Tag Archives: Voice of Greece

Using synchronous detection and notch filter to eliminate het noise

WinRadioExcalibur-VOG-Notch

The lighter shaded side of the AM carrier indicates a lower sideband sync lock. (Click to enlarge)

A few days ago, I tuned to 9,420 kHz and found a relatively strong signal from the Avlis transmitter site of the Voice of Greece. The broadcast was quite clear until a heterodyne (het) tone popped up out of nowhere.

I checked the spectrum display of my Excalibur to find two steady carriers located about .5 kHz off each side of VOG’s AM carrier. I assume this may have been a faint digital signal centered on the same frequency as VOG.

The noise was annoying, but SDRs (and many tabletop radios) have tools to help mitigate this type of noise.

The het tone was originating from both sidebands of the VOG AM carrier (see spectrum display above). I had planned to use my notch filter to eliminate the noise, but I had two carriers to notch out and only one notch filter.

VOG AM carrier

Synchronous detection to the rescue… 

The simple solution was to eliminate one of the carriers using my SDR’s synchronous detector which can lock to either the upper or lower sideband. In this case, it didn’t make any difference which sideband I locked to because both had similar audio fidelity and were otherwise noise free. In the end, I locked to the lower sideband, thus eliminating the het in the upper sideband.

Next, I enabled my notch filter and moved its frequency to cover the annoying het carrier in the lower sideband; I kept the notch filter width as narrow as I could to preserve VOG’s audio fidelity. You can see the notch filter location and width in the spectrum display above (the notch filter is the thin yellow line).

I should note here that the great thing about using an SDR–or tabletop receiver with a spectrum display–is that you can see where the noise is. I was using my WinRadio Excalibur, but pretty much any SDR in my shack could have handled this task.

The results? No het tone and I was able to preserve the great audio fidelity from the Voice of Greece broadcast!

Here’s a 3.5 hour recording I made after cleaning up the signal. I believe at one point in the recording, I switched off the notch filter to demonstrate how loud the het tone was:

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Shortwave Radio Recordings: Voice of Greece

greeceFor your listening pleasure: the Voice of Greece.

This was recorded on 29 June 2015 starting around 01:50 UTC on  9,420 kHz using my WinRadio Excalibur and my horizontal delta loop external (wire) antenna.

I’m very pleased with this off-air recording because it contains several minutes of multi-language station IDs in the last 10 minutes or so of the broadcast.

Click here to download this recording as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

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Shortwave Radio Recordings: Voice of Greece

Elad-FDM-S2-VOGEarly this morning, around 01:14 UTC, I tuned to 9,420 kHz with the Elad FDM-S2 and heard the Voice of Greece for the first time since the Greek national broadcaster, ERT had been restored.

SWLing Post contributor, Richard Langley, also noted the strong signal from Greece.  He has kindly shared the following information which he also posted in the DXLD Yahoo group:

“Greece is back on 9420 kHz this evening after being absent for some days and is now carrying the Voice of Greece […] program and not ERT from Athens or Thessaloniki. Noted with good signals in eastern Canada at 01:40 UTC. Radio audio is about half a minute delayed with respect to Internet stream: […](http://www.ert.gr/i-foni-tis-elladas/?). Not noted on other frequencies.

[…]9420 kHz signed off just after [02:00] UTC. Internet stream continued. And I should correct myself when I mentioned “not ERT from Athens or Thessaloniki.” Should have said not ERA from Athens or Thessaloniki. ERA is the abbreviation for Hellenic Radio […], as opposed to ERT which stands for Hellenic Radio-Television […]. ERT1, ERT2, etc. are TV stations while ERA1, ERA2, etc. are radio stations. This is a bit like BB1, BBC2, …, and BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, and so on.”

Richard followed up a few hours later:

“I continued listening to the Internet stream after the SW transmission ended, and at 02:57 UTC, the station identified itself in both Greek (“Edo Athina, I Foni Tis Elladas”) and English (“This is Athens. You are listening to the Voice of Greece”) several times, followed by the traditional interval signal and then what I believe to be the Greek national anthem at 03:00 UTC. A program of Greek music then ensued.”

Many thanks for sharing the details, Richard.  My recording actually ended when VOG signed off–I suppose I caught about the last 46 minutes of the broadcast.

