Radio Waves: Free Magazine from URE, C-19 Effect on Listening, Ampegon Focuses on Transmitters, and EU Directive for Car Digital Radio

(Source: Ampegon)

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers.  To that end: Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Mike, Paul Evans,  Josh Shepperd, and Mike Terry for the following tips:


Spain’s URE makes June magazine PDF available (Southgate ARC)

In response to the ongoing Coronvirus situation Spain’s national amateur radio society URE is allowing everyone to download the PDF of the June edition of their magazine Radioaficionados

A translation of the announcement on the URE site says:

One more month, and we have already been three, with the aim of accompanying its readers in the exceptional situation caused by the spread of COVID-19, the URE in its commitment to collaborate and help to cope with the complicated situation we are currently experiencing in our country, has decided to offer free access to the magazine of the month of June and we remind you that magazines prior to December 2019 are also available to you. In this way, citizens who wish to can read these publications for free.

A small gesture so that nobody feels alone at home in the face of this global challenge.

Access is through the website download area, click on “Descargas” under “Junio 2020 – Revista” at:
https://www.ure.es/descargas/

URE in Google English
https://tinyurl.com/SpainURE

Ampegon Puts Focus on Shortwave Transmitters (Radio World)

Ampegon Power Electronics highlights progress on the company’s third-generation solid-state shortwave transmitters, which it says will offer “significant advances in efficiency.”

The company says this work will pave the way toward higher-power broadcast outputs and meet current expectations of a shortwave equivalent to medium-wave and FM transmitters. “Combined, these two developments will bring FM-quality broadcasts with all the benefits of shortwave,” said Simon Keens, Ampegon sales and business development manager.

Ampegon has also developed a retrofit upgrade to current UCS generation control systems for previous generation 100 kW, 250 kW, 300 kW and 500 kW transmitter systems.[]

Listening together, listening alone: A music professor sounds off on his shifting industries (CBC)

Brian Fauteux reflects on the way COVID-19 is affecting his two passions: music and teaching

A lot of great songs effectively reflect the feelings that accompany isolation. The experience of being alone, however, is often constructed in opposition to a longing for togetherness. Heart’s “Alone” (1987) — maybe the greatest power ballad ever recorded — confidently asserts, “‘Til now I always got by on my own.” But this is no longer the case when the song’s protagonist meets and develops undeniable feelings for another: “And now it chills me to the bone.” In another iconic 80s anthem, “Dancing in the Dark,” Springsteen grows tired and bored with himself against the desperate urge to join up with “something happening somewhere.” The act of dancing in the dark can be fun, sure, but it’s much more fun with others. Inspiration in isolation is insubstantial.

I’m an Assistant Professor of Popular Music and Media Studies, and I teach and write about the role of music in society. I’m interested in how our listening practices shape, and are shaped by, issues of sustainability in the music industries — that is, how artists make (or struggle to make) a living in this day and age.[]

EU directive on digital radio in cars (Times of Malta)

Directive (EU) 2018/1972 of the European Parliament and of the Council of December 11, 2018, establishing the European Electronic Communications Code (‘EECC’) entered into force on December 20, 2018. Member states have two years to incorporate it into national law, except where specifically mentioned.

Radio is an important medium through which citizens access a diverse range of information news and entertainment services. The EECC leverages on the ever-increasing connectivity of new generation cars as well as on the digital platforms of radio broadcasters to guarantee a more robust radio experience to all drivers, ensuring good coverage, a wider choice of radio stations and more effective access to information at all times. The EECC ensures that car drivers have access to the benefits of digital terrestrial radio wherever in the EU they have bought their new car.

On April 21, the minister responsible for communications, in consultation with the Malta Communications Authority, published Legal Notice 151 of 2020 amending the Electronic Communications Network and Services (General) Regulations, implementing the provision of the EECC dealing with the interoperability of car radio devices. In line with the regulation, any car radio receiver integrated in a new vehicle of category M which is made available on the market for sale or rent in Malta from December 21, 2020, shall comprise a receiver capable of receiving and reproducing at least radio services provided by digital terrestrial radio broadcasting of type DAB+. Radio programmes in Malta are broadcast terrestrially on DAB+.

The car radio requirement only applies to new cars.[]


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7 thoughts on “Radio Waves: Free Magazine from URE, C-19 Effect on Listening, Ampegon Focuses on Transmitters, and EU Directive for Car Digital Radio

  1. Des Walsh

    Some more comments about DAB radio here in Ireland. For over 10 years it has been a failed experiment here. The independent commercial operators are not interested in the expense of using DAB as their advertising revenue is much reduced . The FM network is quite good but the main transmitters operate at the 100 to 200kW level , and there are numerous transposers to fill in poor reception areas. DAB using band 3 at over twice the frequencies of FM would have coverage problems nationwide in the many valley areas like band 3 had in many towns here. DAB has had low power transmitters in a number of urban areas for some years but without any expansion so has been a very limited service and now under threat of closing due to RTE’s dire financial situation . Even RTE’s UHF TV coverage has had to be supplemented by satellite transmission in some poor reception areas.
    It would seem that DAB stand for Dead And Buried here in Ireland for the present.
    Des Walsh

    Reply
  2. Mark

    Des, These fools in the E.U who make these laws don’t live in the real world at all.

