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Photos by Martin Briscoe Page last updated: 2014-08-13
Orkney (Netherbutton) Orkney
NGR: HY462043 Maps: Google  Bing (Ord Surv) Site Height:       Structure Height:
Digital TV:
BBC Radio:
Ind. National Radio:
Ind. Local Radio:
Digital Radio:

Netherbutton (Orkney)

Netherbutton was the 405 line, BBC TV Band I and FM Radio, Band II transmitter on Orkney, though usually just shown as 'Orkney' in lists of transmitter sites.

It opened on 22nd December 1958 with BBC TV and the Scottish Home Service only, and was built in the Transmitter Block of the WWII RAF Chain Home radar station. Two of the 350 ft steel towers were used, one appears to have been used for television and one for radio though that is not confirmed. The Light and Third programmes were added on 17th December 1959.

BBC TV was Channel 5, 13.8 kW ERP. Mean aerial height 107m. Permanent aerial at full power from 17th December 1959.

Radio was 89.30 / 91.50 / 93.70 MHz, 20.4 kW ERP. Mean aerial height 79m. Permanent aerial at full power from 2nd May 1960.

It was a relay of Thrumster via a SHF link from Brabstermire which is believed to have been at ND 32360 70221 (58.614432, -3.167084) - there is a modern radio station there on the brow of a hill so it seems likely that it is on the same site or at least very near the site.

There is more information and a better quality image on the Sub Brit website. Also, the Orkney Image Library have some excellent images including some of the towers being demolished. Enter 'NETHERBUTTON' in the Search box as not possible to directly link to all the images. Links to both these sites at bottom of the page.

405 line BBC 1 closed on 4th April 1983. FM radio closed in February 1986, when the 3 BBC radio services were transferred to Keelylang Hill.

BBC Netherbutton seen in 2004, now converted to a private house in the old WWII RAF Chain Home radar Transmitter Block.

Keelylang Hill A | Thrumster

Subterranea Britannica on Netherbutton
Orkney Image Library
BBC RD: Site tests at Nether Button (1960)
BBC RD: Service areas in Caithness of the Thrumster and Orkney transmitters (1961)

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