Radio Frequency Interference (RFI)
Can’t get a good signal?
An Alternative - Divine Mercy Radio programming is also streamed on the Internet. By visiting our website and clicking the 'LISTEN' button, you can listen to WETC, Catholic540, on your device. You can copy the following URL without the quotes: "http://wdmr.stream.miriamtech.net:8000/live" and paste it into any Internet Browser which will permit you to receive the audio stream. Or, you may select a radio player from the Google Play Store. Two examples are Replaio Radio and CustomRadioPlayer. Copy and Paste this URL into that player and receive the stream: "http://wdmr.stream.miriamtech.net:8000/live".
We are in the process of developing a WDMR Radio App for Android and Iphone. It should be available in Late January, 2021.
Let's learn about Radio Frequency Interference (RFI).
We must tell it like it is. We hear your concerns which are our concerns.
When we purchased WETC in 2018, the daytime power was only 4000 watts, the nighttime power was 500watts. We increased the daytime power to 10,000 watts before we began broadcasting EWTN Catholic Radio. WETC is a daytime/nighttime station. What does that mean? That means the radio frequency radiated power by the radio transmitter must be reduced from 10,000 watts during the daytime down to 4400 watts in the evening at sunset. Increasing the nighttime power from 500 watts to 4400 watts was the result of your support during our 2020 summer fundraising effort. The power remains at 4400 watts until the sun rises the next day when it will increase back to the full licensed radiated power of 10,000 watts. So you see, the area of reception will be significantly less during the night time hours but it is equivalent to the daytime power at date of purchase. To see a map of our daytime radiated power, visit our HOME page. For a full schedule of power hours, go to our FULL POWER Chart.
I remember, prior to the development of FM radio, when the only radio receiver was an AM radio. I fully know what to expect while listening. The issue is not specific to WETC. It is an integral part of AM radio transmission. FM stands for Frequency Modulation. AM stands for Amplitude Modulation. Our radio station utilizes a directional antenna field with a pattern positioned Northwest to Southeast. As an AM broadcaster and an AM listener, we must accept and be aware that the AM radio band is sensitive to RFI or radio frequency interference which is generated by any Electromagnetic radiation device. This relationship makes it difficult to receive AM under certain circumstances. The question is, “What can we do about it?” A good place to start is to learn by visiting Wikipedia and searching on RFI or Radio Frequency Interference.
The WETC Catholic 540AM transmitter is located near Wendell, NC. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves which travel perpendicular to the antenna field. Any Electromagnetic radiation device that is located perpendicular to the radiated radio waves between your receiver and the transmitter will produce interference. If you move the receiver in your home or move your car, the interference will dissipate.
As a listener, I have experienced the same frustration that many of you have told us about.
“I can't get your radio station in my house.”
“I have to move the radio to a different room to hear your station.”
“I'm in my car running an errand and all of a sudden, I hear a lot of static when tuned to your radio station.”
“I get to a stoplight, and it’s all static-y”
“I can't get it at all.”
When you’re driving in your car and you get static, you may notice high voltage electric lines or some other type of transmission lines running along the side of the road. In a few blocks, the lines may disappear and reception is good again. These lines produce electromagnetic radiation. So, our patience must increase! You might notice: if the power lines are mounted horizontal to the road, the interference is really bad. If the power lines are vertical to the road, not so bad or not at all.
When you’re at a stoplight, again, high voltage or transmission lines may be overhead. The light turns green, you move ahead, and the signal will usually come back in. In the city of Cary, NC, their traffic control system will generate interference at each intersection.
I would also like to say a word about receiving the signal in your house. Not all radios are equal. Not all radios have good AM antennas. The telescoping antenna generally located on the top of your radio is for FM. The AM antenna is wrapped around a small ferrite rod mounted somewhere inside the box usually mounted horizontally. When buying a radio, it is always best to look at the FM/AM receiver sensitivity shown in the specification list. For the best (clear and loudest) reception, rotate the AM receiver while you listen to the radio. This movement will position the ferrite rod perpendicular to or at right angles to the antenna field for maximum gain.
I recall the conversation between Jesus and his disciples:
In John 6:60 – “Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, "This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?"
And then in John 6:67,68 – Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also wish to go away?" Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."
The mission and goal of Catholic 540-AM is to provide you just that – His Love, His Mercy, His Message. In addition, we also have messages and prayers from your bishop and your local priests which you can’t hear on other forms of radio reception.
Considering that 540 AM is the only radio station in the area broadcasting Catholic programming, where else can you turn? Keeping that in mind, I hope you will eventually develop a listening acceptance concerning the ups and downs of AM radio reception. RFI is part of the package. And regardless of occasional static, 540AM should always be one of your preset radio buttons.
Interested in Going Deeper into RFI?
If you want to have a more complete understanding about RFI, I hope you will take the time to read the two discussions in the links provided below.
These two internet locations thoroughly discuss the problem which may provide you with help.
If you have any additional questions or comments about this discussion, send your request using our contact form.
Keith Flanary, Divine Mercy Radio