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Photos by James Muir Page last updated: 2014-06-16
Lerwick Shetland
NGR: HU475415 Maps: Google  Bing (Ord Surv) Site Height: 25m      Structure Height:
Digital TV:
BBC Radio:
Ind. National Radio:
Ind. Local Radio: SIBC: 102.2 
Digital Radio:

SIBC Market Street Tx, June 2014

This simple vertically polarised SIRA FM-01 antenna radiating on 102.2MHz is situated at the Market Street, Lerwick, studios of the Shetland Isles Broadcasting Company SIBC.

It has been used by SIBC since the commencement of their operations on 26 November 1987, and can be received throughout Lerwick, the main town and population centre on the Shetland Islands.

In October 1991 SIBC commenced high-power vertically polarised transmissions from Bressay on 96.2MHz in order to extend their reach to all of the Shetland Islands (including the Lerwick area). Transmission power was further increased in December 1994. Note that the Shetland Islands stretch for a distance of around 100 miles from North to South, therefore a high-power transmitter such as that at Bressay is needed to provide the required coverage. The commencement of transmissions from Bressay in 1991 saw the main function of the Market Street Tx changed to that of providing a programme-feed for Bressay rather than providing the primary frequency for listening to SIBC on.

In 1994 a dedicated UHF programme feed for Bressay was installed utilising two UHF yagis on a pole on the side of the studio building. However, the Market Street Tx was retained due to the desire to provide a back-up service for the Lerwick area if Bressay was off-air, as was often the case due to the historically poor reliability of the mains power supply on Bressay island.

These days the mains power supply on Bressay is much more reliable and transmission breaks due to mains failure are a rare occurrence, however SIBC still operate the Market Street Tx on a 24/7 basis as an emergency back-up.

Note that the Bressay Tx outputs RDS __SIBC__, however no RDS is supported on the Market Street Tx.

With many thanks to Ian Anderson at SIBC for showing me round the station on Wednesday, 11 June 2014 and for providing the supporting details for this write-up.

A general view of the SIBC premises (white building) in Market Street, Lerwick. The FM Tx antenna is on top of the simple metal tower in the centre of the photo. Note also the two horizontally polarised UHF yagis that provide the programme feed to Bressay on the the pole on the left of the building.

A closer view of the TX antenna. The vertical colinear aerial below it is used for a wireless broadband service, and the microwave dishes / panels provide a broadband connection to oil-industry accommodation barges in nearby Lerwick harbour. The broadband services are provided by Shetland Telecom who also have premises on Market Street.

Another view of the Tx tower.

SIBC door plate.

SIBC studio view.

A closer view of the two horizontally polarised UHF yagis that provide the programme feed to Bressay.

The now redundant Arqiva Lerwick Team Base building adjacent to the SIBC premises. Ian tells me that nowadays Tx maintenance / troubleshooting cover in the Shetland Islands is provided by a local freelance contractor.

Bressay A

SIBC Website

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