Radio Purga: Russia turning to DRM shortwave to reach Chukotka region

(Source: Radio World via Mike Terry)

Russia has resumed Digital Radio Mondiale broadcasts on shortwave. The country originally aired the Voice of Russia via DRM a few years ago. The new service is tentatively called Radio Purga (“Radio Blizzard”). The target area is the Chukotka region of the Russian Far East. Analog shortwave transmissions once served the area, but those ended in the early 2000s when the broadcaster left analog shortwave.

Chukotka is vast and the target audience only numbers a few thousand. Thus, shortwave is the only practical way to reach the population. The transmitter site, Komsomolsk Amur, used to broadcast Voice of Russia’s analog programming and is now being used for the DRM program.

The new service is a joint project between the government in Chukotka and the Far Eastern regional center of the Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network.

Using DRM for Radio Purga has several advantages over analog shortwave. Radio Purga over DRM, for example, offers a static-free and higher fidelity signal. Studies have shown that DRM is just as reliable as analog shortwave over this distance via single-hop transmission.

The broadcaster is considering transmitting two audio programs from a single DRM transmitter. This is something analog shortwave can’t do. It’s also planning on using DRM’s ability to transmit short text message or a type of RSS feed (Journaline). DRM transmissions also use only a quarter of the power that analog transmissions do.

“We have in these remote places 2,000 residents who need to be provided with communications services … the Northern Sea Route also requires attention,” said Roman Kopin, the governor of Chukotka, last spring when the project was initiated, according to a Russian press report. In addition to mariners on the Northern Sea Route, the audience includes geologists, miners, reindeer herders and hunters.[…]

Click here to read the full article at Radio World.

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5 thoughts on “Radio Purga: Russia turning to DRM shortwave to reach Chukotka region

  1. Harald

    So, they are broadcasting in DRM on shortwave. Good news for the industry and an interesting DX target.

    But I wonder if there are any DRM receivers available for people living in in remote areas like this. And lots of batteries.

    Reply
  2. DanH

    Here are the R. Purga shortwave DRM frequencies and times listed in the 2020 WRTH:

    5935 kHz 20:00 – 10:00 UTC
    6025 kHz 06:00 – 10:00 UTC
    11860 kHz 22:00 – 01:00 UTC
    15325 kHz 01:00 – 06:00 UTC

    Reply
    1. Thomas Post author

      Agreed. I couldn’t find a listing for the frequency used. Hopefully, someone can chime in with where they’ve logged the station.

      Reply

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