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Photos by TCPD Page last updated: 2012-11-12

UHF Antenna Installation 1976

TCPD's photos show how the BBC erected its antennas in the mid 70's. At this time UHF relay stations were being built at the rate of 50 per year; half by BBC and half by IBA

The BBC used their own staff to install these antennas

Equipment was assembled and tested at the workshops behind the Brookmans Park transmitter. The antenna on its spine could be towed behind the Land Rover on a specially built trailer.

A substantial steel pole derrick was used to lift the antenna. Split in two it would fit on the roof rack. A separate van was needed for all the ropes, feeders, channel combiners etc.

The hay lorry is nothing to do with us, it just got stuck under the tree.

Lifting was done using the Land rover winch.

Part of the platform has been removed to allow installation of the derrick, and it is lifted using a small lattice derrick which is small enough to be manhandled into position.

The builder's caravan was not occupied at the time.

Part of the platform handrail is also removed to ease the passage of the antenna.

The derrick is supported by four steel wire ropes attached to some substantial stakes hammered into the ground.

Nearly there. Then you can use the antenna spine to lower the derrick. Install the main feeder, terminate it, install RBR antenna and feeder, test everything and waterproof connections, pack everything up and go home.

Total time of about ten days for 3 or 4 men including travelling.

In the cabin check out the Racal Channel combining and channel splitting filters. At this time only three channel units were installed, but there is a blank panel for the fourth channel equipment.

Test equipment is the "GR" UHF oscillator, Hewlett Packard vector voltmeter, and the "Polyskop".
Usually done using a generator as it was rare for the electricity to be connected at this time.

Pennar antenna can just be seen through the haze (Arrowed).

Pennar entered service on 5th August 1977, with S4C available from the launch on 1st November 1982.

Pennar index

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