AM Radio Reception Question

Is there any way to improve AM radio reception in downtown buildings in a big city. AM 720 (the Cubs ballgame station) in Chicago seems to not come in while inside tall buildings, even when relatively close to a window. Will an additional antenna help or is it a hopeless case?

I suspect it is all the steel supporting the building which is interfering with AM reception, not the height of the building.

If there is any way to string an antenna to the outside of the building, you could try that. Of course you would have to have an AM radio that has hookups for an external antenna.

Barring that, I would go to Radio Shack and take a look at their radios. I bought one from there a while back and it gets outstanding AM reception. Sorry, I don’t have the model number, but it is one that has a rotary dial.

jarbabyj, heres that particular AM radio I just referred to. I bought one a few months back and I’m very impressed with it.

Thanks much…I’ll look into it.

Oh, yeah, another thing that may help is to run your radio off of batteries instead of AC. Sometimes AM sounds static-y when they are powered by AC.

The quality of AM receivers varies greatly. I used to try tuning in to far-off AM stations during the evening (when the signal would bounce better off the stratosphere). Some of my radios would hear nothing but static, while others were sensitive enough to bring in the signal quite clearly. (I had the best results with a Yaesu FRG-7 – but that’s hardly a little table radio!)

If your radio doesn’t have a hook-up for external antenna, try moving it to various spots in the house. There can be “dead spots”. You might also get some improvement by positioning it differently on the table (turning it 90 degrees, say), because many radios have ferrite-coil AM antennas and in my experience these seem to be somewhat directional.

Alternatively, you could move closer to the station you like! If you tell them you did that, they might even give you a T-Shirt!