32 votes

Communication Formats

I've debated whether to put this thread in science and technology, but it seems the best option. Since the subject of uncensored communications between private parties interests me, I'll return to this thread periodically as required. Hopefully, threads on DP aren't automatically closed over time as this thread could remain active as long as the DP exists. ;)

To begin, many people within the US are now beginning to see the rise of an oppressive state which obviously wants to regulate the InterNet as well as other forms of communication. Unfortunately, nearly all means of communication are regulated by the state. However, we, the people, must continually work to either bypass or mitigate the influence of the state in regulating communication or the frequencies supporting such communication. Communication via optical frequencies seems to be the sole frontier that the state hasn't regulated ... yet.

Although I personally believe that HAARP was partly developed to combat ionospheric communication if the need every arose in the eyes of authorities, new developments in shortwave communication over the past 10 years have largely gone ignored, e.g. the advent of digital shortwave or Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM - www.drm.org). Unfortunately, the Vatican seems to be one of few broadcasters in North America using DRM. With the increased energy efficiency and ability to transmit graphics and webpages via a separate channel, DRM has great potential to serve the needs of smaller broadcasters of our message of liberty. Much more can be said about this largely ignored means of communication which I'll explore in more depth over time. Check out DRM. Listen to samples of audio and inform yourself about the capabilities of digital shortwave. Even IF the InterNet were to be heavily regulated, other viable options will continue to exist or arise with the need.

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Broadcasters, Programs, Content Section

I will use this section for broadcasters and their programs. A new 24 hour global news network will begin broadcasting on the 31st of October of 2014 on 9395 kHz at 2300Z. Here is a link to their still developing schedule. I think this station might be worthy of partial support. Due to their hugely diverse audience, content will also be quite diverse as well. So far, I'm cautiously optimistic about this broadcaster and can only hope that their success might eventually lead to using Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) from WRMI's facilities one day. Jeff, upgrade those analog shortwave transmitters!

Best wishes to Global24 and WRMI!


Despite the problems

Despite the problems receiving the inaugural broadcast in the western USA, the programming is quite good. Literally, thousands and thousands of listeners around the world are tuning to 9395 kHz. In fact, I'll likely start carrying my portable shortwave receiver with me wherever I go. Bradlee Dean is upcoming on Global24 within 20 minutes at 2000Z ...

Air Chat

Although some folks are just slow to see the obvious, the light eventually dawns even for them ... Welcome Air Chat as another tool to circumvent illegal governmental snooping and control... ;)


FLDigi is already widely used for decoding VOA's weekly Radiograms...


Shortwave Listening (SWL) To Analog Broadcasts

Although DRM is vastly more flexible than analog broadcasts, one can still listen cleanly to analog broadcasts with minimal equipment and software. You'll need the ability to compile both DReaM and RTL UDP on GNU/Linux or possibly find the binary equivalents for other operating systems. The total cost of the hardware including cables and connectors will be ~ $100. The total price can be significantly higher than $100 depending on the type of antenna.

Required equipment and software:

1. A decent outdoor antenna, e.g. a long wire of least 30' length and strung outside at least 12' above the ground.
2. A low-cost RTL SDR (USB receiver) with appropriate connectors to attach the antenna. Don't use RTL SDR driver on rtl-sdr.com. Rather, use the RTL SDR driver listed in step #5.
Visit http://www.rtl-sdr.com/buy-rtl-sdr-dvb-t-dongles/
3. 100 MHz Up-Converter
Visit http://www.nooelec.com/store/ham-it-up-v1-0-rf-upconverter-f...
4. DReaM decoding software with the version at least 2.1.1 or later
Visit http://sf.net/projects/drm
Visit https://github.com/sysrun/rtl-sdr

Once DReaM and RTL UDP are compiled and properly installed, proceed with the following procedure which applies to a RTL SDR with Rafael Micro's R820T tuner:

1. Open a terminal and type:

rtl_udp -s 48k -r 48k -f 110M -l 10 -R -g 40.2 -p 75 - | aplay -r 48k -f S16_LE -t raw -c 2 -D plughw:6,0

Leave the terminal open

2. Open a second terminal and type:

udpclient.py gain 402

Then in the second terminal, type:

udpclient.py agc on

Then in the second terminal, type:

udpclient.py freq 110000000

The previous command will tune the RTL SDR to WWV at 10 MHz (110 MHz - 100 MHz up-converter) and the output will go the ALSA Loopback device at plughw:6,0 so the listener won't hear anything from the speakers.

