Category Archives: Digital Modes

Can you help Rick ID this mystery digital signal?

Ricks-Location

Photo from Rick’s location in Vernon, BC.

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Rick Slobodian, who writes to request help with the following:

Tecsun-PL-606I was on the beach at our lake, [where I was listening to my] Tecsun PL-606 receiver.

[On Friday, August 19, 2016 at 1800 UTC, I noted a] “beeper”: beeps at Hz repetition rate , does not appear to be data, it beeps for about a minute then there is a short data burst then beeping again for a minute or two.

This went on for over an hour.

Location of Vernon, British Columbia, Canada.

Location of Vernon, British Columbia, Canada (click to enlarge).

[The beeping covered] all frequencies between 13400-13800 kHz. [Then on August 20, it started at] start 1745 UTC and was no longer on 3400-13800 but now on
all frequencies between 12120 -12250.

What is it? [Take a listen:]

Click here to download a recording of the beeping.

My ham radio friend says there are a network of stations that send out pings that everyone in the group transmits and everyone receives. The signal strength and phase of the rx signal is correlated at each receiver station, to direction find some unknown station.

Was there such a thing during the cold war, and is it still around? What is this system and where can I find out more about it?

Thanks for your inquiry, Rick. This is outside the scope of what I understand on the HF bands, so I hope SWLing Post readers can chime in and offer suggestions.

Please comment if you can help Rick ID this transmission!

The Gospell GR-216: DRM Consortium announces new DRM portable

GOSPELL-DRM-Portable-Radio

(Source: DRM Consortium via Alokesh Gupta)

