Tag Archives: KiwiSDR

KiwiSDR: A brilliant new map portal!

Last month, we noted that the popular SDR.hu KiwiSDR portal now requires registration and an amateur radio callsign to use the site.  While SDR.hu is still online, we certainly get the impression all site development has been halted. This is not the end of the world because SDR.hu is only one of several KiwiSDR portals–we linked to others in our January article.

Personally, I only used the SDR.hu map view to keep track of KiwiSDR sites and found it quite useful because I typically select sites based on geographic location.

A better KiwiSDR map portal

I’ve just learned via the KiwiSDR Twitter account that Priyom.org has updated their KiwiSDR map portal using Dyatlov maps. The results are brilliant and, in my opinion, even better than the SDR.hu’s map.

The Priyom.org map uses the full window, is uncluttered and easier to navigate.

If you click on a KiwiSDR site, you’ll see a pop-up window with basic site information. If you hover the cursor over that site info, another window will pop up with current details about the receiver, number of users, antenna, SNR, and GPS clock (see above).

This is now my favorite way to geographically surf KiwiSDR sites.

Click here to check out the new map portal.


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Popular KiwiSDR portal now requires ham radio license: alternatives

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, who discovered via Gilles Letourneau’s YouTube Channel that the popular SDR.hu KiwiSDR portal now requires registration and a ham radio callsign.

I almost didn’t believe this at first, but then checked on the SDR.hu FAQ page to find this message:

What is a callsign and how do I get one?

An amateur radio callsign is issued by the appropriate authority in your country (e.g. FCC in the US). The amateur radio callsign allows you to both transmit and receive with amateur radio equipment, and you need to pass an exam to get one. (If you are not familiar with this, please search Google about amateur radio.)

Can I access the receiver list if I do not have a callsign?

No.

Why do I need a callsign to access the receiver list?

The purpose of the site is to serve amateur radio. I decided to restrict access to the receiver list in order to protect the site and its purpose in the long term.

To be clear: this doesn’t imply you need a callsign to access the KiwiSDR network. This only applies to the SDR.hu KiwiSDR portal operated by András Retzler. I’m guessing he’s doing this to regulate his site’s resources. (See UPDATE below.)

Alternative KiwiSDR Portals

kiwisdr.com/public/ provides a list of all active KiwiSDRs.

As Dan points out, there are a number of other KiwiSDR portals that do not require registration or a call sign.

Here are a few:

If you prefer another KiwiSDR portal, please comment with a link.  I’ll try to update this post with any new additions.

UPDATE – Many thanks to Cristiano Amaral who shares this update sent by Andras to all of the OpenWebRX contributors:

Hello,

You are receiving this e-mail because you were listing a public OpenWebRX receiver on SDR.hu in the last 3 months.

I wanted to let you know that the OpenWebRX project is discontinued [1], which means that it will not receive any updates (including security fixes) from me. I hope that you will be able to run your receivers without problems in the next years, and hopefully the community will be able to help each other even if I’m not working on the project anymore.

It is also important to know that starting from next year, Python 2, a dependency of OpenWebRX is not maintained either, at least officially by the Python team [2], as it is deprecated in favour of Python 3.

If you want to keep running your public receivers securely, you should be looking for a Python 2 fork that is still patched against the latest security vulnerabilities. There is a possibility that Anaconda [3] or Red Hat [4] will keep patching Python 2.

As a note, you can also find unofficial Python 3 ports of OpenWebRX online, though I’m not involved with those either.

Thank you for participating in the project, and I wish you a Happy New Year!

VY 73!

Andras, HA7ILM

sdr.hu

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Radio Kahuzi Comparison Between Sweden and Switzerland KiwiSDRs

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, who recently took advantage of a rainy Sunday in Maryland to put together the following video.

Dan notes that the video/screencast demonstrates, “reception of the low power Radio Kahuzi, the religious station in Democratic Republic of Congo, via two of the best KIWI SDR sites, in Sweden and Switzerland. The video shows how the signal of Radio Kahuzi propagates the 9,000 + kilometers from DRC into Europe.”

Fascinating!  Thank you for sharing this, Dan!

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KiwiSDR update brings integrated DRM reception!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mark Fahey, who shares the following tweet from KiwiSDR:

“Happy Holidays. Software update brings integrated DRM receiver (Digital Radio Mondiale) based on Dream 2.1.1 to all KiwiSDRs. Stock BeagleBone-Green/Black based Kiwis support one DRM channel, BeagleBone-AI Kiwis support four. Development work continues.”

Ironically, I had only recently published a post asking if anyone had ever attempted to decode DRM using a KiwiSDR. Turns out, several readers had by porting the IQ audio output into the DREAM application. Now that KiwiSDR will have a native DRM mode, this will no longer be necessary.

Many thanks, Mark, for sharing this tip! As you say, this is “mega news!”

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Ongoing DRM tests in Hungary: Could DRM be decoded via a KiwiSDR–?

Budapest, Hungary (Photo by @DNovac)

Several readers have written recently asking about the DRM tests we mentioned in a previous post. These tests are being sponsored by the Budapest University of Technology from June 1, 2019 to May 31, 2020–thus, they’ve been on the air for several months already. 

