Improving Your Reception
With Frequency Modulation ("FM") radio, signals travel line of sight and become weaker with distance from the transmission source. Your receiver's antenna must be able to "see" our transmission antenna, near Fairbanks, Louisiana. Distance from the KEDM transmitter, the nature of the receiver antenna, obstacles, weather, and interference from other stations or electronic devices can all negatively impact the ability to receive a quality signal.
Common Analog Radio Reception Problems
Multi-path Distortion - Occurs when KEDM's signal reaches your radio receiver from multiple paths. This can happen when radio waves reflect off objects such as buildings or terrain, and can come about whether you are close to our transmitter or at some distance. Your receiver picks up both our direct signal and a slightly delayed reflection. When traveling in an automobile, multi-path distortion can result in short signal interruptions as the vehicle moves, sometimes at rapid intervals -- radio technicians refer to this as "picket-fencing." There is no cure for this type of interference. Multi-path distortion can also alter particular sounds: the "s" sound might come out as "shhhh." With a stationary receiver, such as in your home, multi-path distortion might cause the station to "drop out" in one particular location; moving the receiver or antenna, even slightly, can correct the problem.
Weather - Under some conditions, when a weather front passes through our region -- particularly one involving a rapid change in temperature -- a distant station can take KEDM's place on your radio receiver's dial. This is a temporary condition that will pass with time -- perhaps a few minutes, or even a few hours.
Weak Signal - The further your radio receiver is located from our transmitter site, the more your reception will be degraded. A weak signal will result in static, hiss, or intermittent fading. If your receiver is equipped with the proper control, try switching your radio from stereo to mono.
Co-Channel or Adjacent Channel Interference - Adjacent channel interference is caused by an FM station which is close in frequency to the station being listened to. It can sound like a twittering noise in the background. This problem is usually only apparent on FM stereo but if the interfering station is very close in frequency the effect may also be heard in mono.
Electrical Devices - Some poorly designed electrical devices emit radiofrequency energy, interfering with broadcast radio stations, including FM stations. Certain types of fluorescent lighting fixtures are particularly known to create such interference. The only solution is to replace the offending electrical device.
Maintenance - We attempt to schedule maintenance work on our transmitter during off-peak listening hours; however, equipment rarely fails on schedule and sometimes we must work on our transmitter at other times. We are also required by Federal Communications Commission rules to reduce the transmission power of the station whenever workers are near our antenna, whether for work on our stations or on other stations that share our tower.
Improving Your Reception
- If you have a portable radio, move it to a different location in the room, or re-orient the antenna near a window. Metal structures inside of walls can reflect and cancel out FM signals in the area of your radio's antenna. Keep the antenna in the clear for best results.
- Several receiver manufacturers use the power cord as an antenna. Move the radio's power cord around and straighten out its length.
- If you have a wire dipole antenna -- a flat, T-shaped wire -- attached to the antenna terminals on the rear of your receiver, check to see that it's fully extended. Next, try changing the orientation of the antenna -- it should be broadside to the station you are trying to receive for the most effective performance. If it is vertical, change it to horizontal. If it is horizontal, try vertical.
- Outside directional antennas -- similar to outdoor television antennas, and available from a variety of retailers -- can be used to increase the signal strength received. Orient the outside antenna toward the KEDM transmitter site, not toward the station's studio location.
- For listeners outside KEDM's urban coverage area experiencing a weak signal, an amplified antenna can boost the signal received. Note that in the presence of a stronger FM signal reception can be degraded.