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DRM - Digital Radio Mondiale - Reception in New Zealand
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Fri, 25 Apr 2014 

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DRM™ - Digital Radio Mondiale - Reception in New Zealand

This page documents some of the experimenting I have being doing with reception of digital shortwave broadcasts from my home in Wellington, New Zealand and my holiday cottage in Marahau, Tasman Bay, New Zealand. To date I have been able to receive broadcasts from transmitters located in the Netherlands Antilles, Canada, Portugal, the UK, Luxembourg, Morocco, Sri Lanka, Kuwait, Thailand, The Netherlands, Germany, Russia, China, France, Sweden, Norway, Chile, Austria, Spain, New Zealand, Australia, India, Ecuador, Bulgaria & Romania.

About DRM™

Digital Radio Mondiale, DRM™ for short, is a method of broadcasting on AM radio using digital signals rather than analogue - it's like listening to an audio stream on the Internet, but broadcast on medium or shortwave radio rather than via the net.

In addition to potentially crystal-clear reception, DRM™ signals can also carry multimedia information in addition to the audio signal, or to carry multiple program streams on one signal:


Screen capture of multi-media DRM broadcast
(courtesy Michael Dressen, Germany)


Screen capture of DRM broadcast from DW Sines using multiple streams to carry news in four different languages

DRM™ can also send web pages via shortwave:


VT Merlin test website broadcast images
(courtesy Richard Beales, UK)

Amateur radio operators are also using DRM™:


Screen capture of ham radio DRM test broadcast on 3605 kHz
(courtesy Carsten Knütter in Germany)

Screen capture of 1st HamDream intercontinental QSO
PY4BL - HB9TLK 14255 kHz

More information about ham application of DRM visit the HamDream web site.

I have also experimented with transmitting DRM around my house using the DReaM software, which includes a transmitter option, and a Jackson Harbor LF to HF Converter module which converts the sound card IF output up to the HF range. This has a range of only a couple of meters, but I have been able to transmit data and audio from my own LPFM radio station, WorldFM around the house. You can see some screen shots of weather station data being broadcast here.

You can learn more about DRM™ at these web sites:

The DRM logo is a trade mark of Digital Radio Mondiale Association and is used under license. DRM logo ©DRM Association 1998

My Receiving Setup

I am listening from Tawa, a suburb of Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand. It's a residential area with houses filled with TVs, computers and other noise-generating electronics. My house is no exception!

The receiver I am using is a Yaesu FRG-100/DRM supplied by SAT-Service Schneider in Germany. You can see the range of DRM™ products that they offer on this web page: SAT-Service Schneider DRM page. The FRG-100/DRM is fitted with a 12 kHz IF output and has bandwidth filter changes to receive DRM™ broadcasts. In my receiver I've had the wide AM filter bank used for DRM™ - this results in AM Wide being *really* wide when used for normal AM transmissions.

In December 2004 I also purchased a Digital World Traveller receiver from Coding Technologies. This is a small MW/SW/FM & DRM receiver that is designed for connection to a laptop or PC via USB.

In March 2007 I purchased a Morphy Richards DigitalRadio 27024, primarily for monitoring DAB test transmissions, but it also receives DRM quite well. I wrote a review of this radio for the April 2007 issue of the New Zealand DX Times magazine.

Thanks to RNZI, I have also had the use of a loaned SAT-Service Schneider DRT1 receiver, and a UniWave Di-Wave 100 receiver.

Additions to my DRM-capable receiver collection now include the CDNSE Newstar DR111 stand-alone consumer-grade receiver and the Elad FDM-S1 SDR.

Recently (2010-2013+) most of my DRM monitoring has been done from my holiday cottage at Marahau, Tasman Bay, using an un-modified AOR AR-7030, using the standard IF-out connector to feed into my computer.


Yaesu FRG-100/DRM

UniWave Di-Wave 100
i
Morphy Richards 27024

Digital World Traveller

Elad FDM-S1

DRT1


My own DX setup

My antenna is a 30 metre wire in the garden. This feeds my receiver through a JPS (now Timewave) ANC-4 noise reduction unit to help cut down some of the local noise from my PC (though it appears to make little, if any, difference to DRM reception quality).

I have also fitted SAT-Service Schneider DRM IF modules to my AOR AR-7030 and McKay Dymek DR33C receivers. Both perform well, but overall I find I use the Yaesu most.


SAT-Service Schneider DRM Mixer

I'm running the Dream and "DRM Software Radio" programs on a quad-core Intel i7 computer running 64-bit Windows 7 to decode and listen to the broadcasts.


