Sunday, December 18, 2016

NASB 2017 details announced. KVOH in Los Angeles area to host

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DRM and SWL enthusiasts alike will find something entertaining at the upcoming NASB Annual Meeting hosted by KVOH in Rancho Simi, California.

KVOH is California's only remaining shortwave transmitter site. The location provides for enjoyment of California's great weather and access to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
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Meeting Location:   KVOH/KWSV studios at Simi Valley Town Center in Simi Valley, California

Meeting Hotel:  The Grand Vista Hotel in Simi Valley, California.  The hotel is just under one mile from Simi Valley Town Center (1 five-minute drive or 15-minute walk).  Transportation will be provided between the hotel and Simi Valley Town Center.

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Conference Host:  KVOH, Voice of Hope, Strategic Communication Ministries

Meeting Dates:  Wednesday, May 16-Saturday, May 20, 2017

Costs for Attendees:  There is no cost to attend the meeting itself, and the meals indicated in the agenda will be provided free of charge.  Attendees must pay their own travel and accommodation expenses.

Hotel Room Rate:  $89.00 per night, including breakfast, a nightly complimentary cocktail, and complimentary wi-fi.  Local room tax is 12% extra.

Hotel Reservation Deadline Date:  April 26, 2017.  Reservations made after this date are subject to availability of rooms and at the current room rate.

Hotel Cancellation Policy:  Rooms may be cancelled without penalty up until 6pm on the day of arrival.

Hotel Check-in Time:  3:00 pm.  Early check-in on Wednesday may be possible (before 3:00 pm), but it is not guaranteed.

Hotel Check-out Time:  12:00 pm

Hotel Reservation Procedure:  Attendees should make their hotel reservations directly with the Grand Vista Hotel.  Reservations may be made either online through the hotel website, or by phone.  By phone, just asking for the NASB rate should be sufficient, but online, you will have to enter our "Group Code," which is 2075.  The hotel reservation phone number: (800) 455-7464 / (805) 583-2000.

Meeting Registration Form:  At the time you make your hotel reservation, please also fill out the following Meeting Registration Form:

Transportation from/to the airport:  If you do not have a rental car, please provide your flight arrival/departure information on the meeting registration form, and the organizers will arrange for shuttle drivers to be there to pick you up.

Hotel Address:  Grand Vista Hotel, 999 Enchanted Way, Simi Valley, California 93065

Hotel Website:

Library & Museum

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Website:


Wednesday, May 17

Morning - Most flights to the West Coast arrive in the morning.  Shuttle transportation to the Grand Vista Hotel will be provided from Burbank Airport (35 miles) and from Los Angeles International Airport/LAX (45 miles). 

1:00-2:00 pm - Lunch and tour of KVOH/KWSV studios
2:00-5:00 pm - Conference Sessions (including an afternoon break)
Evening - Dinner in a local restaurant

Thursday, May 18

8:00-9:00 am - NASB Business and Board Meetings
9:00-10:45 am - Conference Sessions
10:45-11:00 am - Coffee Break
11:00 am-2:00 pm - Tour to KVOH transmitter site (morning broadcast to Latin America ends at 12:00 noon).  
Lunch will be at a local restaurant.
2:00-3:30 pm - Conference Sessions3:30-3:45 pm - Afternoon Coffee Break
3:45-5:00 pm - Conference Sessions and Closing
Evening - Possible local event

Friday, May 19

9:00 am-4:00 pm - Visit to Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, including lunch.  The library is 5 miles/15 minutes by car from the hotel.  Transportation will be provided, but attendees must pay the entrance fee ($16.00) and for their lunch.
Evening - Dinner at a local restaurant

Saturday, May 20

Early Morning - Transfers to airports for flights home

Saturday, October 29, 2016

VOACAP for Brasilia test

Hello Cuba and the Caribbean! Looks like even some of CONUS gets this one. Brother Rafael sends details:

"We assembled the pre-amplifier and the final amp is a ham-amplifier
RM-Italy HLA 305. The modulator is USRP/Spark.
Here in Brazil people could hear small audio hiccups in Rio de Janeiro
(about 1000km away) with the antenna beamed to south.
HR 4/4/0.5, 7db of gain, 312 degrees, 150W "

So, none other than Brother Zyg to the rescue with a VOACAP.

