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

By Roger Piper

Introduction

Many of the higher power broadcast transmissions are from prominent sites, often on masts at least 100m tall, and generally use distinctive aerials. The aerials used at some of the lower power sites can be more tricky to find, though.

Finding the site

Some of the smaller sites have fairly modest, inconspicuous, masts and quite often use is made of a tall building so there’s no ground level mast to find. The six figure ‘Landranger’ National Grid Reference (NGR) used on the Hit List and The Transmission Gallery is taken from Ofcom data. It only defines the location to being within a 100m square and on top of that the accuracy of some of the NGR’s given has been found to be suspect. In case of difficulty help is at hand, though.

  1. Planning permission from the relevant local authority will normally have been needed for a new transmitter (tx) aerial installation. Most local authorities make details of more recent planning applications viewable on-line, including a site location plan and the postal address for the installation. Many of the planning applications for broadcast tx aerials will have been made by transmission service provider Arqiva.
  2. Satellite views from Multimap, Google Maps etc. can be useful, especially in rural areas. Look for the shadow of the mast, tower block, etc.
  3. Google Streetview can save a lot of footwork, especially in urban areas.
  4. For Community Radio installations the licence application will be viewable on the Ofcom website and will probably include details of the transmitter location. Follow these links for details of older CR applications and more recent CR applications - pick the region then scroll to the bottom of the list and follow the final link "Applications for community radio licences..." Be aware, though, that in some cases Ofcom may agree a change of tx location between the application and commissioning dates.
  5. Last, but not least, it’s worth asking on the tx-list. Someone with inside information or local knowledge may be lurking there.

Non-broadcast aerials | Broadcast aerials | Ancillary Aerials

Many thanks to my fellow mb21 contributors for their suggestions and the use of their photographs.

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