Tuning Into America

Some people collect stamps, baseball cards, or Pokemon, John Cooper Ross collects radio stations. He has been doing this for some time now and was inspired by the film Contact. Cooper has been able to pick up stations from both coasts and even Ontario Canada. He is able to do this because the 535- to 1,705-kHz frequency band, which broadcast AM occupies, is classified as a medium frequency (MF) radio band. Medium wave signals follow the curvature of the Earth, using ground wave propagation, but can also bounce off the ionosphere at night, resulting in skywave propagation, which means they can travel far. But more than just collecting another pin on his map, Cooper has been able to learn about the places he picks up, such as KKOB 77 out of Albuquerque NM. From listening to this station Cooper learned about the immersive art experience Meow Wolf in Santa Fe and is planning a trip to go visit sometime. By tuning into these stations Cooper says he feels more connected and informed about the places he has only heard about. For those who want to try this Cooper recommends turning on AM radio at night in your car and begin scanning the frequencies. When you hear the call letters or a station identification, get on google and type those in to see where the station is located. If you want some stations to start from Cooper recommends:

AM 770 WABC – New York City

AM 1070 KNX – Los Angeles

AM 850 KOA – Denver

AM 1120 KMOX – St. Louis