Thursday, June 13, 2019

DRM on 11M in Budapest - watch for Sporadic-E openings!

"...The Budapest University of Technology joined the DRM effort in 2015. “As specialists dealing with various broadcasting standards, we are enthusiastic about the opportunities of DRM and we wanted to join the professional activity of the DRM Consortium” ― explains Csaba Szombathy, head of the broadcasting laboratory which started a 1-year DRM broadcast on 1 June 2019.

The current short wave DRM transmission performed from the university has two main objectives: partly to demonstrate the value-added possibilities of DRM (xHE-AAC coding, slideshows and Journaline advanced text services accompanying the audio content), and partly to provide an opportunity for receiver manufacturers to test their products in real life. Since this is not a public or commercial service, the modulation parameters (transmission mode, SDC and MSC constellations, interleaving depth, etc.) can be freely changed at any time. Developers are, therefore, welcome to perform field tests with their devices in Budapest working in close co-operation with the broadcasting team of the Department of Broadband Infocommunications Systems and Electromagnetic Theory of the Budapest University of Technology. The landscape of the Hungarian capital is particularly interesting because the town is partly built on a flat area, partly on hills. The two sides are separated by the river Danube and are exhibiting various interesting wave propagation phenomena.

The transmitted content is a 24-hour program, played out in a loop, compiled by the media partner of the project, Radio Maria. Initially, AAC coding is used, but the intention is to migrate to the most advanced xHE-AAC codec and to add Journaline along with a slideshow. The Fraunhofer Institute in Erlangen, Germany, provides substantial support for this upgrade."

The technical parameters of the demonstration broadcast in Budapest, Hungary, are as follows:

Frequency: 26060 kHz
EIRP: approximately 100 W
Antenna: 5/8 l monopole
Transmission time: 24/7

Whole story here.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

StarWaves all-in-one DRM module announced

As reported at NASB 2019, a new DRM module (W102) with integrated hard coded baseband decoder will be available from StarWaves.

The module will be suitable for applications such as consumer radios or aftermarket automotive solutions. The module contains a high-quality tuner frontend and audio DAC as well as a digital input for external audio sources e.g. from an external MCU to provide Bluetooth or USB audio.

It measures only 40x40mm and covers all bands from LW, MW, SW to the FM Band (64-108 MHz) in DRM and analogue radio. All data services such as Journaline or MOT Slide Shows can be extracted from the data stream for further processing in the target device. The module can be ordered and will be available in the 3rd quarter of 2019.

DRM Consortium Press Release here.

Monday, May 13, 2019

NASB 2019 - after action report

Once again, DRM was featured prominently at the National Association of Shortwave  broadcasters annual meeting held at Trans World Radio headquarters in Cary, North Carolina on the 9th and 10th of May. 

Not only was DRM the topic addressed by 4 of the speakers, many of the other sessions related to DRM topics and developments.

A challenge came from Lauren Libby (president of Trans World Radio) for the broadcasters and attendees to create a "Receiver Work-group" to 
brainstorm a way to jump start low-cost receiver development. This challenge was met head-on by the NASB board and a new work-group was formed to begin its focus by the end of May.

The conference featured a spirited presentation and Q n A by Johannes Von Weyssenhoff of StarWaves. 

Johannes proposed that with the correct commitment, he could begin immediate production of $29 USD receivers and $18 USD modules for existing radio productions. 

He has secured prototypes and has a manufacturer in-line for this work, which could start in a few months, under the proper factors.

George Ross of TWR presented on the vast world of low-cost SDR units being deployed globally by hobbyists in pursuit of DRM reception. 

Along with his colleague Mike Sabin, the two discussed the interest they had seen in Japanese and Chinese enthusiasts confirming reception of KTWR DRM tests that occurred last Christmas.

Jerome Hirigoyen of TDF presented a novel project called DRMcast Receiver. This device serves as a gateway whereby DRM is received and decoded and the audio is sent via WiFi to any available smartphone, PC or tablet device through a simple web interface. The unit itself has the antenna and power connections. This low-cost alternative to a conventional radio could serve multiple mobile devices in the vicinity.

