The Mighty KBC test broadcast September 27

DJ Eric van Willegen, "Uncle Eric" hosts The Giant Jukebox on the Mighty KBC.

DJ Eric van Willegen, “Uncle Eric” hosts The Giant Jukebox on the Mighty KBC.

(Source: The Mighty KBC)

For our listeners across the pond:

Uncle Eric is testing Saturday September 26th on 7395 kHz between 23:00 – 24:00 UTC.

Our normal broadcast on 7375 kHz is on Sunday September 27th 00:00 – 03:00 UTC.

Please spread the word and send your reports for 7395 kHz.

The Mighty KBC testing Monday & Tuesday morning

MightyKBCTruckThe Mighty KBC will be testing Monday and Tuesday mornings (March 11th & 12th) from 09.00 -11.00 UTC.

They will be on the following frequencies (simultaneously):

  • 5,955 kHz from Nauen with The Giant Jukebox
  • 6,095 kHz from Wertachtal with Transport Radio

The Mighty KBC asks that you kindly email your listener reports for both shows.

The Mighty KBC testing fast digital modes this weekend

KBC Propagation Map (Source: The Mighty KBC)

KBC Propagation Map (Source: The Mighty KBC)

The Mighty KBC will broadcast this Sunday (January 20) on 9,450 kHz between 00:00-02:00 UTC (that’s Saturday night in North America from 19:00-21:00 EST). Details below:

(Source: The Mighty KBC)

We will try some fast text modes this weekend on The Mighty KBC, to see if they can survive the rigours of shortwave.

This will be during the North America broadcast at 0000-0200 UTC 20 January on 9450 khz. At about 0130 UTC, 4XPSK63R will be centered on 1000 Hz and MFSK64 centered on 2000 Hz. (For 4XPSK63R, use Fldigi 3.21.65 or newer: OpMode > PSKR > MultiCarrier > 4XPSK63R.) At just before 0200 UTC, MT63-2000 (long interleave) will be centered on 1500 Hz, and PSKR250 on 2800 Hz. This will be an Flmsg formatted transmission, with html. Fldigi and Flmsg can be downloaded from www.w1hkj.com.

The Mighty KBC repeating digital tests this weekend

Caution: Don’t try this test if you’re driving an 18-wheeler!

The Mighty KBC is repeating the digital test they broadcast last weekend.

If you tune in (9,450 kHz, from 00:00-02:00 UTC) you should try decoding their digital message. If you configure FLDIGI according to their instructions, below, their broadcast should automatically launch your web browser with a message:

Because shortwave reception conditions were poor in many parts of the world last weekend, we will repeat the same digital text transmissions this weekend on The Mighty KBC.

These will be during the broadcast Sunday at 0000 to 0200 UTC (Saturday 7 to 9 pm Eastern Time in North America) on 9450 kHz. At about 0130 UTC, MT63-1000 will be centered at 1000 Hz, and PSKR125 will be centered at 2200 Hz. At just before 0200, MT63-2000 will be centered at 1500 Hz. Both MT63 modes will use long interleave.

Install both Fldigi and Flmsg from www.w1hkj.com.

In Fldigi, go to Configure > Modems > MT-63 > check 64-bit (long) interleave, 8-bit extended characters, and Allow manual tuning. Also, go to Configure > Misc > NBEMS > check Open with flmsg and Open in browser and, below that, indicate where your flmsg.exe file is located. If everything works, a shortwave transmitter in Bulgaria will open a new window of your web browser.

Saturday, from Bulgaria, Dr. Elliott will control your web browser

As DRMNA.info says:

“Let Dr. Elliott take control of your PC!”

I agree.

On several occasions now, Dr. Kim Elliott has transmitted digital messages via shortwave radio in an assortment of digital modes. We’ve mentioned this in the past (and we even posted a tutorial on decoding his WBCQ message).

Early Sunday morning (UTC–Saturday night for many) The Mighty KBC will once again broadcast some of Elliott’s digital messages from 00:00-02:00 UTC on 9,450 kHz. This time, they’ll even broadcast two different messages in two different modes simultaneously (details below). No Johnny, this isn’t your granfather’s shortwave:

(Source: Kim Elliott)

The Mighty KBC, 21 Nov 2012: “This UTC Sunday, 25 November, more digital text during the broadcast of The Mighty KBC at 0000 to 0200 on 9450 kHz. At about 0130 UTC, PSK125 will be centered at 1300 Hz on the waterfall, MFSK32 at 2200 Hz. Decode one from the radio, and the other from your recording. Just before 0200, only one mode, MFSK32, will be transmitted, centered at 1500 Hz. For this message, please have Fldigi and Flmsg (both available from www.w1hkj.com), as well as your web browser, all running on your PC. If all goes well, at the end of this transmission, the message should pop up in new windows of Flmsg and your browser. (In Flmsg, click Configure, then Misc, then NBEMS, then check Open with flmsg and check Open in browser.)

