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mounteagle

 


THE MOUNTEAGLE TRANSMITTER provides FM/DAB radio coverage to the Inverness and Moray Firth area of Scotland.

It is sited towards the south-west of the Black Isle, just north of Inverness and is one of two main broadcast transmitters present on the peninsula, the other being the Rosemarkie UHF transmitter which is located approximately ten miles to the north-east.

Historically, the station was the main ITV 405-line VHF transmitter for the Inverness area and more recently provided analogue transmission for Channel 5.  In the case of the latter, the service ceased on 20 October 2010, upon completion of Stage 2 of Digital Switchover at Rosemarkie.  

Whilst Channel 5 was operating at Mounteagle, transmissions were at the same power as the main four analogue channels from Rosemarkie (100kW vision e.r.p) but on Channel 67, placing them outside the Aerial Group B Bandwith of transmissions from Rosemarkie.

 

TRANSMISSION STRUCTURE

Mounteagle transmits from a triangular-cross-section lattice stayed mast which at a height of 243.8m (800ft) is slightly taller than the standard 228m (750ft) structures built on most of the other Independent Television Authority's 405-line sites.

The mast is held in place by fifteen stay lines which are secured at ground level by nine anchoring blocks.


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EARLY STATION HISTORY

Mounteagle was one of two transmitters built by the Independent Television Authority in order to establish an ITV service in North-East Scotland.  With the main high power station sited at Durris, near Aberdeen, Mounteagle was a secondary installation operating at medium power and intended to serve the most populated areas of the Central Highlands.

Both stations came into operation with the start of the region's ITV service, provided by Aberdeen-based Grampian Television, on 30 September 1961.

Mounteagle operated on VHF Channel 12 and whilst the strength of beam varied according to direction it achieved a maximum output of 50kW/12.5kW (vision/sound e.r.p) from transmitters rated at actual power of 2kW (vision) and 0.5kW (sound), all based on the standard vision to sound power ratio of 4:1.

The service area was effectively fenced within a U-shape, on the eastern side encompassing Lossiemouth and Burghead on the northern coastline (extending to Elgin and Banff on the fringe), with Inverness and The Black Isle in the centre, whilst towards the west and far north the signal straddled the eastern coastline towards Wick.  The remote Upper Highlands and Orkneys that fell beyond the station's range were eventually served from 25 June 1965 with the opening of the ITA station at Rumster Forest.

Unlike the Durris station, Mounteagle did conform to the established practice of siting ITA stations near those of the BBC, being located near their Band I transmitter at Rosemarkie.

 

UHF

The start of UHF in the Inverness area came in 1970 with Mounteagle conceding the role of main UHF transmitter to Rosemarkie, thereby emulating ITA stations at Black Mountain, Burnhope and Chillerton Down which had also given way to adjacent BBC sites with much shorter masts capable of supporting UHF aerials.  In this instance however, the difference in height was the most substantial, Rosemarkie measuring around only 350ft against 800ft at Mounteagle.

 

END OF 405

Transmissions of ITV on VHF continued from Mounteagle until the 405-line service was finally closed down in January 1985.

 

CHANNEL FIVE

From 31 March 1997, under the ownership of NTL, Mounteagle became one of five former ITA 405-line main stations (which had been redundant from television transmission since the 405 closure) to be utilised instead of the adjacent UHF main transmitter to broadcast the analogue version of Channel 5 - the other transmitters being Black Mountain, Burnhope, Croydon and Lichfield.


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STATION INFORMATION



Location:

Mounteagle, Black Isle, nr Inverness

Grid Reference:

NH639580

Landlord:

Arqiva (Legacy: ITA/IBA/NTL Broadcast)

Ground Height:

212m

BBC Region:

N/A

Mast Height:

243.8m

ITV1 Region:

Grampian (405-line VHF - ceased January 1985)

Aerial Height: (*)

434m

 

UHF Tx Number:

 

 

(*) Aerial height above sea level (a.o.d) for redundant analogue Channel 5 antenna.  


  CURRENT TRANSMISSIONS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Analogue Television 

 

 

 

Analogue Radio (FM)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Service

: Ch/Polarisation/e.r.p

 

 

 Service:

(MHz)

(e.r.p)

Five

: 67 / H / 100kW - Closed 20 October 2010

Classic FM:

101.4

8.8kW

(Service defunct as of DSO2 at Rosemarkie)     

Moray Firth Radio:

97.4

6.25kW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Digital Television 

 

 

 

 Digital Radio

 

 

 

 

 

No service - transmitted from Rosemarkie

 BBC National (Block 12B)

 

 

 

 

Digital One (Block 12A)

 

 

 

 

 Score Inverness (Block 11B)


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