Rowridge transmitting station

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Rowridge
Rowridge from entrance gate 200704270010.jpg
The Rowridge transmitting station
Rowridge transmitting station is located in Isle of Wight
Rowridge transmitting station
Height of mast 149.6 metres (491 ft)
Grid reference SZ447865
BBC region BBC South
ITV region Southern (1969–1981)
TVS (1982–1992)
ITV Meridian (1993–present)
Local TV service That's Solent

The Rowridge transmitting station is a facility for FM radio and television transmission at Rowridge on the Isle of Wight in southern England. It currently has a 149.6 metres (491 ft) tall guyed mast, owned and operated by Arqiva (previously National Grid Wireless), though during the summer of 2010 construction started on a 172 metres (564 ft) replacement mast. There is a smaller tower on the site belonging to British Telecom. The station broadcasts with a power of 250 kW (ERP) for FM radio, 500 kW for analogue television, and 20 kW for digital television. In July 2007, Ofcom confirmed that Rowridge would remain an A Group transmitter at Digital switchover; the digital television transmission will then be boosted to 200 kW.

Analogue Channel 5 is not transmitted from Rowridge but was broadcast (at 10 kW) from Fawley Power Station, with the antenna located on the main chimney. Transmissions all fit within the A group and are horizontally polarised. On 25 March 2009, Channel 5's analogue signal was turned off from Fawley Power Station, due to the digital switchover in the neighbouring Westcountry region.

Population coverage for the main four analogue channels is about 1.75 million.

History[edit]

The station was first built to provide BBC 405-line television coverage for an area including Southampton, Portsmouth and Bournemouth, with Brighton, Winchester and Salisbury as desirable further targets. Sites on the mainland and the Isle of Wight were considered, and three were tested by BBC Research Department. A temporary 200 ft lattice mast was built with a main antenna at 175 ft and a reserve antenna lower down. These aerials were directional to enhance the signal northwards and reduce unwanted coverage to the south.[1]

The service opened on 12 November 1954, bringing television to the area for the first time.

A programme feed was obtained via a Post Office radio link. A site for this near Alton, Hampshire was acquired and named after a nearby pub: Golden Pot. Here the TV signal from Alexandra Palace was picked up and relayed via a one-hop 4 GHz microwave link to Rowridge. This was brought into service on 18 October 1954. Later, the microwave link ran from the Museum telephone exchange in London to Rowridge, using Golden Pot as an intermediate site.[2]

In 1965 the UHF antenna was added making the total height of the structure 149.6 metres (491 ft). This addition allowed Rowridge to radiate the PAL 625-line transmission that allowed broadcasts in colour and eventually stereo sound.

On 25 March 2009, Channel 5's analogue signal was turned off from Fawley Power Station. Later on in the day, "existing digital terrestrial TV services moved to new frequencies", due to the digital switchover happening in the region in 2012.[3]

Arqiva applied for planning permission to replace the existing 150m mast with one 187m high on 22 May 2009.[4]

Channels listed by frequency[edit]

Analogue radio[edit]

Frequency kW[5] Service
88.5 MHz 250 BBC Radio 2
90.7 MHz 250 BBC Radio 3
92.9 MHz 250 BBC Radio 4
96.1 MHz 10 BBC Radio Solent
98.2 MHz 250 BBC Radio 1
100.3 MHz 125 Classic FM

Digital radio[edit]

Frequency Block kW Operator
225.648 MHz 12B 5 BBC National DAB

Analogue television[edit]

12 November 1954 – 15 January 1966[edit]

Frequency VHF kW Service
56.75 MHz 3 BBC1

15 January 1966 – 13 December 1969[edit]

Frequency VHF UHF kW Service
56.75 MHz 3 BBC1
495.25 MHz 24 500 BBC2

13 December 1969 – 27 December 1969[edit]

Frequency VHF UHF kW Service
56.75 MHz 3 BBC1
495.25 MHz 24 500 BBC2
519.25 MHz 27 500 Southern

27 December 1969 – 4 December 1982[edit]

Frequency VHF UHF kW Service
56.75 MHz 3 BBC1
495.25 MHz 24 500 BBC2
519.25 MHz 27 500 TVS (Southern until 1982)
551.25 MHz 31 500 BBC1

4 December 1982 – 3 January 1985[edit]

Frequency VHF UHF kW Service
56.75 MHz 3 BBC1
471.25 MHz 21 500 Channel 4
495.25 MHz 24 500 BBC2
519.25 MHz 27 500 TVS
551.25 MHz 31 500 BBC1

3 January 1985 – 15 November 1998[edit]

Frequency UHF kW Service
471.25 MHz 21 500 Channel 4
495.25 MHz 24 500 BBC Two
519.25 MHz 27 500 Meridian (TVS until 1993)
551.25 MHz 31 500 BBC One

Analogue and digital television[edit]

15 November 1998 – 31 October 2002[edit]

Frequency UHF kW Service System
471.25 MHz 21 500 Channel 4 PAL System I
489.833 MHz 23- 20 BBC (Mux 1) DVB-T
495.25 MHz 24 500 BBC Two PAL System I
513.833 MHz 26- 20 Arqiva (Mux C) DVB-T
519.25 MHz 27 500 ITV1 (Meridian until 2002) PAL System I
530.000 MHz 28 20 Digital 3&4 (Mux 2) DVB-T
546.000 MHz 30 20 SDN (Mux A) DVB-T
551.25 MHz 31 500 BBC One PAL System I
562.166 MHz 32+ 20 BBC (Mux B) DVB-T
570.166 MHz 33+ 20 Arqiva (Mux D) DVB-T

