Medium Wave: Ex oriente DX

972_splined

This is a representation of what you hear in about 30 minutes on 972 kHz. It shows the entangled changement of three stations. Yes, Medium Wave is a quite different animal, compared to short wave: You may listen to a station in excellent quality for some ten seconds, and then it may disappear for minute, hours, days or even years …

Medium wave saison has started, and am I trying to make the best out of it. Conditions are fascinating different from day to day. With mainly focusing on “East of Suez”, with some other in between, please find some audio logs below. I am very much indebted to Christoph, OE2CRM, who with his very special mixture of charme and nuisance more or less forced me to explore a bit more of this frequency range 😉 First of all, I was and still am attracted by his outstanding logs which had been held impossible in Mid-Europe in the last decades.
I am using an Elad FDM-S2 at a wire loop of 20 m circumference with Wellbrook’s Large Aperture Loop Amplifier ALA100LN plus 7th order elliptic low-pass filter (1,5 MHz) by Heros to avoid any spilling over from HF (mainly that of: Radio Romania International); software used V3 from Simon Brown.

BEL3_Fishery_FRS_1143kHz

Part of the QSL from “Fishery Radio Station” (Taiwan Chü Yuyeh Kuangpo Tientai), BEL3, 100 kW, 1143 kHz, received September 25, 2017, 19:00 UTC. 謝謝, Station Manager Jin Mey Ju!

1700 kHz USA-Florida  WJCC Radio Mega in French, Miami Springs, 10 kW, 10-OCT-2017, 02:00 UTC.  Several IDs (e.g. in French) of this multi-cultural broadcaster.

 

1584 kHz G  Punjab Radio, in Hindi/English, London, 2 kW, 15-AUG-2017, 20:00 UTC. ID.

 

1566 kHz KOR  HLAZ FEBC in Korean, Jeju, 250 kW, 26-SEP-2017, 17:00 UTC

 

1566 kHz HOL  Vahon Hindustani Radio in Hindi, Den Haag, 1 kW, 23-AUG-2017, 22:00 UTC. ID in Hindi.

 

1557 kHz TWN  RTI iLoveMusic in Chinese, Kouhu, 300 kW, 20-SEP-2017, 16:55 UTC.

 

1550 kHz ALG  Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic National Radio in Arabic, Tindouf, 50 kW, 27-SEP-2017, 21:01 UTC. ID: “RASD punto [?] info …” & in Arabic

 

1540 kHz USA-Iowa  KXEL in English, Waterloo, 50 kW, 10-OCT-2017, 02:00 UTC. ID: “The Voice of eastern Iowa, news talk 15-40, KXEL, Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids …”

 

1521 kHz CHN  CRI Radio Kitaja, in Russian, Ürümqi, 500 kW, 23-AUG-2017, 18:00 UTC.

 

1521 kHz G  Radio Punj, in Hindi, Coventry, 0,04 kW, 04-SEP-2017, 23:00 UTC. ID.

 

1494 kHz CHN  Xinjiang RGD 738 in Chinese, 19-SEP-2017, 00:00 UTC.

 

1476,3 kHz IRN  IRIB Radio Kordestan in Kurdish, Marivan, 20 kW, 26-SEP-2017, 20:30 UTC. Local ID.

 

1467,4 kHz IRN  IRIB Radio Qom in Farsi, Qom, 100 kW, 21-SEP-2017, 23:02 UTC. Local ID: “Inja Radio Qom.”

 

1395 kHz HOL  Studio Denakker in Dutch, Klazienaveen, 0,1 kW, 06-SEP-2017, 20:41 UTC. ID, which is transmitted quite rarely.

 

1395 kHz HOL  Loostad Radio in Dutch, Apeldoorn, 0,1 kW, 15-OCT-2017, 23:00 UTC. ID.

 

1377 kHz CHN  CNR 1 Xingyang in Chinese, Xingyang, 600 kW, 24-SEP-2017, 20:28 UTC.

