Tag Archives: DRMNA.info

Radio Waves: Brazil Proposes End of all Ham Radio Exams, Radio Engineer Files Objection to WIPE, Radio in the Malvinas War, and List of 48 Weatheradio Sites in Proposed Closure

Icom IC-756 Pro Transceiver DialRadio 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 Rob (PE9PE), Bennett Kobb, Harald
(DL1AX), and Dennis Dura for the following tips:


Brazil proposes end of all amateur radio exams (Southgate ARC)

ANATEL, the Brazilian National Telecommunications Agency, recently published a public consultation, CP65, which is available at this link:

In their website, LABRE, the Brazilian Amateur Radio League, was surprised by the CP65 proposal that proposes, among other topics, the extinction of the COER (amateur radio certificate) exam for all classes and replacement by free access to initial class C, as is done today with the Citizen’s Band, as well as access to subsequent classes B and A upon presentation of the Certificate of Technical Course and Graduation in Telecommunications, respectively, or minimum stay of 3 years in each class.

In addition, the aforementioned proposal suggests ending the rules of different prefixes for each of the States of the Federation, remaining only the prefix per class and there would no longer be any special callsigns.

The proposal, in addition to going against what is consensus in the international regulation related to the Amateur Radio Service, is absolutely contrary to the LABRE’s thinking with regard to the minimum requirements to be a radio amateur and also does not match ANATEL’s request for support from LABRE in the revision of amateur radio regulations in Brazil.

For further clarification on the subject, LABRE has already requested a meeting with ANATEL, which will be scheduled soon.

PR7GA

Radio Engineer Files Objection to WIPE (DRMNA.info)

Story by Bennett Kobb:
On September 3, radio engineer Alex Pilosov of Shortwave Solutions filed with the FCC an objection to WIPE, the DRM-based HF station of Turms Tech of New York, presumed to be ready to broadcast from the Armstrong Tower in Alpine, NJ.

WIPE is suspected to be intended mainly for secret, non-broadcast message transmission for private trading clients while broadcasting financial and economic news for the public.

WIPE is not yet operational. The station is waiting on its FCC license, but Pilosov took aim at possible glitches in its license application. He also raises the issue of whether U.S. shortwave stations can legally conduct non-public telecommunications in the broadcast bands in a service limited to broadcasting.

Pilosov is a consultant to HF stations in the Experimental Radio Service, which are not constrained by the broadcast rules; thus he or his clients are prospective competitors to WIPE. This is Pilosov’s second FCC objection. He also filed against the application of Parable Broadcasting for WPBC, a DRM HF station proposed for Batavia, IL.[]

Radio in the Malvinas War (RAE)

In 2020 we celebrate the centenary of radio in Argentina. Such an event can be approached in various ways, since there are several milestones along this century of radio in our country. There are some events that are marked by fire in collective memory.

It is our intention to approach the celebration focusing on an event in which radio was in the spotlight: the 1982 Malvinas War, a conflict waged on various fields: military, economic, diplomatic and, of course, communications, mainly as a means of propaganda.

Most countries over time have recognised the great potential of radio as an effective instrument both in times of war and peace. Historically, Germany was the first country to use this for purely political purposes.

During WWII the broadcasts of Radio Tokyo, Radio Germany, the BBC in London and other stations were used for propaganda and military purposes by combatant nations.

The post-war period and the subsequent Cold War brought along a “war of the airwaves”. During these years, countless stations emerged with their own propaganda styles, looking to advance their social, political and economic systems.

An example of this are the broadcasts of Radio Moscow, Voice of America or Radio Beijing. Along with these stations, others of a clearly political nature emerged, such as Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, that targeted countries in Eastern Europe, as well as nations that became independent after the collapse of the Soviet Union. This group also includes the so-called clandestine stations, which generally broadcast secretly from conflict zones or from nearby regions or using rented transmission sites.

Before April 2, 1982, the Malvinas Islands had one radio station: the Falkland Islands Radio Service (FIBS) – with broadcasts in English. Content aired included locally-produced programs as well as news services of BBC London. It broadcast on 536 khz and 2370 khz.

The AM frequency was intended to cover the Port Stanley area, reaching a little further with SW transmissions.[]

List of 48 Weatheradio Canada transmitting site proposed for decommissioning (Weatheradio Newsletter)

As mentioned in a previous post, Weatheradio Canada is considering shutting down 48 network transmitters across the country. SWLing Post contributor, Dennis Dura, recommends checking out the Weatheradio Canada Newsletter for updates.

He also forwards the following list of sites that are proposed for decommissioning. Click here to download the list as a PDF.


