FM Reception

Reception Factors

Many things create reception problems, such as atmosphere, tree foliage, buildings, and electronic noise. KWGS, 89.5 is a half-power 50,000 watt FM station and KWTU 88.7  is Tulsa's lowest-power FM station with a broadcast power of 5,000 watts.

  • Distance: How far you are from where the signal being transmitted and the power of the station .
  • Atmosphere: At certain times of the year, the atmosphere will cause FM station transmission distance to vary. At times, stations are hard to pick up within their city of license. Other time, local stations can be heard across the country: a phenomenon known as tropospheric ducting or DX skip. Our signal maybe sailing over your location. Alternately, a station from another part of the country not normally heard in Tulsa may be interferring with your reception.
  • Tree Foliage: During Spring and Fall, when the trees are shooting out leaves or are losing  leaves, FM signal levels can be reduced, which causes reception problems.
  • Buildings: Signals can be blocked by a tall  buildings, especially near the downtown area. Buildings can also reflect FM signals, a condition known as multipath, which makes it difficult for radios to distinguish between the interfering reflected signal and the direct signal from the transmitter .
  • Electronic Noise: Modern electronic equipment in  homes and offices generates lots of interfering noise, making it difficult for radios to clearly receive signals. Keep your radio and its antenna well away from TVs, computers, and especially the black "wall wart" equipment power supplies which plug into the wall.

There is no substitute for antenna height and clear line of sight to our transmitter. In Tulsa, place indoor radios and antennas in front of southeast-facing windows. Built-in radio antennas are frequently not adequate, especially in clock radios. A blocking hill, building or trees may make receiving FM signals very difficult. Our transmitter location is southeast of Broken Arrow, near Coweta. Point outdoor antennas (the narrower end) southeast of Tulsa.

Antenna Selection

There are many antennas out there to chose from. You have to look at what will best serve your needs. These three styles of antennas seem to work the best: omnidirectional HD Radio, indoor HD Radio, Rabbit Ears and for out-of-town listeners, a directional FM HD Radio antenna. Remember when using an antenna, there is no substitute of height and clear line of sight to our transmitter in Coweta.

This model Radio Shack indoor Rabbit Ears antenna seems to work well when receiving Public Radio Tulsa's signals here in Tulsa. The key to indoor antenna selection is to have a selection knob on the front and, if you are trying to receive our HD Radio broadcasts, to insure that the antenna is NOT amplified. Don't be afraid to place the antenna at various positions around your room. Fully extend the two vertical wire antenna elements and try all of the positions on the front selector knob.

Alternative Reception

In addition to standard over-the-air FM reception, KWGS and KWTU can be received using a HD Radio or heard online through your computer, smartphone & tablet, and via the internet directly in your car

Further Help

Contact Chief Engineer Brad Newman for advice about how to get the clearest signal.