Category Archives: Digital Modes

Eton/Grundig Satellit: Michael seeks advice on enabling DAB reception

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Michael Meyer, who writes:

Hi Thomas.

I have a question regarding the Eton Grundig Satellit’s DAB function – or rather: It’s missing DAB function.

The Eton Grundig Satellit was reviewed in WRTH 2016 by John Nelson, demonstrating its capability of receiving DAB (Digital Audio Broadcast in Europe – some politicians want to shut down FM-band and replace it with DAB only). Since I live in Denmark, where DAB+ is widely implemented as a supplement of FM broadcasts, I do find this function unique, since it must be the only shortwave radio with DAB on the marked.

The SWLing Post have had some reviews as well as a link to Amazon.com, which tempted me to buy the “Executive Edition” at an attractive price. It arrived in early December 2018, and I am happy with most of the features of this radio. Good audio, sensitive and a nice size for a portable. I do agree with other reviewers regarding the mediocre sync-function, but I got truly surprised regarding the selectivity on shortwave, which on my model is poor! Strong broadcasters can easily be tuned 5 kHz away from their “true” frequency – even when putting bandwith to 3 kHz, there is not much difference in audio on VOA on 15580 kHz tuning to 15575 nor 15585 kHz. But when tuned, reception is stable and audio is good. Another very weird issue is the “double-click” feature, where first press on any button activates the light only – and the user has to press again to actually activate button function!

But now to the main reason for me writing this: How does the user activate DAB? I wrote to WRTH to get their opinion on this – I paste in my correspondence with them (I have got their permission to do so in writing you):

Dear Mr Meyer,

The version we were sent for review had a DAB+ function. Several readers
have since written to say they could not find the function despite the fact
that it is shown in the display. We have raised this matter with Eton but
have not received an answer. We may be wrong but our impression is that the
company did not apply for CE approval and as a result never implemented the
DAB function in the production models. The FCC approved versions of the
receiver of course would not require DAB.

It might be worth putting the question on the DX chat groups and see if
someone has found a solution.

Kind regards,

WRTHdx

Very good question, Michael. Frankly, I had forgotten that the EU version of the Satellit had a DAB function although I do recall the WRTH review.

Post Readers: Do you have any insight? Have you successfully used the EU version of the Satellit to listen to DAB broadcasts? Please comment!

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Radio World: “China Makes Its DRM Move”

Screen Shot from a China National Radio DRM test (Source: DRM.org)

(Source: Radio World via Michael Bird)

The nation becomes world’s leading Digital Radio Mondiale shortwave broadcaster in just one year

Hans Johnson

BEIJING — It appears as if China has jumped into Digital Radio Mondiale shortwave broadcasting with both feet. Some DRM infrastructure has been in place for over a decade, but up until recently had only been sporadically tested.

Just over a year ago, China had no regular DRM presence. Today, it is the world’s largest DRM shortwave broadcaster. China operates the most DRM transmitters in this band and has the most extensive schedule.

The initial broadcasts started in early 2018 from Beijing. Services continued to rollout over the year via various transmitter sites, often on the country’s periphery.

A DRM shortwave transmitter in Beijing targets north China almost 24 hours a day. A second Beijing transmitter targets east China for eight hours a day.

Another transmitter in Ürümqi in the country’s west targets central and east China for 14 hours a day, while a transmitter in Qiqihar, Heilongjiang province (the Manchurian plain), is on more than 11 hours a day and reaches south and southwest China. Dongfang on Hainan Island province is on eight hours a day on two frequencies for both north and southeast China. Finally, the DRM shortwave transmitter located in Kunming in the Yunnan province is on eight hours daily for south China. There is now a DRM network providing nationwide coverage.

By comparison All India Radio has 11.5 hours a day of shortwave time coming from a single transmitter. The Indian broadcaster has as many as three more DRM-capable shortwave transmitters but they are not on air at present. India does operate 38 AM (medium wave) transmitters for its domestic network, however.[…]

Click here to continue reading the full article at Radio World.

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India, DRM, and FM white spaces

(Source: Broadcast and Cable Sat)

Digital Radio Receivers – Availability At An Affordable Price

by Yogender Pal (Chairman, DRM India Chapter)

[…]Transmissions in FM band in India, by AIR as well as private broadcasters, are still in analogue mode only. Aware of the advantages of digital radio broadcasting, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, the regulator for all the broadcast services too, has recommended to allow private broadcasters to broadcast in the digital white spaces available in the FM band (VHF band II). This recommendation is under consideration of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The Ministry held a meeting on the issue on August 30, 2018. All stakeholders (public and private) were in favor of digital broadcasting in FM band and suggested that the ministry makes public a regulatory policy as soon as possible. Cellphone manufacturers also gave their support provided no additional costs were involved.

