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THE TRANSMISSION GALLERY

COPT OAK

Photos by Rob Shufflebotham, additional comments from Allan Smart and Dan Glover Page last updated: 2012-07-30

June 2009, updated July 2012

This one has been on my personal hit list for a while - being only about 20 minutes drive away from me, I'd threatened to update the gallery several times! In the end I chose a rather sunnier evening than the pictures imply.

DAB is right down on the bottom of the tower, very low, and probably explains why DAB coverage is quite so poor, if this is standard practice.

Rob visited again in 2012 to check for any changes now that the site carries BBC DAB






Rob: This nearby tower seems to carry only mobile phone gear and other non broadcast stuff, although on the drive down I did wonder if the top was DAB.

Allan: This is a BT tower which was originally used as a terrestrial microwave relay station carrying digital telephony, and analogue BBC TV from Birmingham to Norwich and forms part of the backbone network. TV feeds for both BBC & Central were added from Birmingham to Nottingham (& inter-studio returns) when Waltham became the East Midlands sub-region. All these huge aerials have now gone. The top used to have high & low band VHF communications receiving aerials; a common receive aerial would feed individual services via a distribution amplifier. The transmitter would have its own aerial lower down the tower.

Dan: I believe the BT site name was Coalville.


Rob: This is the main Copt Oak tower, and I believe is more northerly than the BT tower. Since the earlier shots were taken there seems to be an aerial system missing from the top, any ideas on what this was? Also, any ideas on what the aerial sitting on the top now is, it looks like a bird's nest!

Dan: I believe the top array was a "Home Office" turnstile operating at 140/150MHz - since decommissioned.


Rob: The main panels I assume transmit the commercial radio service, and possibly even Radio Leicester, but what the 4 folded dipoles below this are for, I again don't know. Anyone?

Allan: The main panels are indeed for VHF broadcast. One for BBC Radio Leicester using 8kW erp omni-directional. The other is for Heart FM (now Gem106) with 8kW. The panel facing the West Midlands has a 10dB attenuator fitted to cut down the radiation in that direction (so I was informed by an NTL engineer whilst we were jointly investigating a problem on the BT site).

Dan: Ofcom data puts the BBC on the lower group of panels. The dipoles might have been for fire service communications on 70/80MHz.

Rob: the dipoles had been removed by the time of my July 2012 visit - otherwise there was little change


The DAB antennas on opposite sides of the tower. As of 2012 these radiate all three services


From Rob's 2012 visit, the view towards Leicester

Copt Oak index

BT Backbone Network
RSG: The Towers Of Backbone

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