Caldbeck transmitting station

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Caldbeck
Caldbeck transmitting station is located in Cumbria
Caldbeck transmitting station
Height of mast 337 metres (1,106 ft)
Grid reference NY299425
Built 1961 (original)
2008 (current)
Demolished 2008 (original)
BBC region BBC North East and Cumbria
BBC Scotland
ITV region ITV Border

The Caldbeck transmitting station is a broadcasting and telecommunications facility, situated close to the village of Caldbeck, in Cumbria, England (Grid Reference: NY299425). It is owned and operated by Arqiva.

It includes a 337 metres (1,106 ft) high guyed steel lattice mast, which is the third highest structure in the United Kingdom. The transmission antennas surmounting the structure are contained within a fibreglass cylinder.

History[edit]

The station was originally commissioned by the Independent Television Authority to bring ITV signals (provided by Border Television) to Northern Cumbria and South West Scotland, including Carlisle and Dumfries on 405-line VHF, using Channel 11 (Band III). Constructed in 1961, it originally included a 306.6 metres (1,006 ft) tall guyed steel lattice mast that came into service on 1 September of that year. The BBC's VHF television and radio services were carried by the nearby Sandale transmitting station. 405 line television was discontinued in the UK in 1985.

When UHF television started in the UK in 1969, Caldbeck was selected to carry all the UHF services for the area. The original three channel line-up came into service in September 1971. Channel 4 began from Caldbeck from its launch in November 1982.

In 1993, CFM Radio launched from Caldbeck on 96.4 MHz FM, and later in 2001 the national digital multiplex Digital One entered service.

Digital switchover[edit]

Caldbeck was one of the first transmitters in the UK to be upgraded to high power digital only TV broadcasting. The Digital Switchover took place between June & July 2009. At this time, the analogue signal was permanently switched off. Extra multiplexes for BBC Scotland and ITV Border (Scotland) were added to the transmitter at the time.

Caldbeck underwent major engineering work to accommodate the new transmitters and aerials. The work entailed complete replacement of the existing mast with a brand new 337 metre mast, work on which began on 26 April 2007. Construction of the new mast structure was completed at the beginning of March 2008.[1] Once installation of the transmitting aerials on the new mast was complete, the old one was dismantled.

Other masts that required engineering work included Black Hill, (Lanarkshire) which also needed a replacement mast, and Wenvoe (Glamorgan), Sandy Heath, (Bedfordshire) and Divis (Northern Ireland), all of which required mechanical strengthening.

Services listed by frequency[edit]

Analogue radio (FM VHF)[edit]

Frequency kW[2] Service
96.4 MHz 3 CFM Radio

Digital radio (DAB)[edit]

Frequency Block kW[3] Operator
222.064 MHz 11D 2.8 Digital One

Digital television[edit]

Frequency UHF kW Operator BBC region ITV region System
481.833 MHz 22- 100 BBC B Scotland Border (Scotland) DVB-T2
489.833 MHz 23- 50 SDN DVB-T
497.833 MHz 24- 50 Digital 3&4 Border (Scotland) DVB-T
505.833 MHz 25- 100 BBC A NE & Cumbria DVB-T
513.833 MHz 26- 50 Arqiva A DVB-T
521.833 MHz 27- 50 BBC A Scotland DVB-T
529.833 MHz 28- 100 Digital 3&4 Border (England) DVB-T
537.833 MHz 29- 50 Arqiva B DVB-T
545.833 MHz 30- 100 BBC B NE & Cumbria Border (England) DVB-T2

Before switchover[edit]

Digital television[edit]
Frequency UHF kW Operator
490.000 MHz 23 15 Digital 3&4 (Mux 2)
506.000 MHz 25 10 BBC (Mux 1)
514.166 MHz 26+ 15 SDN (Mux A)
618.000 MHz 39 3.2 BBC (Mux B)
642.000 MHz 42 1.6 Arqiva (Mux D)
666.000 MHz 45 1.6 Arqiva (Mux C)
Analogue television[edit]
Frequency UHF kW Service
527.25 MHz 28 500 ITV1
543.25 MHz 30 500 BBC One
559.25 MHz 32 500 Channel 4
575.25 MHz 34 500 BBC Two
751.25 MHz 56 10 Channel 5

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ News & Star
  2. ^ Radio Listeners Guide 2010
  3. ^ Radio Listeners Guide 2010

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 54°46′24″N 3°5′26″W / 54.77333°N 3.09056°W / 54.77333; -3.09056