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HMCS Onondaga on the air for the Museum Ships Weekend Event

The Onondaga submarine museum celebrated « Museum Ships Weekend Event » on Ham Radio frequencies during the weekend of June 5 and 6 2010.

Organized by the Battleship New Jersey Amateur Radio Station, the Museum Ships Weekend Event is an annual event for Ham Radio operators around the globe. It provides the opportunity to communicate via shortwaves with warship converted into museums anywhere in the world.

In order for the Onondaga submarine museum to participate in this event, volunteers from the Lower St-Lawrence Amateur Radio Club activated the radio room onboard Onondaga. The submarine, like other museum ships open to the public in other countries, possesses its own Ham Radio Station operating under call sign VA2GNQ. A total of 83 warships, including HMCS Onondaga, were among the stations being sought on ham radio bands during these 2 days.

During the weekend, designated operators Claude Martin (VE2DLC) and Patrick Sirois (VE2PDS) made about 150 contacts on the air from Onondaga’s radio room. Some of these contacts were with American destroyers USS Keewatin, USS Wisconsin and USS North Carolina. Communication was also established with Italian submarine Enrico Dandolo (S-513) as well as stations in Jamaica, Ecuador, Sweden, Venezuela, Germany and South Korea.

Operators who were able to confirm 15 contacts with ships museums will receive a certificate as well as each participating station.

Link of Battleship New Jersey Amateur Radio Station : http://www.nj2bb.org/museum/index.html

Link of Onondaga station VA2GNQ on QRZ.COM:


Source : Patrick Sirois (VE2PDS)
Vice-President, Lower St-Lawrence Amateur Radio Club

(Translated by Donald Courcy, VE2CW)



Opening of Onondaga Submarine Museum


Operators of the Lower St-Lawrence Ham radio Club did about 300 contacts from the Onondaga submarine during the public overture on june 13 and 14 2009.





See the hauling and towing of the sub. Special broadcast program "Monster Moves" aired on Discovery Channel.







 VA2GNQ is the station callsign of retired canadian navy submarine HMCS Onondaga. Club radioamateur du Saint-Laurent VE2CSL of Rimouski, Quebec has been asked to take on the project of restoring the radio room onboard Onondaga and to put the submarine back on the air. The best way for visitors to truly experience the magic world of submarine radio communications is to put Onondaga back on the air. There will be regularly scheduled events and simulations during which volunteer Ham Radio operators will operate the radio equipment in the radio room. In memory of Onondaga’s old radio call sign CGNQ, radio operations will be carried out in the Ham Radio bands under call sign VA2GNQ. Upon completion of this project, submarine Onondaga will be joining other submarine and ship museums presently “on the air” around the world.


Pictures of the ship's radio room, courtesy of Donald Courcy, VE2CW , former radioman on the Onondaga.


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