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Radio Huancabamba, Peru


The following item is taken from Relampago DX #118 (June 2000) by Takayuki Inoue Nozaki. It is placed here with permission.

Por las Rutas del Per´┐Ż (28) ...

Radio Huancabamba, which popped up on the measured frequency of 6281.4 kHz, was first logged by DX enthusiasts in early June of 1985. The station announced transmitting on medium wave and shortwave with respective callsigns: "Transmite Radio Huancabamba, hito de cultura, servicio y peruanidad para todos los pueblos del Peru y America, en OAX1L 1240 kc onda media en amplitud modulada y OAX1M 6290 kHz onda corta banda internacional de 49 metros." According to the identification, Radio Huancabamba was seemingly a licensed broadcaster, though in fact it had been operating illegally since the start of its transmissions. Although the shortwave frequency was announced as "6290 kHz onda corta banda internacional de 49 metros", the shortwave outlet made its first appearance about 8.6 kHz below the nominal frequency, and has been on the air outside the defined international broadcast band. However, only maritime mobile stations are permitted to operate in this frequency range. Furthermore, pretending to be a broadcasting enterprise officially authorized the Ministry of Transports and Communications, Radio Huancabamba identified itself with call letters and region number "1", assignable callsigns in the Department of Piura. However, the callsigns had formerly been assigned to other commercial broadcasters: OAX1L Radio Imperio on 1490 kHz in Chiclayo and OAX1M Radio Progreso on 3330 kHz in Piura. The latter station left shortwave and its license was cancelled, many years ago. After license is definitively cancelled, the callsign is not reissued to other broadcasters except for a change of ownership. Consequently, Radio Huancabamba could not be licensed with the callsign OAX1M, which had been assigned to Radio Progreso.

Because of its illegal background, in the middle of March 1995, Radio Huancabamba was raided by the Ministry of Transports and Communication's legal inspectors. The shortwave transmitter was seized by the judge of penal court, and then the equipment was returned to the owner after paying a penalty of US$ 2,000. In July of 1995, Radio Huancabamba resumed shortwave transmissions, still without a license.

Radio Huancabamba remained on the variable frequency range between 6280.7 kHz and 6281.8 kHz, on where it has been heard intermittently from early June of 1985 through late September of 1996. According to monitors of Henrik Klemetz, it was on October 2, 1998 that the station resumed the transmission on another frequency of 5800.8 kHz after nearly two years of silence. The reason for the frequency change was obviously either to avoid interference from other stations operating around the channel or perhaps due to a different technical problem. However, it is certain that Radio Huancabamba operated on 5800.8 kHz with another transmitter which was not used for the previous transmissions because I learned from my visit to San Ignacio on September 25, 1998, that Radio San Ignacio, one of the stations of the "Cadena de Radiodifusion Nuevo Siglo" network, operated on 7040 kHz with the transmitter of 1 kW, which had been utilized by Radio Huancabamba until late September of 1996. After having remained on 5800.8 kHz for a while, it vanished again from the airwaves.

On December 24, 1994, it was at almost 8 p.m. local time, after dark, when I arrived Huancabamba. I wandered around downtown looking for accommodations, and I visited all four basic hotels in the town. However, all hotels had no vacancy owing to many guests who wanted to have a good Christmas with friends and relatives living there. I was tired, and to make matters worse I had no room for taking a rest. Therefore, I tried to arrange for a lodging for the night at one of the broadcasting stations. I was told by locals that Radio Huancabamba was the nearest station from the Plaza de Armas, located at Calle Union, on which a great number of stalls, open-air dinings and vendors completely congested the area for several blocks. I found an ordinary two-story house without a radio station billboard, but with a sign giving the street number as "Calle Union No. 610- 612", which apparently corresponded to the station address, recently announced on the air. Behind the building a plain dipole antenna suspended by two bamboo poles could be seen. I knocked several times and soon a middle-aged woman opened the door and asked me what I needed. Proceeding inside, I found a large and beautifully painted billboard, which depicted the station name "Radio Huancabamba E.I.R.L." in red and yellow, the slogan "hito de cultura, servicio y peruanidad" in sky-blue, and the antenna tower. I explained that I came from Japan to realize my dream to visit Radio Huancabamba after having been a listener on shortwave for almost ten years, and added that I was pressed for a place to stay in town. She was the station owner's wife, and remembered having received my reception reports with picture of my shack. Cesar Amado Colunche Bustamante, the station owner and general manager, gave me a hearty welcome, inviting me to stay at his home during my stay in Huancabamba.

Radio Huancabamba was in the two-story building located at Calle Union No. 610-612. The first floor was used for the station facilities, and the second floor was used for the residence. The studio was surrounded by rustic plywood partition walls, and was equipped with a "FRANVEL" six channel brand console mixer, two "Pioneer" brand cassette decks, two "Pioneer" brand turntables, a "Sony" microphone, and a monitor of unknown brand. The studio had a good collection of records and cassette tapes. The transmitting equipment for shortwave was located in front of the studios.

"Radio Huancabamba Empresa Individual de Responsabilidad Limitada", the first privately-owned broadcasting company in the Province of Huancabamba, was established by Cesar Amado Colunche Bustamante on June 24, 1984, a date celebrated in Peru as "El Dia del Campesino" (Farmers' Day). Radio Huancabamba started operations on the nominal frequency of 1240 kHz medium wave. The first studio and transmitting unit were installed at Calle 2 de Mayo No. 404. The station transmitted programs for a couple of hours in the morning and the evening, with a transmitter of 100 watts manufactured by Manuel Fernandez. Under the slogan of "hito de cultura, servicio y peruanidad", the station broadcast with the objective of serving the basic broadcasting functions of informing, entertaining and educating, as well as becoming a landmark of culture, service and the Peruvian identity of the people living in Peru and the Americas.

