104.1 The Dock (CICZ) is owned and operated by Larche Communications Inc.
CICZ is licensed by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) on 104.1 mhz (FM) at an effective radiated power of 20,000 watts from our transmitter located near Edgar ON.
Radio Reception Tips:
FM radio signals travel best in a straight line. If you can see the transmitting antenna, you can usually get a good signal. Beyond that, FM reception can be a tricky ‘dark art’ but there are several simple things to try that may noticeably improve your reception.
The FM Antenna
The antenna is where the radio pulls the FM signal ‘out of the air.’ There are several different types of receiving antennas for FM radio. The antenna can be a piece of wire that comes out of the back of the radio; the “T” shaped wire antenna that comes with many hi-fi systems; a sophisticated amplified electronic gizmo that looks like a spaceship; or an outdoor antenna on a mast, similar to a TV antenna. The best antenna will be the one most appropriate for the receiving location.
If you are near our transmitter, a short (1 metre) piece of wire will probably suffice. The position of the wire may, however, be critical and as with all antennas, ideally it should be as near a window as possible. If the window faces toward the transmitter’s antenna, all the better. Depending on the radio, it may already have a wire attached permanantly or hooked to a screw on the back, usually labelled ‘Antenna’ or ‘Ant.’ or ’75 Ohm.’ Move the free end of the wire around to find the spot that sounds best.
At a little distance away from the transmitter (approx 20 kilometres), the “T” antenna becomes a minimum requirement. This antenna should also be near or actually in the window, with the ‘arms’ of the “T” stretched out horizontally side to side, facing Edgar (picture yourself looking in the direction of Edgar; spread your arms out, and you can get an idea what the antenna should resemble). Once again, the best position will be found by listening and moving the antenna. You may need to step away from the antenna after you position it, because your body will tend to affect the reception. The “T” antenna will need a radio with two antenna terminals, (once again labelled ‘Antenna’ or ‘Ant.’ or possibly ‘300 Ohm’). If the radio only has a cable TV type (‘coaxial’ or ’75 Ohm’) connection, you’ll need to go down to the nearest ‘The Source’ or Canadian Tire and purchase a “300 to 75 Ohm transformer,” which will convert the two wires of the “T” to the proper connector type.
Fringe & Beyond
Once you get beyond approx 30 kilometres or so (further than the inner circle as shown on the picture above) , reception can be a little more difficult, particularly around lots of buildings in an urban environment, or in a valley in rural or suburban areas. Since FM travels ‘line-of-sight,’ you are now getting to the point where the curvature of the Earth is getting in the way of clear reception. The only real answer to fuzzy reception is more height. The best solution will be an outside antenna, mounted on a mast and pointed to Edgar. There are numerous outdoor antennas to choose from at ‘The Source’, if you want to put one up. If you have a house, that’s possible, but most apartment buildings won’t let you put anything on the roof, and its a real job to install anyway. You still have a couple of possibilities.
You can buy what’s called an ‘amplified’ antenna. These are ‘rocket-shaped’ table-top devices, a little over a foot tall, that can sometimes get good results. If you buy one, just make sure you can take it back, because if you can’t get any reception with a “T,” the amplified antenna may not always be much of an improvement. Lastly, you can ask your Cable TV company if they re-broadcast us on the FM band, and if so, you can get a ‘splitter’ and use that to feed your radio. This will only be possible if your radio has antenna connection screws on the back, and easiest if it’s a ‘coaxial’ connection (the screw-on type, as used by cable TV).