Friday, May 12, 2017

VOA Radiogram for 13-14 May

Hello friends,

We had an amazing response to last weekend's program, thanks in part to mostly favorable propagation. Two example are above.

There was one glitch: Music was heard instead of VOA Radiogram Sunday at 2330-2400 UTC via WRMI Florida, 11580 kHz. This was due to an error in the automation system.

This weekend is the usual mix of MFSK32 and MFSK16, with five MFSK32 images.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 215, 13-14 May 2017, all in MFSK32 except where noted:


 1:32  Program preview
 2:39  Senators support U.S. human rights role*
 8:50  China strengthens Internet controls*
14:07  FCC website attacked*
19:01  MFSK16: NSS call letters reactivated this weekend
23:45  MFSK32: Image* and closing announcements*

Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com

VOA Radiogram Transmission Schedule
UTC Day
UTC Time
kHz
Transmitter
Target
Also try in …
Saturday
0930-1000
5745
North Carolina
Americas
Asia-Pacific, Europe
Saturday
1600-1630
17580
North Carolina
Europe
Americas, Asia-Pacific
Sunday
0230-0300
5745
North Carolina
Americas
Europe
Sunday
1930-2000
15670
North Carolina
Europe
Americas, Asia-Pacific
Sunday
2030-2100
11580
WRMI Florida
Europe
Americas, Asia-Pacific
Sunday
2330-2400
11580
WRMI Florida
Americas
Europe, Asia-Pacific

The Mighty KBC transmits to Europe Saturdays at 1500-1530 UTC on 9400 kHz (via Bulgaria), with a minute of MFSK32 at about 1530 UTC. And to North America Sundays at 0000-0200 UTC (Saturday 8-10 pm EDT) on 9925 kHz, via Germany. A minute of MFSK32 is at about 0130 UTC. Reports to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com . See also http://www.kbcradio.eu/ and https://www.facebook.com/TheMightyKbc/



DigiDX has not resumed, hence the VOA Radiogram transmissions via WRMI. See http://www.digidx.uk/ and https://www.facebook.com/digidx/

Italian Broadcasting Corporation (IBC)  For the complete IBC transmission schedule visit  http://ibcradio.webs.com/  Five minutes of MFSK32 is at the end of the 30-minute English-language “Shortwave Panorama,” per the schedule below:
WEDNESDAY  18.55 UTC  6070 KHZ TO EUROPE
                        19.55 UTC  1584 KHZ TO EUROPE
THURSDAY     02.55 UTC  1584 KHZ TO EUROPE
FRIDAY           01.25 UTC  9955 KHZ TO CENTRAL/SOUTH AMERICA
SATURDAY     01.55 UTC 11580 KHZ TO NORTH AMERICA
                        20.25 UTC  1584 KHZ TO SOUTH EUROPE
SUNDAY          00.55 UTC  7730 KHZ TO NORTH AMERICA
                        10.55 UTC  6070 KHZ TO EUROPE

Thank you for your reception reports from last weekend!

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

Kim

Kim Andrew Elliott, KD9XB
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
voaradiogram.net
Twitter: @VOARadiogram  (especially active just before, during, and after broadcasts)
VOA

Friday, April 21, 2017

VOA Radiogram for 22-23 April

From Kim Andrew Elliott:


Hello friends,

Last weekend, it was the Sunday 0230-0300 UTC broadcast on 5745 kHz that provided the most difficulty for listeners. Reception in Europe was non-existent.  And it was not as good as usual in most of the Americas. Ontario was an exception, as you can see in this video by Scotty in Toronto …


From the Saturday 1600-1630 UTC show, Youtube videos were produced by “BlackApple 62” in Italy …


And by Tim in Colorado, same time, same frequency …


You can watch their decoding, or do your own decoding using the audio from the videos.

