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Manchester DAB retune
Monday, 16th May 2016
BBC Radio Manchester and Key 103 DAB stations move channel

Digital radio listeners in and around Manchester will notice that their BBC station Radio Manchester disappears overnight on 24th May, as the local DAB ensemble covering the city and surrounds moves from channel (or block) 11C to 12C to give improved coverage across the area.

As the move is taking place overnight, if you set your clock alarm to wake to a local DAB station, you'll need to prepare an alternative alarm to wake up to on 25th May, as DAB digital radios won't automatically find the new home of BBC Radio Manchester, Key 103, Key 2, Key 3, Heart, Gold, Capital FM, Asian Sound Radio, Absolute Radio 90s and Smooth Radio on local digital radio if you haven't retuned overnight.

You'll need to retune your DAB digital radio during late evening on 24th May, or early the following day to be able to continue to listen to the above stations carried on the multiplex serving Manchester. Re-tuning can usually be done by pressing the 'autotune' or 'scan' button on your radio, but we've comprehensive advice on our FAQs page. Older DAB radios may require you to perform a 'full scan' or 'rest-of-the-world' scan to include 12C in the search.

You can also retune anytime from 25th May 2016 onwards, if you find that the station you want has a question mark in front, e.g. ?Key 103.

The bundle of stations carried on the local Manchester DAB multiplex is moving frequency from channel (block) 11C to 12C and digital radios aren't quite clever enough to search out stations' new homes by themselves.

The affected stations are BBC Radio Manchester, Key 103, Key 2, Key 3, Heart, Gold, Capital FM, Asian Sound Radio, Absolute Radio 90s and Smooth Radio.

Manchester local DAB radio stations are carried on transmitters at Sunley Building, Sutton Common and Winter Hill. As part of the channel move, Winter Hill will see its power increase; two new transmitters at Littleborough and Saddleworth will also be powered on, giving 395,000 additional households the chance to hear the Manchester DAB bundle.

The retune will not affect those listeners receiving the above stations on FM, MW (mediumwave), or online. Stations broadcasting on national digital radio bundles are unaffected, as is the Manchester superlocal mini DAB trial on channel 10B. If you want to try and pick up the stations throughout the northwest, try a full retune of your digital radio, as most DAB radios won't normally quickscan frequencies at the upper or lower end of the DAB range, such as 10B.

Listeners are advised to re-store presets on their radios, after retuning to pick up the new frequency for the bundle of stations This can usually be done by holding down the preset button for a few seconds, after selecting a station.

To receive DAB digital radio services, you need a type of radio designed to pick up digital broadcasts over the airwaves through its built-in aerial. We've links to good models on our pages, or scroll down the page for some quick links to both DAB and wi-fi receivers.

DAB digital radio logo

Related links:
Manchester radio stations, on this website.

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