Gospell announces the imminent release of GR-216 DRM/AM/FM digital radio

Chengdu, China, September 05, 2016

Gospell, a leading supplier of pay TV system and equipment, satellite TV receiving products and microwave products, is delighted to announce the imminent release of GR-216 DRM/AM/FM digital radio, the first model in its Global Radio series range of tabletop radio. The product is designed to meet the demands of easy access to high quality information for cost-sensitive market at an affordable price.
GR-216 is equipped to receive DRM broadcast, as well as traditional FM with RDS and AM in medium wave band and shortwave band. Featuring a high performance DRM/AM/FM tuner, GR-216 provides noise-free reception of even the weakest stations. It supports the latest audio compression standard xHE-AAC and traditional HE-AAC as well as SBR and parametric stereo.
Besides the built-in whip antenna and ferrite bar antenna, dedicated AM/FM external antenna terminals with switch are located on the rear side of the radio, this will help those who live or work in a metal or concrete building and enjoy listening to a radio.
This unique radio will automatically turn itself on and initiate its emergency-tuning process when the Emergency Warning Broadcasting is engaged. The radio will enlarge its volume, flash the backlight, play siren sound and tune itself to the emergency program.
In addition to DRM program recording, AM/FM are also supported. Recorded program will be stored on the attached USB pen drive and can be played back on other devices such as a phone or a tablet. The GR216 also includes a scheduler which allows the user to schedule regular and unattended recordings for their favorite radio programme.
The built-in high-quality 3 inch full-range speaker with enlarged magnet provides outstanding audio performance and room filling sound. With the help of state-of-the-art audio processing technology, GR-216 includes separate bass, mid and treble tone controls and a graphics equalizer, users can tailor the sound to their taste. We’ve provided an output for headphones along with an audio output on the rear side of the radio for line recording or to connect GR-216 as a radio tuner to a home audio system.
As a tabletop radio, GR-216 features dual independent alarm clocks with sleep timer. The alarm clock allows for once, daily, weekday and weekend settings. The alarm can be adjusted to the volume you prefer with buzzer or radio stations.
All aspects of set-up, time and program information are clearly shown through an easy to read large LCD display with white backlight, which is paired with an intuitive rotary control, enabling quick and easy navigation. The display brightness and contrast can be adjusted for a comfortable night’s sleep.
“GR-216 is designed with the purpose and vision of providing easy access to high quality information, while utilizing a simple and intuitive user interface”. Said Haochun Liu, director of DRM development department, Gospell. “With the help of a carefully design and concrete quality, GR-216 will be a durable device that supports long-term use.”
For additional information, please visit www.gospell.com or contact Gospell sales at
haojq@gospell.com
About Gospell
Founded in 1993, Gospell Digital Technology Co Ltd (GOSPELL). is a private hi-tech enterprise with R&D, manufacturing, business consultancy and planning, trade, delivery, project implementation and after sales service, acting as a complete DTV and triple-play solution provider for Digital TV/OTT related projects. Headquartered in GOSPELL INDUSTRIAL PARK at Chenzhou, Hunan Province for CPE related production manufacturing, GOSPELL also has its office in Shenzhen for business/marketing management and administration, in Chengdu for R&D and headend/transmitter system production/debugging and Customer Service Center, and in 12 cities
in China as well as international offices in India, Africa and Mexico.
Gospell announces the imminent release of GR-216 DRM/AM/FM digital radio
Chengdu, China, September 05, 2016
Gospell, a leading supplier of pay TV system and equipment, satellite TV receiving products and microwave products, is delighted to announce the imminent release of GR-216 DRM/AM/FM digital radio, the first model in its Global Radio series
range of tabletop radio. The product is designed to meet the demands of easy access to high quality information for cost-sensitive market at an affordable price.
GR-216 is equipped to receive DRM broadcast, as well as traditional FM with RDS and AM in medium wave band and shortwave band. Featuring a high performance DRM/AM/FM tuner, GR-216 provides noise-free reception of even the weakest stations. It supports the latest audio compression standard xHE-AAC and traditional HE-AAC as well as SBR and parametric stereo.
Besides the built-in whip antenna and ferrite bar antenna, dedicated AM/FM external antenna terminals with switch are located on the rear side of the radio, this will help those who live or work in a metal or concrete building and enjoy listening to a radio.
This unique radio will automatically turn itself on and initiate its emergency-tuning process when the Emergency Warning Broadcasting is engaged. The radio will enlarge its volume, flash the backlight, play siren sound and tune itself to the emergency program.
In addition to DRM program recording, AM/FM are also supported. Recorded program will be stored on the attached USB pen drive and can be played back on other devices such as a phone or a tablet. The GR216 also includes a scheduler which allows the user to schedule regular and unattended recordings for their favorite radio program.
The built-in high-quality 3 inch full-range speaker with enlarged magnet provides outstanding audio performance and room filling sound. With the help of state-of-the-art audio processing technology, GR-216 includes separate bass, mid and treble tone controls and a graphics equalizer, users can tailor the sound to their taste. We’ve provided an output for headphones along with an audio output on the rear side of the radio for line recording or to connect GR-216 as a radio tuner to a home audio system.
As a tabletop radio, GR-216 features dual independent alarm clocks with sleep timer. The alarm clock allows for once, daily, weekday and weekend settings. The alarm can be adjusted to the volume you prefer with buzzer or radio stations.
All aspects of set-up, time and program information are clearly shown through an easy to read large LCD display with white backlight, which is paired with an intuitive rotary control, enabling quick and easy navigation. The display brightness and contrast can be adjusted for a comfortable night’s sleep.
“GR-216 is designed with the purpose and vision of providing easy access to high quality information, while utilizing a simple and intuitive user interface”. Said Haochun Liu, director of DRM development department, Gospell. “With the help of a carefully design and concrete quality, GR-216 will be a durable device that supports long-term use.”
For additional information, please visit www.gospell.com or contact Gospell sales at haojq@gospell.com
About Gospell
Founded in 1993, Gospell Digital Technology Co Ltd (GOSPELL). is a private hi-tech enterprise with R&D, manufacturing, business consultancy and planning, trade, delivery, project implementation and after sales service, acting as a complete DTV and triple-play solution provider for Digital TV/OTT related projects. Headquartered in GOSPELL INDUSTRIAL PARK at Chenzhou, Hunan Province for CPE related production manufacturing, GOSPELL also has its office in Shenzhen for business/marketing management and administration, in Chengdu for R&D and headend/transmitter system production/debugging and Customer Service Center, and in 12 cities
in China as well as international offices in India, Africa and Mexico.

August 28: BBC Atlantic Relay station special DRM broadcasts

RNZI-DRM-2(Source: DRM Consortium)

DRM will be part of a big anniversary on a small island in the Atlantic Ocean. On 28th of August at 1155 GMT Babcock International will ensure a special BBC digital transmission on 21715 kHz from the BBC Atlantic Relay station, marking the fiftieth anniversary of the BBC’s first short-wave radio broadcast from Ascension Island.

Since 1966, the Atlantic Relay station has broadcast BBC World Service programmes to Africa and South America, and to this day, continues to broadcast over 250 programme hours every week to East and West Africa in English, French, Hausa and Somali.

