Radio Waves: DRM from Ascension to Brazil, Commercial Radio Boost, FM HD Power, and New Pakistan DRM Project,

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

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 Dennis Dura and Mangosman for the following tips:

Swiss Private Radio Station Broadcasts DRM To Brazil (DRM Consortium)

The next DRM shortwave broadcast of DRM Swiss supporter C.M. Obrecht is scheduled for August 11th UTC 2300 on 12030 kHz. The transmitter (100kW) site is Ascension Island in the Atlantic Ocean (245 degrees) and the broadcast will be carried out by Encompass Media Services with the main target of Brazil. This is the first time that the original music of Mr Obrecht will be beamed out of Ascension. Other similar transmissions of our Swiss supporter reached parts of Asia going as far as Australia, though the broadcasts were originating in the UK and not Ascension.

Commercial radio’s billion dollar boost to Australian economy (RadioInfo Australia)

With commercial radio in Australia turning 100, a new report has shown the industry contributes $1 billion to the nation’s annual GDP, which includes a $320 million boost to regional Australia.

The “Connecting Communities: The Economic and Social Contribution of Commercial Radio and Audio in Australia” report was commissioned by industry body Commercial Radio & Audio and produced by Deloitte Access Economics.

The study found commercial radio stations broadcast 1.1 million hours of Australian content, 2.7 million Australian songs, 42,000 hours of news and 2,200 hours of emergency service content in 2022.

The industry also supports 6,600 full-time equivalent jobs with 38% located in regional Australia.

CRA CEO Ford Ennals said:

“The Connecting Communities report is the first time in 100 years of broadcasting that we have evaluated the economic contribution of radio and its role in delivering trusted, local content to listeners all over the country. These figures show how important it is to have a sustainable Australian radio industry that delivers great audio content free of charge to everyone, everywhere.”

Seventeen million Australians listen to commercial radio. 74% believe radio and audio build a sense of community. $82 million in charitable contributions were made through donations and airtime in 2022. It also plays a key role in music discovery.

Read more at: © RadioInfo Australia

FCC Advances FM HD Power Proposal (Radio World)

NAB and Xperi have argued that the current formula is too conservative

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include a statement from the National Association of Broadcasters.

A rule change that would allow more U.S. FM stations to increase HD Radio power is closer to reality.

The Federal Communications Commission has adopted a notice of proposed rulemaking that we told you about earlier, doing so a couple of days before its August monthly meeting. The action does not give final approval of the changes but indicates tentative approval and asks for public comment.

“Broadcasters and consumers increasingly prefer digital FM radio because it delivers better sound quality than traditional analog FM service,” the commission stated in its announcement.

“Currently, over 2,000 FM stations broadcast digitally, providing listeners with enhanced sound quality, song information and other data through their FM broadcast radio signals. The NPRM seeks comment on two proposals and asks whether these changes will benefit the public or impact existing FM services.” [Continue reading…]

Pakistan Breaks Ground on Massive DRM Project (Radio World)

The new 1,000 kW transmitter will reach from Eastern Europe to the Far East, as well as across South Asia

Pakistan’s national broadcaster broke ground July 30, 2023, on a new transmission facility that will extend its reach from the Mediterranean to the Pacific.

The modernization project marks a significant milestone for Radio Pakistan, including adding capabilities to broadcast in the Digital Radio Mondiale digital radio standard.

The project centers on a new 1,000 kW DRM transmitter being installed at the Radio Pakistan high-power transmission complex in Rawat, near the capital Islamabad. The new facility is expected to cost 4 billion rupees (nearly US$14 million) and is set to be completed in 2025.

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb oversaw the groundbreaking, noting that the project will extend Radio Pakistan’s reach to 52 nations across South Asia, Central Asia, the Far East, Middle East, and into Eastern Europe. [Continue reading…]

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2 thoughts on “Radio Waves: DRM from Ascension to Brazil, Commercial Radio Boost, FM HD Power, and New Pakistan DRM Project,

  1. KPC

    “Usual frequency planning for FM stations they are 800 kHz apart in the same area,”

    Where is this the case? and you imply this is the case everywhere?

    In London, for example there are London-wide stations 400kHz apart such as 105.4, 105.8, 106.2 (and the UK is more conservative in terms of FM-band planning than much of Europe!)
    The in-between frequencies are used in places not very far away.

    I do not believe DRM would be very workable WITHIN the existing FM band in much of Europe (and elsewhere) unless many existing services were to be closed down first.

    It might be a different story areas of Australia for example where there is miles of ‘outback’ from one city to the next

  2. mangosman

    The digital component of Hybrid Digital Radio is transmitted in the adjacent channels used by other broadcasters for example; a station on 99.9 MHz analog only will occupy from 99.8 to 100 MHz. The digital components are added between 99.7 – 99.8 and the same signal is repeated 100 – 100.1 MHz. Broadcasters on 99.7 and 100.1 in analog FM. If the digital signal is strong enough it will interfere with these broadcasters as well as the broadcaster in hybrid digital. 99.7 and 100.1 MHzl if strong enough can make digital reception unreliable. In summary an FM broadcast channel is 200 kHz wide but a hybrid digital broadcast is 400 kHz wide. Currently, they are allowed the digital signal is 4 % of the FM signal. They want 10 %.

    DAB+ uses a bandwidth of 1.5 MHz and 4 DAB+ transmission channels will fit into a TV channel. In the Americas receivers can tune the frequencies used by TV channels 7 – 13. A DAB+ channel can carry between 18 – 25 sound programs, the number depends on the sound quality broadcasters decide to use.

    DRM in the VHF bands is 100 kHz wide and carrying 3 programs. This enables using of vacant TV channels 2 – 6 to now use 58 DRM channels/TV channel. It will also work in the ‘FM’ band. Usual frequency planning for FM stations they are 800 kHz apart in the same area, up to 6 DRM channels can be used in between existing FM broadcasts and there are power is reduced on the channel adjacent to the analog FM also for the FM transmissions in adjacent coverage areas.

    530 – 1700 kHz. Even in AM most transmissions where 10 kHz sound occupies 20 kHz but channels are separated by 10 kHz so there is 5 kHz overlap into adjacent channels. In HD the above overlapping is repeated. This was ok when first specified because the recording and studio equipment had a poor high frequency response so interference was not severe. Not the case now, but it caused receiver bandwidths to be under 5 kHz audio.
    However this interference is so bad most AM stations do not broadcast in hybrid digital. All all digital broadcasts are all very low power.
    If DRM is used in this band the bandwidth is selectable by the broadcaster so they can use 10 or 20 kHz. The wider bandwidth the higher the data rate hence sound quality.


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