Maps (low resolution) are displayed on this page in the following order
ATV Topography of Sheffield Map (including the importance of transmitter “line of sight”)
This is our Sheffield Area Digital Coverage Map. It was originally Sean`s idea so he deserves the credit because he kept pestering me to do it ! Unlike the "Post Code Check", this is accurate as it is a record of (most of) the aerial installs we have done and if Digital actually worked at that site. It also shows which transmitter the site is on, which helps us supply the correct aerial to customers purchasing one from us. It should be stressed that (occasionally) we have found places where two houses side by side can get markedly different qualities of reception, this is particularly common if trees or high buildings are close to the reception path, also see Aerial Positioning Tests.
Low resolution enlargement of the South Peak District area.
One area of particular interest is that of the South Peak District which shows four repeaters (Tideswell, Ashford, Earl Sterndale and Burbage) off four different main transmitters (Emley, Waltham, Sutton Coldfield and Winter Hill respectively) yet none are more than nine miles from any of the others ! For a higher resolution image go to Transmitter Maps.
This map raises an interesting question as to whether this area of the country is, in fact, the centre of England ! Think about it. All these repeaters must have line of sight onto their main transmitters. It`s also pretty likely that there`s a big hill in the centre of that blue quadrilateral ! If there isn`t then why are all their main transmitters in opposite directions ?
On the other hand, the fact that people off these 4 repeaters may want the local news from what they consider "their area" also adds weight to the suggestion this is the centre of England. Think about it. Those on Tideswell consider themselves Northerners, so they want Look North from Emley. Those in around Ashford may well see themselves as East Midlanders (East Midlands Today from Waltham), off Earl Sterndale as Midlanders (Midlands Today from Sutton Coldfield), and those in Buxton as North Westerners or Lancashire men, North West Today from Winter Hill.
I certainly think the accents vary quite a bit too. Buxton, and NW thereof, definitely sound Lancashire. South/SW of Earl Sterndale a Midlands twang with slight Black Country Brummie influence ? Ashford/Bakewell and SE, they`ve certainly got an East Midlands lilt.
As for Tideswell, and North thereof, that`s certainly God`s country, with the relevant intonation, obviously.
The famous (or should that be infamous) ATV transmitter map on the shop wall. This covers Wales and (most of England) at 4 miles to the inch. Note that we haven`t got anything against Scotland, it`s just that we ran out of room !
We have included a sample "blow up" to show the detail, full resolution pictures are available at Transmitter Map. We have added all the repeaters for the main TXs within the maps area in England and some (so far) of the Welsh ones. As time allows we will add all the others and the BBC radio TXs.
As expected there are large numbers of repeaters in the hilly areas, but hardly any are situated in (say) Lincolnshire.
The pins are colour coded for group (plus Radio are blue) and there is an arrow from each repeater to it`s main transmitter. (also see Major Transmitters: Which Aerial To Use)
We had the topography map below specially created for us at great expense. The lowest ground is purple and then we go through blue, green, yellow and various shades of orange to reach the highest altitude, in addition spot heights are indicated at various points. The chart is useful in helping us supply the correct aerials to customers from areas with which we are not familiar.
The map is also fascinating for other reasons. For instance it explains why, when the first "mainline" railway (The North Midland Railway from Derby to Leeds) came to this part of the world in 1840, it didn`t come through Sheffield. At that time the locomotives didn`t have the power to climb steep gradients so alignments were chosen which minimised inclines.
A look at the map shows quite clearly how the low ground of Rother valley passes East of Sheffield and that`s precisely where George Stephenson (and his son Robert) built the line. It wasn`t until 1870 that a South bound line was constructed from Sheffield to Chesterfield by the Midland Railway. The latter had a fairly steep (for the time) incline up to Dore, then the 1.2 mile Bradway tunnel and finally a long descent down to Chesterfield. The valleys used for the latter line are also clearly identifiable on the map.
One other thing, ever wondered why Sheffield hasn`t got an airport ? Quite simply there isn`t any room for it ! It is easily discernible from the map that the only significant area of flat land (for the runway) in this area is the Don Valley and that has always been fully utilised. Having said that I know a few people (mainly long suffering husbands......) who would be delighted if Meadowhall were flattened !
Low resolution picture of our Transmitter map.
