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Llandrindod Wells transmitting station

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Llandrindod Wells
Llandrindod Wells transmitting station (Powys)
Mast height75 metres (246 ft)
Coordinates52°15′38″N 3°26′22″W / 52.260429°N 3.43948°W / 52.260429; -3.43948
Grid referenceSO018634
Relay ofCarmel
BBC regionBBC Wales
ITV regionITV Wales

The Llandrindod Wells transmitting station is a broadcasting and telecommunications facility located on high ground about midway between Llandrindod Wells and Rhayader, in Powys, Wales. It was originally built by the BBC, entering service in 1961 transmitting the now-defunct 405-line VHF television system and the original three FM radio services.[1][2]

Currently, the transmitter provides DVB-T digital television to the area, along with FM radio and a single multiplex of DAB digital radio.

Specifications and history

Originally, the site had a guyed 65 m lattice mast erected on land that is itself about 440 m above sea level. Unusually for the era, when 405-line Independent Television came to the area in 1969, the ITV transmissions were hosted on the same mast as the BBC ones.[citation needed]

UHF television was added to the site in late 1975,[3] launching with just the three programme services that were active at the time. S4C was added in 1982 when it launched.[citation needed]

405-line television from this site was shut down in January 1985.[4]

In 1991, the site was re-engineered. A self-standing 75 m lattice mast was erected on the site, the services were transferred from the old mast on 13 November 1991. The television broadcasts primarily cover the towns of Llandrindod Wells (to the east), Builth Wells (to the southeast) and Rhayader (to the northwest). [5]

On 23 September 2009 all the analogue television transmissions from the station were switched off and replaced by 3 digital television signals carrying the basic Freeview (UK) television service. The digital service used the higher three channels previously used by the analogue services (42,45 and 49). In 2014 the UK telecommunications regulatory Ofcom decided that the 700 MHz band should be cleared of digital television to be used for mobile broadband services by the summer of 2020. In anticipation of this decision, on 22 May 2013 the BBC A frequency was changed from channel 49 to channel 39. [6][7]

Services listed by frequency

Analogue television

4 December 1961 - 1964

BBC 405-line television started up with the site acting as an off-air relay transmitter of Wenvoe about 90 km to the south, near Cardiff. About 42 km south there is the 700 m ridge to the east of Pen y Fan which obstructs the line-of-sight, but the off-air signal was good enough, as evidenced by the BBC's 1963 report on long-distance rebroadcast links[8] (see map on page 8).

Frequency VHF kW Service
45.00 MHz 1 1.5 BBC TV

1964 - 4 July 1969

BBC Wales launched from Wenvoe on 9 February 1964 on channel 13, and the off-air repeaters of Wenvoe (within Wales) were reconfigured to use this signal.

Frequency VHF kW Service
45.00 MHz 1 1.5 BBC Wales

4 July 1969 - Late 1975

When ITV 405-line television commenced, the site additionally became an indirect off-air relay of Preseli about 90 km to the west. Available documentation does not state how the signal from Preseli was routed to Llandrindod Wells. There is a 30 km long stretch of high ground (the southern Cambrian hills) obstructing the direct signal from Preseli starting about 10 km to the west. However, the 100 W off-air relay at Llandovery is line-of-sight about 30 km away on a bearing of 218°.

Llandovery relay had been built a year earlier in 1968, and as can be deduced from the geometry of MB21's photos,[9] it was indeed chosen for the signal source. Eight yagi aerials (four in use, four as reserves) were needed to pick up a reliable signal off-air.

Frequency VHF kW Service
45.00 MHz 1 1.5 BBC1 Wales
194.75 MHz 9 3 HTV Wales

Late 1975 - 1 November 1982

When 625-line colour television was added, the site additionally became a relay of Carmel about 65 km to the southwest. This despite the fact that line-of-sight is obstructed about 24 km to the southwest by the slopes of Esgair Dafydd just north of the Sugar Loaf.

