Sunday at 00:00-02:00 UTC, I tuned to 7,375 kHz to listen to The Mighty KBC. This was the first time I tuned to their winter frequency this season and wasn’t sure how strong their signal would be on a relatively noisy night on the bands.
KBC’s signal was blowtorch strength into North America. It could have been easily received on even the most simple of portable radios.
As we’ve come to expect, the Mighty KBC’s Giant Jukebox of music has a lot of rock-n-roll and Euro-pop variety, spanning the decades; DJ, “Uncle Eric” knows how to entertain and spin the tunes! Uncle Eric includes Kim Elliott’s digital text modes in this broadcast–if you missed the live broadcast, you can even decode the messages from the recording below.
In this weekend’s VOA Radiogram, one VOA News item will be in the MFSK22 mode (80 words per minute), a mode we have generally not used for complete VOA News stories.
Another “feature” in this weekend’s program will be five seconds of silence whenever modes are changed. This might improve the performance of the RSID.
The Flmsg-formatted VOA News story in this weekend’s program is 9 minutes, 6 seconds long. That might seem unusually long, but it includes 4 minutes, 20 seconds for a VOA logo in SVG format as part of the html. This was created for us by Mark Hirst in the UK.
Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, 10-11 August 2013:
2:30 MFSK16: Program preview
3:26 MFSK22: VOA News re import of Apple products
3:12 MFSK32: Greetings to l’Associazione Italiana Radioascolto
2:10 MFSK32 image: AIR logo
9:06 MFSK32/Flmsg*: VOA News re one year of Curiosity on Mars
2:26 MFSK32 image: Curiosity tire tracks
1:10 MFSK16: Closing announcements
2:20 Surprise image, text, image of the week
*To make Flmsg work with Fldigi (both can be downloaded from w1hkj.com), in Flmsg: Configure > Misc > NBEMS — Under Reception of flmsg files, check both boxes, and under that indicate where your Flmsg.exe file is located.
VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC):
Sat 1600-1630 17860 kHz
Sun 0230-0300 5745 kHz
Sun 1300-1330 6095 kHz
Sun 1930-2000 15670 kHz
All via the Edward R. Murrow transmitting station in North Carolina.
Here are the details for the VOA Radiogram this weekend:
(Source: Kim Elliott)
VOA Radiogram on 30 and 31 March 2013 will feature the MFSK (multiple frequency shift keying) modes. This “menu” for the program shows the mode, center audio frequency, and duration of transmission in minutes:seconds…
Kudos to VOA research analyst Dr. Kim Andrew Elliott for his remarkable innovation: VOA Radiograms (i.e., digital text messages sent over shortwave broadcast radio), and for promoting this concept through the Voice of America. His persistance, with support from forward-thinking shortwave broadcasters like WBCQ, WRMI and The Mighty KBC, who have all broadcasted his digital messages, has paid off. Classic technology meets current in this new communication mode which makes internet disruption absolutely irrelevant, and which is even impervious, to a great degree, to interference.
This weekend, the VOA Radiogram will become a reality:
VOA Radiogram will “soft launch” this weekend. Here is the transmission schedule (all days and times are UTC):
Saturday 1600-1630 17860 kHz
Sunday 0230-0300 5745 kHz (Saturday evening in North America)
Sunday 1300-1330 6095 kHz
Sunday 1930-2000 15670 kHz
All via the IBB Edward R Murrow Transmitting Station in North Carolina.
The digital text modes to be transmitted this weekend on VOA Radiogram are as follows. Each text transmission will be one minute, unless otherwise specified. Asterisk * denotes RSID: if your RxID is on, Fldigi will automatically switch to this mode and audio frequency. The other modes you can decode from your recording.
BPSK31 on 2000 Hz*
QPSK31 on 1000Hz, BPSK31* on 2000 Hz
QPSK31 on 1000Hz*, PSK63F on 1500Hz, BPSK31 on 2000 Hz
QPSK63 on 1000 Hz, PSKR125 on 1500 Hz*, BPSK63 on 2000 Hz
QPSK125 on 1000Hz, PSKR250 on 1500 Hz*, BPSK63 on 2000 Hz
QPSK250 on 800 Hz, PSKR500 on 1500Hz*, BPSK250 on 2200Hz
QPSK500 on 800 Hz, PSKR1000 on 1500 Hz*, BPSK500 on 2200 Hz
PSKR500 on 1000 Hz, PSK63F on 1500 Hz, PSKR125 on 2000 Hz, and PSKR250 on 2500 Hz* (5 min 40 secs). The latter portions of the PSKR250 and 500 transmissions are formatted for Flmsg. (In Fldigi, Configure > Misc > NBEMS > under Reception of flmsg files, click Open with flmsg and Open in browser, and below that state the location of the flmsg.exe file.)
MFSK32 image on 1500 Hz (54 seconds)
In future weeks, after the “hard launch” of VOA Radiogram, only one mode will be transmitted at one time. This will ensure the highest possible signal-to-noise ratio and the best possible chances for a successful decode.
VOA Radiogram is a new Voice of America program experimenting with digital text and images via AM shortwave broadcasting. One might say this is the crossover point between classic shortwave and current technology. It’s fun and fascinating stuff, and also has real utility.
The new VOA Radiogram website contains time and frequencies and all of the information you’ll need to decode VOA radiograms.
Incidentally, Kim Elliott and I will be presenting on the topic of VOA Radiograms and digital modes at the 2013 NASWA Winter SWL Fest. If you’re interested, it’s not too late to register! Meanwhile, stay tuned for more information about radiograms.
This episode of The Giant Jukebox features one of my favorites from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
The Mighty KBC broadcast again early this morning (from 00:00-02:00 UTC) on 9,450 kHz. Their signal was quite strong into North America and there was very little interference of any sort. As we’ve come to expect, the KBC’s Giant Jukebox of music has a lot of rock-n-roll variety, spanning the decades.
And as I’ve mentioned before, perhaps what I love most about The Mighty KBC is their format; it harkens back to the day when my local radio stations had professional DJ’s behind the mic, people who loved music and loved their job. Thanks to Eric and The Mighty KBC for blasting the Giant Jukebox across the planet! I look forward to their broadcast every weekend.
You’ll notice that Kim Elliott has another installation of digital text modes in this broadcast. At about 01:30 UTC, Olivia 8-2000 will be centered on 1500 Hertz, and PSKR125 centered on 2800 Hertz. At just before 02:00 UTC, images in MFSK32 will be at 1000 and 2000 Hertz, with another image in MFSK16 at 2600 Hertz.