Latin American DX - a little something different

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ka3jjz

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If you would like something a little more challenging than hearing the usual powerhouses, here's a little something you can try...Latin American stations. This site is a nice intro into the lists of stations, by frequency, and when they were last heard.

http://home.tele2.it/MCDXT/LASWLOGS.htm

Many don't realize that many LAers are using HF where FM or AM is impractical. Sometimes the xmtr is nothing more than a refitted old point to point unit that's years old. The lower power, and simpler antennas (many are using dipoles, and some too close to the ground to really achieve a broadside fire pattern...) makes them a challenge. Add to the fact that some aren't using Spanish, but Andean languages such as Quechua or Armaya and you get a small taste of what is available.

Of course, this isn't the best time to be listening on 60 or 90 meters. But that's going to change soon...and there's one irregularly-reported station on the outer edge of 19 meters that's very cold right now...73 Mike
 

Shortwavewave

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WOW talk about a list!

Thanks for the info, Ill bookmark this.

The closest thing to LA I have heard is cuba, and Jamaica.
 

k9rzz

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Nice list! That's a keeper.

QRN was bad tonight. I did a little evening DXpedition and took my video camera along. Editing NOW. Will post link.
 
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another fun thing is to work on catching 100 countries ONLY within the Tropics...Tropical Dx'ing...around the entire globe, but only between the Tropic of Cancer and Capricorn----NASWA did this with the Tropical Award back in the 60's--- you'll be amazed how many countires there are in the tropics...and how quickly you can rack them up !

And the Tropical Bands always make for a more exotic listening !!

Barefootdipole
 

k9rzz

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Are there any awards offered today? I know they would probably require QSL's which are expensive and hard to acquire, but I'm just curious. Something like DXCC for SWLs?
 

kb2vxa

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"Sometimes the xmtr is nothing more than a refitted old point to point unit that's years old."

You mean old tube type AM ham transmitters? Yup, was it World Harvest Radio, that religious outfit that some years ago advertised for them as a start up operation? They were a good catch back then using what would be considered flea power as compared to the government stations and the modulation wasn't all that good, transmitters designed for ICAS don't hold up well under CCS conditions. Even most broadcast transmitter modulation transformers and reactors had to be modified to withstand high modulation densities that characterize shortwave broadcasts.

Now with modern digital modulators the whole high power audio amplifier section has been eliminated. Those were the days when the transmitter talked to you without an air monitor, you could hear the iron singing.

I rather miss the 6MHz outlets that were provided by many Canadian standard AM broadcast stations that covered entire regions during the day but unfortunately got clobbered by the islands and South America at night. The tropical bands are considered regional, they don't propagate very well and the summer static crashes are a bit hard on the ears. If you like a challenge go for it and don't forget the pirates at the very top of the band just below 7MHz and the clandestine or "rebel" stations when small countries are at odds with each other. Georgia on my mind? (;->)
 

ka3jjz

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You're quite right about the tropical bands propagating poorly now, Warren. Just wait until around Sept/Oct when the TStorms aren't nearly so prevalent, and absorption tends to wane. With a good setup the bands open up. Latins aren't the only thing to be heard there; Africans are a constant visitor on that band as well, and even a few Pacific and Asian stations if the propagation gods are really smiling.

Yep, those bands are regional in nature - so long as you can dodge around the high power religious and Cuban stations at the low end of 5 Mhz. Rebelde tends to ruin things around 5025, but they're an easy catch - and a good way to have a listen to local Cuban programming...probably running a few kw, too. 73 Mike
 

ka3jjz

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Are there any awards offered today? I know they would probably require QSL's which are expensive and hard to acquire, but I'm just curious. Something like DXCC for SWLs?
NASWA - the North American SW Association, a club specializing in HF Broadcast stations, had an awards program. I think it's still up, although to be honest, I haven't seen it reported in the recent bulletins.

73 Mike
 

ka3jjz

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Let me add a little here - don't be scared off by not knowing the languages, as sometimes folks are. There are many little tidbits and tricks that can help ID a station. Particularly with the smaller stations, they may not necessarily ID on the hour - you really have to listen for it. Fortunately the word 'Radio' is pretty much the same in several languages, and you can get clues from the programming. For example, on occasion you will hear a station play 'El Condor Pasa' at or near the time they're about to make a programming change. You may not know that song by its Spanish name - but you would almost certainly recognize it. Paul Simon (the singer/songwriter) redid the song and turned it into a minor hit in the 70s. Stations that play this song in such a manner are often Andean in nature - Peruvians and Ecuadorians, to name 2.

Tricks like this will help pin down what you are hearing 73 Mike
 

kb2vxa

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Ah yes, Radio Rebelde founded by Ernesto "Che" Guevara literally Rebel Radio. Viva la revolucion! Darn, as always I forget the frequency but the MW broadcasts come in here like gang busters in winter, so does Radio Progresso if you like Cuban rock and roll. Rebelde is traditional Latin American music if you like a good salsa or meringue.

Is this a thread hijack? Take me to Cuba!
 
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