Forum Index > Trail Talk > AM Radio Signal at High Elevations of the North Cascades
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Josh Lewis
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a.k.a. Josh Lewis
PostSat Jun 22, 2019 4:40 pm 
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Never owned a portable radio but am considering something like the Prunus A166 FM/AM Portable Radio using AM radio mode. Wondering if anyone has experience with radios in the deeper parts of the Cascades. Think Mount Logan, Eldorado Peak, Picket Range, Liberty Bell. I get that specific places have different results along with only select stations coming through (if any). But trying to figure out if perhaps there are known places they've had good luck.

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cdestroyer
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PostSun Jun 23, 2019 6:29 am 
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i had a small am/fm radio just for trial while hiking canyon creek/hwy 20/harts pass area. daytime reception was sketchy, nighttime reception was mostly canadian with a scattering of local stations. down in the deep valleys reception was as expectedly poorer than up on a ridge.
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RodF
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PostSun Jun 23, 2019 10:41 am 
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AM band (~1 MHz) reception does not vary much with location (due to long wavelength).  Nor with antenna length (signal/noise is dominated by atmospheric 1/f noise).  It is much better at night than during the day (reflection off the ionosphere).  So nighttime AM reception in Seattle, Chelan or the Pickets are similar.

FM band (VHF, ~100 MHz) is opposite in all the above regards: is more nearly line-of-sight, dependent on antenna, and independent of day/night hour.  Reception is great on mountaintops, but the selection of programming is poorer east of the Cascade crest.

Might consider a model that receives NOAA weather broadcasts (162.5 MHz).  Many FM radios do.  Weather can be valuable info on longer hikes!

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"of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt" - John Muir
"the wild is not the opposite of cultivated.  It is the opposite of the captivatedĒ - Vandana Shiva
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RichP
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here and there
PostMon Jun 24, 2019 3:30 pm 
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You should pick up lots of distant AM stations at night. During the day it will be limited. You might also consider a radio with short wave capability.
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contour5
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PostMon Jun 24, 2019 3:58 pm 
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Frys has some tiny AM/FM/shortwaves. Really enjoyed mine before it was stolen...
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InFlight
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PostTue Jun 25, 2019 8:00 am 
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I've actually restored some old tube radios.  All AM radios use some form of loop antenna that is directional.  Orientation of the radio body will greatly improve the reception.  The pullout metal mast on portables is strictly for FM.

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Backpacker Joe
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PostTue Jun 25, 2019 10:36 am 
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The Tecsun PL-880 is one of the best short wave radios you can find.  Its relatively small and light weight.

Tecsun PL-880

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Opus
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PostTue Jun 25, 2019 12:31 pm 
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If you use an Android smartphone you might have a usable FM receiver. It's built into the chipsets for most modern phones. All of the Samsung phones I've used work. All you need is to install a radio app and use wired headphones. The headphone cord works as the antenna.

I think Apple and some other manufacturers disable the radio function.
https://freeradioonmyphone.org/
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Jaberwock
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PostTue Jun 25, 2019 3:16 pm 
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Quote:
Both altitude and elevation are measures of the height of a point relative to some datum. The differences are in how they are derived and what they are normally used for.

Altitude is typically only used to describe the height of an aircraft in flight. It is a barometric measurement expressed relative to the height of a runway or mean sea level in a given location or region (taking into account current local atmospheric conditions), or to an arbitrary standard datum (to eliminate the effect of localised variations in air pressure).

Elevation is usually used to describe the height of the ground, or a feature fixed to the ground. It is a geometric measurement expressed relative to the mean sea level datum established for the region by the national mapping agency.

https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/16610/which-to-use-altitude-or-elevation-in-regards-to-height-above-sea-level
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Bluejl2
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PostTue Jun 25, 2019 11:36 pm 
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Iím not an expert but I have a Sangean DT-400W and I love it. Itís been on 5 or 6 backpacking trips and still showing full battery, it weighs 4 oz and while the quality isnít always great iíve yet to find a spot I couldnít tune in the mariners game.
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Sky Hiker
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PostWed Jun 26, 2019 4:25 am 
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I take along my am/fm radio for listening to at night. Am is best at night. I like to listen to baseball games in the Fall out there
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Gregory
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PostWed Jun 26, 2019 6:03 am 
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Used to enjoy seeing what stations I could find at night when I lived on the coast. Old school transistor works better than these cheap chipsets. I own a 93 Subaru wagon for parking at trailheads and an 08 F150. The old suby radio picks up stations from down south during the day time. The factory Ford radio.....nothing but forks, sometimes. I "upgraded" the truck to an expensive aftermarket to get the nav, Bluetooth and all that crap. It does not even get twilight in forks. Radio built into my iPod thingy gets nothing out there either.
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moonspots
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PostWed Jun 26, 2019 8:21 am 
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Foxfire wrote:
...but am considering something like the Prunus A166 FM/AM Portable Radio...

From the reviews, this looks like a fine deal, and for $20, you're not out much if it isn't. Reception of the AM radio frequency band (and "shortwave"), is dependent more on night time atmospheric conditions than elevation. FM will be more dependent on elevation and obstructions between the transmitter site and you. If you pick it up, let us know what you think?

up.gif

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"Out, OUT you demons of Stupidity"! - St Dogbert, patron Saint of Technology
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Josh Lewis
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a.k.a. Josh Lewis
PostTue Jul 02, 2019 9:51 am 
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Opus wrote:
If you use an Android smartphone you might have a usable FM receiver. It's built into the chipsets for most modern phones.

While technically that is true, as  I understand it the chipset is often disabled on most if not many Android devices from the manufacturer. Just tested again on another app and recieved a notice saying "FM Radio is unavailable... let your carrier know you'd like to hear FM radio". Knew about the headphone's as antennas from earlier research but have yet to put it to the test. Picked up a decent quality clip MP3 player that has FM radio (planned for city use) and will see how it feels. Assuming that goes well I can test out one of the better radio's mentioned in this thread.

Jaberwock wrote:
Quote:
Both altitude and elevation are measures of the height of a point relative to some datum. The differences are in how they are derived and what they are normally used for.

https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/16610/which-to-use-altitude-or-elevation-in-regards-to-height-above-sea-level

Even in the future altitude is a lie.  lol.gif Next up summit isn't the highest point.  clown.gif

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pnwroamer
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PostTue Jul 02, 2019 4:39 pm 
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Sony portable radios have among the best reception for the price.
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Forum Index > Trail Talk > AM Radio Signal at High Elevations of the North Cascades
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