    Digital radio offers nothing to the public like Digital TV but digital is always been pushed as being the best but it’s not always.

    RTE failed with DAB but the commercial radio stations are not interested due to investing in new infrastructure when FM does the job perfectly and people don’t have to buy new radios.

    The same fools in the EU won’t allow more than 250 watts for an electric bike nor allow a throttle like they do outside the E.U and in the U.S power limits are around a more sensible 750 watts.

    E.U legislators are fools.

    Digital radio is being enforced in places and this shouldn’t be allowed. All the digital in the world won’t help stop these state owned broadcasters loosing listeners in this streaming world, state broadcasters can’t compete and changing FM to DAB isn’t going to change this fact and it’s a waste of Public money.

    Reply
    1. Mangosman

      Reno,
      You do not say where you are.

      I have had posters complain about audio quality but when challenged to provide examples of poor sound and to describe them they cannot do it. It is important that broadcasters do not use music which has been MP3 compressed prior to HE AAC compressed on its way to the transmitter. It sounds appalling.

      When comparing sound quality with AM, the addition of stereo and high frequencies is amazing and in FM the freedom from hiss and distortion is great. Also FM reduces the loudness of loud high pitched sound which is unnecessary in DAB+ and DRM.

      All VHF coverage has to be properly engineered using 3D electronic maps to ensure that there are no holes in coverage. Vehicle adaptors have given DAB+ a bad name because of the sick on antenna on the windscreen is much poorer than a vertical 344 mm antenna mounted on the roof.

      Reply
    2. Mangosman

      Sound Quality
      xHE-AAC is the latest audio compression from Fraunhofer who also invented MP3, HE-AAC V1 and V2 and the MPEG sound for TV.

      xHE-AAC is specified for Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) receivers but DAB+ has not caught up.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGLBKz9Q_XQ is a demo which should be listened to on a pair of good quality headphones and not computer speakers.

      On my last post I should add that the 3D mapping needs to also include the propagation equations developed in the 1950s which calculate the signal loss between the transmitter antenna and the receiving site even when blocked by terrain.

      Reply
  3. Mangosman

    Des,
    I live in a country which was the first country to transmit permanent broadcasts in DAB+ at high power in 2009. Our transmitters are on tall transmitter towers which also transmit digital TV. The DAB+ is transmitted at 50 kW effective radiated power and on the TV channels surrounding the DAB+ channels the DVB-T transmitters are also 50 kW each on VHF. We also have low power on channel repeaters, which receive the signal accurately filter the signals and they are then fed into a transmitter of up to 500 W and re-radiated on the same channel as the parent. To the listener as they drive around they are unaware of whether they are listening to a main transmitter or a repeater.

    I have tried to find out the radiated power of Irish digital transmitters and whether they are DAB or DAB+ without success. Your FM transmitters are much lower powered than what I am used to. DAB has poorer sound quality and less effective error correction so in poor reception sounds like bubbling mud, where as DAB+ continues in this situation. DAB+ will eventually mute but where the signal level is similar to FM from the same site at a similar power.

    The EU directive does not say that the car has to be able to receive DAB(+) it actually says digital terrestrial radio. DRM can be radiated on every frequency band from 153 kHz – 230 MHz. In the 47 – 68 MHz band there is a DRM modulator which can radiate 18 programs, using 6 adjacent 100 kHz wide channels. DAB+ requires 1.5 MHz to do that.

    I should add that the digital processing in the DAB+ and DRM receivers is almost identical except that DRM was updated to include xHE-AAC sound compression which can produce excellent stereo sound at 16 kbit/s which can come out of a modified AM transmitter even in the frequencies below 30 MHz.

    Norway switched off all main analog radio in 2017 and now only has DAB+ in a mountainous country. The ensured that there was enough transmitters to ensure coverage. Now ratings are back to previous levels, and the broadcasters have saved lots of money by reducing the number of transmitters per transmitter site to one. The bonus for listeners is more programs and some of the new ones are very popular.

    Lastly, the car designers are being pushed into providing digital radio. Where are than external car antennas which are 334 mm long preferably on the roof. Instead we have these ridiculous shark fin tiny antenna which is good for GPS and a broadband amplifier which will also amplify interference to feed the car radio? Remember that the telcos and streaming companies are pressuring the car companies to include phone software in the infotainment systems so that the mobile phone on the car seat can be the car radio!

    Reply
  4. Des Walsh

    I wonder if the EU directive on digital radio in cars will mean that the vehicle manufacturers will take it as an opportunity to drop VHF-FM from the radios , some already dropping AM medium wave ?
    Fat lot of use DAB+ would be here in Ireland. RTE have been playing around with it for more than 10 years
    and plan to drop it entirely soon . Expense and non-interest are the problem , with transmitters only in Dublin , Cork , and Limerick. In any case coverage in hilly areas at 220MHz would be dreadful if it were anything like the old Band 3 TV coverage .
    Some of the designers of radio in cars are not in the real world !
    Des Walsh

    Reply

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