thebigtower


belmont

 

Above: The Belmont mast in April 2010 at reduced height pending installation of the new main UHF aerial.  


THE BELMONT TRANSMITTER is the UHF main station that serves the East Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and North-West Norfolk region.  

Sited seventeen miles east of Lincoln on the Lincolnshire Wolds, the highest ground available in this predominantly flat area of the country, broadcast services from the station are carried on the tallest television transmission mast in the UK.

 

PRIMARY UHF SERVICE AREA

 

UHF Coverage Map

With the exception of analogue Channel 5, Belmont's principal service area covers a radius of up to 50 miles which extends (north and south) from Bridlington in East Yorkshire to the North-West Norfolk coast, taking in Humberside, parts of both South Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire, and the majority of Lincolnshire.

OVERLAP UHF SERVICE AREA(S)

 

Belmont has a considerable overlap with the Waltham transmitter across Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, which Waltham reciprocates to equal extent, whilst a lesser but still notable duplication of coverage with Emley Moor exists across parts of South Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire.

A minor overlap with the Sandy Heath transmitter is also present in some areas of North Cambridgeshire and North-West Suffolk.

See Coverage Maps for further details >>>>>>>>>>>>>

 


Aerials>  DSO Work>  Transmission Site Images>  Supersize Images>  UHF Coverage Maps>  TimeLine


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Supersize Images


Also visit BELMONT TIMELINE for historical information about the Belmont Transmitter.


THE MAST

The transmission structure at Belmont is one of the three constructed for the Independent Television Authority (ITA) between 1963 and 1966 with a design based on a combination of a cylindrical steel tube and a lattice aerial support. 

The cylindrical aspect of the Belmont mast is 2.75 metres (9-ft) in diameter (as per the other two structures) and rises from the base to a height of 274 metres (900-ft).

The lattice aerial support that surmounts the cylinder was originally 111 metres (365-ft) in height and comprised two tiers, the lower tier being exposed lattice with aerials attached whilst the upper tier was encased in conventional fibre-glass (GRP cylinder) panels in its capacity as support for the main UHF aerial system.  With this lattice section considered part of the actual mast, supporting the main UHF aerial system on this was contrary to the convention of installing UHF antennas that surmounted the main structure.

The mast was fitted externally with six platforms, four on the cylindrical section and a further two respectively positioned at the top of each tier of the lattice section.  

A total of eighteen stay lines held the mast in place, attaching to the structure at the same levels as the six platforms.  The lines were secured in pairs at ground level by a total of nine anchoring blocks.

As well as being the tallest transmission mast in the UK, at a total height of 385 metres (1265-ft) it also held the record for the tallest man-made structure within the European Union.

An identical 385-metre mast was sited at Emley Moor but this collapsed in collapsed extreme weather conditions in March 1969. The other remaining ITA-built cylindrical structure at Winter Hill stands at 309 metres (1015-ft), based on a shorter 198-metre (650-ft) cylindrical section, but with the same 111-metre (365-ft) lattice aerial support section.

(Masts of an entirely cylindrical design are located on the former BBC sites at Bilsdale, Mendip and Waltham.)

However, re-engineering for Digital Switchover at Belmont has resulted in major changes to the structure's appearance and status.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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DIGITAL SWITCHOVER WORK

As required for Digital Switchover, the Belmont mast has undergone the standard re-fit comprising a new main UHF aerial combined with a lower-mounted reserve installation, both of which are the result of one of the more difficult projects necessitated by the switchover process.

Installation of the reserve aerial was completed in Summer 2009.  This is a twelve-tier circular array mounted on the lower tier of the lattice aerial support at an above-ground height of around 320 metres (1050-ft).  It sustained all UHF services whilst installation and provisioning of the new main aerial took place, although its use in this capacity typically resulted in a reduced quality of service in some areas that relied on the higher positioning of the old main aerial.

Replacing the main UHF aerial was however a more complex undertaking than at other transmitter sites due to incompatibility between the new heavier UHF aerial systems and the mast at its original height and configuration.  Specifically, one of the new aerial systems mounted on the existing lattice support (possibly as a bulky circular 'wrap-around' as per the post-DSO layout at Winter Hill) at a height of around 350 metres (1150-ft) and more was deemed to represent a severe risk to the stability of the structure.  This took into account also the weight of the cylindrical reserve aerial installed on the lower tier.

