Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The United States Coast Guard to the (DRM) Rescue!



From the DRM May monthly newsletter comes this bombshell... U.S. Coast Guard has a tender for a DRM solution for Arctic Sea operations!

This is HUGE people! A U.S. Government entity wanting to solve a problem with DRM? I love it! This must follow (to a certain degree) the operation and findings of the German Navy with their DRM broadcasting.

My read is that the Coast Guard has determined that (what my brilliant readers determined 10 years ago) DRM WORKS! DRM to be deployed to ships at sea for weather maps and reports as part of Next Generation Arctic Navigational Safety Information System (ANSIS).

What this tender does not say is that calling for HF DRM capable equipment for North American service, opens the way for other U.S. broadcasters to begin DRM broadcasting. It could mean U.S. produced (or at least designed) receivers and the viability of using DRM as an HF broadcasting solution. The tender even uses words like "Low Cost User Monitor " meaning an affordable receiver. BRILLIANT!
I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry! This is what we have been saying all along! The Coasties breaking loose DRM for North America could be the dream come true for DRMNA "true believers".

Thursday, May 5, 2016

DRM Recommends DRM30 for FCC’s AM Revitalization

The title has it! Read the Radio World story here.

Frequent readers of DRMNA will accuse me of being a broken record on this topic, but AM HD Radio is effectively dead. DRM30 is THE alternative that can survive skywave and revive the heyday of AM-blowtorch radio. Imagine stereo signals covering a third or more of CONUS! DRM30 can do it!

With huge night skywave distances covered and good fidelity stereo, AM could be fun again (like these "radiophone dancers" in Atlanta were enjoying in May 1920). Can you imagine what Wolfman Jack would think of digital stereo coverage via DRM30?

Music on AM via DRM30 could be a revolution.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Panasonic & Zambia

The DRM Consortium is pleased to welcome Panasonic as its newest member.  Panasonic joined other DRM members at the recent DRM General Assembly held in Germany.



DRM is the choice for Zambia, according to Mr Eustace Nkandu, Director
at the Independent Broadcasting Authority of this country who stressed
that: “Zambia wants to commence the process of digital migration for
radio and the position is that DRM is the most favoured digital sound
system.”

The regulatory body in Zambia has been asked to spearhead the country’s digital migration for radio. As a result, the regulator has sent out
letters to all radio stations licensed in Zambia to send their submissions on digital migration. This will be followed by a meeting of the key stakeholders for further discussions.

(Both stories from the DRM April Newsletter)

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Car Shortwave Radio BST-1 First Impressions

I've received, installed and played with the BST-1 in my car for the last week. Not only do I find this receiver fun listening, but the installation was a snap!

The 2 button remote takes some getting used to, but I have almost mastered and memorized the functions already. Last night I added and deleted some channels. 

Mr. Studenberg at Expert Technology Studios, LLC via www.carshortwaveradio.com was pleased to hear that I was having such success with the pre-programmed channels. The channels that come already installed in the unit are most suited to Midwest and Eastern USA. I added some RNZI outlets too.

So far, I have enjoyed armchair copy on WWCR, WTWW, WEWN, BBC, Radio Australia, Radio New Zealand International, Radio Havana Cuba, CB radio and 80M AMers. This is a kick cruising down the highway.

I don't have the benefit of the RDS/RBDS display on my dash, but I have several portables with that function. I have used them to help me program the unit. When I do, I am consistently seeing S8 signal levels on listenable stations.

Otherwise, I have been relying on my rusty CW to listen to the audible frequency output. This is simple to pick up, even for a tin-ear CW operator like me!

The simple trunk-lip mount antenna is available from www.carshortwaveantennas.com and is highly recommended. It is short, attractive and easy to install. Just for fun, I tried several CB and ham whips with a magnetic mount base and they worked ok too.

I have experimented in the past with shortwave reception on the road. This is no easy task. Electrical interference from the car and surrounding buildings and vehicles is a serious problem when using a portable radio. The BST-1 almost completely eliminates those issues. The noise blanker and DSP circuitry work overtime to make listening while mobile a breeze. 

I'll be curious to see if the BST-1 can withstand the rigors of newer electric car interference however. If I can get access to one for a test, I'll let you know.

Although the BST-1 is not a DRM receiver, I am enjoying it day and night. I keep wanting to hop into the car and take a drive just to see what I will find. Mr. Studenberg has a real winner in this novel, simple to use and install, affordable shortwave receiver for the car.

For a better idea about the specs and functionality, take a look at the manual. The BST-1 turns out to be a really fun receiver and perhaps the ultimate mobile shortwave solution! I'll be begging him for a DRM model next.

If there is anything else you'd like to know about using the BST-1, just let me know. Read our interview with Mr. Studenberg to get the background on this exciting mobile receiver.




Thursday, March 31, 2016

Car Shortwave Receiver gets FCC approval

"(We) Finally have FCC approval for the shortwave radio for car at www.carshortwaveradio.com and can now sell it." says the email from Mr. Studenberg at Expert Technology Studios, LLC. about the new BST-1 car shortwave solution.

This is really exciting! Fred has assembled the best state of the art technology and functions into a clean product that really doesn't require "installation" per-se. Anyone attending NASB in Nashville this June can see it in action.

This is not DRM related news, but the fact is - we love shortwave! If you are reading this, you understand the magic shortwave brings. "Look Ma, no internet required!"

I will review the unit on its analogue shortwave merits soon. Suffice it to say, this is really one of the only options for mobile shortwave that offers a plug-and-play solution.