UK Broadcast Transmission
Main indexMain GalleryFeaturesInfoTech Wiki
Send in your photosDesktop wallpaperMailing listsFAQsContact
The LibraryTeletextMHPTBSAstrohosts

THE TRANSMISSION GALLERY

The development of the UK UHF transmitter network
By Martin Brown

The UK UHF transmitter network evolved from planning and negotiations at the ITU conference held in Stockholm from 26th May to 23rd June 1961. The plan is commonly abbreviated ST61. The UK delegation submitted requests for 4 allocations at 195 sites. 64 sites with ERP’s from 5 to 1000 kW and 131, 1kW sites. All with horizontal polarisation.

The ST61 plan was based on standardised 8 MHz wide channels from 470 – 958 MHz with the channels numbered from 21 – 81, using the 625-line standard. However the ST61 plan only allocated UHF channels up to channel 69, and only for transmitting stations with ERP’s above 10 kW. In the UK and many other countries, there were restrictions on the use of channels 35 – 37, due to existing or planned radio navigation systems, and channel 38 is reserved for radio astronomy. The UK broadcasters were allocated the use of 44 UHF channels. 14 in UHF band IV, channels 21 – 34, and 30 in UHF band V, channels 39 – 68.

With 44 UHF channels available, the UK submission was based on 11 standard channel groups of which 10 of the groups were to be used at the 64 high power main stations. These are those 11 channel groups.


21

25

28

32

23

27

31

33

22

24

26

30

34

40

42

44

41

43

45

47

46

48

50

52

54

56

58

60

59

61

63

65

62

64

66

68

51

53

55

57

33

39

49

67


The French delegation was planning for a three programme network and proposed the use of these standard 15 channel groups.


21

24

27

22

25

28

23

26

29

30

33

36

31

34

37

32

35

38

39

42

45

40

43

46

41

44

47

48

51

54

49

52

55

50

53

56

57

60

63

58

61

64

59

62

65


It seems likely that to ease planning between the UK and France, the UK modified their channel groups such that three of the four UK allocations were the same as a standard French group. This reduced the number of standard UK channel groups to nine and gives us the familiar UK analogue channel groupings.


21

24

27

31

22

25

28

32

23

26

29

33

39

42

45

49

40

43

46

50

41

44

47

51

53

57

60

63

54

58

61

64

55

59

62

65

These are the details of the 64 Main stations. (Variations from the ST61 plan are in red lettering)


1 Kirkcudbrightshire Lat/Long 55.07, -3.83. (8.5 miles west of Dumfries)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

21

25

28

32

100 kW

ST61 Allocation

41

44

47

51

100 kW

Cambret Hill

41

44

47

51

16 kW. In service 1977

Entry 62, Wigtown is closer to Cambret Hill, but not used here.


2 South Yorks Lat/Long 53.62, -1.67. (Emley Moor)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

21

25

28

32

1000 kW directional

ST61 Allocation

41

44

47

51

1000 kW non directional

104 Emley Moor

41

44

47

51

1000 kW directional. In service from 1966


3 Anglesey Lat/Long 51.37, -2.52. (Llanddona)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

21

25

28

32

100 kW

ST61 Allocation

53

57

60

63

100 kW

118 Llanddona

53

57

60

63

100 kW directional. In service from 1967


4 Bristol Lat/Long 51.37, -2.52.


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

21

25

28

32

500 kW

ST61 Allocation

54

58

61

64

500 kW

110 Mendip

54

58

61

64

500 kW. In service from 1969


5 Guernsey Lat/Long 49.43, -2.58.


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

21

25

28

32

20 kW

ST61 Allocation

48

52

54

56

20 kW

Les Touillets

48

52

54

56

2 kW. In service from 1976

6 Fermanagh Lat/Long 54.42, -7.48.


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

21

25

28

32

100 kW

ST61 Allocation

22

25

28

32

100 kW

151 Brougher Mountain

22

25

28

32

100 kW. In service from 1978


7 South East Kent Lat/Long 51.12, 1.25. (Dover)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

21

25

28

32

100 kW directional

ST61 Allocation

50

53

56

68

100 kW directional

113 Dover

50

53

56

66 [1]

100 kW directional. In service from 1967

Channels 50/53/56 form a standard French group.


