Friday, July 19, 2013

VOA Radiogram schedule for July 20-21

Because of  deadlines associated with my audience research work at VOA, I have not yet had a chance to respond to or even to read most of your emails from the weekend of 13-14 July. But I will. As soon as possible.

Last week during the broadcasts on 5745 and 6095 kHz, we employed the Optimod audio processor that is typically used during VOA voice broadcasts. The purpose of this experiment was not to determine if the Optimod would improve the decoding of the modes, but if it would have any negative effect. If future VOA voice broadcasts include short segments of digital text, the audio processor would almost certainly be used.

I certainly noticed it was easier to hear what I was saying during my voice introduction to the show. On 6095 kHz, however, even though the signal was strong in northern Virginia, I noticed several errors with the MFSK32 when usually there are no errors. That may or may not be related to the use of the Optimod. I look forward to analyzing your reports to find out if there were similar results.

One anomaly from last weekend's show was that, for me at least, in the plain-text Spanish-language greeting to a shortwave listeners meeting in Mexico City, the accents displayed correctly, but in a VOA Spanish news story later, the accents did not display correctly. The mystery is discussed here:

Some of you were impressed with the performance of last weekend's surprise mode: MT63-1000 long interleave, especially as it was mixed with music. For that reason, VOA Radiogram for the weekend of 20-21 July will include a VOA News story in the MT63-2000L mode (200 wpm), followed by the same story in the MFSK64 mode (240 wpm).

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, 20-21 July 2013:

2:20  MFSK16: Program preview   
4:31  MFSK16: VOA News about quartz glass for data storage
2:04  MFSK32: Image of data stored in silica glass
3:59  MFSK32: VOA News about end of India's telegram service
2:42  MFSK32: Image of sign at telegram office
2:53  MT63-2000L: VOA News about new materials for solar cells
2:32  MFSK64: Same VOA News about new materials for solar cells
1:10  MFSK32: Image of logo
1:08  MFSK16: Closing announcements
1:11  Surprise image 

Please send reception reports to .

Especially helpful are...

1) Audio samples of poor reception nevertheless resulting in a successful decode of text modes.

2) Reception on less expensive portable shortwave radios. Please also share your advice on feeding the audio from your portable radio to your PC and eventually to your decoding software. If use of the earphone jack mutes the radio's speaker, how do you listen to the program? Do you use an external sound card? Any other tips and tricks?

3) Of course, resume listening on and decoding from your transceivers and high-end receivers if reception on portable radios proves unsuccessful. 

Thanks for listening and decoding.


Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram 
Twitter: @voaradiogram