Save analogue Radio

I was thinking of launching a campaign to save all of our lovely radios we are currently using but this campaign seems excellent please support it – Save Analogue Radio campaign

A National Campaign to maintain essential traditional analogue broadcast radio for everyday listening and for use in times of national emergencies

The pressure is on to replace traditional analogue radio broadcasting with Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) radio.
Indeed, the UK Government has provisionally set 2015 as the date when the world wide standard frequency modulation (f.m.) services are to disappear from the Band II 87.5 to 108MHz (v.h.f. f.m. band), to be replaced with DAB radio transmissions.
Eventually, the analogue services on long waves (198kHz) and medium waves (500kHz to 1.6MHz) will also be replaced by digital transmissions.
Obsolete radio receivers:
Several million non-DAB equipped radio receivers could be made obsolete, if the Band II plans are implemented – requiring people of all income groups to purchase new receivers. The ‘digital effect’ is already apparent as very few manufacturers now produce analogue-only receivers.
Practical considerations and technical difficulties:
Unfortunately, the Government’s plans don’t take into account the large number of practical considerations and technical difficulties involved with the present forms of digital transmissions – particularly when radio broadcasting is involved because of the ‘digital delay’ effect (known as Latency). The problems are likely to be difficult to overcome because most listeners use portable receivers, utilising simple antennas (aerials).
So, in response to the Government’s proposals I am planning to organise a national campaign urging the Government to retain analogue broadcasting on Band II v.h.f. f.m. and on long and medium waves, while maintaing the DAB radio services on Band III.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you need further information on the complex problems that are in store for the radio listener in the UK – if the Government’s seemingly ill-considered plans proceed.
Thank you.
Rob Mannion, G3XFD
Dr. R. B. Mannion G3XFD
Editor Practical Wireless magazine

Related URLs
Peers warn of backlash fears over digital radio
The government could face a public backlash over its plans to switch national radio stations over to digital transmission, peers have warned


Author: wirelesswaffle

A radio enthusiast from the UK - but also includes humour and comments on a wide variety of subjects including music and photos. A hobby site

8 thoughts on “Save analogue Radio”

  1. “Wireless Waffle”, is a generically apt title for this Blog – but here it finely focuses on the truth of the matter – it is precisely “Waffle”!

    Digital Radio is the vector that is desperately needed to:-
    * Re envigorate the UK’s sadly dying Radio Industry
    * Provide a raft of new and interesting, IP based services to the audiences
    * Deliver New Marketing Revenue to the Radio Stations and Groups from new Advertisers
    and mediums (Slide Show, Text etc)
    * New National, Regional and Local Radio Stations.
    * Huge Savings in Carbon Footprint / cost from the enormous savings in Transmitter power

    Digital Radio is good news to every one – except perhaps the larger radio stations / groups who may be wary of the number of new players who will gain carriage by virtue of the large amounts of additional “Slots” that will become available once analogue is turned off.

    Digital Radio has the power to improve broadcasting services, coverage and content – and to simultaneously reduce costs to all concerned – so why on earth would anyone wish to start a campaign to stop the implementation?

    Yes – I am an industry “Insider” – hence the “Inside Knowledge”, – rather than the usual gues work delivered on DAB by all and sundry.

  2. Thank you for your comment on the campaign to save Analogue Radio.

    If you read the posting my comment was not waffly but merely stated “I was thinking of launching a campaign to save all of our lovely radios we are currently using but this campaign seems excellent please support it – Save Analogue Radio campaign”

    The rest of the commentary was by Robb Manion, and it did not suggest that digital radio was bad, he asked for digital radio to be retained along with analogue broadcasts.

    I am also someone with working experience in broadcasting, but not on the engineering side. I personally embrace all platforms of broadcasting and have three digital radios and one portable dab radio. I find it frustrating that they all need good aerials to receive most stations. Chill comes into my area of NW London with an error rate of 20 which plays well on my Pure Evoke Radio, in one position in the house. Digital signals are much lower in strength than FM. People who live in other areas, one in particular Suffolk are lucky to receive anything other than the BBC stations on Digital One. Many people feel that digital radio is at too low a bit rate and therefore prefer the quality of FM. I do not subscribe to this thought as an avid listener of speak and music radio. One thing I do not like is the nasty glitching noises, resulting in loss of programme when listening to digital stations in certain circumstances.

