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DX Target: Peru

A Look At Six Peruvian Broadcasters

By Richard A. D'Angelo

This article was originally published in the August, 1993 edition of The Journal of the North American Shortwave Association. It appears here by permission of the author.


Many DXers consider Peruvian stations some of the most elusive and rewarding shortwave broadcasting targets in Latin America. The country offers numerous opportunities to log new, low- powered outlets. Shortwave broadcast station's seem to come and go in this exotic country. Peru's popularity among radio hobbyists over the last decade can be traced to its many stations that have operated on shortwave. During much of the early 1980's, shortwave broadcast stations from Peru were reasonably good verifiers of listener reception reports. But as economic conditions deteriorated, so did the reply rates from this country's shortwave broadcast stations. However, recently I have noted a slight upturn in replies from this part of Latin America. Perhaps, it was just a series of reports to the right stations. However, a DXer is always hopeful that a few good replies is indicative of a trend.

Radio is the chief means of mass communication in Peru. The country has hundreds of broadcast radio stations, some of which transmit in both Quechua and Spanish. Of particular interest to the shortwave broadcast DXer are over 150 stations in the 1993 edition of the World Radio Television Handbook listed as broadcasting on shortwave from Peru. Many of these stations are low-powered and rarely heard. Others transmit on very erratic schedules. Just about all radio stations in Peru suffer from power shortages which can curtail the broadcast day in this country. Because of the lack of reliable electricity, many of these stations only operate during their local mornings. Consequently, the best time in North America to log shortwave broadcasters from Peru is during their morning around 1000 UTC sign-on. European listeners find good openings around midnight UTC and even earlier during the winter as darkness approaches in Latin America.

This DX Target will focus on six specific shortwave broadcasters that have been known to verify listener reception reports during the last twelve months. These aren't the only stations verifying but they are the only one's that sent me some information about their operations. However, before we proceed with specific station details, a little background information about Peru is in order.

The Country

Peru is the third largest country in South America and home to numerous, and often exotic, shortwave broadcast station DX Targets. Only Brazil and Argentina cover a greater area. The country lies in western South America along the Pacific Ocean. The long, narrow coast consists of a desert drier than the Sahara. Most of Peru's large cities lie in this region. The Andes Mountains rise to the east of the coast and extend north and south down the entire length of the country. This region is famous for its grass-covered plateaus, crystal-clear air and sparkling sunshine. Thick rain forests and jungles cover most of the hot, humid region east of the Andes.

Peru is one of the world's leading producers of copper, lead, silver and zinc. It also ranks among the world's leading fishing countries. However, most of the country's people are poor. Many of them make a bare living farming. Other Peruvian's work for low wages in the cities or are unemployed.

The People

Peru has a population of about 21 million people. It is estimated that as many as 8 million Peruvians are Indians. The rest of the country's population consists mainly of people of mixed Indian and white ancestry. Whites make up only a small part of Peru's total population.

About two-thirds of the people live in cities or towns. The rest live in rural areas. The largest city is the capital, Lima, with about 4 million people. It is the largest, busiest and most modern city in Peru. Calleao and Arequipa, each with about 300 thousand people, rank next in size. Three other Peruvian cities have a population of more than 150 thousand. They are Chiclayo, Chimbote, and Trujillo.

The Language

Spanish became Peru's official language soon after Spain conquered the Inca's in the 1530's. It remained the only official language of the country until 1975 when the government made the Indian language of Quechua an official language along with Spanish.

About three-quarters of all Peruvians speak Spanish. The rest speak various Indian languages with the most common being Quechua. About 2 million Indians, who live in the highest parts of the Andes, speak only Quechua. However, many Peruvians speak both Spanish and an Indian Language.

Estacion Tarapoto

Radio Estacion Tarapoto is located in the city of Tarapoto in the Department of San Martin. The region has a tropical climate with 40 degree centigrade temperatures quite common and frequent, unforeseeable torrential rain storms. Tarapoto in a dynamic commercial city and is the capital for commercial activities in San Martin.

The station, "La Primera Opcion en Radio", is a relatively young enterprise. For eight years, Estacion Tarapoto has broadcast a variety of programs for the region simultaneously on three frequencies. On shortwave, the station can be heard on 5,015 kHz with 700 watts. The call letters are OAZ9B. The medium wave outlet on 1,250 kHz also uses only 700 watts. The call letters are OAX9K. A third channel on FM broadcasts on 101.3 mHz.

The broadcast day commences at 1000 UTC and ends at 0500 UTC. The station is proud of its news and public affairs programs. La Ma ana en la Noticia is broadcast from 1100-1300 UTC each day. Another program, El Mundo en Accion, features a variety of music styles heard throughout the country.

The station's Gerente, Luis Hidalgo Sanchez, is a good verifier of listener reception reports. Spanish language reports with return postage can be sent to the station at:

Estacion Tarapoto
Jiron Federico Snchez 720
Tarapoto, Dpto. San Martin

Ondas Del Mayo

This Peruvian broadcaster is very new to the international shortwave broadcast scene. It commenced broadcasting from Nueva Cajamarca in January 1992 on 6,803 kHz with a transmitter capable of only 250 watts. The station operates from 1000-1200 UTC and 2100-0100 UTC with a variety of music programs. Evenings include a lively musical request program that is very popular with the local listeners.

Nueva Cajamarca, with a population of approximately 5 thousand, is located in the province of Rioja in the Department of San Martin. Agriculture is the most important element of the local economy. The primary crops are rice and corn. The local market places are abundant and active. They form a beehive of commerce and serve as an integral part of the regions' economy.

Edilberto Lucio Peralta Lozada is the station's Gerente. He replies to listener reports with a personal letter. Spanish language reception reports with return postage can be sent to the station at:

Ondas del Mayo
Jiron Huallaga 348
Nueva Cajamarca, San Martin

Radio Nuevo Cajamarca

The last of our San Martin broadcasters is Radio Nuevo Cajamarca. Operating on 5,800 kHz with 1,000 watts, this station puts in a fairly reliable signal most mornings during the DX season. The station is scheduled to operate from 1145 UTC to 1500 UTC and from 1800 UTC to 0200 UTC Monday through Saturday with an 0100 UTC sign-off on Sunday. I have heard nothing but lively music programs on this stations which has made for some enjoyable listening.

I was fortune to receive a long personal letter from Aladino Gavidia Huaman, a station announcer and administrator prior to his departure from Radio Nuevo Cajamarca. Unfortunately his departure may mean QSL's from this station could be few and far between. However, the good news is he is now working for Radio Chota which transmits on 4,890 kHz so QSL's may be coming from this Department of Cajamarca broadcaster in the near future. However if you hear Radio Nuevo Cajamarca, I would suggest sending a Spanish language reception report with return postage direct to the station at:

Radio Nuevo Cajamarca
Avenida Cajamarca 126
Nueva Cajamarca, San Martin

Radio Cusco

Finally a station not located in San Martin! Radio Cusco, of the city and department of the same name, has recently moved from its traditional 6,191.7 kHz to 6,203.7 kHz due to interference from the new Bolivian station, Radio Metropolitana, on 6,194.5 kHz. The station operates from 1000 UTC to 0300 UTC with 1,000 watts of power. The 49 meter band outlet is designed to serve a national and international audience. The medium wave channel on 1,470 kHz serves a local and regional audience.

Radio Cusco is the second oldest radio station in the country. Established on 11 April 1936, the station was founded shortly after Radio Nacional. In Peru, the station's slogan is "La Voz de la Capital Arqueologica de America." It's shortwave operations broadcast programs about Peruvian culture from the time of the Inca Empire to the present.

Over the years, the station has received correspondence from five continents. A Spanish language reception report with return postage should result in a reply from the station's Gerente, Raul Siu Almonte. Try the following simple address:

Radio Cusco
Casilla 251
Cusco, Cusco

Radio Tarma

Located high in the Andes Mountains, Radio Tarma broadcasts from a location over 3,000 meters above sea level. The city of Tarma is approximately 250 kilometers east of Lima. The city's population of 150 thousand enjoy temperatures that range from 6 to 23 centigrade with an average temperature during the year of 15 centigrade. The principle economic activities of the region are agriculture, livestock, and commerce. There are numerous archeological monuments recognizing the achievements of the Incas.

Radio Tarma was founded on 17 April 1958. On medium wave it operates on 1,510 kHz using the call sign OCX4J. The AMSA transmitter has a potential output of 3,000 watts. A Koley transmitter with a power of 500 watts is kept on hand for emergencies. On shortwave the station operates a 1,000 watt Koley transmitter on 4,775 kHz with a call sign of OCX4E. The 500 watt FM transmitter utilizes 99.3 mHz and a call sign of OCW4A. The station broadcasts simultaneous programs on medium wave and shortwave. The stereo FM outlet transmits separate programs. The studios are located at Molino del Amo 167 in Tarma. The transmitters are located about 4 kilometers outside of the town. The medium wave antenna is a polarized vertical 48 meters high. The shortwave antenna is a (TIPO) dipole 29 meters long and 15 meters above the ground. The four element FM antenna is located on top of the studio and office building in Tarma.

Radio Tarma is a fairly good verifier of listener reception reports. The station replies with a full data form letter from Mario Monteverde Pumareda, Gerente-General. Spanish language reception reports and return postage can be sent to the station at the following address:

Radio Tarma
Molino Del Amo 167
Apartado 167
Tarma, Peru

Radio Naylamp

Broadcasting from "la Provincia de Lambayque" is Radio Naylamp. Located in the city of Lambayque, the station broadcasts to the surrounding region on medium wave and shortwave. The station's message is broadcast in parts of the Andes and the 11 districts that make up the province. Radio Naylamp's programs address the customs and music of the region. During my first reception of this station, I heard a program about the people and the music of Peru. Most of the music consisted of Huaynos which is a staple of this station's program line up.

