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THE TRANSMISSION GALLERY

Photos by A Bales Page last updated: 2017-11-23
Bradford (Tong Street)
NGR: SE193304 Maps: Google  Bing (Ord Surv) Site Height: 105m      Structure Height: 27m
Digital TV:
BBC Radio:
 
Ind. National Radio:
Ind. Local Radio: Bradford Asian Radio: 1413 
Digital Radio:
Comments:

[check date]

On 26th June 2013 Ofcom advertised a tranche of licences available in 'Region 5': 'Yorkshire, Humberside and North West England.' In the city areas there were no frequencies available on VHF Band II and so Bradford Asian Radio was allocated 1413 kHz. The licence was awarded in June 2014. After considering other options the station launched in December 2016 from a site to the south east of central Bradford.

There is very little information on the station's website. Their Facebook page says they 'serve the Asian population of Bradford, broadcasting a speech-dominated service in Urdu, Panjabi, Mirpuri, Bengali, Hindi and English'. Unfortunately the page is under 'bardfordasianradio.'

The station came on the air in December 2016.


The transmitting aerial is situated in the suburb of Tong Street, off the A650 in the south east of the city. I walked from the main road savouring the smell of genuine South Asian cooking.


The aerial is in the grounds of Rajas Mills off Cordingley Street. It seems to have been built around August/September 2016 and retrospective planning permission was granted on 14th October 2016 for a 'simple pole' at 21.6 metres.

There are a number of businesses in the mills and I was treated with suspicion but was allowed to take some photographs of the aerial.


The lattice aerial is made up of 9 sections which usually come in 3 metre lengths so a total of 27 metres. There are 3 sets of stays, the top ones are electrically connected to the aerial in order to make a top hat to increase the electrical length to a quarter of a wavelength which on 1413 kHz is 53 metres.
The pole on the left supports a dipole for the link to the studios on band 1 VHF.



As I approached I could hear the sound of fans from the rather hastily thrown together shed. I notice that there is a spare door with other assorted rubble within the fenced off area.


On the right hand side of the shed there is a box with capacitor and inductor to match the aerial to the transmitter. The aerial is fed by just a wire, which is unusual. There is a rather large hole in the box and it will be interesting to see what happens when there is a howling sou'westerly with horizontal rain.


The other end of the wire is connected to the mast by a rusty bolt. I wonder if they forgot the washer next to it? The brown cylinder is an insulator as the aerial needs to be insulated from ground. It is perhaps over-engineered as BAR are licensed to transmit 40 watts (although signal strength readings taken in May 2017 suggest over twice that) and so you could expect about 70 volts peak at that point, it looks like that insulator could cope with 1000 volts!


This is the link aerial on top of Great Yorkshire House, a 7 storey building in Cheapside, Bradford. The link uses 48.425 MHz. Originally planning permission was granted on 22nd May 2015 for a 13 metre aerial on the flat roof for medium wave transmission but plans changed. In their tx parameters Ofcom still show this as the transmitter location.
Although the audio sounds good on the link, the transmission on medium wave sounds very bassy and no treble. Maybe audio pre-emphasis needed on the link?

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