Leave this second terminal open as well

Next, start DReaM either in a third terminal separate from the two previously opened terminals or by selecting DReaM from a menu of the operating system's GUI. When DReaM is running, select the Settings option from the main menu of DReaM, then Sound Card, then Signal Input, then Device, ALSA Loopback PCM (hw:6,0). Unless you find a need to change the Channel of the Signal Input later, set the Channel to L+R. You shouldn't need to change the Audio Output of the Sound Card so leave it set to the default device. In DReaM, ensure you select the AM (analog) option under the Settings option on the main menu. Once the analog display of DReaM is running and you see the carrier of WWV at 10 MHz, just click on the display to center the red, dotted vertical line on the carrier. You should now hear the WWV signal from your speakers. If the signal is a bit noisy, use the excellent Speex noise reduction in DReaM 2.1.1. Personally, I nearly always use the Speex noise reduction as it significantly reduces noise. Don't use too much noise reduction as you'll hear artifacts in the audio due to excessive filtering. Personally I generally leave the Speex noise reduction set at -11 dB.

The listener can also try these two frequencies which carry the Alex Jones' Show during weekdays (check schedules for exact times):

udpclient.py freq 112160000 (12160 kHz around noon in the USA)

udpclient.py freq 104840000 (4840 kHz around 8 PM in the USA)

Believe me, this relatively cheap setup can yield an excellent listening experience over the shortwave bands. DReaM's excellent Speex noise reduction makes listening to analog shortwave tolerable to downright enjoyable. I'm currently listening to Alex Jones on 12160 kHz with DReaM's Speex noise reduction and the result is very good and clear audio.

Good luck!

Since the Linux kernel

Since the Linux kernel will soon have native RTL-SDR support using the Video4Linux2 API for DVB-T devices, most of the aforementioned software, i.e. driver, will no longer be required. Availability to cheap receivers WORLDWIDE is near with this development. As I've said previously, radio is both the past AND the future.


Here's a screenshot of

Here's a screenshot of running rtl_udp and DReaM with an RTL SDR:


Radio Australia Sample

This sample of a Radio Australia broadcast on 6150 kHz demonstrates the Speex noise reduction built into DReaM 2.1+

The noise reduction is engaged and disengaged throughout playback. When the Speex noise reduction is removed, the noise level rises. Speex noise reduction in DReaM performs best on signals of average strength. Speex noise reduction doesn't have a large effect on strong or weak signals. This particular sample from Radio Australia is a strong signal, but the listener can still clearly hear the increased level of noise after the noise reduction is removed. This file is in AAC+ format.


egapele's picture

This is very intresting.

Thanks for posting and keeping up with the thread.

Title 47 Part 15 CFR Unlicensed Low Power Transmitters

In short, I recommend them despite their limitation in range. With some careful work with electrical grounds and location, a range of 1/2 mile to 1 mile is achievable with an external antenna. If you just setup an external antenna in an ENCLOSED space without careful planning, the broadcast range will probably be a couple of blocks.


I recently purchased the I AM Radio transmitter and external ATU for $550 total which includes the price to ship it within the USA. If you purchase this product, the cost is lower overall if you buy a package instead of the items separately.

Now, I'll be amending this review of Radio Systems' I AM Radio package as time and experience permits.

With just the internal antenna, you'll get a range of about a block which is acceptable for an indoor antenna. If you buy a package, you'll receive the external ATU as well although the cost will be $500 without shipping versus $200 for just the I AM Radio transmitter without the external antenna.

The ability to record up to 5 minute segments on the internal IC is invaluable for REPEATING important information, i.e. short messages like quotations. The stored messages on the internal IC will repeat endlessly.

"Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism, because it is a merger of state and corporate power." - Mussolini

Naturally you can add some examples and the name of the source of the quotation to eventually open the eyes of the listener. It's a quite effective mechanism for combating indoctrination through, yes, admittedly counter indoctrination. Hopefully, the counter indoctrination will eventually lead the listener to a critical evaluation of the truth. Every couple of days or so, the owner can change the message by reprogramming the internal IC. The owner can also broadcast live ANALOG audio via a microphone if so desired.

Part 15 rules are quite restrictive on either the field strength or overall length of the antenna PLUS ground. Be prepared to alter your configuration as necessary if the FCC objects. Research on your part is invaluable and necessary for compliance and optimal performance. For example, can you construct a 5' tall earthen mound in your yard so the ground and antenna are elevated above the adjacent ground? If so, you've just added 5 feet of height to your antenna and significantly improved its performance.

More later ...

Local LIVE Rebroadcast of InterNet Stream

In this picture, ZaraRadio 1.6.2 is running with WINE (M$ Windows "emulator") on GNU/Linux. When this snapshot was taken, the podcast was streaming to my LPAM station which was rebroadcasting the stream live, i.e. on air, locally.... cool, eh? I blackened part of the URL due to unknown legalities for this brief test with an indoor (limited range) antenna. Before experimenting, I never expected ZaraRadio to run very well on WINE, but it does thus far and the sound is quite good. I'm currently listening to my LIVE rebroadcast with an AM (MW) radio tuned to my transmitter's frequency. Testing is continuing.

Title 47, Part 15 C-QuAM Stereo Via ASPiSys' ASMAX-1

If you're more inclined to do your own installation of a Title 47, Part 15 unlicensed transmitter, you can always install ASPiSys' C-QuAM STEREO transmitter in place of I.AM. Radio's monophonic transmitter. In fact, one can use this C-QuAM transmitter with I.AM. Radio's external ATU (antenna), but one will lose automatic tuning. Regardless, the change is worth it IF the external antenna is properly sited as I've explained below. Imagine listening to low-power broadcasts in glorious AM STEREO, not monophonic like the I.AM. transmitter. The price for the ASMAX-1 is 300 Euro which is ~ $385 at current exchange rates and this price doesn't include shipping to the USA. If you've never heard C-QuAM stereo on the MW band which was popular in the early 1990s, you'll be surprised to know that it sounds as good as your typical FM station. ;)


Now, if a group of us can just convince ASPiSys to manufacture a Title 47, Part 15 low-power transmitter capable of transmitting Digital Radio Mondiale on the MW band... Naturally, the possibility isn't very high since Title 47, Part15 rules are limited to the USA where LICENSED DRM broadcasts aren't currently allowed on the MW band. However, other countries have similar rules for low-power community radio stations so the possibility still exists...

Title 47, Part 15 CFR External Antennas


I'll try to simplify this extremely complex issue as much as possible. I'll use Radio Systems' I AM Radio transmitter's external antenna, ATU, as the basis for this scenario.

For siting the external ATU, try to implement the following generalities regarding configuration IF adequate unobstructed space exists, i.e. 10000 square feet (100'x100'), with single story dwellings surrounding that space:

1. If possible, build an earthen mound approximately 5' in height above the surrounding terrain and as level as possible on your property. Cover the mound with sod eventually to prevent erosion and encourage the retention of moisture within a couple inches below the sod's surface. The external ATU and its artificial RF ground plane will be mounted in the center of this mound. At a minimum, ensure NO obstructions exist within a circle with a 40' radius surrounding the external ATU.

2. From the center of this mound, EVENLY distribute 8 radial copper wires with the length (radius) of each wire being 10' down the gentle slope of the mound and bury them ~ 2". * Keep the slope less than 60 degrees from a horizontal plane. The length (diameter) of opposing wires will be 20'. Again, space the 8 wires EVENLY around a 360 degree circle in four pairs of two. Each pair will contain one radial directly opposite the other radial, e.g. one radial will lie north and the other one will lie south, etc. Each radial will be 45 degrees from its adjacent radial.

3. Once the mound and artificial RF ground plane are created, drive a 3' to 8' (8' is standard) copper grounding rod into the earth in the center of the artificial RF ground plane. Tie ALL of the grounds together (8 wires to ground rod and ground lug on ATU). Naturally, the ATU along with its 10' whip antenna will sit in the middle of the artificial RF ground plane along with the 3' to 8' grounding rod.

