Tag Archives: DRM

North Korea now broadcasting in DRM

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mark Fahey, who writes:

A message to contacts in North Asia (Japan / Korea etc)…

North Korea is currently (right now 1430UTC) broadcasting in DRM format on 3560KHz. Listening to remote receivers in Japan I can see the signal is very strong in the Tokyo and Yokohama areas – I assume it will be strong in other parts of Japan as well. I have NOT been able to decode the DRM successfully, I have tried piping the audio to me here in my Australian location and demodulating it with a software DRM decoder – I just can’t get a lock on the signal. Do you have a DRM receiver – could you please try? If you do manage to receive the signal please don’t forget to record it!

I’m particularly interested to know if the transmissions are relays of KCBS Pyongyang, Pyongyang Pangsong or some other service. If you get a demodulated signal could you check to see if the program is parallel to KCBS Pyongyang on 2850KHz or Pyongyang Pangsong on 6400KHz.

I have a WinRadio Excalibur with DRM here in Australia, but the signal is very weak here – far too weak to lock.

Later, Mark shared the following video by “2010DFS” on YouTube:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Mark also notes that DRMNA.info is following this story very closely and suspects that the content server and or transmitter may be Chinese in origin:

NOTE: Same frequency and bitrate as the 2012 broadcasts so this may represent “Chinese assistance”. Can anyone confirm DRM equipment in Kujang?

20170902 Update: I have received anonymous details that indicate that at least the content server is of Chinese origin. Still no word on actual transmit location. Several other Japanese (and Terje in Japan) have successfully decoded these transmissions.

Click here to read full details at DRMNA.info.

Being a North Korean propaganda specialist, Mark added:

At the Freeman’s Reach monitoring station the bandwidth and microwave paths in are really being tested this afternoon with the full on activity.

All plans for the afternoon and evening now cancelled! YTN (South Korea) via Intelsat, KCTV Pyongyang via Thaicom, CNN International via Foxtel, CNN USA Domestic via Sling, Korean Central Radio and Pyongyang Pansong via KiwiSDRs – Busy!

All spectrum being captured, tonight the servers will be working hard, it will keep this place warm!

Post readers: please comment if you’re able to decode any of these North Korean DRM transmissions, and/or if you have further information about these DRM broadcasts from North Korea.

UPDATE: Mark has at least confirmed that the DRM signal is a relay of the KCBS Pyongyang national service (domestic) broadcast.

Review of the Gospell GR-216 portable DRM multi-band radio

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ed, who writes:

Here’s a review on a Swedish Hobby Radio website of the GOSPELL GR-216 MULTI-BAND AM / FM /Shortwave / DRM receiver, which you reported about on 9/6/2016 and is now is reportedly about to go into production:

http://www.hobbyradio.se/en/drm/gospell_en.html

The latest Mediumwave / Shortwave / VHF-FM receiver GR-216 from Gospell can receive both digital and analogue mediumwave and shortwave signals as well as VHF FM broadcasts. The software-defined receiver is based on a NXP chipset. The firmware may easily be updated over the USB connector on the front.

The size of the radio is 240 mm (w) x 120 mm (h) x 150 mm (d) (without the knobs). It is supplied with a 230 VAC power cord, a 230 VAC / 9 VDC power supply and a user’s manual. Its retail price is about xx USD.

The radio has a pleasant design like your favorite kitchen radio but it is also fit for any livingroom. Unlike other products the GR-216 has a soft and clean design and all buttons and controls are easy to operate. It weighs about 2 kg and sits firmly on a table or a shelf. Much of the weight comes from its large loudspeaker (77 mm diameter) and the mains transformer. The two strips on the bottom of the cabinet prevents the GR-216 from slipping around when tuning or pressing the pushbuttons. The AF output power amplifier is 4 W.

There is also a 12 or 24 hour clock and a dual alarm clock (radio or buzzer) and a sleep timer. In addition to the built-in AC/DC power supply there is a DC jack on the rear panel for an external 9 Volt DC power supply if so required.

Continue reading…

Thanks for the tip, Ed! Reading this, it’s most encouraging to see that Gospell reached out to radio enthusiasts and used their input for firmware and hardware upgrades prior to production.

