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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Extended HE-AAC v2 (xHE-AAC) for DRM

A NEW audio codec, Extended HE-AAC (xHE-AAC), now exists for DRM which improves quality at low bit-rates. Although the difference is notably better than HVXC and CELP, xHE-AAC naturally still sounds somewhat compressed when compared to the original source ... of course. The sound quality of xHE-AAC is very good at only 12 kbps ... The lower bit-rates of xHE-AAC allow the transmission of high quality audio under marginal atmospheric conditions. Frankly, I expect to see DRM broadcasts routinely decoded from half way around the earth or ~ 10,000 to 12,000 miles with the xHE-AAC codec.

http://www.drm.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/DRM-xHE-AAC-De...

Since the quality of DRM

Since the quality of DRM transmissions is much higher, the liberty movement would be wise to start investing in MOBILE transmitters NOW located in various parts of the world! Low-cost receiving equipment is becoming available this year for the listening audience. The failure to exploit this technology would be criminal. Personally, I think events like governmental influence over the InterNet will force adoption of DRM sooner rather than later anyway. The overall financial investment would be CHEAP compared to alternatives.

WWCR Will Soon Starting Testing DRM

This news is BIG. The announcement was made on program #371 of "Ask WWCR". WWCR rebroadcasts the Alex Jones show, the Power Hour, the Peter Schiff show, etc. Now is time for DRM shortwave to shine so get your Newstar DR111 receiver today.

http://www.wavecatcher.us/

Control of the InterNet is one executive order away. Radio broadcasts eliminate the middle man, e.g. the ISP.

With a Decent External Antenna

With a decent external antenna, a user can listen to DRM broadcasts originating from various parts of the world with very good quality. DRM is NOT your dad's version of shortwave. ;) Personally, digital shortwave is probably one of the very few methods of communication that governments won't be able to fully control without unknown and adverse effects on the planet. True, DRM broadcasts are solely unidirectional, but interactive communication is widely misused and overstated, e.g. the InterNet. DRM broadcasts are fully capable of transmitting data (graphics/video) concurrently with audio. Imagine receiving webpages searchable with a web browser while listening to DRM audio. DRM broadcasts are fully capable of transmitting contact information via various methods, e.g. webpages or speech, where contact for further information is essential. Just pick up the telephone if needed.

If a reader's computer is on 24 hours per day like mine, Ten-Tec's RX-320D SDR (software defined radio) would be an excellent method of receiving both analog SW and digital (DRM) SW transmissions GLOBALLY depending on the choice of external antenna. One's computer acts like a front-end to Ten-Tec's back-end RX-320D. It's a beautiful and powerful combination.

If a reader wants a portable DRM radio without requiring access to a computer, try the upcoming Newstar DR111 portable radio with DRM capability. True, the DRM capability built into the DR111 is basically minimal, but it fulfills the basic requirements for DRM functionality and will be considerably cheaper than Ten-Tec's RX-320D.

Much, much more later on this important subject.

Ten-Tec RX-320D Discontinued

The unidirectional nature of radio could be complemented with a global mesh network when feedback is necessary and safe. However, I'm firmly against hybrid radio which can easily compromise the identity and location of the listener. Leave these two mediums totally separate, but complementary to each other.

By the way, Ten-Tec has recently discontinued production of the RX-320D.

Ten-Tec RX-320D

The following webpage is a VERY GOOD overview of the strengths, limitations, and solutions for issues arising from the use of Ten-Tec's RX-320 *. Control software is also available for both Windows and Linux operating systems:

http://swlchris.tripod.com/rx320.html

* Note this webpage deals with the predecessor to the RX-320D, the RX-320. The newer RX-320D includes the 12 KHz IF output for decoding DRM broadcasts.

Newstar's DR111

Since the cat inadvertently jumped out of the bag (bound to happen eventually), I can now post the pre-production price of $120 plus shipping for Newstar's DR111.

Part one of a review of Newstar's DR111 DRM receiver:

http://drmnainfo.blogspot.com/2012/04/cdnse-newstar-dr111-re...

As promised, here's part two of the review of Newstar's DR111 DRM receiver:

http://drmnainfo.blogspot.com/2012/04/cdnse-newstar-dr111-re...

Although the audio does sound a little compressed compared to DReaM's decoding, it still sounds FAR better than the fading audio reminiscent of analog shortwave receivers. ;) Regardless, I expect the engineering team to further refine the firmware before beginning mass production. Personally, the audio is more than acceptable to me.

Part three of a review of Newstar's DR111 DRM receiver:

http://drmnainfo.blogspot.com/2012/04/cdnse-newstar-dr111-re...

In part three, the reviewer mentions Degen's DE31 amplified loop antenna. I have this antenna which I recommend under specific circumstances. I won't go into a lot of detail on antennas here, but if a new buyer is looking at Newstar's DR111, I'd suggest visiting ebay or aliexpress.com and buying Degen's DE31 ($20-$30) along with Newstar's DR111. As the reviewer mentioned, a user can expect to increase reception by 1 bar out of 5, i.e. ~ 20%. This increase may mean the difference between receiving a DRM broadcast or not. However, remember that only about 3 DRM broadcasts are currently aimed at the USA so Degen's DE31 will only be marginally useful IF a listener lives in the NE USA (Canadian transmitter), gulf and eastern states of the USA (French Guiana transmitter), or the west coast states of the USA (New Zealand transmitter). For other areas in the USA, expect to buy a more powerful compact antenna. Due to high amplification of some compact antennas, e.g. LF engineering's H800 Skymatch, these antennas are not recommended for shortwave portables which tend to overload easily.

