TUNE-IN to Hope FM
Hope FM broadcasts live in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) areas of Dorset in the UK. But is is possible to listen anywhere in the world via its streaming output. You can also listen to Hope FM via radio apps such as TuneIn, either directly on the internet or via apps on your Smart devices. This page provides advice on how to do this.
Tune-in via Local FM Radio
All community radio stations, like Hope FM, have a regulatory limit to their broadcasting power because they are only intended to cover their local area. If they were more powerful they would interfere with similar stations in nearby regions. So their broadcast signal is considerably lower power than that of more powerful radio stations covering much larger areas. For this reason it can sometimes be tricky to tune-in to community radio stations if you are near the borders of their cover or if conditions are bad. This note will help you to overcome these problems. Be aware, however, that certain weather conditions (such as high pressure) can affect FM reception of low-power signals.
Tune-in on your home radio
This probably requires a radio with a proper roof aerial (as opposed to a portable radio). You need to do this manually as opposed to auto-scan (because auto-scan will ignore lower-power signals, wrongly assuming they are outside your area). Once you have locked-on to 90.1 FM then preset the station so you can find it easily in the future.
If you cannot find the station, the best solution is to change the direction in which your roof aerial is pointing. The Hope FM transmitting aerial is on top of a building in the main Bournemouth University campus, so aim your aerial for that, then try tuning-in again. (You can use an ordnance survey map to check the correct bearing to the university.) Changing the direction of your aerial is unlikely to prevent it picking up the strong signals from more powerful radio stations like the BBC. Another solution is an aerial-booster.
If you happen to be in a borderline area, or have a poor FM aerial and the stereo signal is took weak for good listening on 90.1 FM because of background noise or fading, consider these options.
If your receiver gives you the option of switching to 'mono' then try that first. Mono does not require such a strong signal and this could remove reception problems under most weather conditions. Or you could try manually off-tuning to 90.15 FM to also improve reception by sacrificing the stereo signal. (This worked for me when I lived in a poor signal area of Southbourne. Be aware that whereas 'HOPE FM' may appear on you radio when tuned correctly to 90.1 FM, only the wavelength will appear if you off-tune.)
Tune-in on your car radio
Most good car radios can pick-up the 90.1 Hope FM signal within the BCP area. You need to manually tune-in rather than rely on auto-scan, as explained above. Once the station is found, set-up a preset. Car radios that preset with a button usually just require you to hold that button in for a few seconds in order to achieve that. (More modern radios make this much more tricky! Read the manual.) I can pickup Hope FM throughout the target BCP region and beyond: including many areas of the New Forest, Ferndown, Wimborne, Highcliffe, Ringwood, etc.
If you have a problem, I suggest you drive into central Bournemouth where the signal is stronger, tuning-in manually there and then preset the station. After that you have it! (We are not yet on DAB radio, but most car radios operating on DAB switch to FM for a stations such as ours.)
Tune-in using an App
If your are not in the Hope FM's local area you can still get this radio station via most Smart TVs or speakers, or the internet, using the TuneIn App and searching for '90.1 Hope FM'. Or download the Hope FM app to your mobile device or use the Catch-up website facility to listen to a recent show you missed. (See how on my Radio page).
streamWriter: schedules radio recordings
'This one is only for those who are 'computer savvy'. It is a way of listening LIVE to - or recording - just about any radio show that is available on the internet. The only snag is that the app is a bit tricky to get to grips with, does not have a very helpful user guide, and a 1-hour recording takes a whopping 57,000 Kb of your memory. (To put this into context, a typical image takes under 1,000 Kb.) So a 1-hour sound recording uses as much memory as over 50 pictures. But, so long as you DO NOT try to use it on your phone or tablet, and have a decent amount of memory on you laptop or PC, storing recordings like this is no problem. Just be aware of what you are doing. (And don't leave it there forever!)
I use streamWriter to record shows - and very good it is too! You may think it looks a bit suspicious and 'foreign' when you go through the download procedure, but I have never had any problems with it (technical or financial), and I have been using it since 2017.
There is a Help section available from the menu, but this is not very extensive, so here are a few tips for use after you have downloaded the app. With the 'Streams' tab selected in the left-hand division, use the 'Browser' tab in the right-hand division and search for '90.1 hope fm' (or any other station). Select it from the search list, make sure that for Hope FM it is showing our logo (there are OTHER Hope FMs in the world), and it then becomes listed in the left-hand 'Streams' section - ready for use.
Once a station is listed on the 'Streams' tab you can play it live using the upper control buttons, or right-click the station name to set-up a scheduled recording (either on a specific date or a regular basis). To record, of course, you have to have streamWriter actually open on your device at the relevant time. You can subsequently find the recorded show using the left-hand 'Saved Songs' tab.
CAUTION: Make sure you do not leave this app recording longer than you intend or it will gobble up your memory really fast!