Why do FM radio stations end in odd numbers?


LAST UPDATED: July 17, 2019 by Ryan M

FM Radio Dial

FM radio stations end in odd numbers to prevent interference. The reason they are odd numbers rather than even numbers is that 1 (odd number) is the first number we start counting from, not 0 (even number).

FM radio stations in the U.S. transmit in bands between 88.0 megahertz (MHz) and 108.0 MHz. Inside this band, each station occupies a 0.1 MHz (100 kilohertz (kHz)) section. Each of these sections starts and ends on odd number boundaries.

This means there can be a radio station at 88.1 MHz, 88.3 MHz, 88.5 MHz, and so on. Skipping over the even-numbered radio stations (88.2, 88.4, 88.6, etc. ) was done by the FCC to prevent radio stations from interfering with one another. Radio stations that are only 0.1 MHz (100 kHz) apart tend to bleed into each other more often.

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  1. Many countries have radio stations that end in even numbers.
  2. Radio waves take about 8 minutes to travel from the Earth to the Sun.
  3. The word ‘broadcasting’, referring to radio transmissions, was originally an agricultural term used to describe the wide scattering of seeds.

  1. HowStuffWorks – Why do all FM radio stations end in odd numbers?


  1. Hi
    I have a rogue nissan 2017 with nav audio system, baught it in the states and shipped it all the way to middle east, the issue of odd numbers really annoyig me,is there anyway to fix it?

    • I don’t know, but I can research it and let you know.

      Are you saying you have it in the middle east now and they don’t use odd numbers over there? It doesn’t work because of this? Is that what’s going on?

      I know places in Europe use even numbers.

  2. Should also mention that the FM frequencies also have channel numbers, starting with 88.1 as ch. 201 and 107.9 as 300.
    Now a couple of other interesting answers are why they didn’t use the channel numbers like they did for TV (VHF and UHF frequencies), or assign them at all for AM.

  3. I think you are incorrect. They could easily be 88.0, 88.2, 88.4, etc.

    I heard years ago that the reason is so they do not end in 0 as that would cause confusion with AM frequencies, such as 900, 910, 920, etc.

    Many times radio stations advertise their frequencies and having the same digits for both AM and FM would confuse the public.

    This is much more logical.

    • Thanks for the feedback. If you can find valid source materi for this I’d be happy to update it. I posted what I found based on my research. Thx


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