Experiencing Poor Signal Strength? It's The Ice.

Feb 6, 2014

Billy Folsom taking extra care
Credit Charlie Roberts / SimplexQ, LLC

This week many listeners have been asking us about problems with the reception for KUAR and KLRE.

Arkansas's extra ice and winter weather this season are likely the cause of listening difficulties.

When ice falls in the region, it coats our antennas and their towers. That ice increases what's called "reflected power," which in turn can cause our transmitter, the really expensive piece of equipment that sends the signal through our antenna, to overheat.

Our transmitters are smart, so when the heat begins to rise, they automatically lower their power. This prevents them from burning up, but causes strength signal to reduce.

The antenna for KUAR is at a higher elevation than the one for KLRE. This generally causes the KUAR signal to be affected by icy weather sooner and for longer periods of time than KLRE.

That reduced signal will cause listeners on the edges of our coverage area to lose the station altogether. Listeners in the middle of our signal range might experience poor reception.

Reflected power isn't usually an issue, because when we do have ice in central Arkansas, it usually accumulates overnight, and then melts during the following day. Recent weather patterns, however, have been more persistent.

What can I do about it?

If you are having trouble with KUAR or KLRE reception and you have internet access, try our webstream. Look for the "Listen Live" button at the top left of this or any other page on our website. There you can choose from KLRE or KUAR streams.

If you have a handheld device, go to kuar.org. It's optimized for small screens. There you can choose between the KUAR and KLRE webstream.

Also, on the right side of most pages on our website, you'll see the "Now Playing" block. There you can choose several options for streaming either station.

Other than the webstream, we'll be waiting for the weather to warm. If you have any questions or comments about the reception of KUAR or KLRE please direct them to comments@ualrpublicradio.org.