Radio Boise wants to do everything WE can to generate a strong signal for YOU – our faithful supporters – at 89.9 FM and allow offer you the best opportunity to hear the quality programming you’ve told us you enjoy. We’ve received quite a bit of feedback regarding radio reception issues – mainly on home stereos and within the downtown corridor and other low-lying areas of town.
Your concerns are coming in loud and clear – and there are a combination of fixes, on our end AND yours, that SHOULD significantly improve reception at most listening locations. Although the new translator (OUR side of things) we plan to implement at 93.5 fm will certainly improve the reception landscape, it alone, will probably not prove to solve everyone’s issues. Here are a few ways (YOUR side of things) to make tweaks to your stereos to receive the best possible signal from KRBX:
There are two main elements that impact reception of an FM signal – the antenna and the tuner/receiver.
Antenna (outdoor; a bit involved)
Many receivers use only a short, dangling wire as an antenna. However they also usually allow for the connection of an external antenna. In general, the higher the external antenna is placed, the better the reception is. Use a coaxial cable and try to keep the distance between the receiver and the antenna less than 75 feet. The antenna should be directed to the line of sight of our chief tower, which is on Owyhee Ridge southeast of Homedale. For residents of the Treasure Valley, this means pointing roughly west. When selecting the antenna, it’s good to read reviews, but a basic “old-school” TV antenna hooked directly into your FM receiver will greatly improve the reception.
Antenna (indoor; quick and easy)
If the installation of an outdoor antenna is not an option, and your receiver has the “two screw” antenna connection in back, by all means use it. You’ll want to attach one of two indoor antenna options to the screws on the back of the receiver:
Option 1 – attach a basic “rabbit ears” antenna. Options like the RCA unit linked here are CHEAP (http://www.amazon.com/RCA-ANT111-Basic-Indoor-Antenna/dp/B000HKGK8Y)! The caveat with rabbit ears antennas is they often require tweaking to get the optimal reception. And remember that any devices close to your receiver (computer, tv set, motor, etc.,) can cause extra radio interference.
Option 2 – attach a long section of standard speaker wire. Strip EXACTLY 2 feet, 7.25 inches of insulation off both wires leaving a total length of bare wire 5 feet, 2.5 inches once separated. You can orient them for best reception and use thumbtacks to easily attach it to walls, etc.
If you exhaust the prior antenna options without success, the tuner is your last option. As discussed, the prevailing rule is to always be sure the receiver can accept an external antenna. It is also recommended that the receiver has a stereo/mono switch on it or, barring this, is a mono receiver. Stay away from “HD” receivers. A few receivers we can recommend that have particularly robust tuners are RCA or Sony and are usually labeled “Super Radio.” Again, read reviews for a receiver that specifically suits the intended purposes.
A more detailed explanation of FM radio reception can be found at http://www.wkhr.org/information/engineeringdepartment.aspx. Again, we value your listenership, and with a little tinkering, ingenuity and diligence, it is our hope KRBX reaches everyone it is intended to, loud and thought-provokingly clear!