    I have owned three digital wi fi radios and do find that I have a choice of over 2000 radio stations on that. I have traded them in over a period of three years and my current radio is a Clarus Plus which has FM, DAB and Internet, and also plays music and speech off my pc. This form of radio seems superior to any terrestial broadcast, but of course is not portable.

    If only the companies that produce digital radio can pump out more kilowatts of power to avoid the glitching then Digital will catch on and really work!!!!

    Overall though my comment was that I did not want all of my analogue sw, scanners etc to become useless relics in the house.

    The government/ofcom wants to sell the FM and AM band air space to the highest bidders. They wish to foist dab radio on the public in its current form which is not able to reach the total publication due to its low powered multiplexes.

    Ofcom and the broadcasters use excuses like saving the carbon footprint,but they are saving money on masts and transmitters. They offer no solution to the public other than buy a radio to listen to dab radio. I understand many FM transmitters are getting near to the end of their life and need replacing.

    Ofcom wish to make money out of reorganising frequencies. The broadcasters are cheesed off having to broadcast analogue and digital programmes.

    I think the solution is to keep both analogue and digital radio, and to avoid duplication of stations on either network. Listeners need more choice not the same stations on every platform.

    Once again please support the campaign. I do not want everyone's radios to become useless – and more selfishly mine!

  3. Keep Analogue we have a choice don't we? should we not have a say in what we want?
    Just another way of getting us to part with our hard earned cash on this techno babble. I say If it works leave it alone.

  4. DAB is being imposed not just in order to sell off bandwidth but to gain control of those who can broadcast. It raises the technical and therefore financial threshold of those who see the niche for a broadcast medium and would quite rightly, in my view, exploit it. It is a reduction of diversity and also a reduction of portability. Essntially a way of kicking the radio medium into the long grass, so people will just use the internet radio or the TV! Neither of which can beat the current FM system for efficiency, quality or accuracy (latency issue).
    It also introduces 'churn', we dump this generations radios (I still have valve sets for very good reasons), then we dump the DAB radios and move onto DAB+. Then what? If a system works DO NOT BREAK IT. Viva Greg Dyke – the man was a duffer but at least his dimwittedness might well mean FM radio lives on!

  5. I agree with Paul Frank Darlington, that digital radio is being forced on us. The coalition should hold a referendum on the issue.

    Thanks to all so far for comments – I look forward to more debate on this issue.

    You may be interested in the digital Britain issue you may like to look at

    They seem to be saying FM will still be used – I for one will be using my legal fm mini transmitter to relay programmes to my old analogue radios.

    Recommendations for small local services
    Providing options for a tier of small-scale radio stations
    9.1 There is very little spectrum left for new community radio services, while many small-scale commercial services are struggling financially and a number of them may close.
    9.2 This tier of radio services is currently not expected to be part of any digital migration plan. These stations would remain on FM/AM unless an alternative digital distribution method is found. A migration of DAB to DAB+ may provide an answer for some of these stations in the future but is unlikely to be suitable for all.
    9.3 It is worth noting that these stations currently account for less than 5% of all radio listening but they nevertheless make a valuable contribution to local communities.
    9.4 In the event of digital migration we would expect that these stations will benefit from the availability of freed-up spectrum, allowing any community that wants and can support such a station to have one. But in the meantime we need to ensure that this tier of small-scale stations has sufficient flexibility to maximise their chance of success in serving their audiences.

  6. Many many thanks to Dr Mannion for starting this camapaign. I agree with everything that's been said above. All I would add is to refer people to a Guardian letter written by a music professor explaining how DAB sound quality is inferior to analogue – 29/05/2010:'DAB radio threatens sound achievements'.

  7. Analogue radio is real, digital radio is unnatural. When a human being listens to an analogue signal through an analogue radio it is recognised as a natural expression of something real, whereas the digital equivalent is perceived as a ‘lie’: plastic, manufactured, a thing masquerading as something it isn’t. This has a negative psychological impact. There are appropriate applications for digital technology, but sound and visual playback are not amongst them.

    1. Digital Radio, DAB is a flawed system I agree, just like the tape wrap system which was adopted for VHS video, just like the cds that they reckoned would never get damaged. Digital means no signal no sound, or less strength of it a nasty noise. I am interested in the programmes and presenters of stations. Buy yourself a legal small FM transmitter and plug it into your MP3 player and listen to that if they take everything off FM. So sad is the number of world broadcasters who have left the short waves. I disagree however that is has a negative psychological impact, but respect your view, you are not alone.

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