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AM Radio fading into history
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Old 25-01-2023, 10:12   #1
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AM Radio fading into history

A significant point has now been reached in the “passing” of AM radio, as Bauer have now given up Absolute Radio’s national AM licence. This means the 1215Khz (247 metres) frequency that originally bought BBC Radio 1 into our homes & cars will fall silent for the last time.

AM listening now only accounts for 2% of listeners, with most BBC local radio closed on AM, & former ILR AM frequencies dwindling.

I still have a well used AM radio in the car. It’s permanently tuned to Radio Caroline, which, while miles away from their Orfordness AM transmitter still gives reasonable reception here in Hertfordshire. I suppose you could call this a “heritage” service by them now, as to me all the crackling & hissing of weak AM radio is something that has always been associated with listening to the early pirate stations.

Last edited by nodrogd; 25-01-2023 at 10:25.
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Old 25-01-2023, 11:48   #2
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Re: AM Radio fading into history

My only distinct memories of AM are it being on in the car on our way to or from holidays and being overcome by static every time we went under power lines (that would have been Radio 2 on medium wave) and Atlantic 252 on long wave in the late 80s and early 90s, which for some reason was preferred over radio 1 amongst most folk I hung around with, and even the bloke who drove our school bus.

“I listen to the best music on long wave radio, Atlantic 252” … (no longer)
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Old 25-01-2023, 12:55   #3
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Re: AM Radio fading into history

I remember Radio 1 on 247 in my early cars, and something on about 1500 meters ?

I believe Radio 5 is still on 693/909, I last had that on in the car just before the pandemic.
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Old 25-01-2023, 13:06   #4
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Re: AM Radio fading into history

My wife used to listen to French LW radio stations, despite all the pops and whistles. When her radio died, I could not find a decent portable radio with LW.

She now uses a Bluetooth speaker linked to her mobile phone, working on the home wifi. Also a mains-powered internet radio in the kitchen. Perfect quality, but she says she misses the poor quality of LW!

I don't think I've tuned to an AM station in decades.

According to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, AM and FM broadcasts will continue to at least 2030.
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Old 25-01-2023, 13:17   #5
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Re: AM Radio fading into history

Quote:
Originally Posted by nodrogd View Post
A significant point has now been reached in the “passing” of AM radio, as Bauer have now given up Absolute Radio’s national AM licence. This means the 1215Khz (247 metres) frequency that originally bought BBC Radio 1 into our homes & cars will fall silent for the last time.
Do you have the right info?

BBC Radio 1 did broadcast where Talksport is broadcasting from right now on AM 1089 - In Central Scotland anyway.

As I did pick up the tests for Absolute Radio - then called Virgin Radio on AM 1215.
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Old 25-01-2023, 14:04   #6
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Re: AM Radio fading into history

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Originally Posted by Media Boy UK View Post
Do you have the right info?

BBC Radio 1 did broadcast where Talksport is broadcasting from right now on AM 1089 - In Central Scotland anyway.

As I did pick up the tests for Absolute Radio - then called Virgin Radio on AM 1215.
I did say originally. 1215 was first used as “infill” for the light programme, as the long wave frequency used for most of the country was very poor in places like London. When Radio 1 launched more transmitters were added, but large parts of the country still remained poorly served due to the interference restrictions of just using one frequency. European frequency replanning in 1978 gave the BBC the chance to give Radio 1 more prominence & they were given the 1089 & 1053 frequencies previously occupied by the World Service & Radio 4 respectively. 1215 was then given to Radio 3, vacating 648 KHz for World Service use. Radios 2 & 4 swapped the remaining frequencies, the former occupying 909 & 693, the latter moving to long wave.

The BBC gave up use of 1215 for the launch of Virgin Radio in 1993.

Last edited by nodrogd; 25-01-2023 at 14:07.
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Old 25-01-2023, 14:10   #7
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Re: AM Radio fading into history

Quote:
Originally Posted by nodrogd View Post
I did say originally. 1215 was first used as “infill” for the light programme, as the long wave frequency used for most of the country was very poor in places like London. When Radio 1 launched more transmitters were added, but large parts of the country still remained poorly served due to the interference restrictions of just using one frequency. European frequency replanning in 1978 gave the BBC the chance to give Radio 1 more prominence & they were given the 1089 & 1053 frequencies previously occupied by the World Service & Radio 4 respectively. 1215 was then given to Radio 3, vacating 648 KHz for World Service use. Radios 2 & 4 swapped the remaining frequencies, the former occupying 909 & 693, the latter moving to long wave.

