Am To Fm Conversions In Solo Markets


Yes I can’t wait to see what that brings. Hopefully they’ll look at SEQ as a whole from Noosa to Lismore. I really hope they can clean up the community stations in Brisbane particularly, they’re a mess.


I had a look at the Cambewarra Mountain TV tower on Google Street View and there is very little space left on the tower for more broadcast fm antennas. So the proposed 2ST Nowra Fm service if located here may have to be combined with one of the existing fm antennas on the tower.

Going by the ACMA website there are two open narrowcasting services on the tower Sky Sports on 103.7 at 15m and kix Country on 101.1 at 30m. Both are restricted to 1kw to the north and 10kw to the south for Kix, and 2kw to the south for Sky Sports.

If 2ST was to use the 30m antenna it would probably have similar specs to Kix Country (20km radius coverage) and would not cover Kiama in the north.

My guess is it will be licenced to broadcast from Knights Hill with the antenna to be installed below the Wave / i98 antenna at approx 50m. The antenna height and directional panels will keep the signal out of Wollongong and the Highlands.

2ST will still have 106.7 in Ulladulla to compensate for lower signal strength then Power fm, due to lower antenna height at Knights Hill, and if a lower ERP is also licenced.


If the licensee does accept a compromise a la Bathurst, then it’s to their detriment and the ongoing viability of the licence long after the Cameron family sell.

All services within a market, within the same category should be licensed with consistent specs. Modern planning since the 1992 BSA began with admin by the ABA and now ACMA has been for consistency. To accept and submit to short sighted demands of licensees lacking vision is not good for a regulator.


I agree in an ideal world yes, but given the increasingly crowded nature of the FM band, I can see more compromises having to be made.


I agree with that comment broadly, but for instance in the Bathurst case was this really the issue? In the greater Sydney area I agree it does get a bit tougher, likewise it will be for Lismore being so close to SEQ


Allocate efficiently and there will be enough room.


95.1 2BS-FM on air


What did it begin with? Anything interesting? Straight into the simulcast of the AM program?

The most interesting conversion has been the transformation of 6MM to The Wave, complete format change designed for the gap that Perth radio (clearly heard in the adjacent market) doesn’t serve.


The 2BS website states it’s a test for one week.

Interesting it’s only 8kW compared to the 10 that B-Rock has


and they get to keep the existing FM repeaters. It’s farcical.


Hadley has acknowledged the new 2BS fm service on his morning show (which 2BS take), reading an email onair from 2BS owner Ron Camplin saying that the official switch over will be next Thursday. Apparently 1503 will be switched off sometime in January.

So next question is what’s 1503 going to be used for after that?


Good question.

I thought UCB’s Vision Christian Radio’s Bathurst xband AM station had been off air for a while.
Maybe UCB might be interested in the transmission facilities & licence?


heavens no! - we don’t want any more religious garbage on air!


My guess is… nothing… 1503 will probably remain vacant.

The transmitter will probably be sold and relocated elsewhere


Depends on the condition of the AM txer. I do think that most of the licences will be reallocated at some point, probably as HPONs. The most likely suspects would be Vision (as mentioned), Kix Country, or various ethnic aspirants.

2RPH might be a strong contender also which would give them a regional network similar to 3RPH’s. The fact that they haven’t put 93.3 to air in Wollongong suggests that they might not have the resources for a network, though.


The biggest hurdle is that a number of the AM masts being converted are in pretty poor condition and need replacing - if it’s not viable for a commercial station to do that, I can’t imagine anyone paying for a new mast for an HPON.


The industry let themselves down, its their responsibility to maintain the infrastructure.

ACMA needed better legislation to ensure maintenance occurred.

If they’re blessed by God they will :wink:


OK, dumb question here (and only slightly on topic), but what would a whole new mast and transmitter cost these days? Is it really that cost-prohibitive, especially for a commercial station? I quite literally have no idea (is it a five digit figure or more like a seven digit one?) so would appreciate anyone in the know shedding some light on the subject


6 digits… (maybe high 5 digits if done on the cheap) for a mast alone. Approx that again for a high power transmitter.
It’s not so much cost prohibitive for the commercials, they were more just using that argument to push for FM conversions, since costs for FM are significantly cheaper as they can easily be added into existing towers.

However, costs don’t need to be anywhere near that much for an HPON running a lower power - they could theoretically use a simple antenna on an existing structure rather than needing a dedicated mast. It would be as good, but it would be sufficient for that type of service.


I think the ‘ego trip’ that arises from having a district wide licence might win the day. Though I wonder what happened with 1476 Penrith which was a low powered AM HPON- it just went off air one day and never returned.