FM Radio Reception in North Devon

The digital switchover which affected TV viewers recently is not applicable to FM analogue radio transmissions at present. There are no plans to switch off analogue FM radio broadcasts in the foreseeable future despite various articles in the press recently about the digital radio switchover. So you can enjoy FM stereo clarity for many years yet.

Most cars only have FM radios – only the newest models featuring a DAB option.

The quality of a good signal strength FM stereo station is actually far better than its digital counterpart on DAB as the stations on DAB are compressed so they can fit more stations into the broadcasts.

North Devon is well covered by FM stations – the main BBC national transmitters for the area (giving BBC Radio 1-4) are North Hessary Tor on Dartmoor, and Wenvoe in South Wales.

North Hessary Tor is an FM analogue radio transmitter located near Princetown, Dartmoor in West Devon. It supplies BBC Radio 1 on 97.7, BBC Radio 2 on 88.1, BBC Radio 3 on 90.3 and BBC Radio 4 on 92.5. It also carries BBC Radio Devon on 103.4, and Classic FM on 100.0. This transmitter is strongest in land and particularly south facing inland parts of North Devon.

Wenvoe is located near Cardiff in South Wales, and provides the northern parts of North Devon with a very good strong signal – around the north coast, Hartland, Clovelly, Mortehoe, Ilfracombe, Combe Martin, Lynton, etc. BBC Radio 1 is on 99.5, BBC Radio 2 is on 89.9, BBC Radio 3 – 92.1 and BBC Radio 4 – 94.3.

There are various BBC national relay “fill in” transmitters located around North Devon, these are the Barnstaple FM transmitter, near Holmacott between Bideford and Barnstaple on the A39, which supplies the BBC national stations, BBC Radio 1 – 98.1, BBC Radio 2 – 88.5, BBC Radio 3 – 90.7, BBC Radio 4 – 92.9.

Combe Martin has its own BBC national station relay, the Combe Martin FM transmitter, located on the side of Clorridge Hill, overlooking the coastal village of Combe Martin, supplying the narrow winding high street and Berrynarbor with BBC national FM reception. BBC Radio 1 is on 98.7.

Huntshaw Cross FM transmitter near Great Torrington, North Devon relays the Devon version of Heart, on 96.2 MHz. Also BBC Radio Devon on 94.8 which covers most parts of North Devon away from the coast.

North Devon has its own local radio station, called The Voice FM, which is a true local station designed for the North Devon community. It transmits in Barnstaple, on 106.1, and in Bideford and Ilfracombe on 107.8.

Other stations which are out of our area but can be received in favourable parts are: BBC Radio Cornwall, on 95.2 and Pirate FM 102.2 from Caradon Hill near Liskeard in Cornwall, BBC Radio Wales on 103.9 from Wenvoe, Capital South Wales on 103.2 from Cardiff, Bridge FM on 106.3 from Bridgend, Radio Pembrokeshire on 102.5, and Exeter FM on 107.3. Heart Wales is on 105.7 from Presely in West Wales.