Northern Ireland

Ulster

  • BLACK MOUNTAIN
  • Population within measured contours: Primary 1.03 mn, Secondary 0.10 mn, Fringe 0.07 mn. Total 1.20 mn.
  • Channel: Band III Channel 9 (horizontally polarised)
  • Vision Carrier Frequency: Nominal 194.75 Mc/s. Actual 194.74325 Mc/s
  • Sound Carrier Frequency: Nominal 191.25 Mc/s. Actual 191.234 Mc/s
  • Effective Radiated Power: Vision 100 kw maximum. Sound 25 kw maximum.
  • Power of Transmitters: Vision (peak white) 4 kW. Sound (carrier) 1 kW
  • Heights above sea level: Site 987 ft. Mean aerial 1,687 ft.
  • Location: 6° 1′ 10″ W, 54° 35′ 10″ N.
  • STRABANE
  • Population within predicted contours: Primary 0.108 mn, Secondary 0.073 mn, Fringe 0.069 mn. Total 0.25 mn.
  • Channel: Band III Channel 8 (vertically polarised)
  • Vision Carrier Frequency: Nominal 189.75 Mc/s. Actual 189.75675 Mc/s
  • Sound Carrier Frequency: Nominal 186.25 Mc/s. Actual 186.27 Mc/s
  • Effective Radiated Power: Vision 90 kw maximum. Sound 22.5 kw maximum.
  • Power of Transmitters: Vision (peak white) 2 x 2 kW. Sound (carrier) 2 x 0.5 kW
  • Heights above sea level: Site 900 ft. Mean aerial 1,875 ft.
  • Location: 7° 23′ 10″ W, 54° 48′ 0″ N.

Black Mountain (Channel 9) and Strabane (Channel 8)

Company: Ulster Television

A large part of Northern Ireland was provided with an Independent Television service in the Autumn of 1959 by the construction of the Black Mountain station near Belfast, close to the BBC’s existing Band I station at Divis. However, West Ulster, which includes the districts of Londonderry and Enniskillen, could not be covered by this station and, clearly, at least one additional station was needed.

The Black Mountain station overlooks Belfast and is 987 ft. above sea level. A 750 ft. mast, the highest permitted by the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation due to the proximity of the airport, was erected. It supports a moderately-directional aerial radiating about 100 kW to both the north-west and the south-west, 7o kW to the west and 20 kW to the east. This power-radiation pattern ensures the optimum coverage of the area whilst avoiding harmful interference to the service areas of other stations using Channel 9, notably Winter Hill.

Black Mountain
Black Mountain

A study of the topography of West Ulster revealed that the unserved area could economically be covered by a single station if a high site near Strabane could be obtained. A site 900 ft. above sea level was found four miles south-east of Strabane and here a station using a 1,000 ft. mast was constructed.

It has a highly-directional aerial radiating about 9o kW in two main lobes to the north and to the south. 10 kW only is radiated to the east and west, but this suffices to cover the areas not served by the Black Mountain transmitter and, at the same time, prevents unnecessary radiation into the territory of the Irish Republic to the west.

The Black Mountain station went into service on 31st October 1959. Strabane began programme transmission during February 1963.

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