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Photos by Bill Wright Page last updated: 2017-09-05

'er indoors said "Get me to Inverness before the pubs shut!" but since the pubs never seem to shut in Scotland I felt free to pause at Spean Bridge. Just along the Caledonian Canal from Fort William, high ground at Spean has line of sight to Cow Hill, but since no-one lives on the high ground that doesn't help. Hence there is a relay at Spean

Just above the village there is a narrow plateau of arable land, and at the very edge of it stands the TV relay. The A84 climbs out of the village heading for Loch Lochy. The relay is on the right, but the road is narrow and busy and there is nowhere to stop. I found a left turn that led to a church with a car park, so settling down 'er indoors with a nice library book I hoofed it back to the main road and then up the lane that led to the transmitter

The lane was gated, and the gate was padlocked, but in fact the padlocks were just for show because the chain wasn't around the gatepost. I found myself walking along a lane across the flat fields, surrounded by suspicious sheep who had obviously never seen a man without a kilt before. It's lucky I remembered to put my Y fronts on that day

There is no road or track to this transmitter. It's unusual, but you must go through a field. So through the field I went, and I found myself at this site perched on the edge of flat farmland, above a steep wooded slope that descended to the village and then the loch

The transmitter site is unexceptional

There is a receive aerial looking at Cow Hill. Three transmit log periodics look one way and one looks the other. That seems odd to me, speaking as a simple aerial rigger. If each of the aerials carries a quarter of the transmitter power, why not use an uneven splitter and just have two aerials?

The backyards of the properties down in the valley extend right up to the edge of the farmland, and near the transmitter I found an old aerial in a rather distressed state. At a guess I'd say that it was used for reception from Cow Hill before the Spean Bridge relay was built. [The site came into service in December 1978 - mb]

Spean Bridge index

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