Reports From 2003 Meeting of Mexican Dxers and Radio Listeners

            Meeting Report

            Survey of SWLs attending meeting

            Broadcasting in Cuba

Directory of Mexican Dxers and DX programs

Douglas Garlinger  SBE  Broadcast Engineer of the Year


2003  Meeting of Mexican Dxers and Radio Listeners

Jeff White



NASB Exhibit Very Popular at Mexican Shortwave Meeting


As the first part of a three-continent publicity campaign, the NASB inaugurated a major exhibit at the 2003 Meeting of Mexican DXers and Radio Listeners in Tizayuca, Hidalgo State, July 31-August 3.

Assisted by my wife, I took the NASB exhibit from Miami to Mexico City on July 31, where a minibus met us to make the two-hour journey north to the town of Tizayuca.  The exhibit, which is on loan to the NASB from member station WSHB, consists of five large interconnected panels which were laid out in a zig-zag pattern across the tops of two tables.  On the panels were photos and posters from all of our member stations, plus many of our associate members and two organizations to which we belong -- DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale) and AIB (the Association for International Broadcasting).  The space on the tables in front of the panels was filled with dozens of program schedules and other brochures from our members and associate members.  Many NASB members sent promotional materials such as pens, pins, keychains, stickers, t-shirts, bags, programs on cassettes and CDs, books, etc.  Depending on the quantity of the items on hand, we either placed them on the tables for people to pick up, or we put them in one of two (free) raffles that were held during the meeting.  We also placed some of the items in small gift bags which were given to everyone who filled out one of our NASB listener survey forms.  (More about that later.)  Some of our associate members such as Thales, TDP and Merlin sent limited quantities of certain brochures about their transmitters and other services, and we tried to distribute these mainly to the radio station representatives and others who would likely be potential users of their services.  (Thales’ credit-card-size mint boxes were popular, and there were enough for everyone!)

Altogether we took nearly 200 pounds of brochures and promotional items to the event, for which we have to thank all of our members and associate members for their tremendous cooperation.  Many items were completely exhausted.  Those that were leftover were stored for use at the next NASB exhibit at the SWL Winterfest in Pennsylvania next March, or in some cases were given to the organizers of next year’s Mexican DX Meeting for distribution there.  Time-sensitive items like program schedules and calendars were given to leaders of Mexican DX clubs to take back to share with their members in various parts of the country.

Purposes of NASB exhibit

The primary purpose of taking the exhibit to this four-day event was to tell shortwave listeners in Mexico about NASB and its member stations and associate member organizations.  It’s safe to say that few, if any, of the listeners were aware of NASB’s existence beforehand, although many of them were familiar with some of our member stations which broadcast to Mexico and Latin America.  Another major purpose of our presence there was to make contacts with the representatives of Mexican DX clubs, publications and DX programs on Mexican radio stations to make them aware of NASB’s existence so that we can provide them with press releases, articles and other items in the future in order to receive free publicity for our members within their publications and programs that reach shortwave listeners throughout Mexico.

This was the ninth annual meeting of Mexican DXers and DX clubs.  These meetings in Mexico are the largest and best-organized of their kind in Latin America, which is one of the three primary target areas of our NASB member stations.  There are some regional meetings of this type in countries like Brazil and Argentina, but no annual national meetings that we are aware of.  Over the years, the "Encuentros" as they are called in Spanish (meaning "meeting" or "gathering") have become more well-known, and despite the long travel distances and difficult economic conditions in Mexico, as many as 80-100 DXers often sacrifice as much as a month’s salary to attend these meetings.  This year’s meeting was a bit smaller, with 60 or so attendees, perhaps because it was held in a relatively small town with only one hotel that was largely already full with a bakers’ convention, so many of the shortwave listeners had to stay in hotels in Pachuca -- the capital of Hidalgo state -- about a half-hour’s drive north of Tizayuca.  Nevertheless, listeners travelled to the Encuentro from as far as Chihuahua state in the north (near the Texas border) to Chiapas in the south (bordering Guatemala), and from Nayarit along the Pacific coast to Veracruz on the Gulf of Mexico.  And many of the attendees are club leaders, publication editors or radio program producers, so they will be sharing their experiences with other shortwave listeners throughout the country who were unable to attend the meeting.

Also in attendance were several shortwave stations.  Besides the NASB, representing 18 shortwave stations plus our associate members, there were representatives from China Radio International, Radio Educación (a shortwave station belonging to the Mexican Ministry of Education), Radio Mil (a well-known commercial station  from Mexico City which has a shortwave outlet), two program producers from Radio Havana Cuba, the recently-replaced ex-director of Radio Mexico International (the government’s official shortwave station), and my wife Thais who was representing Radio Miami International.  All of the shortwave broadcasters sat together in a Broadcasters Forum session where they were able to give updates on their station programming and plans, and listeners could ask questions of all the broadcasters.  It might have seemed like rather strange bedfellows at the head table, but it was remarkable how well everyone got along together because of our shared passion for shortwave radio.  There was a large exhibit -- even larger than ours -- from the folks at Radio Shack in Mexico City, who now have more than 70 stores throughout Mexico and sell a full line of affordable shortwave receivers under the Radio Shack and Grundig brand names -- the same as in the States.