[Elliott’s comments] “UTC Sunday 25 November at 0000 to 0200 UTC is the same as Saturday evening, 24 November, 7 to 9 pm Eastern Time in North America. This transmission on 9450 kHz is via a leased transmitter in Bulgaria.

To decode the two text transmissions, download Fldigi and Flmsg from w1hkj.com. Configure Fldigi to work with your PC’s sound card.

Also, in Fldigi, click Configure, Misc, NBEMS. Under NBEMS data file interface, click Enable. Under reception of flmsg file, click Open with flmsg and Open in browser.

During reception, patch audio from the earphone or line out jack of your radio to the microphone input of your PC. You may have to experiment a bit with audio settings. You should see a “waterfall” on your Fldigi display.

If all goes according to plan, when the text message just before 0200 UTC (9 pm Eastern) is completely received, it should pop up in a new window of your default web browser.

By the way, if you haven’t noticed, I’m a big fan of The Mighty KBC. Not only do they broadcast an excellent mix of music on shortwave radio, but they’ll also blast these digital messages to their listeners. Thanks, KBC!

Again, please comment if you decode these messages!

The Mighty KBC tests 9,450 kHz and will send a digital message this weekend

KBC Propagation Map (Source: The Mighty KBC)

This Sunday, from 00:00-02:00 UTC, The Mighty KBC will again broadcast 2 hours of music on the 31 meter band.  This time, they will be testing on 9,450 kHz to avoid adjacent signal interference heard on 9,500 kHz last week.

They will also broadcast a special digital message at 01:30 and then again prior to the end of their broadcast. They have sent full details about the broadcast in a press release (below). Note that though the mode is different, the procedure of decoding the digital message is similar to the one WBCQ broadcast this year. We published a short primer on decoding the WBCQ message in May.

Here are the details on Sunday’s broadcast and how to decode the QPSK125 message:

(Source: The Might KBC)

The Mighty KBC will test to the USA on Sunday 11 November 2012 00.00 – 02.00 UTC on 9450 kHz!

Please join the Mighty KBC for a test of a digital text sent via a shortwave broadcast transmitter. This will take place during the next transmission to North America, Sunday 0000-0200 UTC, at approximately 0130 and just before the end of the broadcast at 0200.

All you need is a basic shortwave receiver (no SSB mode is necessary), and a basic personal computer. Using a patch cord, you will feed the audio out of the earphone jack (or line out) of your radio into the microphone jack of your PC. If you don’t have a patch cord, you can try placing the speaker of your radio close to the built-in microphone of a laptop PC.

You will also need software. There are several freeware or shareware programs used by the amateur radio community that decode digital text modes. One is FLDIGI, available from http://www.w1hkj.com .

After installing FLDIGI, pull down the Configure menu, then click Sound Card, and select the soundcard your PC is using.

You might also have to adjust your audio settings. In Windows 7, left click twice on the speaker icon in the lower right of PC display, then click Options, then click Properties, then click Recording, then click the input that works. Other operating systems will have different procedures. A good way to test your audio settings is to try to decode the radio amateurs using the PSK31 mode on 14070 kHz.

For the test digital text transmissions on Sunday, The Mighty KBC will be using the QPSK125 mode. On your software, your cursor should be centered on 1500 Hertz, where you will see the “waterfall” of the QPSK125 signal. You can decode the transmission while you receive it, or record the transmission and decode from the recording. The latter will give you more opportunities to perfect the technique.

The test to be transmitted will be a formatted html file. Copy it from <html> to (and including) </html>, and paste it to a text editor (such as Notepad in Windows). Save the file, using any file name, with the suffix .htm or .html. Then open the file in any web browser. If all goes well, this might be the first time you receive a shortwave radio broadcast in color!

In the future, an app will be developed to make this process simpler!

Shortwave Radio Recordings: The Mighty KBC on 9,500 kHz

Once again, The Mighty KBC broadcast a two hour mix of music to the world on 9,500 kHz. Fortunately, I was able to record the entire broadcast–you can listen below.

The KBC signal and audio out of their transmitter in Bulgaria were both excellent. There was very noticeable interference from the clandestine station, Radio Republica, who broadcasts at the same time (00:00-01:57 UTC) on 9,490 kHz.  According to my spectrum display, Republica’s signal had a bandwidth of 20 kHz!  At times, I had to narrow my receiver filter to about 6.6 kHz and use a USB sync mode  to keep KBC’s broadcast clear.  Still, you can certainly hear some of the noise from Radio Republica in the recording.

Though somewhat difficult to see since this is a snapshot, Radio Republica’s signal covered a 20 kHz wide swatch of the spectrum. The KBC broadcast is shaded and centered on 9.500 MHz.

Since Radio Republica is broadcast from the US, I’m curious if listeners in other parts of the world (or other parts of North America) had the same problem. If so, please comment!  I’ll pass this along to KBC.

You can download the entire broadcast as an mp3 by clicking here, or simply listen in the embedded player below: