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Photos by Rory Clark Page last updated: 2014-05-13

Earlier photos

Robert Whittaker writes: Mynydd Machen is a high power relay of Wenvoe, serving the areas along the valley at the bottom end of Ebbw Vale, including Risca and Abercarn, plus areas of the Rhymney Valley including Bedwas, Trethomas and parts of Caerphilly. The station is named after the mountain on which it stands, Mynydd Machen (Machen Mountain). The site is very well elevated at 360m AOD, which makes it rather difficult to get to, but affords spectacular views once the effort to do so has been expended!

The mountain is quite wide, with a fairly flat top and steep valleys on all sides. This means that despite the elevation and power of the station, many areas at the bottom of the valleys remain shielded from the transmitter. Therefore several low power relays have been built, including Wattsville and Machen upper, which are both less than a kilometre away but halfway down the mountain and therefore able to "see" the bottom of the valley. Risca also fulfills the same function, although it is located on the opposite side of the valley near the bottom.

The RBL antennas are two horizontal troughs, both pointing at Wenvoe, which can be clearly seen from the summit.

Originally a BBC landlord site, BBC 1 & 2 entered service in 1970. ITV was added on 25th February 1972, with S4C available from the launch on 1st November 1982. The UHF cylinder contains a north (350) facing cardioid. DSO was on 3rd and 31st March 2010.

BBC DAB was added on 18th September 2009.

Mynydd Machen with the slightly higher Twmbarlam on the right

Could this lagoon have or have had some sort of cooling function?

Newport and the two Severn crossings in the background

Mynydd Bach visible in the distance

Mynydd Machen index

Mynydd Bach

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