thebigtower


bilsdale

 


THE BILSDALE TRANSMITTER is the UHF main station that serves the predominantly rural county of North Yorkshire and the historically industrial area of Teeside.

It is located on Bilsdale West Moor (a name by which the transmitter is sometimes referred to) which is a highly-elevated and remote area of the Cleveland Hills in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park.

The station is the most southerly of the three main UHF transmitters serving the north-east/Tyne Tees area, the central part of the region around Newcastle-Upon-Tyne being served principally by Pontop Pike, with the remaining area to the north served primarily by Chatton.

Bilsdale was completed as a new BBC installation in 1969, bringing UHF coverage to an area of North-East England that was served on VHF by the BBC from either Pontop Pike or Holme Moss, and by the ITA from Burnhope or Emley Moor, but which represented a 'black hole' in coverage from the equivalent UHF transmitters sited at Pontop Pike and Emley Moor.

 

UHF COVERAGE

Bilsdale's principal service area extends from York and Harrogate in the south to the border with County Durham in the north, but with lower grounding towards the south enabling an actual transmission radius of 40-50 miles, reception is also possible across most of South and East Yorkshire, with fringe signals reaching Doncaster and Hull, resulting in a significant overlap with the Emley Moor transmitter and a moderate overlap with Belmont.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Aerials>  Aerials DSO>  Mast Base>  Site/Stays 1>  Site/Stays 2(800 or 1024)>  Supersize Images>  UHF Map


THE MAST

The station's transmission structure is a cylindrical 'steel-tube' mast which stands at a height of 290 metres (951-ft) extending to an overall height of 314.6 metres (1032-ft) with the addition of the fibre-glass-cylindered UHF aerial section mounted on top.

Excluding aerial installations, the main structure is identical to that sited at Waltham in Leicestershire and is the second of the three cylindrical masts originally built by the BBC, the third being sited at Mendip in Somerset.

As with both the Waltham and Mendip masts, Bilsdale was built with eight engineers platforms (see DIGITAL SWITCHOVER below) and is held in place by twelve stay lines, which attach to the structure at alternate platform levels and descend in three directions to a total of six ground anchor blocks.


 

 

 

 

Station Plate (2002)

UHF Coverage Map

 

 Site and Stay Images  (Updated March 2012)

 

 

 2002-2007      2011 (800x600 or 1024x768)


DIGITAL SWITCHOVER (DSO)

As the last mainland region to undergo Digital Switchover, the changeover in the north-east was implemented at Bilsdale, Chatton and Pontop Pike simultaneously, the respective dates for the usual two-stage process being 12 September 2012 and 26 September 2012.

In preparation for the switchover at Bilsdale, re-enginering work was observed as still ongoing in April 2011.

For reserve (and possibly COM) provision, two sets of four-tier circulating antenna arrays have been installed, one immediately above the other, but each set slightly differing from the other in terms of directional setting.  Like the identical cylindrical mast at Waltham, this has resulted in the deployment of an additional engineers platform, in this instance just below the eight-tier installation, increasing the total number of platforms to nine.

As for the main UHF antenna, in line with the other two Tyne Tees/North-East area main UHF transmitters at Pontop Pike and Chatton, all re-engineering has seemingly been carried out within the containment of the existing GRP cylinder, with no indication as of April 2011 that this is to be replaced entirely as with most other main UHF sites.

Click here for a before and after comparision (new window) and Aerials DSO for more detailed images. 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Aerials

 

Aerials DSO

 

 

 

 

  (New March 2012)

 

 

 

 (New March 2012)

 


 

 

 

 

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Aerials>  Aerials DSO>  Mast Base>  Site/Stays 1>  Site/Stays 2(800 or 1024)>  Supersize Images>  UHF Map


 Other Cylindrical Masts 

 

 

 

 

Mendip

Waltham

Belmont

Winter Hill

(Somerset)

(Leicestershire)

(Lincolnshire)

(Lancashire)


STATION INFORMATION


Location:

Bilsdale West Moor, North York Moors, TS9 7JU

Grid Reference:

SE553962

Landlord:

Arqiva (Legacy: BBC/Crown Castle/NGW)

Ground Height:

379.1m

BBC1 Region:

North-East and Cumbria

Mast Height ("):

290m

ITV Region:

Tyne Tees

Aerial Height (*):

685m

 

UHF Tx Number:

11600

(")  Main structure height only - UHF antenna inclusive is 314.6m  

 

 

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

 

 


  CURRENT TRANSMISSIONS

Digital Television

 

 

 

Analogue Radio (FM)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Service

: Ch/Polarisation/e.r.p

 

 

 Station:

(MHz)

(e.r.p)

PSB1

: 26 / H / 100kW 

 

 

BBC Radio 1:

98.6

5kW

PSB2

: 29 / H / 100kW 

 

 

BBC Radio 2:

89.0

5kW

PSB3

: 23 / H / 100kW 

 

 

BBC Radio 3:

91.2

5kW

COM4

: 43 / H / 50kW 

 

 

BBC Radio 4:

93.4

5kW

COM5

: 46 / H / 50kW

BBC Radio Tees:

95.0

10kW

COM6

: 40 / H / 50kW

 

 

Classis FM:

101.6

1kW

 

 

 

 

TFM Radio:

96.6

8.9kW

 

 

 

 

Real Radio:

100.7

8.9kW

Digital Radio

 

 

Capital FM:

106.4

8.9kW

 

 

 

 

 

 

BBC National (Block 12B)

 

 

 

 

 

Digital One (Block 11D)

 

 

 

 

 

MXR North East (Block 12C)

 

 

 

MXR Yorkshire (Block 12A)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRE-DIGITAL SWITCHOVER UHF TRANSMISSIONS

(Shutdown completed 26 September 2012)

Analogue Television 

 

 

 

Digital Television

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Service

  Ch/Polar/e.r.p

 

 

 

 

Service

 Ch/Polar/e.r.p

BBC1

: 33 / H / 500kW

 

 

 

 

Mux1

: 34 / H / 4.8kW

BBC2

: 26 / H / 500kW  

 

 

 

 

Mux2

: 21 / H / 6.0kW

ITV1

: 29 / H / 500kW 

 

 

 

 

MuxA

: 31 / H / 6.0kW

Ch4

: 23 / H / 500kW

 

 

 

 

MuxB

: 24 / H / 6.0kW

Five

: 35 / H / 500kW

 

 

MuxC

: 27 / H / 6.0kW

  

 

 

MuxD

: 42 / H / 1.6kW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Burnhope    Chatton     Pontop Pike

 

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

 

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