Thursday, November 13, 2014

VOA Radiogram for November 15-16

From Kim Andrew Elliott:

Hello friends,

Before discussing last weekend’s and next weekend’s program, a reminder that an archive of past VOA Radiogram broadcasts recorded by Mark Hirst in the UK is kindly maintained by Mark at the URL below. You can decode the modes from these recordings …


Last weekend’s 8PSK: As expected, the 640-word-per-minute 8PSK-250 in last weekend’s program usually resulted in more errors than the 320-wpm 8PSK-125. There were a few instances of 95-100% decode of the 8PSK-250, including the 360 km from the North Carolina transmitter to my house in northern Virginia, Saturday 0230 UTC on 5745 kHz. It seems that the 8PSK-250 would be most useful in short-hop shortwave propagation, beyond the range of VHF.

[That's what I had here in California, The Land That Short Wave Forgot. I got a good decode on the 8PSK-125, though it errored out once in a fade.  The 8PSK-250 could not handle the fading conditions at all, producing a few readable lines and a lot of gibberish. -Hugh]

This weekend we return to our workhorse MFSK32 mode for the entire program, except for an MFSK64 image and the surprise mode at the end of the show.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 85, 15-16 November 2014 (all MFSK32 except where indicated):

1:45  Program preview
2:52  Solar eclipse and European power grids*
7:53  Human settlements and animal extinction*
11:45  Interfacing human brains via Internet*
16:05  Sesame Street TV show marks 45 years*
19:45  Russian media news*
26:37  Closing announcements with MFSK64 logo
28:05  Surprise mode of the week

*with image

Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com.

VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC):
Sat 0930-1000 5910 kHz (new frequency as of 1 November)
Sat 1600-1630 17860 kHz
Sun 0230-0300 5745 kHz
Sun 1930-2000 15670 kHz
All via the Edward R. Murrow transmitting station in North Carolina.

The Mighty KBC will transmit a minute of MFSK64 Saturday at about 1230 UTC on 6095 kHz and Sunday at about 0130 UTC (Saturday 8:30 pm EST) on 7375 kHz. Both frequencies are via Germany. Reports for the KBC transmissions to themightykbc@gmail.com .

Thanks for your reception reports. I’ll try to respond before the end of the weekend.

Please tune in and write this weekend.

Kim

Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

G4ILO Propagation Box Replaced by N0NBH

One of the mailing lists had a link to propagation widgets at a site operated by Paul Herrman, N0NBH.  One of these looked compact and comprehensive, and so it will be used here.  It adds some new information, such as 304A, a solar measurement on a wavelength (304 Angstroms) which creates a good part of the F region ionization.

Clicking on the box takes you to the site.

Monday, November 10, 2014

G4ILO, SK

Mark Clark, N3IRJ, has e-mailed this blog with the following sad information:

I am sorry to report that Julian Moss, G4ILO became a Silent Key on October 24, 2014.  Please see his blog http://onefootingrave.blogspot.com/ for the original post.

His wonderful HF Propagation has since encountered difficulties, and unless someone takes over maintenance, shall remain uncorrected.

All condolences to his family for their loss. 

For now, in respect of the dead, his little box will be left up.  Also, it is preserved in hope that someone else might fix it someday.

We, too, offer condolences to Julian's family.



Saturday, November 08, 2014

NMC Pacific Surface Analysis Showing Nov. 2014 Superstorm

This huge storm is what happened to a super-typhoon when it got farther north and picked up energy from the jet stream and another cyclonic storm.  It's one of the biggest storms ever seen.  It's way bigger than Sandy, though fortunately the affected area is far less populated. As of this post, damage has been limited to some islands, and there are no known fatalities.

I'm especially fond of the single deep fade (fuzzy vertical line) which appeared almost exactly as the storm center was being transmitted.  It's almost as if the storm is saying, "Don't mess with me; I'm so bad I can even zap your picture."

Below, we see the chart in a smaller version.  Clicking through to it, then doing "View Image" (or whatever your browser calls it) will bring up the whole original.  It is huge.

