How to Eliminate Noise on an FM Receiver

Updated March 28, 2017

Many radio transmitters use frequency modulation (FM) to disseminate broadcasts. FM waves are less susceptible to noise and static than amplitude modulation (AM) waves. However, the performances of FM receivers are altered by the presence of other electronic devices. When other devices are too close to FM tuners, white noise or static pollutes the radio broadcast. To fix this problem, try these two solutions.

Keep any cell phones or two-way radios at least 20 feet from an FM receiver. Cell phones, even when not in use, send out pings that are picked up by FM receivers. As an experiment, place a cell phone next to an FM receiver for a few minutes and listen to when the pings are sent.

Choose a station and adjust the dial to the setting if you are using an analogue radio. Use very small adjustments to remove the static and noise from the station. During the day, an FM signal will change due to atmospheric-pressure changes; this requires the user to make tiny adjustments.

Add a larger external antenna to the receiver. Many FM receivers include screw-down attachments for long antenna wires. Screw the antenna wire into the receiver and attach the wire to a wall or run it out of a window to improve reception, thus reducing static and noise.

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About the Author

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.