Alejandro Petrecca (Chief of the LRA1 Transmitter Plant) and Claudio García (technical operator of Radio Nacional El Bolsón and amateur radio operator with previous experience at LRA 36) finally arrived at Joint Antarctic Base Esperanza today. Their mission is to perform maintenance and optimization work on the audio chain, install a new console, and place the FM antenna and the tower that will be used for the new LRA 36 shortwave transmitter.
Upon arrival, they discovered that the output stage of the Collins HF 80 transmitter, which is used to transmit LRA 36 programs on 15476 kHz, was burned out. They also found that the tower sections for the shortwave antenna and the audio console had not yet arrived at the base.
LRA 36 broadcast regularly until January 13. Then, Juan Benavente, the architect of many if not all of LRA 36’s achievements in recent years, was unfairly recalled. With Benavente’s departure, the radio was left in the hands of unqualified people, which is evident by the fact that the transmitter burned out the day after Benavente returned.
The causes of the fire are being investigated, but it is possible that it was due to the incompetence of those who remained at the base. Juan and Nicole Valdebenito (operator) know the sequences necessary to start up the transmitter by heart, but this was not the case with those who came after them.
There are many issues surrounding this matter, but it would be very important to spread this news among colleagues around the world.
At this time, Petrecca and García are installing the FM antenna for local coverage.
It is estimated that the new Studio Console and audio distributor donated by Trialcom, thanks to a personal effort by Juan Benavente, will arrive at Joint Antarctic Base Esperanza by the end of next week.
The output board of the transmitter is also being sent to replace the burned one and keep it in operation during February.
If Juan Benavente had been coordinating, none of these situations would have occurred. Unfortunately, political favors promoted by the previous administration left LRA 36 abandoned in its most important mission, which is shortwave transmission.
JUAN BENAVENTE must return to LRA 36 as soon as possible to sustain the radio until the arrival of the donated new transmitter.
I estimate that if they agree and the planets align, we could resume LRA 36 shortwave broadcasts before the end of February.
Thank you for spreading the above information.
From Horacio Nigro, Montevideo, Uruguay