DAB/DAB+ digital radio in Greece

A few weeks ago, the government controlled broadcaster ERT started transmitting a DAB+ multiplex from their transmitter site on Mt Ymittos, near Athens (HGRS87 coordinates: 483892, 4200920; WGS84 coordinates: 37.9583 N - 23.8183 E; 945 m ASL). Before that, the Minsitry of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Information had published two relevant ministerial decisions in the Government Gazette. Decision 169/2018 defines the allotements and frequency allocations for DAB broadcasts in VHF Band III (174-230 MHz) and authorized a number of transmitter locations. Decision 170/2018 issues a license to ERT for nationwide DAB+ broadcasts on one frequency in each allotment.

Currently an experimental ERT transmssion on 227.36 MHz covers only part of Attica Region. The multiplex contains the following audio streams:
  • "PROTO" (136 kbps,  AAC)
  • "DEYTERO" (136 kbps, AAC)
  • "TRITO" (136 kbps, AAC)
  • "ERA SPORT" (96 kbps, AAC)
  • "KOSMOS" (128 kbps, AAC)
  • "Voice of Greece" (96 kbps, AAC)
  • "ERA 7" (64 kbps, AAC)
The channel characteristics were logged in the afternoon of Satruday, February 24, 2018; they may change over time while ERT engineers experiment with coverage and sound quality issues. 

Voice of Greece is also transmitted at irregular times, usually during late nights, in short wave, on 9420 kHz.  

"ERA 7" transmits audio from the sessions of the Greek Parliament. 

"TRITO" is supposed to transmit high fidelity music, however the current bitrade is inadequate, as 192 - 256 kHz is the minimum acceptable bitrate for this purpose.

My vintage MagicBox Clarus Plus DAB/WiFi digital desktop radio receiver can receive all seven channels with its whip antenna, however the signal strength is weak and the error rate relatively high.

For general and technical information about DAB, access to the relevant ETSI standards and other updates, visit the WorldDAB Forum at: https://www.worlddab.org/ 


DP0GVN: WSPR beacon received on 30m

WSPR beacon DP0GVN (see previous post), located at at the German Antarctic Research Station "Neumayer III", transmits regularly on 30 and 20 m (10 and 14 MHz). 

This evening its weak signal is decoded in Greece. The radio is an IC-706 MkII with a vertical antenna and WSJT-X v1.8.0 software. 

Here are the first three WSPR packets:

1804  -26   0.3   10.140158    4   DP0GVN        IB59     33  12316
1816  -27   0.3   10.140158   -4   DP0GVN        IB59     33  12316
1828  -26   0.4   10.140159   -2   DP0GVN        IB59     33  12316

DP0GVN: WSPR beacon in Antarctica

A few days ago, the ARRL site announced that DARC, in cooperation with two German universities, would install a WSPR receiver and beacon in Antarctica. The receiver is based on the Red Pitaya development board, which can function as an SDR transmitter and receiver. The callsign would be DP0GVN. 

According to the entry in QRZ.COM, DPØGVN is a club station located at the German Antarctic Research Station "Neumayer III" in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. The call sign is regularly being activated by station personnel as well as visitors.

This morning I transmitted on 40 m (7 MHz) WSPR with 5W and I was glad to see on WSPRnet that DP0GVN received my signal and reported it to the server. 

Timestamp    Call    MHz    SNR    Drift    Grid    Pwr    Reporter    RGrid    km    az
2018-01-22 02:34      SV1XV      7.040074      -20      -1      KM18ua      5      DP0GVN      IB59uh      12356      191
2018-01-22 02:12      SV1XV      7.040072      -18      0      KM18ua      5      DP0GVN      IB59uh      12356      191
2018-01-21 18:20      SV1XV      7.040074      -26      -4      KM18ua      5      DP0GVN      IB59uh      12356      191

Now I hope to receive their WSPR signal, they transmit with 5W on a vertical antenna, usually on 10 and 14 MHz, but the noise level at my location is much higher.


LoTW to support Worked All Zones (WAZ) award

Map of CQ Zones used in WAZ award

A few years ago ARRL announced that the Logbook of The World (LoTW) would support the prestigious Worked All Zones award, which is managed by CQ-Amateur-Radio magazine. Finally on December 12, 2017, the official announcement for WAZ via LoTW was published on the ARRL site:

Logbook of the World to Add Support for CQ WAZ Award

I checked the "Your QSOs" tab on my LoTW account and I noticed that a new award account option is now available in the query form: "WAZ: SV1XV - GREECE".

LoTW QSO query form with the WAZ option

Support for a WAZ account and a statistics table is not available yet in the "Awards" tab, but I expect this to become available soon.

Now, I am worried, because many LoTW users do not handle their CQ zone information properly.

  • Some do not list their CQ zone at all
  • Other swap the CQ and ITU zones by mistake
  • A small number list a wrong CQ zone
If you are reading this, and you have not paid any attention to CQ zones in the past, would you please ensure that your zone data on LoTW is correct?

According to my logs (kept in Logger32), I can barely manage to get the WAZ Mixed using only LoTW credits. However there may be problems, like the ones listed above, with these confirmations.

Merry Cristmas