 

1278 kHz IRN  IRIB Radio Kermanshah in Farsi, Kermanshah, 10 kW, 16-OCT-2017, 02:05 UTC. Local ID.

 

1323 kHz ROU  Radio Neumarkt in German, Targu-Mures, 15 kW, 25-SEP-2017, 18:00 UTC. Local ID: “Hier ist Radio Neumarkt mit dem Programm in deutscher Sprache.”

 

1296 kHz AFG  Radio Ashna in Pashtu, Kabul, 400 kW, 25-SEP-2017, 17:00 UTC. ID.

 

1278 kHz IRN  IRIB Radio Kermanshah in Farsi, Azarshahr, 200 kW, 19-SEP-2017, 19:21 UTC. Local ID.

 

1269 kHz UAE  Radio Asia in Malay/English, Ras-al-Khaimah, 200 kW, 19-SEP-2017, 18:00 UTC. Jingle-ID.

 

1188 kHz IRN  IRIB Radio Payam in Farsi, Tehran, 300 kW, 06-JUL-2017, 20:30 UTC. ID: “Radio Payam” (which is not a location, but a format, meaning “message” with music, traffic and news).

 

1143 kHz TWN  BEL3 Taiwan Chü Yuyeh Kwangpo Tientai [Taiwan Fishery Radio] in Chinese, Baisha, 100 kW, 25-SEP-2017, 19:00 UTC. Jingle (steel drums?) & ID.

 

1143 kHz KOR  Radio Free Korea in Korean, Deogyan-gu, 100 kW, 21-SEP-2017, 18:00 UTC. A good example of changing conditions, this day Korea prevailing, and Taiwan in the background.

 

1098 kHz TWN  BED97 Radio Taiwan International in Chinese, Kouhu, 300 kW, 11-OCT-2017, 17:00 UTC. Time signal & ID “… Taiwan …”

 

1026 kHz IRN  IRIB Radio Tabriz in Farsi, Bakhtaran, 200 kW, 26-SEP-2017, 17:30 UTC. Advertisement for cosmetics of http://www.mybeautycare.ir, ID: “Inja Tabriz ast, Shabakeh Ostaniye.”

 

972 kHz KOR  HLCA KBS Hanminjong Bangsong 1 in Korean, Dangjin, 750/1500 kW, 21-SEP-2017, 17:30 UTC & 18:00 UTC. ID in Korean, plus “K-B-S”, Spotnick-like jingle.

 

963 kHz TUN  RTT Tunis in French, Tunis, 100 kW, 19-SEP-2017, 19:21 UTC. ID in English, Italian, Spanish and German.

 

936 kHz IRN  IRIB Radio Markaze Azerbaijaneh Gharb in Azerbaijan?, Fesanduz, 300 kW, 16-OCT-2017, 16:23 UTC, no specific ID, but mentioning “Iran” in the end of the audio clip.

 

927 kHz IRN  IRIB Radio Lorestan in Farsi, Dorud, 10 kW, 16-OCT-2017, 16:31 UTC. ID: “Inja … Radio Lorestan”.

 

918 kHz IND  All India Radio North Suratgarh in Hindi/English, Lucknow, 300 kW, 21-SEP-2017, 17:30 UTC.

 

917 kHz NIG  Radio GOTEL Yola in Vernaculars/Haussa/English, Jabura, 50 kW, 15/16-OCT-2017, 21:58 UTC ID, 22:27 UTC promo-ID “Radio GOTEL”, 04:00 UTC signing on.

 

891 kHz CHN  Ningxia RGD News Radio in Chinese/English, Yinchuan, 200 kW, 15-OCT-2017, 22:00 UTC, ID “Ningxia xinwen kwangpo … Ningxia xinwen kwangpo … News Radio”.

 

891 kHz THA  Sor. Wor. Thor, Sathaanii Witthayu Krajaisiang Haeng Prathet Thai
Khruengkhai Thii Neung (Radio Thailand, First Network)
in Thai, Nong Khae, 1000 kW, 16-OCT-2017, picks from 16:00 (time signal) to 16:55 UTC.

