Radio Frequency Interference (RFI)

Can’t get a good signal?

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Let's learn about Radio Frequency Interference (RFI).

We have heard your concerns which are our concerns. But I am older, prior to the development of FM and the only radio receiver was an AM radio, and fully know what to expect while listening.

Before we begin that discussion, I would remind you, our listeners, that WETC is a daytime / nighttime station. That means the radiated power must be reduced from 10,000 watts during the daytime down to 500 watts in the evening at sunset. It remains at this reduced power until the sun rises the next day when it will increase back to our full licensed radiated power of 10,000 watts. So you see, the area of reception will be significantly less during the night time hours. For a schedule of full power hours, go to our FULL POWER Chart.

As AM listeners, we must accept and be aware that the AM radio band is sensitive to RFI or radio frequency interference, which makes it difficult to receive under certain circumstances. The question is, “What can we do about it?”

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 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. So, our patience must increase!

When you’re at a stoplight, again, high voltage or transmission lines are overhead. The light turns green, you move ahead, and the signal will usually come back in.

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 antennas on the top of your radio? They are for FM. The AM antennas are wrapped around ferrite rods mounted inside the box. A listener has done some research and they have found a radio with the best AM antenna is a little guy which only costs $30 – Panasonic RF-2400. You might find another. Look at the sensitivity shown on the specification list.

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."

Catholic 540-AM is on the air to give 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 Sirius radio.

Considering that 540 AM is the only radio station in the area carrying Catholic programming, where else can you turn? Keeping that in mind, I hope you will eventually develop a certain 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 I am providing. I also hope you can develop an acceptance that Catholic 540-AM is sensitive to RFI.

I have found two internet locations that discuss the problem thoroughly which may help you.

If you have any additional questions or comments about this discussion, send your request using our contact form.

Keith Flanary, Divine Mercy Radio