Baldock Radio Monitoring Station Visit

The evening kicked off at 18.30 hours with a visit to the anechoic chamber used to test aerials looking for nulls and unwanted problems. The chamber is completely isolated from outside RF interference to enable near perfect test conditions.

We were also shown some of the vehicles used to monitor different frequencies in remote locations. These vans have been specially designed to enable RF to reach the equipment through plastic panels in the roofs. The vehicles are fitted with a variety of aerials to meet the specific test needs.

After a short tea break we were taken to the Spectrum Monitoring Operations Room where Iain gave us a comprehensive guide through all the different types of equipment used to monitor and analyse the frequencies under review.

The facilities are very impressive with the ability to analyse different bands as well as DF specific frequencies to locate interference. This equipment can accurately give a heading to within a couple of degrees, however it can also give the inclination of the received signal.

Different parts of the spectrum are analysed over a 24 hour period to check for unusual signals, there is also equipment to look for RSGB Intruder Watch requests.

The Station communicates with other similar organisation globally to pass on data to help resolve problems.

The station is manned 24/7 to help reduce RF interference. The station also provides a monitoring service on 3G and 4G frequencies to ensure that the coverage offered by suppliers meets their claims.

A big thank you to the Ofcom team for a splendid evening.

(report by David, G8UOD)