To hear a Mexican
is difficult - to QSL a Mexican is a feat
Los 40 Principales
by Mika Mäkeläinen
"¡Sientase más mexicano,
escuchando Radio Mexicana!" Feel more Mexican
by listening to Radio Mexicana - the slogan of XEJ
echoed in my headphones on a freezing November morning
in 1993. Arctic breeze blew outside the cabin, but
I could easily imagine myself sipping cerveza Corona
under the scorching sun of Ciudad Juárez. No wonder
that call letters beginning with XE are among the
most treasured catches on these Arctic DXpeditions.
Mexican AM stations are
a huge challenge for any DXer - except for those
living just next door. First of all, they are rare.
And even when you manage to catch the familiar beat
of some ranchera music and are lucky enough to identify
the station, the most difficult part is yet to come
– getting a QSL. Mexican stations are notoriously
lazy verifiers, though when you get a QSL, the response
is often extremely friendly and the envelope abundant
with station memorabilia.
|Sticker from XEMO Tijuana
Mexican stations have always
fascinated me in a special way. Whenever there is
even a slim chance of picking up new stations from
Mexico, I abandon all the U.S. stations or whatever
there is on the AM band and concentrate in searching
for new Mexicans. Also, I have sent quite a few
follow-up reports to those stations, which didn't
care to respond in the first place. This relentless
effort of the past 21 years has netted me 57 AM
verifications from Mexico.
This article gives a brief look at those stations,
originally the first 40, the Top 40, Los 40 Principales.
However, I have received several new verifications
after the original article was published, so with
the bonus stations, the count is now 57. Many of
them are relatively easy catches, which are heard
almost every year in Scandinavia, but my collection
also contains 22 stations (most of them heard in
1995-1997), which were previously unheard in Finland,
most of them also unheard in the rest of Europe.
|XERF is one of the strongest
stations on the frequency in the Western hemisphere
At my home in southern
Finland I have been able to log only two Mexican
AM stations (XERF 1570 and XEVOZ 1590) during all
these years – not much of a collection. It comes
as no surprise that the secret of success in DXing
Mexican stations is to go as far north as possible.
Annual DXpeditions to Lapland with 1-kilometer-long
beverage antennae have resulted in more than 60
As for the difficulty in
getting a verification, my command of the Spanish
language – though far from perfect – admittedly
gives some edge in both understanding the program
content and formulating a compelling reception report.
However, in recent years another tool has become
even more important: e-mail. Available to most DXers,
e-mail is used surprisingly widely also in Mexico.
And with the use of free translation software on
the Internet, such as Altavista
Translations, anybody should now be able to
compose irresistable reception reports in Spanish.
Of my 57 verifications, over one third have arrived
by e-mail. They are definitely not the beauties
of my QSL-collection, but more important is the
fact that e-mail is an easy and cheap way for the
stations to deal with the growing number of QSL
This presentation contains mostly personal notes
and information which should be useful for other
DXers trying to get their QSLs. For a more comprehensive
list of valid contact information, network affiliation,
slogans and leading personnel, there's one publication
I can recommend: Tarifas y Datos. Medios Audio-visuales,
a directory published 4 times a year by
MPM, Medios Publicitarios Mexicanos, S.A. To
subscribe, you can use e-mail.
The publication is expensive, but it's much better
up-to-date than the World Radio TV Handbook or any
other printed or online resource that I have seen.
For websites, the best place to check is Mexican
AM Radio Stations on the Internet by Esa Hänninen.
But, finally, here they are, my verified Mexicans
in frequency order.