Frequency VHF UHF kW Service
45.00 MHz 1 1.5 BBC1 Wales
194.75 MHz 9 3 HTV Wales
615.25 MHz 39 2.25 BBC1 Wales
663.25 MHz 45 2.25 BBC2 Wales
695.25 MHz 49 2.25 HTV Wales

1 November 1982 – 3 January 1985

Channel 4 was added to the set radiated from the site when it launched in November 1982. Being in Wales, Llandrindod Wells radiated the S4C variant.

Frequency VHF UHF kW Service
45.00 MHz 1 1.5 BBC1 Wales
194.75 MHz 9 3 HTV Wales
615.25 MHz 39 2.25 BBC1 Wales
639.25 MHz 42 2.25 S4C
663.25 MHz 45 2.25 BBC2 Wales
695.25 MHz 49 2.25 HTV Wales

3 January 1985 – 26 August 2009

405-line television was shut down across the UK and Llandrindod Wells' Band I and Band III transmitters ended their service after 24 years and 16 years respectively. From then until the start of the digital switchover 24 years later, only UHF television would be available from the site.

Frequency UHF kW Service
615.25 MHz 39 2.25 BBC One Wales
639.25 MHz 42 2.25 S4C
663.25 MHz 45 2.25 BBC Two Wales
695.25 MHz 49 2.25 ITV1 Wales (HTV Wales until 2002)

Analogue and digital television

26 August 2009 – 23 September 2009

The UK's digital switchover commenced, mirroring the changes taking place at the parent transmitter at Carmel. Analogue BBC Two Wales closed on channel 45 and ITV1 Wales took over on that frequency for what would be its final 3 weeks of service, vacating channel 49 as it did so. The new digital BBC A multiplex started up at full power in 64-QAM mode on channel 49.

Frequency UHF kW Service System
615.25 MHz 39 2.25 BBC One Wales PAL System I
639.25 MHz 42 2.25 S4C PAL System I
663.25 MHz 45 2.25 ITV1 Wales PAL System I
698.000 MHz 49 0.4 BBC A DVB-T

Digital television

Analogue radio (FM VHF)

4 December 1961 - Circa 1990

From the outset, Llandrindod Wells radiated the BBC's three FM radio services, acting as an off-air relay of Wenvoe.

Frequency kW Service
89.1 MHz 1 BBC Light Programme
91.3 MHz 1 BBC Third Programme
93.5 MHz 1 BBC Welsh Home Service


Radio 2, Radio 3 and Radio Cymru still use the original frequencies that have been used since 1961. Radio 1 and Radio 4 commenced transmission from this site on 13 November 1991. Radio 4, along with Radio Cymru, have replaced the Welsh Home Service (later known as Radio Wales).

Frequency kW Service
89.1 MHz 1.4 BBC Radio 2
91.3 MHz 1.4 BBC Radio 3
93.5 MHz 1.4 BBC Radio Cymru
98.7 MHz 1.4 BBC Radio 1
103.8 MHz 1.4 BBC Radio 4

Digital radio (DAB)


Frequency Block kW Operator
225.648 MHz 12B 5 BBC National DAB

See also


  1. ^ "The service areas of the Llandrindod Wells television and v. h.f. sound transmitters, TECHNOLOGICAL REPORT No.K-172" (PDF). BBC. 29 April 1964.
  3. ^ "Welcome to the Gallery Upgrader". Archived from the original on 31 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 August 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Freeview Light on the Llandrindod Wells (Powys, Wales) transmitter". ukfreetv. 2018. Retrieved 19 June 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ "700 MHz clearance programme timescale review" (PDF). Ofcom. 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ "700MHz clearance". DigitalUK. 2018. Retrieved 14 June 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ "The design of aerials for long - distance V.H.F. television reception, REPORT No. E·081" (PDF). BBC.
  9. ^ "mb21 - The Transmission Gallery". 7 February 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2013.

External links

This page was last edited on 11 March 2022, at 11:54
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