Wednesday, August 24, 2016

DRM part of the Ascension Island 50th Anniversary – DRM for Africa and now for BRAZIL too !

Special DRM transmission for Africa and Brazil from Ascension Island on its 50th anniversary – Sunday 28th August 2016

DRM will be part of a big anniversary on a small island in the Atlantic Ocean. On 28th of August at 1155 GMT. Babcock International will ensure a special BBC digital transmission from the BBC Atlantic Relay station, marking the fiftieth anniversary of the BBC's first short-wave radio broadcast from Ascension Island.

The first 2-hour transmission will be the regular BBC programmes for West and South Africa and will end at 1400.From 1400-1430 another DRM transmission ( BBC English) will be aimed at South America/Brazil !

This special transmission  will be sent with greetings from Ascension Island's BBC and Babcock International staff and visitors, who will be celebrating half a century  of sterling broadcasting on August 28th.

To confirm details of Sunday's DRM transmission from Ascension, as follows:

FREQ (kHz) TIME (UTC)  SERVICE  TX   kW    Bearing Day      LANG              TARGET

21715 1155-1201 BBC DRM  ASC  250  114   1  English SOUTH AFRICA (Special Announcement)
21715  1201-1400 BBC DRM  ASC  250   114  1  English    SOUTH AFRICA   (English)
21715  1400-1430 BBC DRM  ASC  250     250   1 English  BRAZIL (English)

(Ruxandra Obreja, Digital Radio Mondiale Consortium Chair)

New DRM receiver Titus II presented by TWR at HFCC Miami

Among the items on the agenda for the HFCC Conference posted by WRMI on FB was the "first-ever presentation of a new digital shortwave receiver capable of picking up stations from around the world in crystal-clear quality."

On 23rd August my good friend and DRM enthusiast Christopher broke the news about the new DRM receiver being presented by Trans World Radio at HFCC, Miami

Here are further details and specifications :

Titus II - The Complete SDR Solution

The computing power of a quad-core tablet, the sensitivity of a high performance RF tuner and a high fidelity audio amplifier: all combined in one portable, and affordable, package. Runs any Android app: web browsing, email, games and education software. Plus, load standardized plug-ins for enhanced RF functions.


● Quad-core ARM A53 processor @ 1.2 GHz
● Android 5+/6+/Remix
● 1 GB RAM
● 7" TFT (1024 x 600)
● 5 point Capacitive touch panel
● 5 Watt Stereo Audio
● High capacity Li-poly battery
● HDMI output
● USB OTG Connector
● WiFi/Bluetooth
● Optional Camera
● SD Slot

Features  :

Built-in RF tuner:
● High sensitivity
● Low noise
● Wideband : (100KHz to 2 GHz)
● Balanced tuned ferrite antenna (MW)
● Built-in Whip
● Jack for external antenna

● Demodulation software for AM, FM, Digital and SSB
● Open source software Radio libraries
● WiFi hotspot – Share RF broadcast and files.


External function buttons:
Volume+, Volume-, Tune+, Tune -, Set.
Top mounted for easy access even with cover in place.
Built in microphone.
External jack for earphone/microphone
Power: +5 VDC,
World-wide adapters available

Receiver has been developed by PantronX, Inc, Panama , web :

Monday, August 22, 2016

Radio Free Asia commemorates 20 years of broadcasting in Sept' 2016

Radio Free Asia (RFA) announces its 20th anniversary QSL. Bringing free press to closed societies, RFA's first broadcast was in Mandarin on September 29, 1996 at 2100 UTC. 

RFA is a private, nonprofit corporation broadcasting news and information to listeners in Asian countries where full, accurate, and timely news reports are unavailable. Acting as a substitute for indigenous free media, RFA concentrates coverage on events occurring in and/or affecting Burma, Cambodia, Laos, North Korea, the People's Republic of China, and Vietnam. RFA does not express editorial opinions but provides news, analysis, commentary, and cultural programming in the languages of the country of broadcast. 

This design is RFA's 62nd QSL and is used to confirm all valid reception reports from September – December 2016.

Created by Congress in 1994 and incorporated in 1996, RFA broadcasts in Burmese, Cantonese, Khmer, Korean to North Korea, Lao, Mandarin (including the Wu dialect), Vietnamese, Tibetan (Uke, Amdo, and Kham), and Uyghur. RFA strives for accuracy, balance, and fairness in its editorial content. As a 'surrogate' broadcaster, RFA provides news and commentary specific to each of its target countries, acting as the free press these countries lack. RFA broadcasts only in local languages and dialects, and most of its broadcasts comprise news of specific local interest. 

