thebigtower


rowridge

 

 

Above: Rowridge in November 2010 with the new mast for Digital Switchover (left) at full height.


THE ROWRIDGE TRANSMITTER is the main carrier of UHF Television and BBC National FM/DAB Radio to Central Southern England.  It is sited on the Isle of Wight in an isolated area towards the north-west side of the island, between Newport and Calbourne.

The principal service area spans the majority of the coastal belt between Dorset and West Sussex (including the Isle of Wight itself) with inland coverage reaching some northern areas Hampshire and parts of South-East Wiltshire.

The site currently has two transmission masts, the original dating from June 1956 which carried all broadcast services until Digital Switchover in March 2012.  Since then, all television transmissions have come from a new mast constructed in 2010 whilst the original structure will for the time being continue with all radio transmissions.  Planning documentation indicates that these services will eventually move across to the new mast once it has been fitted with the required aerial systems, after which the original mast will be removed.

See THE MAST AND DIGITAL SWITCHOVER (DSO) below for further information.

STATION HISTORY

Rowridge was originally built by the BBC to provide their 405-line Television coverage to the south-coast counties.  The Independent Television Authority (ITA) located their southern area 405-line transmitter three miles south-east of Rowridge at Chillerton Down, which is now a regional FM/DAB radio transmitter.

Visit ROWRIDGE HISTORY for further historical information about the Rowridge transmitter.


Aerials>  Site Images Index>  Supersize Images>  UHF Map>  BBC Crest>  History Page


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 2008

 

November 2008

 

November 2008

 

July 2010

 

 

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 Supersize Images

 

 

 


THE MAST AND DIGITAL SWITCHOVER (DSO)

The original mast at Rowridge is a square cross section lattice structure which stands at a height of 135 metres (450-ft), with the surmounting fibre-glass (GRP) cylindered UHF aerial system extending the overall height to 149.6 metres (491ft).

The structure is held in place by twenty-four stay lines which are secured in pairs at ground level by a total of twelve anchor blocks.

However, as the existing mast is unable to support the aerial systems required for Digital Switchover, a replacement structure has been built.  As well as being constructed to resolve strength issues, the new mast has the benefit of being taller than the existing structure providing a valuable increase in aerial elevation.  Construction of the new mast began in July 2010 and was observed at its full height of 187 metres (614-ft) in November 2010.

Rowridge is one of three former BBC sites (and one of five overall) to require a totally new mast for Digital Switchover.  The others constructed on ex-BBC sites are at Tacolneston and Divis whilst the remaining two new masts have been built on the ex-ITA sites at Black Hill and Caldbeck.

DIGITAL SWITCHOVER DATES AND POWER

The switchover at Rowridge and its dependent relays took place on 7 March 2012 for Stage 1 (DSO1) and 21 March 2012 for Stage 2 (DSO2).  The Whitehawk Hill (Brighton) transmitter group also underwent switchover on the same dates.

This marked the completion of Digital Switchover across the south region, as the process was completed across the Hannington and Midhurst transmitter groups on 22 February 2012 and 14 March 2012 respectively.

Since Digital Switchover, Rowridge has the distinction of broadcasting all services by both horizontally and vertically polarised transmission.  For the Public Service Broadcaster (PSB) multiplexes, the maximum Effective Radiated Power (e.r.p) is 200kW for both polarisations. This not only places Rowridge alongside Crystal Palace and Sutton Coldfield as the highest-powered transmitters post-switchover, it also represents an effective doubling of power on the basis that a post-switchover power of 200kW is normally based (as it is in the case of Crystal Palace and Sutton Coldfield) on an analogue e.r.p of 1000kW, whereas Rowridge transmitted analogue at an e.r.p of 500kW.

As for the commercial (COM) multiplexes, only the new vertical polarised transmissions broadcast at 200kW e.r.p whilst the horizontal equivalents transmit at a much lower 50kW e.r.p.

The channel allocation across all multiplexes has enabled the station to remain within Group A aerial bandwidth.


 

 

 

 

 

Aerials

 

UHF Coverage Map

 

DSO Index

 


Transmission Site Images

 

 

 

 

Part One - Archive images from 2003 (Overcast)

 

Part Two - Archive images from 2006 (Blue Sky)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part Three - Images from 2008

 

Part Four - BBC Crest

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(All these images are from July 2010)

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(All these images are from November 2010)

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(All these images are from November 2010)

 

 

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Aerials>  Site Images Index>  Supersize Images>  UHF Map>  BBC Crest>  History Page


 STATION INFORMATION


Location:

Rowridge, Calbourne, Isle of Wight, PO30 4HT

Grid Reference:

SZ447865

Landlord:

Arqiva (Legacy: BBC/Crown Castle/NGW)

Ground Height:

137.1m

BBC1 Region:

South

Old Mast Height:

135m

ITV1 Region:

Meridian West

New Mast Height:

187m

 

 

UHF Tx Number:

10800


  CURRENT TRANSMISSIONS

Digital Television

 

 

 

Analogue Radio (FM)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Service

: Ch/Polarisation/e.r.p

 

 

 Station:

(MHz)

(e.r.p)

PSB1

: 24 / H / 200kW 

 

 

BBC Radio 1:

98.2

250kW

PSB1

: 24 / V / 200kW 

 

 

BBC Radio 2:

88.5

250kW

PSB2

: 27 / H / 200kW 

 

 

BBC Radio 3:

90.7

250kW

PSB2

: 27 / V / 200kW 

 

 

BBC Radio 4:

92.9

250kW

PSB3

: 21 / H / 200kW

BBC Radio Solent:

96.1

10kW

PSB3

: 21 / V / 200kW

 

 

Classis FM:

100.3

250kW

COM4

: 25 / H / 50kW

 

 

 

 

 

COM4

: 25 / V / 200kW

 

 

 

 

 

COM5

: 22 / H / 50kW

 

 

Digital Radio

COM5

: 22 / V / 200kW

 

 

 

COM6

: 28 / H / 50kW

 

 

BBC National (Block 12B)

COM6

: 28 / V / 200kW

 

 

(Further DAB from Chillerton Down)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRE-DIGITAL SWITCHOVER UHF TRANSMISSIONS

(Shutdown completed 21 March 2012)

Analogue Television 

 

 

 

Digital Television

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Service

  Ch/Polar/e.r.p

 

 

 

 

Service

 Ch/Polar/e.r.p

BBC1

: 31 / H / 500kW

 

 

 

 

Mux1

: 34 / H / 20kW

BBC2

: 24 / H / 500kW  

 

 

 

 

Mux2

: 32 / H / 20kW

ITV1

: 27 / H / 500kW 

 

 

 

 

MuxA

: 30 / H / 20kW

Ch4

: 21 / H / 500kW

 

 

 

 

MuxB

: 28 / H / 20kW

Five

: No Service

 

 

 

 

MuxC

: 37 / H / 20kW

Solent

: 54 / H / 2kW (RSL - Closed 24 May 2007)  

 

 

MuxD

: 33 / H / 20kW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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

 

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