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Friday, April 18, 2014

Regular Japanese DRM Broadcast

After years of working on getting ready for DRM, it has not quite sunken in that we are now doing regular DRM broadcasts to Japan.  These Sunday broadcasts at 12120KHz at 1057-1156UTC are being eagerly received across the country.  Many listeners use software defined radios (SDRs) to tune us in.  These radios are hardware combined with software running on a PC or a laptop.  Many listeners have sent us proof of reception with screenshots similar to the one shown above.  The narrow peaks are normal analog broadcasts.  The wide "Bart-head" is the DRM signal from KTWR.  Not only does that signal carry audio, but it also has text info such as the station ID and a short message that scrolls across the receiver display.
Most of the early listeners to this broadcast have been shortwave radio enthusiasts.  Japan seems to have more SW hobbyists per capita than any other country on the planet.  They were actually the ones who encouraged us to start these broadcasts.  Most hobbyists will tune in a broadcast they have not heard before once or twice for short times to get a QSL card or other souvenir from the station.  However, we have been greatly encouraged by the fact that these listeners listen to the entire program.  They tell us how much they enjoyed hearing the programs for their content, not just the signal quality.
We do pray that this experiment expands to more days and more countries in the near future.  This technology allows people to clearly hear the gospel while using 1/3 the power of analog broadcasts.  The power savings allows us to expand the ministry to more people groups.

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