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Radio Waves: Questions About New HF Stations, Towers Damaged after Hurricanes, Evolution of Ham Radio, and The Vintage Radio Repairman

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 Ed, Paul, Bennett Kobb, and Kanwar Sandhu for the following tips:


Questions Remain as New HF Stations Wait for Licenses (DMRNA.info)

Here is the story by Bennett Kobb:
As previously reported here at DRMNA.info, the New York company Turms Tech LLC has applied to the FCC for a license for International Broadcast Station WIPE in New Jersey. The license would cover a station already built under a FCC Construction Permit, and would allow it to begin regular operations.

The FCC announced on August 13, 2020 that this license application was accepted for filing, a routine stage at which the FCC examines the application, and might even visit the station, and if everything is in order it will be licensed.

We’re not sure everything is in order. The application for Construction Permit placed the transmitter site at N 40° 57′ 40.38″, W 73° 55′ 23.97″, the broadcast and communications center surrounding the famous Armstrong Tower at Alpine NJ. Its Application for License, however, specifies N 40° 51′ 40″, W 73° 55′ 23″. (Hat tip to Alex P for noting this discrepancy. More about him below.)

While the substitution of 51 for 57 in the coordinates might seem a simple typo, the FCC typically has no sense of humor about coordinate errors. Commission examiners may wonder why a station intended for a historic radio-TV facility ended up among some Manhattan apartments.

The deeper question with WIPE and another, apparently similar station WPBC, is what these stations are really for and what that means for the FCC Rules. WIPE was extremely vague about its program plans, but told the FCC that it will transmit data obtained from third parties using Digital Radio Mondiale. Putting that tidbit together with exposures in a series of public articles in the media and tech blogs, it would seem that audio programming will not be the central mission of this peculiarly named station, whose principal is a financial executive and forestry entrepreneur without any broadcast experience we could find.

We suspect instead that the WIPE data stream will be used not for broadcasting to the public — the only function permitted to International Broadcast Stations under FCC Rules — but instead will be used for private communication with foreign exchanges for high-speed trading.[]

KSWL-TV tower crashed into buildings near 210 Interstate Hwy (Brad Dye)

Images of tower damage in Lake Charles, LA Bottom photo by KATC-TV of KSWL-TV tower crashed into buildings near 210 Interstate Hwy

After bombarding coastal areas of southern Louisiana with wind gusts up to 130 mph and a storm surge over nine feet as a hurricane, Laura swept north while also spreading over Arkansas Thursday. Laura weakened to a tropical storm early Thursday afternoon, with winds at 70 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. Laura is predicted to move through the Tennessee Valley and the Mid-Atlantic today into tomorrow.

Power outages from the storms totaled over 900,000 as of Thursday afternoon, according to PowerOutageUS. The site collects data from utilities nationwide. The bulk of the outages were in Louisiana and Texas, according to ABC News. Mississippi reportedly had over 9,400 customers without power as of Thursday morning, reported the Clarion Ledger.

Louisiana and Texas had the most cell site outages as of Thursday mid-day, according to the FCC’s Disaster Information Reporting System. Of the 4,650 cell sites served in Louisiana, 380 were not working. Over 200 of the site outages were due to a lack of power, 141 had a transport issue and 16 were damaged.

Calcasieu and Cameron counties were hit especially hard. 140 sites (75 percent) were not working in Calcasieu County and 20 (69 percent) were out in Cameron County.

Of the 17,621 cell sites served in Texas, 113 were non-operational.

Jefferson County was the hardest hit, with 39 (15.8 percent) out of 247 sites not working. Just over 45 of the non-working sites were out due to a lack of power, 41 for transport reasons and 20 were damaged, according to DIRS.

Cable and wireline companies reported 192,915 subscribers out of service in the affected areas; this may include the loss of telephone, television, and/or Internet services.

Three television stations, five FMs and one AM reported they were off-air.[]

Ham radio is dying! No it’s not, it’s evolving (K0LWC)

I’ve heard ham radio is dying since as far back as I can remember. It’s one of those common sayings you always hear. Like, “get off my lawn,” and “kids these days.” But is it true? Is there any evidence to support this? Let’s take a closer look.

Data from the ARRL shows that ham radio licensees are increasing. When you look at the chart above, you see two significant markers that are likely driving this growth.

  • The removal of the code requirement by the FCC.
  • The economic collapse of 2008.

The Morse code requirement was always an intimidating part of obtaining your General FCC license. Learning Morse code is like learning a second language. It takes time and effort to learn, and that’s not a bad thing. However, it doesn’t change that it scared many people away from the hobby. When the FCC removed this requirement in 2007, I believe it opened the door for many who spent years on the fence. Then you have the economic downturn of 2008. What does that have to do with ham radio? A lot.

