Friday, July 22, 2016

Very interesting VOA Radiogram for July 23-24

From Kim Andrew Elliott:

Hello friends,

Italian Broadcasting Corporation, IBC, has new MFSK32 transmissions. See the information below.

I have not been able to do a character-by-character analysis of all the reports on last weekend's Battle of the 55-wpm Modes, but it generally appears to me that MFSKI16 was best, followed by Olivia-8-1000, with BPSK63F most prone to errors. (In defense of BPSK63F, however, it has the narrowest bandwidth, and thus will be the most welcome on the amateur bands.)

Roger in Germany reminded us that BPSK63F, because it involves phase shift keying, may not work as well in AM mode, because, with fading, the two sidebands can be out of phase. The frequency shift keying of MFSK and Olivia suffer less from this phenomenon. I decoded the three modes using SSB on various receivers, but it still seems that BPSK63F had the most errors. Several listeners and I also decoded BPSK63F in AM mode (and a good signal) with 100% success.

Meanwhile, the html VOA Radiogram transmission schedule was received perfectly in many parts of the world, even where the MFSK32 images were fuzzy. (See some examples.)

This weekend, VOA Radiogram will again transmit an html document. This time, instead of using the Flmsg blank form, we will use the Flmsg file transfer form. When the content is all received, the file transfer window will open. You can save the document and open it when convenient.  (The photo in the document will come to your PC via the Internet rather than shortwave.) (See instructions at http://voaradiogram.net/post/147385924137/this-weekend-again-web-pages-via-shortwave )

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 173, 23-24 July 2016, all in MFSK32, all centered on 1500 Hz:


 1:32  Program preview
 2:52  New map of cerebral cortex*
 9:21  X-shaped configuration at center of Milky Way*
14:41  US Navy will visit New Zealand*
19:04  Amateur radio numbers decline in Germany*
22:17  Kepler telescope discovers planets (Flmsg html file transfer)
27:18  Closing announcements  

* with image

** information about using Flmsg is at http://bit.ly/29Yen0J


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 17580 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 broadcast to North America Sunday at 0000-0200 UTC (Saturday evening 8-10 pm EDT) on 9925 kHz, via Germany. A minute of MFSK32 will be transmitted at about 0130 UTC. It will be another Flmsg blank form, so an html item will pop up as a new window on your browser. (The large photo will come to your PC via the Internet rather than shortwave.) Reports for this KBC reception to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com .

DigiDX will provide DX and media news in MFSK32 and possibly other modes (and they have been experimenting with html/svg content) :
Sunday 2130-2200 UTC, 15770 kHz, via WRMI Florida
Sunday 2330-2400 UTC, 11580 kHz, via WRMI Florida

Monday 2000-2130 UTC, 6070 kHz, via Channel 292 Germany
Daily 1830-1900 and 0530-0600 UTC, 6070 kHz, via Channel 292 Germany
Look for any additions or changes to the DigiDX schedule at http://www.digidx.uk/ or https://www.facebook.com/digidx/

IBC (Italian Broadcasting Corporation) has a broadcast to Europe on 6070 kHz, Wednesdays, 2000-2200 UTC, with MFSK32 and Olivia 16-500 at 2030-2100 UTC. And IBC has added MFSK32 transmissions via WRMI in Florida: Friday 0125-0200 UTC on 9955 kHz (Thursday 9:25 pm EDT), part of its 0100-0130 broadcast. And Saturday at 0155-0200 UTC (Friday evening 9:55 pm EDT), on 11580 kHz, part of its 0130-0200 broadcast.  See http://ibcradio.webs.com/ for the complete schedule and contact information.


Thank you for a large number of reports from last weekend. There was obviously much interest in the experimental nature of the program. I will start to compile a gallery of images today and hope to send them out by the end of the weekend.

I hope you can tune in and write in this weekend.

Kim

Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
voaradiogram.net
Twitter: @VOARadiogram


Friday, July 15, 2016

Epic 55WPM showdown on VOA Radiogram for July 16-17

For the first time in a while, VOA Radiogram gets experimental, with three different 55 WPM modes. These are BP63F, MFSK16, and Olivia 8-1000. There will also be a message in Flmsg format, again for the first time in a while.  This might be a good show to record and try with different decoders.
--------

From Kim Andrew Elliott:

Hello friends,

Have your white laboratory coats ready, because VOA Radiogram will be very experimental this weekend.

Battle of the 55-wpm modes.  VOA Radiogram listener and contributor Mark Hirst in the UK suggests an experiment with the BPSK63F mode. His interest was generated by an article in the August QST magazine about the "flavors of PSK." It noted that BPSK63F, with its forward error correction,  has a "remarkable ability to be decoded under poor conditions."

During the early editions of VOA Radiogram, we did transmit BPSK63F a few times. This weekend, we'll do it again, in comparison with two other modes that also have speeds of about 55 words per minute: MFSK16 and Olivia 8-1000.  The RSID for each mode will be followed by a 15-second tuning signal, in case you must manually change modes. More details below in the lineup.

The return of Flmsg.  This weekend's program will include on item in Flmsg format. Flmsg is an add-on to Fldigi that allows the transmission and reception of message forms and formatted html documents.

If you don’t already have Fldigi, download it from https://sourceforge.net/projects/fldigi/files/fldigi/ . Download Flmsg  from https://sourceforge.net/projects/fldigi/files/flmsg/ .