Note the densely packed isobars and the large hurricane-force wind field.  The central pressure is not concentrated in an "eye" the way a hurricane would do, but it is still among the lowest recorded in this region.  The 944 showing on this chart is close to where Andrew measured.

The pressure later dropped to an ear-popping 924 or thereabouts. No one hung around, and there were no instruments to make a definitive reading.  Still, the estimated pressure makes the storm a contender for strongest ever recorded in the Bering Sea.

Also note the extremely wide geographic area under influence of the storm, plus the very long cold front stretching all the way through the temperate latitudes. This goes stationary only a few degrees north of the tropics. This front may influence California weather sometime next week, as it moves up and over the Pacific High to the lower right.  The storm's effect on polar latitudes is forecast to bring an early winter to much of the US.




Friday, November 07, 2014

Malfunctioning Propagation Widget On This Page

We are quite aware that the little "HF Propagation" box at the top right of our main page isn't working.  It hasn't for several weeks now.  It is displaying HTML/XML code in fields that should be data.

Examination of G4ILO's web site shows that all of these widgets have the same problem.

Since some of the data is still there, one hopes the problem is transitory.

Meanwhile, just click the little "Solar Data from WWV" at the bottom.  This loads the latest NOAA/WWV "Geoalert" message with similar information.  The first part gives the solar flux, planetary A index, and planetary K index.

Like this.

Really Interesting VOA Radiogram for 8-9 November

Editor's notes:

1. Note the new frequency of 5910 kHz for the Saturday 0930 UTC transmission. This apparently came as a surprise to everyone.

2. The latest version of fldigi, 3.22.01,  is required to successfully decode 8PSK-125.

3. Remember that local times have changed as a result of the various world time changes. In the US, all broadcasts are one hour earlier in local time.

---

From Kim Andrew Elliott:

Hello friends,

Last weekend, the frequency of the Saturday 0930-1000 UTC broadcast of VOA Radiogram was changed to 5910 kHz. I never received a memo about this frequency change, so I was not able to inform you. I apologize for the inconvenience, especially to North American listeners who were awake very early in the morning, only to hear no signal on the advertised 5745 kHz frequency.

Here is the revised and up-to-date VOA Radiogram transmission schedule (all days and times UTC):

Sat 0930-1000 5910 kHz (new frequency)
Sat 1600-1630 17860 kHz
Sun 0230-0300 5745 kHz
Sun 1930-2000 15670 kHz
All via the Edward R. Murrow transmitting station in North Carolina.

With the time change in North America, the 0930 UTC broadcast is now at 4:30 am Eastern Standard Time, and even earlier in the more westerly time zones. If you prefer not to be awake at such an hour, the Audacity timer record feature (in the Transport menu) is handy.



8PSK tests


Most of you reported some errors from last weekend's test of the 8PSK-125 mode (about 315 words per minute). There were, however, several 100% decodes of the 8PSK-125 mode in Europe and North America. (Here's a recording from Greece of one such 100% decode. Try decoding it yourself.) According to VOA Radiogram listeners, it helps to have the Fldigi squelch off or at a low level for this mode, so that characters are decoded even during fades. A low audio level into Fldigi is also useful.

With realistic expectations about the chances for successful decodes, we will experiment with 8PSK modes again this weekend. Towards the end of the show, a VOA news items will be transmitted in 8PSK-125, then the same story will be transmitted again in the even faster 8PSK-250 mode (640 words per minute). You will need Fldigi 3.22.01 to decode these modes.

VOA Radiogram, program 84, 8-9 November 2014

Here is the lineup (all MFSK32 except where indicated):

 1:40  Program preview
 2:51  Agriculture with salty water*
 8:36  New street lighting lower carbon emissions*
14:43  Glowing orbs mark former Berlin Wall*
21:19  Experiments with 8PSK-125 and 8PSK-250
26:29  Closing announcements
27:07  MFSK64 image: Veterans Day in the USA
28:46  Surprise mode of the week.

* with image.

Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com.

The Mighty KBC will transmit a minute of MFSK64 Saturday at about 1230 UTC on 6095 kHz, and Sunday at about 0130 UTC (Saturday 8:30 pm EST) on 7375 kHz. Both frequencies are via Germany. Please send reception reports to Eric at themightykbc@gmail.com.

