham Islands and Awarua of atmospheric electrical disturbances which prevail in greater or less degree at all times. These are despatched to the British Association for the Advancement of Science.
– Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives: Post & Telegraph Department, 1916
Les H Steel became Officer in Charge.
Chatham Islands reports its weather regularly every evening by radio. This is also cabled by us to Australia every day of the year with other reports, at the expense of the Commonwealth Government.
– Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives: Marine Department, 1922
ALM (Les) Willis became Superintendent (the new title for the Officer in Charge).
Reliable and uninterrupted communication has been maintained during the year between Radio-Chatham Islands and the mainland.
With a view to facilitating the despatch of radio-telegrams over long distances, and also reducing interference, arrangements were made in May last for Radio-Chatham Islands to work overseas vessels on the Cape Horn and Panama transpacific routes on long waves.
– Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives: Post & Telegraph Department, 1924
It is believed that the following photos were taken some years after the station opened (there are more buildings) and it appears the original masts had been replaced with more robust and modern towers. If anyone can date these photos, please contact us.
The captions are from handwritten notes on the back of each photo.
ALM (Les) Willis left Chatham Islands.
On 1 January, the callsign of Chatham Islands Radio changed from VLC to ZLC, under the new worldwide callsign allocations agreed at the 1927 International Radiotelegraph Convention.