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Receiving KVSH At Home
June 12th, 2016 - Posted in Blog
Try These Tips
You need three things to get a radio signal: A good antenna. A good radio. A good location. Improve any one of those and you vastly improve your chances of being able to hear KVSH.
The FCC granted Vashon only a Low Power FM license. We’re glad to have it, of course, and KVSH 101.9FM generally does a good job of covering our Island. But there’s only so far our low power signal can go.
In fact, some listeners say they can be happily listening on the car radio as they pull up their driveway and then not be able to get KVSH in their house. That’s because your car radio has all three ingredients for pulling in a signal. It’s got an antenna. It has a good radio because car makers know that listening on the move requires one. Plus, your car is out in the open with no walls to block the signal.
The surest way to get KVSH in your home and off-island as well, if you have WiFi or another kind of internet connection, is streaming on a computer, tablet or smartphone.
• For a tablet or smartphone, get the snazzy KVSH app for KVSH and Alerts by going to VoiceOfVashon.org/app-2
But if listening on your phone or tablet or computer isn’t your preference, here are a few things you can try to get KVSH on your home radio, possibly even if you are in a shadowed area of the Island
Since you aren’t going to be moving your house any time soon, we’ll concentrate on the antenna and radio improvements. We can’t guarantee any of these steps will work for you in your exact situation, but the chances for improvement are good in many Vashon locations.
Most home radios don’t even have a true FM antenna. Many of them just use the power cord as an antenna. Or maybe they have one of those extendable rods. Folks often don’t bother to hook up an antenna to their expensive stereo system because in our urban radio area there are lots of super strong signals for listening or maybe they just use the stereo for CDs. But adding a real FM antenna could make a difference in receiving KVSH’s modest signal.
Take a moment now to look at the back of your radio and see if there are connections for an external FM antenna. There may be a marker showing where the antenna goes or there could just be two holes for wires or two screws to attach wires to.
Try one of the inexpensive “T” shaped antennas made with twin lead wire.
Search Google for “fm dipole antenna” and you’ll find dozens of them on sale for less than $10. Here’s one example: http://goo.gl/dUIdjR
If that doesn’t work, you could go old school and put an outside FM antenna up.
Do a Google search for “outdoor fm dipole antenna” and you’ll get tons of options like this one: http://goo.gl/h4qvgj
Let’s face it, your inexpensive kitchen radio, bedroom clock radio, boom box, crank power radio…well, it’s probably not real sensitive even with a good antenna. And on the crowded Seattle radio dial it may not be selective enough to latch on to 101.9 in the middle of many strong adjacent stations.
Even many stereo systems, designed primarily for good audio, don’t have very sensitive radios (although they usually have connections for antennas so try the antenna step first).
We hesitate to recommend a specific radio because you’d be spending some bucks and might blame us if it doesn’t work out for you at your particular location. Search for “fm radio reviews” and you’ll get lots of input. But, if you insist on a recommendation from us, here are a couple of options you might consider, as they have worked well for some people:
Another option to consider would be the Sangean WR-22: http://goo.gl/AL9BGN
Note that it also has a connection for an external antenna.
This may seem a bit weird but you already know that a car radio is usually a good radio. Consider getting a car radio and 12 volt power supply and some speakers to install in the house with an external antenna.
Like we said above, our free smartphone app or the tablet you keep in your kitchen will get KVSH just great via the Internet so that’s a possibility. There are even Internet “radios” that look and feel just like regular radios but are designed for streaming.
The Sangean WFR-28 has both WiFi Internet radio and regular FM radio: http://goo.gl/5s6lBQ
Still have questions? Ask us at email@example.com