Thanks to everyone who sent receptions reports to VOA Radiogram last weekend. I'll begin work on the QSL and respond by the end of this weekend.

I hope you can tune in and write in.

Kim

Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
voaradiogram.net

Detail from NMC Wind/Wave Chart Nov. 7, 2014

This is as close to actual size as I can get Blogger to show it.  Note the fair readability of the lettering around the NOAA logo, which is usually just a smudge.  Were this to be sent at Kyodo News' 60/576, it would be even crisper, but it would take practically a half hour to send.

We see here that the HF FAX mode is actually capable of a lot more image quality than what is seen in the average degraded transmission.  It also shows that NMC's lower powered transmitters can still get out.




Spectacular HF FAX Reception on 12784.1 in SoCal

12784.1 is the dial frequency for NMC, USCG fax from NMC Pt. Reyes, carrier frequency 12786.0.


For the second day, the charts being received in L.A. are among the most perfect I've ever seen.  Today there is a little more multipath visible, but not much.  Yesterday, there was none at all.  The little writing around the NOAA seal is often legible.

Examples coming soon.........

X1.6 Flare 17 Nov at 1726

No, it wasn't your radio.  New active region 2205 produced a major solar flare this morning (US time), peaking X1.6 at 1726 UTC. This caused a brief R2-level radio blackout, and a CME of unknown geo-effectivness.

2205 and another new region still rotating into view promise more of this sort of activity in the week or so ahead.  As they track across the sun, things may get interesting regarding CMEs and magnetic disturbances.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

8PSK-125 Returns In VOA Radiogram for 1-2 November 2014

From Kim Andrew Elliot:

Hello friends,

Last week's surprise mode was 8PSK-125. The 8PSK modes were added to Fldigi as of version 3.22.00.

Most of you were unable to decode the 8PSK-125 transmission. I think this is because I used Fldigi 3.22.00 to produce the 8PSK-125 segment, and most of you installed Fldigi 3.22.01. There was a change to the 8PSK encoding scheme with version 3.22.01.

This weekend, I will try another transmission in 8PSK-125, this time produced using Fldigi 3.22.01. If you do not already have Fldigi 3.22.01 installed, please download it from http://www.w1hkj.com/download.html.

You will notice that 8PSK-125 is fast: 316 words per minute, versus 120 wpm for our usual MFSK32 mode. Despite its speed, it does have some  forward error correction (FEC), so it might be able to withstand some of the degradations of shortwave propagation.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 83, 1-2 November 2014:

 1:47  Program preview (now)
 2:57  Introduction to 8PSK-125 test
 3:54  8PSK-125: Radio/TV Martí PSAs
 4:40  Failure of Antares rocket launch*
11:41  Solar power from Tunisia will supply Europe*
17:56  Recycling e-waste in Ghana without burning*
25:04  Closing announcements with MFSK64 logo
28:25  Surprise mode of the week

*with image

Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com.

VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC):
Sat 0930-1000 5745 kHz
Sat 1600-1630 17860 kHz
Sun 0230-0300 5745 kHz
Sun 1930-2000 15670 kHz*
All via the Edward R. Murrow transmitting station in North Carolina.

*North American listeners: With the time change, note that the Sunday 1930 UTC transmission is now one hour earlier for most of you, e.g. 2:30 pm Eastern *Standard* Time.

The Mighty KBC will transmit a minute of MFSK64 Saturday at about 1130 UTC on 6095 kHz, and Sunday at about 0130 UTC (Saturday 9:30 pm EDT) on 7375 kHz. Both frequencies are via Germany. Reports to themightykbc@gmail.com .

Thank you for your reports from last weekend. I am now constructing the eQSL and will reply soon.

Kim

Kim Andrew Elliot
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
voaradiogram.net

Monday, September 29, 2014

R. Martí to Test MFSK16

From Kim Andrew Elliott:

Hello friends,

Starting tonight, Radio Martí will transmit a minute of MFSK16 centered on 2500 Hz, daily, according to the following schedule:
0558:40 UTC               1180  6030  7405 kHz 
0758:40 UTC               1180  5980  6030 kHz 
0858:40 UTC               1180  5980  6030 kHz 
Each transmission is 57 seconds. 


