Every time you change radio stations in the car, you change from one set of numbers to another. Chances are you have several radio station numbers memorized and associate them with different stations. One for sports, news, music, talk shows and so on. But how do radio stations get their numbers? And what do they mean?
Well, every number on your AM and FM dial is a different frequency, and by tuning your radio to a different frequency you can pick up what’s on that airwave. Depending on where you are in the world, different broadcasts are on the same airwaves. That’s why if you turn the dial to 104.3 in Texas, you might get local news, where if you listened to the same station in Colorado, you could get pop music.
There are laws that limit the number of stations that can be in one specific area, so what you hear on the radio is often based on where you are in the state or world. It also explains why you can drive a certain distance or listen at a certain time, and the station will start to cut out with something else. The frequency is getting weaker or stronger based on where you are.
Other factors like directional power couplers, the position of satellites, and the power of the frequency come into play, but for a basic understanding that’s what you need to know. You turn the dial to a specific frequency and your radio tunes in on that wavelength to bring it down to your speakers.
Then you can listen in and catch your favorite shows, news, songs, and radio personalities whenever you want. All because of signals in the air and the power of your radio, how cool is that?