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Author Topic: New mast  (Read 257 times)

Weaver

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New mast
« on: May 21, 2020, 09:27:48 PM »

My wife went up to Port Rìgh today to go to the dentist’s. On the way up she saw a 20ft high mast made of metal, with two small dishes on it both pointing east, right by the Sligachan Hotel in the centre of the mountains, postcode IV47 8SW. I was wondering what it is for?

I can’t get the mastdata website to work, perhaps because I need an account.

The only thing I could think of is that since it is pointing at the Island of Raasay it might be a new comms link across the water, but it’s the longest possible route and I’m surprised they didn’t lay undersea cable.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2020, 01:15:47 AM by Weaver »
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kitz

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Re: New mast
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2020, 10:32:48 PM »

>> since it is pointing at the Island of Raasay it might be a new comms link across the water

i dont know if it is related, but isnt TVWS (tv whitespace) considered a viable option for bringing the internet to remote & rural areas and had some fairly heavy backing.
iirc whitespace technologies were installing tvws last year to some of the areas around Bute > Arran

>>> centre of the mountains,

i dont know the locale but i would imagine center of the island would make an appropriate site as long as there are no line of sight obstructions
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Ronski

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Re: New mast
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2020, 10:34:00 PM »

I would think a radio link would be much cheaper than laying an undersea cable.
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burakkucat

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Re: New mast
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2020, 11:29:18 PM »

b*cat is confused.  ???

On entering "Port Rìgh" into the Google Maps search bar, it brought up a page with a red marker almost at The Lump, Portree, to the right of the A87 road. On going to a lower map resolution, it clearly showed the island of Raasay due east of Skye.

On entering "IV47 8SW" into the search bar, it put the red marker on Sligachan. On going to a lower map resolution, the island of Raasay was then shown to the north-east.

West facing dishes, on a mast at Sligachan, would be pointing towards the (west) coast in the general direction of Talisker.
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: New mast
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2020, 12:21:36 AM »

Is there any possibility the mast could be of military purpose?

On my first visit to these islands in 80s I was struck by the proliferation of microwave and satellite antennas, more so on the Uists, Harris & Lewis, which I assumed at the time to be MoD.   These things were then a sight unfamiliar to me, apart from occasional visits to an area near Ipswich. 
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Weaver

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Re: New mast
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2020, 01:16:21 AM »

My stupid typo. I should have said pointing east. My apologies.
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Weaver

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Re: New mast
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2020, 01:28:00 AM »

About the military thing. There’s no clear view to anywhere apart from to Raasay. Can’t see the western isles. There were dishes pointing towards Harris for internet links to the western isles but now BT has done their massive under see fibre laying project so that has superseded the old line of sight links.

The Sligeachan site is low lying, about at sea level. The Red and Black Cuilfhionn mountain groups block the view to the south and to the west and there is a slight rise to the north and further beyond that there will be more high ground. Beinn Tianabhaig will be blocking the view to the North East too but looking just past the mountain, Raasay is visible through a gap at the mouth of the sea loch.

So it’s a total useless site for parking anything if you wish to have a wide area coverage. I do wonder if it’s there to fill in a black spot on the main road, but then why would it have dishes on it? Surely it would have an omni antenna or antennae
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burakkucat

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Re: New mast
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2020, 02:45:25 PM »

I do wonder if it’s there to fill in a black spot on the main road, but then why would it have dishes on it? Surely it would have an omni antenna or antennae

The only thing, of which we can be sure, is that the mast is one end of a point-to-point microwave link.
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: New mast
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2020, 04:04:15 PM »

Surely it would have an omni antenna or antennae

Language point of interest, since both forms of the word have been used in this thread....   I was vaguely under the impression that whilst insects may have 'antennae' attached to their heads,  'antennas' might more usually be used to describe the devices used for radio communication? 

I'm usually wrong however, regarding grammar and spelling, no reason to doubt I'm wrong this time too.  :D
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roseway

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Re: New mast
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2020, 04:40:26 PM »

^
That is indeed what my Pocket Oxford dictionary of 1993 says. Make of that what you will...
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burakkucat

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Re: New mast
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2020, 05:14:21 PM »

Searching on "IV47 8SW" in Google Maps and, once the map page is displayed changing to the satellite image, we can see that the other end of that microwave link can only be either Peinchorran (on Skye) or Inverarish (on Raasay).

As the surrounding mountains block any line-of-sight, it is only along Loch Sligachan can either of those two locations be "illuminated" by the microwave beam.
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Alex Atkin UK

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Re: New mast
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2020, 05:39:57 PM »

^
That is indeed what my Pocket Oxford dictionary of 1993 says. Make of that what you will...

Google says:

noun: antenna
plural noun: antennae
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: New mast
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2020, 10:03:13 PM »

I asked Siri, “What is the plural of Antenna?”.

She replied, “The answer I found is Antennae”.   

For further reading, she referred me to the Wikipedia page for radio antenna.  Which uses “antennas” throughout. :D

Apols to Weaver for veering off topic.
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Weaver

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Re: New mast
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2020, 09:53:27 AM »

Thanks, that’s very good to know.
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