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Radio San Ignacio, Peru


The following item is taken from Relampago DX by Takayuki Inoue Nozaki. (Por las Rutas del Peru 19). It is placed here with permission.

Radio San Ignacio, one of the unlicensed stations established in the Province of San Ignacio, made its debut on shortwave in early June of 1995.

The station was first observed on 6751.1 kHz in the aeronautical mobile band, although the nominal frequency was announced as "6750 kHz." Shortly thereafter, the station moved down slightly to 6747.2 kHz, where it remained from early August of 1995 through July of 1996. It drifted down to 6746.2 kHz in the middle of July 1996, and moved to 6753.2 kHz in late September of 1996.

While R. San Ignacio was off the air for a couple of months, R. Melodia, another newcomer in San Ignacio, started transmitting on shortwave. This was in the middle of November 1996. Radio Melodia was audible on 7040.4 kHz, but its operational frequency was nominally announced as 7015. Its broadcasting activity was quite short. In early January of 1997 the station vanished, after operating for only two months.

In early May of 1997, R. San Ignacio, identifying itself with the slogan "La Voz de la Peruanidad" (the Voice of Peruvianism), made a comeback. However, the station then reappeared on a new frequency of 6997.6 kHz in the fixed aeronautical and land service band. The nominal frequency was announced as 7000 kHz, only 240 Hz different from the measured one. About one month later it moved from 6997.6 to 7040.4, on which R. Melodia had formerly broadcast. Actually, R. San Ignacio's shortwave transmitter broadcasts its signal in the frequency range between 7040.4 and 7040.6. Although the station's signal is adversely affected by interference from a very large number of amateur radio operators, it has been widely heard because it is on such a high frequency. The frequency range on which the station broadcasts is in the amateur radio band. Needless to say, R. San Ignacio is not authorized to do any commercial broadcasting by the Peruvian Ministry of Transports and Communications.

After having made a visit to R. Peru and R. Frecuencia San Ignacio, both in the center of San Ignacio, I headed to the last station, going up a long slope to the outskirts of the town. This was my first opportunity to visit San Ignacio, and I had been looking forward to seeing an unforgettable friend, Cesar Amado Colunche Bustamante, the owner and general manager of R. Huancabamba. Currently he is also the owner of R. San Ignacio. I had previously enjoyed celebrating Christmas with his family during my stay in Huancabamba in 1994. A few years later it was reported to me that he had sent me greetings through the microphone of R. San Ignacio, but, unfortunately, I did not hear it and have never heard a recording of it.

It was 3:45 p.m. on September 25, 1998 when I found the facilities of R. San Ignacio, which had a sign giving the street number as "Jiron Victoria No. 277." The station occupied the first floor of an old two-story building. A billboard above the entrance indicated its presence. There was a single dipole wire attached from the station building to another building across the street. Nobody was in the dusty reception room, but I heard some Chicha being played at a tremendous volume from a room on the right, draped with a curtain. Entering inside the narrow operating room, some one and one-half meters wide and three meters deep, a disc jockey-operator could be seen conducting the afternoon program, "Rocio Tropical," and playing music from radio cassette decks. The operating room was equipped with an "ELTEC" brand console mixer (five channel), a "Technics" HX-PRO model double cassette deck, a "SONY" DCFM-D1 model radio cassette, a broken "National" cassette deck, an "AMPEX" equalizer, and a "SONY" microphone. There was no turntable for records, and therefore the operator was alternately utilizing the cassette deck and cassette radio in order to be able to play different cassette tapes without interruption. Behind the operation desk an electric fan and a shortwave transmitter, in operation, could be seen. Another room in the back was used for the owner's bedroom.

A visit to the station gave me the satisfaction of meeting again the same person I had talked to in Huancabamba about four years ago, Felix Benjamin Huaman Cabrera, the actual operator of R. San Ignacio. He has been working for two years as the operator and announcer of R. San Ignacio, after R. Huancabamba ceased its transmissions in late September of 1996. He informed me that Cesar Colunche Bustamante was regrettably not in San Ignacio and had returned to Huancabamba just two days just before I arrived. The station owner intends to resume shortwave operations on R. Huancabamba, and he also wants to begin a new FM broadcast on that station.

Unluckily I could not see the station owner, and therefore I interviewed the operator about the station history, the programming, and the local broadcasting scene.