8 Shetland Lat/Long 60.12, -1.1. (Bressay)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

23

27

31

33

100 kW

ST61 Allocation

32

34

45

49

100 kW

Bressay

22

25

28

32

10 kW vertical. In service from 1976


9 East Lothian Lat/Long 55.97, -2.78. (Haddington, 16 miles east of Edinburgh)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

23

27

31

33

250 kW

ST61 Allocation

21

24

27

31

250 kW

147 Craigkelly

21

24

27

31

100 kW. In service from 1969


10 North Lancs 54.2, -3.17. (Morecambe Bay BBC Band I & II Tx site)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

23

27

31

33

100 kW

ST61 Allocation

40

43

46

56

100 kW

Never built







11 Huntingdon Lat/Long 52.47, 0.03 (Chatteris, Cambs)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

23

27

31

33

1000 kW directional

ST61 Allocation

21

24

27

31

1000 kW non directional

124 Sandy Heath

21

24

27

31

1000 kW directional. In service from 1969


12 Carmarthenshire Lat/Long 51.75, -4.15 (about 4 miles southwest of Cross Hands)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

23

27

31

33

100 kW

ST61 Allocation

53

57

60

63

100 kW

119 Carmel

53

57

60

63

100 kW. In service from 1971


13 Isle of Wight Lat/Long 50.68, -1.37 (Rowridge)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

23

27

31

33

500 kW directional

ST61 Allocation

21

24

31

41

500 kW directional

108 Rowridge

21

24

27 [1]

31

500 kW directional. In service from 1966

The ST61 allocations may explain why BBC2 used ch24, rather than the usual ch27.


14 Durham Lat/Long 54.87, -1.77 (Pontop Pike)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

22

24

26

30

500 kW directional

ST61 Allocation

54

58

61

64

500 kW non directional

109 Pontop Pike

54

58

61

64

500 kW. In service from 1966


15 Staffordshire Lat/Long 52.97, -2.33 (About 5 miles west of Stoke-on-Trent)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

22

24

26

30

100 kW

ST61 Allocation

23

26

29

33

100 kW

121 The Wrekin

23

26

29

33

100 kW. In service from 1975


16 London Lat/Long 51.42, -0.07 (Crystal Palace)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

22

24

26

30

1000 kW directional

ST61 Allocation

23

26

30

33

1000 kW non directional

101 Crystal Palace

23

26

30

33

1000 kW. In service from 1964


17 East Devon Lat/Long 50.82, -3.1 (Stockland Hill)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

22

24

26

30

250 kW directional

ST61 Allocation

23

26

29

33

250 kW non directional

132 Stockland Hill

23

26

29

33

250 kW. In service from 1971


18 Belfast Lat/Long 54.6, -6.02 (Divis)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

22

24

26

30

500 kW

ST61 Allocation

21

24

27

31

500 kW

107 Divis

21

24

27

31

500 kW. In service from 1967


19 Banff Lat/Long 57.62, -2.97


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

34

40

42

44

100 kW

ST61 Allocation

23

26

29

33

100 kW

153 Knock More

23

26

29

33

100 kW. In service from 1974


20 Lanarkshire Lat/Long 55.85, -3.82 (Kirk o’Shotts)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

34

40

42

44

500 kW

ST61 Allocation

40

43

46

50

500 kW

105 Black Hill

40

43

46

50

500 kW. In service from 1966


21 North Yorks Lat/Long 54.4, -1.2


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

34

40

42

44

500 kW

ST61 Allocation

23

26

29

33

500 kW

116 Bilsdale

23

26

29

33

500 kW. In service from 1969


22 Birmingham Lat/Long 52.52, -1.95 (Handsworth area of Birmingham)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

34

40

42

44

1000 kW directional

ST61 Allocation

40

43

46

50

1000 kW non directional

102 Sutton Coldfield

40

43

46

50

1000 kW. In service from 1964


23 Pembrokeshire Lat/Long 51.95, -4.78


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

34

40

42

44

100 kW

ST61 Allocation

40

43

46

50

100 kW

129 Presely

40

43

46

50

100 kW. In service from 1973


24 East Sussex Lat/Long 50.88, 0.53 (About 2.5 miles northwest of Hastings)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