This weekend’s VOA Radiogram will be all MFSK32, because I did not have enough time to squeeze in an MFSK16 item.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 212, 22-23 April 2017, all in MFSK32 centered on 1500 Hz …   

 1:46  Program preview
 2:56  Astronomers find another "earthy" planet*
11:15  Chinese party critic wanted after VOA interview*
18:28  Russian lawmaker says US media pressure Russia*
23:31  First iceberg of season off Newfoundland (photo)*
26:15  Closing announcements*

Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com

VOA Radiogram Transmission Schedule
UTC Day
UTC Time
kHz
Transmitter
Target
Also try in …
Saturday
0930-1000
5745
North Carolina
Americas
Asia-Pacific, Europe
Saturday
1600-1630
17580
North Carolina
Europe
Americas, Asia-Pacific
Sunday
0230-0300
5745
North Carolina
Americas
Europe
Sunday
1930-2000
15670
North Carolina
Europe
Americas, Asia-Pacific
Sunday
2030-2100
11580
WRMI Florida
Europe
Americas, Asia-Pacific
Sunday
2330-2400
11580
WRMI Florida
Americas
Europe, Asia-Pacific

The Mighty KBC has a new broadcast to Europe Saturdays at 1500-1600 UTC on 9400 kHz, via Kostinbrod (near Sofia), Bulgaria. A minute of MFSK32 will be at about 1530 UTC. This is in addition to the usual KBC broadcast to North America Sunday at 0000-0200 UTC (Saturday 8-10 pm EDT) on 6145 kHz, via Germany. A minute of MFSK32 will be transmitted at about 0130 UTC. Reports to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com . See also http://www.kbcradio.eu/ and https://www.facebook.com/TheMightyKbc/.  (KBC will move to 9925 kHz on 7 May.)

DigiDX is taking a few weeks off, hence the VOA Radiogram transmissions via WRMI. See http://www.digidx.uk/ and https://www.facebook.com/digidx/

Italian Broadcasting Corporation (IBC)  For the complete IBC transmission schedule, including changes after 27 March, visit  http://ibcradio.webs.com/  The new English version of IBC’s “Shortwave Panorama” begins  31 March, via WRMI Florida, Friday 01.00-01.30 UTC on 9955 kHz, Saturday 01.30-02.00 UTC 11580 kHz, and Sunday 00.30-01.00 UTC on 7730 kHz. The last five minutes of these shows will be in MFSK32.
"IBC DIGITAL" - 5 MINUTES IN MFSK32:
WEDNESDAY   18.55 UTC  6070 / 1584 KHZ TO EUROPE
FRIDAY            01.25 UTC  9955 KHZ TO CENTRAL/SOUTH AMERICA
SATURDAY     01.55 UTC 11580 KHZ TO NORTH AMERICA
                        20.25 UTC  1584 KHZ TO EUROPE
SUNDAY          00.55 UTC  7730 KHZ TO NORTH AMERICA
                        10.55 UTC  6070 KHZ TO EUROPE

Thank you for your reception reports from last weekend!

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

Kim

Kim Andrew Elliott, KD9XB
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
voaradiogram.net
Twitter: @VOARadiogram  (especially active just before, during, and after broadcasts)

Friday, April 14, 2017

Easter weekend VOA Radiogram for April 15-16

From Kim Andrew Elliott:

Hello friends,

See the news below about the new Mighty KBC broadcast to Europe, Saturdays at 1500-1600 UTC, on 9400 kHz via Bulgaria.

Last weekend provided some interesting propagation for VOA Radiogram. The Saturday 1600 UTC show was heard very well in Europe, but for the second week in a row, there was a break in transmission. Perhaps the old (55 years!) transmitter does not like the 100%-duty-cycle MFSK32 mode.