(L to R, Justin, Pat and Chris)
For high resolution images go to Transmitter Map
Millhouse Green Transmitter (the TV transmitter is the right of the two in the foreground) is a repeater off Emley Moor and this picture clearly shows the importance of “Line Of Sight”. Even though Emley Moor is visible (and only 6 miles away) the village in the lee of the hill [left centre of the picture] needs a repeater because the signal is so poor !
The repeater receives its signal from Emley through the Log Periodic aerial midway up the mast then retransmits it from the Log at the top of the mast into the valley to cover the village of Millhouse Green.
As has been stated on a few pages of this site, in the UHF* game "Line Of Sight" is (almost) everything, i.e. which direction does the antenna have the clearest run at / best view of the transmitter ? It is for this reason that aerial installers are amongst the most knowledgeable about where all the hills are in any particular area. They also tend to know where all the tall buildings are, and the large trees for that matter ! In fact if a (skilled) installer has problems with signal reception due to trees for example, his first thought wouldn`t be a higher gain aerial or an amp, it`d be is there an alternative transmitter (in a different direction) that he could try ?
Remember that radio frequency (RF) waves, just like light, are another type of electromagnetic radiation. So it is, literally, a case of “line of sight”, much in the way that shadows are thrown by visible light. That said, RF can be reflected and refracted in the same way as the visible part of the spectrum (i.e. light) and this helps to explain some of the “Black Art” effects that TV/radio reception can exhibit.
* Line of sight becomes slightly less important as the frequency drops (and the wavelength goes up), Thus for DAB L of S is slightly less important and for FM slightly less so still. At the extreme end VLF (Very Low Frequency) is used for communicating with submarines [from Skelton transmitter] and obviously L of S is very much less important !
Below is a table of the signal levels which were measured at our aerial test site at 1140ft on the hills NW of Sheffield, and at our shop. It is also on two other pages in this site but no apology is made for its duplication such is the importance of the message it is conveying. For more details of the levels and their significance see “Coverage Maps”.
Note that in the table below for "the shop", the figures are off a DM log test aerial, not the shop`s aerial array. On the latter Belmont was significantly better, albeit only the (1st 4) MUXES within the A group
Section around Fullwood/Ranmoor of the ATV digital coverage map.
Crosspool transmitter is the larger red pin in the top left corner.
Low resolution picture of our Topography map of the Sheffield area.
For a higher resolution picture click on topography map. Note the M1 drawn on in black.
Incidentally if you`re ever lost, looking at the local antennas (assuming you know which transmitter they`re on) can help you to establish which direction you are travelling in ! Even more so for satellite dishes, they always face South, who needs Sat Nav, when you`ve got Sky Nav ?
We are more than willing to give advice to those actually purchasing from us. Could those only seeking information please just find the answer somewhere on this site, or ring an aerial installer local to them, or call the reception advice phone numbers.
If you`ve found this site informative and, hopefully, interesting as well,
Our shop`s location on the map provides a good example indicating potential transmitter (TX) choice and the importance of line of sight.
Crosspool is only about two miles SSW of us yet our signals from there have always been pretty poor. It`s interesting to speculate why but at switchover they got much better, relatively speaking, than they should have done !
Emley Moor is 17 miles North West from here yet we get (more or less) perfect pictures.
Finally Belmont is no less than 55 miles away (due East) yet the picture was always better than that off Crosspool. Since switchover Crosspool is now better than Belmont, not sure why, but the fact is we can still get a perfectly acceptable digital signal (on the first 4 MUXES off our A group aerial) from Belmont.
Examination of the map provides some clues. Just behind us (SSW) is the high ground of Walkley Bank and this is identifiable on the map. We are situated at the bottom of the Don valley and as shown on the map this runs (up stream) NNW from here. Thus we get a pretty clear path onto Emley. Finally in the down stream direction the Don valley is East, this explains Belmont`s superior signals (in analogue days) over Crosspool despite the huge disparity in distances to the transmitters. The relatively high number of people in Sheffield who are on Belmont is one of the best examples of the importance of Line Of Sight. Belmont is 50 to 60 miles away (there are 4 or 5 other transmitters closer than this, not counting small repeaters) yet literally tens of thousands of houses in this area are aligned onto the transmitter, and for a very good reason, Line Of Sight !