Essential transmitter maintenance will result in reduced power, switching breaks and a loss of redundancy for up to two hours on two days.
Nation Radio on our Wrexham Chester & Liverpool multiplex is currently subject to some interference due to telecoms problems.
There will be -9db reduced power and breaks (less than one hour) between the hours of 1000 and 1600.
The transmitters are built and services have their encoders and connectivity. The only thing continuing to cause delays to this multiplex is chronic telecom distribution delays to the transmitters.
Our contingency is satellite distribution which has required links to be put in place, this has caused some extra work but these are ready to go at Ridge Hill and Malvern. It is not possible for us to use satellite at Bromsgrove, and so this transmitter will have to wait for its telecoms lines before it can go live. This is expected in the coming weeks although delivery dates haven’t proved to be terribly reliable.
With this plan we are planning to commence “barker” audio from the start of the November with live audio tests likely to be running in the lead up to the new proposed launch towards the end of November.
We are currently on track for our December launch – below is a summary of progress:
BT circuits are in to the majority of service provider sites with work progressing to plan at others; we still read delivery dates a little cautiously given the delays experienced in other areas of the UK although Surrey has fared better in general. Interface equipment for studios is being built ready for delivery and installation. We are tentatively looking at installing the multiplex rack and having some live data running through the systems in mid-November.
On the transmitter side there is lots underway:
- Telemetry circuit delivery planned 25/10/13
- Build to commence first week of November
- Commissioning requested w/c 18th November
- Telemetry Circuit complete
- Decommissioning of existing racks completed this week
- Build to commence w/c 27th October
- Commissioning requested w/c 18th November
Crystal Palace –
- Build completion due early next week.
- Commissioning requested w/c 11th November
We are making good progress with our Surrey Multiplex and still on track for a December launch. This area does not appear to be subject to the same chronic BT delays as other areas of the UK and it has been a refreshing change to see the project plans covered in green markers not red ones.
The lines to most of the service providers are now in place, with encoders and routers to be installed in November.
The equipment for the transmitter builds is in hand; Crystal Palace antenna work will take place by 14th October with Reigate and Guildford to be completed by the end of October. Ofcom commissioning will be arranged to take place in November. Weather becomes an issue for mast work at this time of year so we will be pleased if the current mild conditions continue.
In terms of distribution the network is already in place; London enjoys comprehensive service for telecoms and so the scale of work to connect our ring is immeasurably simpler than in other areas where brand new lines have had to be delivered.
In answer to some queries the second phase of transmitters (Stoke D’Abernon & Hungry Hill) is scheduled to launch in April 2014.
Test “Barker” channels will be running in the next few days and full channels should be audible around the 30th September 2013.
The launch transmitters will cover approximately 67% of the coverage area, equating to around 450 thousand households. The plan is to launch an additional two transmitters at Icomb Hill and Cirencester in December 2013 to increase this to 92.9% or 616 thousand households (Outdoor Mobile measurement). The technical work is on track for these second phase transmitters but they may be subject to the BT distribution delays which are still affecting some of our multiplexes.
More information about the line-up and coverage maps are here:
We are on track for our December 2013 launch.
As of 6th September all transmitter sites have been surveyed with the exception of Crystal Palace which is scheduled for this week. Orders for transmitters and telecoms lines have been placed – delivery time expected to be October but until we have the precise dates we don’t consider this confirmed.
Lots of work underway with both us and our transmission subcontractor in getting in touch with the service providers to establish the readiness of their racks rooms, confirm their site details and contact numbers.
We’ve uploaded some maps which demonstrate the coverage. Our plan is for the multiplex to broadcast with transmitters at Crystal Palace, Guildford and Reigate with a second phase of Leatherhead and Hungry Hill.
Transmission Map (Launch)
Transmission Map (Final)
Town & Country Broadcasting are undertaking major planned work on site this evening, as such there will be interruptions to their services on DAB from 7pm. Radio Pembrokeshire & Radio Carmarthenshire in particular are expected to be affected.
As you may have noticed if you have DAB and are in the area, we have some test transmissions going out – these are on four channels from two transmitters: Kilvey Hill and Carmel.
We are currently on track to launch at 0001 on Friday 30th August with the seven planned services which will include our third transmitter at Preseli. The formal launch is next Friday (6th Sept).
Launch services are as follows:
- Radio Pembrokeshire
- Radio Carmarthenshire
- Nation Hits
- Nation Radio
- Real Radio
- BBC Wales
- BBC Cymru