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Radio Nuevo Continente, Peru

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The following item is taken from Relampago DX #131 (July 2001) by Takayuki Inoue Nozaki. It is placed here with permission.

Por las Rutas del Perú (40) ...

It was in the middle of August, 1983 that Radio Nuevo Continente, the second shortwave broadcaster established in Cajamarca, was first reported by Latin American DX enthusiasts, on a measured frequency of 5191.1 kHz. Announcing itself with a canned identification "Hermanando los países de América, a través de Nuevo Continente, la doble radio en los 5060 MHz en su receptor onda corta. Nuevo Cotinente, la manera más fácil de disfrutar radio. Nuevo Continente, su onda corta distancia", the station made its first appearance about 131 kHz above the nominal frequency, and continued to be on the air outside the broadcast band. However, the station was not on the air without a license. Although Radio Nuevo Continente was officially authorized to broadcast with the following callsigns and frequencies: OBX2J 820 kHz on medium wave, OAZ2E 3230 kHz in the 90-meter band on shortwave and OCZ2E 102.5 MHz on FM, it was announced that the station was simultaneously on the air on 1440 kHz and 5060 kHz. According to monitoring by Latin American DX enthusiasts, Radio Nuevo Continente moved down slightly to 5190.6 kHz in late August of 1983 and made experimental transmissions on that frequency for a couple of weeks. On September 10, 1983, the station discontinued its shortwave transmissions due to a blowout of vacuum tubes. Subsequently, on October 9, 1983, the shortwave outlet was reactivated again after repairing the blown tubes. However, the tubes blew again after only two hours of transmissions. They purchased new tubes in Lima, but were obviously old used tubes. Consequently, the shortwave outlet came to be off the air again.

Radio Nuevo Continente was noted by DX enthusiasts on October 9, 1984, going back on the shortwave band. After that, it was sporadically audible with a fair signal around 1000-1200 in Japan. At that time, the morning transmission on weekdays started at 1000 with the Peruvian National Anthem, and continued with "Mi Tierra y Su Folklore", an early morning folklore program conducted by Máximo Terán Torres, along with a personal message and greeting service in Spanish. At 1100 a religious program "La Luz de la Vida" was heard. The station had been monitored by DX enthusiasts in the slightly drifting frequency range between 5190.5 kHz and 5190.9 kHz until the middle of September of 1985. Unfortunately, the shortwave outlet's life was short. Thereafter, it has not been reported in reliable DX bulletins and it absolutely vanished from the shortwave band.

It was on October 15, 1985 that I visited for the first time Radio Nuevo Continente at Jirón Amazonas No. 655, a few blocks from the Plaza de Armas in Cajamarca. The station was in a three-story long row of adobe brick buildings with light, sky-blue walls. Entering the building, there was a small patio surrounded by a complex of offices. One of the walls had a sign made in Styrofoam which said "Bienvenidos" (welcome) in red. Below the sign, there was a large, handpainted, multicolored wooden billboard, which attracted the visitor's attention. It depicted the station name "Radio Nuevo Continente" with its logo mark and "Cajamarca" both made of black wire. It was decorated by an illustration of the Latin American continent map in red with the map of Peru in green and an antenna tower of black wire on a sky-blue background. There were two glass show cases on the walls with reception reports from overseas DXers, including mine. The station facilities consisted of a room that served as both a reception area and an administration office, a record and cassette library, a studio which included a master control cabin and an announcing room and a room for the transmitting units. There were two "FRANVEL" brand transmitters which were designed and manufactured by Luis Franco Vásquez, a radio engineer in Trujillo, and some sound machine parts that were placed on a rack in a disorderly fashion. The station facilities including studios and office were located in the center of the city. The transmitting plant should be installed in the suburban area as instructed by the government authorities. However, the transmitters and antennas were installed in the downtown area at that time.

Eduardo Cabrera Urteaga, the general manager and all the station staff gave me a hearty welcome for my visit. They were very pleased to receive the third listener from abroad. Certainly, I was the first DX enthusiast from Japan who visited Radio Nuevo Continente. However, the first visitor from abroad was Christian Zettl, a radio monitoring enthusiast from Austria and the second visitor was Don Moore from the United States. They made visits to the station several months before my visit. Eduardo Cabrera Urteaga remembered having received my reception report dated October 10, 1985. As I had not received any reply from the station, I asked the general manager if he had already sent me a verification letter for my report. He apologized to me for not having it sent out until the moment of my visit. While I was in Cajamarca, he prepared a verification letter for my report and a certification for my visit on their beautiful station letterhead.

On May 1, 1983, "Radio Nuevo Continente Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada" was established by Eduardo Cabrera Urteaga, Carlos Cabrera Herbert and Carlos Justo Rivas Davila. The first studio and office were installed at Jirón Amazonas No. 655 in Cajamarca. The first experimental broadcasts went on the air on 1440 kHz medium wave in early March of 1983. Initially, the station carried its experimental transmissions for about three or four hours in the local morning and evening respectively. It commenced shortwave transmissions in August of 1983, broadcasting three times a day at 1000-1200, 1700-1900 and 0100-0200. Although the shortwave outlet was actually on the air in the vicinity of 5190 kHz, the nominal frequency was recognized as 5060 kHz in the 60-meter band. Afterward, they learned from many reception reports sent from listeners abroad that the shortwave outlet had not been on the air on the nominal frequency of 5060 kHz but around 5190 kHz. They were also recognized by the general telecommunication direction and frequency control of the Ministry of Transports and Communications that the station had carried its signal on an out-of-broadcasting band. The government authorities claimed to them that it was prohibited to broadcast in the frequency range between 5060 kHz and 5250 kHz and should remain on the officially assigned frequency of 3230 kHz in the 90-meter band.

