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Radio News in August 2004

Christian shortwave station launched in Congo

Missionary organizations have set up an evangelical shortwave station in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Radio Tangazeni Kristo (RTK) operates from the town of Aru, just across the border from Arua in Uganda. Finnish DXer Jari Savolainen found out that RTK is broadcasting on 4845 kHz in the 60-meter shortwave band with very low power. RTK has informed DXing.info that they have technical problems with the amplifier, and are currently transmitting at only 30 watts of power. Later on transmitter power should be increased to 300-500 watts.
     RTK is jointly operated by Communauté Evangélique au Centre de l'Afrique (CECA-20) and Die Gute Nachricht für Afrika (DIGUNA). CECA-20 is nationwide church originally established by the UK-based Africa Inland Mission International (AIM), while DIGUNA is a German missionary organization.
     Aside from shortwave, RTK is broadcasting on FM at 88.6 MHz in Bunia, 90.0 MHz in Kwandruma and 90.0 MHz in Aru. The programs are mainly in local languages with some content in Swahili, French and English. According to Savolainen the transmissions run daily at 0330-0515 UTC in the mornings, and at 1400-1930 UTC in the evenings from Monday to Friday. During the weekends the scheduled broadcast time is 1155-1930 UTC.
The station can be contacted by email or by writing to RTK, c/o DIGUNA, P.O. Box 493, Arua, Uganda.
(DXing.info, August 30, 2004, updated September 10)


U.S. steps up propaganda broadcasts to Cuba

Inside EC-130EThe U.S. has intensified radio propaganda transmissions to Cuba. An EC-130 "Commando Solo" aircraft of the 193rd Special Operations Wing (SOW) has been used to broadcast Radio Martí programs on 530 kHz mediumwave with a power of 10 kW. Radio Martí announced the use of the new frequency on August 21 on a test basis, and the State Department confirmed the use of a new platform on August 23.
     Based on monitoring by DXers in the area, the plane is presumably used only one day a week on Saturdays, flying near the Florida Keys in the U.S. airspace. Cuba has responded by broadcasting its own Radio Rebelde programming on the same frequency, although it is suffering from blackouts since Hurricane Charley battered the country on August 13. The same Commando Solo aircraft is used to transmit TV Martí programs on Channel 13. In May 2004 the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba (see DXing.info Community for details) recommended that such broadcasts be carried out on a regular basis to break the Castro regime's information blockade on the Cuban people.
     Officials have not revealed the exact type of the aircraft used in Florida, but the 193rd Special Operations Wing is in the process of replacing its aged EC-130E models with EC-130Js. Jay Ostrich, chief of public affairs at 193rd SOW tells DXing.info that officially the three first EC-130J planes are to be commissioned on September 10, 2004, and a fourth one is expected to enter service by the end of 2004. Eventually all six planes of the 193rd Special Operations Wing will be replaced. The J model has more powerful engines, a higher cruising speed and altitude, as well as a longer range. The J models can fly 2,300 nautical miles unrefueled, while the range of E is 1,500 miles. Broadcasting equipment remains essentially the same.
     Commando Solo was tested as a platform for Cuba broadcasts already in May 2003 (see DXing.info news in June 2003).
(DXing.info, August 30, 2004)


Low-power shortwave station briefly on the air in Paris

A shortwave station with an extremely low transmitter power will be on the air in Paris, France, in September. Innov'Radio has a temporary license to broadcast from Paris on September 5, and from Apremont, north of Paris, on September 9-19. The frequency will be between 25845 kHz and 25880 kHz, and transmitter power 1-10 watts, depending on the event to be covered. According to the decision by the governing body Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel (CSA), the antenna may be placed no higher than 30 meters off the ground.
     At the same time, CSA licenced two other exceptional temporary radio stations. Radio Evénement will broadcast on November 5-7 on 66.0 MHz with a power of 15 watts, and Radio Spot will be on the air on September 25, October 2, October 9 and November 6 on 66.8 MHz with a power of 15 watts. Both frequencies fall into the OIRT FM band, which is not normally used in Western Europe.
     The licences were announced on August 14. Among DXers, news about the stations was first published by Thierry Vignaud on the fr.rec.radio usenet group, and by the Radioactu website.
(DXing.info, August 23, 2004)


