Category Archives: DRM

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)

Details Emerge: The PantronX Titus II DRM Portable Receiver

TitusII-DRM-Receiver

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Harald Kuhl (DL1ABJ), who shares more details about the new Titus 2 DRM receiver via the DRM Consortium Chairman, Ruxandra Obreja:

NEW DRM RECEIVER UNVEILED at HFCC MEETING IN MIAMI, FLORIDA THIS WEEK!

The HFCC meeting is being held 22-26 August in Miami and on this occasion there was a live DRM transmission form Radio Vaticana received on  the new Titus2 DRM receiver (pls. see attached document with picture and details) http://www.drmna.info/.

Here is also a little testimony of how this prototype to be sold “at under 100 dollars” performed from Ray Robinson, Operations Manager at KVOH (Voice of Hope / Voz de Esperanza):

I’m currently at the HFCC conference in Miami, and reception of the DRM broadcast here this afternoon was very successful.  Reception was made outside the hotel on two receivers – a  NewStar DR-111 and a brand new pre-production receiver from Pantronix called the Titus 2, with a cluster of attendees gathered round taking photos and videos.  The latter receiver is based on an Android tablet in a stereo radio format with one speaker each side of the central horizontal tablet.  Reception on both radios was solid throughout, on a day when analog reception on 16m was plagued with a lot of atmospheric noise.  We haven’t done detailed calculations, but figure there were probably at least three hops from Italy to Miami, and for a daylight path, the reception quality was nothing short of astounding.

Click here to download the Titus II PDF brochure.

TitusII-DRM-Receiver-Specifications

The PantronX Titus II: A New DRM Receiver

titus 2 big

I had heard rumors that a new DRM receiver was in the works, but had not yet seen any specifications. DRMNA.info has just posted a few specs:

The PantronX Titus II is actually a full SDR solution in a boombox case. Few details yet, but it is running Android, has a 100 kHz to 2 GHz receiver on-board and decodes AM, FM, SSB and DRM natively.

It uses a Quad-core Arm A53 @ 1.2 GHz, 1 Gig of RAM and 8 Gig of on-board Flash. 7″ TFT display and supports Android 5, 6 or custom remixes.

Click here to read the full post at DRMNA.info…

TDF Group to use DRM 30 as shortwave communications system

Click to enlarge. Source: TDF Group

Click to enlarge. Source: TDF Group

(Source: Radio Mag Online)

PARIS — The use of the medium and short wave bands can provide extensive coverage at low cost in inaccessible locations or for those at a disadvantage due to lack of infrastructure.

[…]France’s TDF Group has started a project they call SmartCast that aims to study and build a long range broadcast system, with potential interactivity where appropriate — by way of a low-speed wireless return path. Data including audio will be broadcast in a shared stream based on standard DRM 30 from Digital Radio Mondiale.

Work underway by TDF includes development of services and equipment focused on two markets:

  • Maritime Navigation, with a set of services designated as “NavCAST”.
  • International Broadcasting, with a set of services designated as “WideCAST.”[…]

Read the full article at RadioMagOnline.com

RNZI to run single shortwave transmitter for analog and DRM

New-ZealandMany thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Rafman, who writes:

Heard sad news this morning while listening to [RNZI’s] 9700 broadcast. It makes their future dimmer [IMHO].

RNZI will be running on a single transmitter for both analog & DRM. So now you won’t be able to try DRM on 9890 while 9700 is on air.

Thanks for sharing the news, Rafman. Here’s the accompanying RNZ press release with details from Radio New Zealand:

Information for individual analogue short-wave listeners in the Pacific region.

RNZ International (RNZI) is retiring its 27-year-old analogue-only short-wave transmitter and moving to a one-transmitter operation.

From 1 July 2016 we will be using our newer digital/analogue transmitter and swapping between its digital short-wave and analogue short-wave modes throughout each day.

The digital short-wave mode delivers a signal to relaying Pacific stations, and the analogue short-wave mode reaches individual short-wave listeners.

RNZI has made the decision not to replace the old short-wave transmitter, but to instead maximize the flexibility of our newer short-wave transmitter by using either its analogue or digital mode to deliver to different audiences at different times of the day.

We are also focusing on broadening the options for delivering our signal to relaying radio stations. These stations broadcast our daily news and current affairs content over their own local stations – and allow us to reach a large local Pacific audience.

By working with partners like the BBC World Service (Pacific stream) and Pacific Cooperation Broadcasting Limited (PCBL) (which includes the former TVNZ satellite service) we’ve been extending our content delivery via satellite. We’ll be continuing to focus on this as a complimentary delivery to the DRM digital short-wave service.

RNZI’s online content and delivery, partnerships and use of our specialist content by individuals, media and organisations in the Pacific and worldwide, is also growing.

The move to a one-transmitter operation will result in a reduced service to current individual short-wave listeners in the region. RNZI will still broadcast in analogue short-wave for extensive periods of each day, but there won’t be a 24 hour service as there has been. This is likely to be most felt during breakfast hours when we will need to broadcast a digital signal for relaying stations, rather than an analogue one.

However, RNZI remains committed towards providing an analogue short-wave service for individual listeners across the Pacific. Our role in warning about, and covering, cyclones remains especially important. During cyclone season, RNZI has the flexibility to choose to broadcast entirely in analogue if we need to temporarily provide a fulltime service to individual listeners.

Over time we hope more individuals will be able to access our content online access the region. Online use of RNZI is growing quickly with Pacific visitors and others now increasingly accessing content on the RNZI site.

And in future years, as stations adopt other ways of receiving our signal, we may be able to devote more of our short-wave transmission capacity back into broadcasting in analogue.

With a mix of analogue short-wave, digital DRM short-wave, satellite, partnerships and online content delivery, we remain in a solid position to deliver our unique Pacific content to audiences in the region and beyond.

Our analogue and digital frequency schedule is available at www.rnzi.com along with with updated broadcast times.

Linden Clark
RNZI Manager
Radio New Zealand
Linden.clark@radionz.co.nz
info@rnzi.com

Click here to read the full story at Radio New Zealand.