The 1180 kHz is medium wave, from the Florida Keys. The shortwave frequencies (5980, 6030, and 7405 kHz) are all via North Carolina.

You will probably hear noise on the frequency.

Recordings of your reception would be appreciated.

The email address for reception reports is included in the text transmission, but if you are not able to decode it, just send the report to radiogram@voanews.com.

Kim

Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
voaradiogram.net

Friday, September 19, 2014

Autumnal VOA Radiogram for September 20-21

Read past the schedule for word of the latest incomprehensible IBB/USIA/VOA decision to shoot itself in its collective foot.  One wonders whether this is the whole story, or if the decision was a result of diplomatic pressure regarding the anti-jam tests.

From Kim Andrew Elliott:

Hello friends,

VOA Radiogram this weekend will include a detailed VOA news item about U.S. public diplomacy.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 77, during the weekend of 20-21 September 2014. All content is in MFSK32 centered on 1500 Hz except for two surprise modes at the end:

  1:34  Program preview
.2:35  Device produces water from fog, with image.
 7:34  NASA contract for manned spacecraft, with image
11:33  NASA's asteroid detection effort, with image
18:15  US information "battle" with Russia, IS
26:41  Closing announcements

Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com.

VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC):
Sat 0930-1000 5745 kHz
Sat 1600-1630 17860 kHz
Sun 0230-0300 5745 kHz
Sun 1930-2000 15670 kHz
All via the Edward R. Murrow transmitting station in North Carolina.

The Radio Free Asia transmissions of digital text via shortwave have ended and will not resume. I am surprised by this decision, because the RFA tests showed that in even in the face of deliberate Chinese co-channel interference, digital text provided a very successful decode.

Here is an example: RFA Cantonese as received in Hong Kong, 14 September 2014, 2257 UTC, on 15390 kHz. The female voice is China National Radio. The male voice in the background in RFA Cantonese. The mix of CNR and RFA creates a generally inaudible mess. The Olivia 32-2000 mode penetrates the cacophony, resulting in successfully decoded text (try decoding it yourself)...

https://soundcloud.com/voaradiogram/rfa-cant-140914-2257-15390-hk

I initiated experiments with digital text via analog shortwave broadcast about two years ago to find a way to work around the blockage and censorship of Internet content. The VOA Radiogram experiments show that text and images can successfully be transmitted via shortwave: a useful capability when the Internet is blocked.

However, we can assume that if a country blocks Internet traffic, it will probably also jam shortwave transmissions. Text via shortwave must also have anti-jamming capabilities. Tests of digital text modes amid actual jamming are -- were -- essential to the VOA Radiogram concept. Now that VOA and RFA have both discontinued tests of text to China, experiments with Chinese jamming are no longer possible within the realm of US-government-funded international broadcasting.

The Mighty KBC will transmit a minute of MFSK64 Saturday at about 1130 UTC on 6095 kHz and Sunday at about 0130 UTC (Saturday 9:30 pm EDT) on 7375 kHz. Both frequencies are via Germany. Reports to themightykbc@gmail.com.

Thanks for your interesting reports from last weekend's VOA Radiogram. I will begin answering those reports now.

Kim

Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
voaradiogram.net

Low-VHF F2 Skip is Back!

After hearing a solid signal from the 29620 kHz FM repeater in New York State, I checked higher up. Indeed the first VHF skip of the season was coming into California from the New York City area, with the usual NYC taxi dispatchers.  These were also good signals.

Since this time, Bz has moved south, and the Kp index is around the storm threshold at 4. Radio conditions are deteriorating somewhat.  Still, the season is coming......