4. For radials with a length of 10', use MW (AM) transmitter frequencies from 1000 KHz to 1700 KHz. For radials with a length of of 20', use MW (AM) transmitter frequencies from 520 KHz to 990 KHz.

Congratulations, you've just located and built one of the most effective external antennas possible for unlicensed, low-power Part 15 broadcasts. These generalized requirements should be considered a MINIMUM specification.

* A 20' radius option can also be used in dry soil with poor conductivity for a diameter of 40'. There is NO need to increase the length of a radial beyond 20' for a 10' high monopole antenna.

External Antennas In Densely Populated Areas

Before siting an external ATU as aforementioned, an owner might want to try a less labor intensive process IF living in more densely populated areas, i.e. > 3000 people per square mile. Freedom from obstructions is absolutely required when using Part 15.219 devices. Otherwise, a listener will largely hear static. In more densely populated areas, height is of paramount importance. For this discussion, we'll assume that an artificial counterpoise won't be used so we'll forgo the use of radials initially. Any artificial counterpoise would have to be elevated along with the antenna since the antenna AND ground lead must be no longer than ~ 10'. So, we'll just hoist the ATU into the air and not attach any physical or RF ground to the grounding lug on the ATU. You'll likely find that reception of Part 15.219 devices is much cleaner with the ATU's base attached to the top of a pole ~ 15' high. Naturally, the tip of the 9' monopole will be ~ 24' high in this case which will clear most dwellings. You'll have to be more creative with skyscrapers or other obstructions and an elevated, artificial counterpoise will likely be mandatory.

LPAM Antenna With Counterpoise





In this test configuration, notice the artificial counterpoise constructed from two 10' pieces of 1/2" ID Cantex PVC pipe cut into four 5' pieces. Each piece has a 5' wire running its length and then connected to the antenna's ground. Under Part 15.219 rules, the total length of the antenna and ground must be no more than 3 meters. Furthermore, two 90 degree clamps with a 3/4" ID are used to hold the four sections which insert together. The pieces aren't glued so they can be readily disassembled due to the portable nature of this particular configuration. Since the portable stand will tip over if one of the pipes becomes lose, ensure the screws are tight. I've successfully used this particular configuration in winds with gusts of 30 mph. I wouldn't use this portable mount with gusts higher than 30 mph though.

The two 10' pieces of Cantex pipe which are beveled on one end can be bought at Ace Hardware. Ace will even cut the two pieces in half for you. The two 90 degree clamps can be bought on Amazon.com . Notice that the 1/2" ID pipe has an OD a bit over 3/4". Since the ID of the 90 degree clamp is only 3/4", use OIL to insert the pipe into the clamps.

In time, I'll post some audio from this setup with the base of the antenna elevated to ~ 13'. Listenable range for this configuration should be a good 1/2 mile radius, but not necessarily indoors near maximum range. A permanent mount higher in elevation would be even better, but a permanent mount would NOT use these clamps to mount the pipe to the pole as the screws will loosen over time. This portable setup is only meant to run for a few hours per day, then quickly taken down and stored.

Interesting possibilities.

Interesting possibilities.

The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. - Heinlein


DRM is extremely valuable anywhere a single broadcast is needed to reach a large number of people. Unfortunately, DRM LW & MW isn't currently allowed within the USA so short range broadcasts of DRM aren't LEGALLY allowed. I could definitely see a militia use DRM for operations in a time of a constitutional emergency as legality will likely be subservient to practicality. For DRM SW operations which are legal in the USA, broadcasts would exceed distances of 200 miles. The potential applications of broadcasting unencrypted or encrypted DRM are indeed interesting. *

* Dearth of information currently on potentially encrypting DRM transmissions.

Encrypting DRM Broadcasts

Apparently, the German armed forces are beginning a broad implementation of transmitting encrypted files to troops on deployment via DRM. Although the DRM standard itself doesn't appear to include real-time encryption currently, files can certainly be encrypted and then transmitted via DRM. The German armed forces are using "random" frequencies and encryption to discourage attempts to receive and then decode their broadcasts. To the German armed forces, here come the HACKERS! .... ;)


Thank you for

the science post

You're welcome. After

You're welcome. After listening to DRM (digital shortwave here in the USA as DRM for MW isn't available currently) for a couple of months, I'm impressed.

