NextRadio, an app that allows you to recieve local FM stations on your smart phone, is a welcome start to opening FM radio access on a mobile device. Few of us carry a boom box as we go about our day. NextRadio lacks the capability of long-range FM reception, the type of reception you would receive with that antenna that hangs off a quality standard FM receiver. Of course, a lot depends on the quality of your smart phone. Opening NextRadio on my LG K10, I get a shortlist of local stations, the most powerful, depending on where I am in the city. The listings can vary as I travel across the city and down I-5.
The best device I have that mimics an FM radio is my RCA Opal MP3 player. It comes with an FM receiver and picks up all FM stations one would receive on your standard FM radio. It was a smart purchase, but I really discovered, after the fact, that it was much better than I had estimated.
While scanning the dial here at home in East Olympia/Lacey, I find that KBUP (Sacred Heart Radio 1240) has an FM translator (K284CG) at 104.7 FM. I happened to tune in at the end of a fund drive (they hit their goal, by the way) and hung around for the EWTN Nightly News round-up. It is a little livelier than NPR news and includes the Catholic slant on stories, along with interviews with leaders within the Church.
NextRadio does not allow access to translators for other stations in the area either. While it is a good start, FM on your smart phone deserves better. If you have FM access on your phone, what app do you use and are you receiving all possible FM signals in your area?
A little background, the RCA Opal was priced at about $80 several years ago when I purchased it. It also has a recorder to record memos or that FM radio you are listening to. Being an MP3 player, obviously it has memory for a couple thousand tunes, audio books, and pictures.
Cruisin’ down the dial on the RCA Opal (weak signals excluded):
107.1 KRQT Classic Rock -Longview
104.9 KTDD Eatonville
104.7 K284CG Sacred Heart Radio
104.5 KLSW K-Love
104.3 KMNT Chehalis -Country
104.1 K281AD (KHTP 103.7 is the parent station)
103.3 KMAS Shelton with interference from 102.9 Smooth Jazz
102.9 KFNY Chehalis currently running Smooth Jazz
102.1 KSWW Aberdeen -Adult Contemporary
101.9 K270CJ Olympia (KRXY HD2 Classic Rock format Shelton)
101.1 KGHO-LP (K266BM) Olympia -Classic Rock
99.3 KDDS Elma Bustos Media -Ranchero
98.5 KNBQ Central Park -K-Love Christian music
97.7 KOMO Oakville
96.9 KYYO McCleary -Country KAYO
96.1 KXXO Olympia -Adult Contemporary
95.3 KGY KYYO HD2 Olympia -Oldies
95.1 KITI Winlock-Centralia-Chehalis -Classic Rock
94.5 KRXY Shelton -Hot AC
93.7 KLSY Monteseno
92.9 K225BY Olympia KRXY HD 3 -Classic Rock-Alternative
92.3 KGON ** Portland
92.1 K221DV Kamilche (KAWZ Twin Falls, Idaho-CSN Christian Satellite Network)
91.9 Free Radio Olympia *uncensored-unlicensed Pirate radio -surely the FCC wouldn’t allow such language on the airwaves. Oh, my!
90.5 KACS Chehalis -Christian
89.3 KAOS Olympia -Evergreen State College – as weird as the college…ok, eclectic
88.9 KSWS Chehalis -Northwest Public Radio
88.1 KWAO Ocean Park -Air-1 Christian Rock