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KVNO is an integral part of UNO's College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media.

Omaha's premier public radio station, Classical 90.7 KVNO, is licensed to the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska, with studios on the campus of the University of Nebraska at Omaha. KVNO provides the Omaha/Metro area (and online audiences worldwide) with the finest in classical music, arts information and news programming.

POWER: 8,900 watts
FORMAT: Classical music, fine arts and news
FIRST BROADCAST: August 27, 1972

Coverage Map

Hints For Better Reception

The "Magic" of Radio

Radio has held a sort of "magic" appeal to all listeners from the very beginning. A hundred years ago it was considered a scientific miracle to send a radio signal just a few hundred feet. As the "radio magicians" learned new and better "tricks," listeners could shift their attention from worrying about good reception to enjoying good programming. Thus, the music has become the magic. That's why you like listening to KVNO.

It's wonderful that technology has reached a point where, most of the time, we can just turn on our radio and enjoy good music. Occasionally though, we are reminded that without good reception we can't enjoy the music. We are providing these reception hints tohelp you optimize your listening experience. Don't worry if you're not very technical. The suggestions that we offer are easy to do.


A Short Story About Reception

Once upon a time there was only one radio station. That was a good situation for radio receivers because they didn't have to work very hard at sorting out signals to make good sounding music. You just turned it on and there it was. It was rather magical.

Then one day someone decided that they wanted to listen to some different music, so they built another radio station. Then someone else decided to build yet another, and another, and another ... and before long there were a lot of stations playing different kinds of music. This was great for the listeners but not so for the receivers.

Some stations had very strong signals. This was because the transmitter was either close by or had a lot of power. Some stations had much weaker signals because they were farther away or didn't have as much power as the "big guys." Those old radios had a lot of trouble sorting out all the signals and none of the music sounded very good.

So, the radio "magicians" went to work and came up with new receivers that were more selective; they were better at sorting out all the stations. They also made them more sensitive; they could pick up stations that were farther away. Most of the time everything worked just fine. But occasionally those advances in technology, while solving some problems created others.

What if your favorite radio station happens to be rather far away or doesn't have as much power as the "big guys?" What if it's on the dial between two other stations with stronger signals? Under these conditions your receiver, no matter how good it is, could have trouble sorting out the signals. Certain weather conditions can also cause reception problems, especially to stations with weaker signals. We can't control the weather, nor can we control the amount of power other radio stations are using.

There's good news! This story has a happy ending. Most of these problems can be overcome by applying some simple techniques. Let's start by taking a look at different kinds of radios.

About Radios

Your Radio may come in one of many different styles. It may be a small portable model or a sophisticated entertainment system in your home. There are alarm clock radios; "boom boxes"; table top models, some operate on batteries, others plug into the wall. Let's not forget the radio in your car. There are many different styles of radios, but they all have one thing in common. They have some sort of antenna to pick up the station's signal. When you tune your radio to a station, how well it receives that signal may depend on the antenna.

About Antennas

Just as there are different types of radios, there are also different types of antennas. Your antenna may be similar to one of those shown below. The whip antenna is a single rod that is permanently attached to your radio. It can be extended or pushed in. Some only extend straight up out of the radio while others can be swiveled around in most directions. This is one of the simplest types of antennas. For best results you must experiment with the length and orientation.

Tune your radio to KVNO at 90.7 on the FM dial. Start with it at its shortest length and laying down flat against the radio. If your reception problem is due to too much signal then this may help. Change the length and position of the antenna until you get the clearest signal.

The "Rabbit Ears" antenna is really just a variation of the Whip. Its advantage over the Whip is that it allows greater variations in how you position it. Also, it may do a better job of pulling in signals. Rabbit Ear antennas may be permanently attached or they may be a separate unit that sits on top of your radio. You can purchase Rabbit Ears separately and add them to your radio provided you have the proper connection on the back. Adjust Rabbit Ears just like you would a Whip. Start with them short and laying down flat. Tune in to KVNO and experiment with length and position to see what works best.

Another simple antenna is the "Twin-T." It is made out of flat ribbon TV cable commonly known as "Twinlead." At the bottom, two wires or connector lugs attach to the antenna connector on the back of the radio. You can buy Twin-T's at any store that sells electronic accessories. Its advantage is that it's often easy to hide. You still need to experiment with this antenna to see what works best. Tune us in and try different positions. Hang it vertically or horizontally. Try just letting it fall to the floor behind the radio. Also try hooking up only one of the two wires. Again, do what ever works best.

If you use an outdoor antenna to pick up TV channels 2-13 it will also work well for KVNO. This type of antenna system can be complicated and expensive, as well as dangerous to install. We don't recommend that you buy one just for FM reception. If you should decide to put one up, enlist the services of a professional. If you already have one on your roof or in the attic then you should try using it. You will need to add a signal splitter if you want to hook it to your TV and radio at the same time. Splitters are available at electronic accessory stores for only a few dollars. The advantage of this antenna is that you can aim it at the station of interest. It boosts ignals in the direction it's pointed and reduces those coming from the side and back. This may be helpful in reducing interfering signals. KVNO's transmitter is in Northwest Omaha where the tall TV towers are located. Your antenna may already be pointing in the right direction.

Listening in Your Automobile

You may experience an odd problem while listening to the radio in your car. This phenomenon is called "Multipath" distortion. As you drive, you hear a fluttering sound as the signal cuts in and out. Often it is described as "picket fencing" because of the rapid clicking sound it makes; like running a stick along the boards of a wooden fence. People may think they have a loose wire somewhere in the radio.

Multipath, as the name implies, occurs when radio signals bounce off large objects such as buildings or hills. Your radio picks up the direct signal and one or more reflected signals arriving from different directions. These reflected signals may enhance the direct signal or they may cancel it out. You don't notice the enhancement but the cancellation shows up as multipath.

Multipath is most noticeable while your car is moving. However, you can stop in a "bad" spot and lose the signal altogether. When you move your car, even just a few inches, the signal comes back. The TV equivalent of multipath is "ghosting."

Multipath is a fact of life when driving in the city. If the problem is severe the antenna in your vehicle may be faulty. Automobile antennas, while being somewhat of a compromise between appearance and performance generally work very well. The best ones are the fender mounted type, either solid or extendable rods. Often the biggest problem with automobile antennas is they get water inside and the resulting corrosion affects performance. If you are having reception problems on several stations, your antenna my be faulty. The replacement antenna should be similar in size and appearance to the original.

A new replacement antenna on the market is the flexible rubber type. They may be stylish but can't match the performance of the original metal rod antennas.