Log:

kHz      UTC  Tone   Traffic
30620.0  1902 210.7  LOUD carriers, SS dispatcher
30660.0  1814  77.0  Huge carrier

30720.0  1822  ?     Weak carrier, longer xmsns than rest         

30740.0  1901 107.2  Taxi, probably NYC, usual fast SS  

30800.0  1919  88.5  Taxi, probably NYC, usual fast SS

30820.0  1902 151.4  Carriers, OM and YL dispatchers

31360.0  1910   CSQ  Weak EE/OM, "right next door to your right"

Sunday, September 14, 2014

HFDL System Table Updates to #49

ARINC recently updated its System Table of frequencies used by High-Freqency Data Link ground stations.  The current table is number 49 (decimal).  If you're using PC-HFDL, it should have switched to index numbers instead of the frequencies in kHz.

To get the kHz back, the user must either:

1. Listen to some squitters to make sure you have a good copy on the ground station.  Wait for an aircraft to report that it is using version 48, which triggers an auto-update from the ground.  As it receives the uplink data to the aircraft, clever PC-HFDL will write a new pchfdl.dat file over the existing one.  I must be slipping - I didn't do this on September 4 when it changed, and now it's a little late for a ground station to be sending it.

2. Get a file called pchfdl.dat from someone who has done the update.  Exit PC-HFDL.  Go to your PC-HFDL directory*, change to the sub-folder called "configs," and copy in the new one from wherever.  The old one is useless, so there's no tragedy if it gets lost.  Even so, I tend to rename it and move it somewhere else first.  Restart PC-HFDL, and if the numbers have switched to frequencies, you're there.

The pchfdl.dat file on this column's web site has been replaced.  It works here.  That doesn't always guarantee anything, but it's there.  Again, the operative number is #49.

As always, the new frequencies aren't all that different from the old ones.  The only visible change is the addition of three new frequencies for Johannesburg, South Africa.  These, listed in ARINC's usual descending mode, are 17922, 11321, and 5529.

Good hunting!


*Most Windows 7-8 users make a radio directory outside of C:\Program Files, because otherwise older programs don't work right.  Mine is C:\Radio\PC-HFDL.  Even then, I had to mess around with it a bit to get the new pchfdl.dat to work.  Most people, though, seem to have it work right the first time.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

High Bands Working as Magnetic Storm Abates

Bz remained strongly northward through the night (U.S. time), and the estimated Kp index stayed well below storm levels for the entire period.  HF has recovered nicely, with good signals, especially at the high end.  The 10 meter amateur beacon band (28200-28300 CW) is alive with Morse code signals for the first time in a while here.

Photos of spectacular aurora in the far northern US are all over the internet.  Vermont and New Hampshire were treated to an amazing display of green, yellow,  and purplish-red "northern lights."

It's worth watching the dreaded Bz, as it is very slowly moving southward at present.  It will do what it wants to do, and this is not a prediction of the future.  But a storm watch remains in effect.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Kp Index Reaches 7, then Storm Calms Somewhat

As predicted, the 0000 UTC estimated Kp index reached 7. There was a period of high-latitude G3 geomagnetic storming, which is currently over.  At 0300, estimated Kp was 4, right at the storm threshold.

Aurora watchers should still check the sky, because substorms are always possible.  Additional G3 storming is not out of the question, though the continued strong northward orientation of Bz makes it less likely than it would be if the interplanetary magnetic field were to turn south again.

In general, HF band conditions seem improved over this afternoon (U.S. time).


K Index of 7 Predicted as Storm Continues

While the highest Kp index encountered so  far in this event has been 6, the Space Weather Prediction Center is expecting it to go to 7 tonight (U.S. time).  This would be a G3 level event.  If it happens, aurora should be visible in the extreme northern U.S., and power grid fluctuations are possible in higher latitudes.  Auroral radio propagation is likely.

Some predictions have the Kp as high as 8, which is getting up there, but these assume a negative Bz magnetic polarity.  Right now, following a negative swing, it has gone strongly positive again. This possibly explains the drop to 5 in the last Kp index.

(Keep in mind that K is a quasi-logarithmic range index of magnetic fluctuation, always expressed in whole integers between 0 and 9.  A condition measuring at K=9, as high as it can go, makes for interesting, if unpredictable, conditions on the radio bands.  Here, it's usually first noted as severe auroral flutter on WWV, with Doppler shift, even though this is a relatively low-latitude path. )


From SWPC:

:Product: 3-Day Forecast
:Issued: 2014 Sep 12 1230 UTC
# Prepared by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA,
 Space Weather Prediction Center
#
A. NOAA Geomagnetic Activity Observation and Forecast

The greatest observed 3 hr Kp over the past 24
 hours was 5 (NOAA Scale G1).

