(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.[…]
The uptodate list until season change during spring/autumn 2022
TIME IN UTC/GMT BROADCASTER FREQ in kHz DAYS LANGUAGE TARGET TRANSMITTING SITE Power kW Antenna beam degrees
2000-2200 Radio Purga 9850 Daily Russian Chukotka, Russia Russia, Komsomolsk, Amur 20 34
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.
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
Reception reports appear with a #drmlog Twitter search, e.g. https://twitter.com/search?q=%23drmlog%20Chukotka&src=typed_query&f=live
KiwiSDRs in Japan and the US west coast routinely receive and decode via the Kiwi’s built-in DRM extension (map.kiwisdr.com) The Chukotka Radio / Radio Purga schedules are in the Kiwi DRM station list, although they are always subject to change (corrections welcome).
There’s already a Radio Purga broadcasting in Chukotka on FM: https://radiopurga.org/
This station could simply be a DRM relay of the existing FM station. I’m surprised there are no frequencies listed for the DRM!
Agreed. I couldn’t find a listing for the frequency used. Hopefully, someone can chime in with where they’ve logged the station.