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Photos by Alan Price Page last updated: 2017-03-24

March 2017

While staying in Belfast, I noticed Divis and Black Mountain weren't that far away, so I went to take a look.

Apparently, the original Divis mast is the longest serving in the UK, having being in use since July 1955. Like Tacolneston, Pontop Pike, Rowridge, Sandale, Meldrum and North Hessary Tor, Divis was designated as a medium-power transmitter, and replaced the temporary transmitter at Glencairn, which was rushed into operation for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Although the BBC had by this time obtained the Divis site, the need to construct the long access road was the primary factor preventing its immediate use for installation.

Divis was chosen over Black Mountain to become the main UHF station for Northern Ireland, with BBC2 the first regular service commencing 18 March 1967. Colour UHF transmitters for BBC1 and ITV came into operation in September 1970. Analogue switch off was 23 October 2012, Northern Ireland being the last region to do so.

Divis B was meant to be 192.7 m, but ended up being 139 m, probably due to the closeness of Belfast Airport. Like Black Hill, it seems Divis now has two masts. Apart from the addition of the local TV logs on the new mast, not a lot seems to have changed since Sam's photos.

Divis and Black Mountain are really close!

Despite the appearance, Divis B only 1 m shorter than Divis A.

I'm guessing that the top panels were the main, the ones below reserve? Are these panels still in use? They don't look that old, and Sam's info on the previous pages seems to suggest that there's still some life out of these panels.

mb21 adds: we gather that all TV services are now transmitted from Divis B. The eight tier cantilever aerial was for analogue TV, the four tier aerial below the platform for the interim DTT services, and the panels far below (see photos 7 and 8) were for TG4.

Does anybody know what the dish is for? It's pointing in the direction of Belfast.

The DAB aerials are interleaved with the FM stack. All DAB services are 10kW.

I suspect the two dishes on the bottom right are pointing towards BBC Broadcasting House in Belfast.

Anybody know what these are/were for?

mb21: we've subsequently been informed that these panels were for the TG4 service.

I reckon these are pointing towards Sandale.

These dishes were looking towards the Republic of Ireland.

Moving over to Divis B... the S1 main aerial.

The S2 reserve aerial.

Local TV logs pointing towards Belfast.

Looking at the previous photos/information from Sam, a 4 tier DAB III array was meant to be installed at Divis B. However, I couldn't spot any DAB aerials on Divis B, and Ofcom's parameters for DAB and FM also roughly match (DAB and FM are all around the 119 metres mark). If there were DAB aerials on Divis B, would they be in this spot, just below the reserve antenna?

mb21 adds: we've had subsequent confirmation that all DAB services are transmitted from Divis A.

Is the dish in the middle for BBC DAB?

A relic! Probably original to when the site opened in 1955.

Other tower nearby. In previous photos there were two towers here, one seems to have been removed.

Lough Neagh

Divis A index

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