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Local TV Antenna Deployment

Written by Andrew Harrison on January 6, 2014

Antenna ArrayShape Services were engaged by our client to undertake works associated with the installation of Local TV Antenna array on one of the UK’s leading communications infrastructure and media services operator’s key transmitter sites. The launch of local TV services offers a valuable enhancement to the existing Freeview service and helps promote awareness of the robustness of the DTT platform, the deployment of the services at Waltham extends the ability of the operator to offer localised content on up to 18 additional channels to what is envisage to extend to over 12million homes nationally by the end of 2014.

Having been given the initial scope for the site, Shape Service began the process of undertaking a design survey of the arrangement of the existing steel infrastructure, which then enabled Shape Services to propose a design solution for review and approval.

Gantry hatch closedUpon approval of design solution Shape Services undertook the construction and manufacturing activities at our fabrication facility in Doncaster. The approved design solution enable Shape Services to fabricate the Antenna mounting as a single unit, therefore minimising the number of lifts required to transport it to its final mounting position at 146m. Shape Services deployed a 7 man team to site to complete the installation, this team comprising of a 5 man Broadcast rigging team and a specialist 2 man rope access rigging team.

The installation of the main RF Feeder and Antenna Array were achieved using mechanical winching techniques, this involved rigging the mast specifically for the lift being undertaken, two separate lifting operations were required to complete the installations successfully, one internal for the main RF Feeder and a second external lift for the Antenna Array. Lifting operations were conducted in accordance with customer specific requirements and LOLER regulations 1998.

Gantry hatch openCareful consideration had to be given to weather conditions when planning the installation activities as the inclement conditions during the months of November and December could have considerably
impacted deployment timescales, we are happy to say that even with unfavourable weather conditions the team completed the installation activities on schedule.

Shape Services personnel assisted our client with the configuration and acceptance testing of the system to enable the site to be handed over to the client at the end of November, Shape Services return to site during the first week in December to install the access ladder for future access to the array and maintenance.

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