While I do like the idea, I

While I do like the idea, I believe that it would be an unlikely candidate for the Liberty Movement in the event that the Government seizes control of the internet. There are two reasons which I believe make DRM nonviable: 1)The cost of even low power transmitters is prohibitive for most in the liberty movement, and 2) Since a mobile transmitter is out of the question, the government could just seizes the place which the transmission is being emanated from -or they could just kill the power.

With small transmitters being 300W @$5000 for FM and and 1kW @$??? for AM, one quickly realizes that the cost for the minimum power isn't that great of a deal. What distance would 300W get a DRM transmitter; a couple of miles, if that. So there is a very little possibility of having repeaters due to the price of a low power transmitter.

Although I understand your

Although I understand your objections, we don't necessarily need EVERYONE to possess a transmitter. Most people just need receivers and one other format for two-way communication, e.g. a telephone. Furthermore, I don't think mobile transmitters are out of the question although I see some obstacles to their deployment. Depending on the antenna, frequency, and environmental conditions, low-power DRM broadcasts can travel quite a distance. DRM broadcasts are VASTLY more energy efficient than analog AM broadcasts. Currently, I think the biggest obstacle is the availability of cheaper DRM transmitters and software, e.g. Spark. * Cheaper DRM transmitters are coming, though, and with it the high probability of the world's "first" DRM "pirate" broadcast. More later...

* http://www.drm-sender.de/

Low-Power DRM Via Part 15 Rules of Title 47 CFR

I've been researching the possibility of exploiting the Part 15 rules for use of low-power Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) broadcasts on the MW band within the USA. I've asked the following question on various forums without any concrete response so far. Do Part 15 rules allow for broadcasting low-power DRM within the USA on the MW (~ 522 KHz to 1710 KHz) band? The FCC granted iBiquity the exclusive right to broadcast their proprietary format of digital on MW at normal power levels, but did that "exclusive" right override low-power, Part 15 rules? Personally, I'm not sure and apparently no one else is sure either. The UNOFFICIAL consensus of a few other low-power broadcasters seems to favor proceeding with broadcasting DRM via Part 15 rules. With the potential legal hurdle temporarily aside, is it technically possible to broadcast DRM at such low power levels of 100 mW? Well, only experimentation will verify the possibility. Unfortunately, low-power DRM transmitters conforming to Title 47, Part 15.219 rules aren't currently available. Since each low-power station can have upwards of FIVE transmitters, it's possible to create a radio station with a potential audience of at least 15,000 people and upward of 22,500 people at 3,000 people per square mile.

Under IDEAL conditions, a low-power, Part 15.219 AM ANALOG broadcast can travel upward of ~ 1 mile with a well-engineered antenna and nearly perfect environmental conditions. More realistically, the average range for a low-power, Part 15.219 AM ANALOG transmission would vary from ~ .5 to .75 mile. With FIVE transmitters and omni-directional antennas (~ $2,500) located strategically around a city, one station could cover quite a bit of territory, i.e. a MAXIMUM radius of 3.75 miles or 7.5 miles in diameter. DRM broadcasts are allegedly even more power efficient that analog broadcasts so the potential range MIGHT even be further than analog.

Michael Nystrom's picture

Thank you for the information

I've filed it in the pumpkin for future reference.

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. - Alan Watts

Thanks, Michael, for ALL that

Thanks, Michael, for ALL that you do for us. Hopefully, you received my promised $20 by now as a small token of my thanks. I sent it via the USPS. I wish I had MORE to give, but I'm trying my best to use limited funds wisely by spreading those funds around to numerous worthy causes.