 

864 kHz ARM  TWR Bütün Dunya Radio in Turkmen, Gavar, 1000 kW, 16-OCT-2017, 16:10 UTC, ID.

 

837 kHz IRN  IRIB Radio Esfahan in Farsi, Esfahan, 400 kW, 15-OCT-2017, 17:30 UTC, IS & ID.

 

819 kHz IRN  IRIB Radio Mazandaran in Farsi, Sari, 30 kW, 15-OCT-2017, 17:30 UTC, IS & ID.

 

819 kHz EGY  ERTU Al-Barnameg al-Aam Al-Qahira in Arabic, Batrah, 1000 kW, 17-OCT-2017, 03:00 UTC, chimes.

 

783 kHz SYR  SRTV 1 Radio Damashq in German, Tartus, 300 kW, 21-SEP-2017, 18:00 UTC. ID “… Radio Damaskus, die Nachrichten … das waren, liebe Hörer, die heutigen Nachrichten von Radio Damaskus. Es folgt nun der politische Kommentar”.

 

747 kHz IND  All India Radio Lucknow in Hindi/English, Surathgarh, 300 kW, 21-SEP-2017, 17:30 UTC.

 

702 kHz IRN  IRIB Tolishi Radio in Talysh, Kiashahr, 500 kW, 26-SEP-2017, 17:30 UTC. Talysh is a Northwestern Iranian Language of about 750.000 speakers in Iran and neighbouring Azerbaidjan. “Love’s Rainfall” by Nasser Cheshmazar, ID “Tolishi Radio”, National Anthem. See also: http://www.Taleshi.irib.ir

 

675 kHz QAT  Qatar Media Corporation in Arabic, Al Arish, 600 kW, 15-OCT-2017, 17:00 UTC, ID, “… Doha”

 

612 kHz RUS  Radio Radonezh in Russian, Moscow/Kurkino, 20 kW, 10-OCT-2017, 17:00 UTC. ID in Russian.

 

594 kHz ARS  SBC Riyadh in Arabic, Duba, 2000 kW, 27-SEP-2017, 03:00 UTC. ID in Arabic.

 

585 kHz IRN  IRIB Radio Farhang in Farsi, Tehran, 600 kW, 15-OCT-2017, 17:30 UTC,IS & ID [at 00:46].

 

558 kHz IRN  IRIB Radio Iran in Farsi, Tehran, 600 kW, 15-OCT-2017, 17:30 UTC, IS & ID.

 

 

 

 

GRAVES: Reflections out of the blue

A GRAVES reflection from a meteor trail, August 21st, 2017 at 10:51 UTC. Received with FDM-S2 from Elad, a discone antenna and software V3 from Simon Brown

Undoubtly, a Graves is a fine French wine from the Bordeaux region in western France. So it is so surprise that also GRAVES is an extraordinary Radar station. It was built to detect and follow satellites and their debris. They sequentially cover from 90° to 270° azimut in five big sectors A to D, and change from sector to sector each 19,2 seconds. Each of this sector is further divided into 6 segments of 7,5° width, covered for 3,2 seconds each.

They are transmitting on 143,050 MHz. If you are in Europe and tune into 143.049,0 kHz USB, you probably will hear/see some reflections of meteors, airplanes and even spacecraft. The distance between the transmitter and my location is about 630 km, and for their southly directed transmissions, there most of the time is no direct reception.

So, if you tune into 143.049,0 kHz, you will see just a blue spectrogram: noise. If you wait for a while, some signals will appear out of this blue; see screenshot on the top. With Simon Brown’s free software Version 3 you may also take a level diagram in smallest time steps of just 50 milliseconds:

A level diagram of the meteor trail reflection from the spectrogram at the top, visualized qith QtiPlot.

This level diagram shows the big advantage of SDRs, working on the signals on HF level, rather than of audio level as with legacy radios. The latter additionally introduce e.g. noise and phase errors. Of course, you may also listen to this signal:

From this audio, in turn, you may do an audio spectrogram, possibly revealing further details of e.g. of the trilling sound like that from a ricocheting bullet: The Searchers (the 1956’er Western film by John Ford, not the British boy group from 1960 …) on VHF.