There were various seminars at the Encuentro, beginning with a basic introduction to shortwave radio (by the meeting organizer himself, Martin Herrera) for those new to the medium -- an explanation of frequencies, propagation, DXing, etc.  John Killian, a biology professor from Virginia, talked about shortwave radio as a medium for learning languages (having just spent two weeks with his wife Kathy at a language school in Oaxaca prior to the Encuentro).  Manolo de la Rosa and Emma Almeda from Radio Havana Cuba presented an overview of broadcasting in Cuba and the history of Radio Havana Cuba.  (You’ll find the text of part of that presentation elsewhere in this Newsletter.)  Manolo and Emma are very popular among Mexican shortwave listeners, as they are the hosts of RHC’s weekly DX and listeners’ mailbag programs, respectively.  Emma also produces the daily morning news program in Spanish.  Personally, Manolo is an old friend of my wife and myself since the first time we met at the European DX Council Conference in Barcelona in 1991, while he was "on loan" to Radio Moscow’s Spanish-language service.  On Saturday, August 2, the Mexican listeners celebrated both "Mexican DXers’ Day" and Manolo’s 61st birthday with a birthday cake and local pastries called "pastes" filled with meat, beans or pineapple sauce.  Manolo had produced a special edition of his DX program "En Contacto" dedicated to the Mexican DX Meeting, which was played on loudspeakers in the meeting hall during the festivities.

I was also asked by the meeting organizers to give a presentation about NASB and our participation in the recent HFCC (High Frequency Coordinating Committee) Conference in Johannesburg.  I first explained a bit about the history of the NASB, its activities, and a brief profile of each member station and associate member.  Then we presented a half-hour video of our trip to the HFCC in South Africa in February, another short video in Spanish provided by member station WEWN, and finally a raffle of some of the station souvenirs that members had provided us for this event.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the presentation quite a bit.  We saved the t-shirts from WEWN and VT Merlin Communications, as well as some of the other souvenirs, for a separate raffle the next day, where there were also items from the other stations present, plus the BBC, Radio Taiwan International and Radio Netherlands.

DRM exhibition a PR success; listeners very impressed

Perhaps the most "newsworthy" event at the Encuentro was the first-ever demonstration in Mexico of DRM digital shortwave radio.  From a public relations standpoint, I think the DRM presentation was a great success.  Engineers César Fernández and Rafael Grajeda of the Society of Radio Listener Engineers of Veracruz gave a very complete talk about DRM, covering the technical aspects of how it works as well as the practical aspects of what it means to shortwave listeners and how they can pick up and decode DRM transmissions.  The general message was that DRM has the ability to revolutionize shortwave broadcasting and listening during the coming years.

Engineer Cesar Fernandez demonstrates Ten-Tec DRM Receiver


Unfortunately, the live special transmissions from Radio Netherlands in Bonaire and Deutsche Telekom in Julich were not quite as successful as we would have liked, since we were only able to get short bits of audio intermittently, although the audio quality of what we did hear was excellent.  César Fernández has been in touch with Jan Peter Werkman of Radio Nederland to try to determine if the difficulties were due to antenna azimuth, power levels, software problems or other causes, and we left the Ten-Tec RX-320D receiver with the engineers from Veracruz so they can continue to experiment with DRM reception from various sites.  Ten-Tec provided the receiver to the event free of charge in exchange for the publicity they received.  (See for more info on their DRM-ready RX-320D receiver.)  César was planning to travel to Holland and Germany shortly after the Encuentro, and he hoped to be able to meet personally with Jan Peter and with Guenter Hirte of Deutsch Telekom T-Systems to discuss the results in further detail.  Incidentally, Veracruz was chosen as the site for next year's Mexican National DX Meeting (in August of 2004), so the engineers will have plenty of time now to prepare another live demonstration for next year's meeting with the same equipment.

In spite of the limited success of the live audio demonstration, César and Rafael presented excerpts from the audio field tests on a DRM promotional CD-ROM so that participants could hear comparisons between analog and digital shortwave signal quality, and the listeners were extremely impressed.  The basic reaction was:  "Shortwave has never sounded so good."

Incidentally, Ms. Ana Cristina del Razo, ex-Director of Radio Mexico International (the government-owned shortwave broadcaster), was in attendance, and she indicated that she is planning to do a chapter about DRM in a university thesis she is working on about shortwave radio in Mexico.  We were able to provide her with publicity materials on hand from DRM, Merlin, etc.

