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
 

VOA Radiogram for May 14-15

From Kim Andrew Elliott:

Hello friends,

You might remember that last year, the BBG, parent agency of VOA, issued a Request for Proposals for the development of a decoder app for VOA Radiogram. There were no proposals, but that might be because of the short deadline. It's possible that the RFQ will be issued again, but only if there is potential interest by developers. So let me know if you are an interested developer.

The specifications in the RFQ would be the same as in the 2015 RFQ, which you can see here ...

http://www.bbg.gov/wp-content/media/2015/09/RFQ-BBG50-Q-15-0915MD-Software-Development.pdf

VOA Radiogram this weekend will be all MFSK32, except for the transmission schedule in Olivia 64-2000 under the closing music. The show will include six MFSK images.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 163, 14-15 May 2016, all in MFSK32 except where noted:

 1:34  Program preview

 2:46  Giant Magellan Telescope in Chile*
 8:42  UK government review of the BBC*
14:29  RFE/RL Crimea website blocked*
18:35  Radio/TV Martí now receiving letters direct from Cuba*
23:11  Image from South Pole Journal*
26:36  Closing announcements*
28:15  Olivia 64-2000: Transmission schedule under music

*  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 has a different transmission schedule this weekend: To North America Sunday at 0000-0200 UTC on 9925 kHz, via Germany, with a minute of MFSK32 at about 0130 UTC. And to Europe Sunday at 0800-1000 UTC on 6095 kHz, also via Germany, with the minute of MFSK32 at about 0830 UTC. Reports for KBC reception and decoding 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 reception reports from last weekend. Reception was especially difficult on Sunday due to a solar event. I am now compiling the gallery of MFSK images from program 137, and will try to send that out this weekend.

Early next week I will send information about programs 164 and 165, to be broadcast during the last two weekends of May.

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, May 06, 2016

DVA Update

New ALE calls and frequencies are still being discovered for the US Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) emergency radio system.  Several lists are being circulated, and there seems to be a certain variation between regions of the country.

At this QTH in Southern California, the following frequencies have been heard active:

2025.6   2726.0   3355.1   3393.6   5038.5   6335.6*   6981.1   7480.0   10389.6   14441.6   15628.6   17492.6   20200.1   22738.0*   22921.6

The * means the frequency is used by Rockwell Collins in its new ARINC UrgentLink system.  DVA IDs are rare on these, but too many people have heard them for it to be bad data.


 The following ALE identifiers have been copied here:

1536   1616   2002   3031   3033   5090   5190   5286   5287   5290   5311   5312   5313   5400   5420   5520   5810   5826   5895   5897   5898   5899   5950   6030   6051   6052   6053   6191   6203   6260   6400   6491   6541   6542   6543   6581   6591   6601   6602   6603   6620   6630   6640   6714   6741   6743   6780   6790   7570   8356   13536  598001

Note the emergence of several consecutive number sequences. The meaning of these, if there even is any, is not known.  The absence of any IDs beginning with the number "4" is due to sheer chance.  These have been copied in other places.


VOA Radiogram for May 7-8

From Kim Andrew Elliott:

Hello friends,


Lately we have been trying to determine why some listeners have less success with Olivia 64-2000 than with MFSK32, even though, in theory, Olivia 64-2000 should be more robust. I suggested that the problem might be related to the bandwidth of the receiver, given that Olivia 64-2000 is 2000 Hz wide.


Christopher, K6FIB, a key adviser to VOA Radiogram, thinks the performance of Olivia is related to the processing power of the PC or the mobile device. Paul in Europe provided evidence of this in his TIVAR Android shoot-out. Other listeners wonder if it could be other components, such as the microphones on Android devices, which would be important if acoustic coupling from the radio to the device is used.


VOA Radiogram this weekend will include an eight-minute story in Olivia 64-2000. This will allow further experimentation. If we enjoy poor reception conditions, the experiments will be even more interesting.


Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 162, 7-8 May 2016, all in MFSK32 except where noted:



 1:34  Program preview
 2:41  Rubbish-burning experiment in Norway*
 7:55  Olivia 64-2000: UAE may make mountain to change climate*
18:34  MFSK32: FCC considers change to amateur data regulations*
23:37  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 a minute of MFSK32 Sunday at about 0220 UTC (Saturday 10:20 pm EDT) on 9925 kHz, via Germany. This is part of the KBC broadcast to North America at 0000-0300 UTC on 9925 kHz. Please send reception reports to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com .


DigiDX will transmit DX news in MFSK32 and perhaps other modes on its usual schedule:
Sunday 2130 UTC - 15770kHz via WRMI Florida
Sunday 2330 UTC - 11580kHz via WRMI Florida
Monday 2000 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 to VOA Radiogram last weekend.  Now that the gallery for program 159 has finally been sent, I will compile a gallery for program 137 (November 15-16, 2015) and maybe send it 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, April 29, 2016

VOA Radiogram for April 30 - May 1

From Kim Andrew Elliott:

Hello friends,

This weekend's VOA Radiogram will include a news item in Olivia 64-2000. This might be an opportunity to investigate why some listeners do not have successful decodes of this mode. One way to do this is to use two radios, with two different bandwidths. The hypothesis is that a wider bandwidth should work better with the wide Olivia 64-2000 mode. You could decode "live" from one radio while recording  from the other radio for later decoding.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 161, 30 April-1 May 2016, all in MFSK32 except where noted:

 1:33  Program preview
 2:43  Russia launches rocket from new cosmodrome*
 6:44  Freedom House press freedom report*
14:01  Olivia 64-2000: Dwarf planet has a moon*
23:31  MFSK32: Old RFE/RL transmitting site in Spain*
26:07  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 a minute of MFSK32 Sunday at about 0220 UTC (Saturday 10:20 pm EDT) on its new summer frequency of 9925 kHz, via Germany. This is part of the KBC broadcast to North America, 0000-0300 UTC. Eric will want to know how the new 9925 kHz frequency is working, so please send reports to themightykbc@gmail.com .

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

Thanks for your reception reports.  I'm compiling the images from program 159 (not 158 as previously mentioned) and hope to send those out this weekend. 

I hope you can tune in and write in.

Kim

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

Friday, April 22, 2016

Selected recent logs

All received in Southern California, unless there is a star (*), which means they were on the U. of Twente WebSDR in the Netherlands.

518.0    "W"     Sitor-B     FRL, French CROSS MED (Centre Regional
Operationnel de Surveillance et Sauvetage en Mediterranee), La Garde,
NAVTEX (NAVAREA 3) WA06 for gunnery exercise off Provence   0444  *

3831.0    ZLST   ALE    German Customs, Cuxhaven, raised ZHEL, Zollboot
Helgoland, then hissy exchange and TWS cleardown       2206  *

3850.0     BP21   ALE    German Bundespolizei patrol boat, clg BPLEZS
(control, Cuxhaven), then hissy ARQ type exchange  2251  *

5352.5   HG7BHB    CW      Amateur propagation beacon, Hungary, rptg
"VVV DE HG7BHB QTH JN97LE34SF PWR 50W"    2222 *

5909.5    709      ALE/voice      US Coast Guard HC-130H #1709 on COTHEN,
setting up flight following with CG ComComm, planning to do training
approaches and then "go back to Sacramento," then PAC clearing    0019

6474.0     KSM   CW    MRHS San Francisco Radio, MMP Free Press at ~26
wpm, usual s9+30   1829

6559.0    RV1851   HFDL   Caspian Airlines (Iran) flight with position
37 38 36  N  LON 112 22 48  W for San Francisco   2017

6785.0    WUE6   ALE  US Army Corps of Engineers District Ofc., Nashville,
TN, sounding  0150

7602.0    3A7D  CW      Chinese Mil (M89), calling marker "V DKG6 DKG6
 DKG6 DE 3A7D 3A7D"        2247 *