The BBC gave up use of 1215 for the launch of Virgin Radio in 1993.
Due to being a 1981 baby I did not know that - thanks for info.
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Old 25-01-2023, 18:53   #8
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Re: AM Radio fading into history

I'm a bigger fan of LW. Fantastic if you're at sea and like cricket
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Old 25-01-2023, 19:13   #9
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Re: AM Radio fading into history

think the last time I did anything with AM was illegal CB Radio
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Old 25-01-2023, 19:39   #10
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Re: AM Radio fading into history

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Originally Posted by Jaymoss View Post
think the last time I did anything with AM was illegal CB Radio
Those were the days, even when they legalised FM, we still kept on AM as well.
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Old 28-01-2023, 16:34   #11
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Re: AM Radio fading into history

Still have fond memories of listening to radio Luxembourg in the evening on an am pocket radio as a teen. IIRC around 1.5MHz. No matter how much power they put up the mast, eventually 1 megawatt, it always suffered from fading due to reflections off the ionosphere.
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Old 28-01-2023, 17:07   #12
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Re: AM Radio fading into history

| used to drive past the Radio Luxemburg transmission station quite often. You could tell you were getting close when all the radio harmonics started swamping all the other stations.

247khz also 208khz.
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Old 28-01-2023, 17:21   #13
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Re: AM Radio fading into history

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taf View Post
247khz also 208khz.
Metres rather than Khz.
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Old 30-01-2023, 04:09   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by nodrogd
A significant point has now been reached in the “passing” of AM radio, as Bauer have now given up Absolute Radio’s national AM licence. This means the 1215Khz (247 metres) frequency that originally bought BBC Radio 1 into our homes & cars will fall silent for the last time.

AM listening now only accounts for 2% of listeners, with most BBC local radio closed on AM, & former ILR AM frequencies dwindling.
Thats very sad....... I love AM radio.... I always have!!


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Old 05-02-2023, 13:24   #15
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Re: AM Radio fading into history

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris View Post
My only distinct memories of AM are it being on in the car on our way to or from holidays and being overcome by static every time we went under power lines (that would have been Radio 2 on medium wave) and Atlantic 252 on long wave in the late 80s and early 90s, which for some reason was preferred over radio 1 amongst most folk I hung around with, and even the bloke who drove our school bus.

“I listen to the best music on long wave radio, Atlantic 252” … (no longer)
Atlantic 252 gave long wave a real boost as the waveband was seen as on its way out. It changed radio forever with its mix of contemporary pop at a time when Radio 1 wasn't that trendy and youthful and ILR wasn't exactly thriving. Within a few years of its launch, Radio 1 was transformed and ILR on FM started to follow a similar format to Atlantic 252. Consequently, the long wave giant stopped being listened to due to people being able to listen to the same sort of output on FM.

As for AM, that waveband also got several boots at the same time when firstly ILR stations had to launch a separate AM service and then the arrival of two national commercial stations on AM plus Radio 5 and 5 Live.

---------- Post added at 13:21 ---------- Previous post was at 13:20 ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul View Post
I remember Radio 1 on 247 in my early cars, and something on about 1500 meters ?

I believe Radio 5 is still on 693/909, I last had that on in the car just before the pandemic.
5 Live is still very much alive on AM although it is rumoured that this won't be the case forever with a possible switch-off of 5 Live on AM by the end of the decade.

---------- Post added at 13:24 ---------- Previous post was at 13:21 ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by nodrogd View Post

The BBC gave up use of 1215 for the launch of Virgin Radio in 1993.
Correct - it was forced to do so by the Government.

The resulting issue was where test match Special was to go. In 1992 it was broadcast on Radio 3 FM, in 1993 the morning's play was on radio 5 with the afternoon coverage on radio 3 FM and by 1994 it had been moved to radio 4's long wave frequencies where nearly 30 years on, it remains.

Also at the same time, a number of BBC Local stations lost their AM frequencies. Some such as BBC GLR, BBC GMR and BBC WM, were given to commercial radio but others such as BBC Radio Cleveland's AM frequency, were, for some unknown reason, were never reused.
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