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AM radio

You might have trouble receiving AM radio because of faulty radio equipment or interference.

Follow the steps to fix your radio reception.

Do not try to fix your equipment yourself unless you are qualified. Use a service technician.

Step 1: check radio station coverage

Check whether you are in a coverage area for a radio station.

Search using your post code or place name to find out.


Step 2: check your radio equipment

Faulty radio equipment might stop you receiving radio.

Be careful what radios you buy, especially from overseas.

Try different equipment in place of yours. If you receive radio this time, it is likely your other equipment is faulty.


Step 3: check your home

Electrical equipment in your home might cause radio reception problems.

The way you check for and fix the problem depends on what it is. 

Common radio reception problems
Equipment How to check

Appliances such as kettles, toasters and refrigerators

With your radio on, switch your appliance on and off. See whether that changes your reception.

Products with an electric motor such as power tools, electric shavers and hair dryers

With your radio on, use your product. Listen for a whine or buzz from your radio that changes with the speed of the motor.

Products with a thermostat such as hot water systems, refrigerators and spa baths

Listen for a regular harsh buzz from your radio.

LED lights

With your radio on, switch your lights on and off. See whether that changes your reception.

If your equipment is causing your problem, consider:

  • moving the equipment
  • fixing your equipment
  • buying new equipment

Step 4: check outside

Electrical sources outside might cause radio reception problems. 

An outside source usually affects many homes.

First, try to isolate the source by turning off the power to your house. Ask your neighbours to do the same. See if that changes your reception. 

The way you check for and fix the problem depends on what it is.

Common radio reception problems
Electrical source How to check

Power lines

Listen for a harsh, rasping buzz from your radio. It is usually during hot, dry and windy weather and in the evenings when dew falls on power lines with dust, salt or pollution damage.

Street lights

See whether the interference happens when street lights turn on.

Nearby transmitters

Listen for voices other than those on the radio program you are listening to.

Contact your electricity provider if power lines or street lights are causing reception problems.

Your electricity provider's contact details should be on your latest electricity bill. 

If you cannot fix your radio reception

If you followed the steps and still cannot fix your radio reception:

  1. have a service technician test for problems
  2. complain to us
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