Tag Archives: VOA Radiogram

Nicholas uses Android phone and $18 receiver to decode VOA Radiogram

voa-radiogram-decode-app

Many thanks to Nicholas Pospishil, who shares this photo and notes:

“VOA Radiogram on 5745 kHz. No fancy equipment needed.”

No kidding! Mobile phones and tablets now have more than enough horsepower to decode most VOA Radiograms.

Nicholas uses the free AndFlmsg app for Android to decode. Note that AndFlmsg is not available in the Google Play store, you must manually install it using these directions.

The Kaito WRX911 is an $18 US receiver and AndFlmsg is free. That’s a pretty inexpensive and accessible combo!

Nicholas originally posted this image on Gary J. Cohen’s Shortwave Listeners Global.

Thanks for sharing, Nicholas!

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

Radio World: The evolution of shortwave radio

Panasonic-RF-2200-1

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Richard Langley, who shares the following article by James Careless in Radio World Magazine.

The article includes interviews with Andy Sennitt, Kim Andrew Elliott, Nigel Fry,  and even yours truly. The following is a short excerpt taken from the introduction of the article:

(Source: Radio World)

OTTAWA, Ontario — With the advent of radio in the 20th century, the shortwave band (1710–30,000 kHz) soon became a hotbed of long-distance radio broadcasting. Used primarily by state-run international broadcasters, plus ham radio operators and ship-to-shore radio communications, the shortwave band was prized due to its astoundingly broad reach.

That reach was — and is still — made possible by the tendency of ground-based shortwave radio transmissions to bounce off the ionosphere and back to earth; allowing shortwave broadcasts to “hop” repeatedly, increasing a broadcast’s range while minimizing its decay.

[…]At the height of the Cold War, the shortwave bands were packed with content as the Voice of America and West Germany’s Deutsche Welle (Voice of Germany) traded ideological punches with Radio Moscow and East Germany’s Radio Berlin International. This is because analog shortwave radio broadcasting was the only way for both sides to make their political cases cross international borders: There was no satellite TV, let alone any internet.

Read the full, in-depth article on the Radio World website…

This article is well worth reading and one of the more in-depth pieces I’ve seen in a trade publication or news site recently.

I should add that I completely agree with James Careless’ conclusion:

“[T]he research that went into this article suggests that the shortwave band is sufficiently alive to be still evolving.”

The fact is, the shortwave landscape is not what used to be in the Cold War. Many of those big voices have left the scene and, in the process, left the door open to others.

The shortwaves are a dynamic communications space that continues to evolve.

That’s why I keep listening.

Want to read more about the future of shortwave radio? Click here to read Does Shortwave Radio Have a Future?

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.

Update: German communications regulator to allow AM digital modes

FLdigi-VOARadiogram

As a follow-up to a previous post, many thanks to several SWLing Post readers who noted this news on the VOA Radiogram website:

The German communications regulator Bundesnetzagentur has changed its mind about allowing digital modes on shortwave broadcast transmitters in Germany. Apparently BNetzA thought that Channel 292 was transmitting the text and images in single sideband (SSB), which is how amateurs, military, etc, transmit the digital modes. Now that they know that the MFSK32 and other modes are sent as program audio on an analogue amplitude-modulation shortwave transmitter, their objections were withdrawn.  (It’s similar to A2A modulated CW.)

BNetzA prefers that the term MFSK32 not be used to describe these broadcasts, but we have to specify the mode so that you can set Fldigi or other decoding software to the correct mode. In any case, the weekly MFSK32 transmission will resume on The Mighty KBC, and DigiDX will return to Channel 292.

Meanwhile, VOA Radiogram this weekend will be all MFSK32 except for the transmission schedule in Olivia 64-2000 under the closing music.