This Easter weekend let’s hope for good propagation and no transmitter mishaps.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 211, all in MFSK32 except where noted:

 1:51  Program preview
 3:02  Loud shrimp named after rock band*
 7:19  Major Azerbaijani Internet provider blocking RFE/RL*
14:43  China blocks South Korean TV*
21:08  MFSK16: Free App Allows Blind Hams to Work PSK31
24:26  MFSK32: Image* and closing announcements

* with image

Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com

 
VOA Radiogram Transmission Schedule
 
UTC Day
UTC Time
kHz
Transmitter
Target
Also try in …
Saturday
0930-1000
5745
North Carolina
Americas
Asia-Pacific, Europe
Saturday
1600-1630
17580
North Carolina
Europe
Americas, Asia-Pacific
Sunday
0230-0300
5745
North Carolina
Americas
Europe
Sunday
1930-2000
15670
North Carolina
Europe
Americas, Asia-Pacific
Sunday
2030-2100
11580
WRMI Florida
Europe
Americas
Sunday
2330-2400
11580
WRMI Florida
Americas


The Mighty KBC has a new broadcast to Europe Saturdays at 1500-1600 UTC on 9400 kHz, via Kostinbrod (near Sofia), Bulgaria. A minute of MFSK32 will be at about 1530 UTC. This is in addition to the usual KBC broadcast to North America Sunday at 0000-0200 UTC (Saturday 8-10 pm EDT) on 6145 kHz, via Germany. A minute of MFSK32 will be transmitted at about 0130 UTC. Reports to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com . See also http://www.kbcradio.eu/ and https://www.facebook.com/TheMightyKbc/.  (KBC will move to 9925 kHz on 7 May.)

DigiDX is taking a few weeks off, hence the VOA Radiogram transmissions via WRMI. See http://www.digidx.uk/ and https://www.facebook.com/digidx/

Italian Broadcasting Corporation (IBC)  For the complete IBC transmission schedule, including changes after 27 March, visit  http://ibcradio.webs.com/  The new English version of IBC’s “Shortwave Panorama” begins  31 March, via WRMI Florida, Friday 01.00-01.30 UTC on 9955 kHz, Saturday 01.30-02.00 UTC 11580 kHz, and Sunday 00.30-01.00 UTC on 7730 kHz. The last five minutes of these shows will be in MFSK32.
"IBC DIGITAL" - 5 MINUTES IN MFSK32:
WEDNESDAY   18.55 UTC  6070 / 1584 KHZ TO EUROPE
FRIDAY            01.25 UTC  9955 KHZ TO CENTRAL/SOUTH AMERICA
SATURDAY     01.55 UTC 11580 KHZ TO NORTH AMERICA
                        20.25 UTC  1584 KHZ TO EUROPE
SUNDAY          00.55 UTC  7730 KHZ TO NORTH AMERICA
                        10.55 UTC  6070 KHZ TO EUROPE

Thank you for your reception reports from last weekend.  

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

Kim

Kim Andrew Elliott, KD9XB
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
voaradiogram.net
Twitter: @VOARadiogram  (especially active just before, during, and after broadcasts)

Friday, April 07, 2017

The saga of Frequency Table #50 continues

Yuck.

Now it appears, a few weeks after the HFDL system rolled out Frequency Table #50, that just about everyone has dropped back to #49. I haven't checked all the stations, but someone who's reliable says the only one he found that is not using #49 is Barrow, Alaska - and they are using #48.

Whatever.  This is why I told everybody to rename the old pchfdl.dat file instead of deleting it. The new file, the one with #50, can be renamed to something like pchfdl50.dat, and the old one can be renamed back to pchfdl.dat. And away you go.

This is why I feel silly.  I went to do that, and since - lucky me - PC-HFDL had updated itself without my needing to do anything.... the old file was gone.  Oops.  It's backed up, of course, and I'll go find it, but just saying.  If ARINC/ Rockwell Collins is going to continue their recent thing of churning databases, then we're going to have to keep both available. One can run multiple instances of PC-HFDL or just have the files for #49 and #50 somewhere else as pchfdl49.dat and pchfdl50.dat, copying in and renaming the relevant one as needed.  I like that second one, even though it's more work.


EDIT 4/14: The link to the file has been removed from this column's web site until this is resolved.



VOA Radiogram for April 8-9, 2017

From Kim Andrew Elliott:

Hello friends,

Last weekend's item about the Radio Quiet Zone near Green Bank, West Virginia, included this: "It becomes apparent in Green Bank that visitors have to navigate the old-fashioned way: by reading road signs. That's because GPS comes to a screeching halt as you approach this West Virginia town, which has two churches, an elementary school, a library and the world's largest radio telescope."

