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November 11th, 2005

Crazy AM Strength

When you think “AM radio,” you probably associate it with weak signals, crappy talk radio that’s not good enough for FM, and international music serving a local audience that’s not represented on FM radio. But a few weeks ago while driving in a rainstorm, my wife and I flipped on AM radio in Virginia to get a traffic report.

After we got the report, I kept going through the channels to see what else came in. I don’t know what it is about AM radio, but its signal can carry insane distances, and this certainly proved true on that night. I came about 1060 AM and immediately recognized the style of the news radio — it was KYW 1060 in Philadelphia. Sure enough, they started giving traffic and weather reports for the South Jersey area.

I moved a little further up the dial and was really surprised to hear advertisements for local New York businesses. Apparently, the signal was really travelling that night.

But to top the night off, we landed on a station that was broadcasting from Ottawa.


In these days where one can tune in thousands of stations from around the globe online, it may not seem like a big deal, but it’s still kind of cool to accidentally stumble upon a very remote station while running through your AM dial. It lets you feel like you’re driving in an Ottawa rainstorm instead of just a Virginia rainstorm.

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

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