Monthly Archives: March 2017

AIR launching Phase II of DRM conversion

All India Radio (AIR) Headquarters in Dehli, India. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

(Source: Radio Mag via Dennis Dura)

AIR Launching DRM Conversion, Phase II

NEW DELHI — All India Radio was recently congratulated by India’s Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shri Venkaiah Naidu for having completed phase I of the national DRM digital radio roll-out in India. Thirty-seven DRM transmitters have been installed by AIR throughout the country, and all are now operational, according to DRM news.

Of the 37 new transmitters, 35 are medium wave and 2 are shortwave transmitters. Both SW transmitters are for international service and are broadcasting in pure DRM. […]

AIR is now in the process of launching phase-II of the DRM project by offering full features and services from these DRM transmitters and further improving service quality. When Phase-II is complete, the full-featured DRM services will be available to the audience and a public information campaign will be initiated to inform the Indian citizens of the completely new and future- oriented DRM radio platform and its many benefits. […]

Phase-III, as presented by AIR, will eventually culminate in the complete transition of radio services to the digital DRM platform, further improving the number and quality of radio services and extra features for the listeners, while also saving tremendous amounts of transmission power every year, according to the same article.

Click here to read the full article via Radio Mag Online.

While it sounds like the broadcasting side of DRM is progressing with AIR domestically, I haven’t read anything recently about affordable DRM receivers being developed for the market in India (other than possibly the Titus II and Gospell GR-216 which, I suppose, could be imported).

Based on messages I’ve received from readers/listeners in India, any new DRM receiver must be very affordable ($40 US or so) if wide adoption is to be expected.

I believe this is an opportunity for a manufacturer like Tecsun to step in and make an affordable DRM portable for the market in India–something with a simple display and controls. Otherwise, this might be another “cart before the horse” situation for DRM.  That would be sad.

Titus II at NAB

The least expensive portable DRM receiver on the horizon could be the PantonX Titus II (not yet in production).  PantronX has claimed the Titus II will cost “less than $100.”

And speaking of the Titus II, SWLing Post reader, Ed, notes:

pantronX is reportedly going to announce its Titus II Android SDR boombox at NAB April 22-27, which is another indication this radio is for real.

http://www.thebdr.net/hotlinks/mfgr.html

We’ll post updates about the Titus II as they become available. Follow the tag: PantronX Titus II

Dan Robinson: “Voice of America has never been independent”

SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, is the former White House, Congressional and foreign correspondent for the Voice of America.

I’ve just learned that Dan has authored a piece in the Columbia Journalism Review titled Spare the indignation: Voice of America has never been independent“:

Spare the indignation: Voice of America has never been independent

I encourage you to read his full article and please direct your comments to the original post on the Columbia Journalism Review website.

FCC Approves MF/LF Ham Radio Bands

(Source: CQ Newsroom & FCC)

Hams in the U.S. will soon have two new bands on which to operate, experiment and contribute to the collective knowledge of “the radio art.” In a Report and Order issued on March 30, the FCC approved creation of secondary amateur allocations at 135.7-137.8 kHz (2200 meters) and 472-479 kHz (630 meters), the first amateur bands with wavelengths above 200 meters since the dawn of radio regulation.

The new bands come with lots of strings attached, since they will be shared with “PLC” systems used by electric utilities to control the nation’s power grid. Hams will be limited to fixed station operation, antennas no higher than 60 meters (196 feet) above ground and radiated power limits of 1 watt effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP) on 2200 meters and 5 watts EIRP on 630 meters (1 watt in some parts of Alaska). Plus, operation on these bands will not be allowed within one kilometer of electric transmission lines using PLC and advance notice of all planned operation to the PLC network coordinator will be required.[…]

Continue reading at the CQ Newsroom.

Click here to download the full Report and Order from the FCC (PDF).

From the Isle of Music and Uncle Bill’s Melting Pot, April 2-8

1. New A17 Schedule for From the Isle of Music  including the addition of SpaceLine

From the Isle of Music, Week of April 2-8, 2017
Our A17 Season begins April 2 with a new schedule, and our first episode will be a re-broadcast of our special about Grupo de Experimentación Sonora del ICAIC, a supergroup from the 1970s whose many important members influenced the future course of Jazz, Nueva Trova, Fusion, Concert and cinematic music in Cuba. With special guest Pablo Menéndez, a member of GESI (In English) and some seldom-heard selections by the group.
Four opportunities to listen via shortwave:
1. For Eastern Europe but audible well beyond the target area in all directions with 100Kw, Sunday 1500-1600 UTC on SpaceLine, 9400 KHz, from Kostinbrod, Bulgaria (1800-1900 MSK)
2. For the Americas and parts of Europe, Tuesday 0000-0100 UTC on WBCQ, 7490 KHz from Monticello, ME, USA (Monday 8-9PM EDT in the US)
3 & 4. For Europe and sometimes beyond, Tuesday 1900-2000 UTC and Saturday 1200-1300 UTC on Channel 292, 6070 KHz from Rohrbach, Germany.

2.  Although not listed on the WBCQ website, Uncle Bill’s Melting Pot, a top secret music and variety program with just a bit of weird in it now and then,  airs Thursday nights on WBCQ 7490 Khz at 2300-2330 UTC.   Uncle Bill says next week’s contents are secret but fun.

Hemingway and a Zenith Tranoceanic?

In a Twitter exchange yesterday @dean_frey shared the photo above of Ernest Hemingway on Safari in Kenya in 1952.

I believe this may be a Zenith Transcoceanic model H500. Could a Transoceanic expert in the Post community confirm of correct me? Please comment!

I know this: I love Earl Thiesen photos.

Thanks for sharing, Dean!

Check out Dean’s twitter feed for other vintage photos.