To make Flmsg work with Fldigi, in Fldigi: Configure > Misc > NBEMS > under Reception of flmsg files, select Open with flmsg and Open in browser, and below that indicate where your Flmsg.exe file is located – probably somewhere in Program Files(x86).

If all goes well, when the digital mode transmission concludes, Flmsg will open a new window of your web browser to display a formatted VOA Radiogram transmission schedule. If your default browser is not open, Flmsg will open it for you. (If you are asked to ignore checksum error, select Yes.)

If it doesn’t work the first time, or you don’t have Flmsg installed, you can try this later from your recording.

In Windows, an easy way to save the received document is to use the Microsoft Snipping Tool. Please send that image as an attachment to your reception report.

If you are an Android user, TIVAR does not accommodate Flmsg files. But a similar app, AndFlmsg, as its name would indicate, does. Unlike TIVAR, which is receive-only, AndFlmsg encodes as well as decodes and is used by radio amateurs for message traffic. After the Flmsg is received, go to the index screen and press on the name of the file.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 172, 16-17 July 2016. All modes are centered on 1500 Hz.


 1:35 MFSK32: Program preview (now)
 3:06 MFSK32: Osmosis to generate electricity*
      Battle of the 55 wpm modes ...
11:33 BPSK63F: "Snowline" around new star
15:04 MFSK16: Fuel-saving cars may pollute more
18:36 Olivia 8-1000: "Frankenstein" galaxy detected
21:30 MFSK32: Image and intro to Flmsg
23:52 MFSK32: VOA Radiogram schedule in html via Flmsg
27:03 MFSK32: Closing announcements

* 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 17580 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 also transmit Flmsg. This will be during its broadcasting to North America, Sunday 0000 to 0200 UTC (Saturday 8-10 pm EDT), on 9925 kHz, via Germany. A minute of MFSK32, in Flmsg format, will be at will broadcast at 0131 UTC. Please send reports for this KBC reception to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com .




DigiDX will provide DX and media news in MFSK32 and a mixture of other modes:
Sunday 2130-2200 UTC, 15770 kHz, via WRMI Florida
Sunday 2330-2400 UTC, 11580 kHz, via WRMI Florida

Monday 2000-2130 UTC, 6070 kHz, via Channel 292 Germany
Daily 1830-1900 and 0530-0600 UTC, 6070 kHz, via Channel 292 Germany
Look for any additions or changes to the DigiDX schedule at http://www.digidx.uk/ or https://www.facebook.com/digidx/

IBC (Italian Broadcasting Corporation) has a broadcast to Europe on 6070 kHz, Wednesdays, 2000-2200 UTC, with MFSK32 and Olivia 16-500 at 2030-2100 UTC. See http://ibcradio.webs.com/ for the complete schedule and contact information.


Thank you for your reception reports for last weekend's VOA Radiogram. Reception conditions were generally good, although propagation Saturday at 1600-1630 UTC on 17580 varied widely in different parts of the world. I will try to respond to as many reports as possible before the weekend is over.


I hope you can tune in and write in this weekend.


Kim



Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
Twitter: @VOARadiogram

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Current frequency list for Night of Nights 2016

This is the most recent update from MRHS on July 8.  It's still subject to change, of course.

18 transmitters will be on-air from Pt. Reyes.  Almost like old times.



KPH
Pt. Reyes, CA
500/426                Henry MF-5000D       Marconi T 
4247.0                  RCA K Set                  Double Extended Zepp
6477.5                  RCA K Set                  Double Extended Zepp
8642.0                  RCA L Set                  Double Extended Zepp
12808.5                RCA L Set                  H over 2
17016.8                RCA L Set                  H over 2
22477.5                RCA H Set                  H over 2

KFS
Pt. Reyes, CA
12695.5                Press Wireless PW15     H over 2
17026.0                Henry HF-5000D            H over 2

KSM
Pt. Reyes, CA
500/426               Henry MF-5000D            Marconi T   
6474.0                 Henry HF-5000D            (frequency now available)
12993.0               Henry HF-5000D            H over 2
16914.0               Henry HF-5000D            H over 2
22445.8               Henry HF-5000D            (frequency now available)       

K6KPH (amateur)
Pt. Reyes, CA
3550.0                 Henry HF-5000D           Double Extended Zepp
7050.0                 RCA L Set                     Double Extended Zepp
14050.0               Henry HF-5000D           H over 2
18097.5               Henry HF-5000D           (not available due to lack of antenna)
21050.0               Henry HF-5000D           H over 2

NMC
Pt. Reyes, CA, former CAMSPAC
472.0 (or 448.0)   Nautel ND2500TT/6           173' monopole tower
6383.0                  Rockwell-Collins RT-2200  Omni-directional
8574.0                  Rockwell-Collins RT-2200  Omni-directional
17220.5                Rockwell-Collins RT-2200  Omni-directional

NMQ
Cambria, CA, remote to Pt. Reyes
448.0                    Nautel ND2500TT/6    Inverted L
472.0                    Nautel ND2500TT/6    Inverted L
500.0                    Nautel ND2500TT/6    Inverted L

NMW
Astoria, OR, remote to Pt. Reyes
448.0                    Nautel ND2500TT/6    Capacitive top hat
472.0                    Nautel ND2500TT/6    Capacitive top hat
500.0                    Nautel ND2500TT/6    Capacitive top hat

WLO
South of Mobile, AL (transmit site)
4343.0
8658.0
12992.0
16968.5

W4WLO (amateur)
7055
14055

Calling channels (all commercial stations)
500                      International calling channel
6276.0                 ITU Channel 3
8368.0                 ITU Channel 3
12552.0               ITU Channel 3
16736.0               ITU Channel 3
22280.5               ITU Channel 3

Friday, July 08, 2016

VOA Radiogram for July 9-10

From Kim Andrew Elliott:

Hello friends,

During the past two weekends, many listeners noted that the RSID for the Olivia modes did change the mode. In an attempt to fix that problem, I have amplified the RSID for this weekend’s Olivia 32-1000 by 2.5 dB.