I must say, time and time again I am impressed by the International nature of our hobby. In a time of civil wars, refugees and "building walls", I am humbled by the DRM and Shortwave communities. There is HOPE, my friends. I'm tempted to sing Kumbaya, but I will resist.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

VOACAP for Caribbean DRM test

Thanks to  DRM Brother Zyg for this VOACAP for the upcoming CBU aimed test.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

DRMNA Exclusive - Interview with Mike of PantronX, maker of the Titus II

Loyal DRMNA readers... Here is an up-to-the-minute interview with Mike of PantronX. What you are reading is an Internet Exclusive! I am really enthusiastic about the Titus II and this interview does nothing to diminish that!

Mike, please give us brief background about yourself and PantronX:

Pantronx is a group of engineers, sales, marketing, and business people that specialize in OEM / ODM electronic controls and systems with a world wide customer base.  We generally design and manufacture electronics that are incorporated into our customer's products.   As the Chief Engineer, I have been designing all sorts of electronics for well over 35 years.

Can you tell us a little about the process taken to develop the new receiver?

We became aware of the need for a digital capable receiver by a visit from TWR representatives about three years ago. Having designed RF products and receivers in the past, it intrigued me that there were no low cost method to receive DRM.  This began research into the problem.  Initially we envisioned and designed what we call an ATU (Antenna Tuner Unit) that plugged into a 'standard' Android tablet.  Unfortunately as time and testing proved, ready made tablets had varying problems from vendor to vendor, model to model.  The decision was made about a year ago that we had to do our own Android 'tablet' and integrate the ATU into it.  Hence the Titus II was developed.

How long has PantronX been developing the DRM receiver?

Actually Titus II is not a DRM receiver.  In its present form it is a SDR (Software Defined Radio), so first and foremost it is a general purpose computer with a wide band receiver built in.  The application(s) - like any other app allow the computer to function as desired.  With that in mind, all sorts of RF applications are possible to run on Titus.  The DRM app is actually the open source Dream Linux app that was converted to run under Android.

Do you have any development / R&D partners?

Yes, our development partners world wide including America, India, United Kingdom, China, and lately Germany.  A true world wide effort.

What was the chief goal in this development?

To provide the world's first complete SDR appliance that redefines what radio is.  No longer is radio a fixed defined product that a manufacture dictates what it is and how it operates.  SDRs have been around for decades, but never in a complete consumer package at affordable price.  Although our initial market is for broadcast use, we have designed Titus to be 'hacker' friendly and allow RF hobbyist to utilize it as a low cost, high performance platform that we are sure many will port various RF application to.  A crazy idea that we feel will expand utilization of Titus to many RF uses and start many competitors with the same concept.

How do you feel Titus II compares to previous DRM receivers that have
been on the market (chiefly the Newstar, Uniwave, Morphy Richards, etc.)?

We have several of these models.  They are all dedicated appliances that do one thing and one thing only.  Titus can change formats, codecs, features as easily as installing a new app!  So today it can be an analog receiver, tomorrow a DAB receiver, and next week a DRM receiver ... or all three, and maybe an aircraft receiver, who knows!  There is no reason why not, just like on your computer,  you can have multiple apps to do different things.

What is the target price-point and what will it take to get you there?

We are working hard to keep the price of Titus II well under usd100.  With our unique marketing approach that eliminates middle men, high volume Chinese manufactures and sub-assembliers, to local assembly in various jurisdictions - everything has been on the table except lowering quality to achieve this low price.  With our various manufacturing partners all working to keep margins low, we can accomplish this price 'right out of the gate' ... no pie-in-the-sky wish of super high volumes.  We have been doing this for years.

