TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: What Happened To Channel 1

Re: What Happened To Channel 1

Paul Coxwell (
Sat, 19 Mar 2005 23:52:03 -0000

> This may have been another reason the FCC dropped Channel 1: too
> much interference. Back in the 50s, during the sunspot peak, there
> were a LOT of instances of some Channel 2 in Texas wiping out
> Channel 2 in NY. It happened, IIRC, mostly on Channel 2, and rarely
> on Channel 4. Channel 1 would have been worse.

Here in the U.K. we had a TV channel 1 right up until the closure of
our old 405-line service in 1985. The main transmitters on ch. 1 were
Crystal Palace (London), Redruth (far southwest of England), and Divis
(Northern Ireland), although many other low-power relays (transposers)
also used it in other parts of the country.

Channel 1 was still using the same frequencies as the original pre-war
BBC service: Video carrier on 45.0MHz, sound on 41.5MHz. It was
certainly much more susceptible to interference, although all the VHF
"Band I" channels (1 through 5, extending up to about 67MHz) could get
hit by signals from Continental Europe when conditions were right.
The hot summer of 1976 provided many instances of such interference
during the long summer evenings.

It was quite common during the 1970s for the BBC to put up
announcements between programs telling people "Do not adjust your
sets." As Independent TV used only the "Band III" channels (starting
at ch. 6 from about 174Mhz upward), it was generally less affected
than the BBC.

> There was such a huge amount of misinformation running around among
> the CBers. I couldn't believe some of the things they would say and
> I can't imagine where they were getting information like that.

It was the same over here. I took in CB repairs for several years,
but one of the reasons I dropped CB work in the end was that I was
getting more and more fed up with (a) getting nowhere trying to
correct the horrendous misconceptions that were around, and (b) having
to put right sets in which every darned preset and coil had been
interfered with before somebody decided it needed repair and brought
it to me.

One incident sticks in my mind of a guy who had me fit a crystal
I.F. filter in his set. It improved the receiver's selectivity no
end, but unfortunately, he wasn't at all happy. Apparently all his
buddies had the modulation on their transmitters cranked up so far
that with his improved receiver they now sounded terrible (and keep in
mind that the British CB service uses FM). There was just no way I
could convince him that the filter was doing its job exactly as
intended and that he should tell his friends who were splattering over
about three channels either side to get their deviation with limits.

I wouldn't even like to guess at how many sets came in with the
calibration pot on the meter turned up to maximum by somebody who
actually thought he had increased his RF output that way. Even when a
transmitter did have the output tuned up a little higher, you were on
a losing battle trying to convince most of them that going from 4 to 5
watts carrier power isn't going to make a huge difference and that
raising the antenna or replacing the coax with something less lossly
would have a far greater effect, not to mention improving reception as


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