Initially, Radio Huancabamba broadcast only on medium wave. It was sufficient for serve urban and suburban areas of Huancabamba as long as it had no local competitors. However, in November of 1984, Radio Grau, the first competitor, commenced shortwave transmissions with extensive coverage, and, remarkably, acquired not only an urban and suburban audience but also listeners living in remote regions. In a short time, Radio Huancabamba was faced with a limited coverage on medium wave. Subsequently, in June of 1985, the station added the shortwave outlet on the nominal frequency of 6290 kHz with a "FRANVEL" brand transmitter of 0.5 kW, in order to extend its coverage. Programs were beamed to audiences throughout the Province of Huancabamba, as well as the northern and eastern departments including Piura, Amazonas, Cajamarca, San Martin, Tumbes, Lambayeque, La Libertad, and also the southern region of Ecuador. At that time the facilities were moved to Calle 2 de Mayo No. 401-400E in the neighborhood address. Afterward, the station left medium wave when the audience became accustomed to tuning to shortwave.

On December, 20, 1991, another "FRANVEL" brand transmitter of 1 kW was purchased to obtain more extensive coverage on shortwave. Radio Huancabamba started operating with this transmitter on April 2, 1992. Afterward, the transmitters which had been formerly used for the medium wave and shortwave operations were transferred to Chiclayo for a project of establishing a radio station. I learned that the project was realized under the name of Radio Nueva Sensacion, which made its first appearance on 4390.5 kHz in late December of 1997. Subsequently, in January of 1998, the shortwave outlet moved up to the slightly drifting frequency of 4386.5 kHz, and shortly it vanished from the airwave. According to the station announcement, the station was also be on the air on 990 kHz medium wave. However, during my stay in Chiclayo in September of 1998, neither station was traced around 990 kHz, nor was a radio station identifying as Radio Nueva Sensacion was not heard on medium wave or shortwave.

When I visited Radio Huancabamba in late December of 1984, the station operated continuously at 1000-0200 from Monday to Saturday with the following programs: 1000-1100 "Musica Folklorica", 1100-1200 "Vision Campesina", 1200-1300 "Informativo Cultural", 1300-1400 "Voz y Sentimiento Campesino", 1400-1500 "Tropicalizando con los Hermanos Yajahuanca", 1500-1600 "Creciendo Juntos, Caminando Juntos", 1600-1700 "La Voz Ruidosa del Sitan", 1700-1800 "Barcon Criollo", 1800-1900 "La Hora Cultural", 1900-2000 "Onda Juvenil", 2000-2100 "Variedades Musicales", 2100-2200 "Los Chimborazos", 2200-2300 "Recuerdos al caer la tarde", 2300-0000 "Buenas Tardes Peru", 0000-0100 "Aires Ecuatorianos", 0100-0200 "Paraiso del Amor"; and at 1100-2300 on Sunday with basically music programs.

To my knowledge, Radio Huancabamba was never a good verifier while the shortwave outlet was active. However, the station owner welcomes reception reports from overseas listeners, and particularly comments about the programs. So don't give up getting a QSL, and continue sending letters to the station. If you are lucky, you may get a reply from the station by mail, or greeting on the air.

Opening announcement
"Senoras y senores a partir de estos momentos se inicia la gigante y variada programacion de la Empresa de Radiodifusion Huancabamba, la misma que presigue tres importantes objetivos: de informar, educar y entretener sanamente a traves de los 6290 kHz de onda corta. Un destacado grupo de comunicadores sociales trabaja arduamente a partir de estos momentos para ustedes que se merecen lo mejor. Aqui nuestra programacion de Radio Huancabamba."

Closing announcements
"La Empresa de Radiodifusion Huancabamba agradece profundamente la atencion prestada a nuestra gigante y variada programacion, esperando que juntos hayamos logrado alcanzar tres importantes objetivos: de informar, educar y entretener. Un destacado grupo de comunicadores sociales hace un parentesis para retornar dentro de pocas horas, siempre con la sagrada mision de trabajar pensando en usted que es lo mas importante y se merecen lo mejor. Un feliz descanso y un alegre amanecer. Senoras y senores, retornamos a las 5 de la madrugada."

Canned identifications]
"De extremo a extremo de nuestra demarcacion territorial y provincial, transmite Radio Huancabamba. Desde Huancabamba, ciudad que camina enclavada entre sus idolos milenarios el Pariacaca y el Huichirigumi, cruzada por su rio cantarino y halagador que nace en el Shimbe, una de las lagunas encantadas de las lagunas de las Huaringas, nacida en las desaparecida ciudad Inca de Chicuate, OAX1L 1240 kHz onda media amplitud modulada y en los 6290 kHz onda corta banda internacional y tropical de 49 metros. Radio Huancabamba, con estudios centrales en Calle Union 610 y 612. Radio Huancabamba, hito de cultura, servicio y peruanidad para Huancabamba."

Technical Information
6290 kHz: was the nominal frequency of the shortwave outlet, but it was actually in the variable frequency range of 6280.7 - 6281.8 kHz. It was equipped with a "FRANVEL" brand transmitter (maximum power 1 kW/actual power 0.75 kW) + a 1/2 wave dipole antenna (12 meters high above the ground). This transmitter was purchased on December 20, 1991 and was during the period from April of 1992 through September of 1996.
1240 kHz: was equipped with a transmitter manufactured by Manuel Fernandez (nominal power 0.1 kW) + an inverted V antenna. The medium wave outlet was used from June of 1984 through January of 1986.

Address: Calle Union No. 610-612, Huancabamba, Provincia de Huancabamba, Departamento de Piura, Republica del Peru.


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