Technical Support

The WVFA Engineering Department provides this service to assist listeners with improvement of their reception of WVFA, particularly indoors. WVFA’s present effective radiated power of 15 watts doesn’t provide very effective building penetration outside the primary reception area, especially in buildings of metal or masonry construction, which tend to block radio waves in WVFA’s frequency range (FM band). We’d like to help listeners obtain better reception of WVFA in their homes, workplaces, and wherever they spend time indoors. Here’s a guideline: if you can receive WVFA in your car radio in the driveway or parking area of the building in question, there’s a possibility of improving indoor reception if you can implement one or more of the following suggestions:

1) Use a quality FM radio with excellent selectivity (the GE SUPERADIO III would be a good example). Unfortunately, even some expensive FM compacts with lots of bells and whistles aren’t selective.

2) If your radio has 300-ohm antenna terminals (two screws on back of set) you can attach external antennas such as flexible T-shaped FM dipoles or even TV “rabbit ears” – properly aligned, these can markedly improve your FM reception, and if your home has a rooftop TV antenna (preferably with a rotator) you can aim the antenna at Shaker Mountain in Enfield, NH for optimum reception (WARNING: be sure your rooftop antenna is professionally installed and properly protected against lightning).

3) Putting your radio or antenna near a window facing Shaker Mountain will give you optimum reception. WVFA’s signal is “circularly polarized”, meaning it has both horizontal and vertical components, so it shouldn’t matter whether the elements of your antenna are horizontal, vertical, or diagonal. We have noticed that cars with rod- or whip-type antennas seem to get better reception than those with in-windshield dipole-type antennas, and the quality or brand of the car radio makes a difference.

4) Some cable systems offer broadband FM reception, although there may be an additional cost for this.

5) The WVFA Engineering Department will be glad to answer any specific questions you have about your reception difficulties. Contact us through this website or call our chief engineer at 802-295-9683.

Watch the “Manager’s Page” for details of an application for power increase WVFA will shortly be filing with the FCC.
NOTE: This higher-powered one will involve a significant expense!
If you’re interested in any aspect of this and would like more information, please contact us.

Q. Why is WVFA a monoaural FM station when most other music-format FM stations broadcast in stereo?

A. There are three good reasons why WVFA broadcasts with a monaural signal: First, at WVFA’s power level multipathing is a possibility, because the two stereo channels would reflect differently off large objects such as mountains, bridges, buildings, etc., causing deterioration of the signal. Broadcasting monaurally minimizes this effect. Second, we would need two leased audio lines at $300/month each if we were a stereo FM station, whereas a single one suffices for a monaural station. Third, monaural stations have an advantage in signal strength over stereo stations – some studies have shown the signal-to-noise ratio to be 23dB better for a monaural station. Since every 3 dB represents doubling, this works out to a multiplier of 200, meaning that the signal strength [not range] of WVFA @ 15 watts ERP is equivalent to that of a 3000-watt ERP stereo station.

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