Why am I having difficulty listening to AM 740 on-air ?

Although AM 740 is one of the few remaining “clear-channel” 50,000 watt radio stations in North America, and we have hundreds of thousands of listeners ‘from Maine to Minnesota and The Carolinas to Thunder Bay’, there are times and places where reception is difficult. Here’s a brief re-cap explaining why:

– AM radio waves travel up and away from the station’s transmitter tower(s), drifting off into space, and bouncing off the atmosphere back to the ground where your receivers catch the signal…often at very great distances.
– FM radio waves, on the other hand, travel in a straight horizontal line out from the transmitter tower, and are received while in line-of-sight, but then stop at the ‘curvature of the earth’.

– FM radio waves easily travel through walls, but AM waves can be blocked by walls of concrete and steel, containing pipes and electrical wires- explaining why it’s so difficult to catch AM radio inside office towers and apartment buildings.

– flourescent lights may produce a steady buzz, while neon lights might set off brief clicking sounds; faulty dimmer switches without a filter, and other electrical contacts like doorbells, aquarium heaters and electrical blankets can be involved.

– other physical structures affecting AM reception include: high-tension electrical wires, street-car wires, proximity to transformers, and certain high-power appliances, like sewing machines, vacuum cleaners, blow dryers and mixers; CB radio, and amateur radio transmissions or other radio services with a nearby transmitter can also be the source of interference.

– it’s also possible for certain atmospheric conditions, especially at times of significant seasonal changes, or times of extreme dryness or dampness, and high winds might also contribute to reception problems.

What can I do to improve on-air reception of AM 740 ?

– if the problem(s) are inside the home or workplace, moving your radio to a different location, ideally near to a window or outside wall, might help.
– one might rotate or shift the radio a bit to improve the reception, while attaching a length of wire to the radio and hanging it outside as a makeshift antenna might also help.
– generally speaking, older radios receive AM signals better than newer models with cheaper AM components…however, inquiring at a reputable audio store about AM-specific reception can help.

– if the source of the interference is outside and involves faulty or damaged power lines, contacting your utility might resolve the problem; as for the weather – waiting a little while should fix that.

– your best bet for improving your reception of AM 740 is to listen to it on-line, wherever you have a computer with a high-speed Internet connection – just click on to Zoomerradio.ca and the “Listen” button on our home-page. It’s in stereo too!

Why might I have reception problems listening on-line ?

– although very rare, there may be occasional reception problems with the on-line streaming, as with any other internet service.
– in most such cases the problem is not at the radio station end, but rather at the user-end, or somewhere between, along the long ‘chain’.

– after all, the radio signal must travel a complicated route from the station, along both analog and digital telephone cables to the local distributor, where the digital signal is uploaded onto satellite, bounced back to earth, to your local telephone service, where it begins its journey to your ISP, then to your own computer, along both analog and digital services, where the signal is once again re-configured into audio through your speakers…a lot can go wrong along that path.

– it’s possible your computer cannot handle all the open ‘functions’, so try shutting some down; or your ISP is having temporary problems. Make sure you are using the latest version of Firefox , Internet Explorer or Safari . And also make sure you have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player installed.

You can also listen to AM 740 on Rogers Cable Channel 949

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Coverage Area
Downtown Toronto
96.7FM
Toronto HD
96.3 HD-2
Kingston to Windsor, Parry Sound to Pittsburgh
AM740
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