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THE TRANSMISSION GALLERY

INVERNESS

Photos by Bill Wright Page last updated: 2017-10-19

Earlier pictures

This one looks ridiculous on the map. Why should there be a relay in the middle of Inverness, when you can see Rosemarkie and Mounteagle from almost everywhere in the city?

We took the path that leads you across little bridges and along the islands in the River Ness and then along the delightful riverside walk into town. I had started to doubt the existence of this transmitter site, because according to the OS it was only a few metres away and I couldn’t see it, but then I spotted a lone vertically polarised receive aerial, pointing at the wooded embankment to the east. Amongst the trees I could just see something that might be a transmitter mast.

Inverness entered service on 6th March 1985.


My pulse and pace quickened. I diverted away from the town centre towards OS grid reference 667447, walked up a steep main road and then there it was! A miserable wooden pole in someone’s front garden!


The fact that the ‘someone’ was the BBC added a certain amount of interest.


Realising that I needed to get closer I walked up the gravelled drive. The transmitter building was a little hut in the corner of the BBC’s very nice garden.


But it wasn’t long before a smooth voice behind me said “Can I help you?” As all interlopers know this means “I’m going to call the cops if you don’t bugger off.” Putting my cards on the table, I said “Well I shouldn’t think you can help me. I’m just a trespasser.” The man nodded in agreement. I turned on my best middle-aged train spotter manner and said “I’m here on behalf of mb21 (the world-famous website) to photograph your transmitter. All claims for civil damages and any expenses incurred theretofore should be referred to the proprietor of the said site.”

At the mention of mb21 everything changed. “I think you might have worn our gravel a bit, but never mind” said the man. He continued, “If we are to be featured on mb21 (the world-famous website) I’m sure we can forget about the gravel. Please feel free to take as many photographs as you please. When you’ve finished come into reception and we’ll ply you with complimentary drinks. Then of course there’s the BBC hotel just across the road with every service you can imagine and some you probably can't.”




Later I learnt that the Tx was intended to serve outlying area, especially on the north bank of the estuary, where reception from Rosemarkie is well nigh impossible. Very few people in the town use it. The cardioid transmit aerial faces west.

Whilst at the BBC I was amused to see that they have a VHF FM aerial on their roof comprising four director elements but no driven element or reflector, and a very old Jaybeam MBM48 with a mast in between the elements



Inverness index

Mounteagle | Rosemarkie

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