Final farewell of this particular review of Newstar's DR111 DRM receiver on the DP: (I'll add more if significant observations or upgrades occur) Enjoy the short clip of music on digital shortwave.

http://www.drmnainfo.blogspot.com/2012/04/enjoying-rnzi-on-c...

A short video of Newstar's DR111 receiving a DRM broadcast from New Zealand. Notice closely that this video shows the receiver using a 50 ohm external antenna. Although antennas will play a significant role in hindering the adoption of DRM broadcasts, this obstacle will largely be overcome in time. Currently, compact HF antennas are available, but most high quality compact antennas cost ~ $150. I'll discuss the issue of antennas in more detail in other posts. BTW, I will also be buying Newstar's DR111 as an interim solution on the way to more comprehensive gear capable of exploiting the DRM standard. At that point, I will donate the DR111 to a member of the family. Remember that Newstar's DR111 receiver is currently a pre-production model so some changes will likely occur in mass production. Read the reviews and decide for yourself if Newstar's DR111 will fulfill your needs.

http://drmnainfo.blogspot.com/2012/04/cdnse-newstar-dr111-re...

This post will be edited as additional parts are uploaded.

Major Firmware Upgrade Pending for Newstar's DR111

Finally, we're on the verge of the first OFFICIAL upgrade of the firmware for Newstar's DR111 and it's a MAJOR upgrade, too:

http://drmnainfo.blogspot.com/2012/07/newstar-dr111-firmware...

The firmware has now been officially released on Aug, 8, 2012. One can download revision 790 firmware for Newstar's DR111 at:

http://www.cdnse.com/products/dr111

Most of the limitations in earlier reviews of the DR111 have now been addressed. If you want a capable and reasonably priced DRM receiver, feel free to buy the DR111.

Buy Lithium CR1220 Separately

Due to recent changes in shipping freight via airlines, the INTERNAL CR1220 battery which runs the clock with the AC disconnected can no longer be shipped with the DR111 from China. So, you'll have to order the CR1220 separately or buy one locally, but you'll have to open the case to install it. The DR111 will run without the CR1220 as long as the unit is plugged into an AC outlet. Yes, before mass production, the DR111 will likely have to be redesigned to provide external access to the battery...

Amazon.co.UK Customers ONLY: Newstar DR111

For United Kingdom customers ONLY using Amazon.co.uk ... Currently, there's only ONE DR111 for sale from this particular seller, but the situation should slowly change. The DR111 still has NOT reached mass production.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Newstar-DR111-Radio-Digital-Mondiale...

Just the listing of Newstar's DR111 on one of Amazon's servers is a major advance in popularizing this digital receiver.

Newstar DR111 Firmware Upgrade #1

Unofficial first firmware upgrade fixes a number of issues noticed in the aforementioned reviews for Newstar's DR111:

http://www.drmnainfo.blogspot.com/2012/05/newstar-dr111-firm...

Shipping Cost of Newstar's DR111 to USA

Currently, the shipping cost of one Newstar DR111 receiver from China to the USA is $48 so the total pre-production price is $168 ($120+$48). Note that Newstar's DR111 still hasn't received FCC certification so it's sold as a business sample until the receiver finally reaches mass production. IIUC, Allen Liang of Chengdu Newstar Electronics accepts either PayPal or a personal check sent to his checking account in the USA *. Understand that Allen is the VP for sales at Chengdu ... ;)

Link to purchase Newstar's DR111:

http://www.cdnse.com/products

* Once you submit the form for purchasing the pre-production version of the DR111, you'll have to e-mail Allen Liang separately for his physical address in the USA. Once you have his address, then you send a personal check to that physical address and wait until he receives it before shipping the DR111 to you from China. Yes, this current purchasing situation is pretty awful, but the situation should improve as independent enterprise starts accumulating some inventory and selling on Amazon.

Newstar DR111 Audio Comparison on SW Frequencies

Here's a graphic comparison of an analog versus digital (DRM) shortwave broadcast using Newstar's DR111 as the receiver. Although the comparison isn't technically accurate due to different frequencies, it's FUNCTIONALLY accurate. Notice the difference in the power requirements of the broadcasts, i.e. 100 KW for analog versus 25 KW for DRM.
Within mere days since listening to my first DRM broadcast, I've become spoiled listening to DRM broadcasts from around the world. I simply won't own a strictly analog SW receiver anymore.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-m_ntWi1c4&feature=relmfu

Status of DRM * within the

Status of DRM * within the United States:

http://www.usdrm.com/drm_news4.html

* Not to be confused with iBiquity (HD Radio) to which the American government NATURALLY granted exclusive rights over popular segments of the radio spectrum. NATURALLY, iBiquity has private patents on parts of their specification for HD Radio within the US. Just ignore iBiquity and let them die on the vine. In the meantime, one can use DRM in the shortwave bands to receive international broadcasts until the whole spectrum of DRM and DRM+ becomes available in the US. However, since DRM doesn't incur annual royalties from both broadcasters and listeners unlike HD Radio (RadioGuard), iBiquity will likely throw a hissy fit in any attempt to hurt their government-sponsored monopoly on digital radio within the US.