Click here to download the recording as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

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Shortwave listeners hear the Voice of Greece once again

greece

SWLing Post contributor, Moshe, writes with some good news from the Voice of Greece:

I’m listening to VOG at 9420kHz, At 11:27 local time 08:27UTC, 11/06/2015 the station identified itself as “Ezo Athina, I Foni Dis Elladas”: “This Is Athens, The Voice Of Greece”.

Immediately after receiving Moshe’s message, another Post contributor, Merkouris, provided the following details:

It would be of interest to the SWLing Post readers that, as of today June 11, the Greek public broadcaster ERT is back on the air with three TV channels and eight Radio programmes, including the “Voice of Greece”.

TV channels:
ERT1,
ERT2,
ERT3 (Thessaloniki)

Radio programmes:
Proto Programma (1st Programme),
Deftero Programma (2nd Programme),
Trito Programma (3rd Programme),
Kosmos (Musics of the world),
ERA Spor (Sports programme),
RS Makedonia (Thessaloniki),
Foni Tis Elladas (Voice of Greece)

The web site http://www.ert.gr/ is also up with news and streams of all tv and radio channels.

Right now at 10:45 UTC the Voice of Greece is on the air on 9420 kHz.

Many thanks to both Moshe and Merkouris for this information!

A little background…

If you haven’t been following the story, in June 2013, Greek National TV & Radio (ERT) was shut down and so was the Voice of Greece (well…officially, at least).  Only a few hours after VOG went off the air that night, they came back on the air with live protest coverage.

In fact, since that night–exactly two years ago today–Greece has been broadcasting on shortwave intermittently as a relay of ERT Open and/or Elliniki Radiofonia.

I hope that now VOG is officially back on the air, their shortwave broadcasts will be daily once again.  Tonight, I will certainly be tuned to 9,420 kHz!

Update: the BBC News has recently posted this excellent article with photos and videos on their website.

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ERT reopens under direction of Dionysis Tsaknis

(Photo source: AP / Petros Giannakouris)

(Photo source: AP / Petros Giannakouris)

SWLing Post contributor, Ayar, confirms that ERT employees did indeed returned to work yesterday after having been laid off nearly two years ago. Ayar shares this link to GreekReporter.com which has full details.

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In theory, ERT workers go back to work today

ERT_Digital

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor Ayar, who writes:

According to many Greek news sources, the workers of ERT will go back to work tomorrow to restart ERT and take over from NERIT, even though there is no explicit permission from the government for them to do so!

This was a decision taken today by the ERT workers trade union “POSPERT”, who asked the workers to go back to work and start broadcasting from ERT HQ. (Here is the original decision published on their website translated from Greek by Google).

An interesting observation: The domain “ert.gr” no longer redirects the visitor to “nerit.gr“, and the servers connected to the ert.gr domains (dns1.papaki.gr, ns2.papaki.gr, ns120.papaki.gr) are now showing error and test pages from their active servers. Just this morning, they were all inactive! It seems that somebody is working on the servers to
re-establish the ERT website.

It will be interesting to see what will happen!

Indeed, it will! Let us know of any updates. I’ll tune to the ERT Open relay on 9420 this evening to see if IDs have changed. Again, many thanks for the report, Ayar!

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Greece to re-open state broadcaster, ERT

logo-ert-open-bw-color-2Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Ayar (HB9EVW), who shares this news via Reuters:

(Reuters) – Greece’s parliament passed a bill on Wednesday to reopen the state broadcaster abruptly unplugged nearly two years ago, in a symbolic move to heal what Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has called a “great wound” of the country’s bailout programme.

Re-opening The Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT) has been a priority for his leftist Syriza party, which fiercely protested the way television screens went black at midnight on June 11, 2013, after the then conservative-led government decided to shutter the 75-year-old institution.

[…]ERT’s shock closure, with newscasters cut off in mid-sentence, was one of the most drastic measures to help meet the terms of the country’s 240 billion-euro international bailout.

It sparked a wave of protests and the withdrawal of a partner from the coalition government at the time, igniting what many view as the beginning of Syriza’s rise to power.

For weeks, journalists broadcast a bootleg news channel over the Internet, defying management orders to leave the shuttered broadcaster’s headquarters. Hundreds rallied outside the building in daily protests, as musicians from ERT’s national symphony orchestra performed, some in tears. The government has said it plans to rehire the musicians.

I actually recorded the moment the Voice of Greece went off the air on shortwave, only to return (as basically a pirate radio station) only a few hours later. Click here to listen to the recording.

Click here to read the full Reuters article above.

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