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, November 20, 2015
Experimental VOA Radiogram for November 21-22
From Kim Andrew Elliott:
This weekend’s VOA Radiogram will include some experiments.
Simultaneous text and image.
One experiment will be the simultaneous transmission of text and an
image. The text of the VOA News story about men overeating will
be transmitted in MFSK32 at the usual center audio frequency of 1500
Hz. The MFSK32 image accompanying this story will be transmitted
simultaneously at a center audio frequency of 2200 Hz. You will need two
instances of Fldigi; that is, start Fldigi once,
then start it again. If you cannot run two instances of Fldigi (some
operating systems don’t allow it), you can decode the image at 2200 Hz
later from a recording. (You could also run Fldigi and MultiPSK
At 15 seconds after
the text begins, a tuning signal will help you find the exact center
frequency near 2200 Hz. The image itself will start 20 seconds after the
I had to reduce the
audio level of both the text and image by 3 dB so that the combined
audio of the text and image would not overload the transmitter and your
receiver. This simultaneous transmission will
be followed by the image only, at 1500 Hz, and at full audio level.
QR codes. The broadcast will include two QR codes. They look like this …
You scan the QR code, usually with your mobile device, to obtain information.
The first QR code
will follow the VOA News Story about Middle East hackers. It will
provide the link to the full text of the story. The second QR code will
be at the end of the show, with the VOA Radiogram
I don’t know much
about QR codes, so your advice would be appreciated. Are the transmitted
QR codes too big? Unnecessarily big? How small can I make them? (The
smaller they are, the less time required to transmit
Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 138, 21-22November 2015, all in MFSK32 except where noted:
1:32 Program preview
2:44 Earth-like exoplanet may not be habitable*
7:29 New tool to search for extraterrestrial life*
11:13 Analysts warn of Middle East hackers*
20:43 Men overeat to show off to women (simultaneous image)*
VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC):
Sat 0930-1000 5865 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 0130 UTC (Saturday 8:30 pm
EST) on 7395 kHz, via Germany. This is part of the KBC broadcast to
Saturday 2300 UTC to Sunday 0200 UTC on 7395 kHz. Reception reports
for KBC reception and decoding to Eric:
Thanks for your
reception reports. Today I hope to answer the last of the reports from
program 130, then I’ll put together the MFSK image gallery from program
I hope you can tune in and write in. Have fun with the experiments.