Though FM stations may suffer poor reception, they are not as common as the poor AM radio receptions. There are several reasons you suffer from poor AM radio reception at home; the most prominent among these are electrical interferences. Many people believe that placing their radios near electrical appliances are the reasons why their radio suffers poor AM signals, you don’t have to do this to see such problems, switching off your electrical appliances close to your radio may be a good way of reducing electrical interference.
So, how do I Improve AM Radio Reception at Home?
One of the most effective ways of boosting AM radio reception on your radio is to install an external antenna and place your radio with its rear side facing the outside.
Why Do You Suffer Poor AM Radio Signals?
Most of the poor AM signals recorded are not due to the radio themselves but due to interferences with the antenna. Each type of AM broadcast signal has different features and can be affected by varying conditions.
The AM signals are characterized by low frequencies, and these signals by bouncing back and forth between the ground and the upper layer in a zigzag motion. Each type of AM broadcast signal has different characteristic features, and the zigzag movement pattern will cause the signal to travel farther and even create stronger signals far from the radio.
In addition to the electrical signals, bouncing patterns of signals affect AM radio signals; this bouncing pattern will cause the reception to fade under bridges and tunnels before reaching the home.
Types Of Sounds Associated With AM Radio Interferences
The hissing, crackling and buzzing noise of radio signals can be very annoying, and it will make you get off your seat and start adjusting the antenna until you get a slightly manageable signal. The process of adjusting signals may not always work. In some cases, you may be unable to tune your radio after extending the aerial fully, and you start moving from one location to the other.
Fortunately, there are some tips and tricks you can use in getting a much better AM radio signal. The following are sounds associated with different AM radio interferences;
1. Hissing Sounds
Hissing sounds are associated with weak signals. Your radio starts making this type of sound as a result of being too far from a transmitter or when there is a large structure between the radio and the signal path. Perhaps the best possible way to deal with this problem is to install an external antenna. You may also want to place your radio close to the window to improve signals- This option may be inconvenient in most cases.
2. Distorted Sounds
These sounds are characterized by “s” and “z” sounds, and sometimes they may lead to a sort of “shhh” sounds. These sounds are caused when the signals transmitted to the radio receiver use multiple paths. The cross-interference between the hills and hills and collision with interfering signals. If this is the issue you constantly face, you may want to install a rooftop antenna.
The rooftop antenna will only pick up the direct signals from the transmitter of the radio station. It will also avoid reflected signals that bounce over nearby landscapes and buildings.
Other Types Of AM Radio Interferences And Their Possible Solutions
In addition to the annoying sounds caused by AM radio signal interferences, there are several other kinds of interferences that can reduce AM radio signal receptions, and the likely solutions are provided.
Twittering is a type of AM radio interference that occurs when your home, car, or workplace is very close to a radio transmitter. This can cause the radio signal to become overloaded. Fortunately, dealing with this situation can be easy.
You may want to purchase an attenuator and plug it between the aerial and the aerial’s socket. This will help resolve the twittering in no time.
Buzzing sound is a sign of electrical interference with your AM radio signals. This interference is likely coming from an electrical appliance sitting not too far from the radio. You may want to switch the appliance off or move it to another location. Alternatively, you can resolve this issue by moving your radio to another location further away from the source of interference. If the interfering appliance is heavy, perhaps, moving your radio away may be your ideal option.
What Appliances Or Devices Affect Your AM Radio Signals At Home?
There is a wide range of domestic appliances that can cause electrical interferences with your radio’s AM signals; however, some are more prominent with this issue than the rest; TVs, vacuum cleaners, fluorescent lights, microwave ovens, smartphone chargers, electric blankets, Christmas lights, scanners, electronic bug zappers, monitors and computers, electrostatic air purifiers, electric motors, incandescent lights, and ultrasonic motion detectors, are just a few of the appliances that can cause electrical interferences with radio signals.
Confirming that one of these appliances, or others not mentioned, is very easy to cause radio signal interference. For instance, you can get your radio closer to a microwave oven to discover if it is the cause of the interference. You need to pay attention to whether a buzzing sound increases as you move nearer an appliance.
If moving closer to an appliance to detect interferences is not an option because the radio does not operate on batteries, there is another way you can go about it. You can switch off the appliance one after the other until you discover the one responsible for the signal interference.
In some cases, you may have some radio signal interference where the culprit appliance cannot be switched off. Devices like hard-wired smoke detectors, faulty electrical switches, aquarium heaters, and automatic yard lights, for instance, cannot be switched off because they are interfering with radio signals. In situations like this, the best you can do is to find means of maximizing your radio signal receptions.
Improving Your Radio Signals At Home- Things You Should Purchase
If you don’t want to switch off an appliance interfering with your radio signals, there are some add-ons that can help boost your radio signals; these are;
Trying a better antenna is one of the best ways of boosting AM radio signals at home. The costs of antennas vary considerably but be sure you don’t compromise on quality. Just before you get a new antenna, check your radio to see where it has the input for AM antenna. If it has an antenna port, look for a wire about a foot in length and attach it to the AM input and see if it improves the AM signals.
If you try this and it doesn’t work, then you may want to consider an AM antenna booster or a loop antenna to boost reception. A loop antenna is just a normal radio antenna that is shaped into a loop, and this shape helps the antenna receive signals more efficiently.
For the best result, you should position the loop antenna in a direction where it can be rolled in the direction of the station. You may want to ask for a dedicated AM radio station if you happen to pass by an electrical repair shop.
Keep in mind that you still need to sort out those issues causing interferences at home; these interferences may affect radio signals regardless of the quality of your antenna.
2. FM Transmitter
Using an FM radio transmitter is another way of improving the quality of your radio signals. This transmitter will turn the FM signals into the AM signal before transmitting them.
All you need to do is plug the transmitter into your radio, but keep in mind you will have to use two radios to make this work much better when the second radio picks up the signals from the transmitter after you attach the transmitter to the first. You don’t have to turn on the radio that the transmitter is attached.
3. Timed Radio Recording
Timed radio recording is another way of getting better signals. This option particularly works when your favorite radio programs are aired during the day. This means you need to record the day’s programs while you work or sleep and then listen to them in the night when you are back home.
You may want to use an automatic timer for this purpose. Use the timer by plugging the radio-tape recorder, then into your anti-burglar timer that is connected to a wall socket. With this set-up, your timer will be your radio’s power source.
You will have to set the on-switch to be that time your program starts. The off-switch must be set to the time the program’s recording ends. It would be best if you left the play and record buttons on simultaneously to ensure that the program is recorded within the stipulated time frame.