I created a survey form and left it open for about five days. In that time, we received 639 responses! If you’d like to read the results, continue scrolling or click on continue reading below. Continue reading →
In the song Por Eso Te Quiero Cuenca (That’s Why I Love You Cuenca) the singer recites a litany of the many reasons to love this city. What do I love about Cuenca? Well, unlike the song, I won’t include well-roasted guinea pig.
The elevation of 2560 meters (8,400 feet) gives Cuenca a comfortable spring-like climate year-round. Daily highs are usually around 20C/70F. Nights are chilly but not cold. Most days have at least several hours of sun, even during the rainy season (as it is now). There are numerous green parks and plazas including long tree-lined walking paths along the two main rivers that run through the city. The drinking water, which comes from high up in the mountains, is the best in South America. Yes, you can drink it right from the tap.
A walking/bike path runs along the Yanuncay River for over six kilometers through the south side of Cuenca. A similar path runs along the larger Tomebamba River in the center of town.
The people of Cuenca are among the friendliest I’ve found anywhere. It’s a well-run, educated city with lots of civic pride. The metro area population is only about a half-million so it’s small enough to easily get anywhere but large enough to have the benefits of a city. Cuenca has several good universities and theaters and the symphony orchestra gives free concerts most Friday evenings. It’s a pleasure to simply stroll through the beautiful architecture in the old centro neighborhood.
One of many beautifully restored buildings in Cuenca’s old centro.
Getting around Cuenca is easy. A ride on the excellent bus system costs just thirty cents and taxi rides usually run under two dollars. And, unlike the much larger cities of Quito and Guayaquil, Cuenca has a mass transit system. In 2013 city leaders voted to put in a light rail line. Doing so required digging up two of the main streets through the old downtown but rather than just dig up two streets they decided to dig up the entire old downtown … to replace the aging water and sewer systems, move all electric lines and cables underground, and install high-speed fiber optic Internet. (Fiber optic Internet was also run above ground in the newer neighborhoods outside the centro.) The result is one of the few places in Latin America where one can enjoy beautifully restored architecture and colonial churches without the views being marred by powerlines. And the Internet here is better than most places I’ve stayed at in the United States.
Those are just a handful of the reasons that I love Cuenca.
Early Radio in Cuenca
Radio broadcasting in Ecuador started in 1925 with Radio El Prado in Riobamba, a small city in the center of the country. Other stations soon started up in Guayaquil and Quito, including HCJB in 1931. Broadcasting came to Cuenca in 1934 when a group of friends purchased a homemade ten-watt transmitter from an engineer in Guayaquil and put it on the air as La Voz de Tomebamba. The name came from the main river flowing through Cuenca. At the time there were only four receivers in the city so the audience was rather sparse. La Voz de Tomebamba initially broadcast for only one or two hours a night and most of the musical selections were done live as there weren’t many 78 RPM records in town. Years later one early listener reminisced, “It was sixty percent noise. Only radio fanatics could be entertained by listening to such a thing.”
Old studio equipment from La Voz de Tomebamba
Gradually, the owners added new equipment and expanded the daily schedule. A fifty-watt transmitter was added in 1938 and by 1947 the power had been increased to two hundred watts. The first frequency listing that I’ve found for La Voz de Tomebamba was for 4200 kHz in a 1944 FBIS newsletter. The 1947 WRTH listed it as on the air from 0000 to 0430 GMT on 4200 kHz. And that was the station’s only frequency. Until the 1960s it was very common for radio stations in Ecuador to only broadcast on shortwave and not on medium wave. For example, the 1957 WRTH lists eighty Ecuadorian stations on shortwave (not counting HCJB) but only fifty-nine on medium wave.
Sometime in the early 1960s La Voz de Tomebamba made the switch to medium wave and left shortwave. Their 4200 kHz frequency is not listed in the 1965 WRTH, nor are they listed in any later ones. (I would be interested to hear from anyone who remembers listening to them on shortwave.) The changes may have had to do with financial problems the station was having. It closed in 1967 and remained off the air until returning under new ownership four years later. Today La Voz de Tomebamba is one of the most popular radio stations in town and has an excellent news department. Their sister station, Super Rock FM 94.9, is very popular with younger listeners.
La Voz de Tomebamba today.
