Frequently Asked Questions: Engineering and Reception

Does NHPR broadcast in HD?

Many of NHPR's frequencies currently broadcast in HD.

The infrastructure we are putting in place will enable us to move to digital channels in the future to provide additional programming choices for our listeners through the HD Radio system. At that point if you want to listen to those additional channels you would have to buy an HD radio. Even then, though, you will still be able to receive our regular NHPR FM signal just like you do now.

I keep hearing drop-outs or other interruptions in your programming. What's the cause?

NHPR works hard to maintain its network of transmitters, translators and satellite downlinks. Occasionally, problems pop up and we do our best to address them as quickly as possible.

Common problems include transmitter outages, when no signal is received and you only receive static when you tune to NHPR. Another common problem is loss of programming, when you tune to NHPR only to hear silence. Another frequent problem is interference. With the onslaught of wireless communication devices, such as cellular phones, pagers, wi-fi networks and two-way radios, we have experienced an increase in interference-related problems. This manifests itself by brief chirps, whistles or drop-outs. The problem can last from a few seconds to several minutes.

When I tune in to NHPR, I can hear another radio station instead. What's causing this?

This is usually caused by a temperature inversion in the atmosphere. It occurs when there is an odd collision of weather and atmospheric conditions, causing radio waves to act strangely. It is temporary, lasting from a few minutes to an hour. The problem should correct itself soon, so please stay tuned.

I can receive another public radio station, but not NHPR. Why?

Because radio waves do not stop at state lines, you might be able to hear another public radio station more clearly than you will NHPR. If you are located closer to another station's transmitter than to one of NHPR's, you will receive their signal better.

I can hear NHPR in my car, but not on the clock radio next to my bed. Why?

Generally speaking, radios in your automobile are better receivers of radio signals than those in your house. Typically, clock radios use the power cord as an antenna. They might also have a flexible, whip antenna built into the radio. The location of the power cord, or whip antenna, will affect your reception. If you've recently moved your radio, this can affect reception. Try repositioning the radio and/or power cord.

Why is the signal so weak in my city or town?

While NHPR would love to add a full-powered station everywhere its signal is weak, the decision of where and when we add a station is not entirely within our control. The FCC strictly regulates where a radio station can be built, how powerfully it can broadcast, and where it will be located on the dial. Additionally, the span of radio signals reserved for non-commercial stations is limited to a small percentage of the radio dial.

Because we are located in a very crowded corner of the country, it is difficult to find available non-commercial frequencies, and commercial frequencies are very expensive to acquire. NHPR has searched continuously for available frequencies throughout New Hampshire, as well as in Vermont, Maine and Massachusetts. However, we've always run the risk of interfering with other non-commercial broadcasters already broadcasting. The FCC won't allow us to cause interference with another station. Additionally, international treaties prevent us from interfering with Canadian stations.

How can I listen to NHPR?

There are full-power radio stations and lower-power translator stations across New Hampshire that deliver NHPR's programming to your radio. The station or frequency you should tune to depends on where you live. Visit the Station Locator page to see our frequencies.

You can also listen to NHPR online.

Who do I contact when I have reception issues?

Use the contact form to let us know about any problems receiving NHPR's reception. Select "Engineering and reception" as the "Send To" category on the form.

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