Sunday, November 18, 2012

Use of DRM as a utility mode

I don't know if you have been following the digital tests going on over The Mighty KBC, but they have gotten me to thinking of other uses for DRM. I've always felt that some transmissions on HF such as NAVTEX, SITOR, WEFAX and VOLMET could be incorporated into robust DRM transmissions instead.

Although there have been some tests (TDF sending photos and BBC's use of Journaline) I have never seen or heard true utility broadcasts being tried or tested.

Moreover, it seems that many of these traditional services are showing their age. Recently USCG threatened to eliminate some of their weather related HF services to which they received significant hate mail. The need is still there!

I recently read that the German military (their equivalent to AFN) were considering DRM for ships at sea and remote military installations. Why not and perhaps AFN might consider the same thing, as they seem to be phasing out the SSB feeders they have used for so long.

So once again, DRM offers the technology for service replacement, yet it is being largely ignored. OK, there is only one stand-alone receiver on the market. That could change if manufacturers thought they'd have a market. Any ideas how we can encourage these entities to investigate some of these options?