Am To Fm Conversions In Solo Markets

I’m staggered at how much spectrum is being wasted in the 2BS conversion. As you’ve said previously, not reason not to convert with the same specs as 2BXS and lose the repeaters

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Meanwhile, 2LT in neighbouring Lithgow is still yet to be consulted on for AM/FM conversion. According to the 2017-21 FYSO, it was originally to be consulted during the 1st half of this year at around the same time as 2BS, but when the 2018-22 draft FYSO was released in May, it was pushed back to the end of this year (ie. Q2 2018-19), joining it to around the same time that 2ST, 2EC, 2GN & 2XL were due to being consulted on for AM-FM conversion.

Now, since Q2 has pretty much come to an end (given it’s the Christmas-New Year period, last week was practically the end of it), it appears that the consultations for 2LT, 2ST, 2EC, 2GN & 2XL have been delayed until at least January (ie. Q3 2018-19).

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Its not being wasted when you’re only trying to protect the incumbents


Though I’m not convinced that this has come at a cost of providing alternate services. I think most of those 2BS relay sites still have spectrum capacity.

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And don’t forget the Brisbane/Gold Coast digital bungled progress. Also delayed.


Changes to Katherine NT radio services

Listeners of Katherine commercial radio station Hot 100 (8HOT) on 765 kHz AM may soon have to change their dial if the ACMA accepts a proposal by the station.

The proposal would see 8HOT swap from AM to FM transmission in Katherine. Darwin listeners already enjoy 8HOT in FM.

‘FM radio provides improved audio quality for listeners in regional areas and can be more cost-effective to operate than AM radio,’ said ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin.

‘A number of regional commercial radio stations are seeking to convert their services to FM under an industry-led conversion program. The ACMA will facilitate a conversion after taking a number of issues into account. These include availability of suitable spectrum and being satisfied that audiences in regional areas do not lose radio services under that proposal,’ Ms O’Loughlin said.

‘We now want to hear from the local Katherine audience their views on the conversion proposal,’ Ms O’Loughlin said.

Submissions on the Katherine proposal are due by 28 February 2019. More information about the AM-FM conversion is available here.

If the ACMA approves the conversion, the timing of the transition would be up to the broadcaster.


Interesting that the Camerons waited until this process to move this translator to FM.

It’s not the main service, so why wait? Surely it could’ve been reallocated years ago?


Also there should be plenty of available frequencies in that area too


Yes, about time!

I agree, should have been done years ago, back when the 8DN licence got cancelled in 1992.

Leaves Toowoomba as the only town left with Top 40/Hit music on AM radio in Australia, though it’s not going to FM anytime soon.


Another transmitter that could be converted is 2DU Cobar, which uses 972 kHz. There is a case for retaining AM as in Broken Hill but this is not a wide coverage transmitter; I’ve never heard a squeak of it in Sydney. Thus the calculus should be similar to Katherine. Zoo FM has had a Cobar translator on 103.7 MHz for many years; there is no repeater for Star FM.

I daresay 2WEB Bourke would attract a lot of Cobar listeners given its coverage. 2WEB haven’t got an FM repeater in Cobar as with Nyngan, presumably due to the presence of 2DU/Zoo FM.

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I recall Cobar is only 100w

I think it’s also a smaller population than Katherine too, so less incentive to spend $$$ and this is a Caralis station too we are talking about - not known for their spending.

And that I don’t think Hit 93.5 Dubbo have ever put their 102.1 Cobar translator to air either.

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And yet, pretty much all of Caralis’ AM stations in solus markets, except 2MG in Mudgee, are earmarked to convert to FM.


Good old 4AK, with the processing sounding good it ain’t so bad :wink:

2BH works well as AM in my view due to the long flat areas out that way that AM just works so well with.
Also of note is the fact that in my last trip out to Broken Hill the transmitter was restricted quite a lot… only doing 250w @ 60% mod… It is now doing 500w @ 125% Mod… The feedback about the extra coverage has been crazy

972 Cobar is 300w

Not just Cobar but right across that area of the state I dare say, that thing has crazy coverage. I think they would be crazy to ever covert to FM only… The coverage they get on the AM band is far to good to limit it by moving to FM.


Slightly off topic but would 2WEB have the biggest coverage out of any community station in Australia?

Really? 2MG desperately needs a conversion, terrible night and day coverage, click onto street view to see the antiquated TX masts.

Agree, the refusal of going to FM was a great decision, coverage would’ve been significantly reduced.

Not surprised when you showed up to give the site overdue TLC.

The callers to Laws’ are as I’ve documented a very long way out in albeit very low noise environments.

Reception even at Pooncarie is good. 190km SE.

AM coverage should be fine in those towns, they’re not that far from Bourke.

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7AD and 7BU FM conversion planned for March 1.

Will be interesting to see how the coverage is verses their old AM services.


Both the 7AD and 7BU websites have countdown clocks to the changeover with new FM logos, which are a very mild tweak of the current AM logos.

Facebook pages have the cover photos updated too.


Just missed it. I’m down in the Prom where reception would have been possible. It would have been nice to catch the test broadcasts.

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