The second station in Cuenca was Radio Cuenca, which began broadcasting in October 1945 on 2830 kHz with two-hundred watts. It was included in a 1953 list of stations logged by the Universal Radio DX Club of Indiana. To the local audience, Radio Cuenca was best known for its many live music broadcasts. Continue reading →
Fastradioburst23 here to let you know about our next imaginary Stations offering on Sunday 19th March 2023 on 9395 kHz at 2200 hrs UTC. This week it’s a WORK special. They’ll be a shortwave tea break with an assortment of biscuits*, training courses, interview tips and lots of tunes to get your through your shift. Clock in, tune in and then chill out.
*Subject to availability.
Hello shortwave listeners! I wanted to make this post in order to provide an updated broadcast schedule for my transmissions to North America for the Spring of 2023.
This radio program is 1 Hour in length and features miscellaneous discussion (sometimes about current events, other times about random subjects on my mind) at the start of the program and is then balanced out with listener requested music. I hope for it to be an enjoyable light entertainment program with good music and discussion!
Saturday 0600 UTC (2 AM Eastern / 1 AM Central) – 4840 kHz – WWCR 100 kW – North America
Monday 0400 UTC (12 AM Eastern / 11 PM Central Sunday Evening) – 4840 kHz – WWCR 100 kW – North America
Tuesday 2000 UTC (4 PM Eastern / 3 PM Central) – 15770 kHz – WRMI 100 kW – Eastern North America
Wednesday 1300 UTC (9AM Eastern / 8 AM Central) – 15770 kHz – WRMI 100 kW – Eastern North America
Thursday 1600 UTC (12 PM Eastern / 11 AM Central) – 15770 kHz – WRMI 100 kW – Eastern North America
Thursday 2200 UTC (6 PM Eastern / 5 PM Central) – 9955 kHz – WRMI 100 kW – South America
Friday 2100 UTC (5 PM Eastern / 4 PM Central) – 9955 kHz – WRMI 100 kW – South America
Saturday 0700 UTC (3 AM Eastern / 2 AM Central) – 1300 kHz – WNQM 5 kW – Tennessee
Saturday 2200 UTC (6 PM Eastern / 5 PM Central) – 6115 kHz – WWCR 100 kW – Noth AMerica
I enjoyed all of the presentations and the casual conversations many of us had in the hospitality lounge and various break-out rooms. Again, kudos to the Fest organizers and all of the volunteers who moderated the various rooms and forums–you all did an amazing job!
The one thing I always pick up when hanging with other radio enthusiasts is the type or class of radio they tend to operate the most.
Case in point: I noticed one friend is currently enamored with tube/valve radios–in past years he loved compact DSP portables. Another friend switched from using primarily a portable radio to a Drake R8 series tabletop radio. I noticed that many others have been bitten the SDR bullet since last year.
For many of us, the type of radio we use daily changes over time.
For example, when I first started listening to shortwave in my youth my daily driver was a portable radio. When I got my ham license I found that I enjoyed using my general coverage transceiver connected to a multi-band doublet. Later, with the advent of Software Defined Radios, I became an avid SDR enthusiast.
At present, I’m back to using general coverage transceivers (specifically, the Icom IC-705).
Of course, I always have portables and vintage radios on the air, but they’re not my primary, or “daily driver,” these days.
Fastradioburst23 here to let you know about WFCR Flying Carpet Radio this Sunday 12th March 2023 on 9395 kHz at 2200 hrs UTC. Brought to you by the Imaginary Stations crew this is an exotic journey through the skies on what looks like a common or garden floor covering made from thick woven fabric. Don’t be fooled, this carpet flies!
February 9, 2023 – 04:12:00 p.m. UTC – Frequency: 12015kHz
The announcer describes in laudatory and emphatic terms the recent solemn military parade which took place on the night of February 9 to 10 in Kim il-Sung square in Pyongyang. I recorded for 5’40” in order to show the stability of the signal (no fading) but the recording is too long, at least I think so. It’s up to you to cut if this recording catches your attention
The receivers may have improved but I believe that North Korea now uses more modern and more powerful transmitters (200 kW according to the site www.short-wave.info).
Thank you for sharing, Paul!
Spread the radio love
Please support this website by adding us to your whitelist in your ad blocker. Ads are what helps us bring you premium content! Thank you!