Reception Problems


Besides the problem of static, there are also the problems called "fading", "multipath" and "fade out". These problems are caused not by electrical noise but by the nature of the radio waves themselves.


Besides electrical interference, AM broadcasts are also susceptible to other types of interference, especially at night. This is because AM radio waves bounce off the ionosphere at night. These radio waves then interfere with the signals from the same transmitter that reach the vehicle's antenna directly. This type of interference is called "fading".

(b) Multipath

Interference caused by reflection of radio waves against obstructions is called "Multipath". Multipath occurs when radio signals emitted from the broadcast transmitter antenna are reflected against tall buildings or mountains and interferes with other signals which is to be received directly.

Because of the frequency higher than that of AM, FM radio wave tends to be reflected against obstructions such as tall buildings or mountains. For this reason, FM signals often seems to gradually disappear or fade away as the vehicle goes behind those obstructions. This phenomenon is called "fade out".

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