Narrowcast and AM Narrowband Radio


No this is received Day and night. Its loud and clear at midday as at night


88.0 FM in the Penrith and Hills areas is broadcasting a smooth/classic hits type format. There are no announcements just continuous music. It is very much mainstream music and I can’t see how it could fit into a narrowcast licence. 88.0 FM was previously used for Cool Country before it was shutdown.


88.0 “The 80s” Penrith is received at full strength here in the southern suburbs with my 8 element Yagi. Driving in the Blue Mountains a couple of weeks ago, the signal peaked at Glenbrook whilst suffering from multipath descending to Emu Plains, so I think it’s transmitting from Mt. Riverview. Mobile reception is excellent as far SE as the Elizabeth Drive/M7 interchange, with spotty reception until just east of the M5 tollgates.


Apologies for the bump.

Here’s a video of the newly minted "Air FM", broadcasting to Penrith on 88.0 MHz. Keen observers will note that a community station by the same name held court in Penrith in the 1990s, with a later, brief incarnation on 87.6 MHz around the start of the new millennium.


An interesting article on Radioinfo about Air FM 88.0 in Penrith, in which its drive presenter will have his 100th show tomorrow.

Read here:


I’m not knocking the achievement, 100 shows sounds like a lot, & you’d think it’d be a grand thing to achieve, but I’m wondering why in this case, this is news?

He presents a drive show on a narrowcast station, that in all honesty probably has a few hundred listeners at most?

He also presents the program 7 days a week (which is possibly voice tracked automation on some days, which would literally take 30 mins to put together?), & that means he’s reached that milestone in just over 14 weeks (3.5 months).
Your average (5 day a week) commercial jock, ABC presenter & some community station presenters, tick off another 100 shows every 20 weeks.

He’s been around the business for a long time (according to the article), but he’s a newbie to the program at 14 weeks, which made me laugh at this statement

McErlain has told radioinfo his longevity demonstrates the station’s determination to supply content that strongly appeals to a local audience

Only thing I can think is, it’s supposed to be 1,000 shows & it was a typo (done multiple times)?

1000 shows would be a milestone, & he could then claim the quoted statement, because that’d be almost 2.75 years to achieve at 7 days a week, outlasting many 2DAYFM breakfast jocks.


I looked at his Facebook page and it is 100 shows, there’s no typo.


I wonder what’s the point of having a ‘drive’ program when your radio station’s transmission range is so short? Those who drive for longer distances would have gone out of reception range within a song or two, and those who commute locally won’t listen for a significant amount of time before they’ve arrived at work or home.


Radioinfo has a tendency to cover otherwise insignificant press releases, hence this article.

In other news: Indian language Radio Rhythm is now broadcasting to Melbourne on 1656AM, presumably replacing the Greek language Rythmos which is now carried on DAB+ under Pacific Star management. Radio Rhythm is also heard on 1053AM in Brisbane and 1692AM in Perth.


What happened to the Italians in Bris on AM 1053? Their stick was on the Abruzzo Club surrounded by great swamp/flood plain originally and then they took on the old 4BK site at Tingalpa owned by BA and used by 4RPH.

They’ve never used an off band NAS licence either.

But you’re assuming they’re not transmitting more than their licensed power. Many LPONs do.


Nail, head, etc.

The station in question can be comfortably heard whilst mobile from the lower Blue Mountains in the west to Casula in the south-east. I dare say that they would reach Parramatta as well. They can be heard perfectly well here with an external Yagi some 40 odd km from the transmitter site.


Hang on, so the Greek station on 1656 is now DAB only?

Don’t they have a transmitter somewhere else?


Definitely overpowered; same with the former Cool Country LPON that occupied those frequencies. I can get 88.0/88.7 MHz on my car radio (though with co-channel interference) in the Sutherland Shire.


So is 88.7 now Cool Country? I thought it was Vintage FM in Penrith-Camden, but up here near Newcastle, I can only get 2MWM Radio Northern Beaches from Bilgola Plateau on that frequency on a regular basis.


No, it’s still Vintage FM in Camden.

Just heard on an ID via 88.7 that Vintage FM is now broadcasting to the Southern Highlands on 88.0.


No, I just meant that 88.0 and 88.7 used to be Cool Country; they’re now occupied by Vintage FM. Where I am in the southern suburbs, 88.7 is a mix of Vintage and 2MWM. An LPON shouldn’t reach anywhere near that far if they were broadcasting at legal power levels.

I’ve been able to receive Vintage on 88.0 for a while now; not sure why they’re only just advertising it now.

Edit: Had a closer listen to 88.0 MHz and caught an ID – it’s actually “Air FM” where I am, playing similarish music to Vintage FM, which is why I just assumed it was Vintage FM. Caught a “Vintage FM” ID on 88.7 MHz, so that one is definitely Vintage FM.


After struggling to find out data about the LPONs around Sydney, I’ve tried to map out them out based on ACMA ownership data. Where I can’t figure out what a LPON is broadcasting, I’ve just put the ACMA owner name. Corrections welcome.

87.6 MHz:

87.8 MHz:
The one I missed in the Blue Mountains is also Vintage FM.

88.0 MHz:

Questions I have:

  • 87.6 at Cronulla has the same owner as the other Radio Austral stations, but it’s not listed on their website, so I’m not sure if they’ve rented it out. There seems to be a website for ‘Radio Cronulla’
  • Not sure about the 87.6s owned by Sande around Liverpool, but given the area, I’d assume they’re VOI stations?
  • Not sure what 87.6 at Oberon is transmitting (owned by Ian Munro)
  • Similarly, can’t find details about what the Bathurst Broadcasters owned 88.0 is at Oberon
  • 2ST seems to own 88.0 in the Southern Highlands, but I can’t find any info about it - I assume it’s a Kix relay?
  • What are the stations owned by ‘Craig Allen’ running?
  • Have all the Futrends (former Cool Country) stations become Air FM? I know that the Penrith one has
  • Is Noise FM is active?
  • I found 3 different websites for the 88.0 signal at Bondi, not sure what’s actually on
  • Not sure what the 88.0 in Wollongong is; I assume an ethnic language station
  • I’m not sure if all the Vintage FM transmitters are on air, because they don’t list nearly as many on their website.


Thanks for that!

I had always wondered where the RAW FM that I am getting on 87.8 was coming from… its not a local one as 2NN Oldies is also received on 87.8 and it comes from New Lambton Heights in Newcastle, which is only a few kms from me.

I didn’t realise that they had THAT many transmitters on the Central Coast, I just ran another query on 87.8 and it LOOKS like there are also possibly a RAW TX on the western side of Lake Macquarie as well (Freemans Waterhole).

There are 2 other 87.8 entries for Fishing Point and Morriset (both also on the western side Lake Macquarie) but they have a different owner to the Freemans Waterhole one (which makes me think they are broadcasting something else).


The first thing to note is that many operators hoover up LPON licences within a certain geographic area but simply operate a single licence with illegal wattage; Voice of Islam, Raw FM, and Radio Austral are all good examples of this.

I can answer a few of your specific questions with some authority:

  • 87.6 Cronulla used to be a tourist information station many years ago (mid-90s). There are two Voice Of Islam txs receivable here, one of which may be from Cronulla. Radio Austral has never been on 87.6 at Cronulla.
  • Oberon has a tourist information station on either 87.6 or 88.0- I can’t remember which. This is operated by Bathurst Broadcasters (2BS/B-Rock).
  • 88.0 MHz in the Southern Highlands was ‘Classic Gold FM’; now it relays Vintage FM from Camden.
  • Craig Allen runs 88.0 MHz in Penrith (Air FM); he may have links with Vintage FM as well. I know he relayed the Vintage FM signal for a while during the first test broadcast of his ‘Ozy Radio’ shortwave licence.
  • Noise FM was active many years ago in the Hawkesbury region but I’m fairly certain it has been inactive for many years; @Mechsta may know more about this.
  • 88.0 MHz Bondi folded a few years ago as ‘Bondi FM’: there was a Bondi FM cafe at one stage. It was reactivated at one stage but I’ve not heard any signal from them in a while, even at Clovelly Beach.
  • 88.0 MHz in Wollongong is a Macedonian station, possibly ‘Radio Hertz’ which was on 100.7 MHz before the LPON restack.


Noise FM has not existed since about 2000 from memory in its last form.