thebigtower


chatton

 

 

THE CHATTON TRANSMITTER is the UHF and BBC FM main station that serves the northerly reaches of Northumberland, a status which makes it the most northern main transmitter site in England.

The positioning of the station is approximately two miles south-east of Chatton village, on an area of ground known as both Chatton Sandyfords and Sandyford Moor.

As well as serving a mainly rural and coastal area, Chatton is also the least powerful of the three main UHF transmitters serving the North-East region.  Consequently, it is somewhat detached from its more powerful associates at Pontop Pike and Bilsdale which respectively serve the more populous central and southern sectors of the region.

 

 

 Above Right:  A view of Chatton village facing eastwards towards the mast, which is actually obscured from view here by the hill in the distance.

From here, access to the transmitting station requires a convoluted south-east-north route to be followed.


Aerials>  Site/Stay Images (740x430 or 930x550 pixels)>  Supersize Images>  UHF Coverage Map


PRIMARY UHF COVERAGE

The area and population served by the station is fairly small, the primary service area covering an approximate 20-mile radius from Alnmouth and Alnwick in the south to Berwick-Upon-Tweed and Coldsteam towards the North.  This area essentially slots between the eastern coastline (where coverage is provided to popular tourist locations such as Bamburgh) and the service area of the Selkirk transmitter in the Scottish Borders.

STATION HISTORY

Chatton was built by the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) to provide a UHF service to North Northumberland from 1974. The VHF 405-line service to the area was mainly provided by Burnhope (ITV) and Pontop Pike (BBC1) but UHF transmissions from the latter failed to extend to the far northern sectors of the north-east region.  A similar situation existed in the south of the region requiring the construction of the station at Bilsdale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aerials

 

Site/Stay Images  740x430  or 930x550 pixels

 

UHF Coverage Map

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DIGITAL SWITCHOVER (DSO)

The north-east region was the last on the UK mainland to implement Digital Switchover, with the process taking place across the entire region on the same dates which were 12 September 2012 (Stage 1) and 26 September 2012 (Stage 2).

As far as re-engineering for DSO at Chatton is concerned, all work in preparation for the switchover seems complete based on the appearance of this site in April 2011, with no signs of ongoing construction or engineering activity.

The main visible change to the mast has been the installation of a six-tier reserve UHF aerial, of the familiar all-around circular design, just below the platform near the top of the structure.  Like the Bilsdale and Pontop Pike masts, the main UHF aerial system remains housed within a GRP cylinder, with no indication that this is other than the pre-existing cylinder.

See Aerials page for images before and after installation of the reserve aerial.     


Aerials>  Site/Stay Images (740x430 or 930x550 pixels)>  Supersize Images>  UHF Coverage Map


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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STATION INFORMATION


Location:

Sandyford Moor, Northumberland, NE67 5JD

Grid Reference:

NU105264

Landlord:

Arqiva (Legacy: ITA/IBA/NTL Broadcast)

Ground Height:

191m

BBC Region:

North-East and Cumbria

Mast Height:

161m

ITV Region:

Tyne Tees and Border

Aerial Height: (*)

349m

 

UHF Tx Number:

15500

(*) 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

: 45 / H / 20kW 

 

 

BBC Radio 1:

99.7

5.6kW

PSB2

: 42 / H / 20kW 

 

 

BBC Radio 2:

90.1

5.6kW

PSB3

: 39 / H / 20kW 

 

 

BBC Radio 3:

92.3

5.6kW

COM4

: 41 / H / 10kW 

 

 

BBC Radio 4:

94.5

5.6kW

COM5

: 44 / H / 10kW

BBC Radio Newcastle:

95.4

5.6kW

COM6

: 47 / H / 10kW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Digital Radio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BBC National (Block 12B)

 

 

 

 

BBC National (Block 12B)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

: 39 / H / 100kW

 

 

 

 

Mux1

: 40 / H / 6kW

BBC2

: 45 / H / 100kW  

 

 

 

 

Mux2

: 50 / H / 6kW

ITV1

: 49 / H / 100kW 

 

 

 

 

MuxA

: 43 / H / 6kW

Ch4

: 42 / H / 100kW

 

 

 

 

MuxB

: 46 / H / 6kW

Ch5

: No Service

 

 

MuxC

: 47 / H / 2kW

 

  

 

 

MuxD

: 51 / H / 2kW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Bilsdale    Burnhope    Pontop Pike

 

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