34

40

42

44

100 kW directional

ST61 Allocations

49

52

64

67

100 kW non directional

139 Heathfield

49

52

64

67

100 kW. In service from 1970


25 Londonderry Lat/Long 55, -7.37 (Londonderry Tx site)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

34

40

42

44

100 kW

ST61 Allocation

41

44

47

51

100 kW

Londonderry

41

44

47

51

3.2 kW vertical. In service from 1970


26 Kincardine Lat/Long 57, -2.38


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

41

43

45

47

500 kW

ST61 Allocation

22

25

28

32

500 kW

112 Durris

22

25

28

32

500 kW. In service from 1967


27 Cumberland Lat/Long 54.75, -2.38 (Sandale)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

41

43

45

47

500 kW

ST61 Allocation

22

25

28

32

500 kW

137 Caldbeck

28

30 [2]

32

34 [2]

500 kW. In service from 1971

165 Sandale

22

67



500/126 kW. In service from 1979


28 East Lincs Lat/Long 53.45, -0.3 (About 3 miles south of Caistor, Lincs)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

41

43

45

47

500 kW

ST61 Allocation

22

25

28

32

500 kW

120 Belmont

22

25

28

32

500 kW. In service from 1966


29 Caernarvonshire Lat/Long 52.87, -4.52 (About 4 miles west of Pwllheli)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

41

43

45

47

100 kW

ST61 Allocation

41

44

47

51

100 kW

Arfon

41

44

47

51

3.5 kW vertical. In service from 1975

Arfon was scheduled to be a UHF main station and would have been site number 144.


30 Hampshire Lat/Long 51.32, -1.25 (Kingsclere, Hampshire)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

41

43

45

47

250 kW

ST61 Allocation

39

42

45

68

250 kW

126 Hannington

39

42

45

66 [1]

250 kW. In service from 1970


31 East Cornwall Lat/Long 50.52, -4.43 (About 4.5 miles north of Liskeard)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

41

43

45

47

500 kW directional

ST61 Allocation

22

25

28

32

500 kW non directional

131 Caradon Hill

22

25

28

32

500 kW. In service from 1969


32 Jersey Lat/Long 49.22, -2.1 (About 1 mile south of Trinity)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

41

43

45

47

20 kW

ST61 Allocation

41

44

47

51

20 kW

128 Fremont Point

41

44

47

51

20 kW. In service from 1976


33 Armagh Lat/Long 54.23, -6.6 (About 8 miles south of Armagh)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

41

43

45

47

20 kW

ST61 Allocation

54

58

61

64

20 kW

Never built





ST61 allocations used at Camlough from April 2000. Camlough is about 10 miles to the southeast of the ST61 location.


34 Lewis Lat/Long 58.18, -6.58 (Isle of Lewis)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

46

48

50

52

100 kW

ST61 Allocation

23

26

29

33

100 kW

154. Eitshal

23

26

29

33

100 kW. In service from 1976


35 Orkney Lat/Long 58.92, -2.93 (Former BBC Orkney band I & II Tx site at Netherbutton)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

46

48

50

52

100 kW

ST61 Allocation

40

43

46

50

100 kW

134. Keelylang Hill

40

43

46

50

100 kW. In service from 1975


36 Northumberland Lat/Long 55.55, -2.12 (About 4 miles west of Wooler)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

46

48

50

52

100 kW

ST61 Allocation

39

42

45

49

100 kW

155 Chatton

39

42

45

49

100 kW. In service from 1974


37 South Lancs Lat/Long 53.63, -2.52 (Winter Hill)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

46

48

50

52

500 kW

ST61 Allocation

55

59

62

65

500 kW

103. Winter Hill

55

59

62

65

500 kW. In service from 1965

38 Suffolk Lat/Long 52.12, 0.95 (About 5 miles southwest of Stowmarket, Suffolk)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

46

48

50

52

250 kW

ST61 Allocation

41

44

47

51

250 kW

115. Sudbury

41

44

47

51

250 kW. In service from 1968


39 South Wales Lat/Long 51.45, -3.4 (St. Hilary)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

46

48

50

52

500 kW

ST61 Allocation

41

44

47

51

500 kW

106. Wenvoe

41

44

47

51

500 kW. In service from 1965


40 Dumbarton Lat/Long 56, -4.63 (About 1 mile west of Alexandria)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

46

48

50

52

50 kW

ST61 Allocation

54

58

61

64

50 kW

Rosneath

54

58

61

64

10 kW vertical. In service from 1976

The ST61 Dumbarton Lat/Long is close to the Millburn Muir Tx site, although this site wasn’t built until 1969. By then it had been decided to use this allocation at Rosneath, which was scheduled to be a UHF main station and would have been site number 122. The change to vertical polarisation was due to concerns about tidal fading in the target service area. [3]