A digital receiver is required to receive digital radio broadcasts as analogue receivers cannot decode the digital signals.

One of the welcome features of the current roll-out of DRM digital radio in India has been the early and overwhelming commitment of the car industry. Most of the leading car manufacturers in India have either already incorporated DRM receivers in their cars or are in the process of incorporating them. Hyundai has built-in DRM radios in all its models except one. Maruti Suzuki has also incorporated DRM receivers in 6 models and all their models are soon expected to have built-in DRM receivers. Mahindra has also installed DRM in its TUV model. It is encouraging that the roll-out of DRM equipped cars is growing rapidly. At present the number is understood to have surpassed the 10 lakh mark. Indian car manufacturers are not charging extra from consumers for line-fit DRM radio sets.

In parallel, efforts are being made by a large number of Indian and foreign receiver manufacturers to provide standalone DRM receivers. Communications Systems is the first Indian radio manufacturer to domestically develop and produce a DRM receiver (AV-1401). Inntot Technologies, a young start-up enterprise, has developed a software-based DRM receiver based on a generic processor. This is likely to be much cheaper. GeekSynergy, another start-up company, is also working on the development of a highly affordable DRM receiver.

Gospell Digital Technology located in China has presented a very well-reviewed DRM Receiver, GR216, which is already in production. Gospell is developing a DRM receiver dongle, GR-227 too, which can be plugged in the existing audio systems in the automobiles on USB ports or Aux input to receive DRM digital signals. Titus SDR, a Panamanian based company, has developed a multi-standard and software-based digital radio receiver. Starwaves has also developed a prototype DRM receiver.

Standalone DRM digital efforts remain relatively expensive at present. Like with any new technology higher volumes will bring down the cost of the receivers. AIR may thus offer content with additional audio services, innovative advanced features such as journaline advanced text, emergency warnings, and traffic information so that listeners see value in buying a digital receiver.

An app for DRM digital reception in mobile phones in FM band has been already developed. Demonstrations have been made on the reception of DRM digital signals in the existing mobile phones by plugging a dongle. External dongle would not be required in the new mobile phones; however, the industry wants to see the publicized policy of the government before making the necessary adjustments for working of the app.

Most of the standalone receivers can receive DRM (in addition to analogue) in AM bands; and its software can also be upgraded to receive DRM in FM band. As announced by Director General recently, AIR may start digital radio broadcasting in FM band. Government may also accept TRAI recommendations and announce a roadmap for digital radio broadcasting in FM band by private broadcasters so that the industry (cellphones, automobile, and standalone receiver manufacturers) gets confidence and starts mass production of receivers.[…]

Read the full article at Broadcast and Cable Sat online.

Many thanks to Ed for the tip!

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A new portable DRM/DAB receiver by Starwaves GmbH

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mangosman, who notes:

There is a new digital receiver available. It can receive DRM in all bands from low, medium, high and band 1 & 2 VHF, as well as DAB+ and analog AM and FM.

It cannot receive HD radio because Xpedia charge licensing fees on every receiver and the market is restricted to USA and Mexico.

https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/DRM-DAB-Digital-Radio-Receiver_11547499.html

Thank you for the tip!  It appears this receiver is a product of  STARWAVES GmbH, Germany/Switzerland, although I assume it’s manufactured in China based on the bulk order costs.

I’ve reached out to the manufacturer for more details as there are few specifics and no specifications on the Alibaba page.

There are also no details about this radio on the Starwaves website.

If/when we receive more information about this radio, we’ll share it here on the SWLing Post. Stay tuned!

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SSTV Special Event from the International Space Station on Saturday, October 27

(Source: ARRL News)

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) has scheduled a slow-scan television (SSTV) event to begin on Saturday, October 27, at about 1000 UTC. NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) Department will support the event. SCaN manages NASA’s three most important communications networks — The Space Network (SN), Near-Earth Network (NEN), and the Deep Space Network (DSN). Participants in the SSTV event can qualify for a special endorsement for NASA on the Air (NOTA), celebrating the space agency’s 60th anniversary.

As during past ARISS SSTV events, 12 images will be transmitted. Six will feature SCaN educational activities, while the other six images will commemorate  major NASA anniversaries, including the establishment of NASA and the moon landing. Transmissions are expected to take place on 145.800 MHz using PD-120 SSTV mode. Received images can be posted and viewed online. The event is dependent on other ISS activities, schedules, and crew responsibilities, and the schedule is subject to change at any time.

More information be posted to the AMSAT and ARISS websites as well as to the ARISS-BB, to the ARISS Facebook page, and via Twitter (@ARISS_status).

Click here to read the full article at the ARRL News.

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