Radio Naylamp broadcasts simultaneously on two frequencies. On medium wave the station can be heard on 1,580 kHz with the call sign OBX. On shortwave Radio Naylamp can be heard on 4,300 kHz with a power of 500 watts. The operating hours are from 1000 UTC to 1500 UTC in the local morning and from 2200 UTC to 0300 UTC in the evening.

The station's Director-Gerente Juan Jos Grandez Vargas verifies correct listener reception reports with a personal letter and a station card. A Spanish language report with return postage can be sent to the station at:

Radio Naylamp
Avenida Huamachuco 1080
Lambayque, Lambayque

Awards Program

As mentioned in December's DX Target about broadcasting in Nigeria, NASWA has the most extensive shortwave broadcast awards program in the hobby under the able leadership of its chairman, Dr. Harold Cones. Similar to the DX Target feature about DXing in Nigeria, in this section I plan to review the awards that your Peruvian DXing exploits can contribute to.

First, the Peruvian DXer award requires verification of at least 25 shortwave broadcast stations. With a wealth of currently active shortwave broadcast stations in Peru and a possible renewal of reasonable reply rates to listener reception reports, this award can be earned by the serious DXer. However, it is not an easy award to add to your collection. Harold Cones informs me that this award has been earned by only five DXers since its inception in 1988. Gerry Dexter (100 station endorsement) earned the first award. He was followed by John Wilkins (25 stations), Chris Lobdell (25 stations), Don Moore (40 stations) and Dave Valko (25 stations).

Second, Peru counts as a separate country on the NASWA Country List. By verifying Peru, you are adding a country to your QSL totals. If Peru is your first verified country in South America, you only have 9 countries to go to earn the South American Continental DXer award. This award requires verification of one shortwave broadcast station in at least 10 different South American broadcast countries. Earning this award is not too difficult for the dedicated Latin DXer. According to Dr. Cones, 122 DXers have earned this award since its inception in June 1976. Some guy named Dexter was first again! However, its more difficult sibling, the South American Continental DXpert award, requires verification of one shortwave broadcast station in at least 13 different Latin American broadcast countries. Again, according to Harold Cones, only 58 such awards have been issued since it was introduced in June 1976. You will be happy to note that Alan Mayer, not Gerry Dexter, was the first to receive this award.

Third, verification of Peru can help the DXer get closer to earning a coveted DX Century award. These awards require verification of at least one shortwave broadcast station in each of 50, 100, 150, or 200 different broadcast countries. The World Wide DXer award is for verifying 50 different radio countries. The DX Centurion is issued to those DXers that have verified 100 different broadcast countries. The Senior DX Centurion recognizes the accomplishments of those hobbyists that have verified 150 different radio countries. Finally, the Master DX Centurion award is issued to those few DXers that have verified 200 different broadcast countries.

Fourth, the Awards Program offers two awards based upon QSL's received from tropical band stations. The first is the Tropical Band DXer which requires verification of at least one shortwave broadcast station in 50 broadcast countries between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, operating on shortwave below 6,000 kHz. The second is the Senior Tropical Band DXer which requires verification of 75 broadcast countries as previously described. Since Peru lies within this region, a verification from this country will count toward this award.

Fifth, in 1991 NASWA introduced the International DX Listener award for having heard at least one shortwave broadcast station in each of 50, 100, 150 or 200 different broadcast countries and the Round The Clock Continental DXer which requires verification of at least one shortwave broadcast station in each continent, excluding Antarctica, within a 24 hour period. The former is the only NASWA award that does not require verifications from shortwave broadcast radio stations.

Finally, many Peruvian broadcasters are low-powered operations. You may want to count one of these flea powered stations in your QRP totals. The All Continent "QRP" DXer award requires verification of one shortwave broadcast station from each radio continent, with the power from the lowest powered station verified in each continent totaled together for the lowest possible wattage combination. The award is issued in 50, 25, 10, 5 and 2 KW increments. A low-powered catch from Peru can significantly reduce your QRP totals.

DXing Peru's shortwave broadcast DX Targets can contribute to 12 different NASWA awards utilizing the club's Country List. For US$2.00 you can obtain the latest version of the club's Country List and Awards Program booklet which describes the cost and requirements for awards in great detail. The booklet is available through the Company Store (45 Wildflower Road, Levittown, PA 19057 USA).


Exploring Peru through its broadcast stations on shortwave is a very rewarding experience. The wide array of domestic broadcast targets provide many challenges and opportunities to the serious DXer. However, DXing Peru is not just for the seasoned veteran. A careful watch of the Log Report, Listeners' Notebook and QSL Report sections of the JOURNAL will keep the devoted listener up to date on new stations, frequency changes, verifications signers and other relevant news from this region. Armed with this knowledge, Peru becomes fair game for any listener with a passion to explore its broadcasting treasurers.

Good luck with these Peruvian DX Targets. Remember to send your logs to Sheryl Paszkiewicz or Wallace Treibel for inclusion in the log report columns and those elusive Peruvian QSL's to Sam Barto for his QSL Reports column.


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