More information about Radio Free Asia, including our current broadcast frequency schedule, is available at

RFA encourages listeners to submit reception reports. Reception reports are valuable to RFA as they help us evaluate the signal strength and quality of our transmissions. RFA confirms all accurate reception reports by mailing a QSL card to the listener. RFA welcomes all reception report submissions at (follow the QSL REPORTS link) not only from DX'ers, but also from its general listening audience 

Reception reports are also accepted by email at and by mail to:

Reception Reports
Radio Free Asia
2025 M. Street NW, Suite 300
Washington DC 20036
United States of America.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Special DRM transmission celebrating 50th Anniversary of SW broadcast from Ascension Island

Special DRM transmission from Ascension Island – Sunday 28th August 2016

DRM will be part of a big anniversary on a small island in the Atlantic Ocean. On 28th of August at 1155 GMT Babcock International will ensure a special BBC digital transmission from the BBC Atlantic Relay station on 21715 kHz, marking the fiftieth anniversary of the BBC's first short-wave radio broadcast from Ascension Island.

Since 1966, the Atlantic Relay station has broadcast BBC World Service programmes to Africa and South America, and to this day, continues to broadcast over 250 programme hours every week to East and West Africa in English, French, Hausa and Somali.

The two hour-transmission will start with the old, special sound of Bow Church Bell in east London, the sound of which, even if in DRM this time,  will remind older listeners of the BBC broadcasts of many decades ago. The 2-hour transmission will be the regular BBC programmes for West and South Africa and will end at 1400.

This special transmission  will be sent with greetings from Ascension Island's BBC and Babcock International staff and visitors, who will be celebrating half a century  of sterling broadcasting on August 28th.

(Ruxandra Obreja, Digital Radio Mondiale Consortium Chairman)

Related :

Listeners Want Choice, Possibilities

Aug 17
Ruxandra Obreja

When digital radio was launched  — in some cases before the internet took a foothold — its main selling point was excellent digital audio quality. Today however, it is the combination of services digital radio offers that makes it attractive to consumers.

Digital radio has had trouble catching the listeners' imagination or make large enough strides to meaningfully replace analog. The reasons are many. These include no digital dividend, increased costs during the simulcast (analog-digital) transition period and, sometimes simply resistance to the multiplex option.

Full story at :

AIR to launch Akashvani Maitree on 23rd August

New Delhi, Aug 17: Shri M Venkaiah Naidu, Minister for Information and Broadcasting said that information dissemination is critical to counter terrorism which is a common issue plaguing both India and Bangladesh.

Shri Naidu conveyed to his Bangladesh counterpart that AIR would be launching an exclusive service for Bangladesh and Bengali diaspora titled "Akashvani Maitree" on 23rd August 2016. The Hon'ble President of India would be launching the channel which would act as a bridge of amity between the two countries. 

Full story at :

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

New RTL-SDR Blog dongle - HF via direct sampling, software switchable bias tee

New RTL-SDR Blog dongles with HF via direct sampling are now available for order, here is the short version of the biggest changes :

1) HF support via direct sampling. Connect an HF antenna directly to the SMA connector and tune from 500 kHz – 24 MHz with the direct sampling mod. (No hardware modding or soldering required)

2) Lower internal noise. Less spurs, lower noise floor etc.

3) Software switchable bias tee. No need to do any soldering to enable the bias tee. Can be turned on and off in software.

Order online at :

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

BBC Burmese programmes to run on Myanmar Radio

For the first time ever, BBC Burmese radio programmes will be rebroadcast by Myanmar's state broadcaster, Myanmar Athan (Myanmar Radio) expanding the BBC Burmese service's footprint in Myanmar further.

Three programmes - the BBC Burmese youth show Mobigeno, the technology and digital innovations programme Cool Tech, and the programme introducing innovative farming methods, San Thit Tehtwin Lai Myay Ta Kwin, are now part of the Myanmar Athan programming aired on FM, medium- and shortwave.

Collaboration with Myanmar Athan further expands BBC Burmese availability in Myanmar. BBC Burmese is currently broadcast through major local broadcasters, on TV and radio. Its audio news bulletins are available on mobile phones in the country.

BBC Burmese Editor, Tin Htar Swe, commented: "Our collaboration with Myanmar Athan means that now, for the first time for BBC Burmese in Myanmar, our content will be available via a state broadcaster. In addition to medium- and shortwave availability, airing these programmes on FM will help us capture a new radio audience which will include a lot of young people who listen to FM on their mobile phones. This is great news for the BBC in Myanmar, further reinforcing our multiplatform presence in Myanmar."

