Listening to radio stations from the Americas

Monthly Archives: November 2015

Via Arnaldo Slaen, dxld yg (15/11-2015) via Jan Edh, ARC we learn that a process has been initiated to move Brazilian AM radio stations to FM only. The President of Brazil some days ago signed a decree authorizing stations to leave the AM band in favor for FM. The reason is, that there is a need to improve the audio quality and competitiveness of the the radio stations thus making them more attractive for advertisers.

“It is excellent news for all national broadcasters, not only because it addresses the needs and expectations of broadcasters. The decree also establishes a new framework for investments and innovations in the sector, pushing the radio to become more competitive to better serve its listeners and the market, “said the president of Brazilian Association of Radio and Television (Abert), Márcio Villela. Abert estimates that of the present 1784 AM stations operating in Brazil, some 90% will be moved to the FM band only.

To us DXers this is indeed very sad news. We will now witness the trend that has already been taking place in, e.g., Canada, not to forget the large amount of stations on the Caribbean Islands that have moved to FM. Similar discussions is also taking place in another major AM radio market in the Americas, namely México. My guess is, that the biggest radio market in the Americas, the US will soon follow.

The trend is clear, however, and there is nothing we can do about it. Not only will stations move to FM but also the web-radios are increasingly taking market shares making AM radio less attractive for the audience and for advertisers. We now that of course. What the time frame will be before all of these plans have been completed remains to be seen. My estimation is, that the AM band, within ten years or less, will resemble the situation we today have on SW. There will not be much left for us DX freaks to hunt for on AM. Maybe the band is still full of stations during the coming solar minimum around 2020, maybe not.

Radio AM990, Formosa 990

LRH203 AM990 has been logged in Finland before, but it is definitely not the easiest catch on the EU-channel 990. LR4 R Splendid (common in the early days on shortwaves) was the Argentinian that was heard by several Finnish DXers between 2000-2010. According to my knowledge Splendid has been absent in Finnish logs since then for what ever reason it can be. Since there are no stations listed on 990 in Uruguay or Paraguay (nor in Chile), Splendid and AM990 Formosa are the only possibilities to search for during cx towards the southern part of South America. During the mediocre LEM357 pedition AM990 was fading up around 05 UTC on October 23 in the middle of a proton storm. Luckily, the cx at this date favored stations from the Northwestern and Northern parts of Argentina but not the greater Buenos Aires area. A clear ID “AM990 la radio de Formosa” followed by a commercial for “Banco Formosa” was heard before the SS stations in Spain and other EU-stations took over the frequency. AM990 was logged also by JPR last spring on March 8. A nice e verification via FB signed by Hector Sanchez, Locutor, was promptly received. Gracias Hector!

The Bolivian radio station Radio Camargo, Camargo (Chuquisaca), Bolivia celebrates it’s 40th anniversary on November 9, 2015. Let us wish all the staff of Radio Camargo Happy 40th Anniversary!

Radio Camargo 3390

Radio Camargo’s first transmission took place on November 9, 1975 at 6.45 pm. on 3390 kHz from the city of Camargo, Capital of the Province Nor Cinti, Departament of Chuquisaca, Bolivia some 350 km south of the city of Sucre. Camargo is a city of some 6000 inhabitants  between two mountain chains on the banks of Rio Chico. The station was built on the initiative of Don Pablo Garcia B.

Many Nordic DXers interested in Latin American radio stations remember when Camargo appeared with transmissions in the 90 m.b. on 3390 kHz in 1977. The first Nordic loggings were made by Tomas Johansson in Borlänge, Sweden and Pertti Äyräs in Turku, Finland in June that year, i.e., two years after the station was born. My first logging of Camargo was on August 2, 1977 just before Heidi and I left for post-graduate studies to USA where we stayed for four years and as a result I did not return to DXing until 1989, a break in DXing for 12 years! Radio Camargo remained a faithful station in the 90 m.b. for decades  to the joy of many LA-DXers. The station was always glad to receive reception reports from foreign listeners and promptly answered us with QSLs for which we are thankful.

Even though Radio Camargo is still listed as active in the 90 m.b. in WRTH2015. I was informed today by José Luís Garcia Pastrana on Radio Camargo that the station officially  left shortwaves in the beginning of 2008  because of cost reasons. It is now transmitting only on FM on 100.3 Mhz.

A personal special memory of listening to Radio Camargo is from July 28, 1990 when Henrik Klemetz was visiting me in our summer place outside the city of Jakobstad by the Gulf of Bothnia. A look in my log book reveals that in addition to R Camargo on 3390, we also noted R Nacional de Bolivia on 1390 and R 9 de Abril on 3200.4  R Camargo closed down at 0135 UTC just after sunrise in Jakobstad at 0127 UTC!

Henrik has sent a 40th anniversary package including text, fotos and an mp3 audio greeting to Radio Camargo.


Below a video professionally produced by José Luís García Pastrana on Radio Camargo based on the material Henrik Klemetz submitted to him as mentioned above.

Radio San Salvador de Jujuy 630

During the LEM357-pedition some weeks ago the conditions were mediocre overall. Coronal holes one after another and at the end of expedition an increased proton level made trans-Atlantic propagation lousy. On Friday, October 23 around 05 UTC, in the “middle” of a minor proton storm, we found the band more or less empty with the exception of weak La Plata signals, especially on the lower part of the band. Because the band was so clean even many of these signals were readable. We found that the cx favored stations from the Northern and Northwestern corner of Argentina. One of the stations identified was LW8 Radio San Salvador de Jujuy on 630, a frequency almost always giving only the Buenos Aires station R Rivadavia during La Plata cx. Now, at 0501 UTC a clear ID was noted “LW8 Radio San Salvador de Jujuy 630 kcs, oficinas en Horacio Guzmán 496 en Radio Visión Jujuy…”. This was indeed a big surprise. Pertti Äyräs heard LW8 probably for the first time in Finland on October 16, 2014, almost exactly on year earlier.

My report was rapidly verified by Rodrigo Martearena, Jefe Comercial y Marketing, Radio Visión Jujuy. Mil gracias Rodrigo. This becasme my QSL # 160 from Argentina!