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Photos by Rob Shufflebotham Page last updated: 2014-10-15

September 2013 - New Local DAB Antennas

When browsing sites on the hit list, I saw this site was due an update. Looking at the photos and the map I thought "Well, that doesn't look too difficult, I'll pop over there". As any MB21 contributor of any frequency knows, this is the start of the problem.

Urban sites are never my favourite to visit, and this one was no exception. I found the site fairly easily, however once I got there I noted that things had changed, slightly. Where once, as shown on the earlier photos, were green fields, there is now a housing estate. Then someone was given a pot of yellow paint and told to come up with some parking restrictions. Their response was to paint double yellows absolutely everywhere, even in the housing estate. In the end, I pulled the car over to the side of the road in the estate, leant out of the window, took my pictures and got out of there!

DAB service dates: Northampton Local, 28th March 2013, BBC, 19th December 2013. Both share an aerial at 30m.

The tower itself

Interestingly, at this site, ILR and BBC Local Radio share the top aperture. The BBC Nationals come from the 4 logs and the dipole lower down.

Here we can see the BBC National Radio antennas, the service is provided by 4 slant logs and one dipole (*), to fill in on the other side of the mast. At this site it seems the main Tx direction for local and national radio is around 90 degrees different.

((*) This dipole seems to be relatively recent, there's no mention of it in BBC documentation from a few years ago - Ed)

Nestled among the mobile phone gear, just below the BBC National Radio antennas, are the new Northampton local DAB antennas. They look like 2 Log type antennas.

Through the mast we can see two VP logs which look to be either an RBL or RBS source for one of the local stations here. Or have the old HP logs for the national radio RBL simply been changed to VP?

The various site buildings

Northampton index

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