8345.0    RKA80    CW   Unknown Russian Navy Pacific Flt vessel, possibly
Missile Cruiser Varyag, loud, wkg unknown duplex stn (not heard), with long
msgs in 5L Cyrillic groups   2227

10943.0   CFH    STANAG 4285    Canadian Forces, Halifax, NS, repeating
marker "NAWS DE CFH ZKR F1 2822 3394 4158 6242 12371 16552 AR"
(75L/5N1)  2201 *

14023.0   VP8SGI     CW     South Sandwich/ South Georgia amateur
DXpedition, good op working orderly pileup   0030

18003.0   HIK0111111   ALE    USAF, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam,
apparently calling self for an ALE text message L/C HOW ME?//    2322

22251.0  E8KV   CW   Russian Military, working several outstations with long
messages in Cyrillic Morse   2245 *

Hopefully no RHC co-channel with VOA Radiogram for April 23-24

From Kim Andrew Elliott:

Hello friends,

Last weekend, Radio Habana Cuba had a special transmission on 17580 kHz, creating an interesting co-channel situation with VOA Radiogram Saturday at 1600-1630. RHC caused only minor interference in Europe, but in parts of the Americas, decoding VOA Radiogram was difficult. In this video by Tim in Colorado, VOA Radiogram and RHC are fairly evenly matched …   


[Here neither one was particularly audible, but RHC wins on points.  That distinctive voice they use faded in and out more times than the VOA's digital tones, which stayed pretty much out.  -Hugh]

 Last weekend’s Olivia 64-2000 provided some good decodes despite poor reception conditions.  Here is an example from a receiver in Sydney, NSW, Australia …


On the other hand, some listeners were not as successful with Olivia 64-2000, and found that this mode did not perform as well as MFSK32 – which is much faster. I wonder if the problem is related to the receiver’s bandwidth. Olivia 64-2000 extends to 2500 Hz above and below the carrier. If any of that data is “clipped,” the decode might be less than 100%. We could try some experiments with this in future programs.

This weekend, all the content will be in MFSK32, except for the transmission schedule in Olivia 64-2000 mixed with the closing music.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 160, 23-24 April 2016, all in MFSK32 except where noted:

 1:34  Program preview
 2:44  Can AC and DC power integrate?*
12:13  Radio Farda TV signal jammed in Iran*
16:38  New report finds media freedom declined globally*
26:53  Closing announcements*
28:17  Olivia 64-2000: Frequency schedule under music

* 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 a minute of MFSK32 Sunday at about 0220 UTC (Saturday 10:20 pm EDT) on 6040 kHz, via Germany. This is part of KBC’s North America broadcast at 0000-0300 UTC. Reception reports to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com .

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

Thank you for your reception reports from last weekend. I’m still compiling the gallery of MFSK images from program 158 and hope to send those out this weekend.

I hope you can tune in and write in.

Kim

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

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Is ANPOPS in Southern California?

It's long been assumed that the Rockwell Collins "ARINC UrgentLink" station using the 2G ALE address of ANPOPS is at or near the old ARINC headquarters in Annapolis, MD.  Perhaps it was at one time.

Lately, however, hundreds of ALE decodes have given a clear indication that it is most likely coming from somewhere in Southern California.

Let's look at some statistics. Here are the average S/N (as shown on PC-ALE) and the average frequency for the only stations audible at this QTH in SoCal:

Stn           S/N       Fq
010MDR    8.7    11206.2
103SCC    6.3    11300.3
104LKW    6.7    10559.3
105LAN     6.8     6792.7
ANPOPS    9.0    6163.0

As noted above, the sample on these is rather large.  It's over 50 normal sized pages of PC-ALE orderwire loggings. It includes a couple of all-night runs, to somewhat lessen the effect of diurnal band changes.  As far as I know, all of these stations are using very similar 125-watt radios with simple vertical antennas.