Christopher Rumbaugh (your humble admin) of DRMNA presented on DRM consortium updates over the last year and a report on radio enthusiasts he met with 
on a recent trip to Japan. He reported that Japanese radio hobbyists enjoy radio in both digital and analog forms and welcome further 
broadcasts and tests in DRM as well as using other broadcasting initiatives such as Radiogram.

Lastly, it was confirmed by Calvin Carter of Continental electronics that the recent installation of a new 500 kW transmitter at WBCQ in the state of Maine does not include hardware to transmit in DRM. 

He did state that the equipment and modifications could be added to make the station DRM compatible, however.

NASB 2019 at TWR was an enjoyable and informative meeting. DRM is still on broadcaster's minds and hopefully will soon be part of their broadcast plans!

Friday, March 22, 2019

NASB 2019 hosted by TWR in Cary NC

NASB 2019 is planned for Cary NC at the home of Trans World Radio. Your DRMNA Admin will be in attendance again this year!

Thursday, May 9-Friday, May 10, 2019

Location: TWR International
300 Gregson Drive, Cary, North Carolina 27511 USA

Costs for Attendees:  There is no cost to attend the meeting itself, and the meals indicated in the agenda will be provided free of charge.  Attendees must pay their own travel and accommodation expenses.


Meeting Hotel:  Comfort Suites Regency Park, 350 Ashville Ave., Cary, NC 27518.  This hotel is 1.6 miles from TWR.  It is located in an area of shopping centers, restaurants, and a large Walmart store.  If you are not arriving by car, there will be many participants with cars who can provide you with transportation back and forth between the hotel and TWR.

Hotel Website:

Hotel Room Rate:  Suites are $119.00 per night, single (king bed) or double (two queen beds), plus tax.

Hotel Reservation Procedure:  Please make your reservation by phone to +1-919-852-4318.  Ask for the "NASB" rate.  Or you can e-mail your reservation details to  Please specify whether you prefer one king bed or two queen beds (same price).

Nearest airport: The Raleigh-Durham International Airport is about 15 miles from the Comfort Suites hotel in Cary.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

9:00 am - Meet in front of hotel for transport to Conference

9:30-10:00 am - Opening remarks from Lauren Libby, President, Trans World Radio

10:00-10:30 am - Tour of TWR headquarters

10:30-11:00 am - Coffee Break

11:00 am-12:00 pm - Shortwave Listening and DXing in Japan and DRM Update - presentation by Christopher Rumbaugh, DRM North America

12:00-12:30 pm - More on DRM from TWR's George Ross

12:30-1:30 pm - Lunch will be catered at TWR

1:30-2:30 pm - Presentation about TWR Africa by Gottfried Schiele and Mike Sabin

2:30-3:00 pm - TWR Cary's Joe Barker with an update on TWR Bonaire

3:00-3:30 pm - Coffee Break

3:30-4:00 pm - TWR Asia, including KTWR Guam - Presentation by Mike Sabin

4:00-5:00 pm - Presentation TBA

5:00 pm - Return to the hotel

6:30 pm - Dinner at local restaurant

Friday, May 10, 2019

9:00 am - Meet in front of hotel for transport to Conference.

9:30 am - Presentation TBA

10:00-10:30 am - Coffee break

10:30 am - Updates from NASB member stations and associate members:  WWCR, KVOH, WEWN, WRMI, KNLS and more.

12:00 pm - Catered lunch at TWR

1:00 pm - NASB Business Meeting -- Finance reports, elections, plans for NASB 2020 annual meeting in Brmingham, Alabama; other business

3:00-3:30 pm - Brief meeting of new Board members and officers

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Receiver demonstrations at DBS 2019

Here we see a quick demo and information shared by Alexander Zink of the DRM Consortium at this week's ABU Digital Broadcasting Symposium held in Kuala Lumpur. He describes that the Gospell GR-216 is using the NXP automobile chipset. We see and hear the Titus II but without further details. Still waiting!