Shortwave Radio Recordings: Radio New Zealand International (DRM)

This morning, while scanning the 31 meter band, I noticed a DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale) signal on 9,890 kHz. Normally, I ignore most DRM signals because the amount of signal strength needed to properly decode the mode (here in the US) is simply too low for pleasant, artifact-free copy.

Still, I thought I’d give the new Elad FDM-S2 a try, so I changed mode from AM to DRM.

RNZI-DRM-003To my amazement, the FDM-S2 quickly decoded the signal and produced excellent audio from Radio New Zealand International.

I assumed the decoding lock would not hold, but I was wrong; indeed, I believe there were only one or two significant drops in the 40+ minutes I listened. This may be a very good sign from the FDM-S2, even if propagation was above average.

I’m not a big DRM listener, but that’s mainly because there is so little to hear on the bands. The real test will be All India Radio in DRM–I’ve never managed to get a consistent lock on them from here in eastern North America.

Still, I’m pleased as punch that I can so easily copy RNZI–one of my favorite international broadcasters–in DRM.

Here’s a recording of the broadcast starting at 11:18 UTC on June 14, 2014. Click here to download the the recording as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

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7 Responses to Shortwave Radio Recordings: Radio New Zealand International (DRM)

  1. Mark Fahey says:

    Wow, a great result Tomas. I am a real DRM junky and listen daily (when at home) to India (3 different services), Spain, Romania and New Zealand with perfect copy. The decoding options I have available to me are via WinRadio Excalibur and Bonito Radio Jet. Usually I use the Excalibur as it is basically my receiver of preference for all listening (you can’t beat seeing the whole 30MHz spectrum live in front of your eyes). The antenna usually used for DRM reception here is a Wellbrook ALA1530LF.

    I also do a large amount of DXing (err maybe better described as listening) using my Perseus in remote reception mode. I have of the thought of setting up an external DRM decoder so I can receive the African and other European DRM signals via remote Perseus reception, but as yet I haven’t actually got around to setting this up.

    Keep us up to date with your findings using the Elad – it’s very interesting!

    Cheers,
    Mark

    • Thomas says:

      Hi Mark,

      The thought actually crossed my mind this morning that perhaps you were in NZ while I was listening to the broadcast!

      Your DRM copy of AIR is brilliant. No doubt, this is the best DRM copy I’ve ever gotten out of RNZI. The only other broadcasters I’ve gotten a good DRM lock on were REE and the Disco Palace.

      So far, I’m impressed with the Elad FDM-S2. I haven’t done A/B comps yet with the Ecal, though. My hunch is the S2 will hold its own. The Excalibur app is more intuitive (and can I say, ergonomic?). Supposedly, the S2 can run on the WinRad application. Of course, haven’t tried yet.

      Hope you’re enjoying the travels!

      Cheers,
      Thomas

      • I’m having a real dilemma: should I go for CR-1a or ELAD DUOr. Seems that neither offer what an avid DXer would want from a standalone device: SSB synchronous detection or just plain SSB with a selection of wide enough filters for broadcast listening in ECSS. Since the CR-1a is advertised as an all-purpose radio, I’m surprised enough people haven’t asked for this for it to make it into the firmware update. Cheers!

  2. Hi Thomas,

    Congratulations on an excellent RNZI DRM catch in a tricky region!

    I’m curious about S2’s standalone operation. Does it offer DRM decoding or is PC software required? What other features are available in standalone mode (e.g. sync detection, etc.)?

    Thanks!

    • Silly question! I mistook the S2 for the receive-only version of DUO that has a display on the front panel. I suppose it doesn’t have a standalone mode as such!

      • Thomas says:

        Funny–I read your comment while on the road and didn’t reply earlier, then forgot! Yes, I’m reviewing the S2. However, now you’ve got me wondering if the FDM-DUO could decode DRM natively. Since the receive side is very similar to the S2, I know it’s possible. Just not sure if the internal software could decode. I’ll find out, though.

        Cheers,
        Thomas

  3. Robert (AK3Q) says:

    Received RNZI on 11690 DRM tonight (this morning) at 6:15 UTC 9/4/14. For those in Europe DRM is common, but here in the states it has been hard to hear. Radio programming dealing with North Carolina Innocence Commission, and South Korean Army death of a young soldier from abuse. Also stories of bullying by students of various schools and pranks.

    Very clear and all that I have heard DRM would be. Signal strength stayed around 17 dB. No fading or noise on frequency and no drop-offs.

    Equipment:
    Elad-FDM-S2 v. 3.0
    Gap Titan multiband Vertical
    Location EM79sc (Cincinnati OH near

    Robert AK3Q

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