Penrith AM narrowcaster requests TX site change

The ABA is proposing a change to the transmission site and radiation pattern for the Penrith open narrowcasting service on AM 1476 and is calling for comments. A site change has been requested by the licensee, Penrith Open Narrowcasting Licence Partnership (PONLP).

ABA Chairman David Flint says:“The successful bidder for the service has had difficulty in securing a suitable transmission site and the proposed change in site and radiation pattern will allow the licensee to begin implementation of the service.”

Before reaching a final decision, the ABA is interested in receiving comments on the draft variation by Friday 13 February 2004.

The ABA determined the Sydney radio licence area plan in December 1999 making channel capacity available for an open narrowcasting service to operate on the old 2KA AM frequency.

The 1999 licence area plan re-allocated 1476 kHz to operate with the same technical specifications previously used by the former 2KA service with a maximum power of 500 Watts.

In 2002, the licence for the Penrith open narrowcasting AM service was sold to Penrith Open Narrowcasting Licence Partnership (PONLP), which explored more than 15 sites before requesting the change. AM sites are difficult to find in Sydney because of the requirement to have larger blocks of land, with suitable conductivity characteristics.

Ray Rumble from the PONLP group told radioinfo: “The originial site was at the Emu Plains Correctional facility administered by the NSW Correctional Service. That site is no longer available for leasing as a transmitter site, hence our need to relocate the location. The new site is at Luddenham, 13 kms SE of Penrith.

PONLP’s new proposed site is located just outside the boundary of the original licence area plan.

Under the ABA’s technical planning guidelines the change of nominal transmitter site is permitted “within the confines of a licence area,” but this current request will test just how flexible the ABA is willing to be on this issue for the same of 600 metres.