Tips On Improving Reception Of 1530 KQNK-AM

While parts are on order to get our KQNK-FM transmitter back online, we continue to broadcast on 1530 KQNK-AM, just as we have since the 1960’s. If you are having trouble getting a clean signal from our AM broadcast, here are a few tips to help with reception.

Please note that 1530 KQNK-AM is only licensed for daytime operation by the Federal Communications Commission. It isn’t possible to receive the broadcast before sunrise and after sunset. During daylight hours, our transmitter operates at 1,000 watts of power, covering a wide portion of Northwest Kansas and Southwest Nebraska.

Step 1
Check to see whether your radio has an input for an AM antenna. If it does, you can attach a length of wire–measuring at least 1 foot – to see if that improves reception. Experiment with moving the wire around.

Step 2
If you’ve got a portable radio with only a built-in antenna, try turning the radio around to find a position where reception improves. By the way, the telescoping antenna that comes with portable AM-FM radios has no effect on AM reception.

Step 3
If the radio plugs into the wall with a nonpolarized plug (where both prongs are the same size), try reversing the plug in the outlet. Moving the plug to another outlet might help, too.

Step 4
If possible, position an indoor radio or its antenna near a window. AM reception is affected by walls of brick, metal or concrete, not to mention aluminum siding.

Step 5
Other potential sources of interference are electrical devices in your house–anything from a fluorescent light to a TV. Try positioning the radio away from these things or switch them off while you enjoy the ballgame.


Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.