Portable with a difference

Over the last couple of days I have been ” working ” at a location in Yorkshire which seemed rather good to try and operate portable.  The location was the TV transmitting mast at Emley Moor which is located at 900 feet ASL and is 330M high !

This is where I went !

To get to the viewing level you have to go in a rickety lift which takes you up to the 864 feet level but takes 7 minutes . A reassuring notice in the lift advises that if you have a power failure then the lift can be brought down manually ! You have a manual brake lever which you operate, lift drops 60 feet then you apply ! It does advise that after each drop of 60 feet you wait a minute to allow the brake to cool and let your nerves return to normal before repeating the operation !

As you can guess the view from this level is spectacular although on thursday weather was not the best with snow at ground level and around -2C with high winds. Luckily at 864 foot level there is an enclosed viewing gallery so relatively warm !


This is view from the gallery, not ideal picture as just taken with cameraphone through dirty glass window and window cleaners do not seem to like cleaning these windows !

                                                                                        Internal gallery below

If you fancy some low loss coax these are the UHF feeders going the aerials on the top, they are 6.25 inch in diameter, interesting to try and fit an N connector on those ! Total length is about 2000 feet so could be lossy with RG213 !

This is a view from the bottom looking up the tower. You can see the liftcage in the middle.

The lady taking us up in the lift had to give us a safety briefing and seemed to delight in telling us that the tower is built to sway a little to stop it snapping in two in high winds and is safe unlike the previous mast which collapsed due to ice in 1969 !

Having put our minds at rest once we got to the top I decided to see if the Baofeng UV3R would actually work or as suspected be swamped with all the RF. I decided not to try 70 cms as the proximity of many KW of DTV energy would upset the wide band front end. 2M was a little better and by positioning myself in a couple of shielded areas I could hear various repeaters and stations but in reality a radio with a far better front end would be necessary to make it possible to work anyone properly.

This is what the tower should have looked like but this must have been taken on the one day of summer we have had over the years.

So an interesting trip up the tower to play radio for a short while but as suspected you would need a radio with a bomb proof front end plus access to this level is severely restricted.

However the local area has plenty of places at around the 1000 feet ASL level that you could play portable but unfortunately time did not permit this for me, I had to choose between portable or going back to the hotel / pub for a few ales so you can guess which won !

Richard G8BXC / G4DDP



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