The solution to this issue was to reduce the height of the main structure and install a more conventional surmounting UHF aerial. As the new main aerial would be shorter in aperture than the original, the peak elevation would as a result be lower than the original.  This was less than ideal due to the potential negative effects on reception in areas reliant on the height of the old aerial.  This solution proceeded however and to achieve it the upper tier of the lattice support needed to be removed entirely, resulting in the loss also of the two highest platforms (five and six) and the three stay lines attaching to the top of the structure at platform six.  This removal work took until April 2010 to complete.  

Installation of the the new main UHF aerial was completed by May 2010.  With the main structure now comprising the 274-metre (900-ft) cylinder and the 55-metre (180-ft) lattice section that remains, the revised overall height including the new surmounting UHF aerial is 351.7 metres (1154-ft). 

As a consequence of the height reduction, the mast has ceased to be the tallest man-made structure in the European Union.  It does however remain the tallest television transmission structure in the UK although by a much smaller margin, with the new Caldbeck mast around 15 metres shorter and Emley Moor differing by just under 22 metres.  

Digital Switchover at Belmont and associated relays proceeded with Stage 1 (DSO1) on 3 August 2011 and completed with Stage 2 (DSO2) on 17 August 2011.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(New March 2012)

 

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Aerial Close-Ups

 

DSO Work

 (New March 2012)

 

 (New March 2012)

 

 

 

(Updated March 2012)


Transmission Site Images

 

 

Above Left: This ice warning is located at the site access road entrance.  Similar warnings currently appear at Waltham and Winter Hill (and previously at Emley Moor).

Above Right: This early NTL site-name-plate used to be positioned just beyond the ice warning.  It has been removed following the change of site ownership to Arqiva.  

 

Above: One of the three sets of stays based on the original total of eighteen lines before Digital Switchover.

 

 

Above and below: The main transmitter buildings.  

 

 

 


Aerials>  DSO Work>  Transmission Site Images>  Supersize Images>  UHF Coverage Maps>  TimeLine


STATION INFORMATION


Location:

High Street, South Willingham, LN8 6JU

Grid Reference:

TF218836

Landlord:

Arqiva (Legacy: ITA/IBA/NTL Broadcast)

Ground Height:

128m

BBC1 Region:

East Yorkshire & Lincolnshire

Mast Height:

351.7m

ITV1 Region:

Yorkshire

Aerial Height (*):

472m

 

UHF Tx Number:

12000

 

 

 

(*) Average UHF aerial height above sea level (a.o.d) pre-DSO re-engineering - new height TBC


  CURRENT TRANSMISSIONS

Digital Television  

 

Analogue Radio (FM)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Service

: Ch/Polarisation/e.r.p

 

 

 Service:

(MHz)

(e.r.p)

PSB1

: 22 / H / 150kW 

 

 

BBC Radio 1:

98.3

16kW

PSB2

: 25 / H / 150kW 

 

 

BBC Radio 2:

88.8

16kW

PSB3

: 28 / H / 150kW

 

 

BBC Radio 3:

90.9

16kW

COM4

: 30 / H / 50kW

 

 

BBC Radio 4:

93.1

16kW

COM5

: 53 / H / 100kW 

 

 BBC Radio Lincolnshire:

94.9

6kW

COM6

: 60 / H / 100kW

Classic FM:

100.5

7kW

 

 

 

 

Lincolnshire FM:

102.2

6.4kW

  

 

 

 

   

 

Digital Radio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BBC National (Block 12B)

 

 

 

 

 Digital One (Block 11D)

 

 

 

 

Yorkshire (Block 12A)

 

 

 

 

 

PRE-DIGITAL SWITCHOVER UHF TRANSMISSIONS

(Shutdown completed 17 August 2011)

Analogue Television 

 

 

 

Digital Television

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Service

  Ch/Polar/e.r.p

 

 

 

 

Service

 Ch/Polar/e.r.p

BBC1

: 22 / H / 500kW

 

 

 

 

Mux1

: 30 / H / 05kW

BBC2

: 28 / H / 500kW  

 

 

 

 

Mux2

: 48 / H / 10kW

ITV1

: 25 / H / 500kW 

 

 

 

 

MuxA

: 68 / H / 10kW

Ch4

: 32 / H / 500kW

 

 

 

MuxB

: 66 / H / 10kW

Ch5

: 56 / H / 50kW

 

 

 

 

MuxC

: 60 / H / 04kW

 

  

 

MuxD

: 57 / H / 04kW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Other Cylindrical Masts

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Hill

Bilsdale

Mendip

Waltham

(Lancashire)

(North Yorkshire)

(Somerset)

(Leicestershire)

 

 

 

 


Belmont Transmitter @ A.T.V (Aerials and Television)

 

Emley Moor

 

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