What causes massively scrambled FM radio reception along the Capital Beltway near Falls Church, Virginia?
There is a stretch of the Beltway in Northern Virginia where the FM radio reception is abysmal. If I remember correctly, it is near the Falls Church and Fairview Park exits, but it's definitely south of Tyson's Corner. It was so when I was growing up there 20+ years ago (80s-90s) and friends who live there now say it remains so.
The problem always occurs in the same area and both day and night - you drive into it and no matter where you are tuned on the FM band, the station becomes unintelligible, the reception totally scrambled and overwhelmed by loud static.
The AM band is unaffected - and tuning to AM talk radio was always my father's answer to the problem. After a mile or two, maybe three, everything goes back to normal on the FM dial.
I have looked up the radio towers located in Falls Church
, and Fairfax
Those pages list the commercial, private, and broadcast towers in those locations and their assigned frequencies, but I have no expertise that would allow me to judge whether those listed towers are the problem. I have some guesses based on location, but none of the towers I looked at seemed to be broadcasting in the FM band - but then again, I don't know if they'd have to be in order to interfere.
So do you know what is the cause of this Bermuda Triangle of radio, or can you help in interpreting the tower listings to potentially identify the problem? Thanks.