This may be the most encouraging portable DRM receiver yet. Indeed, Paul Walker, has been enjoying his Gospell GR-216 tremendously and–using an external antenna–has captured a number of DRM broadcasts from Pennsylvania. He might produce a review of his own to post here soon.

If anyone else has notes about the Gospell GR-216’s performance, please comment! Could this finally be a DRM portable for the DXer?

DRM test successful in crowded Johannesburg FM market

(Source: Radio Mag Online via Larry W)

The trial has demonstrated that there is no interference with analog stations on either side of the digital signal in the crowded FM spectrum of Johannesburg

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Johannes von Weyssenhoff, representing the community station Wecodec in Johannesburg, presented the case of DRM to an international audience at the “Radio Days Africa,” an annual event taking place at the Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg. His presentation also included results and findings of WECODEC’s ongoing DRM+ trial, the first of its kind on the African continent, according to DRM news.

The trial has demonstrated that there is no interference with analog stations on either side of the digital signal in the crowded FM spectrum of Johannesburg. The DRM power for the test is ¼ that of FM, giving similar coverage at 4QAM.[…]

Click here to read the full article.

FCC: A detailed application for a new 10KW DRM transmitter

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ed, who writes:

Thomas, did you see this? It’s a detailed application to the FCC for the construction of a 10KW shortwave transmitter for DRM on 9.65 MHz and 15.45 MHz.

Click here to download the application (PDF).

Thanks, Ed! I know nothing about Turms Tech other than on their FCC application, they list their business is “broadcast and data.”

Another SWLing Post reader forwarded the following from this article in Radio Mag Online:

“Of interest in the U.S. is the recent application of Turms Tech LLC to broadcast DRM from New Jersey toward Europe and the Middle East. Specifically, they plan on using the Armstrong tower, just west and north of New York City, with yagi-type antennas, generating an ERP of 10 kW on 9.65 and 15.45 MHz.”

The Radio Mag article is worth reading in full as it includes a number of DRM news items.

Additionally, if you’re interesting in following DRM news, check out the excellent DRMNA blog.

Post readers: anyone have more information about this new DRM broadcast site?  Please comment!

AIR launching Phase II of DRM conversion

All India Radio (AIR) Headquarters in Dehli, India. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

(Source: Radio Mag via Dennis Dura)

AIR Launching DRM Conversion, Phase II

NEW DELHI — All India Radio was recently congratulated by India’s Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shri Venkaiah Naidu for having completed phase I of the national DRM digital radio roll-out in India. Thirty-seven DRM transmitters have been installed by AIR throughout the country, and all are now operational, according to DRM news.

Of the 37 new transmitters, 35 are medium wave and 2 are shortwave transmitters. Both SW transmitters are for international service and are broadcasting in pure DRM. […]

AIR is now in the process of launching phase-II of the DRM project by offering full features and services from these DRM transmitters and further improving service quality. When Phase-II is complete, the full-featured DRM services will be available to the audience and a public information campaign will be initiated to inform the Indian citizens of the completely new and future- oriented DRM radio platform and its many benefits. […]

Phase-III, as presented by AIR, will eventually culminate in the complete transition of radio services to the digital DRM platform, further improving the number and quality of radio services and extra features for the listeners, while also saving tremendous amounts of transmission power every year, according to the same article.

Click here to read the full article via Radio Mag Online.

While it sounds like the broadcasting side of DRM is progressing with AIR domestically, I haven’t read anything recently about affordable DRM receivers being developed for the market in India (other than possibly the Titus II and Gospell GR-216 which, I suppose, could be imported).

Based on messages I’ve received from readers/listeners in India, any new DRM receiver must be very affordable ($40 US or so) if wide adoption is to be expected.

I believe this is an opportunity for a manufacturer like Tecsun to step in and make an affordable DRM portable for the market in India–something with a simple display and controls. Otherwise, this might be another “cart before the horse” situation for DRM.  That would be sad.

Titus II at NAB

The least expensive portable DRM receiver on the horizon could be the PantonX Titus II (not yet in production).  PantronX has claimed the Titus II will cost “less than $100.”

And speaking of the Titus II, SWLing Post reader, Ed, notes:

pantronX is reportedly going to announce its Titus II Android SDR boombox at NAB April 22-27, which is another indication this radio is for real.

http://www.thebdr.net/hotlinks/mfgr.html

We’ll post updates about the Titus II as they become available. Follow the tag: PantronX Titus II