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Photos by Babcock Networks Ltd (formerly JL Eve), Martin Watkins and mb21 Page last updated: 2012-02-15

The new reserve antenna is delivered

On these pages we will give you some idea of the work involved in updating a high power main station in the run-up to digital switchover. We are indebted to Laura, Ian, Colin and the team working at Stockland Hill for their help and co-operation, and to Mike Stewart of Babcock Networks Ltd.

Most of the masts on the network are now around 50 years old. Some have been replaced during that time, and a few others are being completely replaced as part of the current DSO ugrades, these include Caldbeck and Wenvoe. The others are all used for many different telecommunications purposes and carry a greater load than they ever have. As part of digital switchover each main mast will have a full set of new reserve aerials as well as new main aerials. Thus the work being carried out ahead of DSO at each site includes:

* Stay block strengthening
* Stay replacement
* Installation and testing of a new reserve tv antenna assembly and feeder cables
* Removal of any existing reserve tv antennas
* Installation and testing of a new main tv antenna assemly and feeder cables
* Construction of new combiner unit/transmitter building, plus the CU and transmitters themselves

DSO work begain at Stockland Hill in June 2007 with the arrival of the new reserve aerial components for assembly.

Below: a new gantry is being built to support the feeder cable run from the new combiner unit room to the mast. Here you can also see new feeder cable beng run out on rollers from its drum.

Below: these are the original feeder cables running inside the mast...

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