We also provided DRM publicity materials to a reporter from the press office of the Municipality of Tizayuca, who was planning to distribute an article about the event to many newspapers and media outlets throughout the region.  The President of the Municipality was present to officially inaugurate the meeting.

NASB and the Encuentro organizers would like to thank everyone from DRM, VT Merlin, Radio Netherlands, T-Systems, Ten-Tec, VOA, etc. who helped make this DRM demonstration possible.

I mentioned earlier that NASB distributed a shortwave listener survey to everyone at the event in Tizayuca.  Forty-seven persons completed the surveys and returned them to us.  This isn’t an extremely large sample by any means, but it was large enough to see some definite trends and tendencies, and I think you’ll find the results fascinating.  This should certainly give some important audience background information and perhaps some programming and other ideas to our NASB stations that are broadcasting to Mexico and Latin America.  An English translation of the survey and results, along with analysis and explanation, follows this article.  It will be very interesting to compare these results with those at the SWL Winterfest in North America and at the European DX Council Conference in Europe if we conduct similar listener surveys at those events next year.

Cultural aspects of the meeting

Of course the meeting was not all business and hard work.  A local orchestral group performed Mexican folk music at the meeting hall on Thursday afternoon during registration.  A trio of musicians went from table to table at a welcoming party at a nearby restaurant on Thursday night, as participants sampled regional food specialties from Hidalgo.  At the official inauguration on Friday morning, a local folkloric dance group called Hueyhueycoytl (that’s "old coyote" in the indigenous Náhuatl language) led by Professor Mariano Sánchez Ruíz performed regional folk dances in brightly colored costumes.  Many participants took a side trip to a new fruit drink bottling plant in Tizayuca -- just one of many important industrial concerns in the area -- and on Sunday morning a large group from the conference took a bus trip to the nearby Teotihuácan archaeological zone to see some spectacular pre-Columbian pyramids.  At the official closing of the meeting on Sunday afternoon, a vote was taken and next year’s meeting site was chosen.  The 2004 Encuentro DX will be in the port city of Veracruz, on Mexico’s Gulf coast, probably the first weekend in August.  As soon as details are announced, they will be posted on the website:


Survey of Shortwave Listeners in Mexico

Jeff White



This survey form (translated into Spanish) was given to participants in the 2003 Mexican National Meeting of DXers and Radio Listeners in Tizayuca, Hidalgo State, from July 31-August 3.  The survey was completely confidential.  Participants were asked to not put their name on the form.  A small bag of souvenirs from NASB members was given to those who filled out and returned the survey to us during the event.  Approximately 60 persons were at the meeting, and 47 returned the survey.  This is obviously a rather small sample, but even so, some definite trends and tendencies can be seen.  The analysis and explanatory comments in italics below are those of the survey’s author, Jeff White.  Numbers on the left are actual numbers of responses; numbers on the right are percentages.  (In some cases, there are no percentages.)  Some percentages may add up to more than 100 due to rounding.


Do you live in: 

Mexico?                      40                    85%                

Another country?         7                     15%    


When did you begin listening to shortwave radio (in what year)? 

1950-1959                    2                     4%

1960-1969                    4                     9%

1970-1979                    5                     11%

1980-1989                   18                    38%

1990-1999                    9                     19%

2000-2003                    7                     15%

No answer                    3                     6%



How old were you when you began listening to shortwave? 

Less than 10    6          13%

10-19               18        38%

20-29               15        32%

30-39               5          11%

40-49               1          2%

No answer       2          4%


The largest group began to listen during their teens.  The second-largest group started listening in their 20’s. 

How old are you now? 

Less than 10    0          0%

10-19               2          4%

20-29               8          17%

30-39               19        40%

40-49               7          15%

50-59               7          15%

60-69               2          4%

70+                  1          2%

No answer       1          2%


It is significant to note that the largest group of listeners are in their 30’s, and 61% are less than 40 years old.  So the Mexican shortwave audience is fairly young -- considerably younger than in North America or Europe, according to recent surveys in those continents. 


Your sex: 

Male               32        68%

Female             15        32%


Shortwave has always been an activity that has attracted more men than women, perhaps due to the perception that it is a technical activity.  Nevertheless, almost a third of the listeners answering this survey were women.  This figure is probably also higher than in North America and Europe.  One possible explanation could be the closeness of families in Latin America; perhaps the man of the house shares his hobby more with his wife and children. 


What is your highest educational level?  

None                                                  0          0%

Elementary school                               8          17%

High School                                        5          11%

University or Technical Institute        28        60%

Postgraduate (univ.)                            6          13%


This is extremely impressive:  73% of the listeners have a university or technical school education or postgraduate studies.  This index has to be many times higher than among the general population. 


Do you belong to a DX club? 

Yes                              9          19%

No                               38        81%


It is notable that 81% of those who attend a “DXers and Radio Listeners Meeting” do not belong to a DX club. 


Do you consider yourself a “DXer?”    