31 October 2002 – 24 May 2007[edit]

Frequency UHF kW Service System
471.25 MHz 21 500 Channel 4 PAL System I
489.833 MHz 23- 20 BBC (Mux 1) DVB-T
495.25 MHz 24 500 BBC Two PAL System I
513.833 MHz 26- 20 Arqiva (Mux C) DVB-T
519.25 MHz 27 500 ITV1 PAL System I
530.000 MHz 28 20 Digital 3&4 (Mux 2) DVB-T
546.000 MHz 30 20 SDN (Mux A) DVB-T
551.25 MHz 31 500 BBC One PAL System I
562.166 MHz 32+ 20 BBC (Mux B) DVB-T
570.166 MHz 33+ 20 Arqiva (Mux D) DVB-T
735.25 MHz 54 2 Solent TV PAL System I

24 May 2007 – 25 March 2009[edit]

Frequency UHF kW Service System
471.25 MHz 21 500 Channel 4 PAL System I
489.833 MHz 23- 20 BBC (Mux 1) DVB-T
495.25 MHz 24 500 BBC Two PAL System I
513.833 MHz 26- 20 Arqiva (Mux C) DVB-T
519.25 MHz 27 500 ITV1 PAL System I
530.000 MHz 28 20 Digital 3&4 (Mux 2) DVB-T
546.000 MHz 30 20 SDN (Mux A) DVB-T
551.25 MHz 31 500 BBC One PAL System I
562.166 MHz 32+ 20 BBC (Mux B) DVB-T
570.166 MHz 33+ 20 Arqiva (Mux D) DVB-T

25 March 2009 – 7 March 2012[edit]

Frequency UHF kW Service System
471.25 MHz 21 500 Channel 4 PAL System I
495.25 MHz 24 500 BBC Two PAL System I
519.25 MHz 27 500 ITV1 PAL System I
530.166 MHz 28+ 20 BBC (Mux B) DVB-T
545.833 MHz 30- 20 SDN (Mux A) DVB-T
551.25 MHz 31 500 BBC One PAL System I
562.166 MHz 32+ 20 Digital 3&4 (Mux 2) DVB-T
570.166 MHz 33+ 20 Arqiva (Mux D) DVB-T
578.000 MHz 34 20 BBC (Mux 1) DVB-T
602.166 MHz 37+ 20 Arqiva (Mux C) DVB-T

7 March 2012 – 21 March 2012[edit]

Frequency UHF kW Service System
H V
471.25 MHz 21 500 Channel 4 PAL System I
498.000 MHz 24 200 200 BBC A DVB-T
519.25 MHz 27 500 ITV1 PAL System I
530.166 MHz 28+ 20 BBC (Mux B) DVB-T
545.833 MHz 30- 20 SDN (Mux A) DVB-T
551.25 MHz 31 500 BBC One PAL System I
562.166 MHz 32+ 20 Digital 3&4 (Mux 2) DVB-T
570.166 MHz 33+ 20 Arqiva (Mux D) DVB-T
602.166 MHz 37+ 20 Arqiva (Mux C) DVB-T

Digital television[edit]

21 March 2012 – 18 April 2012[edit]

Frequency UHF kW Operator System
H V
474.166 MHz 21+ 200 200 BBC B DVB-T2
498.000 MHz 24 200 200 BBC A DVB-T
522.000 MHz 27 200 200 Digital 3&4 DVB-T
545.833 MHz 30- 50 SDN DVB-T
570.166 MHz 33+ 50 Arqiva B DVB-T
602.166 MHz 37+ 50 Arqiva A DVB-T

18 April 2012 – present[edit]

The commercial multiplexes were situated on their pre-DSO frequencies until 18 April 2012, when they started transmitting at vertical polarisation.[6]

Frequency UHF kW Operator System
H V
474.166 MHz 21+ 200 200 BBC B DVB-T2
482.166 MHz 22+ 50 200 Arqiva A DVB-T
498.000 MHz 24 200 200 BBC A DVB-T
506.000 MHz 25 50 200 SDN DVB-T
522.000 MHz 27 200 200 Digital 3&4 DVB-T
530.000 MHz 28 50 200 Arqiva B DVB-T

See also[edit]

  • Chillerton Down – a transmission site approximately a mile away from Rowridge, broadcasting a mix of analogue and digital radio stations not available from Rowridge.
  • List of masts

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pawley, Edward. 1972. BBC Engineering 1922 – 1972, p. 377. BBC, London. ISBN 0-563-12127-0.
  2. ^ Kilvington, T. The London—Isle-of-Wight Television Link, Stage One. POEEJ 48 (1):36–38
  3. ^ "Isle of Wight County Press - "Stand by for the digital switch"". www.iwcp.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-01-11. 
  4. ^ Isle of Wight Planning Application – TCP/23520/R, P/00748/09
  5. ^ Radio Listeners Guide 2010
  6. ^ "Digital Switchover Transmitter Details – Meridian Region". 5 January 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2011. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°40′35″N 1°22′7″W / 50.67639°N 1.36861°W / 50.67639; -1.36861