"DRM Software Radio" Main Screen

Schedules

Current DRM Transmission Schedule

Recent Reception Results

Here are some examples of what I have been able to receive in Tawa, Wellington, and more recently in Marahau, Tasman Bay, New Zealand. Feed of latest logs: 

DRM™ Reception at Tawa, Wellington, and Marahau, Tasman Bay, New Zealand
Date
(year/month/day)
Time
UTC
Frequency
kHz
Broadcast Details Screen/Graph Audio
(ogg)
Solar Indices
SF/SN/A/K
Log File
2013/05/15 08:58 15585 REE Spain, mixed reception. 17.46k EEP AAC+ stereo in Spanish. Ogg 147/142/8/1 view
2013/05/15 04:32 17715 All India Radio, Hindi Service to East Africa. 20.88k AAC+ mono, far too weak for any decoding.   147/142/8/1 view
2013/05/15 04:00 21540 Radio Romania International, Tiganesti SNR E2 transmitter, Chinese service, too poor for any decoding.   147/142/8/1 view
2013/05/12 04:04 17715 All India Radio, Hindi Service to East Africa. 20.88k AAC+ mono, far too weak for any decoding.   135/145/4/2 view
2013/05/12 03:00 15340 Radio Romania International in English to Asia from Galbeni EM2 transmitter. 20.96k EEP AAC+ mono audio. Only fair reception today. Ogg 135/145/4/2 view
2013/05/11 03:00 15340 Radio Romania International in English to Asia from Galbeni EM2 transmitter. 20.96k EEP AAC+ mono audio. Very good reception. Ogg 124/149/5/0 view
2013/05/10 09:14 15585 REE Spain, good signal at first. 17.46k EEP AAC+ stereo in Spanish. Ogg 128/154/5/1 view
2013/05/10 03:00 15340 Radio Romania International in English to Asia from Galbeni EM2 transmitter. 20.96k EEP AAC+ mono audio. Mixed reception. Ogg 128/112/5/1 view
2013/05/07 09:00 15585 REE Spain, excellent signal for the first hour. 17.46k EEP AAC+ stereo in Spanish. Ogg 130/122/8/3 view
2013/05/04 03:35 15340 Radio Romania International in English to Asia from Galbeni EM2 transmitter. 20.96k EEP AAC+ mono audio. Ogg 146/150/6/1 view
2013/03/17 06:29 15896 bit eXpress - 100W German student station. Faint signal, but label decoded.     view
2013/03/16 09:19 5960 Bureau of Meteorology, Australia. Data-only DRM data transmission from Broadmeadows in Victoria. 1kW transmitter, with NVIS antenna system makes this nearly undetectable here, though pops up a bit some days. Appears to carry two dataservices, a Journaline service plus a website broadcast. Advice from across the Tasman says they are actually sending live seismic reports and data.
    view
2013/03/06 09:10 15240 KTWR, Agana, Guam. DRM test beamed to Asia. Second day of testing. Audio better, but signal worse. 14.56k EEP AAC+ mono audio. Ogg   view
2013/03/05 09:10 15240 KTWR, Agana, Guam. DRM test beamed to Asia. Not expected to come in here, but was received suprisingly well. 14.56k EEP AAC+ mono audio. Some problems with audio levels apparent. I also was receiving this on my Newstar DR111 and there is a video of this on YouTube. Ogg   view
2013/02/24 06:56 15896 bit eXpress - 100W German student station. Faint signal, but label decoded.     view
2013/02/21 13:00 15050 All India Radio, Sinhala service, from Khampur transmitter site. 20.88k AAC+ mono audio. Only fair signal today. Ogg   view
2013/02/21 11:06 12080 Radio Australia, Pacific Islands service from Brandon, Queensland. Only 4-5kW DRM power, and high bit rate, so more typical non-reception here.     view
2013/02/09 13:28 15050 All India Radio, Sinhala service, from Khampur transmitter site. 20.88k AAC+ mono audio. Good audio today, though the music always sounds better than the live announcers. Ogg   view
2013/02/09 12:45 5995 Radio Australia, Pacific Islands service from Brandon, Queensland. Only 4-5kW DRM power, and high bit rate, so more typical non-reception here.     view
2013/02/09 11:31 12080 Radio Australia, Pacific Islands service from Brandon, Queensland. Only 4-5kW DRM power, and high bit rate, so more typical non-reception here.     view
2013/02/05 13:05 15050 All India Radio, Sinhala service, from Khampur transmitter site. 20.88k AAC+ mono audio. Badly over-modulated audio. Ogg   view
2013/02/04 06:28 11635 Voice of Russia World Service, RUVR 2A from Taldom site. 13.6k EEP AAC+ mono audio. Excellent signal. Ogg   view
2013/02/02 11:04 12080 Radio Australia, Pacific Islands service from Brandon, Queensland. Only 4-5kW DRM power, and high bit rate, so more typical non-reception here.     view
2013/02/02 09:00 15585 REE Spain, excellent signal. 17.46k EEP AAC+ stereo in Spanish. Ogg   view
2013/01/31 09:22 15235 KTWR, Guam, with test transmission to India. 14.56k AAC+ mono audio allowed more decoding here today.
Ogg   view
2013/01/30 09:22 15235 KTWR, Guam, with test transmission to India. 17.46k AAC+ mono audio, no real decoding possible. Ogg   view
2013/01/28 09:24 15585 REE Noblejas, Spain. 17.46 AAC+ stereo Spanish service. Fair reception. Ogg   view
2013/01/28 06:15 11635 RUVR 2A The Voice of Russia World Service, 13.6k AAC+ mono English. Good to start with, but faded quickly. Ogg   view
2013/01/27 15:50 12115 The Disco Palace, via Issoudun, France. 21k EEP AAC+ stereo disco music. An excellent signal and very good audio quality. Ogg   view
2013/01/27 15:30 15775 Vatican Radio, Asia service in English. 14.06k AAC+ mono audio. Ogg   view
2013/01/27 13:00 15050 All India Radio, Sinhala service. 20.88k AAC+ mono audio. Music sounds nice, but speech has a bad hum. Ogg   view
2013/01/27 10:56 11885 RTM Malaysia (tentative), just faint traces of DRM.     view
2012/10/16 15:30 15775 The Disco Palace, via Issoudun, France. Just a few seconds decoded. Ogg   view
2012/08/25 05:40 11830 RUVR 1A The Voice of Russia World Service, 13.6k mono in English. Ogg   view
2012/08/25 05:00 11830 Radio Romania International, Galbeni EM2 transmitter, 21k French service. Ogg   view
2012/08/25 03:39 15340 Radio Romania International, Galbeni EM2 transmitter.     view
2012/08/23 06:00 11830 RUVR 1A The Voice of Russia World Service, 13.6k mono in English. Ogg   view
2012/08/23 05:30 11875 Radio Romania International, English service, Tiganesti E2 transmitter. Ogg   view
2012/08/23 05:00 11830 Radio Romania International, Galbeni EM2 transmitter.     view
2012/06/11 18:30 15120 Voice of Nigeria, 100kW, 9.1k AAC mono audio. Heard using my Digital World Traveller receiver while on holiday in St. Mary's, Isles of Scilly.
Ogg   view
2012/04/13 12:58 15050 All India Radio, Nepali Service. 20.88k EEP AAC+ mono audio. I cannot find my audio recording of this one.     view
2012/03/22 06:14 15896 bit eXpress, 100W station from Germany. 23.56k EEP AAC+ p/s audio stream, plus EPG and Journaline. Even some audio decoded this time! Ogg   view
2012/03/14 06:33 15896 bit eXpress, 100W station from Germany. 23.56k EEP AAC+ p/s audio stream, plus EPG and Journaline. Too weak for any audio decoding.
    view
2012/02/24 11:05 12080 Radio Australia from Brandon, Queensland. 20.46k UEP 12.1% AAC+ mono audio. Ogg   view
      This is what a digital signal sounds like on an ordinary radio in narrow AM mode.   Real mp3    

