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So you can hear WHKY AM Radio during the day, but not at night?

Note:  WHKY Radio also transmits programming on 102.3 FM which is not subject to the same interference as AM Radio.  Tuning to WHKY on 102.3 FM will offer clear non-interference signal both day and night.

WHKY Radio broadcasts on 1290 Khz AM with a daytime power of 50,000 watts and 1,000 watts at night from its transmitter site on Tate Boulevard in the southeastern section of Hickory, NC. During the daytime hours of operation three towers are used to produce a directional coverage pattern which covers a radiaus of approximately 150 miles. At sunset, WHKY reduces power and transmits the signal to four towers. This directional pattern sends the signal more towards the eastern and western directions with less signal directed to the north and south. This results in a figure-eight looking coverage area.

This is required by Federal Communications Commission rules. WHKY (and many other AM radio stations) must ‘protect’ each other at night. This is because AM radio signals can travel hundreds, or even thousands of miles at night. (in fact–many radio stations must leave the air at sunset to protect other stations.) Although the WHKY nighttime signal cannot be picked-up in a few local areas (even 20 miles away), the signal will “bounce” off the Earth’s nighttime atmosphere and can be heard clearly in Atlanta, GA and Kansas City, MO.

Pattern & Power Change Times

We switch our antenna system at set times each month near sunrise and sunset.  Day: Power is increased to 50,000 Watts,  Night: Power is reduced to 1,000 Watts.


Day: 7:30 am Night: 5:30 pm


Day: 7:15 am Night: 6:00 pm


(EST) Day: 6:30 am Night: 6:30 pm

(EDT) Day: 7:30 am Night: 7:30 pm


Day: 7:00 am Night: 8:00 pm


Day: 6:15 am Night: 8:30 pm


Day: 6:15 am Night: 8:45 pm


Day: 6:15 am Night: 8:45 pm


Day: 6:45 am Night: 8:15 pm


Day: 7:00 am Night: 7:30 pm


Day: 7:30 am Night: 6:45 pm


(EDT) Day: 8:00 am Night: 6:15 pm

(EST) Day: 7:00 am Night: 5:15 pm


Day: 7:30 am Night: 5:15 pm

Improving reception of WHKY Radio

Unfortunately AM radio is subject to reception problems caused by natural and man-made sources. Many times simply moving your radio to another location will cure reception problems. Try to place your radio near a window. Most AM radios use an internal antenna, so try rotating your radio to obtain the best signal. Sometimes a new radio will fix your reception problems.

Possible sources of interference:

Computers: Nine times out of ten if your radio is near a computer, it will interfere with your radio. Computers send out all kinds of signals that your radio ‘thinks’ is a real radio signal. Try to locate your radio away from computers….especially the monitor.

TV Sets: Much like computer monitors televisions can produce strong interference….locate your radio away from the TV….better yet….turn the TV off and just listen to the radio!

Light Dimmers: These often produce a very annoying ‘buzzing’ sound on your radio. Click the dimmer switch off to get rid of the noise.

Appliances: Many house hold appliances have fairly powerful motors, or other electrical devices that can cause reception problems. It may take some detective work on your part to find the culprit. While listening to the radio, either turn off,or unplug the suspect appliance to see if your radio sounds clearer. Contact a qualified appliance repair shop to see if they can repair it.

Thunderstorms: Lightning can cause a ‘crashing’ sound on your radio. If the storm is close by it’s probably best to turn your radio off until the storm moves out of your area.

Power Lines: Power lines and power transformers can cause noise on your radio. You’ve probably heard noises on your radio when you drive under certain power lines.

Even more things to check: Doorbell transformers, Toaster Ovens ,Electric Blankets, Ultrasonic pest controls (bug zappers) Fans; Refrigerators; Heating pads; Touch controlled lamps; Fluorescent lights; Aquarium or waterbed heaters; Furnace controls; Neon signs; Power company electrical equipment; Alarm systems; Electric fences; Loose fuses; Sewing machines; Hair dryers; Electric toys; Calculators; Cash registers; Lightning arresters; Electric drills, saws, grinders, and other power tools; Air conditioners; TV/radio booster amplifiers; Automobile ignition noise; Sun lamps; Smoke detectors.