The greatest expected 3 hr Kp for Sep 12-Sep 14
 2014 is 7 (NOAA Scale G3).

NOAA Kp index breakdown Sep 12-Sep 14 2014

            Sep 12     Sep 13     Sep 14
00-03UT        5 (G1)     6 (G2)     4     
03-06UT        5 (G1)     7 (G3)     5 (G1)
06-09UT        2          6 (G2)     5 (G1)
09-12UT        3          5 (G1)     4     
12-15UT        3          5 (G1)     3     
15-18UT        3          4          3     
18-21UT        3          5 (G1)     3     
21-00UT        6 (G2)     5 (G1)     4     

Rationale: G2 (Moderate) geomagnetic storms are
expected by late on day one (12 Sep) due to continued
effects from the 09 Sep CME along with the arrival
of the 10 Sep CME. G3 (Strong) geomagnetic storms are
expected on day two (13 Sep) with continued CME effects.
Unsettled to G1 (Minor) storm levels are expected for
day three (14 Sep) as CME influence begins to subside.

Source Link: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/latest/three_day_forecast.txt

Moderate Geomagnetic Storm in Progress

Coronal mass ejection from Wednesday's bright and long-duration X1.6 flare hit the Earth's magnetic field at 1555 UTC this morning (Western Hemisphere). The K index jumped from 2 to 6, indicating moderate storm conditions.

The most visible effect will be increased aurora, moving south perhaps to the northern U.S..

On the radio, polar absorption has greatly increased. Lower latitudes should encounter unstable and/or disturbed propagation today into tomorrow.

Interestingly, the Bz component of the magnetic field is oscillating wildly in some places, and at other locations it has moved well to the north. Generally, a southward Bz corresponds with the heaviest storm conditions.

VOA Radiogram/ RFA Cantonese/ Mighty KBC for Sep. 13-15

From Kim Andrew Elliott:

Hello friends,

As we approach autumn in the northern hemisphere, shortwave propagation is changing. The 17860 and 15670 kHz transmissions may become more difficult to hear in Europe. On the other hand, last weekend, Chris in New Zealand received the 15670 kHz transmission with a 100% decode (including the Russian).

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 76, 13-14 September 2014, all MFSK32 except for surprise modes at the end of the show:


.1:35  Program preview
 2:33  "Internet slowdown" campaign, with image
10:19  Ozone layer may be recovering, with image
17:26  New VOA Russian TV program, with image
26:09  Closing announcements

Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com

VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC):
Sat 0930-1000 5745 kHz
Sat 1600-1630 17860 kHz
Sun 0230-0300 5745 kHz
Sun 1930-2000 15670 kHz
All via the Edward R. Murrow transmitting station in North Carolina.

The Radio Free Asia Cantonese Service continues its transmissions of Olivia 32-2000 this weekend and Monday, as follows:


​UTC Dates
​1458-1500 UTC
​2258-2300 UTC
​Saturday, 13 Sept
​13635 kHz
​15380 kHz
​Sunday, 14 Sept
​13700 ​15390
​Monday, 15 Sept
​13585 ​15260

The Olivia 32-2000 is centered on 1500 Hz. Each transmission is about a minute and a half. All frequencies are via Tinian. Send reports for these transmissions to qsl@rfa.org -- include your postal address, because they send paper QSLs.

The Mighty KBC will transmit its usual minute of MFSK64 Saturday at about 1130 UTC on 6095 kHz and Sunday at about 0130 UTC (Saturday 9:30 pm EDT) on 7375 kHz. Both frequencies are via Germany. Reports to themightykbc@gmail.com.

Thanks for your reports to VOA Radiogram last weekend, to which I will respond this weekend.

I hope you can tune in this weekend.

