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DRM ON AN UNMODIFIED ICOM IC-PCR1000

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(This webpage was created in 2005).

In 1998 a small group of pioneering broadcasters and manufacturers met to create a universal, digital system for the AM broadcasting bands below 30 mHz. They called their system Digital Radio Mondiale(DRM). The main advantage of DRM is that a short wave station can be received with a sound quality comparable to FM. A very interesting highlight of DRM is that it is a non-proprietary system. Much of 2005 DRM transmissions are geared toward Europe; however, there are several time slots when stations beam to the USA and DRM can be received.

Requirements for picking up DRM stations are: a receiver with a wide IF, a computer with a special software package and of course a decent outdoor antenna that can pull in a solid signal. I have found that I can receive DRM transmissions on an unmodified ICOM IC-PCR1000 using a free radio control program called HAM RADIO DELUXE and a free DRM decoding program called DREAM. (DOWNLOADS available at the bottom of this page).


1 photo of PCR1000 and radio handbook 2 photo of HAM RADIO DELUXE software logo 3 photo of HAM RADIO DELUXE radio display 4 photo of DREAM software front page 5 photo of DREAM software receiving DRM
1: As you can see the ICOM IC-PCR1000 computer controlled receiver is rather small. (.5 to 1300 mHz, AM, FM, CW, WFM, SSB).
2: The free radio control program: HAM RADIO DELUXE by Simon Brown (HB9DRV) and Peter Halpin (PH1PH).
3: HAM RADIO DELUXE putting the PCR1000 on 9810 kHz. Audio output from the PCR1000 is sent to the computer sound card input. Dream software does the decoding and the final result comes out of the computer sound system.
4: The free DRM conversion software called: DREAM by Volker Fischer and Alexander Kurpiers.
5: Dream software showing the 6 green lights and in the upper left the relative signal strength in DB.

Since the IC-PCR1000 was not designed for DRM, somewhat unusual settings must be made. If the frequency of the DRM station is 9800 kHz, the PCR1000 must be set 10 kHz higher or 9810, the mode set for LSB and the bandwidth set at 50 kHz. On the DREAM software, the "FLIP INPUT SPECTRUM" box must be checked. These settings are repeatable and all stations are received when they beam to the USA. It's really neat to tune in a DRM station: first you hear a digital stream much like a high speed modem or a bunch of "bees" and then you watch the DREAM software as the green indicators start to light one at a time from bottom to top. It's almost like watching "drag race" starting lights. When the top light goes green the digital stream shuts off and a very nice, quiet, FM quality signal comes through my computer sound system. Very cool.

DOWNLOADS

Click HERE to download HAM RADIO DELUXE (courtesy of Simon Brown HB9DRV).

Click HERE to download a compiled version of DREAM (Version 1.1.7)  (For best results, download DREAM into one folder and extract the DREAM files into a second folder).

Click HERE to see the latest DRM broadcast schedule by UTC (courtesy of Klaus Schneider of the World Wide DX Club).

CRUDE VIDEO TAKEN 3/14/2013

Click HERE to see and hear the DRM signal on a Flex 5000a

 


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