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Friday, December 10, 2010

The Mt Dandenong (Melbourne) TV Towers

Author's pic of August 2010

Public domain pic

 Continued expansion of Digital Radio in Australia has prompted this overview of the TV towers at Mt Dandenong, in Melbourne's outer east, two of
which carry the DAB+ transmissions.

There are four TV towers at Mt Dandenong:

The small 69 m tower built 1955/56 for the Nine Network. The
transmitter was relocated to the taller Channel 10 tower in 1996. The
Channel 9 tower is now known as the TXA Observatory Rd tower, and is used
only for FM radio.

ABV2 tower
138 m, located just to the north of Burke's Lookout, built
1955/56. Now known as the Broadcast Australia Eyre Rd tower, it has
transmitted Channel 2 signals across Melbourne for more than 50 years. It
also carries SBS and Channel 31 services, several FM stations such as ABC FM
and JJJ, digital radio services, and hosting the emergency services signals.
It was originally built to a height of 100m, and has been extended several
times since, including an extension in 1979 for the opening of FM and in
3001 for digital TV.

HSV7 tower
This is 130 m high, adjacent to the ABV tower, and was built for
the Seven Network in 1955/56. It's height was increased in 1996 and again in
2001 for digital TV. It's now known in the industry as the TXA Eyre Rd tower
and is used as a backup for all three commercial networks.

ATV10 tower
This is the giant of the hills and is sited on the south side
of Burkes Lookout, and originally built to a height of 180 m. It was
extended in 2001 and now is at 190 m. Construction started in 1963 and was
completed in 1964, for the opening of Melbourne's third TV station Channel
0. It changed in 1980 to Channel Ten and is now known as the TXA Ornate Rd
tower, used for carrying all three commercial networks, several FM stations,
digital radio, and is available as a backup for ABC and SBS.

In 1996, the commercial stations amalgamated their interests and handed over
control to TXA (Transmitters of Australia).

The GTV9, ABV2, and HSV7 towers were built in a hurry for the November 1956
Melbourne Olympic Games.

The towers don't like very tall as seen from Melbourne's eastern suburbs,
but standing below them one gains a much better understanding of their
height!  They are absolutely huge! The summit of Mt Dandenong lies at 628 m.

For comparison purposes, the tallest building in Melbourne is the Eureka
Tower, at 300 m, and St Patrick's Cathedral is 105 m. Others are Telstra
Tower 193 m, Rialto Tower 251 m and 120 Collins St Tower 220 m.

As seen from the west, a very noticeable scar is visible on the front face
of Mt Dandenong. It was made in the late 1950s to accommodate power lines
and caused controversy at the time. The power lines have since been removed
but the gap still serves as a fire control line. Soil erosion has cut deep
gouges out of the track, making vehicle access impossible. It now serves as
a very challenging hike, starting at Glasgow Rd and ending at the Kyeema
Memorial Cairn, on Kyeema Track, near Burke's Lookout.

I have never done that hike, but those who aspire to climb Mt Everest may be
seen on it most weekends on training sessions!

The Kyeema ANA DC2 air disaster occurred in 1938 on the west face of Mt
Dandenong, with the loss of 18 lives. The Memorial Cairn is adjacent to the
TV towers.

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