Geek Melbourne

3AW’s switch

It must be a logistical nightmare to change the frequency of a well-established radio station. 3AW changed this morning, from where they’d been (more or less) since 1935. They say they’re doing it so they can provide better reception across Melbourne.

I did actually tune-in to 3AW this morning for the changeover. It consisted of Ron Barassi making an announcement and supposedly pulling a switch, and a sound effect of a changeover… but in actual it did nothing, as 3AW kept going on 1278, and had already been broadcasting on 693 (I tuned there 10 minutes earlier).

The actual change would have been at 10am when Magic 693 took over 1278. Because it wasn’t really a move, it was actually a swap with their stablemate, who presumably drew the short straw, since they’re not only getting a poorer reception frequency, but they also were off-air while 3AW had a three-hour overlap period. Magic specialises in nostalgic music, as proven by their web site, which features a supposed Cheapest Fuel Prices update claiming you can buy petrol for 89.5 cents per litre.

As for the station itself, I don’t really like 3AW. Someone must, as it rates highly, but I find the announcers too shouty, the coverage too sensationalist, and the ads… my God, the ads… the ads are monotonous. Why would you put up with that when there are ABC talk stations with (almost) no ads?

Now, I wish ABC TV channel 2 would switch frequency, since theirs is subject to so much interference. I still have a plan to upgrade my TV antenna to the super-dooper one I got several years ago (currently sitting on the back porch) and/or get a digital set top box (since ABC TV digital is on the much better channel 12).

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

10 replies on “3AW’s switch”

Don’t think a digitial box will solve your ABC problem Daniel. We can only get ABC via our box when it’s raining despite perfect reception on every other channel. Standard reception is hidden by a screen full of static.

I tuned in early afternoon just to check that it had happened. I caught the 1pm news and it was good to have a brief weather report first, because you sure wouldn’t want to wait through the ads for the full version at the end of the news bulletin. They were excruiating. The program presenter had an awful voice too. Maybe Ernie Sigley? I know maybe three people who listen to 3AW and they fit the stereotypes perfectly. It also seems to be a favourite of shop owners.

Tried a set top box last week and took it back. Did not really help ABC TV reception really, although the sound was better for all stations, but you have the tv at a much higher volume. Not worth the bother.

Daniel you need to build a HTPC which digital tuners and Webscheduler so you can set program records from work :) Go digital, go digital, go digital. Once you try it you’ll never go back.

In most cases you can use your existing antenna, however if your existing antenna is up the duff then you may still need a new one.

Check out for heaps of info on digital TV. :)

If you actually click on the 89c petrol prices link, you will see it is much more than that. For ‘Moorabbin’, which is the closest district to your area Daniel, the cheapest price is 133.7 in Edithvale. Umm, well I don’t think that is perticularily close to ‘Moorabbin’ as it claims ;) :P

The only time I will listen to 3AW is if there are major sports events being broadcast. Cannot stand Neil Mitchell. The most arrogant, opinionated prick on radio but then again I never listen to Alan Jones or John Laws and I think they would probably give him a run for his money. On the odd occasions where I get stuck listening to it in someone elses car I always feel like nodding off.

Well that is the end of Magic’s reception in Geelong. 1278 is noisy and has a lot of interference on it.
Magic’s programming is mainly oldies music.
Looks like I have only the two ABC stations to listen to now.
Channel 2’s TV frequency must be the worst available. Snowy is Geelong too.

get the digital set top box ! worth it for all the extra channels – love ABC 2 the digital channel that replays some pretty good programs and showcases programs that would not be played on normal ABC – besides they have more ABC Kids programing – saviour in the school holidays. Best investment we’ve made in a long time – just get a cheap digital set top box and try it out.

I bought a cheap TEAC standard definition STB and am running it through rabbit-ears!!! I can’t believe it actually gets pretty good reception, with only rare 1-2 second drop outs. ABC2 is a great saviour when you feel like a bit of tele and there’s nothing on (I guess that’s pretty much all the time!)



we have a two-tuner HDD recorder (a topfield 5000PVRt) which I recently upgraded by putting in a 250GB hdd … you need to have pretty good analogue reception to start with for good dvbt reception unfortunately – although our flat (on Princes Hill, with !@#$$%@#!@# LINE OF SIGHT with the transmission towers) had a TV antenna socket it appeared to be completely unconnected to anything in particular so analogue TV was terrible.

I had someone in for a demo and he took one look and said ‘no way’ … this pissed me off no end since I’d kinda built it up for myself, so went out and bought a $14 pair of rabbit-ear antenna and stuck it in the window which improved the analogue reception no end … then bought the topfield anyway … :)

We bought it just before Eurovision last year, so it’s probably about a year and a half old or so – now we’ve moved to East Brunswick I needed to buy a proper antenna and ended up getting an Italian-made log periodic antenna which is tuned for digital reception and so won’t get analogue ABC at all … that’s not been a problem so far though

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