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TRANSCRIPT DX EXTRA NO.33  03/10/15

From Hobart, Tasmania, Australia - welcome to the DX Extra. It’s a show about the shortwave and radio hobby featuring news, reviews, pirate radio and anything in-between. We’re on shortwave and also as audio on demand at the website www dot hriradio dot org

It’s great to have your company for the next thirty minutes as we explore shortwave and radio news:

In show 33 this fortnight:

  • New DRM shortwave radio
  • Radio could kick start North Korea revolution
  • China launches 9 Amateur satellites
  • End of shipping forecast on LW
  • And pirate radio news and logs.

This is the DX Extra shortwave and radio news show on Hobart Radio International.

Our first article is from Radio World entitled “DRM receiver to hit market in October”:

Avion Electronics, a Communication Systems Inc. brand, unveiled the first, ready-to-ship, India-made Digital Radio Mondiale receiver at IBC2015, during an event hosted at the Fraunhofer IIS booth.

According to the disclosed technical specifications, the final version of the AV-DVR-1401 supports DRM in both shortwave and medium-wave bands, analog medium wave as well as analog FM with RDS, and will display images and information on a 3.5-inch TFT color LCD unit.

With a detachable remote control, the receiver supports music and picture playback, as well as DRM radio recording, through the built-in SD card reader. EPG, Journaline (a text-based information service), TPEG/TMC, DRM Emergency Warning and Alert, digital audio output and the xHE-AAC audio codec by Fraunhofer IIS are also included.

“During last year we enhanced both the features and the design of the DRM receiver we pre-launched at the IBC2014, in order to best fit consumer expectations,” said Ankit Agrawal, technical director at Communication Systems Inc.

“The first batch of 2,000 pieces will be delivered in October, and a second batch is expected by the end of 2015. There is a firm commitment from the Indian government toward DRM, and we see a growing interest in both radio stations and consumers.”

Ruxandra Obreja, DRM Consortium chairman, also took part in the event to test the effectiveness of the DRM Emergency Warning and Alert feature in a live DRM broadcasting chain set up at the Fraunhofer IIS booth.

Almost immediately after pressing a red button, the ongoing music program was interrupted, the DRM receiver showed a visible alert message on the display and reproduced the relevant warning message at a higher volume than the original program.

Avion’s AV DVR 1401 DRM receiver is scheduled to go on sale through Amazon India as of October 2015 for $175.

That article was from Radio World.

I'm tempted to buy one! It’s great to have a new more affordable DRM shortwave radio available but there’s still a real lack of accessible DRM radios for purchase in many countries. Until this changes DRM may have a stagnant future.

This next article in from The Guardian entitled “Radio can help kick-start a revolution, North Koreans say”

The DPRK’s announcement that it has relaunched its nuclear weapons complex has raised concerns on the Korean peninsula less than a month after a propaganda war – fought via radio and loudspeakers in the the demilitarised zone – led to emergency talks between North and South Korea.

Many observers now predict that Kim Jong-un’s regime will attempt to launch a satellite with long-range missile technology on [the] 10th  October, the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Workers party.

But as tensions simmer down and the world awaits the outcome of this latest act of nuclear bravado, questions over the transmission of radio news to and from the peninsula – and the threat this poses to the regime – remain pertinent.

The BBC recently announced intentions for a daily news broadcast into the secretive state, where pirate radio has become more prevalent among the population.

Radio has long been a battleground between the two Koreas, with broadcasting and signal-jamming taking place on both sides, while today the stretch of no-mans-land between the countries has been described as one of the busiest for radio waves in the world.

Kim Cheol-su, who was born in Pyongsong City and defected from North Korea last year, says that up to 30-40% of DPRK citizens now listen to pirate radio, and that listening to the broadcasts made him realise the true nature of Kim Jong-un’s dictatorship.

Speaking at a roundtable discussion on the implications of the broadcasts in Seoul – and of the North’s thundering reaction – he said: “Children know that Kim Jong-un weighs more than 100kg. It’s because they are repeating what they hear from their parents, who listen to these foreign programmes.”

He added that the majority of North Korean citizens, desperate for news of the outside world, listen to the propaganda broadcasts which fan the flames of their doubt about the regime. The majority of those who flee to the South do so after hearing the broadcasts, he claimed.

“Before listening to the broadcasts, the citizens have no idea. But after they hear them, they realise the fact that the regime is deceiving people. They share what they have heard with their neighbours and friends.”

Kim also highlighted the fact that he heard about the Arab Spring movement through the broadcasts, and learned of the death of Libya’s former president, Muammar Gaddafi. “If the UN were to guarantee for us, as they did for Libya, help in opposing the regime, I believe that we would revolt as well,” he said.

Kim said lot of people listen to Radio Free Asia, as it comes in the clearest. “Personally, there were some programmes I liked on Open Radio for North Korea, so I used to tune in to those as well. However, short, one-hour programs were easy to miss. They were often finished by the time I found the frequency they were on.”