Yes                              31        66%

No                               15        32%

No answer                   1          2%


It is also notable that almost a third of those who attend a “DXers and Radio Listeners Meeting” do not consider themselves to be DXers. 

Do you listen regularly to shortwave programs in: 

Spanish?                      44        94%

English?                      14        30%

Other languages?        8          17%

            [Mentions:  Portuguese (2), Russian, Mandarin Chinese]


It is worth noting that a high percent (30%) of Mexican listeners listen to shortwave programs in English.  But maybe this should not be so surprising, since 73% have a higher education. 


During what hours (local time) do you normally listen to shortwave?

Mornings                                 2

3:00 am-10:00 pm                   1

5:00-10:00 am                         6

Sunday 9 am-1 pm                  1

Evenings/nights                       6

4:00-6:00 pm                           1

5:00 pm-12:00 mn                   24

5:00-9:00 pm Sat/Sun             1

6 pm-6 am                               1

10 pm-2 am                             1

11 pm-3 am                             1

Nights & all day wknds          1

Varied hours                           3

Whenever I can                       1

No answer                               3


Although a lot of people listen in the mornings (approx. 5-10 a.m. local time), evenings (approx. 5 pm-12 midnight) are clearly the hours of largest audience size, with apparently a bit more listening on the weekends than on weekdays.  There is more daytime listening on the weekends than on weekdays.  (These are raw numbers; not percentages.)


Do you listen to shortwave: 

More during the week than on weekends?                12        26%

More on weekends than during the week?                17        36%

More or less the same amount every day?                  17        36%

No answer                                                                   1          2%


The amount of shortwave listening is fairly equal every day of the week -- perhaps just a bit more on weekends when many people have more free time. 


Approximately how many hours per week do you listen to shortwave?

Less than 10                19        40%

10-19                           10        21%

20-29                           4          9%

30-39                           5          11%

40+                              1          2%

Daily all week long     1          2%

No answer                   7          15%


It’s very interesting to note that 40% of listeners listen to shortwave less than 10 hours per week, and 61% listen less than 20 hours per week.  This implies that the majority of listeners have their favorite programs that they listen to regularly on certain days and times, but they don’t leave the radio on in the background for hours each day.  In other words, when they listen to shortwave, they are paying attention to the programming, rather than just using it as background. 


Which are your three favorite shortwave stations? 

Radio Netherlands                  21

Radio Havana Cuba                13

Radio Exterior España            12

BBC                                        8

China Radio Int’l.                   7

HCJB                                      6

Radio Educación (Mex)          6

Radio Miami Intl/WRMI        6

Radio Mil (Mex)                     6

Radio France Intl.                   5

Voice of America                    4

Family Radio                          3

Radio Mexico Intl.                  3

Radio Taiwan Int’l.                 3

Christian Voice                       3

Deutsche Welle                       2

Radio Australia                       2

Radio UNAM (Mex)              2

KNLS                                     1

KVOH                                                1

Voice of Russia                       1

Radio Canada Intl.                 1

Radio Korea Int’l.                   1

Radio Japan                            1

Vatican Radio                         1

Radio Vlaanderen Int’l.          1

RAI Italy                                1


These are numbers of mentions; not percentages.  Four of the stations mentioned by this group of listeners (we didn’t distinguish between first, second or third choice) are members of NASB (Radio Miami International, Family Radio, KNLS and KVOH), plus HCJB and the Voice of America are associate members.  And Radio Taiwan International uses Family Radio as a relay to this part of the world.  From a historic and cultural point of view, it is natural that Radio Exterior de España is so popular in this region, but one has to recognize the tremendous effort and achievement of the Spanish service of Radio Netherlands (from a non-hispanic country) in gaining such great popularity in Latin America.  Obviously Radio Havana Cuba is a major force in shortwave radio in Mexico and Latin America.  (RHC is one of few international shortwave services in Latin America.)  One thing that did surprise me was the lack of mention of the Catholic SW station WEWN.  This could be due to technical factors, but is more likely just because of the small sample size.  I noticed that the WEWN brochures were among the first to be picked up at the NASB exhibit, and my wife heard one of the attendees say that his mother-in-law is a constant listener to WEWN.


What is your profession?  (student, carpenter, doctor, retired, etc.)

Businessman/woman               3

Engineer                                  7

Electronic technician               3

Architect                                 1

Teacher/professor                    6

Student                                   4

Journalist                                 3

Radio announcer-producer     1

Communicator                                    1

Production assistant                2

Publicist                                  1

Travel agent                            1

Nurse                                       1

Fashion designer                     1

Housewife                               2

Worker                                    2

Employee                                1

Retired chemist                       1

Retired                                                2

No answer                               4


These are raw figures; not percentages.  Along with the high educational levels of the listeners, we find a high percentage of engineers, technicians, architects, teachers, students, journalists and other media workers, business people and other professionals and opinion leaders who listen to shortwave.  This is in line with similar surveys in other parts of the world.