41 Inverness Lat/Long 57.63, -4.07 (Rosemarkie)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

54

56

58

60

100 kW

ST61 Allocation

39

42

45

49

100 kW

156. Rosemarkie

39

42

45

49

100 kW. In service from 1970


42 Ayrshire Lat/Long 55.57, -4.3 (2 miles south of Darvel)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

54

56

58

60

100 kW

ST61 Allocation

23

26

29

33

100 kW

152. Darvel

23

26

29

33

100 kW. In service from 1972


43 West Yorks Lat/Long 54.13, -2.25 (About 4 miles north of Settle, N.Yorks)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

54

56

58

60

100 kW

ST61 Allocation

21

24

27

31

100 kW

Never Built







44 Norfolk Lat/Long 52.6, 1.17 (3 miles northeast of Wymondham, Norfolk)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

54

56

58

60

250 kW

ST61 Allocation

55

59

62

65

250 kW

114. Tacolneston

55

59

62

65

250 kW. In service from 1967


45 Herefordshire Lat/Long 51.87, -2.48 (Mitcheldean, Gloucestershire)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

54

56

58

60

100 kW

ST61 Allocation

22

25

28

32

100 kW

149. Ridge Hill

22

25

28

32

100 kW. In service from 1972


46 South Devon Lat/Long 50.57, -3.5 (1.5 miles north of Teignmouth)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

54

56

58

60

100 kW directional

ST61 Allocation

53

57

60

63

100 kW non directional

136. Beacon Hill

53

57

60

63

100 kW directional. In service from 1973


47 West Sussex Lat/Long 50.88, -0.25 (6 miles northwest of Brighton)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

54

56

58

60

100 kW directional

ST61 Allocation

27

55

58

66

100 kW non directional

125. Midhurst

55

58

61 [1]

68 [1]

100 kW. In service from 1972


48 Buchan Lat/Long 57.53, -2.23 (13 miles southwest of Fraserburgh)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

59

61

63

65

50 kW

ST61 Allocation

41

44

47

51

50 kW

Never built





Allocation used at Rosehearty with vertical polarisation at 2 kW.


49 Selkirkshire Lat/Long 55.55, -2.78 (Selkirk)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

59

61

63

65

50 kW

ST61 Allocation

55

59

62

65

50 kW

161. Selkirk

55

59

62

65

50 kW. In service from 1972


50 Flintshire Lat/Long 53.28, -3.38 (About 4 miles south of Prestatyn)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

59

61

63

65

100 kW

ST61 Allocation

39

42

45

49

100 kW

145 Moel-y-Parc

42

45

49

52

100 kW. In service from 1969

Channel 39 not used due to radio astronomy at nearby Jodrell Bank.


51 Northamptonshire Lat/Long 52.07, -1.03 (Silverstone, Northants)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

59

61

63

65

500 kW

ST61 Allocation

53

57

60

63

500 kW

117 Oxford

53

57

60

63

500 kW. In service from 1968


52 North Devon Lat/Long 51.12, -3.78 (about 12 miles east of Barnstaple)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

59

61

63

65

100 kW

ST61 Allocation

55

59

62

65

100 kW

138 Huntshaw Cross

55

59

62

65

100 kW. In service from 1973


53 North Antrim Lat/Long 55.02, -6.45 (about 4 miles southeast of Ballymoney)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

59

61

63

65

100 kW

ST61 Allocation

55

59

62

65

100 kW

130 Limavady

55

59

62

65

100 kW. In service from 1970


54 East Yorks Lat/Long 54.07, -0.75 (about 5 miles southeast of Malton, N.Yorks)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

59

61

63

65

100 kW

ST61 Allocation

53

57

60

63

100 kW

Never built







55 Caithness Lat/Long 58.4, -3.12 (Thrumster)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

62

64

66

68

100 kW

ST61 Allocation

21

24

27

31

100 kW

148 Rumster Forest

21

24

27

31

100 kW. In service from 1973


56 Perthshire Lat/Long 56.45, -3.25 (about 10 miles west of Dundee)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

62

64

66

68

100 kW

ST61 Allocation

53

57

60

63

100 kW

123 Angus

53

57

60

63

100 kW. In service from 1969


57 Nottinghamshire Lat/Long 52.87, -1.03 (about 7.5 miles southeast of Nottingham)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