VOA Radiogram listener Warren in Arizona took issue with this, pointing out that "GPS units do not transmit."

I've never owned a GPS device. And I will never have a car navigation system because it's difficult enough for me to drive without having to look at stuff on the dashboard. And that's why, when I buy a car (which is not very often), I buy one of the lower-end models that does not have a lot of stuff on the dashboard.

Anyway, it's true that GPS satellite signals can be received, and location determined, even in the Green Bank Radio Quiet Zone. But, to the best of my limited understanding, some car navigation systems also involve maps that are downloaded through cell telephone networks, which are unavailable near the Green Bank telescope.

On to other matters: Last Saturday at about 1625 UTC, the transmitter on 17580 kHz abruptly left the air, leaving many of us with half a picture of the Sputnik satellite.  And because the transmitter did not come back, the International Geophysical Year logo (seen above from the Sunday 1930 UTC show) was not seen at all. Let's hope I don't break the transmitter again this weekend.

This weekend's VOA Radiogram has some interesting news items and six MFSK32 images.  One item is in MFSK16 in case reception is difficult.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 210, 8-9 April 2017, all in MFSK32 except where noted:

 1:50  Program preview
 3:05  New Horizons spacecraft halfway to next destination*
 6:45  Graphene-oxide membranes for desalination*
13:19  Ebay founder pledges $100 million to fight fake news*
18:11  MFSK16: NOAA's biggest ship ends 800-day voyage
21:56  MFSK32: Images* and closing announcements*


* with image


Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com .

The Mighty KBC broadcast to North America will be Sunday at 0000-0200 UTC (Saturday 8-10 pm EDT) on 6145 kHz, via Germany. A minute of MFSK32 will be transmitted at about 0130 UTC. Reports to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com . See also http://www.kbcradio.eu/ and https://www.facebook.com/TheMightyKbc/.  (KBC will move to 9925 kHz on 7 May.)

DigiDX is taking a few weeks off, hence the VOA Radiogram transmissions via WRMI. See http://www.digidx.uk/ and https://www.facebook.com/digidx/

Italian Broadcasting Corporation (IBC)  For the complete IBC transmission schedule, including changes after 27 March, visit  http://ibcradio.webs.com/  The new English version of IBC’s “Shortwave Panorama” begins  31 March, via WRMI Florida, Friday 01.00-01.30 UTC on 9955 kHz, Saturday 01.30-02.00 UTC 11580 kHz, and Sunday 00.30-01.00 UTC on 7730 kHz. The last five minutes of these shows will be in MFSK32.
"IBC DIGITAL" - 5 MINUTES IN MFSK32:
WEDNESDAY   18.55 UTC  6070 / 1584 KHZ TO EUROPE
FRIDAY             01.25 UTC  9955 KHZ TO CENTRAL/SOUTH AMERICA
SATURDAY       01.55 UTC 11580 KHZ TO NORTH AMERICA
                           20.25 UTC  1584 KHZ TO EUROPE
SUNDAY          00.55 UTC  7730 KHZ TO NORTH AMERICA
                          10.55 UTC  6070 KHZ TO EUROPE

Thank you for your reception reports from last weekend.  

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

Kim

Kim Andrew Elliott, KD9XB
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
voaradiogram.net
Twitter: @VOARadiogram  (especially active just before, during, and after broadcasts)

Friday, March 31, 2017

Note new frequency for VOA Radiogram April 1-2

From Kim Andrew Elliott:



Hello friends,

As people and radio shows get older, they tend to draw less attention to their birthdays.  Last weekend was program 208 of VOA Radiogram: 208 divided by 52 equals  4, so it seems that VOA Radiogram has passed its fourth anniversary.

Please note that for the broadcast this Saturday at 0930-1000 UTC, 5745 kHz replaces 5865 kHz.