What type of shortwave receiver do you use?

Analog                                    8

Digital                                     5

Radio with tubes                     4

Aimor (made in Japan)            1

Drake R8B                              2

Grundig                                   1

Hencort 22 bands                    1

JVC                                         1

Panasonic                                2         

Philips Skyline                        1

Radio Shack/Realistic             7         

Sharp                                       1

Sony                                        8         

Venturer (from Canada)         1

Yaesu FT 747GX                    1

Zenith                                      2         

Chinese 7-band radio              1

Radio-cassette w/SW              1

Don’t remember                      1

No answer                               2


These are actual figures -- not percentages.  They add up to more than 47 because some people mentioned more than one radio.  Some people described their radio (i.e. analog or digital), whereas others mentioned the make and model.  It appears that Sony and Radio Shack are the most common brands of shortwave receivers in Mexico at the moment.  While many listeners have radios with digital readout, many others (perhaps most) still use analog radios. 


What kind of antenna do you use?

Dipole                                     1

Longwire                                 12

Inverted “L” or “V”                8

“Normal“                                 1

“Simple”                                  1

TV antenna                             4

Telescopic/whip                      8

“Clothesline”                           3

No answer                               9


Most listeners use only the built-in whip antenna on their receiver, or a random length of wire to improve signal strength.  (These are number of mentions; not percentages.)


Do you live in a(n): 

urban area?                              31        66%

suburban area?                        11        23%

rural area?                                5         11%


This dispels the myth that shortwave is not well-heard in urban areas. The signal quality may be better in the countryside, but the majority of shortwave listeners in Mexico appear to live in urban areas. 


Do you regularly listen to shortwave (check all that apply): 

at home?                                  44        94%

at work?                                   6         13%

in the country or at the beach? 6         13%

in your car?                              3           6%


There are not many surprises here.  Almost everyone listens to shortwave at home.  Some take their receivers to work or when they go to the countryside or the beach.  Very few have a shortwave receiver in their car (if they have a car).


What kind of programs do you like to hear on shortwave?  (choose as many as you like)

News                                      38        81%

Cultural programs                   35        74%

Music                                      28        60%

DX programs                         26        55%

Science & technology             22        47%

History                                    21        45%

Political analysis                      16        34%

Mailbag programs                   15        32%

Sports                                     11        23%

Religious programs                 9          19%

Language courses                    9          19%

Economy & business               6          13%

Stamp collecting                     6          13%


We have always known that news is the most popular type of shortwave programming.  Perhaps due to the high educational level of the listeners, cultural programs are the second-most-popular category.  This survey dispels another myth:  that shortwave is not a suitable medium for transmitting music.  60% of the listeners surveyed listen to music on shortwave (maybe because they can hear types of music that are not available on their local and national stations).  So you can imagine that with the advent of DRM, music will be even more popular on shortwave.  It is somewhat surprising that DX programs are the fourth-most-popular category, even among this group where a third of the people don’t consider themselves DXers.  So some stations that still don’t have programs about the shortwave medium might want to consider establishing this type of program.  Programs about science and technology, history, political analysis and letters from listeners (mailbag programs) are very popular.  Although a fifth of the sample listens to religious programs, four-fifths do not.  So religious stations need to provide innovative programs that attract and maintain the listener’s attention, or they might want to provide secular programs and then insert religious segments within them. 


Do you have access to the Internet?  

Yes                  35        74%

No                   8          17%

No answer       4          9%


Obviously Mexico is a well-developed country in this respect, because three-quarters of the listeners have access to the Internet.  This is important because the postal service in the country is not extremely reliable. 


If you have access to the Internet, where do you have this access?  

Home              26        55%

Work               13        28%

Internet Café   4          9%

School             1          2%

No answer       12        26%


It’s significant that the majority of listeners have access to the Internet in their own homes. 


Do you regularly listen to audio programs from radio stations via the Internet? 

Yes                  8          17%

No                   32        68%

No answer       7          15%


Although they have access to the Internet, most people do not listen to radio stations by this means.  This could be because they have to pay by the minute for the telephone line (even for local calls), or because their access to the Internet is at work or in a public place, or simply because they prefer to listen to far-away stations on their shortwave radio.


Do you regularly use e-mail? 

Yes                  28        60%

No                   14        30%    

No answer       5          11%


Along with the high rate of Internet access, most listeners use e-mail regularly. 


Have you written to a shortwave station at least once via postal mail?  

Yes                  29        62%

No                   16        34%

No answer       2          4%


Note that even though they listen, over one-third have never written a shortwave station.


Have you written to a shortwave station at least once via e-mail?  

Yes                  18        38%

No                   25        53%

No answer       4          9%


The majority of listeners have written to a shortwave station by regular mail, but not by e-mail, despite their having access to the Internet.  But I have the impression that the number of listeners that communicate with shortwave stations by e-mail is growing very quickly, in Mexico as well as the rest of the world. 