62

64

66

68

250 kW

ST61 Allocation

54

58

61

64

250 kW

111 Waltham

54

58

61

64

250 kW. In service from 1968


58 Cardiganshire Lat/Long 52.3, -4.02


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

62

64

66

68

100 kW

ST61 Allocation

21

24

27

31

100 kW

135 Blaenplwyf

21

24

27

31

100 kW. In service from 1970


59 Dorset Lat/Long 50.85, -2.3 (about 6 miles west of Blandford Forum)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

62

64

66

68

100 kW

ST61 Allocation

40

43

50

67

100 kW

133 Never built





Location is close to the Winterbourne Stickland relay, which used the allocation 40/43/46/50 at 1kW vertical.


60 North Kent Lat/Long 51.22, 0.8 (Charing, Kent)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

62

64

66

68

5 kW

ST61 Allocation

40

43

46

65

100 kW with easterly directional restrictions

158 Bluebell Hill

40

43

46

65

30 kW non directional. In service from 1974


61 Isle of Man Lat/Long 54.13, -4.5 (Richmond Hill ITA band III Tx site)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

62

64

66

68

20 kW

ST61 Allocation

30

34

48

52

20 kW

Never built [2]





Nearby Douglas used ch48


62 Wigtown Lat/Long 55.03, -4.8 (about 12 miles northeast of Stranraer)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

51

53

55

57

100 kW

ST61 Allocation

53

57

60

63

100 kW

Never built







63 West Cornwall Lat/Long 50.22, -5.23 (Redruth, Cornwall)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

51

53

55

57

100 kW

ST61 Allocation

41

44

47

51

100 kW

141 Redruth

41

44

47

51

100 kW. In service from 1970


64 Argyllshire Lat/Long 56.4, -5.48 (about 1 mile south of Oban)


1

2

3

4

ERP

Requested

51

53

55

57

20 kW

ST61 Allocation

22

25

28

32

20 kW

Torosay

22

25

28

32

20 kW. Vertical polarisation used. In service from 1976

The above information, and further reading, sourced from these two ITU documents.

http://search.itu.int/history/HistoryDigitalCollectionDocLibrary/4.87.51.en.101.pdf (1238 pages)

http://search.itu.int/history/HistoryDigitalCollectionDocLibrary/4.87.43.en.100.pdf (186 pages)

[1] The Rowridge allocation of channels 21/24/31/41 is a consequence of channel 27 being allocated to West Sussex (Midhurst), which couldn’t used channel 61 with a channel 66 allocation, due to the n+5 restriction. As channels 66, 67 & 68 are effectively “spare” channels, not part of either a standard UK or French grouping, the solution to “free up” channel 27 for Rowridge, was to swap the fourth allocations at Dover, Hannington and Midhurst. So Dover & Hannington both changed from ch68 to ch66, freeing up ch68 for use at Midhurst. This also permitted Midhurst to use ch61, as there was no longer an n+5 relationship, releasing ch27 for use at Rowridge.

[2] It seems that the change of plan for Cumberland (Caldbeck / Sandale), as well as Isle of Man (Richmond Hill), has much to do with the fact that ITV had a Border region and the BBC didn’t, with northern Cumbria part of the BBC Northeast England region and Southwest Scotland part of the BBC Scotland Nation. So effectively two of the Isle of Man allocations (ch’s 30 & 34), were taken for use at Cumberland to provide 5 available channels for Caldbeck & Sandale to use between them. The ch25 allocation couldn’t be used because of the n+5 relationship with ch30. A third Richmond Hill allocation, (ch52) was also now available for use at Moel-y-Parc.

[3] Two BBC Research Department reports concluded that tidal fading was less severe with vertical polarisation. This is the most likely reason for the change to vertical polarisation at Arfon, Bressay, Rosneath, Londonderry & Torosay, all of which had reception areas where the transmission path crossed tidal water. See http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1970-22.pdf

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1973-30.pdf


Back to TX Gallery index | TX main index


Transdiffusion

EMC RMC TMC
PMC Bitstream Sounds On
HHG HTW ITW Irish TV mb21
sub-TV Transdiffusion TodayEMCRMCTMCPMC

HHGHTWITWIrish TVmb21MHPsub-TVTTLP

 
mb21 by Mike Brown
Hosted by Astrohosts

Top

GDPR and Privacy Policy