Also, please make sure that Fldigi is configured to search the passband for the RSID. Such a search is necessary given that the MFSK32 is centered on 1500 Hz, but the Olivia is centered on 2000 Hz. In Fldigi: Configure > IDs > RsID: select Searches passband. In newer versions of Fldigi, you can alternatively left-click on the RxID in the upper right of the main screen, then select Passband.

We are experimenting with Olivia at 2000 Hz because text modes at these higher frequencies might be able to escape interference consisting of voice, music, and even some types of noise. Soon we will return to less nerve-wracking shows where all the modes are at the same audio frequency.

Last week, on the show, I erroneously introduced the Olivia 32-1000 and Olivia 32-2000. Apologies for the confusion.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 171, 9-10 July 2016, all in MFSK32 centered on 1500 Hz except where noted:

 1:36  Program preview
 2:51  Saturn's moon Titan might support life*
 7:47  New Horizons space probe extends its mission*
13:01  Lightning rod may have saved Maryland's State House*
18:42  Olivia 32-1000/2000 Hz: Pasta is good for you
26:29  MFSK32/1500 Hz: Closing announcements*

* 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 17580 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 broadcast to North America Sunday at 0000-0200 UTC (Saturday 8-10 pm EDT) on 9925 kHz, via Germany. A minute of MFSK32 will be transmitted at about 0130 UTC. Reports for KBC reception and decode to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com

DigiDX will provide DX and media news in MFSK32 and a mixture of other modes:
Sunday 2130-2200 UTC, 15770 kHz, via WRMI Florida
Sunday 2330-2400 UTC, 11580 kHz, via WRMI Florida
Monday 2000-2130 UTC, 6070 kHz, via Channel 292 Germany
Daily 1830-1900 and 0530-0600 UTC, 6070 kHz, via Channel 292 Germany
Look for any additions or changes to the DigiDX schedule at http://www.digidx.uk/ or https://www.facebook.com/digidx/

IBC (Italian Broadcasting Corporation) has a broadcast to Europe on 6070 kHz, Wednesdays, 2000-2200 UTC, with MFSK32 and Olivia 16-500 at 2030-2100 UTC. See http://ibcradio.webs.com/ for the complete schedule and contact information.

Thank you for your reports from last weekend. Reception and results were good in most parts of the world. I have sent MFSK galleries from last gallery to everyone who sent reports as of Thursday.

If you want to see images posted by listeners during, or shortly after, the weekend broadcasts, visit https://twitter.com/voaradiogram . I retweet the images submitted by VOA Radiogram listeners. You do not need to be a Twitter registered user to read the tweets. If you do register, you can send your own MFSK32 images, screen captures of text, etc. Please include @VOARadiogram in your tweet, and follow @VOARadiogram.

I hope you can tune in and write in this weekend.

Kim

Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
Twitter: @VOARadiogram

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

It's Night of Nights time again!

Doesn't seem like a whole year, but it is.  The annual triumph of the human spirit known as the Maritime Radio Historical Society Night of Nights is Tuesday, July 12 (Pacific Time). Believe it or not, this is Night of Nights XVII!  That's a lot of dits and dahs in the ether.


Night of Nights

Why is this night different from all other nights?

On all other nights, we transmit Morse code from ham stations or KSM. On this night alone, KPH, the Power House, comes back to life.

The Night of Nights celebrates maritime commercial Morse telegraphy's refusal to die. The last US commercial Morse message was sent at 0000 UTC July 13, 1999, and that was supposed to be the end of that.  Most of the great US commercial stations quickly became condos and shopping malls.

KPH, former RCA San Francisco Radio, Pt. Reyes, was different.  Through superhuman effort and cooperation from the Point Reyes National Seashore, the former staff and friends re-opened this vast facility and got it back on the air.  It is said that the receiver filaments were still lit... the station manager had refused to let KPH die.

Getting a former RCA commercial station back on the air is something like restoring a classic car whose parts haven't been made in generations. In this case, though, major challenges include pole climbing, reviving control lines miles long, and caring for old buildings going back as far as the Marconi era.

They did it.  Borrowing the KPH call back from new licensee Globe Wireless (itself gone now), and getting a lot of help from true believers everywhere, the great station spoke again.   Now, it does so every year, along with other CW calls heard on this night alone.

These include WLO, and some US Coast Guard facilities in California. The Guard dropped Morse about the same number of years ago, and the stations have since been remoted to the new Commcom.  With all the equipment changes going on, every year may well be the last for USCG.


Details

All the poop, with the many frequencies to be used, is in the latest MRHS newsletter.   (He says Friday, but it's a Tuesday.)  Link follows.

From Richard Dillman:

Join us on he air or in person at the RCA receive site in Point Reyes, CA as we originate stations KPH, KFS and KSM from our transmit site in Bolinas.  WLO in Mobile, AL and USCG stations NMC, NMW and NMQ will be on the air as well.