Note that ANPOPS actually averages a higher signal to noise ratio than the four other stations, all of which are known to be in the direct RF field at my location.  The only station whose average comes even close is 010MDR, Marina Del Rey, which is verified as coming from a business park only a few miles away from here.

ANPOPS also tends to be heard on lower frequencies.

Neither condition would support an origin in Maryland.  This result is simply not consistent with the known characteristics of recent transcontinental propagation. Band conditions have not been especially good, and genuine F2 skip from the eastern US has been weaker than normal.

And so we have something of a mystery, but then this system has been known for those.

Friday, April 15, 2016

US Department of Veterans Affairs ALE log

All received in Southern California in spring 2016. All soundings in 2G ALE, except for one call from 6030 to 5290 on 22921.6.

2025.6   6051 6543 6602 6603 6640

2726.0   6051 6491 6602 6603 6640

3355.1   5313 6051 6052 6491 6543 6602 6603 6620 6640

3393.6   5313 6051 6052 6491 6543 6602 6603 6640

5038.5   6640

6335.6* 3031

6981.1   5311 5810 6030 6051 6052 6191 6203 6400 6491 6543 6601 6602
              6603 6620 6640 6714 6780

7480.0   1616 5286 5287 5290 5311 5312 5313 5420 5810 5950 6030 6051
              6052 6053 6191 6203 6400 6491 6541 6542 6543 6601 6602 6603
              6620 6640 6714 6743 6780 13536

10389.6   3033 5190 5287 5311 5312 5313 5420 5287 5810 5826 5897 5898
                5899 5950 6030 6052 6203 6400 6543 6601 6602 6603 6620 6640
                6714 6741 6743 6780

14441.6   3033 5190 5311 5313 6030 6203 6601 6741

17492.6   5190 5420 5520 5810 5897 5898 5950 6030 6203 6790 13536

20200.1   5090 5287 5290 5400 5420 5520 5810 5950 6030 6191 6203 6260
                6714 6790

22738.0*  2002

22921.6   3033 5090 5190 5290 5400 5420 5520 5810 5950 6030 6191 6714
                8356 7570


*ShipCom / ARINC UrgentLink frequency.  It is not known why DVA ID's
would turn up on ShipCom/ ARINC UrgentLink frequencies,or even if they
are real DVA calls.

In addition, 7480 is an Operation SECURE frequency in the US, and the
reason for its inclusion in the DVA allocation is not known.

VOA Radiogram for April 16-17

Hello friends,

Reception was good last weekend, allowing for successful decodes, including the nuances of the gray-scale images. Here is the photo of the migrant as decoded by Dmitry in Kursk, Russia, on 15670 kHz …


VOA Radiogram this weekend will include a seven-minute segment of Olivia 64-2000, so let’s hope for poor reception to give this slow-but-robust mode a workout. If reception conditions are good, try a cheap receiver, or a compromised antenna, or a location with electrical noise.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 159, 16-17 April 2016, all in MFSK32 except where noted:

 1:31  Program preview
 2:39  Octopus makes daring escape*
 7:53  Kerry calls for more connectivity in poor countries*
12:42  Trolleybuses in Moscow to be retired*
16:10  Olivia 64-2000: Tiny spacecraft to explore space
23:21  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 have an extra digital mode transmission this weekend. The usual minute of MFSK32 is Sunday at about 0220 UTC (Saturday 10:20 pm EDT), on 6040 kHz, via Germany, part of KBC’s broadcast to North America Sunday 0000-0300 UTC.  Eric van Willegen’s Giant Juke Box show will then be repeated to Europe, Sunday, 0800-1000 UTC, on 6095 kHz, also via Nauen, Germany. The MFSK32 will be at about 0920 UTC. Outside of Europe, you can listen via http://websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/ .

DigiDX will transmit MFSK32 and possibly other modes …
Sunday 2130-2220 UTC - 15770kHz - via WRMI Florida
Sunday 2330-2400 UTC - 11580kHz - via WRMI Florida
Monday 2000-2030 UTC - 6070kHz – via Channel 292 Germany
Consult http://www.digidx.uk/ for any additions or changes to this schedule.

