Thursday, September 18, 2014

VOA Radiogram weekend schedule

Hello friends,

VOA Radiogram this weekend will include a detailed VOA news item about U.S. public diplomacy.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 77, during the weekend of 20-21 September 2014. All content is in MFSK32 centered on 1500 Hz except for two surprise modes at the end:

  1:34  Program preview
.2:35  Device produces water from fog, with image.
 7:34  NASA contract for manned spacecraft, with image
11:33  NASA's asteroid detection effort, with image
18:15  US information "battle" with Russia, IS
26:41  Closing announcements

Please send reception reports to

VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC):
Sat 0930-1000 5745 kHz
Sat 1600-1630 17860 kHz
Sun 0230-0300 5745 kHz
Sun 1930-2000 15670 kHz
All via the Edward R. Murrow transmitting station in North Carolina.

The Radio Free Asia transmissions of digital text via shortwave have ended and will not resume. I am surprised by this decision, because the RFA tests showed that in even in the face of deliberate Chinese co-channel interference, digital text provided a very successful decode.

Here is an example: RFA Cantonese as received in Hong Kong, 14 September 2014, 2257 UTC, on 15390 kHz. The female voice is China National Radio. The male voice in the background in RFA Cantonese. The mix of CNR and RFA creates a generally inaudible mess. The Olivia 32-2000 mode penetrates the cacophony, resulting in successfully decoded text (try decoding it yourself)...

I initiated experiments with digital text via analog shortwave broadcast about two years ago to find a way to work around the blockage and censorship of Internet content. The VOA Radiogram experiments show that text and images can successfully be transmitted via shortwave: a useful capability when the Internet is blocked.

However, we can assume that if a country blocks Internet traffic, it will probably also jam shortwave transmissions. Text via shortwave must also have anti-jamming capabilities. Tests of digital text modes amid actual jamming are -- were -- essential to the VOA Radiogram concept. Now that VOA and RFA have both discontinued tests of text to China, experiments with Chinese jamming are no longer possible within the realm of US-government-funded international broadcasting.

The Mighty KBC will transmit a minute of MFSK64 Saturday at about 1130 UTC on 6095 kHz and Sunday at about 0130 UTC (Saturday 9:30 pm EDT) on 7375 kHz. Both frequencies are via Germany. Reports to

Thanks for your interesting reports from last weekend's VOA Radiogram. I will begin answering those reports now.


Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram