Newcastle Radio


2HD wants 90.5 translator into Belmont North


Emboldened by their Toowoomba success the Bill and Al caravan of quasi conversion rolls into Australia’s seventh largest market.

Under ACMA’s heading Discussion of proposal, the reasons given are all very similar to what has happened surrounding most urban AM sites.

Applying this logic, why did 4BC go to considerable expense to shift sites and to a less favourable site. No FM infill. ACMA was quite clear none would be offered.

Homebush Bay sites have development within the drop zone of AM masts. Significant absorption of ground wave.

ACMA imply modifications to the existing site are impractical or won’t resolve the coverage deficiencies. On what grounds? Install TX capable of an appropriate power increase during the day, review what is required at night.

Appendix A

The map is curious. Both the CRC and ITU predictions show coverage stops well before the 2.5 mV/m contour and there’s more of the licence area to go, including plenty of highway coverage missed on the F3.

Appendix C

In other directions, looking at outlying towns; Buladelah, Dungog, Singleton, Paxton and valleys of the Hunter in between, coverage must not be too good in those locations either. Urban noise within towns and surrounding industry, over 100km of highway and byway coverage missed too, esp at night.

Other thoughts

This proposal needs to find a different allocation that is not a Sydney sub metro allocation. ACMA’s suggestion of an advisory note that it’ll be interference limited to 60 dBμV/m. Find a clear channel, postpone this until the whole region is reallocated.

If 2HD need infill here, they’ll need one later for the F3 region I described plus the other areas. Port Stephens already on air. Very inefficient use of spectrum.

Beyond the scope
Market priced FM conversion cost. Old NBN 3 audio carrier and clear the rest either side.

Create a mechanism of recent sale multiples commensurate to market size, market revenue or actual comparable station revenue. Choose one or all objects. Open process. No excuses of ‘commercial in confidence’ to hide behind. Good luck with the latter.


I wonder if the Central Coast stations would have concerns with this proposal as the area in question lays very close to where the Gosford LAP boundary is.


90.5 is somewhat coincidental as there is still a pirate on that frequency here.

I am 5km from the Belmont North TX site with a perfect LOS, so I will be interested to see how this goes, if implemented.

It will also mean an end of any Dx reception of Alive 90.5 from Parramatta during tropo.


That’s covered in the explanatory document, it uses the precedent that Rob Gamble and co achieved with their reasoning for changes to 96.1 Gympie, (the ones they didn’t go through with).

Overspill is expected if it means it covers within the area.

The prediction maps show only small overspill into Gosford’s licence area, there’s a lot more remaining of the Newcastle area below the 2.5 mV/m contour that receive no benefit from this proposal. In theory.

We all know that Caralis translators seem to have special qualities of far exceeding the predictions.

I’m surprised there’s not more discussion about this proposal. What do people think? Will it get up? Will SCA oppose it as in Toowoomba?


Yes, it’s plausible that it could constitute a quasi FM conversion for 2HD in the Lake Macquarie area.

Re Overspill, I don’t think 90.5 would cause anymore overspill into the Gosford area than the Mt Sugarloaf stations do, which have strong coverage down to Forresters Beach and just north of Wyong on the Old Pacific Highway.

Conversely Gosford stations overspill into the east side of Lake Macquarie to a similar level.


I can’t get the ACMA Radcom database to load, maintenance?

Many of the supposed ‘problems’ are not what they seem.

There’s a mention of a 1.8km freeway through the TX site. ACMA notes the licensee gave list of examples of development in the past decade. This is one of four points.

This is not true, no land was resumed for the long overdue Newcastle inner city bypass extension. There is an AM TX site due west of the project that is untouched, I watched the ‘movie’ of Nearmap aerial images from 2010 to present and that site was not disturbed.

‘No radials were harmed in the making of this road’


Hmm, I think I might put in a submission against this.

Whilst I’m all for making radio reception better, I think this will more benefit BOG rather than the listener, & it’ll just clog up the FM band more.