Are you an amateur radio operator (with call sign and license to transmit)? 

Yes                  4          9%

No                   42        89%

No answer       1          2%


This should dispel the popular impression that shortwave listeners are radio amateurs. 


Have you been to other Mexican National DX Meetings? 

This is the first time                21        45%                                                                                        

I have been to others               24        51%

No answer                               2          4%




Half of the listeners have been to a previous Mexican National DX Meeting, but almost the other half were attending for the first time.  This could be because the Meeting has not taken place in this area before, or because each year the event receives more publicity and there are always new people participating. 


What religion do you belong to? 

Catholic                                   25        53%

Protestant                               7          15%    

Other                                       4          9%

None                                      9          19%

No answer                               2          4%


Clearly the majority of listeners in Mexico are Catholics.  But it is interesting to note that almost a fifth of the people do not belong to any religion.  This represents a great challenge - and an opportunity -- for religious shortwave broadcasters.



Brief Description of Broadcasting in Cuba
 Manolo de la Rosa Hernández, Radio Havana Cuba

Emma Almeda and Manolo de la Rosa from Radio Havana Cuba

In 1922, in the month of October, station PWX was officially inaugurated by the Cuban Telephone Company, subsidiary of ITT.  So began the first radio transmissions in Cuba.

Since its beginning, this station and the others that came later were modeled after U.S. stations; that is, they were created as private entities without government participation.

In 1934, with the penetration of great amounts of U.S. achieved a high degree of development, and stations of considerably high powers began to be installed.  This was necessary because commercial announcements filled the stations, almost all from the United States, because the large consortiums had sufficiently penetrated the economy of our country and took the place of any local advertisers.  This occurred from 1930 to 1940 -- the commercial era.

The decade of 1940-1950...was characterized by the appearance of large national radio networks, commercial competition between production companies and broadcasting plants, as well as the appearance of advertising agencies.  This period was known as the monopoly, and it lasted from 1940-1959, when the Revolution took place.

In the decade of the 1950’s, a new phenomenon appeared that strengthened the development of the radio monopoly:  television.

This, without doubt, reduced the radio audience, especially in the nighttime hours.  Nevertheless, by that time Cuba had reached a considerable development of radio broadcasting in comparison with the rest of Latin America.

By the date that I mentioned -- 1950-1959 -- only two countries in Latin America had more stations (including repeaters of the national networks) than Cuba.  These were Mexico and Brazil, which of course are much larger countries, geographically, than ours.  Cuba had 156 stations, while Brazil had 630 and Mexico had 417.

An interesting piece of information is that before the Revolution, 30 percent of the stations in the country were located in the capital, Havana.  There were 31 stations in the city of Havana, and only one on the Island of Pines, now known as the Isle of Youth.  There were four national networks:  CMQ, CNC (Circuito Nacional Cubano), Unión Radio and Cadena Oriental de Radio.  These four national networks, along with the rest of the local stations that operated in Havana, made up 64 percent of the country’s stations, principally in the provinces of Oriente and Las Villas.  The mountainous areas of the country did not receive signals from these national networks because they were not fundamentally interested in that population, which did not have the economic power to buy products that were advertised in the capital.

From the triumph of the Cuban Revolution on January 1, 1959 until May of 1962, radio and TV went through a brief transitional stage in which the media were transferred from private to state ownership.

On May 24, 1962, law number 1030 of the Council of Ministers of Cuba created the Cuban Institute of Radio Broadcasting (ICR) an organization whose object was to control and operate all radio and TV broadcasts in Cuba.

In 1976, as a consequence of  acts by the First Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, a new political-administrative structure was applied to the country, and the radio and television stations gained a new administrator called the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television (ICRT).

On May 1, 1961, the shortwave station Radio Havana Cuba was created.

Today, Cuban radio has six national networks:  Radio Rebelde, Radio Progreso, CMBF Radio Musical Nacional, Radio Reloj, Radio Enciclopedia and Radio Taino. 

Altogether, there are 71 stations.  There are 18 provincial stations, and the rest are in the cities.  There are 104 municipal studios, which are like stations without a transmitter.  There are 1,130 hours of transmissions daily.  Each day 3,011 programs are aired.  Thirty-eight percent of the programming is news; 38.3% is music; 14.4% is varied programming; and 9.1% is radio drama.  All national stations have their own web pages.  They broadcast on AM and FM.

Radio Rebelde also broadcasts some hours in the morning and at night on shortwave for Central America.  Radio Havana Cuba broadcasts to the world on shortwave in nine languages.  The AM and FM transmitters in the country are able to cover 98% of the nation’s territory.

Television, for its part, has two national channels -- one called Cubavisión, and the other Channel 2 Telerebelde.  There is a third channel which is educational, and very shortly a fourth channel -- also educational -- will be inaugurated.






