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I'm often asked to incorporate a Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) receiver into SDR Console. The reasons why I haven't done this are:
Brendan Wahl, WA7HL, co-Moderator, of the DRM North America Newsgroup explained the lagal minefiled recently. The text below is reproduced with his permission.
Hi all, got some background here for you. I've been following DRM since the beginning, and still admire it for its broadcast quality and capabilities.
The DRM system was originally written by the Frauenhofer Institute in Germany, with the first software for personal use requiring a license key that cost the individual listener somewhere around ~€49/$49. I've got one somewhere, but I haven't had to use it since the freeware "DReaM" came out. No key needed when using that software package, which is still available on Github IIRC. The original commercial software still works, but it's very simple and doesn't provide a lot of bells and whistles. I'm not sure it's available anymore.
What happened was that the AAC codec (and it's variants, esp. XE-AAC...) was developed some years after the receiving software was first published with older codecs already available freely. The Frauenhofer Institute in the meantime had sold its work and code already done on that codec to Dolby Inc., who didn't want to give anything away. Hobbyists went from being able to receive all codec forms of broadcast DRM with little to no cost, to technically having to remove the FAAD.DLL file and receiving nothing, period. Since all DRM broadcasters switched to the XE-AAC codec due to it's efficiencies, hobbyists got left out in the cold with that shift. That .DLL file has been known to circulate privately, since even Dolby admitted that trying to get people to delete a file that they already had was like screaming in the wind.
Currently, as I understand it and as Simon indicates, radio manufacturers and developers must pay a license fee upfront to use the now-Dolby owned codecs. The listeners no longer have to pay, but the commercial party 'pays' on their behalf. This would include Simon of course, since he is both a commercial and hobbyist software developer, working as one entity.
Simply put, DRM is a minefield for someone like Simon. It's not only a bit of a coding time-suck, the potential legal exposure is horrible. It is a big enough issue that most radio manufacturers are simply avoiding the whole issue by not making DRM capable receivers. A Chinese manufacturer, Gospell, and a couple of Indian companies have stuck their financial necks out for DRM, since it is being introduced in both countries, but actual production of quality consumer equipment has been difficult, to say the least.
I should note that SDRC works wonderfully with the DReaM software being fed via a virtual cable. Was listening to Radio New Zealand International just the other night while they were doing some DRM testing, had perfect reception using my HF+. Can't wait for my Discovery to get here!
I'll back Simon on his choice of not including DRM. I use SDRC more than any other radio software, and I appreciate all of his his hard, SOLO, work on it. No wonder he needs our beer money...and of course, the canine is always hungry. I know, I have one too.
Co-Moderator, DRM North America Newsgroup
So there you have it. Thanks Brendan. If you want to listen to DRM use Dream and a virtual audio cable.
Now that I'm spending more time on 2m (144.5 MHz) I decided to add spectrum markers as it makes beacon identiciation easier.
Here's a 2m screenshot taken today, as you can see there's not a lot happening.
A simple window for adding definitions:
And another for the appearance:
When time permits I'll add support for adding data from a CSV file.
Nils Schiffhauer dk8ok has helped me a lot in the past, so when he asked me to support the WiNRADiO Sigma aka G65DDC how could I refuse?
This is a beast of a radio, I've not encountered anything like it before. There's one problem - I don't have one, so testing could have been a nightmare. However, the API is very clear and well documented. After just two days exchanging code with Nils he has now reported that the Sigma is working, and working well with the features in SDR Console that he needs.
This is the first time I've added support without ever seeing the hardware, so kudos to the team at WiNRADiO. The SDK's API is here: https://www.winradio.com/home/g65ddc_sdk.htm .
I'm so impressed, I may add support for more WiNRADiO radios if there's demand.
Here's an example of the Sigma running with a 33.3MHz sample rate and we see the whole of HF!
Support will be in version 3.0.11 of SDR Console which at the time of writing has not been released.
Download here [Link].
What's new / changed in 3.0.10:
A very nice opening this morning to Morocco on Band II Stereo (88 - 108MHz).
Download here [link].
I wrote this program because I wanted to see:
Current Time (local, GMT)
Sunrise / Sunset
There are commercial geo clock solutions such as the excellent Geochron, but as a programmer with spare HD monitors and computers I decided to write my own, that way I have exactly what I want.
Anyway, this weekend I finally found time to update Simon's World Map to version 1.0.8. Here's what is new:
Installs a 64-bit executable on 64-bit Windows, previously the 32-bit executable was used on 64-bit Windows.
Text colour in Clock, Sunrise / Sunset etc. is user-selectable.
Sunrise / sunset shown for entries in the station list.
Timezone markers updated
It doesn't need much CPU at all- anything running Windows 7 or higher is fine.
Listening to France Musique, a station whose output is sorely missed in the UK.
Using the latest little stunner from Airspy.
Note: The main reason for this release is the fixes to transmit with the Pluto SDR.
What's new / changed in 3.0.9:
Screenshots taken with a prototype Airspy HF+ Discovery. This beauty is half the size of the Airpsy HF+ and it's as good if not better. Proper comparison data later.
If you suffer from strong signals then Discovery will not let you down.
What's new / changed in 3.0.8:
New features and changes for 88 - 108MHz FM broadcast reception and the RDS decoder.
RDS decoding has been improved by making PI code detection mor sensitive.
US Callsign logic now uses data from NRSC for callsign and location.
Spectrum window now a docking pane. Display the spectrum window by selecting Ribbon Bar, Receive, Broadcast FM.
Logging of station from the RDS decoding has been added, this is the RDS Logfile option. To display the logfile click the Log button in the BFM Spectrum.
The logfile has all the options you need:
Click ••• to display the options.
The Airspy options have moved from the ribbon bar to the Receive DSP panel.
The USB relay terminology has been changed to avoid confusion.
Data (IQ) Recording
Playback now correctly detects ELAD recerdings and displays the format as ELAD. later the contents of the elad chunk in the WAV file will be supported.
AOKI URL updated and new format supported.
Font size selection for ageing eyes.
Defauly field order changed, will be user-configurable in a future release.
The sample rates 192kHz, 96kHz and 95khz are now calibrated.
Tidying up and extending the Select Satellite option. Instead of just selecting a satellite, pressing Select in the Satellite ribbon bar now display the Select Satellite window which provides an overview of the entries in the Satellite List as well as selection of new satellites.
Footprint configuration is now consolidated into a property page.
Uses the original version 3 de-emphasis and has better peak volume control.
Problems with the transmit signal bursting reduced by redesigned inefficient code, see Pluto support page for more information.