We transmit considerably less power on FM than other stations in our area, for example Heart run 900 watts and BBC Three Counties run 1000 watts from the Sandy Heath mast, whereas we are only allowed to run a fraction of that under our OFCOM licence conditions.
This means you are spoilt for signal strength from these stations in our local area, but of course the best things in life are not always easy to get!
If you are outside our area, or in a poor reception spot, a considerable improvement of our signal can be made by following these tips:
1. If you listen on a portable radio, extend the rod aerial fully, if necessary move the radio to the best position in the room, reception is often better near a window.
2. Using an outside, loft or simple wire aerial, a dipole aerial can be constructed as in the diagram below.
The signal we broadcast is mixed polarisation, vertical and horizontal. However the vertical element is omni-directional and gives us an all-round coverage from the transmitter site, providing optimum reception on a car radio.
We have found the polythene plug-in "T" indoor aerials that come with some Hi-Fi systems work very well.
Make An Aerial
This simple aerial could be mounted in the loft or just pinned up in the living room!
The wire elements, any wire will do, are cut to 33 inches each with the lower one connected to the braiding of the coaxial cable and the top connected to the inner wire of the cable. For best results we advise you mount this aerial vertically.