Directory of Mexican DX Clubs and DX Programs
Jeff White

General Note:  Mexicans tend to use one or two "first names" plus sometimes two "last names," which would be the last name of their father followed by the last name (maiden name) of their mother.  This, coupled with the occasional use of compound first or last names, can be confusing to non-hispanic readers.  Therefore, we have CAPITALIZED the "first" last name (i.e. the main last name, which is the last name of the father) of persons in this directory to eliminate any confusion.


Audio Pico DX Club
Apartado Postal 309
94301 Orizaba, Veracruz
President:  Prof. César GRANILLO

Club Diexista México
This is a members-only Yahoo group for DXers in Mexico, founded in 2001.  Messages sent to this address go out to all persons on the e-mail mailing list and to a special website for members, but only members may send messages to this address.  (The NASB is now a member through Jeff White.)  The moderators are Héctor GARCIA Bojorge ( and Miguel Angel ROCHA Gámez (  Those wishing to become members of the group should contact one of the moderators. 

Club DX-Istmo
Oaxaca, MEXICO
President:  Porfirio MENDEZ
Note:  This is a small informal club for DXers in southern Oaxaca State.  No current contact information is available.  The status of this club is unknown at press time.

Club DX Miguel Aúza
Apartado Postal 38
98330 Miguel Aúza, Zacatecas
President:  Luis Antero AGUILAR
Note:  The status of this club is unknown as press time, but this information is believed to be correct.

Consultorio Diexista
Apartado Postal 31
31820 Ascención, Chihuahua
Director:  Prof. Miguel Angel ROCHA Gámez
Home address:  Acacias 2002, CP 31820 Ascención, Chihuahua, MEXICO

Encuentro DX
c/o Héctor GARCIA Bojorge
Berlín 31
Col. Albert
03560 México, D.F.

See DX Programs, below, for information about "Encuentro DX" radio program.

Hombre DX
This is a local club for DXers in the Mexico City area.  They have meetings on Saturdays.  For more information, contact either:
Independencia 26 altos
06050 México, D.F.

or Catarino RODRIGUEZ Hernández
Sur 14-D No 37
Col. Agrícola Oriental
08500 México, D.F.

Nayarit DX Club
Apartado Postal 62
63001 Tepic, Nayarit
President:  Iván LOPEZ Alegría
Telephone:  +52-311-2135869

Website:  (under construction at press time)
Note:  Nayarit DX Club celebrated its 8th anniversary Feb. 14, 2003.  Iván López was the founder of the Mexican National DX Meetings.  The Nayarit DX Club has monthly meetings for members and guests on the first Wednesday of each month, where DXers talk about general DX news and club news.  These meetings take place at the NDXC club headquarters in Tepic at 1800 hours local time.

Sociedad de Ingenieros Radioescuchas
c/o Rafael Grajeda
Hernán Cortés 1157
Colonia Morelos
91758 Veracruz, Veracruz
President:  Ing. (Engineer) César FERNANDEZ de Lara
Vice-President:  Ing. Rafael GRAJEDA Rosado
E-mails: ,

Note:  This club will be hosting the 2004 Mexican National DXers and Radio Listeners Meeting, and they have equipment for monitoring DRM transmissions.  They will be very glad to provide reports to interested DRM broadcasters, and they speak English.

Note that some of the above-listed DX clubs publish regular or irregular printed newsletters, while others have local meetings for members in their localities.  All of them regularly participate in the annual Mexican National Meeting of DXers and Radio Listeners.

DX PROGRAMS (in Spanish)

DX 21
c/o Radio Mexico International
Calle Real de Mayorazgo #83
Colonia Xoco
Del. Benito Juárez
03330 México, D.F.
Telephone:  +52-5-628-1731, 628-1730
Fax:  +52-5-604-6753
Contact persons:  Alejandro JOSEPH, Juan José MIROZ
E-mails: ,


Airtimes:  Tuesday and Friday 2030-2045 UTC on 9705 and 11770 kHz (subject to change)
Note:  This is the DX program of station XERMX, Radio Mexico International -- the Mexican government’s international shortwave station.  We have been told that "DX 21" is more of an amateur radio program produced by members of the Radio Experimenters Federation and intended to introduce listeners to the world of amateur radio.  In the past, Radio Mexico International has had other DX programs of more interest to shortwave listeners (including in English).  At press time, the station was going through some major budget cuts which were causing changes in personnel and programming, so perhaps there will be changes in its DX program(s) in the near future.