Radio Scandinavia began testing from Finland on 603 kHz

Radio Scandinavia has got off to a shaky start in Finland. Sporadic test transmissions on 603 kHz mediumwave have taken place during the summer with a power output of "200 watts or much less," says station manager Roy Sandgren in an email to DXing.info. Mike Spenser, producer of Pirate Radio 603, says that the first tests were carried out in mid-May, and officially the station was launched on June 1 with 250 watts of power. Radio Scandinavia is broadcasting from Mariehamn, capital of the autonomous region of Åland. Although the station has been heard across the Åland Islands, DXers elsewhere haven't been able to pick up the weak signal. As soon as the transmitter power is increased to 1 kW, Sandgren expects the interim transmitter to be heard within a radius of 100-150 kilometers from Mariehamn.
     Besides technical problems with the station delaying its launch, the station's founding team is breaking up. Sandgren says that business with Spenser and Klaus Hansen, owner of radio ship St Paul, will end on September 1, and that he is now willing to lease airtime to anyone in batches of three months or more.
     The studios of Radio Scandinavia are located on board St Paul in the harbor of Korrvik in Mariehamn. In an email to DXing.info, Spenser says that the ship is "sound" and that he hopes to sail and broadcast from the ship by next spring - currently the transmitter is on land. Sandgren however says that the ship costs too much to repair, and is now for sale.
     
Radio Scandinavia is planning to have a website at www.603am.com. In the meantime Sandgren has published news about the station on his website. Background information about the station was published in the DXing.info News section in December 2003.
(DXing.info, August 21, 2004, edited on August 23)



New mediumwave stations in South America

In Argentina, Radio Claridad from Monte Grande, Pdo. de Esteban Echeverria, is a newcomer on 880 kHz mediumwave. According to announcements heard by Marcelo A. Cornachioni in Argentina, the address of the station is Calle Vicente Lopez 235, PB "A" de Monte Grande, Argentina. The telephone numbers are: (011) 4284-3186 and 4284-3192.
     Cornachioni has also picked up FM Fuego from Monte Chingolo, Partido de Lanus, Provincia de Buenos Aires, on 1650 kHz. FM Fuego was first heard on August 26. The address is Calle Victor Hugo 647, (B1825FBI) Monte Chingolo, Tel: (011) 4220-6822. Cornachioni found Hugo Villarreal to be the station manager.
     Yet another new station is 1390 AM Trece Noventa Radio "La Norteña", in Gran Bourg, partido de Malvinas Argentinas, provincia de Buenos Aires. Radio Norteña is located about 55 kilometers northeast of the capital, and caters to people who have come to the capital region from the northeastern part of Argentina. The station was first reported heard on August 22 by Arnaldo Slaen on ConDig mailing list.
     Meanwhile in Peru, on August 7, Radio Haquira has been logged on 1610.4 kHz mediumwave by Björn Malm in Ecuador. Peruvian DXer Alfredo Cañote confirmed the identity of the station located in Haquira, Provincia de Cotabambas, Departamento de Apurímac, in Peru. On the same day and on roughly the same frequency (1609.15 kHz) Malm also reported hearing Radio Carabamba from Distrito de Carabamba. It is not known how long these stations have been on the air, but they are not yet listed in the World Radio TV Handbook.
(DXing.info, August 14, 2004, updated on August 30)

Shortwave station from Paraguay testing

A new very low-power shortwave station has begun test broadcasts in Paraguay. Radio Colegio Técnico Municipal Santa Rosa de Lima from Ñemby is transmitting irregularly on 3220 kHz in the 90-meter shortwave band. Adán Mur in Ñemby has told about the new station to DXer Arnaldo Slaen in Argentina. The station broadcasts at only 12 watts of power, but is still heard well locally, Mur reports. Reception reports may be sent by email.
(DXing.info, August 6, 2004)


The purpose of the radio news section is to inform about new mediumwave (AM) and shortwave broadcasting stations worldwide. Other news are published only on major international broadcasters or issues very relevant to DXers. New programs and schedules are not covered.

News are edited by Mika Mäkeläinen. If you have first hand news about radio broadcasting or DXing, please email us. You may also post news items yourself in the DXing.info Community. News items originate from the DXing.info website or own sources unless another source is mentioned. Extracts from news items may be quoted if the website http://www.DXing.info is mentioned as source. See terms of use for details.


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