Utility Planet is the official blog for the column of the same name in The Spectrum Monitor. It replaces Utility World in the discontinued Monitoring Times magazine. Utilities are all VLF/LF/MF/HF (and sometimes low-band VHF) radio communications except broadcasting, CB, and non-emergency amateur. If you understood the last sentence, you know enough to read this blog.
Friday, September 18, 2015
Successful VOA Radiogram for September 19-20
The U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors thinks enough of VOA Radiogram to solicit quotations for a decoder program aimed at non-technical users. Trust me, this is big. It's also a good opportunity for a digital mode programmer to make a little extra money at it.
From Kim Andrew Elliott:
Board of Governors has issued a Request for Quotations for the
development of software application to simply the process of decoding
text and images from radio broadcasts. The deadline is
26 September. Details are here …
This weekend on VOA
Radiogram, our non-Latin alphabet of the week will be Persian. Persian
is interesting because it is a “right-to-left” language. You will need
the UTF-8 character set in Fldigi (Configure
> Colors & Fonts). The Persian should also correctly display
using the AndFlmsg Android app, version 1.2, available from
And if we are
fortunate enough to experience poor reception this weekend, there will
be about ten minutes of content in Olivia 32-2000.
Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 129, 19-20 September 2015, all in MFSK32 except where noted …
1:36 Program preview
3:06 First manned Orion flight in 2023*
9:58 Saturn moon covered by water*
14:48 Sample of Persian text**
17:19 Olivia 32-2000: VOA Science World Blog***
27:04 MFSK32: Closing announcements
28:06 MFSK32: Logo image under the music
* with image
** requires UTF-8 character set
*** If RSID does not change mode to Olivia 32-2000, in Fldigi:
Op Mode > Olivia > Custom > set Bandwidth to 2000 and Tones to
VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC):
Sat 0930-1000 5745 kHz
Sat 1600-1630 17870 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 0230 UTC (Saturday 10:30 pm EDT) on 7375 kHz.
Yes, the mode is changed from the usual MFSK64 to MFSK32 because of
difficult reception in North America in recent weeks. Reports to Eric:
Thank you for your
reception reports from last weekend. I saw many successful decodes of
the Chinese text on both PCs and Android devices. I will compile come
screenshots and post them to the website. Today,
I will finish answering reports from program 122. The gallery for program 122 compares decoded images in MFSK16, 32, 64, and SSTV Scottie DX.