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Photos by Martin Brown Page last updated: 2019-06-13

New S1 & S2 and Lancashire DAB aerials - June 2019

The purpose of this visit to Winter Hill was to photograph replacement main (S1), and reserve (S2) UHF transmit aerials, which were expected to be required for 700 MHz band clearance. At first it seemed that nothing had changed, however closer examination revealed a subtle change in appearance confirming that both the S1 & S2 have been replaced as expected. What has not been photographed previously is the new Lancashire DAB aerials.

I took advantage of the fine weather up on Rivington Moor to do a comprehensive photographic update of the Winter Hill mast. This was last done by Tony Dunmore in November 2011.

The new S1 & S2 UHF transmit aerials

The new S1 still consists of 12 tiers of panels.

The new S2, also still 12 tiers of panels

Left is a close up of Tony Dunmore's picture of the top of the S1, which he took in November 2011. Right is how it now looks in June 2019. Note that there are now metallic strips between the columns of panels, which protrude slightly at the top.

Enclosed within the GRP shield is both the UHF D3, which transmits multiplexes Com 7 & 8, and the National DAB aerials.

Band II transmit aerial for IRR on both 100.4 MHz & 105.4 MHz.

The three local TV aerial systems. Preston, left. Liverpool, centre. Manchester, right.

At the 126m level is the new Lancashire DAB aerial system on the left. This is now comprised of 4 tiers of band III dipoles. Ofcom data quotes they are facing 300°. Previously they were 4 tiers of 5 element Yagis. On the right is the Manchester DAB aerial system comprised of 4 tiers of 5 element band III Yagis. The purpose of the two band II Sira's is not known.

Manchester DAB close up.

Further round at the 126m level is a two element slant polarised band II Yagi which is pointing roughly northeast. The Manchester DAB aerials are pointing towards the camera.

Colin Simpkin contacted mb21 with an explanation of the purpose of these band II aerials.

"I have been told by Arqiva Engineers at the site that the Siras (and possibly also the yagi) were a temporary backup array for the 100.4 & 105.4 ILR services. I believe these were installed several years ago at the request of the stations' management, to maintain a level of service while work was going on which affected the normal array. They are aimed in specific directions to try to ensure good coverage of the most populous areas of the stations' TSA. They probably haven't been used on air since that particular set of works (which may have been AWL replacement) was completed. However, they remain on the mast, with their manual changeover system in place, just in case".

Top - BBC National FM
Middle - R. Lancashire
Bottom - ILR 97.4 MHz

Note the missing element on the top panel of the BBC National FM transmit aerial.

Top - BBC National FM radio receive from Holme Moss
Lower - G-MAN local TV
On the left is yet another band II Sira. Again, purpose unknown.

At 43m are the Liverpool DAB aerials.

On the lowest platform at 32m are the former Manchester DAB aerials. Manchester DAB was moved up to the 126m level with the channel change in May 2016. At the bottom of this picture is a UHF receive trough facing Emley Moor. This was used by the BBC for RBS purposes.

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