All the details are in Newsletter No. 55, just published.  Also read details about the magnificent R3 diversity receiver and the enigmatic H over 2 antenna.  Get it all at:

http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs149/1109843077277/archive/1125181891561.html

Friday, July 01, 2016

VOA Radiogram for July 2-3

From Kim Andrew Elliott:

Hello friends,


Last weekend VOA Radiogram heard from many interesting places (e.g., Morocco, Poland, Russia,  Japan, Australia, Colombia), saw four YouTube videos (from Colorado, Germany, Maryland, and Japan), and heard and decoded the modes fighting off over-the-horizon (OTH) radar. See examples at http://voaradiogram.net. Just scroll down.  See examples also at https://twitter.com/voaradiogram 

Last week's MFSK32 performed well, and the Olivia 16-1000 even better. There were a few instances where the Olivia 16-1000 not not decode successfully. This week will will  try the slower (24 wpm) but more robust Olivia 32-1000.


At one point in the show I mistakenly refer to Olivia 32-2000 ...



VOA Radiogram now changes to Olivia 32-2000 centered on 2000 Hz


But Olivia 32-1000 is the only mode on the program other than MFSK32.  I apologize for the confusion.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 170, 2-3 July 2016, all in MFSK32 except where noted:


 1:20  Program preview 
 2:37  Bamboo as a building material*
 8:09  Juno spacecraft nears orbit around Jupiter*
15:12  Olivia 32-1000 at 2000 Hz: Neptune vortex* **
21:20  MFSK32: Image and closing announcements*

* with image


** and, yes, it is Olivia 32-1000, regardless of how Kim introduces it.



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 17580 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 to North America Sunday at 0000-0100 UTC (8-9 pm EDT) on 9925 kHz, via Germany. A minute of MFSK32 will be at about 0030 UTC.  Reports for KBC reception and decode to Eric: themightykbc (at) gmail.com .


DigiDX will provide DX and media news in MFSK32 and a mixture of other modes:
Sunday 2130-2200 UTC, 15770 kHz, via WRMI Florida
Sunday 2330-2400 UTC, 11580 kHz, via WRMI Florida
Monday 2000-2130 UTC, 6070 kHz, via Channel 292 Germany
Daily 1830-1900 and 0530-0600 UTC, 6070 kHz, via Channel 292 Germany

Look for any additions or changes to the DigiDX schedule at http://www.digidx.uk/ or https://www.facebook.com/digidx/

IBC (Italian Broadcasting Corporation) has a broadcast to Europe on 6070 kHz, Wednesdays, 2000-2200 UTC, with MFSK32 and Olivia 16-500 at 2030-2100 UTC. See http://ibcradio.webs.com/ for the complete schedule and contact information.


Thank you for the excellent reports from last weekend. I will try to respond to reports today and during the long (here in the USA) weekend.


I hope you can tune in and write in.


Kim


Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
voaradiogram.net
Twitter: @VOARadiogram (especially active before, during, and after shows)

German weatherfax on 15988 kHz

Deutscher Wetterdienst, the German Weather Office in Hamburg, has at least temporarily resumed a FAX schedule from its Pinneberg transmitter on the assigned frequency of 15988.0 kHz (dial 15986.1 USB).  This frequency is not listed in the Utility Planet column that came out yesterday, because they have only been using it for a couple of days.

As of July 1, however, it's still there, so maybe now it's worth mentioning.  It has an S7 signal on the Netherlands WebSDR, and just started a new chart at 1834 UTC.



Friday, June 24, 2016

Buzzer/ S28 is not buzzing

The notorious Russian "Buzzer," aka S28, is not transmitting its usual marker on 4625 kHz R3E/H3E.  It seems to have stopped after a voice message.  Now there is only circuit noise of a sort also heard on Russian Air Force voice frequencies.

Occasionally, there is maybe one secondof an odd noise that sounds a bit like mistuned ALE, but isn't.

The parallel frequency, 6998 kHz, is completely silent.

Annual Alexanderson alternator transmission 17.2 kHz July 3rd

REMINDER
OF GRIMETON RADIO/SAQ TRANSMISSION


The annual transmission on "Alexanderson Day" with the Alexanderson alternator on VLF 17.2 kHz with the call SAQ will take place Sunday, July 3rd, 2016 at 09:00 UTC (tuning up from after 08:30 UTC) and will be repeated at 12:00 UTC (tuning up from after 11:30 UTC).


Amateur Radio Station with the call SK6SAQ will be QRV on the following frequencies:
-    7.035 kHz CW or
-  14.035 kHz CW or
-  21.035 kHz CW or
-    3.755 kHz SSB
Two stations will be on the air most of the time.
QSL-reports to SAQ and SK6SAQ are kindly received via:

- E-mail to: info@alexander.n.se

- or via: SM bureau

- or direct by mail to: Alexander - Grimeton Veteranradios Vaenner,
  Radiostationen                          
  Grimeton 72
  SE-432 98 ROLFSTORP
  S    W    E    D    E    N

Also read our website: www.alexander.n.se

The station will be open to visitors.

WELCOME!

