Wednesday, July 18, 2018

"More CNR DRM Test - 24th July onwards"

Brother Alokesh says "More CNR DRM Test - 24th July onwards"! Great news and stay tuned. I'd love to know his source...

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Chinese DRM!

As has been hinted at in the recent past, China may be on the cusp of a DRM broadcasting revolution.

This may represent the first in many broadcasts, which would certainly break the DRM market wide-open! Great opportunity for Gospell to capture the growing market -  as they have the only DRM receiver in current prodcution and they are located in China.

As seen on Now on the radio BBS "Jul 13, 2018 06:47 UTC CHINA: 6030kHz, Chinese traditional music
("Minzu Yinyue")(DRM) UTC 0230-0700?"

Sunday, June 10, 2018

WINB - further details on their DRM broadcasting

Here is info from the April WINB FCC Construction/Change application. You will see they are using a data amplifier from Amplifier Systems Inc. I don't actually see the quoted model on the ASI website, but I emailed them for more details. It appears that WINB is planning datacasting (in addition to DRM audio and its associated text). 

They are currently testing using 5kHz DRM, so the left half of the 10kHz channel appears to be the datacasting. Zyg has some ideas that he posted over on DRMRX.

Here is an evaluation screen of WINB reception last Friday. See the spiky section on the left half of the 10kHz channel? It looks wrong for a DRM waveform, but it is likely the datacasting stream - hence the 5 kHz DRM to the right side.

This data may represent "Shortwave Trading" that has been written about recently. Completely conjecture so far! Just nice to have some DRM in NA again!

Sunday, June 3, 2018


Please find below, Brother Zyg's VOACAP work related to WINB DRM testing (updated with information from Hans about their Rhombic being terminated)


WINB reports : 
"We are testing in DRM 15670 kHz M-F 
try between 1100-1700 UTC"

Here is a preliminary view of the WINB 15670 kHz DRM coverage at 1600z for June 2018.  The coverage is for a receiver using only a 6 foot whip antenna.  Higher gain antennas may produce better results.

The WINB Rhombic antenna parameters are taken from the HFCC files.  Although the transmitter has been stated as "being rated for 15 kW", I'm using a conservative estimate of 10 kW DRM power for the plot. 
From SWL reports the transmitted bit rate has been monitored as being 8.28 kbps, which should help it to be decoded at lower signal levels.

A report in the DRM RX forum indicated that the signal was relatively strong in Newfoundland at this time but with deep fading and then disappeared some minutes later.  This agrees with the plot which shows the listeners location just on the edge of stronger signal coverage.  The propagation does move the stronger signal area eastwards as time progresses.  There were also reports from the UK and France at a little earlier time when the signal would have been at a somewhat higher level in those areas before moving eastwards.

On Friday, I monitored the KiwiSDR web network of receivers at 1600z and found 15670 kHz DRM "waterfall" signals in Houston, Miami (stronger), and Iceland (weak).  I did not encounter any DRM signals in Europe at that time, but Radio France International has a 500 kW broadcast from Issoudun, France, beaming south to Africa on the same frequency and at the same time!  There was also a much weaker, but still noticeable, signal in the Atlanta area (as received on my Kenwood R-1000 receiver and a long wire antenna).

The plot only shows signals that are stronger than S6 (on an S-meter).

Finally this coverage is for "normal" propagation conditions which just happen to have a zero solar sunspot number as we are in the bottom of the 11 year solar cycle.  Conditions have been less than normal in the past few days.


Sunday, May 27, 2018

Great fun at NASB 2018!

Good things were planned at SonSet Solutions in Elkhart, Indiana and those fine folks delivered!

Charles Jacobson served as Emcee and host for two days of fun and fellowship at SonSet, a partial continuation of the services that we all remember as HCJB. SonSet and ReachBeyond are now the heirs to this PRICELESS Shortwave legacy!

As usual, folks assembled from around the globe to discuss, reminisce and plan the future of Shortwave radio. I am always awed at the knowledge and experience of the various attendees. Representatives from all over CONUS and as far away as Asia and Europe were in attendance.

Presentations ran-the-gamut from news, receiver technology, new installations, antennas... the list goes on. Here are just a few highlights!

Charles gave an informative tour of the plant at SonSet Solutions. He then detailed projects including work with the SonSet Radio (a rather robust and efficient fixed-tuned ministry receiver).

Ever the popular presenter, Dr. Kim Andrew Elliott presented Digital Broadcasts on Analogue Shortwave Transmitters. He is the producer of "Shortwave Radiogram" and is recently retired from VOA. Dr. Elliot wowed the audience with live decodes (transmitted from WRMI and WWCR) of Shortwave Radiogram via a SonSet radio. Presentation of foreign characters (Cyrillic, Chinese and Arabic) really showed the power of this novel broadcasting technology!

Gerhard Straub Director, IBB Broadcast Technologies Division presented and engaging talk on International Broadcasting Bureau Shortwave Projects with continued good news about our CONUS powerhouse in Greenville, North Carolina.

Jerome Hirigoyen of Telediffusion de France (TDF) offered details of the 360-degree Rotatable Antenna System known as ALLISS. I'd take one for my house, but the neighbors might complain!

NASB is known for excellent food and our dinner at "Das Dutchman Essenhaus" in Middlebury, IN (an Amish style restaurant in the middle of Amish country) was tasty and great fun.

Of course, if you are reading this blog, you want to know about DRM! Well the news was plentiful and I'd call it GREAT! Both George Ross of TWR and yours truly presented on DRM topics.

George had more news about the Titus II receiver. It is nearly ready from prime-time and will be using Fraunhofer MMPlayer. This is great news and should make for a very versatile receiver. Although there have been numerous false-starts with the release of the Titus II, it is nearing release and is still promised at the sub $100 price tag.

In "fly catching mode" I am seen here presenting the DRM global update  and extolling the virtues of the Gospell GR-216.

After my presentation, we moved to SonSet's hamshack to attach the Gospell to an external antenna. We were then treated to an hour of nearly flawless reception of Radio Kuwait in DRM stereo! It was really a joy and attendees that had never experienced DRM were awestruck at the audio quality and signal clarity from so far away.

NASB members gave brief reports about their efforts. Of particular interest is the work that J.D Tayloe of Strategic Communications Group shared regarding reviving an old KOL Israel site.

The business meeting handled NASB elections and plans for 2019. The location wasn't finalized but should be shortly. Stay tuned! Another great NASB conference! Thanks to the host, SonSet Solutions for another memorable and informative meeting!