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Neil Jones5,008 posts since 23 Dec 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today
It never occurred to me to check that Classic FM uses different frequencies around the country because, well its not my cup of tea and all the advertising I've ever seen for it must have been local for me to think it was on 100.1 across the country. Learn something new every day, thanks for that Very Happy

I did spot last time I was tuning around in other regions the BBC national networks all follow the same pattern near enough - if you can find Radio 2 on a frequency, then the next two national networks will be 2.3Mhz up from the previous one. From Sutton Coldfield Radio 2 comes in at 88.3, Radio 3 90.5 and Radio 4 92.7. Presumably that's deliberate?
Inspector Sands13,277 posts since 25 Aug 2004
It's not a coincidence, but I couldn't tell you exactly why. It'll be because the stations are all combined together and transmitted from the same aerials the maths needs to be exact. This will be the case for radios 2-4 and then presumably radio 1 followed the same pattern.

I've had a look round one of the big stations and the way the 4 stations are combined is just odd rf magic, bouncing signals back and forwards. I'm sure someone can fill in the maths
Neil Jones5,008 posts since 23 Dec 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today
yeah I meant to say, Radio 1 seems to be 6.2Mhz up from Radio 4 across the country, so from Sutton Coldfield its on 97.9, so its at the lower end of the advertised frequency range for each network.

I'm going to presume there was a competition reason why Radio 1 didn't get lumped in at the bottom end of the FM spectrum with its peers, as you have that entire 88-95 section for the BBC stations, a gap for commercial networks (or some local BBC stations in some areas depending on where Radio 4 ended up), Radio 1, Classic FM and the rest of the spectrum for everything else.
VMPhil9,295 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
I think it's just that there wasn't any space by then, because they had to wait until the police and emergency services vacated the 97-99 part of the band so Radio 1 could have a national FM frequency.

This Wikipedia article has a nice table showing which parts of the band are assigned to who. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FM_broadcasting_in_the_UK

Whilst we're talking about frequencies, when Radio Merseyside launched in 1967 they advertised as being on '95.85'!
Inspector Sands13,277 posts since 25 Aug 2004

I'm going to presume there was a competition reason why Radio 1 didn't get lumped in at the bottom end of the FM spectrum with its peers, as you have that entire 88-95 section for the BBC stations, a gap for commercial networks (or some local BBC stations in some areas depending on where Radio 4 ended up), Radio 1, Classic FM and the rest of the spectrum for everything else.

Because the FM band was smaller than it is now. The sub bands used by Radios 2-4 date back to the 50s when it ended at 94Mhz. Then the new local stations in the 60s and 70s went above them up to 97ish Mhz. The next bit allocated was 100-106 in the late 80s early 90s and the next wave of stations appeared there as well as being extra/new frequencies for the older BBC locals and ILR stations.


When Radio 1 went onto FM in the 90s it went into the 97-99 gap which until the late 80s had police radio on it. It couldn't go above Radio 4 because there were stations there already and there was no room below Radio 2.

Classic got 100-102 but there are some locals in their band too, some of these pre dated Classic such as Kiss 100 in London. There are fewer oddities in amongst the BBC's

Incidently the last block of the band to be released for broadcasting was 106-108. When it was being decided what to do with this there were calls for it to be a new commercial national network, in particular what was then Virgin Radio were eyeing it up. It didn't happen though
Neil Jones5,008 posts since 23 Dec 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today
Incidently the last block of the band to be released for broadcasting was 106-108. When it was being decided what to do with this there were calls for it to be a new commercial national network, in particular what was then Virgin Radio were eyeing it up. It didn't happen though


Although with the later simulcast broadcast to London on IIRC 105.8 and the later 105.2 to the West Midlands (which they eventually got rid of and replaced it with something else), they did eventually get a portion of it albeit only for one region long term.
james-20014,484 posts since 13 Sep 2015
Central (East) East Midlands Today
Whilst we're talking about frequencies, when Radio Merseyside launched in 1967 they advertised as being on '95.85'!


I think there are some countries where FM stations are allocated at 50kHz increments, and a fair few FM radios tune by that increment too.

Whereas in the US FM stations are on 0.2MHz gaps, only on odd numbered decimals, for some reason.

Reminds me as well my great aunt had an old radio from the 60s or 70s that only tuned FM between 88-104, obviously before the higher frequencies were available.
Inspector Sands13,277 posts since 25 Aug 2004

Reminds me as well my great aunt had an old radio from the 60s or 70s that only tuned FM between 88-104, obviously before the higher frequencies were available.

My grandparents had a radiogram with 4 dials for VHF presets, and they all only went from 88-94. It was in the house till we sold it in the late 90s though I think had been used just as a sideboard for years.
Inspector Sands13,277 posts since 25 Aug 2004

Although with the later simulcast broadcast to London on IIRC 105.8 and the later 105.2 to the West Midlands (which they eventually got rid of and replaced it with something else), they did eventually get a portion of it albeit only for one region long term.

Yes, I do wonder if that was a factor to them getting the 105.8 license. Though they did have to do local programming on it as part of that license. Originally an opt out in the early evening, then 7-10pm, and at one point I think 10am-7pm were different presenters in London.

Neither are/were simulcasts, London's always had split travel, jingles and ads as did the West Mids version.
Last edited by Inspector Sands on 26 January 2019 10:08am - 2 times in total
james-20014,484 posts since 13 Sep 2015
Central (East) East Midlands Today

Reminds me as well my great aunt had an old radio from the 60s or 70s that only tuned FM between 88-104, obviously before the higher frequencies were available.

My grandparents had a radiogram with 4 dials for VHF presets, and they all only went from 88-94. It was in the house till we sold it in the late 90s though I think had been used just as a sideboard for years.


Yes, that radio had several separate dials for presets too (again, only going up to 104). Wasn't a radiogram though, it was just a portable sitting in the kitchen.