MRTV Director-General, U Myint Htwe, said: "In such a good time of openness, Myanmar Athan will be carrying BBC content for the first time, and I am really proud of it. By adding the BBC's high-quality radio programmes to the schedule of Myanmar Athan, we are further diversifying our radio offer. I am looking forward to continuing MRTV's cooperation with the BBC."

The BBC Burmese 10-minute bi-weekly programmes will be re-broadcast by Myanmar Athan and repeated the following week at these times:

Mobigeno (Mobile Generation) – 15.15 Myanmar Time on Monday
Cool Tech – 14.20 on Tuesday
San Thit Tethwin Lai Myay Ta Kwin (Innovative Methods of Farming) – 11.45 on Thursday

The BBC Burmese radio programming is broadcast from London on shortwave and on Asiasat5 satellite television channel and streamed online via In addition to availability on MNTV, BBC Burmese TV news bulletins are streamed live on the website at 20.45 local time (14.15 GMT) Monday to Friday. The BBC Burmese Facebook page has around 6.5 million fans while the BBC Burmese channel on Viber has around 200,000 followers (August 2016). BBC Burmese also connects with its audiences on Twitter.

BBC Burmese is part of BBC World Service.

(BBC Press Release)

Monday, August 08, 2016

New Band Plan Plugin for SDRSharp

New Band Plan plugin released in SDR# r1451. You are all invited to enhance the Band Plan database (BandPlan.xml). The plugin also reconfigures the settings depending on the band.

Here's what it looks like:

Download SDR# r1451 at :

(sdrsharp at via SDRSharp list)

Sunday, August 07, 2016

The last letter-writer of Jhumri Telaiya

Paramita Ghosh, Hindustan Times

Every town has a story it says well. Jhumri Telaiya in Jharkhand has three of them. One of them is about a man who 'lived' inside a radio. The other is about the man who pulled him out, and made him famous. The third story is the one I am just about to tell.

Low-key launch likely for Akashvani Maitree

In sharp contrast to the hype generated two months ago, the launch of Akashvani Maitree, AIR's cross-border Bangla service, on August 23, will be a low-key affair, with just an address by President Pranab Mukherjee in Bangla. The service will be broadcast in India and Bangladesh on 594 KHz.

80 years of All India Radio : Legends and milestones

Paramita Ghosh, Hindustan Times
How did AIR get its name? The answer lies in what Lionel Fielden, the first Controller of Broadcasting said to Viceroy Linlithgow after a banquet. The name, Indian State Broadcasting Service (begun on an experimental basis for two years in 1930), suggested Fielden, was rather bureaucratic. The Viceroy, rising to the bait, agreed it was a mouthful. "All India Radio," mumbled the Viceroy after serious prompting by the broadcaster. "The very thing!" exclaimed Fielden, "and what beautiful initials!"

AIR was born on June 8, 1936. Urdu humourist Sir Syed Ahmed Shah Bokhari (before the formation of Pakistan in 1947) was the first director general. PC Chowdhuri was independent India's first DG.

Monday, August 01, 2016

The Evolution of Shortwave Radio by James Careless

by James Careless

With the advent of radio in the 20th century, the shortwave band (1710–30,000 kHz) soon became a hotbed of long-distance radio broadcasting. Used primarily by state-run international broadcasters, plus ham radio operators and ship-to-shore radio communications, the shortwave band was prized due to its astoundingly broad reach.

Full story at :

AIR Aizawl's golden jubilee celebration

Press Trust of India
July 29, 2016

Golden jubilee celebrations of All India Radio (AIR) Aizawl Station began here this morning with state Health Minister Lal Thanzara flagging off a walkathon from the AIR station.

The walkathon was flagged off after Lal Thanzara handed over Rs 1.4 lakh donation to the Director of the MizoramState Cancer Institute. 

AIR Aizawl station was established on July 31, 1966 during the height of insurgency triggered by the erstwhile underground Mizo National Front (MNF) declaring independence from the Indian union on March one, 1966.

Full story at :

Monday, July 25, 2016

NXP honcho Sanjay Gupta bets big on DRM technology

Why self-driving cars no longer a fantasy; NXP honcho Sanjay Gupta explains


What are the broad focus of activities for NXP Semiconductors in India?

India is definitely a growing market and we have a strong presence here. We have a clear focus of being leaders in security, connectivity and processing. Very recently, we achieved live reception of Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) services for vehicles in India. Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) is a service which helps to boost AM audio quality so as to provide individuals with enhanced radio quality. We designed a chipset module that is capable of handling three digital standard signals on a single platform. DRM module so developed will not only help to improve radio quality over AM channels but also provide users with utilities like updates pertaining to real time traffic scenarios, news and natural disaster warnings. In terms of business, India is a significant centre.