Better reception of WAPS
91.3 The Summit:
Enemies in your home or
office are out to ruin your radio reception!
The following common household
items all generate electrical trash that can hurt your radio
reception. Individually, they don’t do a whole lot…but
most homes have many of these items, often all turned on
and running at once, add it adds up to causing a lot of
annoying signal noise in your radio.
Turning OFF as many of these
items as possible will lead to better reception of all radio
stations in general and WAPS 91.3 The Summit in particular.
-CD players and/or
-DVD players and/or recorders
-Computers and monitor screens
-Cable TV boxes
-Satellite TV boxes
-Video game systems
-Microwave ovens (honest)
-Halogen lights, especially those tall floor lamps with
-Light dimmer switches in general…including dimmers
built into your walls.
Folks say FM radio doesn’t
sound as good as it used to…well, very few of these
items were common 20+ years ago, now most homes have multiple
examples of each, all out to ruin the sound of FM (and AM)
If turning these items OFF
is not practical, consider moving your radio away from as
many of these noise-generating electronics as you can.
Concrete, brick and steel
are enemies of radio signal. Naturally, if you have a radio
in the center of a building made from these materials, radio
reception will suffer.
In general, get your radio
near a window. ANY window! Our WAPS 91.3 The Summit broadcasting
tower is located on the west side of Akron near Rolling
Acres Mall. For best results, place your radio near a window
facing this direction. Then, work on the antenna….
but almost nobody pays attention to them.
Most of the better FM radios
and home stereos have some provision for an external antenna
hook-up, and/or a built-in antenna rod or wire. The rod
or wire may not be the prettiest thing, but, moving them
around and/or stretching them out to their fullest often
gives significant reception improvement.
FM radio signals travel
in a wave about 6 feet wide. Extending the antenna rod or
wire out fully will give better results. If that rod or
wire is at least 3 feet long, all the better!
Contrary to popular belief,
placing your radio’s rod-type antenna vertically usually
does NOT improve FM reception. FM signals mostly travel
horizontally, so, positioning the antenna rod or wire horizontally
or diagonally will usually give better results than vertically.
Here are some economical
FM antennas available at your neighborhood Radio Shack stores
that are worth trying out:
This one ain’t pretty but can easily hide tacked-up
behind an entertainment center, sofa, wardrobe cabinet,
etc, and make a big difference on stereos or radios that
has screw or spring-type antenna jacks on the back. It’s
just a perfectly cut&trimmed antenna wire, tuned just
for FM. Model 42-2385, just 4 bucks.
PRETTY & PRETTY
EFFECTIVE! This one is neutrally attractive and
works reasonably well with a little experimentation. Model
15-1843, just 10 bucks. The end of the hook-up wire has
a “ cable TV” connector on the end. You’ll
need to buy a 75-to-300 ohm adapter for use on most radios,
also sold at Radio Shack for about 4 bucks.
Yep, here’s the old-fashioned TV “rabbit ears”
that also work really well for FM radio reception. People
have forgotten just how capable these are, and, they’re
retro-cool, too. Plus, they can come in handy for your TV
when the cable system has an outage. Model 15-1864, just
OK, here’s the heavy artillery! 3 foot wide and over
5 feet long. Not for the faint of heart. Designed for rooftop
mounting on a mast, but, also can just lay in the rafters
of your attic if roof climbing isn’t your thing. This
is VERY directional and will need careful pointing to get
the best signal…or, if you set it up wrong, you can
actually worsen the signal. But, set-up properly, it will
give the best reception of anything out there…radio
stations use these to get a reference-quality signal. Model
15-2163, 22 bucks…don’t forget hook-up wire.
always the best for a weak signal!
The FM Stereo system in
use in this country is horribly flawed, and, has been since
1961 when FM stereo was invented. For years, FM was mono
and had a clean, stable signal. The system for FM stereo
we’ve stuck with for over 40 years actually weakens
the signal and causes varying amounts of noise in radios,
even under ideal situations.
But you CAN fight back in
mono and get a cleaner signal…and you’ll sacrifice
very little fidelity and get rid of much of the hiss and
Most stereo FM radios have
the ability to switch between MONO FM and Stereo FM. Doesn’t
matter how big or how small…a big home stereo, a boombox,
walkman, office mini-stereo, even some car stereos…you’ll
be amazed how much stronger and cleaner the signal suddenly
becomes if you switch to MONO.
The switch might be labeled
“stereo/mono” or “FM/FM stereo, or, mono
may be selectable via the “FM MODE” button or
switch. NOTE: Some radios may automatically revert back
to STEREO when you change stations…so you may need
to switch back to MONO each time…but it will be worth
SOME car radios have a selectable
Stereo/MONO…others will automatically switch to MONO
as a signal gets weaker…this “auto-mono”
feature on most car stereos leads people to think car radios
are “better” radios…no, they’re
Who makes a good
radio these days?
Sadly, the quality of radios
has dropped significantly in the last decade. For a home
stereo system, Yamaha, Denon, and Onkyo, and Pioneer components
still pay some attention to their tuner sections, but they
can be hit-or-miss.
There is an old-style portable
radio for less than $75.00 that may be the best radio anywhere
at any price: The GE Super Radio III, available at www.ccrane.com
They don’t make’m like this anymore, get one
before they kill it!
If all else fails,
Do you work in a dungeon?
A subterranean bunker? Somewhere between the earths crust
and mantle? A concrete hellhole, impervious to all forms
of radio signals? Don’t despair, WAPS 91.3 The Summit
is one of a very few stations that still broadcasts on the
internet…PC or Mac, listen in at www.913thesummit.com
no matter how low your work takes you!