With this thread, I'm trying to distill really technical information into a more functional format for laymen to use instead of searching through REAMS of technical information on this subject. I'm trying to present the options so our movement to restore constitutional liberty can potentially circumvent any shenanigans that governments love to employ to stifle freedom of communication. Surely, no system is totally free from manipulation, but Digital Radio Mondiale has enough potential NOW to keep us informed and united in drastically oppressive circumstances. New receivers are on the market with very good sensitivity. Although a bit expensive, high quality and compact antennas are available to receive DRM shortwave broadcasts. Cheaper and bulkier antennas are also available where appropriate. Although not recommended in our current environment, the possibility to transmit "pirate" (unlicensed *) broadcasts also exists in cases of emergency. Governments will have difficulty effectively jamming all radio transmissions.

* Personally, I'm neutral on this matter as long as the "pirate" broadcaster is familiar with radio operation, SOP, and frequency allocation. Naturally, the FCC takes a different, hostile view of such broadcasts so tread carefully if you choose to violate the FCC. Try to be a good "citizen" of the radio community. ;)

Like I said nearly a year

Like I said nearly a year ago, it was only a matter of time before pirate broadcasters starting experimenting with DRM. Now, we have documented proof of a pirate broadcast using DRM from "Undercover Radio" ... Enjoy. Don't think for a minute that the InterNet is necessary for file transfer, webpages, uncensored communications, or even video. When pirate broadcasters start experimenting with a technology, the popularity of that technology has reached critical mass. DRM has arrived.


Buy or Lease Sackville, NB Transmitter?

Unlike the author, I don't see the cessation of RCI's programming as bad. I see RCI's reduction in budget as an opportunity. Maybe, this reduction in the budget for RCI's Sackville transmitter might lead to a private buyer. I have not researched this possibility, though. However, it's worth investigating the possible acquisition or lease of this transmitter by a group of liberty-minded buyers looking to spread the message of liberty and reduce the likelihood of government meddling by eliminating the carriers. The Sackville transmitter is fully capable of transmitting DRM broadcasts to the eastern half of the USA. However, the Sackville transmitter will still remain on Canadian soil and thereby under the jurisdiction of the Canadian government.


As expected, CBC is looking

As expected, CBC is looking to SELL the Sackville, NB site instead of dismantling it. Here's a golden opportunity to acquire a site capable of transmitting DRM SW signals throughout the USA.


DRM: Simply Amazing With Decent Antenna

Although I've been researching Digital Radio Mondiale for awhile, I've just recently decided to test my interest. Until today, I've never heard an actual live broadcast in DRM. Now, I've heard two broadcasts in one day. I'm simply amazed at the good quality of the signal with a DECENT antenna and receiver. A listener would nearly swear the broadcasts were originating within 50 miles of the listener yet these broadcasts ranged from ~ 2500 miles (Cariari, Costa Rica) to ~ 7500 miles (New Zealand). Even I couldn't imagine SHORTWAVE radio sounding this good. Although, I haven't purchased dedicated DRM hardware yet, I'll be doing so very soon. I'm currently using an analog shortwave receiver modified with a DRM board. Sure, it's a hassle which, thankfully, most of the readers won't have to endure with the advent of low-cost receivers like Newstar's DR111. After listening to these two DRM broadcasts, however, I now really want hardware that exploits the whole DRM30 standard including LCD displays capable of receiving video, graphic, and HTML data. The only real problem associated with DRM (digital radio) is the same one plaguing digital TV, i.e. the need for a good antenna. A listener needs a good quality antenna capable of consistently producing a MINIMUM SNR (signal-to-noise) ratio of at least 15.5 db. An average SNR of 20 db or greater is best. Otherwise, the listener will hear annoying dropouts of audio. However, don't take my word for it. Get some real hardware capable of decoding DRM so you can listen for yourself. Listening to recordings of DRM broadcasts made with microphones doesn't do justice to their quality.


I'll BRIEFLY mention a FEW of the most viable antennas for listening to shortwave broadcasts.

1. Wellbrook's Magnetic Loop ALA-1530 for ~ $320 to $400. An exceedingly effective and compact antenna. One of the very best shortwave antennas available.



2. Pixel Technologies' RF Pro 1B for ~ $500


3. AOR's LA-400 for ~ $400
Restricted to protected environments

This is great!

I don't have the time to really look too deep into it until tomorrow but it really relates to what I have been saying on my earlier post about using press releases and/or creating your own media outlet and change the system that way. I will link this in my post. Good share!

Truth is treason in an empire of lies