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Markymark7,222 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today
Here's a breakdown from BBC 2 in 1992 during the snooker

It happens at 2:41 into the video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zs6rQovvPww

Also, note the fact that the continuity announcer changes during the breakdown

I'm curious about the way that one broke down - hanging onto remnants of the last good frame is a very digital way of failure (it's the kind of thing I'd associate with a framesync losing its input). So far so straightforward, but it seems quite advanced for 1992. Any guesses as to what might have failed?


I remember in the 80s seeing the golf fall off the air. They were showing a putt, and the player was taking such an age over it, it wasn't obvious the feed had failed at first. The frame sync had an almost unblemished frozen picture, with only some noise in a thin band at the bottom .

Even more remarkable they superimposed an Anchor (sp ?) generated apology over the image, made an announcement, and played some music. Presumably (hopefully !) someone had quickly gone to the frame sync in the equipment bays, and permanently enabled the freeze !
commseng290 posts since 8 Dec 2016
London London
I'm curious about the way that one broke down - hanging onto remnants of the last good frame is a very digital way of failure (it's the kind of thing I'd associate with a framesync losing its input). So far so straightforward, but it seems quite advanced for 1992. Any guesses as to what might have failed?

Back in 1992 there would have been analogue microwaves links from the Crucible, via a midpoint at Wincobank, and then into one of the mast head receivers - probably Holme Moss?
Then PAL vision circuits to Manchester CTA, and then to London via Birmingham.
The most likely point to fail (although this is a complete guess) is the midpoint on the isolated Wincobank site.
Running on a small genny, backed up with batteries (which didn't always have the capacity you'd hope for), it may well have been the issue.
However, that would have put receiver noise (from HM) down the line.
If it was into a frame sync at TVC would it reject that - and leave the last frame on its output - it's not exactly a clean frame?
The days of Natlock were long gone by 1992, so some syncroniser would be across the line.
James Vertigan3,239 posts since 2 Jun 2001
London London
I remember in the 80s seeing the golf fall off the air. They were showing a putt, and the player was taking such an age over it, it wasn't obvious the feed had failed at first.



Reminds me of the time coverage of the PGA Golf was lost in 2009, at one point they sat on a frozen image of a golf ball in mid air for some time before an apology slide was put up - they then crossed to the News Channel as filler!
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TIGHazard540 posts since 3 Jan 2014
Tyne Tees Look North (North East)
I remember in the 80s seeing the golf fall off the air. They were showing a putt, and the player was taking such an age over it, it wasn't obvious the feed had failed at first.



Reminds me of the time coverage of the PGA Golf was lost in 2009, at one point they sat on a frozen image of a golf ball in mid air for some time before an apology slide was put up - they then crossed to the News Channel as filler!


Is there a clip of this?
Curto2189 posts since 4 Jul 2017
STV North Reporting Scotland
I remember in the 80s seeing the golf fall off the air. They were showing a putt, and the player was taking such an age over it, it wasn't obvious the feed had failed at first.



Reminds me of the time coverage of the PGA Golf was lost in 2009, at one point they sat on a frozen image of a golf ball in mid air for some time before an apology slide was put up - they then crossed to the News Channel as filler!


Is there a clip of this?

There used to be one on youtube but it got taken down
That's TV and Local Television Ltd are the Carlton and Granada of local tv
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Lewismpsmith95 posts since 12 May 2018
Meridian (South East) South East Today


Reminds me of the time coverage of the PGA Golf was lost in 2009, at one point they sat on a frozen image of a golf ball in mid air for some time before an apology slide was put up - they then crossed to the News Channel as filler!


Is there a clip of this?

There used to be one on youtube but it got taken down


I remember that video. On the list of the many breakdown gems that have since been taken down by YouTube.
Inspector Sands13,913 posts since 25 Aug 2004

Back in 1992 there would have been analogue microwaves links from the Crucible, via a midpoint at Wincobank, and then into one of the mast head receivers - probably Holme Moss?
Then PAL vision circuits to Manchester CTA, and then to London via Birmingham.
The most likely point to fail (although this is a complete guess) is the midpoint on the isolated Wincobank site.
Running on a small genny, backed up with batteries (which didn't always have the capacity you'd hope for)

Would a midpoint (presumably temporary?) like that be manned for the duration of the coverage? If so what sort of communication would Manchester have had with them?
Last edited by Inspector Sands on 1 November 2019 6:00am
Markymark7,222 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today

Back in 1992 there would have been analogue microwaves links from the Crucible, via a midpoint at Wincobank, and then into one of the mast head receivers - probably Holme Moss?
Then PAL vision circuits to Manchester CTA, and then to London via Birmingham.
The most likely point to fail (although this is a complete guess) is the midpoint on the isolated Wincobank site.
Running on a small genny, backed up with batteries (which didn't always have the capacity you'd hope for)

Would a midpoint (presumably temporary?) like that be manned for the duration of the coverage? If so what sort of communication would Manchester have had with them?


I drove past a BBC mid point at a water tower in Reading, that was also being used for Snooker coverage. There were chaps (perhaps commseng himself Cool ) sat having a brew

Mind you, in that part of town, you wouldn't want to leave anything unattended!
commseng290 posts since 8 Dec 2016
London London
Yes, all points on the chain were manned, and the communications were at least a VHF radio channel on 78MHz.
Manchester's arrangements I don't know, but in the Midlands Birmingham had remote control of a VHF radio at Sutton Coldfield.
If I was working at Crystal Palace I could often hear them calling their staff over 100 miles away.

As for Reading, I only remember doing that water tower once, but it was a regular venue to get signals out of the Hexagon and other OBs in the Thames Valley.
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Markymark7,222 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today
Yes, all points on the chain were manned, and the communications were at least a VHF radio channel on 78MHz.
Manchester's arrangements I don't know, but in the Midlands Birmingham had remote control of a VHF radio at Sutton Coldfield.
If I was working at Crystal Palace I could often hear them calling their staff over 100 miles away.

As for Reading, I only remember doing that water tower once, but it was a regular venue to get signals out of the Hexagon and other OBs in the Thames Valley.


Another favourite spot was Hungry Hill between Fleet and Farnham. Seen that used for the Farnborough Airshow, and Darts from Lakeside ?
commseng290 posts since 8 Dec 2016
London London
The Lakeside darts also worked into the Hog's Back - we parked the old Bedford truck in a pub car park.
It drizzeled oil over the tarmac.......

Other well used midpoints in the south were Chanctonbury Ring on the South Downs, Walbury Hill near Newbury, Dunstable Downs, Bagshot Water Tower, and Tilehurst Water Tower.
The Midlands had Bardon Hill, Cleeve Hill, and others.
All now obsolete, replaced first by Satellite uplinks then by fibre, and now by IP via heaven only knows what means.

As it was all very hands on kit, and running on less than perfect power sources. If you wanted football from say Ipswich Town live on the telly, it would take 4 SHF hops to get it into London. Plenty of places where one fault could cause the Temporary Fault caption to be used!
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