Audio spectrogram of the sound, revealing “packets” of sound which result in the trilling audio. At start, these packet show a width of about 42 milliseconds to be reduced to 37 milliseconds.

P.S. If you want to donate: my favourite Graves is from Domaine de Chevalier, blanc …

2,5+ million of Field Strength Data from ITU

Tehran-Norddeich_1983-1989_15K1MHz_3D1

Seven years of hourly field strength data of a transmitter in Tehran/Iran, received at Norddeich/Northern Germany. You clearly see the influence of time, day, season and solar activity.

 

The International Telecommunications Union recently published many information for free, which had been locked for years behind an often impressive cash house or had been available just for a few blessed.

Among these information is a bonanza of 2,5+ million of normalized field strength data from the years 1969 to 1993. This time covers two solar cycles and by far doesn’t provide insights of only historical interest: You e.g. may visualize some circuits to see the influence of day, time and solar activity at a glance. And you may use this data to analyze some dependence between field strength and solar/geomagnetic activity.

As these data so far hasn’t attracted any interest of ham radio magazines, we are just at the beginning to make use of it. Join in!

The diagram at the top has been made with QtiPlot software. The same software has been used to visualize solar and geomagnetic WDC data, obtained from GFZ Potsdam – see diagram at the bottom.

Kp_vs-Flux_2

Solar flux (F10,7) vs. geomagnetic activity (Kp index), 1969-1993.

 

SDR-Transceiver-Netz des DARC e.V.?

Weiter gibt es Ungereimtheiten beim seit einigen Jahren groß angekündigten Remote-Transceiver-Netz des DARC e.V., das seine Fördermitglieder schon mit jeder Menge Geld vorfinanziert haben. Offenbar wird es nur von zwei Personen getragen, wobei man für die komplette Software sogar auf ein Nicht-Mitglied des “Bundesverbandes für den Amateurfunkdienst” zurückgreifen musste – der somit einem Kreis entstammt, der das Netz nach dem Willen des Vorstandes nicht einmal wird nutzen dürfen …

Den Stand der Dinge habe ich nach öffentlich zugänglichen Informationen in der Juli-Ausgabe der Fachzeitschrift “Funktelegramm” zusammengefasst. DARC-Noch-Mitglied DL7AG hat diesen Text mit Erlaubnis von Joachim Kraft, Herausgeber und Chefredakteur des “Funktelegramm”, auf seine Website gestellt.

Wie inzwischen weiter bekannt wurde, hat allein das DARC-Mitglied des Entwickler-Duos, Helmut Goebkes, für das Projekt 25.382,70 Euro erhalten. Der Auftrag wurde ihm freihändig und ohne Ausschreibung vom DARC-Vorstand zugeschoben. Der Software-Entwickler Stefan Görg – kein DARC-Mitglied – ging hingegen leer aus. Er hatte auch niemals Geld verlangt.

Überdies nehmen die Ungereimtheiten innerhalb des DARC darüber zu, wer dieses Netz eines Tages überhaupt wird benutzen dürfen: nur DARC-Mitglieder oder jeder Funkamateur? Der DARC-Vorstand möchte es exklusiv seinen zahlenden Mitgliedern zur Verfügung stellen – wobei der Zutritt zum Verein nicht diskriminierungsfrei ist. Viele andere Funkamateure – darunter sogar Betreiber des Netzes! – teilen jedoch diese restriktive Sicht des DARC-Vorstandes nicht und setzen sich für einen wahren Ham Spirit ein: „Die Ausbreitungsbedingungen sowie die eigene Aussendung können mit der neuen Technologie von Funkamateuren aus der ganzen Welt beobachtet werden. Die intensive, ja wissenschaftliche Auseinandersetzung mit einem großen Frequenzspektrum ist damit jedermann möglich“, heißt es etwa von den Betreibern aus Bad Honnef, die sich im Gegensatz zu ihrem Vereinsvorstand ein für alle Funkamateure weltweit offenes System wünschen.

