Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Paul Walker, who shares the following video of his open-air DX shack in McGrath, Alaska. Paul notes:
I got my iRig working and recorded audio of Rádio Nacional da Amazônia on 11780 kHz directly from the radio into my phone and it sounds really good with such a strong signal here in ALASKA. Take a listen….
DRM broadcasts from a locally produced transmitter will be originated for the first time in Latin America, as Brazil will officially start digital (DRM) shortwave transmissions through The National Radio of the Amazon towards the vast area of the northern Amazon region, mainly inhabited by indigenous populations.
In another first, Empresa Brasil de Comunicação (EBC), the public broadcaster, placed the order for the high-powered transmitter with a local manufacturer, the BT Transmitters company from Porto Alegre. BT Transmitters signed a contract with EBC for the production of a 100 kW transmitter in the DRM digital system.
The equipment will be used on the 11,780 kHz frequency in the 25-meter band, which is one of the shortwave channels used by Rádio Nacional da Amazônia since 1977.
The purchase for R$3.5 million is the result of an auction held in August 2020, in which other equipment for EBC’s public radio broadcasts is planned to be acquired.
At the end of last year, Nacional da Amazônia carried out tests with the DRM technology using a transmitter of 2.5 kW with the digital power of just 1 kW. EBC demonstrated then, for the first time in the country, the use of multi-programming and the transmission of interactive multimedia applications.
The DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale) standard provides power savings of up to 80% in electricity consumption, a sound quality equal or superior to FM, as well as allowing images and other data to be sent to the radio receiver.
DRM is a worldwide consortium, and more information can be found at www.drm.org.
A new era begins for Brazilian radio broadcasting with the arrival and installation of a first shortwave digital radio DRM transmitter developed and manufactured in the city of Porto Alegre by BT Transmitters. The transmitter will be sited at the public broadcaster (EBC) Rodeador Park, near the capital Brasilia, to be connected to one of the huge HF antennas of EBC (National Amazon Radio is transmitted from there).
The equipment (a transmitter of 2.5 kW) will be tested on an experimental and scientific basis with the help of the University of Brasilia (UnB) and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.
The National Radio of the Amazon broadcasts from Brasilia especially to the Northern, Amazonian region of Brazil. The signal will be also available in the neighbouring countries to the north of Brazil. This is primarily a domestic shortwave digital project aimed at the Amazon where about 7 million riverside and indigenous people live. They are far from any other means of communication as there is no mobile phone or internet coverage.
Rafael Diniz, the Chair of the DRM Brazilian Platform, thinks that: “Shortwave digital radio (DRM) for the Amazon region will ensure a new level of communication and information as Nacional’s programming is both popular and educational. It brings audio and much more at low energy cost to whole communities there. With the adoption of digital radio, one of the major problems, that of poor sound quality affecting at times shortwave, will end. Listeners will be able to enjoy DRM broadcasts in short wave with a quality similar to that of a local FM station together with textual and visual multimedia content.”
“This is a huge step forward, says Ruxandra Obreja, DRM Consortium Chair, “not just for Brazil but for the whole of Latin America. When everything else fails or does not exist, DRM will provide information, education, emergency warning and entertainment at reduced energy costs.”
As a side note, I do hope the DRM Consortium or the University of Brasilia and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation somehow make DRM receivers available to the “7 million riverside and indigenous people” they hope will eventually benefit from their broadcasts. At this point, however, this sounds more like a university experiment similar to those conducted at the Budapest University of Technology in Hungary.
Yesterday, I was primed to follow the FIFA World Cup semi-final match featuring the Netherlands vs. Argentina. Moreover, we have good friends from Germany visiting; of course, they wanted to see who their winning team will be playing in the final match come Sunday.
But as we live in a fairly rural area, and don’t place much of a priority on television (radio, anyone?), we have no cable, no satellite, and with no more than a rabbit-ear indoor antenna on our only telly, no local over-the-air broadcasters available. But we found we were able to watch the match stream live on ESPN via an Apple TV box attached to our only television.
Of course, I also tuned in the match on shortwave radio–via the BBC World Service on 11,810 kHz out of Ascension Island–starting a little after 20:00 UTC. And guess which stream was more “live” (i.e., immediate), ESPN or shortwave? Here’s the recording:
Answer: You guessed it–the shortwave coverage was one full minute in advance of the ESPN “live” stream. My friends watching television in another room marveled at my clairvoyance…
When the match went into extra time, as Argentina and the Netherlands were tied 0-0, the BBC World Service dropped the frequency to KBS (you’ll hear a few minutes of KBS in the recording). At this point I was resigned to watching the match on ESPN, as I didn’t want to miss any of the action while trying to find another broadcaster covering the match.
Then, radio to the rescue: I received the following tweet from SWLing Post reader/contributor @LondonShortwave:
So I quickly tuned to Radio Nacional Amazonia on 6,180, where I discovered a booming signal and full match coverage. Even though the commentary was in Portuguese, a language I can’t speak, I could still follow the match knowing player and team names. When Argentina won the penalty kicks after extra time, commentators exploded with excitement. Listen for yourself:
What made the match all the better, besides watching it with my good friends here at home, was following it with my shortwave friends across the globe. As we exchanged tweets (while following coverage) it was as if we were all in the same room. Indeed, here’s what @LondonShortwave said:
Last night, Rádio Nacional da Amazônia had a booming signal into North America on 11,780 kHz. Rádio Nacional’s AM signal was very wide; I actually opened up the filter on my SDR to 16 kHz to record this broadcast. In truth, that’s probably too wide, but it certainly made for great audio fidelity.
So, if you’re in the mood for some Brazilian music and commentary today, this 168 minute recording of Rádio Nacional da Amazônia should satisfy.
This past weekend, Radio Nacional da Amazonia had a booming signal into North America on 11,780 kHz. I recorded their broadcast throughout the night, assuming it would eventually fade; however, it did not.
So, if you’re in the mood for some Brazilian music and commentary today, this eight-hour recording of Radio Nacional da Amazonia should satisfy.
Note to those subscribed to our podcast:
I was a bit reluctant to include a link to the podcast feed as this file is so large; I rarely make eight-hour recordings. I did offer it up, however, based on the fact that there are so many other podcasters who regularly serve up files in excess of 250 MB. If you believe this file is too large to be included as a podcast, please comment; I certainly don’t want to choke up your bandwidth or overwhelm your iPod! But it’s wonderful listening.
Spread the radio love
Please support this website by adding us to your whitelist in your ad blocker. Ads are what helps us bring you premium content! Thank you!