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09 July 2010 @ 01:24 pm

Snappy Answers To Cryptic Questions

jdarkwulf: Yield?

Yeah, I know, "Yield" signs aren't yellow anymore, but I still laughed.

The Spirit of Radio

I've been having increasing trouble keeping my little stereo tuned to my preferred radio station of late. It's an analogue-dial physical tuner rather than a nice digital gizmo, and, of course, I have the perennial dilemma that my own body acts as an antenna. I can get it crystal-clear, so long as I keep my hand on it; as soon as I move away, it devolves into static.

Note that it was fine up until a few weeks ago. There was a bit of channel drift, and I would sometimes have to tweak it from morning to evening, but I could get it steady on the station with no problem.

Last night, I was driving a co-worker home, so I flipped my car radio over to the classical station, since that's better background for conversation than my usual Classic Rock.

Nothin' but static.

What the hell, thought Your Obedient Serpent. Is there something about summer that screws up radio reception?

Dot. Dot. Dot.

Right. We're pointing at the Sun. Auroras. That sort of thing.

Oddly, the Sun seems kind of quiet right now, near as I can tell from spaceweather.com. We're at a Sunspot Minimum right now. There's an active region that's been pointing away from Earth, though it's swinging in our general direction.

Anyone else having radio issues? I know most of you don't even listen to radios in the car anymore, much less while sitting at your computavational intertube omnitainment terminals, but I'm interested in hearing if the tuned-in minority are having static and channel drift like I am.

silmaril on July 9th, 2010 08:43 pm (UTC)
I listen to the radio in the car all the time, and I haven't had any worse reception than usual. Perhaps something happened to your car antenna?
Tombfyretombfyre on July 9th, 2010 09:03 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I've been getting signal drift on my radio as well, both in the car and at home. My work radio seems a wee bit on the scratchy side too. But if I stay close enough to one of the larger repeaters, it works well enough. :3
Kymrikymri on July 9th, 2010 09:26 pm (UTC)
I notice all kinds of variation. I listen to the iPod a lot, but when not listening to the iPod, my radio listening is (in descending order of priority, just going by amount of hours listened) is generally: 97.7 (KFFG - KFOG's Los Altos transmitter) -> 104.5 (KFOG - this gets sketchy south of 84 or so on 101, where the Los Altos broadcast works better), 107.7 (KSAN - 'The Bone' and certainly not the country station anymore), 98.5 (KUFX, 'K-FOX', but there's no real furry connection, just Sharks games and classic rock) and 105.3 (KITS, I think, alternative/whatever).

I'll notice that depending on weather, which KFOG/KFFG station gets better reception in a different area can dramatically change.

Of course, I haven't been tracking seasonal drift, and my car is digitally tuned.

Either way I have long known that 280/Page Mill is in a little bowl that's a black hole for radio reception of all sorts.
Hafochafoc on July 9th, 2010 10:27 pm (UTC)
I haven't noticed, but there are several reasons why I wouldn't.

Living in The Sticks the radio stations I listen to are either right here or weak anyway, pretty much. The one modestly distant station I listen to is going on air and off air with antenna repairs this month, so if I did have problems with it from solar activity I would never know that was what it was anyhow.
Araquan Skytracer: Radioaraquan on July 9th, 2010 11:06 pm (UTC)
Been having some problems getting FM lately but I strongly suspect it's my radio starting to die.
silussa on July 10th, 2010 12:18 am (UTC)
We have had some intermittent signal problems at work with an Orlando radio station (60 miles), and the NPR station there has at times overnight had its signal overridden by another FM station near it on the dial (Christian/religious). Both on digital radios.

silussa on July 10th, 2010 12:20 am (UTC)
Let me correct that: digitally TUNED radios. I've looked at digital radios, but given the signal at home is rotten (no digital TV here at all over the air without a very large outdoor antenna), I'm not inclined to try.