How long will the unit operate on batteries? Are they dry cell or

Like most tablets and portable computing devices, Titus utilizes lithium ion battery.  We expect the unit under normal conditions to operate 4 to 6 hours.  Depending upon pricing of the battery perhaps more as production ramps up. Prices change all the time.  Hopefully they drop and we will supply an even larger battery.

When will the set be available to the public and in which markets? Do
you have a retail price set?

We expect to complete a pre-production run of Titus II by the end of this year for samples and testing. One can place a non-binding pre-order at - price under usd100 plus shipping & duty. Full production fist quarter 2017.

Is the set's firmware able to be updated by the user?

Yes, just like any other Android device by WiFi, SD card, or thumb drive.

Does the set fully function as a legacy analogue receiver as well?


Do you think DRM30 has proven itself via the decade-plus of HF/SW and
AM/MW (and LW) testing?

Yes, time for testing is long over.  The format works rather well.  We released the Titus II at the HFCC conference in Miami FL a couple of months ago.  With an engineering model, we went outside the hotel and received flawlessly a DRM30 test signal from the Vatican in Rome some 5000 miles away in the afternoon.  It sounded like a local FM station.  Most likely, that same signal would have been heard as well into Panama and the eastern parts of the US.

Is there anything else you would like the readers to know? 

Well, they can find more info at

Mike, as a DRM fan, I'm really excited! As an over-all "radiophile" this looks like an amazing "piece of kit". What more can I say except thanks for granting us an interview!

Thanks for the help and we appreciate all that you guys are doing.

Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) Demonstrated Simultaneously on Two Continents

DRM Press Release

17th October 2016                                                                         Contact:

This year’s annual General Assembly of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union will be hosted by the Indonesian public broadcaster, RRI, in Bali. DRM will feature not only in the meetings of the specialised committees but also concretely with a live medium wave transmission on 20-24 October from one of the RRI MW transmitter in Denpasar, Bali on 1206 KHz. The DRM broadcasts will feature special messages for the ABU participants, presentations on RRI, DRM the emergency warning functionality, music, as well as the Journaline service accompanying the audio, allowing listeners to look-up the latest news on demand, free-to-air, on their receiver screens and in multiple languages simultaneously.  The DRM demo run by RRI is actively supported by GatesAir, Transradio, Fraunhofer IIs and RFmondial key members of the Consortium.

In parallel, Babcock International (member of the DRM Consortium) will transmit BBC World Service content in DRM short wave from Singapore on 11995 kHz (25 metre band) at 05.00-07.00 GMT or 13.00-15.00 local time.

After last year’s DRM medium wave trial, north of Jakarta, this is another chance to enjoy the audio qualities of DRM, and, as Mr Frederik Ndolu, member of the RRI Supervisory Board said:” to show RRI’s commitment in understanding what is the most efficient solution for getting the best programmes, in the best quality to all our listeners, wherever they are in our vast country.”

Almost at the same time with the big gathering on the tropical island of Bali, the General Assembly of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (24-27 October) will convene in Havana, Cuba. It will mark a significant moment as the Digital Radio Mondiale Consortium has announced it will be bringing the first live digital radio signal transmission to Cuba, the Caribbean region and parts of northern Latin America, and even as far north as Florida. The broadcast facilitated by Babcock International will come from the BBC via its Atlantic Relay station. The DRM transmission will be in the 13 meter-band on 21720 kHz and will carry BBC World Service programmes in English. Additional multimedia features of DRM will also be demonstrated on radio receiver screens. The DRM broadcast will go from 4 p.m.–6 p.m. GMT, 12.00-14.00 local time on Oct. 24 and 25.

Ruxandra Obreja, DRM Chairman, feels that: “this is a great opportunity to introduce DRM to the Caribbean nations, to highlight some of its great benefits, like the emergency warning functionality, so much at the top of the agenda for the people in this region of the world.”