As for the contents of the broadcasts, Kim said having defectors talk freely about their lives was the best approach, and that programmes should include information on how to defect, offering examples of the kind of support and policies that exist for defectors in the South.

Lee added that the likelihood that North Korean traditions and values could change in response to their exposure to the broadcasts was “quite high”. “Social and systemic change are connected to this change in consciousness, and so this is the role that the broadcasts targeting North Korean residents should play.”

That article was from The Guardian.

Our next article is from the ARRL entitled “China successfully Launches Nine Amateur Radio Satellites”:

09/20/2015

After being postponed several times, nine Chinese satellites carrying Amateur Radio payloads were launched on September 19 at 2300 UTC, separating from the Long March launch vehicle about 15 minutes later. China Amateur Satellite Group CAMSAT CEO Alan Kung, BA1DU, has said that four of the microsatellites and two of the CubeSats included in the launch have been designated as XW-2A through XW-2F. The other three satellites — a CubeSat, a nanosatellite, and a picosatellite — carry the designations CAS-3G, CAS-3H (LilacSat-2), and CAS-3I (NUDT-Phone-Sat), respectively. All of the new satellites have downlinks on 2 meters and uplinks on 70 centimeters. Satellite enthusiasts have been enjoying the sudden surfeit of spacecraft to work.

“So many signals, so little time,” was the observation on the AMSAT-BB from Alan Biddle, WA4SCA, who lives just south of Nashville.

“Very good copy on CAS-3 CW beacons on [XW-2] A, B, C, D, E, F. Strong!” Clayton Coleman, W5PFG, reported from Texas. Not long after launch time, W5PFG and fellow Texan Glenn Miller, AA5PK, worked each other via CAS-3F. He reported the CW beacons were strong on all of the CAMSAT satellites. The CW beacons carry individual call signs for the satellites as well as telemetry in the form of three-character text groups and the word “CAMSAT.”

"CAMSAT will release decoding documents for CW beacon and telemetry very soon," said Kung.

[...]

 The satellites also have been heard in Europe. “Good signals from CAS3-F at 0700 UTC,” reported David Bowman, G0MRF, who was at the Rugby World Cup special event station GB0RWC. He reported contacts with SP5ULN and F1AFZ.

The XW-2 satellites also have been heard in South America and in Southeast Asia. “I received CW beacon from XW-2 during 1108 UTC pass, including CAS-3A, CAS-3B, CAS-3C, and CAS-3D, maximum elevation 72° over Bangkok, Thailand,” Karn Suwanrat, E20ZFD/AA1AF reported on September 20. He has posted a YouTube video.

“Wow, impressive to see all six satellites via SDR on a 4° degree pass,” enthused Mark Hammond, N8MH, in North Carolina. “Bravo, CAMSAT and Alan! Congratulations on a wonderful start of mission.”

That article was from the ARRL

Our last article is from the Telegraph entitled “End of Shipping Forecast on long wave radio could leave sailors high and dry”:

It has kept sailors safe on the ocean waves for 90 years, becoming just as much a part of national consciousness as cricket, cups of tea and The Archers.

But the days of hearing the Shipping Forecast out on a boat may be numbered thanks to the demise of long wave technology, a veteran announcer has said.

Peter Jefferson, who read the Shipping Forecast to Radio 4 listeners for 40 years, said the "very old" transmitters which worked on long wave could soon be retired.

If that was to happen, he said, anyone more than 12 miles from the coastline would be unable to hear the shipping forecast on long wave, ending a Radio 4 tradition dating back to 1924.

Speaking at the Radio Times Festival, in Hampton Court, Mr Jefferson said the soothing tones of the Shipping Forecast would then be left to its many fans who choose to listen to it from their homes in lieu of a "sleeping pill".

"Long wave reaches much further than FM, it's as simple as that," he said.

"So FM would be totally useless for shipping beyond 12 miles from land.

"So they will not be able to receive the shipping forecast.

"If long wave is retired, which might be the case, then I don't know what will happen to the shipping forecast."

He added: "The long wave will be retired because it's very old and costs a lot to maintain, I think it's days are numbered now.

"It's a matter of whether they can find another way of transmitting the shipping forecast to reach as far as it needs to."

The future of long wave radio has posed a difficult question for fans of the medium for years, with the technology required to broadcast it now fast falling out of date.

The valves used the the transmission system, based at Droitwich in Worcestershire, are no longer made, with the BBC said to have once bought up the entire stock of 10 in the world in order to make it last as long as possible.

A spokesman for the BBC said they were no firm plans to end long wave broadcasting, and no date set for when the technology could run out.

The service currently reaches as far as south-east Iceland, and is occasionally picked up as far as 3,000 miles away.

The forecast, which airs four times a day, is currently listened to by a large audience on dry land, with the vast majority choosing to tune in for pleasure rather than professional necessity.

"We all like regularity in our lives to some extent, to have a soothing voice talking to you as are about to be overtaken by sleep at the same time, with the same words, it's the pattern of the words," said Mr Jefferson.

