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Newhaven Mast’s New Style: Shorter, Sleeker, and More Sophisticated

The local maritime community has noticed a significant change in the skyline as the Marine Coastguard Agency (MCA) mast in Newhaven has undergone a substantial reduction in height, with about 15 meters chopped off from its top due to deteriorating conditions. This alteration also led to the removal of the outdated VHF DF array, marking a new chapter in the mast’s history.

In an update that will intrigue technology and maritime enthusiasts alike, the antennas on the mast have been meticulously reconfigured. Some have been re-fed, and notable changes include an update for Seahaven FM, which now sports new ‘string’. At the pinnacle of the mast, two colinears command attention; one serves the Automatic Identification System (AIS), while the other functions as a common receive antenna.

Looking towards the south side of the mast, the folded dipoles are hard to miss. These are designated for the fixed and tunable MCA channels, with their signals being remotely directed back to the National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC) in Fareham. The north side of the mast houses the RNLI’s pager-specific folded dipole and Seahaven’s cardioid dipole array, supported alongside two horizontal Yagis stabilized with rope.

Interestingly, a pair of redundant dipoles are also visible in the recent photographs. These were initially set up for the Sussex Ambulance service as an emergency backup during the Labour Party Conference in Brighton, serving as a reminder of the mast’s versatile history.

Special thanks go to Paul Farley, who provided not only the striking photographs capturing these changes but also shared valuable insights into the technical aspects of the mast’s transformation.

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