thebigtower


rosemarkie

 


THE ROSEMARKIE TRANSMITTER is the UHF and BBC National FM main station for the Moray Firth area of the Scottish Highlands.  It is located on The Black Isle, near Inverness, at a high position alongside the peninsula's north-eastern coastline.

The station was originally the main BBC Band I 405-line television transmitter for the same area, prompting the Independent Television Authority (ITA) to locate their equivalent Band III 405-line transmitter at nearby Mounteagle, from where DAB and non-BBC FM radio services are currently broadcast and (up until Digital Switchover) the analogue version of Channel 5.

Of the nine UHF main stations sited on the Scottish mainland, Rosemarkie is the only one of BBC origin, with ex-BBC sites being the more dominant off mainland.


Aerials>  Site and Stay Images>  Supersize Images>  Landscapes>  UHF Coverage Map


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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THE MAST AND DIGITAL SWITCHOVER WORKS

Rosemarkie transmits from a square cross-section lattice stayed mast which stands at a height of 110.8m (363ft) before the addition of the main UHF aerial system mounted at the top.

The structure is secured in place by twenty-four stay lines, a unusually high number particularly bearing in mind its relatively low height.  The lines are fixed at ground level by four inner anchoring blocks (each securing one line) and four outer blocks (each securing five).

For Digital Switchover, the mast was fitted in 2008 with a new reserve UHF aerial in the form of a four-tier circular multi-panel array.  This is installed at approximately the 82 metre (250-ft) height level, just below the FM Band II aerial system.  There was no requirement to replace the main UHF aerial system at the top as this was upgraded to multi-panel format in 1995, replacing the original GRP cylinder-based system.  (See Aerials page for up-to-date images)

DIGITAL SWITCHOVER DATES

The two stages of the Digital Switchover process will take place at Rosemarkie as follows -

6 October 2010 - Stage 1 (DSO1) 

  • Shutdown of BBC2 analogue on Channel 45
  • Shutdown of Mux1 on Channel 47
  • Launch of PSB1(BBC A) multiplex on Channel 45

20 October 2010 - Stage 2 (DSO2)


 

 

 

 

Aerials

 

UHF Coverage Map

 


EARLY TELEVISION HISTORY

The Rosemarkie transmitter was brought into operation by the BBC on 16 August 1957, extending their television service to Inverness and the Moray Firth - the most northerly of Scotland's populated areas which was somewhat detached geographically from the country's other major cities, as well as beyond the intended range of the existing transmitters that served them.

As the third BBC Television transmitter to be sited in Scotland, Rosemarkie followed on from the first station at Kirk o'Shotts (serving the Lowlands and Borders) which opened in March 1952 and Meldrum (serving Aberdeenshire) which opened in October 1955.

Following the example of Meldrum in being a medium-power installation, Rosemarkie transmitted on VHF Channel 2 at a maximum output of 20kW (vision e.r.p) which provided sufficient power to achieve the projected coverage.

The BBC extended their coverage to the Upper Highlands and islands in 1958 with the opening of stations at Thrumster (near Wick) and Orkney (the site now known as Keelylang Hill).

From 30 September 1961, Rosemarkie began sharing the Black Isle with the ITA 405-line transmitter at Mounteagle.


 

 

 

 

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START OF UHF

Rosemarkie commenced its first regular UHF-colour transmissions on 11 July 1970 with BBC2 on Channel 45.  Despite the adjacent ITA 405-line transmitter at Mounteagle utilising an 800ft (243.8m) mast, Rosemarkie was designated as the UHF main station for the Inverness and Moray Firth area, primarily because its mast could safely support the required UHF aerial system.

From October 1973, UHF colour transmitters for BBC1 and ITV were also in service.


 

 

 

 

 

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Aerials>  Site and Stay Images>  Supersize Images>  Landscapes>  UHF Coverage Map


SITE INFORMATION


Location:

Upper Eathie, Rosemarkie, Black Isle

Grid Reference:

NH762623

Landlord:

Arqiva (Legacy: BBC/Crown Castle/NGW)

Ground Height:

211.5m

BBC Region:

Scotland

Mast Height:

110.8m

ITV Region:

STV North (Formerly Grampian)

Aerial Height: (*)

323m

 

UHF Tx Number:

15600

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

 

 


  CURRENT TRANSMISSIONS

Digital Television  

 

Analogue Radio (FM)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Service

: Ch/Polarisation/e.r.p

 

 

 Service:

(MHz)

(e.r.p)

PSB1

: 45 / H / 20kW 

 

 

BBC Radio 1:

99.2

20kW

PSB2

: 49 / H / 20kW 

 

 

BBC Radio 2:

89.6

20kW

PSB3

: 42 / H / 20kW 

 

 

BBC Radio 3:

91.8

20kW

COM4

: 43 / H / 10kW 

 

 

BBC Radio 4:

103.6

20kW

COM5

: 46 / H / 10kW

 

 

BBC Scotland (Inverness):

94.0

20kW

COM6 

: 50 / H / 10kW 

 

 

 BBC Radio nan Gaidheal:

 104.9

 20kW

 

 

 

 

Digital Radio

 

 

Analogue Radio (AM)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No service - transmitted from Mounteagle 

 

Service:

(khz)

(e.r.p)

 

 

 

 

TalkSport

1053

 TBC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRE-DIGITAL SWITCHOVER UHF TRANSMISSIONS

(Shutdown completed 20 October 2010)

Analogue Television 

 

 

 

Digital Television

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Service

  Ch/Polar/e.r.p

 

 

 

 

Service

 Ch/Polar/e.r.p

BBC1

: 39 / H / 100kW

 

 

 

 

Mux1

: 47 / H / 10kW

BBC2

: 45 / H / 100kW  

 

 

 

 

Mux2

: 51 / H / 10kW

ITV1

: 49 / H / 100kW 

 

 

 

 

MuxA

: 41 / H / 10kW

Ch4

: 42 / H / 100kW

 

 

 

 

MuxB

: 44 / H / 10kW

Ch5

: No service - transmitted from Mounteagle

 

MuxC

: 46 / H /   8kW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MuxD

: 50 / H /   8kW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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