thebigtower


beacon hill

 


THE BEACON HILL TRANSMITTER is the UHF main station that serves the area of South Devon based around the coastal resort of Torbay.

Of the five UHF main stations located across South-West England it has the smallest coverage area, spanning a radius of no more than twenty miles, allowing for some fringe reception along parts of the Dorset coast.  The other UHF main stations serving the region are located at Caradon Hill (East Cornwall), Huntshaw Cross (North Devon), Redruth (West Cornwall) and Stockland Hill (East Devon).

Beacon Hill carries FM transmissions of BBC National and BBC Radio Devon as a relay of the North Hessary Tor transmitter.

TRANSMISSION STRUCTURES

Two structures are currently utilised to support transmissions from Beacon Hill.  The main lattice stayed mast (referred to as Beacon Hill 'A') carries all UHF and local FM radio services, whilst the secondary structure (a self-supporting lattice tower known as Beacon Hill 'B') carries all BBC FM radio and DAB radio services.

A third structure (Beacon Hill 'C') was provided in 2007 to carry medium-wave service Gold Torbay, but was dismantled after this service was discontinued on AM.


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DIGITAL SWITCHOVER

The Beacon Hill transmitter was the first UHF main station in South-West England (together with the 23 associated relay stations) to complete the Digital Switchover process.  The two-stage process took place at Beacon Hill as follows -

Stage 1 (DSO1) - 8 April 2009

  • BBC Two analogue on Channel 63 ceased broadcasting permanently
  • ITV1 analogue moved on interim basis (until DSO2) from Channel 60 to 63 releasing Channel 60 to BBCA (PSB1)
  • First post-DSO Multiplex BBCA (PSB1) commenced transmission on Channel 60   

Stage 2 (DSO2) - 22 April 2009

  • All other analogue and low powered digital services ceased broadcasting permanently and the remaining high powered digital multiplexes commenced transmission

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Aerials

 

UHF Coverage Map

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


STATION HISTORY

Beacon Hill was opened by the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) in 1973 to provide a UHF service to the relatively dense population located in and around Torbay and Torquay.

Transmissions to the area on 405-line VHF were provided by North Hessary Tor (BBC1) and Stockland Hill (ITV) but the equivalent UHF transmissions from the latter failed to cover the area adequately, hence the need for an additional main station.

Whilst the four other UHF main transmitter sites at Caradon Hill, Huntshaw Cross, Redruth and Stockland Hill were all existing components of the transmitter network in the south-west (in their capacity as 405-line VHF installations), Beacon Hill was a totally new site that had to be provided for UHF.

Having began transmission of both BBC1 and BBC2 in the latter part of 1972, ITV became operational from 19 March 1973.



STATION INFORMATION


Location:

Beacon Hill, Totnes Road, Marldon, Devon

Grid References:

(A) SX857620

Landlord:

Arqiva (Legacy: ITA/IBA/NTL Broadcast)

 

(B) SX858621

BBC1 Region:

South-West

Ground Height:

188m

ITV1 Region:

South-West

Main Mast Height:

103.6m

 

 

Aerial Height: (*)

285m

(A)=Beacon Hill A  (B)=Beacon Hill B 

UHF Tx Number:

13600

(*) Average UHF aerial height above sea level (a.o.d)

 

 


  CURRENT TRANSMISSIONS

(+) = Service transmitted from Beacon Hill B

Digital Television

 

Analogue Radio (FM)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Service

: Ch/Polarisation/e.r.p

 

 

 Service:

(MHz)

(e.r.p)

PSB1

: 60 / H / 20kW 

 

 

Heart FM Torbay:

96.4

1.8kW

PSB2

: 53 / H / 20kW 

 

 

Palm FM:

105.5

1.6kW

PSB3

: 57 / H / 20kW 

 

 

 (+) BBC Radio 1:

98.4

1.0kW

COM4

: 42 / H / 10kW 

 

 

 (+) BBC Radio 2:

88.7

1.0kW

COM5

: 45 / H / 10kW

(+) BBC Radio 3:

90.9

1.0kW

COM6

: 51 / H / 10kW

 

 

(+) BBC Radio 4:

93.1

1.0kW

 

 

(+) BBC Radio Devon:

104.3

1.0kW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Digital Radio (DAB)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 (+) BBC National (Block 12B)

 

 

 

 

 

(+) Digital One (Block 11D)

 

 

 

 

  (+) South East Devon (Block 11C)

 

 

 

 

PRE-DIGITAL SWITCHOVER UHF TRANSMISSIONS

(Shutdown completed 22 April 2009)

Analogue Television 

 

 

 

Digital Television

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Service

  Ch/Polar/e.r.p

 

 

 

 

Service

 Ch/Polar/e.r.p

BBC1

: 57 / H / 100kW

 

 

 

 

Mux1

: 52 / H / 2.0kW

BBC2

: 63 / H / 100kW  

 

 

 

 

Mux2

: 61 / H / 2.0kW

ITV1

: 60 / H / 100kW 

 

 

 

 

MuxA

: 58 / H / 2.0kW

Ch4

: 53 / H / 100kW

 

 

 

 

MuxB

: 54 / H / 2.0kW

Five

: No service

 

 

 

 

MuxC

: 56 / H / 1.0kW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MuxD

: 64 / H / 1.0kW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Caradon Hill  Huntshaw Cross  North Hessary Tor  Redruth  Stockland Hill

 

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