Narrowcast and AM Narrowband Radio

Suneel Oberoi’s 1665 Brisbane service was on air for a few weeks from the 4QR standby mast during Sept.

A number of engineering problems that he can rectify in Brisbane has seen the service go off air.

The coverage was much less than expected for what is almost a 1/2 wave mast.

Instead of using a TX close to 400w, using a higher powered TX wound down to 400w may assist.

Number of other improvements may improve coverage too, will add from my notes later.

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Rete Italia 1620 from Tinchbourne Street Chandler (just over the creek from Capalaba, so an eastern boundary suburb of BCC) has their program back on.

It had been carrier for a couple of weeks.

The coverage is as pitiful as ever, typical of the roof mounted ‘broomstick’ mast.

1620 Gold Coast is still running the disgraceful 1kHz tone, distorted and splattering over five adjacent channels either side. Crocmedia has not responded to remedy this.

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1620 kHz near Capalaba yesterday went to back up music. Today, off completely, no carrier.

1665 is back on today, no improvement to signal.

3 Oct update (site won’t let me make a new post):

1665 kHz Bald Hills BA backup mast is off today (on yesterday).

1620 kHz near Capalaba (most unaware of Chandler) remains off.

1620 kHz Burleigh golf course (at Miami) still on with distorted, glitching 1kHz tone spread across 45kHz either side.

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I’m now getting Vintage FM on both 88.0 and 88.7 MHz (whereas previously 88.0 was Air FM).

Does anyone know if the only Vintage FM TX on 88.0 is from Mount Gibraltar? If so, that’s a long way for a supposedly 1-watt LPON to reach (I’m some 80km from Mount Gibraltar). I note that there’s also an LPON allocated on 88 MHz to Gregory Hills, which is a lot closer, but I’m unsure if it’s on-air.

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Before the Newcastle off band stations started, I could get faint RAW FM on 87.8 from northern Sydney (this was back when RAW FM Central Coast was on 99.1 in Gosford and Wyong).

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It’s the ex Air FM tx at Mount Riverview, serving the Penrith Valley. The operator of Air FM, Craig Allen, sadly passed away earlier this year.

I think we have Vintage on both 87.6 and 88.0 in western Sydney at the moment.

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As well as 87.8 Penrith.

Thanks for the info, dxnerd. Mount Riverview is about 50km from me, still quite a distance for something that’s licensed for 1 watt.

The Air FM website (and web stream) still seems to be live. Has it just been on auto-pilot? Or is someone else running it now?

https://airfm.com.au/

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I’m seeking confirmation from @Radiohead or any other Novocastrians- is 1692 kHz Radio Symban receivable in the daytime there? I’m trying to help some overseas DXers locate the origin of this transmitter. It’s received quite strongly here at night and has been heard in Finland.

We believe the tx to be located at Maryville, a suburb of Newcastle. Radio Symban also has licences at Bungendore and Campbelltown (Wedderburn) on this frequency but both of these are inactive.

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Interesting, it’s been a while since I’ve checked AM off band stations, we’ve only ever had Hospital Radio here I think on 1629, but I’ll try at lunch time today and let you know.

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I can confirm that Radio Symban 1692 is transmitting from Wedderburn near Campbelltown.

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It’s off air totally now.

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Apparently 1575 Wollongong is running carrier only atm. Hopefully it will switch off entirely soon, which would enable reception of 1570 and 1580 from the Illawarra coast.

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It’s actually been totally off air for about 3-4 weeks now, possibly more, I got busy with work & totally forgot to post about it.

I haven’t had the time to go to the site & see if they’re doing anything with it though, hopefully they’re doing a complete renovation & installing a new TX, it certainly needed it.
Not that I’d listen to SEN very often, but maybe if they did a complete reno, Newcastle would have 801 reception back as good & as strong as it did when it was 2GO?
Rete Italia on 801 was supposed to be for CC & Newcastle, but due to the degradation of the site, it was more or less not achievable reception in Newcastle, unlike the old days, when 2GO reception was as good as the locals & many people around Newy used to listen to it instead of 2NX or 2KO.

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Yes, these days 801 isn’t much clearer than commercial Sydney AM stations here.

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Thanks @dxnerd @Radiohead and @RFBurns for contributing about Chittaway Point and Windang.

Nearmap as of Tue 22 Oct still show three masts (US engineering idea at the height of the 80’s prosperity to have three masts?) at Chittaway Bay. Not detonated or dismantled since?

Now to the site ownership. I recall mentioning to look it up, but life’s priorities intervened.

The Chittaway Point site was transferred in June 2018 to Gumnut Nominees (company registered in Brunswick West Vic). Rete Italia is in Victoria Street there. 6.5Ha.

The vendor is Comcast Pty Ltd, their registered address suburb is Sth Melb. SCA registered office also there.

Sale price? $0.

Either it was flicked to them or NSW allows a value to be transferred without the registry recording it.

For interest, Comcast still own 2GO’s 4696m2 site at Henry Parry Drive. Sold to them for $1M on 16 July 1995.

(Above details all publicly available data)

Just like many do with Star 104.5 and was it Gawndy from Sea/Hit who mentioned the overspill and north of Central Coast audience in an interview?

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It works both ways though not to quite the same extent.

Newcastle commercial FMs have very good reception in that area in a line from about Bluehaven down to Bateau Bay, but pretty much once you get past the Wyrrabalong Trig / Cromarty Hill TV TX site, it drops off pretty quickly, as from that bearing the signal output from Sugarloaf drops from 20kw to 2kw.

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The 801 frequency has a bent radiation pattern, pushing most of the signal in towards the Gosford CBD, thus the reason for 3 masts, you couldn’t phase 2 masts to get that sort of a radiation pattern.

When they are working properly, I’m pretty sure all 3 are active radiating elements of the antenna array, unlike 2NM who also have 3 masts for their particular radiation pattern, but I believe one mast is passive, in by way of it re-radiating RF in a particular direction after being inducted by the other 2 active masts.

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With the V8 Supercars on this weekend here in Newcastle, the narrowcast V8 racing station is on again on 96.1.

Coverage again limited to inner Newcastle suburbs, once out to New Lambton Heights, The Edge dominates again

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A poor frequency choice given the sammich between 95.9 Port Stephens and 96.3 Coast/JJJ, not to mention CCI from Edge. Tons of room down the low end I would have thought.

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