Tacolneston transmitting station

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Tacolneston TV & radio
Tacolneston TX mast.jpg
165m (pre-DSO) mast at Tacolneston
Tacolneston transmitting station is located in Norfolk
Tacolneston transmitting station
Tacolneston transmitting station (Norfolk)
LocationWymondham Road, Tacolneston, Norfolk
Coordinates52°31′04″N 1°08′20″E / 52.517778°N 1.138889°E / 52.517778; 1.138889Coordinates: 52°31′04″N 1°08′20″E / 52.517778°N 1.138889°E / 52.517778; 1.138889
Grid referenceTM131958
Built1954, 1956
BBC regionBBC East
ITV regionITV Anglia
Local TV serviceThat's Norfolk
Digital switchover9 November 2011 / 23 November 2011

The Tacolneston transmitting station is a facility for both analogue and digital VHF/FM radio and UHF television transmission near Tacolneston, 11 miles (18 km) south-west of Norwich, Norfolk, England.

It includes a 206.1 metres (676 ft) tall guyed steel lattice mast, which was built between 2009 and 2012, and previously a 149.0 metres (489 ft) tall guyed steel lattice mast, which was built in 1956 (completed in late September/early October that year). On top of the current mast is located the UHF television transmitting antenna, which brings the overall height of the structure to 206.1 metres (676 ft) (the overall height of the previous mast being 165.0 metres (541 ft)).[1]

History[edit]

The station's original mast, built from early 1954, was 61 metres (200 ft) tall and first broadcast television transmissions, albeit temporarily, from February 1955.[2] VHF (FM) radio broadcasts began on a test basis from December 22 1956, in order to allow East Anglia to receive programmes on VHF over the Christmas period.[3] The BBC Light Programme was not available during this test phase, and there were warnings that the service would occasionally be interrupted for engineering reasons.[3] The station began broadcasting regular programmes from Norwich purely for East Anglian audiences on the Midlands Home Service from Tuesday 5 February 1957,[4] and the transmitter went to full power for VHF from 6.35pm on Tuesday 30 April 1957.[5]

The transmission site is located at 52° 31' 3.9" North, 1° 8' 19.3" East[6] (National Grid Reference: TM131958[7]). In July 1989, it was reported that the transmitting station cost almost £500,000 a year to run.[8]

The current mast has an average height of 221 metres above sea level.[9] It is now owned and operated by Arqiva, but was owned by the BBC before they privatised their transmission department prior to 1997.

Arqiva (formerly National Grid Wireless) announced, on 6 August 2007,[10][11] that they plan to replace the current 165 metres (541 ft) mast with a new 206.1 metres (676 ft)[1] mast in order to ensure good digital TV reception across East Anglia after digital switchover, which took place in the area in November 2011. Arqiva also plan to replace the original transmitter hall at this site as it has now reached the end of its useful life.[12][13] Work has been completed on the new structure, and for the moment there will be three structures (two masts and a lattice tower) on the site. The old 165m mast is expected to start being dismantled in 2013.

Radio services listed by frequency[edit]

Analogue radio (FM VHF)[edit]

Frequency (MHz) kW Service
89.7 125 (V) + 125 (H) BBC Radio 2
91.9 125 (V) + 125 (H) BBC Radio 3
94.1 125 (V) + 125 (H) BBC Radio 4
99.3 125 (V) + 125 (H) BBC Radio 1
101.5 125 (V) + 125 (H) Classic FM

Digital radio (DAB)[edit]

Frequency (MHz) Block kW[14] Operator
218.640 11D 1.4 Digital One
225.648 12B 5 BBC National DAB

Television services listed by frequency[edit]

Digital television[edit]

Digital transmissions became at least ten times stronger in power after the digital switchover (DSO), and their frequencies were reorganised.[15]

Frequency (MHz) UHF kW Operator System
618.000 MHz 39 100 Arqiva B DVB-T
626.000 MHz 40 100 BBC A DVB-T
642.000 MHz 42 100 SDN DVB-T
650.000 MHz 43 100 D3+4 DVB-T
666.000 MHz 45 100 Arqiva A DVB-T
674.000 MHz 46 100 BBC B DVB-T2

At Tacolneston, extra HD muxes are being broadcast on UHF 55 and UHF 56, along with a local TV service (Mustard TV) using an interleaved frequency on UHF 32 (QSPK 8K 3/4 8.0Mbit/s).

Frequency (MHz) UHF kW Operator System
562.000 MHz 32 10 LNR DVB-T
746.000 MHz 55 18 Com 7 DVB-T2
754.000 MHz 56 18.2 Com 8 DVB-T2


Before switchover[edit]

Frequency (MHz) UHF kW[16] Operator
730.166 MHz 53+ 5 SDN (Mux A)
769.833 MHz 58- 5 BBC (Mux B)
786.000 MHz 60 10 Digital 3&4 (Mux 2)
794.000 MHz 61 5 Arqiva (Mux C)
810.000 MHz 63 10 BBC (Mux 1)
818.000 MHz 64 5 Arqiva (Mux D)

Analogue television[edit]

Tacolneston switched to digital-only television transmissions in November 2011;[17] analogue BBC Two transmissions ceased on 9 November, and two weeks later, on 23 November 2011,[17] the other four analogue channels ceased analogue transmissions.

Frequency (MHz) UHF kW Service
719.25 MHz 52 4 Channel 5
743.25 MHz 55 250 BBC Two
775.25 MHz 59 250 ITV1
799.25 MHz 62 250 BBC One
823.25 MHz 65 250 Channel 4

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b South Norfolk District Council planning application, January 2008
  2. ^ "Eastern Daily Press". Eastern Counties Newspapers (Archant). 15 August 1997.
  3. ^ a b "East Anglia has VHF for Christmas". Eastern Daily Press. Eastern Counties Newspapers. 22 December 1956. p. 5.
  4. ^ "TV and Radio - Clumsy Drama". Eastern Daily Press. Eastern Counties Newspapers. 6 February 1957. p. 5. On the radio, the first special VHF programme for East Anglia only was presented from 6.35 to 6.45.
  5. ^ "Eastern Daily Press". Eastern Counties Newspapers. 1 May 1957.
  6. ^ "Zoom Earth". Zoom Earth, formerly Flash Earth. Neave.com. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  7. ^ Television Transmitting Stations Handbook. BBC & ITC. January 1994.
  8. ^ "Eastern Daily Press". Eastern Counties Newspapers (Archant). 11 July 1989. p. 9.
  9. ^ Civil Aviation Authority. "Radar Vector Areas in UK Airspace" (PDF). p. 22. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 December 2004. Retrieved 29 November 2006.
  10. ^ "Eastern Evening News". Retrieved 17 August 2007.
  11. ^ "Eastern Daily Press". Archant Newspapers. 7 August 2007.
  12. ^ "MB21 Transmission Gallery (News)". Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 17 August 2007.
  13. ^ "Internet Archive (MB21 Transmission Gallery News)". Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 2 January 2010.
  14. ^ Radio Listeners Guide 2010
  15. ^ "Ofcom - DSO Transmitter Details: Anglia Region" (PDF). Retrieved 30 September 2010.
  16. ^ Television Viewers guide 2009
  17. ^ a b "Digital UK - Tacolneston". Retrieved 30 September 2010.

External links[edit]