Kim


Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
voaradiogram.net

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

RFA Extends Cantonese Digital Broadcasts

Frequencies have been corrected per subsequent e-mail announcement sent 1811 UTC. This table reflects the corrected ones.

From Kim Andrew Elliott:

Hello friends,


The Radio Free Asia Cantonese Service will resume its digital text transmissions, Olivia 32-2000 centered on 1500 Hz, at the following times, on the following frequencies, all via Tinian. Expect co-channel Chinese domestic radio on all of these frequencies:


​UTC Dates ​1458-1500 UTC ​2258-2300 UTC
​Tuesday, 9 Sept ​13595 kHz ​15270 kHz
​Wednesday, 10 Sept ​13585 ​15280
​Thursday, 11 Sept ​13595 ​15290
​Friday, 12 Sept ​13585 ​15300
​Saturday, 13 Sept ​13635 ​15380
​Sunday, 14 Sept ​13700 ​15390
​Monday, 15 Sept ​13585 ​15260


These frequencies [were] not confirmed [possibly may be now]. If you do not hear RFA, tune within the same band for two stations in Chinese dialects on the same frequency.



Reports to qsl@rfa.org .


cc: to radiogram@voanews.com


Kim

Thursday, September 04, 2014

RFA Cantonese September 5, VOA Radiogram 6-7, and Mighty KBC

From Kim Andrew Elliott:

Hello friends,

Radio Free Asia will try digital text in its Cantonese Service on Friday, 5 September:

1458 UTC    13585 kHz
2258 UTC    15120 kHz  (Saturday early morning in East Asia)

Both frequencies are via Tinian, Northern Mariana Islands. The mode is Olivia 32-2000 centered on 1500 Hz. Expect co-channel Chinese domestic radio. Reception reports to qsl@rfa.org .

VOA Radiogram this weekend will include interesting (and longer than usual) stories, one about an Internet conference in Turkey, the other about a major Russian news agency reverting to the name TASS. There will also be a brief item in Russian, so set Configure > Colors & Fonts to the UTF-8 character set.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 75, 6-7 September 2014, all in MFSK32 centered on 1500 Hz except for two surprise modes at the end of the show:

 1:31  Program preview (now)
 2:26  Internet Governance Forum in Turkey, with image
11:02  Russia's renamed TASS news agency, with image
21:31  VOA Russian: paper microscope, with image
25:57  Closing announcements

Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com .

VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC):
Sat 0930-1000 5745 kHz
Sat 1600-1630 17860 kHz
Sun 0230-0300 5745 kHz
Sun 1930-2000 15670 kHz
All via the Edward R. Murrow transmitting station in North Carolina.

The Mighty KBC will repeat last weekend's one-minute test of the vertical blue line in MFSK64. This will be Saturday at about 1130 UTC on 6095 kHz and Sunday at about 0130 UTC (Saturday evening 9:30 pm EDT) on new 7375 kHz. Both frequencies are via  Germany. Reports to themightykbc@gmail.com.

Thank you for your reports to VOA Radiogram during the weekend of 30-31 August. I saw many successful displays of the Tibetan text. I will try to answer all your emails by the end of this weekend.

Kim

Friday, August 29, 2014

More on VOA Radiogram Tibetan Font

From Kim Andrew Elliott:

Hello friends,

For this weekend’s transmission of Tibetan text on VOA Radiogram, you might be able to see the Tibetan characters in the receive pane. No copy and paste to a word processor will be required.  If all goes well.

Dave, W1HKJ, lead developer of Flidigi, suggests an adjustment to RX Font: Configure > Colors & Fonts: The Rx/Tx Character set should be UTF-8, then (if you have a Microsoft OS) change Rx font to Microsoft Himalaya. Because this font is very small, increase the point size to 20.

With Linux, the font is Tibetan Machine Uni.  I’m not sure which point size is best in this OS.

You can switch to the Himalaya font just before the Tibetan is transmitted 22:39 into the show.  Or you can use the Himalaya font for the entire show, because it prints out adequately in English.  (I don’t know if Tibetan Machine Uni does English.)

I look forward to seeing your results.  Please send reports to radiogram@voanews.com .

Kim