After the economic downturn, the United States watched as survivalism, now commonly calling “prepping,” entered mainstream culture. People were worried as the country was involved in multiple wars and our economy was on the brink of collapse. Citizens stocked up on food storage, water, firearms, and…communications equipment. As our country spiraled into more turmoil ham radio licenses steadily increased to more than 750,000 by the end of 2019.[]

The Vintage Radio Repair Man (Great Big Story–YouTube)

Click here to watch on YouTube.


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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.

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DRMNA: Interview with Mike of PantronX, maker of the Titus II

titus 2 big

Those of you following the upcoming Titus II receiver will enjoy reading this interview with Mike of Pantronix. Here’s a short excerpt taken from DRMNA.info:

[DRMNA] Can you tell us a little about the process taken to develop the new receiver?

[Mike] We became aware of the need for a digital capable receiver by a visit from TWR representatives about three years ago. Having designed RF products and receivers in the past, it intrigued me that there were no low cost method to receive DRM. This began research into the problem. Initially we envisioned and designed what we call an ATU (Antenna Tuner Unit) that plugged into a ‘standard’ Android tablet. Unfortunately as time and testing proved, ready made tablets had varying problems from vendor to vendor, model to model. The decision was made about a year ago that we had to do our own Android ‘tablet’ and integrate the ATU into it. Hence the Titus II was developed.[…]

Click here to read the full interview on DRMNA.info.

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PantronX Titus II DRM receiver: HFCC posts “pre-order” form

titus 2 big

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Aaron Kuhn, who writes:

The HFCC is now collecting “pre-orders” (really expressions of interest in purchasing/demand) for the PantronX Titus II Android Radio at http://hfcc.org/delivery/receivers.phtml

“The purpose of this form is to collect the information on the demand for pre-production samples of the Titus II receiver.

It is NOT BINDING and it does not establish any contract. The ordering party is not obliged to buy the indicated quantity and the supplier is not obliged to deliver it.

Availability: Pre-production batch – 4Q/2016, regular production – 1Q/2017.

Price: Under 100USD plus shipping and local duty/taxes not included.

Payment methods: Wire transfer for larger quantities, PayPal works too, but the buyers would need to add PayPal bank fees.

You will be contacted on the specified e-mail address and asked for a binding order when the exact price and available delivery method is known.”

As Aaron also noted, though the HFCC posted this, the pre-order request form appears to be published by the manufacturer. I’m sure this is a way PantronX can gauge market interest and also decide what first-run production numbers should look like.

Thanks again for the tip, Aaron!

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Details Emerge: The PantronX Titus II DRM Portable Receiver

TitusII-DRM-Receiver

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Harald Kuhl (DL1ABJ), who shares more details about the new Titus 2 DRM receiver via the DRM Consortium Chairman, Ruxandra Obreja:

NEW DRM RECEIVER UNVEILED at HFCC MEETING IN MIAMI, FLORIDA THIS WEEK!

The HFCC meeting is being held 22-26 August in Miami and on this occasion there was a live DRM transmission form Radio Vaticana received on  the new Titus2 DRM receiver (pls. see attached document with picture and details) http://www.drmna.info/.

Here is also a little testimony of how this prototype to be sold “at under 100 dollars” performed from Ray Robinson, Operations Manager at KVOH (Voice of Hope / Voz de Esperanza):

I’m currently at the HFCC conference in Miami, and reception of the DRM broadcast here this afternoon was very successful.  Reception was made outside the hotel on two receivers – a  NewStar DR-111 and a brand new pre-production receiver from Pantronix called the Titus 2, with a cluster of attendees gathered round taking photos and videos.  The latter receiver is based on an Android tablet in a stereo radio format with one speaker each side of the central horizontal tablet.  Reception on both radios was solid throughout, on a day when analog reception on 16m was plagued with a lot of atmospheric noise.  We haven’t done detailed calculations, but figure there were probably at least three hops from Italy to Miami, and for a daylight path, the reception quality was nothing short of astounding.

Click here to download the Titus II PDF brochure.

TitusII-DRM-Receiver-Specifications

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The PantronX Titus II: A New DRM Receiver

titus 2 big

I had heard rumors that a new DRM receiver was in the works, but had not yet seen any specifications. DRMNA.info has just posted a few specs:

The PantronX Titus II is actually a full SDR solution in a boombox case. Few details yet, but it is running Android, has a 100 kHz to 2 GHz receiver on-board and decodes AM, FM, SSB and DRM natively.

It uses a Quad-core Arm A53 @ 1.2 GHz, 1 Gig of RAM and 8 Gig of on-board Flash. 7″ TFT display and supports Android 5, 6 or custom remixes.

Click here to read the full post at DRMNA.info…

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