This weekend's show includes an interesting item about the radio-free zone near the Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia. Another item, about the 1957 Sputnik satellite, will be in MFSK16, in case reception is difficult.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 209, 1-2 April 2017, all in MFSK32 except where noted:

 1:45  Program preview
 2:53  Sensitivity to certain sounds is a real thing*
 8:50  No wi-fi in town near West Virginia telescope*
17:43  MFSK16: Remember the 1957 Sputnik launch?
23:19  MFSK32: Images* and closing announcements

* with image


Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com




 
VOA Radiogram Transmission Schedule
 
UTC Day
UTC Time
kHz
Transmitter
Target
Also try in …
Saturday
0930-1000
5745 (new)
North Carolina
Americas
Asia-Pacific, Europe
Saturday
1600-1630
17580
North Carolina
Europe
Americas, Asia-Pacific
Sunday
0230-0300
5745
North Carolina
Americas
Europe
Sunday
1930-2000
15670
North Carolina
Europe
Americas, Asia-Pacific
Sunday
2030-2100
11580
WRMI Florida
Europe
Americas
Sunday
2330-2400
11580
WRMI Florida
Americas


The Mighty KBC broadcast to North America will be Sunday at 0000-0200 UTC (Saturday 8-10 pm EDT) on 6145 kHz, via Germany. A minute of MFSK32 will be transmitted at about 0130 UTC. Reports to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com . See also http://www.kbcradio.eu/ and https://www.facebook.com/TheMightyKbc/.  (KBC will move to 9925 kHz on 7 May.)

DigiDX is taking a few weeks off, hence the VOA Radiogram transmissions via WRMI. See http://www.digidx.uk/ and https://www.facebook.com/digidx/

Italian Broadcasting Corporation (IBC)  For the complete IBC transmission schedule, including changes after 27 March, visit  http://ibcradio.webs.com/  The new English version of IBC’s “Shortwave Panorama” begins  31 March, via WRMI Florida, Friday 01.00-01.30 UTC on 9955 kHz, Saturday 01.30-02.00 UTC 11580 kHz, and Sunday 00.30-01.00 UTC on 7730 kHz. The last five minutes of these shows will be in MFSK32.
"IBC DIGITAL" - 5 MINUTES IN MFSK32:
WEDNESDAY   18.55 UTC  6070 / 1584 KHZ TO EUROPE
FRIDAY            01.25 UTC  9955 KHZ TO CENTRAL/SOUTH AMERICA
SATURDAY     01.55 UTC 11580 KHZ TO NORTH AMERICA
                        20.25 UTC  1584 KHZ TO EUROPE
SUNDAY          00.55 UTC  7730 KHZ TO NORTH AMERICA
                        10.55 UTC  6070 KHZ TO EUROPE

Thank you for your reception reports from last weekend.  

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

Kim

Kim Andrew Elliott, KD9XB
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
voaradiogram.net
Twitter: @VOARadiogram  (especially active just before, during, and after broadcasts)


PS: A few operating notes:
  • For best Olivia 64-2000 performance, turn Fldigi's squelch (SQL) off.
  • The RSID at 1500 Hz sometimes mixes with the transmitter hum, most noticeable at 360 Hz, to move your receive audio frequency down to 1140 Hz, resulting in no decode. To prevent this, in Fldigi: Configure > IDs  > RsID > unselect Searches passband.  Your center audio frequency will wander no more than +/- 200 Hz.
  • Fldigi automatically saves your decoded MFSK images as png files in the folder \fldigi.files\images\ (in Windows; folder names might be different with other operating systems). You can attach those png files with your reception report.
  • The VOA Radiogram Twitter account @VOARadiogram is especially active before, during, and after the broadcasts. You don't need a Twitter account: just go to https://twitter.com/voaradiogram and refresh it occasionally.


Friday, March 17, 2017

Note new NA local times for VOA Radiogram March 18-19

From Kim Andrew Elliott:

Hello friends,

Now that most of North America has changed to Daylight Savings Time, most Americans and Canadians will hear VOA Radiogram one hour later by local time. This is because VOA Radiogram stays at the same UTC time year round. The same will happen for European listeners beginning 26 March. 

