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Photos by Dave Stanley Page last updated: 2021-05-29

Nevis Radio installation - July 1994

Nevis Radio was one of the first Highlands stations to be licensed. They had studios in Caol, just north of Fort William and ultimately relays in a few other places. The main transmitter site was at Trislaig which was owned by the Northern Constabulary. There was no vehicle access to the site which presented challenges for the installation. The station was one of the first to use a digital link from the studio to transmitter. This was added onto a Nokia digital link used by the fire service which had spare capacity. So no separate link antenna was needed.

The installation happened at the same time as filming of Braveheart and Rob Roy in Glen Nevis which meant restrictions on helicopter flights. This did not stop engineers from the Radio Authority from surveying Glen Nevis and holding up filming as they raised a pump up mast in various locations.

The Trislaig tower during installation of the slanted dipole antenna system.

Without any vehicle access, the equipment arrived the only way possible. This photo shows the transmitter rack arriving, which meant removing the helicopters doors and having a cargo strap around the outside. Doing that with a helicopter now could be much more of a problem!

The antenna installation is just about complete here. The antennas were from AEA. They were changed later on to a pair of SBS made circular polarisation antennas to improve coverage in some remote areas. It is these antennas that are barely visible in some of the long range photos.

The site is particularly well placed for coverage of the glens and Fort William itself. Cow Hill is just visible in the centre of this photo, with Ben Nevis behind it.

A fine view up the Great Glen with Loch Lochy visible. It may have been possible to see as far as Loch Ness if there had not have been a helicopter in the way.

By the time Martin Briscoe took this photograph in 2012 the antennas had been changed to the circular polarisation type from SBS. Someone had also installed some steelwork between them.

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