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Those of you whom know me will know that if its digital I want it. Having heard about Digital Radio Mondiale recently I wanted it too. DRM by-the-way is a system for broadcasting radio programs in a digital format over shortwave radio. Its meant as a replacement for the regular analogue system that is almost 100 years old. I don't plan on going into the details of it here. That's best done over at the DRM website. What I do plan on doing is list some of my activities with DRM.

My first real exposure to it was as the 2003 SWLFest in Kulpsville, PA. There I met some of the guys involved in the DRM project and had a unique opportunity to listen to quite a few broadcasters demonstrate their programming as well as play with some radios that are capable of receiving DRM.

Here's some links for things I've been up to.

My setup currently consists of my Yaesu FT-847 ham transceiver (with general coverage RX) and a G5RV type antenna. This is used for general signal hunting. I also have a Yasu FT-840. Both of these are used to feed my PC with a 12KHz signal for the software to convert into audio. To say that the signals I have heard are strong would be an understatement. Rock crushing would be more accurate ;-}

Ah yes, software. The current State-of-the-Art in DRM decoding is via a PC. Efforts are underway to product a chipset for inclusion in radios but so far they are not available. The most common route to decoding the audio is to install a convertor board into your radio which will then give you the signal you need to feed to your PC. Some examples can be found on the DRMRX website. There are currently 2 packages available. The Fraunhoffer folks have one that sells for 60 Euro's and there is an open source (free) version that runs on Linux, Mac and Window$. The open source route is where I started with a package called DReaM.

&  Mark A Phillips, G7LTT 1995-2008