BBCRelayStation-Ascension IslandThe two hour-transmission on 21715 kHz will start with the old, special sound of Bow Church Bell in east London, the sound of which, even if in DRM this time,  will remind older listeners of the BBC broadcasts of many decades ago. The 21-hour transmission will be the regular BBC programmes for West and South Africa and will end at 1400.

DRM – Digital Radio Mondiale, is an international digital radio standard designed by broadcasters, for broadcasters, in co-operation with transmitter and receiver manufacturers. DRM is a high quality digital replacement for analogue radio broadcasting in the AM and FM bands.

This special transmission will be sent with greetings from Ascension Island’s BBC and Babcock International staff and visitors, who will be celebrating half a century of sterling broadcasting on August 28th.

Click here to read more about the fascinating history of the BBC’s broadcasts from Ascension Island.

Transmission Details

FREQ   TIME (UTC)       SERVICE          TX        kW       Bearing Day      LANG               TARGET

21715   1155-1201         BBC DRM         ASC     250       114       1          English             S. Africa           (Special Announcement)

21715   1201-1400         BBC DRM         ASC     250       114       1          English             S. Africa            (English – ENAFW)

21715   1400-1430         BBC DRM         ASC     250       250       1          English             Brazil                (English – ENAFW)

Additional analogue transmission will broadcast from 13.30 GMT for ceremonial purposes.

15105   1330-1430         BAB                  ASC     250       27         1          English             W. Africa                   (Special Announcement)

WRMI to showcase digital modes via analog radio

31-meter-Spectrum (Source: VOA Radiogram via Richard Langley)

WRMI, Radio Miami International, will showcase digital text and images via analog radio in a half-hour special broadcast to be transmitted nine times (at least), beginning Saturday, 13 August.

The broadcast will mostly be in MFSK32 centered on 1500 Hz. There will also be segments in MFSK64, MFSK32 centered on 2200 Hz, and Olivia 64-2000. The program will include MFSK images, examples of non-Latin alphabets, and an Flmsg transmission. You will also hear “co-channel” music.

To decode the modes on the WRMI broadcast, Fldigi software is recommended. Download it fromhttps://sourceforge.net/projects/fldigi/files/fldigi/ . The main Fldigi website is http://www.w1hkj.com.

And you will use the companion program Flmsg. Download it fromhttps://sourceforge.net/projects/fldigi/files/flmsg/ .

To make Flmsg work with Fldigi, in Fldigi: Configure > Misc > NBEMS > under Reception of flmsg files, select Open with flmsg and Open in browser, and below that indicate where your Flmsg.exe file is located – probably somewhere in Program Files(x86).

For correct decoding of the languages with diacritics, or using non-Latin alphabets, in Fldigi: Configure > Colors & Fonts > RxTx > in the Rx/Tx Character set menu, select UTF-8.

For Fldigi to automatically select the mode and the center audio frequency of the mode, select RxID (upper right of the interface) by left clicking. In newer versions of Fldigi, also right click on RxID and select Passband.

You can decode this WRMI special broadcast as it is broadcast, or from your recording.

TRANSMISSION SCHEDULE

Via WRMI’s transmitters at Okeechobee, Florida, except where noted:

Saturday 13 August 0030-0100 UTC on 7730 kHz (285 degrees azimuth)
Saturday 13 August 0730-0800 UTC on 5850 kHz (315 degrees)
Saturday 13 August 1330-1400 UTC on 11580 kHz (44 degrees)
Saturday 13 August 2200-2230 UTC on 5950 kHz (181 degrees)
Sunday 14 August 0230-0300 UTC on 11580 kHz (44 degrees)
Sunday 14 August 2130-2200 UTC on 15770 kHz (44 degrees)*
Sunday 14 August 2330-2330 UTC on 11580 kHz (44 degrees)*
Monday 15 August 2000-2030 UTC on 6070 kHz* **
Tuesday 16 August 2130-2200 UTC on 15770 kHz (44 degrees)

* Preempts DigiDX, usually heard at this time

** Via Channel 292, Germany

Many of these broadcasts will be heard outside their nominal target areas.

Reception reports to Jeff: info (at) wrmi.net

There’s a pattern in that noise!

Digital-Image-VOA-Radiogram

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, @K7al_L3afta, who just shared the image (above) and noted, on Twitter:

“I just discovered the noise at the start of [the VOA Radiogram has] a purpose!” 

That’s a brilliant discovery!

Click here to learn about the VOA Radiogram.

Click here to follow @K7al_L3afta on Twitter.