Yours

Lars Kalland
SM6NM

I know it's Field Day, but here's VOA Radiogram for June 25-26

From Kim Andrew Elliott:

Hello friends,

VOA Radiogram this weekend will include the Olivia 16-1000 mode with a center frequency of 2000 Hz. If you happen to experience co-channel interference consisting of voice and/or music, the robustness of the Olivia 16-1000 mode in combination with the higher audio frequency might allow a successful decode. At 40 words per minute, Olivia 16-1000 is faster than Olivia 64-2000.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 169, 25-26 June 2016, all in MFSK32 except where noted:

 1:35  Program preview
 2:45  Pluto may have liquid ocean*
10:17  Fiery re-entry for junk from ISS*
16:33  Olivia 16-1000 (2000 Hz): Zuckerberg PC security*
22:06  MFSK32: Image, mobile app transmitted by shortwave*
26:04  Closing announcements*

* 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 17580 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 to North America Sunday at 0000-0100 UTC (8-9 pm EDT) on 9925 kHz, via Germany. A minute of MFSK32 will be at about 0030 UTC. KBC will also broadcast to Europe Sunday at 0900-1000 UTC on 6095 kHz. A minute of MFSK32 will be at about 0930 UTC. Reports for KBC reception and decode to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com .

DigiDX will provide DX and media news in MFSK32 and a mixture of other modes:
Sunday 2130-2000 UTC, 15770 kHz, via WRMI Florida
Sunday 2330-2400 UTC, 11580 kHz, via WRMI Florida
Monday 2000-2130 UTC, 6070 kHz, via Channel 292 Germany
Look for any additions or changes to the DigiDX schedule at http://www.digidx.uk/ or https://www.facebook.com/digidx/

IBC (Italian Broadcasting Corporation) has a broadcast to Europe on 6070 kHz, Wednesdays, 2000-2200 UTC, with MFSK32 and Olivia 16-500 at 2030-2100 UTC. See http://ibcradio.webs.com/ for the complete schedule and contact information.

Download apps via shortwave? A recent transmission of a mobile app from shortwave station KTWR in Guam, to a DRM receiver in Thailand, has caused much discussion. See coverage at drmna.info and The SWLing Post. While DRM offers more bandwidth and faster download speeds than the VOA Radiogram method of digital modes via analog radio, VOA Radiogram data can be received on any radio.

Software to decode VOA Radiogram includes Fldigi from w1hkj.com and, for Android devices, TIVAR.

Thank you for your reports from last weekend. Reception conditions were generally good, so the Olivia 64-2000 did not get much of a workout. Decodes were good even in Perth, Western Australia.

A reminder that Fldigi saves decoded MFSK images as .png files in the folder \fldigi.files\images\.  If convenient, please attach those .png files to your reception reports.

I hope you can tune in and write in this weekend.

Kim

Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
Twitter: @VOARadiogram (active especially before, during, and after broadcasts)

Friday, June 17, 2016

VOA Radiogram, 18-19 June

From Kim Andrew Elliott:

Hello friends,

VOA Radiogram received some great publicity in the July issue of QST magazine. If you don't receive the magazine, you can see images of the article here. They did change my name to "Kim Andrew Ellis," but that's OK: I don't need the publicity, but the concept of using digital modes on analog shortwave radio to provide information to places where the Internet is restricted or not available does need the publicity. [Hence these weekly postings. -Hugh]

Apologies to those tuned last weekend to the Sunday 1930-2000 transmission on 15670 kHz. It abruptly left the air at about 1949 UTC. There were problems with the transmitters at the North Carolina site, which is to be expected occasionally given that the transmitters are 50 to 60 years old.

Another challenge last weekend was strong interference, perhaps an over-the-horizon (OTH) radar, during the Saturday 0930-1000 UTC transmission on 5745 kHz. It was especially loud in Alaska, per this video made by Paul in Alaska. [Definitely an OTH radar. It obliterated this transmission here in CA a couple of weeks back. Likely candidates are Russian 29B6 and UK Pluto. -Hugh] (I was not able to decode the MFSK32 from the video, but maybe you will have better luck.)  The interference was also heard by Mike in Washington state. If the noise returns this weekend, we'll be prepared: the show includes a story in Olivia 64-2000.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 168, 18-19 June 2016, all in MFSK32 except where noted:

 1:33  Program preview
 2:38  Birds' brains more complex than imagined*
 8:35  Large planet orbits binary stars*
17:40  Olivia 64-2000: North Dakotans overturn farm law*
24:19  MFSK32: Image and closing announcements*

* 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 17580 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 have an extra transmission this weekend. There will be the usual North America transmission Sunday at 0000-0200 UTC (Saturday 8-10 pm EDT) on 9925 kHz, with a minute of MFSK32 at about 0130 UTC. And there will be a transmission to Europe Sunday at 0800-1000 UTC on 6095 kHz, with a minute of MFSK32 at about 0930 UTC. Both 6095 and 9925 kHz are via Nauen, Germany. Reports for KBC reception and decodes to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com .



DigiDX will provide DX and media news in MFSK32 and a mixture of other modes:
Sunday 2130-2000 UTC, 15770 kHz, via WRMI Florida
Sunday 2330-2400 UTC, 11580 kHz, via WRMI Florida
Monday 2000-2130 UTC, 6070 kHz, via Channel 292 Germany
Look for any additions or changes to the DigiDX schedule at http://www.digidx.uk/ or https://www.facebook.com/digidx/

IBC (Italian Broadcasting Corporation) has a broadcast to Europe on 6070 kHz, Wednesdays, 2000-2200 UTC, with MFSK32 and Olivia 16-500 at 2030-2100 UTC. See http://ibcradio.webs.com/ for the complete schedule and contact information.