Noch aber ist es nicht so weit. Denn, so Hardware-Mann Helmut Goebkes: “Der Aufbau der Infrastruktur eines solchen Vorhabens erfordert schon noch ein bisserl mehr als nur irgendwo eine Hardware ins Netz zu stellen.”

Beispielsweise erfordert es eine Klärung der amateurfunk-genehmlichen Rechtslage, die der DARC auch im vierten Projektjahr immer noch nicht erreichen konnte. Der erhoffte sich übrigens für seinen Verlagsableger ein Geschäft mit der Hardware und warb mit großer Tröte dafür, dass die Transceiver über die DARC GmbH beziehbar sein werden. Auch das hat sich trotz vollmundiger Ankündigungen noch nicht materialisiert.

Haken soll die Inbetriebnahme des Transceiver-Netzes zudem noch daran, so DARC-Mann Goebkes, dass “entsprechende sendefähige Breitbandantennen (!) am Aufstellort vorhanden sein” müssten. Aber nur schwer vorstellbar, dass dem nach einer langen Bewerbungsphase für die 15, 18 oder 19 Standorte nicht ist. Denn, so der DARC, diese mussten sich ja in einem Bewerbungsverfahren unter den mehr als 1.000 Ortsvereinen “durchsetzen”. Und selbstverständlich wird eine der Bedingungen für den ersehnten Zuschlag gewesen sein, für die entsprechende Infrastruktur zu sorgen – wie sie im übrigen schon an vielen Standorten vorhanden ist.

 

SDR Console V3: Signal History and six RX Panes!

KPL

NEW: The Receivers’ Pane on top covers spectrum and spectrogram of up to six demodulators – look at different modes and bandwidths. Also new: “Signal History” at the bottom.

Simon Brown, G4ELI, has further developed his software SDR Console which has become THE platform for a real bunch of very different SDRs. The new public preview has two more exciting features:

  • “Signal History” takes the signal strength of the given bandwidth each 50 milliseconds, which can be saved in a CSV file. It is also shown in three different speeds on a display.
  • “Receivers’ Pane” shows up to six combos of spectrum/spectrogram of the complete up to 24 parallel demodulators (they additionally can be shown in the Matrix, as in former versions).

See screenshot on at the top.

“Signal History” offers many applications, to name just three:

  • analyze fading and its structure with an unsurpassed time resolution of 50 ms
  • document fade-in and fade out
  • measure signal-to-noise ratio of signals

As an First Aid, I have written a PDF of 19 pages with 36 instructive Figures. There you find a step-by-step introduction plus numerous example on how to use this valuable tool in practice. Please download it here. (Another tab opens, where you have to double-click “SDR_COM_Marker” to start download.)

Surely, I will come back to these most welcomed features in more detail. For now only some screenshot examples regarding “Signal History”, which have been realized by analyzing the CSV files with QtiPlot:

With some statistics applied on the CSV file of Signal History, you’ll get a deep inisght into fading structures. Top: original data (black), averaged (yellow), median (read line). Bottom: box diagram, histogram, 3D-band. See following screenshots for some examples.

 

… and this is just the beginning! [Receiver: Elad FDM-S2 & AirSpy with SpyVerter]

Murmansk FAX: 6.328,5 kHz, new Frequency

Murmansk_6328k5_120_576_1kShift_20170609_0450

Tune into 6330,4 kHz LSB, to get the right black/white frequencies, centered at 1.900 Hz. Shift 1.000 Hz, so 1.400 Hz = white, 2.400 Hz = black. 120 RPM/576 IOC, no APT! Received on June 9th, 2017, at 04:50 UTC.

Reports of the death of Murmansk FAX had been slightly exaggerated … After having searched for it in vain in 1Q/17, it now popped up on 6.328,5 kHz from former 6.445,5 kHz with an irregular schedule, namely at 03:30 UTC at one day and 04:50 UTC another day.