The programming, which was produced by Radio Maria, is being played in a loop–repeated over and over again. The signal is a modest 100 watts and is being transmitted via a 5/8 wavelength vertical on 26,060 kHz.

This is a low-power DRM broadcast using a very modest antenna, so I suppose it goes without saying that expectations should be in check. It’s a very long-shot for those of us living outside of Europe, of course. With that said, there are a number of KiwiSDR sites nearby Budapest:

You could certainly see the distinctive DRM signal on a KiwiSDR waterfall display, but I’m not sure how you’d decode it.

KiwiSDRs do have an IQ mode, however. I am very curious if anyone has ever used a KiwiSDR to decode DRM, perhaps, using Dream? Could the KiwiSDR IQ be fed into DREAM with a virtual audio cable?

Please comment–have you ever decoded DRM via a KiwiSDR site?


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Test the Bonito MegaLoop FX and MegaDipol live on the air

Many thanks to Dennis Walter with Bonito, who shares the following for anyone interested in the Megaloop FX or MegaDipol::

If anyone like to test the MegaLoop FX live on the air, you can do it here:

http://emeraldsdr.ddns.net:8073/

The MegaDipol can be tested on the same location here:

http://emeraldsdr.ddns.net:8074/

The location of both KiwiSDR receivers is Carlow, Ireland. Both receivers exhibit excellent low noise characteristics.

Indeed, as I publish this post I’m listening to near perfect copy of Radio France International–using the MegaDipol–on 17850 kHz as they report the results of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. (Congratulations team USA!)

Thanks for sharing these links, Dennis!

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Ultra-Rare DX: Logging Radio Kahuzi in the DRC

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, who shares the following guest post:


In these days of declining activity on the shortwave bands, we don’t often enjoy the experience of hearing what we might still call “rare” stations.  The new year brought an exception.

On January 1st, 2019 I was tuning around the 48 meter band, which is largely populated by European pirate stations, utilities, and weather stations, when I heard a station on 6,210.20 khz.  It was very distinct in that it sounded like an African station — music, with a male DJ/MC and religious songs.

What immediately came to mind was the religious station calling itself Radio Kahuzi, which is in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo.

The station has been heard by DX’ers in a number of countries since the mid-2000’s and because it’s management is based in the U.S. it is possible to obtain a QSL verification.

Radio Kahuzi also has Twitter and Facebook channels, making it easier to communicate with station managers and staff, and has this blog site: http://radiokahuzi.blogspot.com/

As a You Tube video shows the station has been on the air since the early 1990s:

Click here to view on YouTube.

On January 1st, RK was heard from about 1730 to 1747 UTC when it shut down, playing what Richard McDonald, one of the station’s founders, says were musical pieces that are specific to RK.

On January 2nd, 2019 the station was heard again via Europe-based SDRs, signing off at approximately 1811 UTC.

Here is McDonald’s response to my report (which included an mp3) from January 1st, in which he notes that he even went so far as to give the main station announcer, Gregoire, my name and asked him to mention me in the station’s broadcast:

“I just shared with Gregoire that you had sent a recording of the last minutes of his closing musical sign-off if Radio Kahuzi and he agreed to greet you by name this evening and several days in several languages including English.

You got him saying his name at 5:54 into your recording yesterday,and the ID sign off Mountain Blue-Grass Music was unique to Best Radio Kahuzi in Bukavu!

Barbara Smith will be happy to send the QSL Card and info about us and our National Director and his family situation in case you have any suggestions

Powering off here!  Our power cuts off with SNEL often — I just lost a longer reply to you !
But Keep Looking UP !    And Keep On Keeping ON !

Richard & Kathy McDonald”

By the way, according to Wikipedia, SNEL stands for Société nationale d’électricité “the national electricity company of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Its head office building is located in the district of La Gombe in the capital city, Kinshasa. SNEL operates the Inga Dam facility on the Congo River, and also operates thermal power plants.”

A very interesting page containing the history of Radio Kahuzi, with information about the McDonalds, is at: http://www.besi.org/

As of the time of this writing, it’s unclear to me whether the extended broadcast times of Radio Kahuzi will be continued or if this was a one shot deal linked to the new year — we may have some clarification on this in coming days.

Here’s a video of my January 1st, 2019 reception of Radio Kahuzi:

Click here to view on YouTube.

For now, I am quite pleased to join the group of about 63 DX’ers around the world (that number comes from a link on the RK website called “Shortwave Listeners” that lists SWLs who have heard and contacted the station).

Though it is highly unlikely that Radio Kahuzi will be heard anytime soon in the United States (the station’s schedules shows it being active from 8 AM to 8 PM Bukavu time) at least using U.S.-based radios, whether SDR or traditional receivers, it’s nice to know that there is still a station out there (with 800 watts!) that is a real DX target!


Wow! What a fantastic catch, Dan! Thank you for sharing your catch and, especially, shedding light on this rare DX. 

Post Readers: Please comment if you’ve logged and/or confirmed Radio Kahuzi.

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