Sunday, March 31, 2013

Guest post by Brendan in AZ
This was posted to the DRMNA Yahoo Group but is too heart-felt not to be posted here too! Do we have an answer for Brendan's final question? Who will spear-head our regulation change request with the FCC? -Regards, Fibber admin for DRMNA.
"For those of us who have logged TDF transmissions from Montsinery, this 
is a sad day. Yesterday was the final DRM transmission from there, The 
Disco Palace on 17875 at 2000UTC. Yesterday would have been the final 
day for any analog transmissions as well, since we have been listening 
to the last broadcasts of any type from there.

DRM from Montsinery has been like having the beam directed towards me - 
which is the truth actually. On both the TDP Radio and Disco Palace 
transmissions the azimuth of their signal was only a few degrees off, 6 
in fact, of being pointed directly at my location. Most days the 
propagation gods smiled on me, and reception was perfect no matter what 
equipment I used. Even going up in frequency for experiments was not a 
problem, all I had to do was re-tune, and there they were, booming in. 
It was DRM as it is meant to be, "armchair" copy, bringing the world a 
little closer and in higher fidelity.
My personal thanks to the transmitter crew at TDF Montsinery for their 
hard work and the executives at TDF who invested in DRM and allocated 
the resources to keep it all running for year after year. In particular, 
Jacques Gruson, now retired from TDF, deserves much of the credit for 
keeping DRM going at TDF, and has kept us informed of what has been 
happening. Merci beaucoup, Jacques!

Any rancor or ill feelings about this I am keeping for the politicians 
who ultimately control the purse strings. The short sighted policies 
that see only money saved and not the services provided are what need to 
be blamed here. The Americas have seen many shortwave stations shut down 
of late, and it shows in the increasing scarcity of anything to listen 
to on shortwave here. What I feel needs to be done now is to redefine 
what and how shortwave is to continue in the future as a broadcast 
source in the internet age.

Well, RNZI lives on, and if the Australian government ever gets its act 
together maybe Radio Australia will finally be able to have a DRM debut 
on the airwaves. Radio Espana Exterior is still going from Costa Rica, 
so all is not lost yet if one wants to listen to DRM. DXing DRM is not 
easy, but with AIR starting up in earnest, maybe we'll see 
internationally aimed broadcasts from there. CRI has already broadcast 
in DRM to North America (from Sackville no less!), but those were shut 
down and there is little likelihood of them returning.

Which leads me to this: we ask for legislation making shortwave open for 
domestic US broadcasting. We know it is done on a de facto basis 
already, but let's make it de jure and see what can be done to bring 
shortwave back as a broadcast medium. At this point, I'm not picky about 
any efforts to select either DRM or analog, let's just see if we can get 
the legislation done. DRM30 is already the mandated digital broadcasting 
format for shortwave, that's a done deal. Until the receiver question is 
settled though, analog is still easier to implement, and it can be 
converted later.

My two and a half cents worth for today.

73's to all,
Brendan Wahl WA7HL
Bisbee, AZ"