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THE TRANSMISSION GALLERY

FORT WIDLEY

Photos by Dan Glover Page last updated: 2017-08-15

August 2017- much more DAB

The story so far...at some point a proposal was made to add DAB to a site at Portsdown Hill, replacing Fort Southwick. Time passed, mb21 contributors visited and reported no DAB installation and some more time passed.

A DAB Trial multiplex appeared at Fort Widley in February 2016 and at the end of the year was joined not only by the South Hampshire multiplex but also BBC and Digital One. The three multiplexes entered service on 30 November 2016.

The antenna for the DAB Trial still remains something of a mystery but the main services are radiated from a new pair of dipoles, mounted between the two tiers of the Band II array.

Meanwhile, in the land where site moves don't happen as expected, Angel Radio seemed likely to operate from Fort Widley in connection with their new licence to cover Portsmouth. That didn't happen and the service operates from Widley's nearby non-identical twin: Fort Purbrook.


So, here we are once again...the DAB dipoles are just visible if you know where to look...


...Ofcom puts them at 28 m - but so is the Band II array! Perhaps both arrays are centred at 28 m? That would work...


...maximum ERP is on bearing 130 and the offset from the pole gives a fairly broad forward lobe with around 6 dB reduction in the opposite direction. The BBC has 1 kW ERP, the other multiplexes 500 W.

So, what of the elusive DAB Trial - where the antenna is also given as at 28 m? Looking at the Ofcom data again, the DAB trial has NGR SU657065 but the main DAB services are at SU657064 - and Band II is at SU657065. The site heights for Band II, DAB and DAB Trial are all different...some of the information must be wrong!

There is another structure at Fort Widley but it doesn't appear to have the sort of antenna used at other DAB trial sites. Still a mystery.



Fort Widley index

Fort Purbrook | Fort Southwick

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