For years now I’ve attempted to get decent reception of LRA36 Radio Nacional Arcángel San Gabriel in Antarctica. At times, I’ve been able to barely hear their AM signal here in North Carolina–at least, see it as a faint line on my spectrum display and barely hear audio rise above the noise. But in truth I could never confirm anything more than “male voice” and “music” thus never bothered with a report in good faith.
Recently, we’ve posted announcements for a series of test broadcasts from LRA36 in single sideband (SSB). Two weekends ago, I couldn’t receive a single inkling of their signal, but this past Saturday, I finally heard the station well enough to submit a detailed report and recording in confidence.
I had actually set my SDR to record 20 kHz of spectrum at home while I made my first CW POTA activation at the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway. A pop-up storm chased me away from the POTA site and it worried me that I had left my SDR running and connected to the antenna. Fortunately, none of the small thunder storms were directly over my home. Although there was heavy QRN due to local pop-up thunderstorms, their signal was there.
The following sample recording starts at 17:51 UTC (July 25, 2020) on 15476 kHz. It’s weak signal DX for sure, but interpretable. I made the recording with my WinRadio Excalibur SDR hooked up to a large Skyloop antenna. This clip starts with the song Juana Azurduy by Mercedes Sosa:
I’m so chuffed to add the LRA36 QSL to my collection! Broadcasting in SSB made all the difference!
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Adrian Korol, who shares the following announcement:
RAE Argentina to the World, broadcasting from Antarctica
RAE will join a trial transmission by LRA36 Radio Nacional Arcangel San Gabriel, broadcasting from Base Esperanza, in the Argentine zone of Antarctica.
This Saturday, July 25, between 17:00 and 21:00 UTC, the Antarctic station will perform a series of tests on the 15476 kHz frequency (19-meter band), Upper Side Band, via a Collins HF80 transmitter and a rhombic antenna.
RAE Argentina al Mundo will put on the air two 30-minute programs, one in Spanish and the other in English, hosted by Fernando Farias, focusing on the history of RAE and LRA36 with historical files and information that listeners, DXers and radio amateurs alike will appreciate. On the Spanish-language show, Fernando is joined by RAE’s director Adrián Korol.
Let’s recall that last Saturday, July 18th, the first test USB transmissions were carried out with excellent results amid optimal broadcast conditions .
Damian Tranamil, LRA36 operator and technician, answered afterwards more than a hundred reception reports from all over the World.
Many listeners said they had the chance to pick up a station from Antarctica for the first time, while others said they were thrilled to be able to receive Arcángel San Gabriel’s signal for the first time in 20 years.
Accurate reception reports will be verified with an electronic QSL card (eQSL). They are to be sent to : [email protected]
We also appreciate listeners sending clips of them receiving our broadcast, or tagging us when they post on social media.
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Ulis (K3LU) and Harald (DL1AX) who note that Radio Nacional Arcángel San Gabriel (LRA36) will broadcast tests again Saturday July 18th and July 25th, 2020, from 1700 to 2000 UTC on 15476 kHz USB.
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Harald Kuhl, who notes that LRA36 (Radio Nacional Arcángel San Gabriel) has published the following new email address to be used for reception reports: [email protected]
Thanks for sharing this Harald as I have not had luck with the former email address. I’ll re-submit my last report!
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Tracy Wood, who writes:
I listened to LRA36 streaming this past Friday with their special show, including callouts to other Argentine scientific stations via satphone and lots of greetings by ham radio enthusiasts, both recorded and via live call-in.
Source: Base Esperanza – Antártida
…At the conclusion the announcer said they would be back this Monday at 1800 Buenos Aires time or 2100 UTC.
Thank you so much for sharing this, Tracy! It’s incredibly difficult for me to snag LRA36 broadcasts off the air, so it’ll be nice to have this stream link as well.
I also recently received a note about LU1ZV: the amateur radio station at the Esperanza Antarctic Base. What follows is a rough English translation of the press release. Click here to download the original press release in Spanish (MS Word Doc).
Source: Base Esperanza – Antártida
THE HAM RADIO ACTIVATION OF ESPERANZA ANTARCTIC BASE
Started on December 8, the activation of the LU1ZV amateur radio station of the Antarctic Base Esperanza, after years of being inactive.
The radio activity of LU1ZV has as primary objective to remember the 40th anniversary of the beginning of the transmission of the radio station LRA 36 “Arcángel San Gabriel” of the Esperanza Base, the first shortwave station in AM across Antarctica, which began broadcasting on October 20,1979. In addition, this activity seeks to maintain the continuity of emission of stations of radio amateurs from Antarctica.
The LU1ZV activation has registered more than 900 contacts with amateur radio stations
nationally and abroad, and in addition to covering all regions of the country, they have already
Source: Base Esperanza – Antártida
contacted twenty-two Argentine provinces.
Among the most relevant data that LU1ZV activity exhibits so far are the distant radio contacts (despite the low emission power) as in the case of Japan, Canada, Latvia, Ukraine and Finland among others. They have contacted most South American countries, several of Central American countries and all from North America.
Another outstanding contact was made with VP8HAL, the Halley VI scientific station of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), located in the Brunt Ice Barrier, about 1,700 km SE of Hope.
The operation of LU1ZV is carried out from the study of LRA 36 and the rhombic antenna of the station, while the station isn’t operating. The amateur radio station activity adapts to the general schedule of the base and of LRA36, so activation times are reduced to a few hours during the evening – night.
The Head of Hope Base, Lieutenant Colonel Norman Walter Nahueltripay was present during some contacts and received greetings from radio correspondents.
This special activation also includes the project “Uniendo Voces” of the National University of Quilmes (UNQ) of the province of Buenos Aires, an initiative that included areas of interest to amateur radio and Antarctic activations, and which was presented to the
Antarctic Joint Command (COCOANTAR).
“Uniendo Voces” has participated in these radio activations since 2013 (in Marambio Base and Matienzo) to which the historical emission from Base Esperanza is now added, within the framework of a special initiative called “DX Radial Expedition Uniting Voices”.
The amateur Radio Claudio García (LU1VC) member of the LRA 57 Radio Nacional de El
Bolsón (province of Chubut) and Juan C. Benavente (LU8DBS) of COCOANTAR and UNQ, perform the activation for which they had to move equipment to that Antarctic base.
The radio activation of Esperanza has the support and collaboration of Adrián Korol,
director of the Argentine Broadcasting Abroad (RAE) who expressed his emotion and
satisfaction for “this joint achievement with the Antarctic Command and the National University of Quilmes. “
Antarctic bases are licensed by amateur radio stations, and like all the activity, is regulated by the National Communications Agency (ENACOM). These radio activations have a “high symbolic and real value”, as Korol says, and they contribute, in addition to remembering ephemeris, to the promotion of sovereignty in the Antarctic region from the radio spectrum.
Likewise, the amateur radio activity contributes to the study of communications – such as
radio wave propagation conditions- and keeps an alternative communication service active and effective.
Many Argentine radio amateurs from different parts of the country are attentive to the
calls from LU1ZV and collaborate with the initiative.”
Along with the photos and LU1ZV press release above, I also received press releases from two special broadcasts that happened earlier. Click here and here to download the MS Word documents in Spanish.
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Adrian Korol, who writes:
On December 10 [today], a new President will assume office in Argentina. The ceremony will be re-broadcast from LRA36 at 1200 UTC on 15476 still with the emergency Collins transmitter, less than 1 kw but with better antenna conditions.
Many thanks for the tip, Adrian!
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