A very simple is to
rotate the radio to the direction of the transmitter. The WLCR
transmitter is located just east of Shepherdsville KY. In the
average AM home radio the antenna for AM is a coil located in the rear
of the radio. This coil has several hundred feet (remember the
longer the better) wound around an iron core. If you are having
reception problems sometimes simply turning the back of the radio
toward Shepherdsville will do the trick. For our listeners in
Oldham County the back of the radio should be facing approxintely 210
degrees (SW). For our listeners in Shelby County pointing
approximately 240 degrees (WSW) should do the trick. Listening
from downtown Louisville locations can sometimes be a bit
trickier. The wave may not get to you the strongest in a
straight line. You may be able to better receive from a reflected
signal. So turn that radio around a bit until the signal peaks.
If you're listening from southern Indiana pointing the radio south will
help peak the signal for you.
If none of these tricks work for you there are some other
solutions. One possible solution is to amplify the incoming
signal. One of the amplifiers found on the internet is the 'AM Advantage
There are several products similar to this one so look around and read
the details. One draw back from using amplifiers is they amplify
everything including the noise. So if noise is your problem...
locate and eliminate the noise before you spend the dollars for the
amplifier. (By the way WLCR has no connection with the amplifier
Receiving AM radio while mobile can present it's own special
issues. Modern cars are electrically noisy and the quality of
the AM receivers in the car market has decreased over the years.
It seems that there has been significantly more attention
paid to the FM side of car radios rather than the AM side. And it
matters little how high end or low end your car can be. You can
be driving a BMW or Chevrolet or Mercedes and each can present its' own
reception issues. Two of the largest noise makers in a car are
electric fuel pumps and electric fan motors. If you are experiencing a
continuous noise in AM reception the culprit is more than likely one of
the above. If the problem changes in intensity as you accelerate
or decelerate the problem is engine related. It could be anything
from the alternator charging the battery to parts of the anti-lock
brake system. Most auto manufacturers can provide
information on noise suppression techniques.
Occasionally there will be that irritating intermittent noise.
This can be from a number of sources but commonly come from wiper
motors, air conditioning compressors or even your cell phone. The
first thing to do is to locate the culprit, then look for a
solution. One of the most common fixes is to place a .01 uf
capacitor from the positive lead of the device to ground. This
should be done only by someone "in the know". If you hook things up
incorrectly damage to components can result. If your signal comes
and goes, especially while sitting still, check the antenna
connections. With the constant motion of the vehicle things get
worn, torn and frayed. The tighter the connections and cleaner
the contacts the better the reception and the less noise introduced
into the system.
Also quite often the noise doesn't interfere with the radio at all but
with the speakers. This can be fixed by using shielded cabling
from the speaker outs on the radio to the speakers themselves AND place
a .01 uf capacitor across the speakers leads. This will hopefully
shunt any extraneous signal off the coax speaker wire back to
ground. And the same is true in the mobile installation as in the
home or office, the larger the antenna (also known as capture area) the
better the signal.
Hopefully this has assisted in resolving some of your reception
issues. If you have a continuing problem you can email our local
noise geek and maybe a little one on one explanation will help you hear
and enjoy WLCR. Our radio noise expert can be reached by clicking HERE.
This page is a work in progress, check back occasionally for more hints
and tips to better hear AM radio.