WAMU operates three low-power radio stations that broadcast Bluegrass Country to listeners in the greater Washington, DC area including close-in Virginia and Maryland suburbs on 105.5 FM and also in the Frederick and Hagerstown areas on 93.5 FM.
- These stations are designated by the FCC as “translator stations” which operate with much less power than a full power station such as WAMU’s main signal. Nevertheless by locating a translator on a high tower or on a mountain top these signals can be heard for many miles.
- All of our FM listeners in the Washington, DC area are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know where Bluegrass Country can be heard on 105.5 FM. We welcome comments on reception of 93.5 FM from Frederick and Hagerstown listeners.
How much power does WAMU’s Bluegrass Country transmit on 105.5 FM and where is the antenna located?
The effective radiated power of the 105.5 translator which relays WAMU’s Bluegrass Country is 99 watts in both the horizontal and vertical planes. The vertical component is for your car and portable radios and the horizontal component for reception by a roof mounted antenna similar to a TV antenna.
WAMU’s Bluegrass Country broadcasts from a tower located on River Road in Bethesda. MD. For those who are interested, the geographic coordinates are North Latitude 38-57-51 and West Longitude 077-07-16.
The antenna is mounted 617 feet above ground on the tower.
How much power does WAMU’s Bluegrass Country transmit on 93.5 FM in Frederick and where is the antenna located?
- The Frederick translator broadcasts with 19 watts effective radiated power and is located northwest of downtown Frederick near Gambrill State Park, with geographical coordinates of North Latitude 39-29-35 and West Longitude 39-29-35. The antenna is 1880 feet above sea level.
How much power does WAMU’s Bluegrass Country transmit on 93.5 in Hagerstown and where is the antenna located?
- The Hagerstown translator broadcasts with 163 watts effective radiated power from the top of a building downtown with geographical coordinates of North Latitude 39-38-45 and West Longitude 77-43-23. The antenna is 660 feet above sea level.
The Washington, DC 105.5 FM coverage area
- How well you will receive 105.5 depends on how far you are located from the transmitter in Bethesda, the radio and antenna you have, and where you are listening: home or office or car. Currently the signal can be heard quite well in areas around and beyond the beltway for about 5 miles except in northwest Montgomery County where interference and a weaker signal are currently experienced. We are working on improvements to the antenna to increase coverage in this area. In this area an outdoor antenna may receive a stronger signal. Learn more about our HD radio service which covers the greater Washington, DC area very well.
- This is a preliminary coverage map derived from comments we have received from listeners. Generally the listeners within the green areas receive the signal well, the listeners in the yellow areas may receive fading and should try adjusting the location of the radio and the antenna. The white areas of the map show where 105.5 cannot be received except in unusual conditions.
The Frederick and Hagerstown 93.5 FM coverage areas
- These stations can be received primarily within the city limits of Frederick and Hagerstown.
What’s the first thing to check if I am having trouble receiving the FM signals?
One of the easiest solutions to a reception problem, particularly if you are in the metropolitan area, is to move the radio to a different part of the room. Sometimes moving the radio only a few inches or several feet will bring in a clear signal. Most portable and clock radios use either a telescopic whip or the AC power cord as an antenna. The whip can be extended, retracted, and rotated to change reception. The ac cord can be moved around and draped across objects for the best signal or wrapped up to reduce signal. If your clock radio has no visible antenna or connections for an antenna then you can assume that the radio is using the power cord for an antenna.
For more information about improving reception review the FM reception FAQ.