Earlier results can be found on these pages:

Reception in Europe

The BBC has run a DRM trial on mediumwave 855 kHz from BBC Radio Devon in Plymouth. Thanks go to Frank G0GSR for providing this recording of their test loop

Carsten Knütter from Germany has kindly allowed me to host these recordings of early test transmissions from RTL, Luxembourg, on 6095 kHz:

RTL_3_209.mp3 (1.220.023 Byte, 20,9kbps)
RTL_5_209.mp3 (862.041 Byte, 20,9kbps)
RTL_6_145.mp3 (991.818 Byte, 14,5kbps)
RTL_6_209.mp3 (1.005.609 Byte, 20,9kbps)
RTL_7_209.mp3 (1.704.020 Byte, 20,9kbps).
RTL_6_247.mp3 (998.713 Byte, 24,7kbps).
stereo_347.mp3 (2.383.621 Byte, 34,7kbps).

Chinese tests to Europe

These brief recordings are from CRI 27.4 kbps stereo tests to Europe, recorded by listeners in Europe.

easyfm.mp3
cri_274stereo.mp3

If you have any comments about this page, or DRM™ reception, please feel free to email me.

chris.www@owdjim.gen.nz (or chris@digitalradio.co.nz)


In This Section 

Recent Reception 
2013 Reception 
2012 Reception 
2011 Reception 
2010 Reception 
2009 Reception 
2008 Reception 
2007 Reception 
2006 Reception 
2005 Reception 
2004 Reception 
2003 Reception 
Reception Highlights 
DRM Schedule 
DRM on RNZI Mailbox 
RNZI DRM 
RNZI DRM Recordings 
DRM data images 
Tests on 657 kHz 

Other Links 

Nordic DRM 
Digital Radio DR 
RNZI 
VT Merlin 
ABU DRM Page 
DW DRM Schedules 
IBC paper on DRM 
HamDream 
DRM in Germany 
HFCC Projects Page 
DRM Forums 


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