Cesar Amado Colunche Bustamante (president) and Pedro Alfonso Morales Chinchai (managing director) founded a new broadcasting company, Radiodifusora San Ignacio Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada. On June 24, 1995, a date celebrated in Peru as "El Dia del Campesino," R. San Ignacio began broadcasting on shortwave with a 250 watt transmitter operating on the nominal frequency of 6750 kHz. Thus began what might be called the "first life" of R. San Ignacio. The first studio was located at Jiron Mercado No. 218, in front of the central public market in San Ignacio. Programs were beamed to listeners throughout the Province of San Ignacio, as well as the northern and eastern departments, including Amazonas, Cajamarca, San Martin, Piura, and also the southern region of Ecuador.

It was early November 1996 when Pedro Alfonso Morales Chinchai deserted the partnership of R. San Ignacio and established another privately-owned broadcasting company named Empresa Individual de Responsabilidad Limitada Radio Melodia at Jiron Comercio No. 740. Taking a leased transmitter of 1 kw which was formerly used by R. Huancabamba, R. Melodia started transmitting on the nominal frequency of 7015 kHz, although in fact it was observed on 7040.4. Shortly afterwards the station began operating on 95.5 MHz FM monaural with a minuscule 50 watt transmitter. Due to financial difficulties, Pedro Alfonso Morales Chinchai retired from the broadcasting business and returned the equipment to Cesar Colunche Bustamante.

Upon the establishment of another company, named Radio San Ignacio Empresa Individual de Responsabilidad Limitada, the second life of R. San Ignacio was commenced on May 1, 1997 under the management of Sr. Colunche. The station initially transmitted on 7000 kHz with a modified transmitter of 250 watts which had formerly transmitted its signal on 6750 kHz. Subsequently, R. San Ignacio went to 7040 kHz, using another powerful transmitter. The station has no official license. Needless to say, the transmission on that frequency is not authorized by the Ministry of Transports and Communications.

Radio San Ignacio is typically a musical entertainment broadcaster, carrying a variety of music programs (except for leasing some air time for the spiritual program produced by "Senora Matallana"). The station is not broadcasting any newscasts, news commentaries, sports, educational programs or cultural programs at this time. Regrettably, business has not been very good. Advertisements have been scarce and low-priced in the town. Furthermore, station has not been able to rely on the message service for profit during the past few years because of the installation of telephone service. This is a problem which has affected other local stations which are also suffering because telephone service is making the message service unnecessary. Radio San Ignacio currently receives only a few message requests from listeners.

As of September 1998, R. San Ignacio broadcasts uninterruptedly at 1000-2400 from Monday through Saturday, and at 1000-2000 on Sunday, with a staff of three full-time announcer-operators: Felix Benjamin Huaman Cabrera, Freddy Colunche Carrasco, and Manuel Valladolid Campos. On weekdays, the station carries the following programs: 1000-1100, "Amanecer Campesino"; 1100-1300, "Variedades Musicales"; 1300-1400, "Fiesta Tropical en el Aire"; 1400-1700, "Boleros y Baladas"; l700-1800, "Barcon Criollo"; 1800-1900, "Musica Juvenil"; 1900-2000, "Variedades Musicales"; 2000-2100, "Rocio Tropical"; 2100-2200, "Recorriendo el Peru"; 2200-2300, "Atardecer Campesino"; 2300-2400, "Encuentro con la Felicidad."

Radio San Ignacio has occasionally acknowledged reception reports over the air with gracious greetings, but it has never verified by letter. When I visited R. Huancabamba, Cesar Amado Colunche Bustamante, the station owner, commented on the reception reports from shortwave enthusiasts. He was pleased to receive their letters and to learn that the station's signal had been heard at great distances. All of them had asked for a response (QSL), but the station owner said that sending responses would never produce any income for the station. A small local station has no funds to pay for the postage needed to respond to DXers. Nowadays it is more expensive than a minimum fee of message service. However, if you would like to get its QSL, don't give up and continue sending letters to the station. If you are lucky, someone working as an announcer or operator at the station may reply to your letter.

The canned ID text of R. San Ignaciois: "San Ignacio, Provincia ubicada en la Region Nor Oriental del Maranon, desde aqui emite su senal R. San Ignacio, integrante de la Cadena de Radiodifusion Nuevo Siglo uniendo el Peru. Sintoniza R. San Ignacio en los 7040 kHz en la banda de 49 metros." The frequency 7040 kHz is equipped with a "FRANVEL" brand transmitter (maximum power 1 kw, actual power 750 watts) and a 1/2 wave dipole antenna (9 meters high). This transmitter was purchased on December 20, 1991 and was used for the shortwave outlet of R. Huancabamba from April 1992 through September 1996. The station's address: Jiron Victoria No. 277, San Ignacio, Provincia de San Ignacio, Departamento de Cajamarca, Republica del Peru.


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DXer of the Year for 1995

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