"A lot of people find it soothing even if they don't understand what it means."

The long-serving announcer, who retired in 2009, also raised questions over changes in the service, which see it left to a single person to put out.

That article from the Telegraph.  

The radio recording was found here. Thanks to Steeviebop. It was recorded 300km away from Droitwich.

[ID]

[Pirate theme]

We’re in the world of a pirate.

There’s never a dull moment in the pirate world and another busy weekend.

Let’s start with European shortwave logs: All times UTC:

Mon Sept 28

4026 1818 Laser Hot Hits. Jon & Vangelis "Find My Way Home." SINPO 34333.

6205 1813 Laser Hot Hits. Oldies, not parallel 4026. SINPO 34333.

6275 1805 Radio Python. Dire Straits "Money for Nothing." SINPO 54444.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

4026-6.10 Laser Hot Hits Music From The Corrs And Elton John. Fair Signal, But High Noise Level Here On 76 Meters Sinpo 43233

6205-6.35 Laser Hot Hits Via Magic 6205 Or Own Tx?. Music From Billy J Kramer, ELO And The Human League. Strong Signal Sinpo 54444. Faded Out By 7.00 And Back At 8.05.

7300-7.10 Radio U Boat 66 Music From Mr Mister And Frank Zappa. Sinpo 33333

6290-8.10 Radio Lowland Oldies And Talking. Faded Out 10 Minutes Later Sinpo 34333

6265-8.50 Bogusman Indie Music And Chat Including The Men They Couldn't Hang And Pere Ubu. Strong Signal Sinpo 54444

6205-15.30 Laser Hot Hits Ian Lawrence Playing Pop Music Including Boyzone" no matter what". Strong Signal Sinpo 54444

6396-16.55 Radio Joey Dance Music And Ids. Good Signal Sinpo 43444

6285-17.10 Cupid Radio Dance Music Including Real MCCoy And Alice Deejay. Strong Signal Sinpo 54444

6305-17.23 Radio Python Alternative Mix Of Music. Said He Was Closing Down. Sinpo 44433

6305-17.40 Radio Odynn Calling Radio Python. Music From Bobby Fuller" I fought the law". Fair Signal Sinpo 43333

6382-18.15 Radio Joey Music From Middle Of The Road And Men At Work. Saying Good Evening. Sinpo 44434

6325-18.30 Little Feet Radio Music From Hall And Oates. Also Bananarama/ Fun Boy Three And Kajagoogoo. Good Signal Sinpo 43444

6289-18.45 Digital Am Oldies Including The Beach Boys And Percy Sledge. Good Signal, Some Splash From 6295 Sinpo 43443

6260-18.55 Radio Abe Dhabi( presumed) Pop, Dance And Dutch Music Sinpo 54444

6305-19.05 Unid Music From Arthur Brown" fire" And America" horse with no name". Sinpo 43233

Sat Sept 26

4026 1642 Laser Hot Hits. John Cougar Mellencamp "Jack & Diane", then Blondie. SINPO 34333.

6205 1657 Laser Hot Hits. Testing a new frequency. "Gangsters," then "Mama Never Told Me." not parallel with 4026. SINPO 34333.

6210 1825 Radio AC DC. Rock music, SINPO 34333.

6225 1620 Radio Kilohertz. "Locomotion." SINPO 43443.

6255 1720 Radio Tango Italia. Tango music, ID. SINPO 34333.

6265 1635 Radio Casanova. ID, Dutch songs. SINPO 54444.

6280 1810 Radio Lowland. QSL contest promo, "Fool if you think it's over." SINPO 33433.

6305 1702 Radio Telstar. Greetings, oldies. SINPO 54444.

6325 1822 Desperado Radio. Dutch songs. SINPO 44444.

6380 1817 Radio Pandora. Guitar music, chat. SINPO 34333.

6475 1731 Tower Radio. Move from 6470, ID, rock n roll. SINPO 55544.

(via Twente SDR)

European logs via Shortwave DX blog and Irish Paul’s radio blog.

Looking over to North America:

6950 CKUT Shortwave 2340 UTC Sept 28th, 2015

6925 USB Cold Country Canada 0218 UTC 28th Sep 2015

6862 USB Burn It Down Radio 0008 UTC 28th SEPT2 015

Radio True North 6950 AM 0148 UTC 27 Sep 2015

Logs via HF underground forum.

DX Extra is being relayed via the following affiliate stations: World FM 88.2FM in Tawa, near Wellington in New Zealand, on shortwave via Channel 292 6070 19h00UTC Saturdays, WRMI Radio Miami International 9955 and WBCQ Area 51 5110 3h30-4h00UTC Sunday nights in America.

We hope you’ve enjoyed hearing the DX Extra on Hobart Radio International. We're already at the end of the show, to take us out here’s the Trans-Siberian Orchestra with Wizards in Winter. It’s not classical….

Until next time remember shortwave radio is still full of mysteries – keep tuning and keep reporting. Take care and stay safe!

END

Page  DX Extra Shortwave News #30

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