Thank you for your reports from last weekend. I will be responding.

I hope you can tune in and write in this weekend.

Kim

Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
voaradiogram.net
Twitter: @VOARadiogram (especially active before, during, and after shows)

Friday, June 03, 2016

VOA Radiogram for June 4-5

From Kim Andrew Elliott:





Hello friends,


I'm back to a (somewhat) normal schedule now after my family's visit to Vancouver and Alaska. I did not have many opportunities to tune in to VOA Radiogram, but I did receive the broadcast May 22 at 0230 UTC on 5745 kHz, in the Pacific off British Columbia. I did not get to the balcony of our stateroom until the Olivia 16-500, which decoded 100% using a Sangean ATS909X acoustically coupled to a tablet running TIVAR.


I have not yet had a chance to analyze all the reports on the Olivia 64-2000, 32-1000, and 16-500 comparison during program 164, but the preliminary verdict is: they're all good.



This weekend, VOA Radiogram will be all MFSK32. It will include an item in Russian. You will need the UTF-8 character set to decode the Cyrillic text. In Fldigi: Configure > Colors & Fonts > set Rx/Tx Character set to UTF-8.


Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 166, 4-5 June 2016, all in MFSK32:



 1:34  Program preview
 2:55  50 Cent Party supports China on Internet*
 8:26  US Embassy in Beijing takes break from social media*
14:18  RFE/RL will end shortwave transmissions in Russian* **
21:44  Train trip in Alaska*
26:04  Closing announcements*

* with image

** Russian text requires UTF-8 character set. In Fldigi:
Configure > Colors & Fonts > set Rx/Tx Character set to UTF-8.

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 17580 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 broadcast to North America for only one hour this weekend: Sunday at 0000-0100 UTC (Saturday 8-9 pm EDT) on 9925 kHz, via Germany. A minute of MFSK32 will be transmitted at about 0030 UTC. Reports for this KBC reception to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com .


DigiDX will transmit DX news in MFSK32 and other modes on its usual schedule: Sunday 2130-2200 on 15770 kHz, and 2330-2400 UTC on 11580 kHz, both via WRMI in Florida. And Monday at 2000-2030 UTC on 6070 kHz, via Channel 292 in Germany. Also listen for DigiDX on 6070kHz (Channel 292) every day at 1830-1900 UTC (co-channel with Vatican Radio: a good test of the modes) and 0530-0600 (reception in the Americas might be possible.) Consult http://www.digidx.uk/ and https://www.facebook.com/digidx/ for any schedule changes.  



Thank you for your reception reports. I am still working on the gallery from program 137.  I hope to  send those out this weekend.



I hope you can tune in and write in this weekend.


Kim


Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
voaradiogram.net
Twitter: @VOARadiogram (especially active before, during, and after broadcasts)





Friday, May 20, 2016

Next Two VOA Radiogram Shows (May 21-22, 28-29)

From Kim Andrew Elliott:

Hello friends,

I have prepared the next two editions of VOA Radiogram in advance, so they will not include any up-to-date news items. They will, however, be interesting shows …

Program 164, 21-22 May 2016 will begin with an MFSK32 introduction, then transmit the same VOA Science World item about boiling water on Mars in Olivia 64-2000, Olivia 32-1000, and Olivia 16-800.  This will be a chance to compare the performance of these three modes, which all have speeds in the 20-30 wpm range. The program will conclude in MFSK32 with an image and closing announcements.  

Program 165, 28-29 May 2016 will consist of six science images from the VOA Science World Blog. All of these will be in MFSK32, although the sixth, showing a Falcon 9 rocket launch, will be transmitted in both MFSK32 and MFSK64. Images in MFSK32 and MFSK64 require the same amount of time to transmit; the MFSK64 image has more resolution but is more susceptible to interference. After the MFSK64 image, VOA Radiogram will return to MFSK32 for 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 17580 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 schedule has been changing in recent weeks. Try Sunday at 0000 UTC (Saturday 8 pm EDT) on 9925 kHz (via Germany), with the broadcast continuing until 0200 or 0300. The minute of MFSK32 may be at about 0130 or 0220 UTC. Consult http://kbcradio.eu or http://facebook.com/themightykbc for updates on the schedule. Reports for KBC reception and decodes to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com   

DigiDX will transmit DX news in MFSK32 and perhaps other modes on its usual schedule:
Sunday 2130-2200 UTC - 15770kHz via WRMI Florida
Sunday 2330-2400 UTC - 11580kHz via WRMI Florida
Monday 2000-2030 UTC - 6070kHz via Channel 292 Germany
Consult https://www.facebook.com/digidx/ for any additions or changes to this schedule.

Thank you for your reports from the weekend of 14-15 May. Reception conditions were generally good, and I saw some excellent decoded images. You can see some examples at https://twitter.com/voaradiogram .

Please tune in and write in during the next two weekends.

Kim

Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
Twitter: @VOARadiogram


Saturday, May 14, 2016

It's not you, the AFD does seem a bit quiet.....

Apparently a lot of schedules aren't happening.  I gave up in disgust an hour ago, though someone has since heard a brief 170-shift RTTY transmission on one of the 40 meter frequencies.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Expanded Armed Forces Day Communication Test begins tomorrow (May 14)

As has been the case for a number of years now, the military-amateur crossband comm tests and observances are done the week before Armed Forces Day. This is to avoid conflict with the Dayton Hamvention. This year it starts tomorrow morning, US time, and some parts of it run until around 0400 Zulu on the 5th.