Thank you for your reception reports last weekend. In keeping with the pattern of alternating between oldest and newest reports, I am now compiling the gallery of MFSK images from program 158.  I hope to start sending those out this weekend.

Please tune in and write in.

Kim

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

Friday, April 08, 2016

Germany reverses digital AM ban (VOA Radiogram for April 9-10)

Desk, get me rewrite.  Stop the presses.  Kill the front page.
(This will be the second revision of the May column.  Poor Ken.)

The German government now says it was all a misunderstanding.

From Kim Andrew Elliott:

Hello friends,

The German communications regulator Bundesnetzagentur has changed its mind about allowing digital modes on shortwave broadcast transmitters in Germany. Apparently BNetzA thought that Channel 292 was transmitting the text and images in single sideband (SSB), which is how amateurs, military, etc, transmit the digital modes. Now that they know that the MFSK32 and other modes are sent as program audio on an analogue amplitude-modulation shortwave transmitter, their objections were withdrawn.  (It's similar to A2A modulated CW.)

BNetzA prefers that the term MFSK32 not be used to describe these broadcasts, but we have to specify the mode so that you can set Fldigi or other decoding software to the correct mode. In any case, the weekly MFSK32 transmission will resume on The Mighty KBC, and DigiDX will return to Channel 292.

Meanwhile, VOA Radiogram this weekend will be all MFSK32 except for the transmission schedule in Olivia 64-2000 under the closing music.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 158, 9-10 April 2016, all in MFSK32 except where noted:

  1:32  Program preview
  2:46  China domain name rules*
11:58  South Korea blocks North Korea Tech website*
18:09  Mars Opportunity rover photographs dust devil*
23:01  Photo of migrant from RFE/RL Top Shots*
26:24  Closing announcements*
28:01  Olivia 64-2000: Frequencies under music

* 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 (after a one-week break) transmit a minute of MFSK32 Sunday at about 0220 UTC (Saturday 10:20 pm EDT) on 6040 kHz, via Germany.  Sometimes the MFSK32 is as late as 0228 UTC. Reports for this KBC reception to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com

DigiDX will broadcast DX news in MFSK32 (and perhaps other modes)  …
Sunday 2130 UTC 15570kHz via WRMI (Florida)
Sunday 2330 UTC 11580kHz via WRMI (Florida)
Monday 2000 UTC 6070kHz via Channel 292 (Germany)
Check http://www.digidx.uk/ for any changes or additions to this schedule.

Thank you for your reports to VOA Radiogram last weekend.  I am now compiling the MFSK image gallery from program 136 (November 2015) and hope to send that out this weekend.

Fldigi saves decoded MFSK images as png files in the folder \fldigi.files\images\.  When you send a reception report, please attach those png files.

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

Kim

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

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Oops! (VOA Radiogram for April 2-3)

I got busy writing the next TSM column, and missed posting the weekly VOA Radiogram notice when it had a lot of news in it. Mostly, this is that the German government has banned narrowband digital modes on AM analog transmitters.  Huh?  DRM is digital, and that's still legal.  Also, I forgot to make the frequency change for the first broadcast, and got an SDR file of nothing.  Sigh.

--------------
From Kim Andrew Elliott:

Hello friends,


New this weekend is the elimination of the digital text modes from shortwave transmitters in Germany.

The German regulator Bundesnetzagentur has ruled that the digital modes are not allowed in the broadcast bands. Because of this, there will be no MFSK32 on The Mighty KBC this weekend, because it uses a transmitter in Nauen, Germany.  And, for the time being, there will be no DigiDX MFSK broadcasts on Channel 292, 6070 kHz, and Radio 700, 3985 kHz.


