Saturday, May 18, 2013

Radio Australia Digital Test

In this age of information over the internet, the role of short wave broadcasting is being questioned. We thought that the internet would kill off Amateur Radio but instead low cost computers have led to an explosion of interest in digital modes over HF.

Countries that wish to prevent their citizens from reading news from external points of view are able to easily filter or even turn off the internet and while they can jam short wave radio, it turns out that digital modes can get through when voice would not.

VOA has been doing tests in recent months and tonight Radio Australia did their own test on 7.410 MHz at 6:30pm Australian Eastern Time and here in Sydney I received it perfectly.

I decoded with fldigi:

As you can see, decode is perfect.

And here's reception from Colombia:

Here's my reception on Sunday night:

I remember as a teenager decoding RTTY news broadcasts which used to be a regular feature of shortwave, perhaps it's time for a new era of digital news over short wave taking advantage of robust new modes and widely available decoding software?

Information about similar tests in the future can be found via the VOA Radiogram blog.


Anonymous said...

Hi Peter,

I have done a couple of quick searches and found little - is there a schedule published for these xmissions?

Oh and what mode are they using?


Peter Marks said...

Colin it was mfsk16 and 32. It's pretty much word of mouth although I believe there is a yahoo group where these tests were discussed. Ill find out and get back to you.