Remember the Voice of America? It presented an American point of view to the world and helped the West to win the cold war in Europe. Well, VOA is still transmitting and is embracing modern technology to stay relevant.
Kim Andrew Elliot produces a weekly “VOA Radiogram”, which uses audio tones to send digital information that can penetrate jamming and get through adverse reception conditions. You don’t need anything too sophisticated to start playing with this technology, just a radio that can receive shortwave, a computer with a sound card input, a patch cord, and a free program called FLDIGI.
Much of the content is transmitted in MFSK32, which provides good results. Some transmissions include pictures as well as text. Some folks have even reported decoding content by holding their smartphone up to the radio speaker, although I have not tried this approach myself.
Give “VOA Radiogram” a listen this weekend. Here’s the schedule information:
Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 177, 20-21 August 2016, all in MFSK32 centered on 1500 Hz:
1:31 Program preview (now)
2:42 China launches hack-proof satellite*
8:32 Twitter closes terror-linked accounts*
13:59 Why is Washington’s subway system falling apart?*
26:40 Closing announcements
29:09 Flmsg surprise (with audio)
* with image
Please send reception reports to firstname.lastname@example.org .
VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC):
Sat 0930-1000 5745 kHz
Sat 1600-1630 17580 kHz
Sun 0230-0300 5745 kHz
Sun 1930-2000 15670 kHz
All via the Edward R. Murrow transmitting station in North Carolina.