Listeners in Germany might want to note these arguments for the digital modes on the shortwave broadcast bands: 1) It is broadcasting, not point-to-point communication. 2) It can be received on any shortwave radio, even inexpensive portables with no SSB capability. (Software is required to decode the text and images, but this can be included in future shortwave radios.) 3) DRM is legal on the shortwave broadcast bands, and DRM can transmit text and images.  4) Text and images via analog radio requires less spectrum (bandwidth) than DRM. 5) Text and images via analog radio are a useful new application for underutilized shortwave transmitters and frequencies. 6) Text and images via analog radio extend the range of a shortwave transmitter, resulting in accurate content in conditions where voice transmissions may be unintelligible. 7) Digital modes via shortwave can be a useful alternative when the Internet is not available due to disasters or to net censorship by dictators.



VOA Radiogram, program 157, 2-3 April 2016 is all MFSK32 except for the transmission schedule in Olivia 64-2000 under the closing music:



  1:35  Program preview
  2:48  Asia at risk for water shortages*
10:25  Seismic risk map now includes quakes caused by humans*
17:05  Latvia blocks Russia's Sputnik website*
22:20  View bald eagles in Washington via Nest Cam*
25:30  Closing announcements*
28:05  Olivia 64-2000: Transmission schedule



* with image

Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com.

And visit voaradiogram.net.

Twitter: @VOARadiogram


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.


Digital modes on The Mighty KBC (via Germany) and DigiDX (via Channel 292, 6070 kHz, and Radio 700, 3985 kHz, both via Germany) will not be available this weekend for reasons stated above. DigiDX will be available via WRMI, Florida, Sunday at 2130-2200 UTC on 15770 kHz and 2330-2400 UTC on 11580 kHz.



Thank you for your reception reports to VOA Radiogram last weekend. I am now compiling the gallery for program 136 (November 2015) and hope to send it to listeners this weekend.


Kim


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


Friday, March 25, 2016

Easter VOA Radiogram for March 26-27

Hello friends,

Propagation last weekend was difficult on Saturday, especially within North America. Fortunately, it improved by Sunday.

If you are new to the program, note that Fldigi automatically saves decoded images as png files in the folder \fldigi.files\images\ probably within your C:\Users hierarchy. Operating systems other than Windows may have different folder names. When sending reception reports, please attach those png files.

VOA Radiogram this weekend  is all in MFSK32 except for the new VOA Radiogram transmission schedule in Olivia 64-2000  under the closing music. The only frequency change is Saturday at 0930-1000 UTC: 26 March is the last day for 5865 kHz; effective 2 April, 5745 kHz will be used during that broadcast.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 156, 26-27 March 2016, all in MFSK32 except where noted:

  1:34  Program preview
  2:39  Efficient internal combustion engine*
  9:00  Crop wild relatives for food security*
15:05  Rare flower blooms at US Botanic Garden*
19:49  Urban birds are smarter*
24:10  Closing announcements*
Olivia 64-2000 transmission schedule under closing music.

* with image

Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com.

VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC):
Sat 0930-1000 5865 kHz (Changes to 5745 kHz effective 2 April.)
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 a minute Saturday at about 0220 UTC (lately it has been after 0225 UTC) (10:20 pm EDT or later) on 6040 kHz, via Germany. Reports for this KBC reception to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com . The KBC North America broadcast is Sunday 0000-0300 UTC (Saturday 8-11 pm EDT)
on 6040 kHz.

DigiDX this weekend is all in MFSK32, except for some MFSK128 in German.  Consult www.digidx.uk for any updates:

Date
Time
Frequency
Transmitter
Friday, 25 March
2000-2030 UTC
3985 kHz
Radio 700, Germany
Saturday, 26 March
2000-2030 UTC
6070 kHz
Channel 292, Germany
Sunday, 27 March
1100-1130 UTC
6070 kHz
Channel 292, Germany
Sunday, 27 March
2330-0000 UTC
11580 kHz
WRMI, Florida

Thanks for your reports.  I’m now compiling the gallery from program 153 and will try to begin sending them out this weekend.

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/after broadcasts)