Encuentro DX
c/o XEOI Radio Mil Onda Corta
Apartado Postal 21-1000
04021 México, D.F.
Contact persons:  Dr. Julián SANTIAGO Díez de Bonilla, Héctor GARCIA Bojorge
Airtimes (Central Mexican Time):  Friday 1725; Saturday 0830 and 1930; Sunday 0900, 1725 (or 1825) and 2305 hours on 6010 kHz.  Add five hours for UTC time in summer; add six hours for UTC in winter.
Note:  Encuentro DX is actually a group of shortwave listeners in the Mexico City area.  They produce a weekly DX program with the same name for the shortwave frequency (6010 kHz) of the popular commercial AM station Radio Mil in Mexico City.  Dr. Julián Santiago speaks excellent English, has lived in the United States, and used to produce a regular DX program in English (which unfortunately no longer exists) for the government-owned Radio Mexico International.  At press time, Radio Mil was about to move its studios to a new location on the outskirts of Mexico City, and it was unknown if Encuentro DX would be able to continue producing a weekly DX program for the station.  In any case, the group will continue to exist as a local DX club.

Sintonía Libre
c/o Radio Educación (XEPPM)
Angel Urraza 622
Colonia del Valle
03100 México, D.F.
Alternate address:  Apartado Postal 21-465, CP 04021 México, D.F., MEXICO
Main telephone:  +52-5-1500-1050 (direct number to Shortwave Department  +52-5-1500-1073)
Studio telephone:  +52-5-1500-1060
Other telephone numbers:  +52-5-559-6944, +52-5-559-8075
Director General:  Ms. Lidia CAMACHO Camacho (telephone +52-5-1500-1051)
Assistant Director for Production and Programming:  Ms. Perla Olivia RODRIGUEZ Reséndiz (telephone +52-5-1500-1063)
General e-mail addresses:  radioeducació,
E-mail for Director General:
E-mail for Asst. Director for Production and Programming:
Broadcast schedule for shortwave frequency (6185 kHz):  1800-0600 Mexico City time daily (add five hours for UTC time in summer; add six hours for UTC in winter)
Broadcast schedule for "Sintonía Libre:"  Monday 1830-1900; Tuesday 2030-2100; Wednesday 2230-2300; Friday 1830-1900; Saturday 2030-2100; Sunday 2230-2300.  These are local days and times.  Add five hours for UTC time in summer; add six hours for UTC time in winter.  Note that "Sintonía Libre" is actually a weekly program.  The new program is first broadcast on Wednesday; the other days and times are repeats.
Note:  The Mexican government operates two shortwave stations.  Radio Mexico International is the main international broadcasting station, although its technical facilities and signal are variable from fair to poor at press time.  Radio Educación (i.e. Radio Education) is operated by the Ministry of Education, and its shortwave facilities are in very good shape with a good to excellent signal at local nighttimes when there is no co-channel interference.  The station is quite committed to DXers and provides excellent coverage of Mexican DX events such as the Annual National Meeting of DXers and Radio Listeners.  The station is quite popular among shortwave listeners in Mexico.  (It was tied for sixth place in the NASB listener survey.)  The station broadcasts in Spanish, with some English and French.




Engineers Garlinger, Baun Honored by Society of Broadcast Engineers

(This article was posted August 8, 2003 on RW Online, and is reprinted here by permission.  Doug is a former vice-president of the  NASB.)


Douglas Garlinger is SBE's Broadcast Engineer of the Year. He will be honored during the society's national meeting on Oct. 15 in Madison, Wis.  Terrence Baun was named Educator of the Year.

Garlinger, CPBE, CBNT has been employed by LeSea Broadcasting Corp. as director of engineering since 1980. LeSea operates the World Harvest Television Network, eight full-power TV stations, four LPTVs, two FM stations and three international shortwave stations. It also has two satellite uplink networks overseas.

Garlinger wrote SBE's "Introduction to DTV-RF" and co-wrote its "Television Operator's Certification Handbook."   He was SBE Educator of the Year in 1994.

Baun, CPBE, CBNT is president of Criterion Broadcast Services, which provides consulting and contracting services. The society pointed to his "long history of involvement" including educational activities.  "He was instrumental in the formation of the Certified Broadcast Networking Technologist certification level by the society," it stated. "He later developed a tutorial which he has presented more than 30 times across the United States, helping broadcast engineers better understand computer networks as used in broadcast stations."

Baun is a former SBE president and was Broadcast Engineer of the Year in 1991.



NASB  Members:                               


Adventist World Radio         

Assemblies of Yahweh

Family Stations Inc.

Far East Broadcasting Co.                                          

Fundamental Broadcasting Network

Herald Broadcasting Syndicate                                  

Le Sea Broadcasting Corp.                            

Radio Miami International

Trans World Radio

Two If By Sea Broadcasting Corp.

Word  Broadcasting

World Christian Broadcasting

World International Broadcasters

World Wide Catholic Radio


NASB Associate Members:

Comet North America

George Jacobs & Associates

HCJB World Radio                           


IDT Continental Electronics Corp



Thales Broadcast and Multimedia   

VT Merlin Communications


National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters

10400 NW 240th Street, Okeechobee, Florida  34972

Ph: (863) 763-0281  Fax:  (863) 763-8867    E-mail: