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HOW TO RECOGNISE DIFFERENT TYPES OF BROADCASTING AERIALS FROM A QUITE A LONG WAY AWAY

By Mike Smith

LESSON 1: UHF TELEVISION

Let us start with UHF television antennas, as these are usually the easiest to spot.

The big main stations such as Crystal Palace and Sutton Coldfield have the UHF aerials installed at the very top of the structure.

Not that you can see the aerials themselves as they are hidden behind a protective GRP ( Glass Reinforced Plastic) shroud, which is usually white, but some become discoloured due to weathering. 

 

Figures 2, 3 and 4 provide examples of these impressive structures.


Figure 2

Figure 3


Figure 4


Figure 5
Other main stations, such as Rosemarkie and Redruth, can have a significant number of discrete UHF panel antennas mounted at the top of the mast as figure 5 shows.
Medium power relays too, will often utilize a white cylinder aerial similar to those used by the main stations. These are often smaller and of varying dimensions, some short and squat, others tall and thin.

Figure 6 gives an example.


Figure 6

Figure 7
Low power relays use a variety of aerial types. Some use several panel aerials, often two or four. 

This type can be seen in figure 7.

These UHF panel aerials are also frequently used for DTT (Digital Terrestrial Television), both at main stations and at relay stations, since DTT is transmitted at relatively lower powers. The Channel Five signal from main and relay stations is also sometimes broadcast via this type of panel aerial.
Figure 7a 

Some very low power relay stations use simple, and exposed, dipole and log-periodic antennas. The nature of these is easier to examine since the radiating elements are not encased in a GRP shroud. Figure 8 shows four simple aerials for television broadcasting mounted at the top of the mast. Figures 9 & 10 show two low power relays that use the more directional and higher gain log-periodic aerials. Somestimes a station may have one set of aerials facing in a particular direction as in figure 9, whereas other relays can have two sets of aerials facing in different directions, as in figure 10, perhaps to broaden the beam of the signal or maybe to cover two distinct areas. Although the vast majority of relay transmitters are vertically polarized, some relays can have both vertical and horizontal aerials operating on the same channels but with different ERPs, something to look out for!


Figure 8


Figure 9


Figure 10

 

LESSON 1:

UHF Television
LESSON 2: VHF-FM Radio
LESSON 3: VHF-DAB - Digital Audio Broadcasting

LESSON 4:

MF-AM Radio

Section Index

If you can add some extra detail or provide corrections
to inaccurate information please e-mail the site - Mike Smith.

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