On September 30, 1983, Radio Nuevo Continente started its regular transmissions, and extended its broadcasting schedule to provide a variety of programs from the early morning through the evening. The station was uninterruptedly on the air for 19 hours of programming daily, broadcasting various music shows, light entertainment, news, information, sports, a personal message and greeting service and religion. At that time, the medium wave outlet changed from 1440 kHz to 1560 kHz.

On March 17, 1986, Radio Nuevo Continente was provisionally authorized to conduct experimental transmissions with the following callsigns, frequencies and powers: OBX2J 820 kHz with 0.5 kW, OAZ2E 3230 kHz with 1 KW and OCZ2E 102.5 MHz with 0.5 kW for a one-year period, under Ministerial Resolution No. 0039-086-MTC/TEL. According to the official documents, the transmitting plant of medium wave and shortwave was latitudinally situated at 07-09-40 L.S. and 78-30-32 L.W. with the street address: 13 de Julio s/n in Cajamarca. The FM transmitting plant was latitudinally situated at 07-09-12 L.S. and 78-30-48 L.W. with the street address: Jirón Amazonas No. 655 in Cajamarca. One year later, the station was definitely licensed to transmit on the same three frequencies under Ministerial Resolution No. 0039-87-MTC/TEL. 15.17. for a ten-year period.

As of October of 1985, Radio Nuevo Continente broadcast only on 1560 kHz medium wave. The regular broadcasts on weekdays were scheduled with the following programs: 1000-1100 "Mi Tierra y Su Folklore", 1100-1130 "La Luz de la Vida", 1130-1200 "Surcando el Agro", 1200-1300 "Super Informativo", 1300-1445 "Lo Mejor de los 1560", 1445-1500 "Hablemos de Salud", 1500-1700 "Matinal Musical", 1700-1730 "Lo Mejor del Criollismo", 1730-1830 "Impacto Radioperiódico", 1830-1900 "Música en Compañía Ilimitada", 1900-2000 "Reencuentro Tropical", 2000-2100 "A Todo Ritmo", 2100-2200 "Recordando Juntos el Ayer", 2200-2245 "Dimensión Hispana", 2245-2330 "Afición", 2330-2400 "La Luz de la Vida", 2400-0100 "Clan Juvenil", 0100-0200 "Noches de Gala", 0200-0300 "Cantos del Pueblo", 0300-0400 "El Cañonazo de la Salsa" and 0400-0500 "Era Otra Era". On Saturday, the station broadcast the following programs: 1000-1100 "La Luz de la Vida", 1100-1200 "Alegre Amanecer Cajamarquino", 1200-1300 "Sindicalismo y Solidaridad", 1300-1430 "Ayer y Hoy", 1430-1500 "Avanzada", 1500-1600 "Kaleidoscopio", 1600-1730 "Ayer y Hoy", 1730-1900 "Debate", 1900-2200 "Ayer y Hoy", 2200-2300 "Camino para Vivir Mejor", 2300-2400 "Afición", 2400-0400 "Ayer y Hoy". On Sunday, the station broadcast the following programs: 1000-1030 "Perú Folklórico", 1030-1100 "La Luz de la Vida", 1100-1145 "Alegre Amanecer Cajamarquino", 1145-1200 "Momentos de Meditación", 1200-1300 "Ayer y Hoy", 1300-1400 "Tu Signo y Tu Destino", 1400-1600 "Ayer y Hoy", 1600-1800 "Afición", 1800-2300 "Ayer y Hoy", 2300-2330 "Al Compas de la Marinera", 2330-2400 "Música con Vida", 2400-0100 "Mensaje Cristiano", 0100-0200 "Ayer y Hoy", 0200-0330 "Tu Eres Mi Canción", 0330-0400 "Cumbias".

On January 4, 1995, I had a second opportunity to visit Radio Nuevo Continente. I learned that the studio and office were moved to Jirón Cinco Esquinas No. 563 in February of 1991. As of January of 1995, Radio Nuevo Continente runs with a staff of six persons and broadcasts at 1000-0300 daily on 1560 kHz. According to Eduardo Cabrera Urteaga, the general manager, the station has not resumed the shortwave transmissions since they were discontinued due to technical problems in September of 1985. In the 1980's, telephone and mail service were not available in many isolated villages and peasant communities of Northern Peru, therefore shortwave broadcasts played an important role as the medium of communications, carried out the airwaves and took the place of telephones and telegrams. The main reason that Radio Nuevo Continente started the shortwave transmissions was in order to provide airwave-communication services between Cajamarca and the surrounding regions. However, the commercial value was not virtually acknowledged on shortwave, while communication systems have improved year by year. Thus, the station eventually decided to discontinue shortwave broadcasts. The station had also been authorized to transmit on 102.5 MHz with the callsign of OCZ2E, but the FM transmission was never realized due to financial difficulties.

Technical Information

OBX2J 1560 kHz: is equipped with a "FRANVEL" brand transmitter of 1 kW and an L type antenna (15 meters high above the ground). Its output power was nominally rated as 1 kW, however the medium wave outlet was run with a reduced power of 0.25 kW for better performance and to avoid over modulation.
OAZ2E 5190 kHz: was equipped with a "FRANVEL" brand transmitter of 1 kW and a 1/2-wave dipole antenna (8 meters high above the ground). While in operation, the shortwave outlet was operated with a reduced power of 0.5 kW.

Studio/Transmitter site: Calle Cinco Esquinas No. 563, Cajamarca, Provincia de Cajamarca, Departamento de Cajamarca, República del Perú.

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