Also that last weekend of March, many shortwave broadcast stations will change some of their frequencies to correspond with seasonal shifts in propagation. The only change for VOA Radiogram from North Carolina is that the Saturday 0930-1000 UTC broadcast will move from 5865 to 5745 kHz, effective 1 April.

Effective 26 March, IBC (Italian Broadcasting Corporation) will drop its 3975 kHz frequency for the summer. IBC will no longer broadcast VOA Radiogram. There might be one more VOA Radiogram via IBC, Wednesday, 22 March, at 2100-2130 UTC, on 3975 kHz.       

This weekend’s VOA Radiogram will be all MFSK32, except for one item in MFSK16, in case reception is difficult.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 207, 18-19 March 2017, all in MFSK32 except where noted:

  1:46  Program preview  
  2:56  Fog-clearing apparatus used at Oregon airport*
  9:52  'Boaty McBoatface' submarine to embark on first mission*
 16:44  MFSK16: RFE/RL photo archive from 1950s USSR
 21:50  MFSK32: Images* and closing announcements

* with image(s)

Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com .


VOA Radiogram Transmission Schedule
UTC Day
UTC Time
kHz
Transmitter
Target
Also try in …
Saturday
0930-1000
5865 *
North Carolina
Americas
Asia-Pacific, Europe
Saturday
1600-1630
17580
North Carolina
Europe
Americas, Asia-Pacific
Sunday
0230-0300
5745
North Carolina
Americas
Europe
Sunday
1930-2000
15670
North Carolina
Europe
Americas, Asia-Pacific
Sunday
2030-2100
11580
WRMI Florida
Europe
Americas
Sunday
2330-2400
11580
WRMI Florida
Americas

Wednesday
2100-2130
3975 **
IBC Italy
Europe


* Moving to 5745 kHz effective 1 April
** Discontinued after 22 March



The Mighty KBC broadcast to North America will be Sunday at 0000-0200 UTC (Saturday 8-10 pm EDT) on 6145 kHz, via Germany. A minute of MFSK32 will be transmitted at about 0130 UTC. Reports to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com . See also http://www.kbcradio.eu/ and https://www.facebook.com/TheMightyKbc/.  (KBC will move to 9925 kHz on 7 May.)

DigiDX is taking a few weeks off, hence the VOA Radiogram transmissions via WRMI and IBC.  See http://www.digidx.uk/ and https://www.facebook.com/digidx/

Italian Broadcasting Corporation (IBC)  For the complete IBC transmission schedule, including changes after 27 March, visit  http://ibcradio.webs.com/  The new English version of IBC’s “Shortwave Panorama” begins  31 March, via WRMI Florida, Friday 01.00-01.30 UTC on 9955 kHz, Saturday 01.30-02.00 UTC 11580 kHz, and
Sunday 00.30-01.00 UTC on 7730 kHz. The last five minutes of these shows will be in MFSK32.


Thanks for your reception reports from last weekend. In comparison of the two 58-wpm modes, MFSK16 and Olivia 8-1000, it appears that MFSK16 performed better, based on most reports.

Due to commitments related to my audience research work at VOA, I am vastly behind in answering your reports, but I hope to get back on track this weekend.

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

Kim

Kim Andrew Elliott, KD9XB
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
voaradiogram.net
Twitter: @VOARadiogram  (especially active just before, during, and after broadcasts)


PS: A few operating notes:
  • For best Olivia 64-2000 performance, turn Fldigi's squelch (SQL) off.
  • The RSID at 1500 Hz sometimes mixes with the transmitter hum, most noticeable at 360 Hz, to move your receive audio frequency down to 1140 Hz, resulting in no decode. To prevent this, in Fldigi: Configure > IDs  > RsID > unselect Searches passband.  Your center audio frequency will wander no more than +/- 200 Hz.
  • Fldigi automatically saves your decoded MFSK images as png files in the folder \fldigi.files\images\ (in Windows; folder names might be different with other operating systems). You can attach those png files with your reception report.
  • The VOA Radiogram Twitter account @VOARadiogram is especially active before, during, and after the broadcasts. You don't need a Twitter account: just go to https://twitter.com/voaradiogram and refresh it occasionally.