new RHC service - from Arnie Coro

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ka3jjz

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Relayed from the NASWA list;

Dear amigos
At 23 hours UTC, March 22 , Radio Havana Cuba started its national service for the Cuban archipelago on the ITU Registered Frequency of 5040 kiloHertz. The first program that went on the air was our English language service, and the ¨menu¨ continued with a program in French.
March 23 UTC day ( Tuesday UTC day ) the 5040 kiloHertz frequency will continue to be on the air until 1100 UTC, with programming in Spanish too. The new national service is designed to provide coverage of the most famous Cuban tourist resorts , like Varadero Beach, Cayo Largo , Jardines del Rey, Guardalavaca, and others where last year some two million three hundred thousand foreign tourists visited to enjoy their holidays.

Reports of the new transmissions began to come in immediately from the Jardines del Rey tourist resort located in the keys north of Ciego de Avila province, where signals of S9 +40 dB were picked up.

The antenna used on 5040 kiloHertz is an NVIS system... Near Vertical Incidence Skywave radiating system , also known as a "Cloud Warmer "because it sends the signals at very high angles above the horizon, so I am not expecting many reports outside the primary target area of the broadcast. Anyway, reports will be , as always most appreciated , from anywhere the 5040 kiloHertz transmission is picked up .

Send mail to : inforhc at enet dot cu
73 and DX
Arnie Coro
Host of Dxers Unlimited radio hobby program
===================

Why in the world they would put this on a freq most visitors won't know about is beyond me. I would think FM or MW would be a much better bet, unless the terrain is such that it wouldn't cover during the day. And if you think 5040 isn't going to propagate at night even with NVIS, well, he's got another thing coming.

Just what we need, another high power station on the top end of 60 <sigh>

73 Mike

[edit] I see at least one report from SC at 0030....
 
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kb2vxa

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Sr. Coro is nobody's fool, unfortunately there are few who know him well, his position(s) at RHC or conditions on the island due to to lack of information thanks to US politics. First of all, few Americans have any interest in shortwave and so are ignorant of its usefulness while on the other hand these tourists are mostly European and listen regularly to regional broadcasts. It makes sense they bring radios with them?

MW is useless for the most part, the band is already crowded with Cuban and other area broadcasters, then nighttime propagation only makes it worse. Also there are geographical and cost considerations, FM only covers limited areas and is useless in the mountains so many transmitting sites must be employed. I have my doubts that RHC wants to duplicate US networks broadcasting the same program across the country from multiple sites when it is much more cost effective to transmit from a single site that can cover the whole island. The primary consideration here is money they simply don't have, Cuba is a poor country where everything is rationed (including Arnie's food) and RHC operates on a shoestring budget, they're lucky to keep anything on the air as it is.

"Just what we need, another high power station on the top end of 60 <sigh>"
And why not? The band is underutilized as it is and frankly I have my doubts you'd get good reception in Maryland anyway. On the other hand I hope I'm wrong, a clear channel Cuban station would be a godsend for those interested in leaning about Cuban culture and listening to some great music. RHC is NOT a propaganda station any more than its MW counterparts Rebelde and Progresso.
 
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ka3jjz

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If by underutilized, you mean by major broadcasters, thank heaven for that. There are many smaller Latin American stations on the 60mb, with far smaller numbers of Asian and African stations on that band. It's very far from an 'empty' band, as some might have you believe.

As an example...

LA SW LOGS

And as for reception in Maryland, I will try it tonight - but I'm going to bet I will have little trouble in hearing it. If it can be heard in South Carolina (as it has been), then I should have a chance for it in Maryland. It will be interesting to see if I can hear it 73 Mike
 

ka3jjz

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As expected, I'm hearing 5040 RHC very easily on my RX320D, with about 30 foot of wire thrown across the floor into a 4:1 balun. It's quite strong, though the signal strength is fading in and out. It's 0111 UT

No great surprise here - I'm betting whatever NVIS antenna they're using, there's still something of a horizontal component, as speculated by Glenn Hauser on the NASWA list. Probably running some power as well 73 Mike
 

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They definitely have some power going out. It's S9+30 here with some slight fading to S9+20db up here in the Pacific NW.
 

kb2vxa

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Just because it's NVIS doesn't say reception is strictly limited to the primary coverage region. What you're hearing is multi hop high angle propagation plus a bit of low angle signal combined, hence the fading as phase angles and polarization shifts are affected by changing ionospheric conditions.

As for NVIS consider this. Aside from a few wealthy "big gun" hams most use wire antennas such as dipoles fairly low to the ground for 40M and above*. The reason is simple, in order to get a low radiation angle on 40 the antenna must be more than 65' above the ground and it gets higher as the frequency goes down. In order to overcome the cloud burner effect variations on vertical designs may be used but I digress. Still we are able to communicate over great distances at night so it's not exactly like RHC put a Faraday cage around the island.

* Don't be confused, as the frequency goes down the wavelength goes up so when talking "meter bands" the numbers go in reverse of the frequencies.

Now instead of posting them here why don't you send your reports to the Professor, I'm sure he will be glad to get them. Oh you didn't know Arnie is a professor at the University of Havana? (;->)
 
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