Just fair quality of both, conditions and transmitter, made it very difficult  to read the text in the upper part of this weather chart in Cyrillic, with just: Прогноз … 21 час [Prognosis … 21 hour …]. Receiver AirSPy & SpyVerter, decoder Wavecom W-Code.

Also received on June 1st, 2017, but starting at 03:30 UTC – same area, first half of the transmission heavily distorted by an RTTY signal, see below:

Murmansk_6328k5_120_576_1kShift_20170501_0330

Reception on June 1st, 2017, from 03:30 UTC on 6.328,5 kHz.

Iceberg Prognosis has been received on scheduled 8.444,1 kHz at 20:00 UTC on June 8th, 2017; see below:

8444k1_Murmansk_20170608_2000

Murmansk FAX with Iceberg Prognosis  on 8.444,1 kHz at 20:00 UTC on June 8th, 2017. Cyrillic texts not quite readable. Also received on May, 31st, 2017, same frequency, same time.

Not a trace on/near also listed 7908,8 kHz. It seems that otherwise commendable NOAA publication Worldwide Marine Radiofacsimile Broadcast Schedules is outdated regarding this station.

AirSpy: How to listen to DAB+ Broadcast

It’s pure fun to listen to N-Joy, a North-German broadcaster, in DAB+. This digital mode should replace all classical FM broadcast, and has already done this in some countries where others offer both – like Germany.

DAB+ takes place in former TV bands. Several stations are bundled in a bouqet. In Germany, one usually is in comfortable reach of at least one of these bunches, see footprint on a map, with stations around my location:

map

Footprint of DAB+ broadcasts in Germany. Pin = my location. In the list you see the stations plus the channel (“bouquet”), here 5C omnidirectional from Hannover with 10 kW and 6C, also from Hannover, but pointed to the east, with 8 kW.

As AirSpy is covering also these frequencies with high sensitivity and a decent dynamic range, I gave it a try.

First software used is called Welle (English: wave) by a team around Albrecht Lohofener. I use it on a PC/W10. It’s easy to install, and then start it by the usual double-click. An MS-DOS windows opens, starting a routine for searching and opening the AirsSpy connected to your PC. This window informs you on all steps the software is doing.

Then the graphical user interface starts. First you have to scan the bands: click “Sendersuchlauf -> Start” (the software detects on what country code your OS is running and switches automatically to e.g. English), see screenshot:

Welle

The scan is running, 13 stations have been found so far. With expert mode (“Expertenmodus”) activated, you see the spectrum of the frequncy set being scanned.

From the spectrum (right), you might see if HF gain ius ok, or that you should go from automatic (“Auto HF-Verstärkung”) to manual gain control (“Manuelle Versätrkung”) to either imporve sensitivity or to avoid distortion due to strong transmitters nearby. With me, “Auto” drives fine.

After finishing the scan, “Welle”  comes down with the bouquets in reach:

Sputnik

Just click your station from the list on the left, and the station will be heard. Many of them provice additonal information, as here MDR Sputnik with weather. On the right you again see the spectrum of the whole bouquet (6B, 183,648 MHz) plus additional information an the quality.

Secondly, a more technical approach is offered by Jan van Katwijk with also free Qt-DAB. I also use it on my PC/W10. After downloading the suite, containing also other intersting software, just start “qt-dab-0.999”. An MS-DOS windows opens, followed after some seconds by the GUI. Here you have to define the receiver from a drop-down list, choose the boquet (5C, in this case), and scanning serves you the stations’ list. You may have up to five different windows open – from the MS-DOS window to more detailed technical data, including a QPSK phase window, right from the spectrum.

QT_2

Qt-DAB presents you with up to five windows: MS-DOS on top; gain control main window and technical data below, and spectrum plus QPSK phase constellation at the bottom. “Klassik Radio” on 173,352 MHz playing Bach: “What God does that is done well”. Not to talk of what the authors of the DAB software had done …

Thanks to both, Albrecht and Jan, to have developed this fine piece to software, free of charge!

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