I don’t think it’s what it seems, & if they do what they should, & replace the ground radials around the mast that has deteriorated (not due to the highway passing through the site either), then they’d be in a better situation.

If they get this up, ACMA should also grant translators at the same site, for similar reasons for the ABC AM services & SBS AM.

The thing is though, around the Belmont North, Floraville, Jewels area, where this would serve the greatest, the FM’s from Mt Sugarloaf are far more difficult to receive, than the Newcastle AM services including 2HD.

The DTV translator at this proposed site was installed due to poor reception from Mt Sugarloaf, the FM’s are in the same boat as TV, so they should get a translator here too.

I drive Belmont to Sydney every day, & can say that while 2HD is reasonably poor from Blacksmiths, & South, it is receivable to a listenable standard all the way to Sydney, & even receivable in parts of Sydney during the daytime, because the deteriorated radials let the signal “float” over the local licence area, & land further afield.

When I’m traveling pre-dawn, 2HD gets hammered moderately by 4HI Emerald, from around Belmont South, but this is negated as I travel further South, & 2HD comes good again around the Sparks Rd interchange on the M1 (F3), which is outside the Newcastle licence area, & about where the Newcastle FM’s start to drift into obscurity.

The Port Stephens FM translator is easily received at the 2HD studios at Sandgate & up into Maitland, it’s also receivable in & around Newcastle city, this Southern translator would cover the Southern half of the RA1 area, meeting the Southern edge of the PS translator, giving 2HD a full coverage quasi FM service around Newcastle.


The Upper Hunter could do with more FM stations. Maybe Bill should be told to f**k off.


Exactly my thoughts.

Yes, knew the bypass construction made no difference.

What we have here is the typical commercial AM site in 2018: underinvestment.

You’ve seen guy ropes become poorly maintained and damage masts in Wagga and Gordonvale plus many other sites which have not had their opex budgets looked after sensibly.

I’ve noticed the same problems with 2HD’s coverage, it is all about underinvestment in the site.

You don’t have to be a retired or now dead guru of AM site engineering, simply commonsense and a suitable budget.


Guys regarding the 2HD submission, I need (would like) to find how long ago I posted in Media Spy about information I had received, about 2HD doing field signal strength tests, & them coming back weaker than past tests, with it being discovered the 1143KHz Earth mat had deteriorated, & that was causing the lower power output radiation levels from the mast/antenna?

It would’ve been in the old forums site, somewhere between mid year 2010 & mid year 2013?
I’ve tried a few archive sites, but can’t find it.

Would anyone happen to recall, is it etched in your memory, or anyone know an archive site that might have all posts archived for that period?

These signal/reception issues have been going on at 2HD for quite sometime now, & the station have known about the problem & cause, now they’re trying to make out issues are only recent & blaming unrelated things for it, I want to call them out on the BS.


Which ones so we can try alternatives?

I do remember the discussion, reduced efficiency.


I’ve tried,, &

They have some MediaSpy pages archived, but not all & unfortunately not the ones I want.


Don’t know if this would count as Newcastle Radio or not because I heard this on Power FM from Muswellbrook. Their Saturday afternoon programming must be pre recorded because I heard the presenter mention that they were giving away tickets to the upcoming Knights vs Roosters Voice for Mining day then went on to mention that that evening the Knights were taking on the Eels and mentioned he was a Parramatta supporter.

One problem. Sounded like they must’ve used the recording from last week cause it was like a time warp back to the prevous Saturday


Doesn’t surprise me that it’s prerecorded but you’d think it would have been done a day or two before and that they would have scheduled the current/correct recording.


It’s a horrid station anyway, but I thought they’d at least proof read everything.


Have the novo’s changed their line up again?
Sophie Tiller leave?


Sophie was sacked about a month ago.


Only lasted a few months then?


Hilarious! Sophie was sacked!?!?! From a Caralis station!

What for?

Well done for listening, did you find the station by accident? I see zero marketing of the station which considering, I guess is a good thing.