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other modes are sent as program audio on an analogue amplitude-modulation shortwave transmitter, their objections were withdrawn.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

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:

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