Shortwave Radiogram recordings

Shortwave Radiogram transmits digital text and images on analog shortwave broadcast transmitters. This international news program is produced and presented by Dr. Kim Andrew Elliott KD9XB. The 30-minute program is transmitted at several times and from several locations each week. A receiver and antenna capable of capturing HF SSB (high-frequency single-sideband) transmissions from distant stations is required for live reception.

The ARRL's Eclectic Tech podcast episode 11 (MP3 audio file), dated July 2, 2020, includes a discussion about this program with Dr. Elliott.

Although a shortwave receiver is required to receive the program over the air, the programs are recorded, the recordings are available on this Web page and elsewhere, and fldigi can play back the recordings. Note, however, that the recordings are over-the-air recordings, not production studio copies; your "reception" may not be perfect.

First, download the file you want to use and save it to your computer. Then, in fldigi, use "File|Audio|Playback" and check the checkbox. (See NBEMS menus and configuration for help with the "W|X" and "Y~Z" method of describing software menus and configuration.) Locate and select the file to be played and press the Open button. You will probably want to answer the question "playback continuous loop?" with "No". The specified file will then begin playing. Un-check the box at "File|Audio|Playback" to stop playback, or allow it to continue playing to the end of the file.

Recordings usually start slightly before the scheduled start time. You may see "Shortwave Radiogram" painted on your fldigi waterfall shortly after the recording begins. There will then be a period of analog audio, which may not be audible on the recording. The digital transmission will begin after that. (So, please be patient!)

Shortwave Radiogram programs begin in the MFSK32 OpMode. Set the waterfall cursor at 1500 Hz. Turn fldigi's RxID setting on.

Each 30-minute program typically shifts between multiple digital operating modes; MFSK32 and MFSK64 are almost always both employed, but others appear as well. With fldigi's RxID setting on, fldigi should detect the OpMode change and adjust. The program's producer notes, however, that RxID has not always worked with transmissions from commercial shortwave station WINB, and the transmissions linked from this page are mostly from that station. So you will need to "baby-sit" the transmission and be prepared to make OpMode changes manually. OpMode changes are usually announced in text just before the changes, as in "Shortwave Radiogram now changes to...". You can also use the program schedule to anticipate the modes to be used and when the changes will take place. The schedule is included in each program's blog entry (use the "Information" link) and is also sent at the beginning of each 30-minute broadcast.


These files are in .wav format and are large; you must download them and save them locally in order to use them.

(You might be wondering about the format used here for writing date and time, like "2020-08-15T02:30Z". Translate the string just cited as year 2020, month 8, date 15, 2 hours 30 minutes Zulu (Greenwich Mean Time, or Coordinated Universal Time), which was August 14, 2020 at 7:30 pm PDT in the United States. This is an ISO 8601 format. Wikipedia has a good explanation.)

The program's Web site contains years of audio archives. However, they are in .mp3 format, which fldigi cannot play. If you wish to download and use them, you must convert them to .wav format. Ways to do that:

John Rabold KS6M