The AFD comm test is divided into several different activities. These are:

1. Military-Amateur Crossband Communications

In this activity, MARS and military units using their authorized frequencies outside amateur bands work amateurs who remain in-band.  This used to be tricky with some ham gear, which didn't receive far enough out of band.  Today, it's a lot easier.

Also, some of the frequencies used in the 60 meter band are authorized to amateurs, so comms will be simplex on-frequency.

The number of participating stations, times (all Zulu), and frequencies has grown too big to put in a blog entry. It's best just to link to the schedule published by Army MARS.

Again this year, amateurs will be able to link via ALE. The full implementation of this mode, with scanning, is tricky with ham gear. Rapid band switching requires very good autotuning.

In the past, not all stations have been on-air for the entire time intervals shown in the schedule.
 

2. Secy. of Defense Message Test, using digital modes

This one sounds pretty interesting for utility types. A message from the Secretary of Defense is sent in a number of modes used by the military, and also several modes used by hams.

The "military serial PSK" referred to is usually known as "110A" in utility logs. It's the same stuff. As they say, it's not the easiest mode for good copy with amateur-grade equipment and Windows computers, though I've had very good luck with Windows 7 and the stronger signals. Here's a better link to the MS-DMT software mentioned in the schedule. MultiPSK works too.

The scary sounding "wide FSK" is just standard military RATT, 75/850, low mark.  It's always fun to hear this mode unencrypted and actually be able to print something.

Here's the schedule:

To practice receiving signals in this mode [110A], tune to the following dial frequencies at 1201Z, 1801Z or 0001Z daily.



11,105.0 kHz USB
11,454.0 kHz USB
12,147.0 kHz USB
13,512.5 kHz USB
14,935.0 kHz USB
15,870.0 kHz USB


14 MAY/1400Z            MIL STD 188-110 FSK                       13,506.0 kHz USB      AGA2SY 
14 MAY/1410Z            MIL STD 188-110 SERIAL PSK        13,506.0 kHz USB      AGA2SY
14 MAY/1420Z            MIL STD 188-110 FSK                       13,506.0 kHz USB      WAR 
14 MAY/1420Z            MIL STD 188-110 FSK                       17,443.0 kHz USB      AGA2SY 
14 MAY/1430Z            MIL STD 188-110 SERIAL PSK        13,506.0 kHz USB      WAR 
14 MAY/1430Z            MIL STD 188-110 SERIAL PSK        17,443.0 kHz USB      AGA2SY
14 MAY/1440Z            MIL STD 188-110 FSK                       13,506.0 kHz USB      AAC
14 MAY/1440Z            MIL STD 188-110 FSK                       17,443.0 kHz USB      WAR 
14 MAY/1450Z            MIL STD 188-110 SERIAL PSK        13,506.0 kHz USB      AAC
14 MAY/1450Z            MIL STD 188-110 SERIAL PSK        17,443.0 kHz USB      WAR 

14 MAY/1500Z            MIL STD 188-110 FSK                       17,443.0 kHz USB      AAC
14 MAY/1510Z            MIL STD 188-110 SERIAL PSK        13,506.0 kHz USB      AAZ 
14 MAY/1510Z            MIL STD 188-110 SERIAL PSK        17,443.0 kHz USB      AAC
14 MAY/1530Z            MIL STD 188-110 SERIAL PSK        17,443.0 kHz USB      AAZ 

14 MAY/1800Z            MIL STD 188-110 FSK                       13,506.0 kHz USB      AGA2SY 
14 MAY/1810Z            MIL STD 188-110 SERIAL PSK        13,506.0 kHz USB      AGA2SY
14 MAY/1820Z            MIL STD 188-110 FSK                       13,506.0 kHz USB      WAR 
14 MAY/1820Z            MIL STD 188-110 FSK                       17,443.0 kHz USB      AGA2SY 
14 MAY/1830Z            MIL STD 188-110 SERIAL PSK        13,506.0 kHz USB      WAR 
14 MAY/1830Z            MIL STD 188-110 SERIAL PSK        17,443.0 kHz USB      AGA2SY
14 MAY/1840Z            MIL STD 188-110 FSK                       13,506.0 kHz USB      AAC
14 MAY/1840Z            MIL STD 188-110 FSK                       17,443.0 kHz USB      WAR 
14 MAY/1850Z            MIL STD 188-110 SERIAL PSK        13,506.0 kHz USB      AAC
14 MAY/1850Z            MIL STD 188-110 SERIAL PSK        17,443.0 kHz USB      WAR 

14 MAY/1900Z            MIL STD 188-110 FSK                       17,443.0 kHz USB      AAC
14 MAY/1910Z            MIL STD 188-110 SERIAL PSK        13,506.0 kHz USB      AAZ 
14 MAY/1910Z            MIL STD 188-110 SERIAL PSK        17,443.0 kHz USB      AAC
14 MAY/1930Z            MIL STD 188-110 SERIAL PSK        17,443.0 kHz USB      AAZ 
14 MAY/1930Z            RTTY                                                    7,457.0 kHz USB      AGA4AR
14 MAY/1930Z            RTTY                                                    7,540.0 kHz USB      AGA2SY
14 MAY/1930Z            RTTY                                                    7,545.0 kHz USB      AGA5SC
14 MAY/1930Z            RTTY                                                    7,915.0 kHz USB      AGA9TR

