Black Hill transmitting station

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Black Hill
Black Hill transmitter, North Lanarkshire.jpg
Black Hill transmitter
Black Hill transmitting station is located in North Lanarkshire
Black Hill transmitting station
Black Hill transmitting station (North Lanarkshire)
North Lanarkshire
Mast height306.6 metres (1,006 ft)
Coordinates55°51′43″N 3°52′21″W / 55.861944°N 3.8725°W / 55.861944; -3.8725Coordinates: 55°51′43″N 3°52′21″W / 55.861944°N 3.8725°W / 55.861944; -3.8725
Grid referenceNS828647
BBC regionBBC Scotland
ITV regionSTV Central
Local TV serviceSTV Glasgow

The Black Hill transmitting station is a facility for FM and TV broadcasting at Black Hill (grid reference NS828647), on Duntilland Road, Salsburgh, North Lanarkshire, Scotland which is near the town of Airdrie. It has a guyed mast 306.6 m (1,006 ft) tall, bringing the antennas to a height of 540 m (1,770 ft) above sea level. It was built, by the Independent Television Authority (ITA), in 1957 and is now owned and operated by Arqiva.

The present mast is the second to have been built at the site. The first, built in 1957 brought the Independent Television service to Central Scotland and opened for service on 31 August 1957. However, complex anomalies in the behaviour of the antenna caused its performance to be less than predicted, and the decision was taken in 1959 to replace the mast with a higher structure and a more conventional aerial on the outside of the mast rather than inside as had been the case with the first mast. The original 750 foot mast was then dismantled and later used at the Selkirk transmitting station in the Borders where it still stands.

The transmitter was originally a B group but with the advent of Digital two of the 6 muxes then went out of band and required an E group (or wideband) aerial if reception of these was required. At DSO in 2011 it returned to the B group though with the eventual addition of MUXES 7 and 8 it technically became a K group. At Blackhill's 700MHz clearance in Sept 2018 it more or less returned to the B group, but, because its output has (since DSO) been fairly close to the B group at all times a B, K or E group (or a wideband) aerial would work for most areas (see graph). Black Hill has the fifth greatest population coverage with a figure of around 2.5 million.

Between 1961 and the end of the 405 line ITV service in 1985, the Black Hill aerial had the highest effective radiated power of any transmitter in the ITV network with 475 kW radiated towards Dundee.

In the summer of 2008, work began on the construction of a second 306.6 m mast close to the original. This mast carries the new full-power Digital TV (DTT) services since digital switchover became effective at Black Hill in June 2011. The original mast will now be shortened in height and will radiate FM and DAB services only.

In June 2011, Black Hill became the final transmitter in Scotland to switch off analogue television. BBC Two Scotland was turned off first on 8 June, and the remaining four closed on 22 June.

Services listed by frequency[edit]

Analogue radio (FM VHF)[edit]

Frequency kW[1] Service
89.9 MHz 250 BBC Radio 2
92.1 MHz 250 BBC Radio 3
94.3 MHz 250 BBC Radio Scotland
95.8 MHz 250 BBC Radio 4
97.6 MHz 0.1 Forth 1
99.5 MHz 250 BBC Radio 1
100.3 MHz 20 Heart Scotland
101.7 MHz 125 Classic FM
102.5 MHz 15† Clyde 1
104.7 MHz 10 BBC Radio nan Gàidheal
105.2 MHz 30† Smooth Radio
106.1 MHz 10 Capital FM

† This signal is largely radiated towards Glasgow.

Digital radio (DAB)[edit]

Frequency Block kW[1] Operator
220.352 MHz 11C 4.23 Bauer Glasgow
229.072 MHz 12D 0.44 Bauer Edinburgh

Analogue television[edit]

Analogue television was broadcast from Black Hill until 22 June 2011.[2] BBC Two Scotland was previously switched off on 8 June.

Frequency UHF kW Service
599.25 MHz 37 500 Channel 5
623.25 MHz 40 500 BBC One Scotland
647.25 MHz 43 500 STV
671.25 MHz 46 500 BBC Two Scotland
703.25 MHz 50 500 Channel 4

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Radio Listener's Guide 2010
  2. ^ "Black Hill transmitter to start switching off analogue". BBC News. 29 February 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]