VOA Radiogram program 104 this week was an experiment in reception of different digital modes. The same news story, “Battle for African Internet Users Stirs Freedom Fears,” was broadcast five times in succession using increasingly faster modes. The modes used were:
- MFSK32 (with image)
- MFSK64 (with image)
- MFSK128 (with image)
There was also a MFSK32 image at the end of the broadcast.
MFSK32 is used regularly on VOA Radiogram and MFSK64 and MFSK128 are faster modes that have been used less often. But the 8PSK125F and 8PSK250F modes were new to VOA Radiogram. 8PSK250F is over five times as fast as MFSK32.
I have been decoding VOA Radiogram broadcasts for many months now, usually with pretty good results. I starting decoding during the winter months, when shortwave propagation favored my location. Now that we are moving toward summer, shortwave propagation is starting to work against me. VOA Radiogram program 103 was the first broadcast that I wasn’t able to decode fully.
There were five pictures and eight text articles in the VOA Radiogram this week:
- A note about punctuation marks
- Greetings to the Antena DX radio program
- Iron rain once fell on earth
- Analysis of earth’s ionosphere (in BPSK63)
- Young scientists (in Spanish)
- Change of directors at Ekho Moskvy radio
- Reuters website inaccessible in China
- Decode VOA Radiogram on Android device (Flmsg item)
As I mentioned in a previous article, I submitted a reception report last week to The Mighty KBC. The Mighty KBC is a Dutch shortwave station with transmitters in Germany that broadcasts to Europe during the week, and also to North America and South America every Saturday.
A failed recording prevented me from hearing my name mentioned the last time I submitted a reception report, but I was listening this week and heard my name listed in the “Loyal Listener Club.”
I also heard some news about The Mighty KBC given at the end of the broadcast:
VOA Radiogram program 102 was the first this year to fall completely after Daylight Saving Time, so all my local times were one hour later than before. There were four articles this week, with the final (very brief) article using Flmsg to display as a web page.
- Iran’s “Halal” Internet
- Islamic state’s Facebook alternative goes offline
- North Koreans import smartphones to store videos
- Flmsg about AndFlmsg
Kim Andrew Elliott described VOA Radiogram Program 101 as a “very experimental edition” of VOA Radiogram. One experiment consisted of sending multiple RSID signals (used to identify the decoding mode) as a means to determine if recording volume levels are correctly set. The other involved broadcasting one story, not as plain text, but as a web page.
There were four articles this week:
Here’s something I haven’t received for many years: a QSL card. Technically, it’s an electronic QSL card (sometimes called an eQSL) from The Mighty KBC, a shortwave station located in Germany.
The Mighty KBC broadcasts music programs up to two hours weekdays and seven hours weekends on 6095 kHz to Europe. But every weekend, The Mighty KBC also airs a two-hour broadcast aimed at Canada, the United States, and South America on 7375 kHz. “The Giant Jukebox” show, presented by Eric van Willegen, starts at 0000 UTC on Sunday, which is equivalent to 8:00PM EDT on Saturday.