14 MAY/2030Z            MT63                                                     7,457.0 kHz USB      AGA4AR
14 MAY/2030Z            MT63                                                     7,540.0 kHz USB      AGA2SY
14 MAY/2030Z            MT63                                                     7,545.0 kHz USB      AGA5SC
14 MAY/2030Z            MT63                                                     7,915.0 kHz USB      AGA9TR

14 MAY/2100Z            MFSK                                                    7,457.0 kHz USB      AGA4AR
14 MAY/2100Z            MFSK                                                    7,540.0 kHz USB      AGA2SY
14 MAY/2100Z            MFSK                                                    7,545.0 kHz USB      AGA5SC
14 MAY/2100Z            MFSK                                                    7,915.0 kHz USB      AGA9TR
14 MAY/2130Z            RTTY                                                  13,993.0 kHz USB      AGA2SY
14 MAY/2130Z            RTTY                                                  14,392.5 kHz USB      AGA5SC
14 MAY/2130Z            RTTY                                                  14,411.0 kHz USB      AGA9TR
14 MAY/2130Z            RTTY                                                  15,632.0 kHz USB      AGA4AR

14 MAY/2200Z            MIL STD 188-110 FSK                       13,506.0 kHz USB      AGA2SY 
14 MAY/2200Z            MIL STD 188-110 SERIAL PSK        14,487.0 kHz USB      ADB 
14 MAY/2210Z            MIL STD 188-110 SERIAL PSK        13,506.0 kHz USB      AGA2SY
14 MAY/2210Z            MIL STD 188-110 SERIAL PSK        20,994.0 kHz USB      ADB 
14 MAY/2220Z            MIL STD 188-110 FSK                       13,506.0 kHz USB      WAR 
14 MAY/2220Z            MIL STD 188-110 FSK                       17,443.0 kHz USB      AGA2SY 
14 MAY/2230Z            MIL STD 188-110 SERIAL PSK        13,506.0 kHz USB      WAR 
14 MAY/2230Z            MT63                                                   13,993.0 kHz USB      AGA2SY
14 MAY/2230Z            MT63                                                   14,392.5 kHz USB      AGA5SC
14 MAY/2230Z            MT63                                                   14,411.0 kHz USB      AGA9TR
14 MAY/2230Z            MT63                                                   15,632.0 kHz USB      AGA4AR
14 MAY/2230Z            MIL STD 188-110 SERIAL PSK        17,443.0 kHz USB      AGA2SY
14 MAY/2240Z            MIL STD 188-110 FSK                       13,506.0 kHz USB      AAC
14 MAY/2240Z            MIL STD 188-110 FSK                       17,443.0 kHz USB      WAR 
14 MAY/2250Z            MIL STD 188-110 SERIAL PSK        13,506.0 kHz USB      AAC
14 MAY/2250Z            MIL STD 188-110 SERIAL PSK        17,443.0 kHz USB      WAR 

14 MAY/2300Z            MFSK                                                  13,993.0 kHz USB      AGA2SY
14 MAY/2300Z            MFSK                                                  14,392.5 kHz USB      AGA5SC
14 MAY/2300Z            MFSK                                                  14,411.0 kHz USB      AGA9TR
14 MAY/2300Z            MFSK                                                  15,632.0 kHz USB      AGA4AR
14 MAY/2300Z            MIL STD 188-110 FSK                       17,443.0 kHz USB      AAC
14 MAY/2310Z            MIL STD 188-110 SERIAL PSK        13,506.0 kHz USB      AAZ 
14 MAY/2310Z            MIL STD 188-110 SERIAL PSK        17,443.0 kHz USB      AAC
14 MAY/2330Z            MIL STD 188-110 SERIAL PSK        17,443.0 kHz USB      AAZ 

15 MAY/0240Z            RTTY                                                  13,506.0 kHz USB      NWKJ
15 MAY/0240Z            RTTY                                                  17,443.0 kHz USB      NWKJ

15 MAY/0300Z            CW-25WPM                                         4,007.0 kHz USB      NWVC
15 MAY/0300Z            CW-25WPM                                         6,913.0 kHz USB      NWVC
15 MAY/0310Z            AMTOR FEC                                      13,506.0 kHz USB      NWKJ
15 MAY/0310Z            AMTOR FEC                                      17,443.0 kHz USB      NWKJ
15 MAY/0340Z            MT63                                                   13,506.0 kHz USB      NWKJ
15 MAY/0340Z            MT63                                                   17,443.0 kHz USB      NWKJ
 
QSL information is at the MARS link given earlier. 


3. Automatic Link Establishment

ALE is 2G, in USB.  MARS uses a variant of PC-ALE, though that program works just fine.  Any other ALE software should work for receiving. AAZ is at Ft. Huachuca, AZ. WAR is in DC.  2SYAGA is AGA2SY in New York state.

Here's the info:

Channel
Amateur Frequency
Military Frequency



X75US
3,996.0 USB
4,000.0 USB
X60INT
5,371.5 USB
5,371.5 USB
X40US
7,296.0 USB
7,357.0 USB
X20INT
14,346.0 USB
14,846.0 USB
X17INT
18,117.5 USB
18,272.5 USB
X15INT
21,432.5 USB
20,940.0 USB
X12INT
24,932.0 USB
24,858.5 USB