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RADIO NACIONAL DE GUATEMALA

(TGW)

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The following item is taken from pages 112-114 of LA-DXing, 4th Edition (1987), as published by Radio Nuevo Mundo. It was written by Takayuki Inoue Nozaki and is placed here with permission.

Reception of R.Nacional de Guatemala in Japan has not been reported for those 2 years, in spite of poor or good atmospheric condition for Centra American Area. They used to be heard on 6180/9760kHz at 0700-0800 GMT.

Having been anxious for getting the reason of no reception, I visited the station on March 16, 1985. To tell the truth, my visit continued for 4 days to get complete information, hi. Their studios are located in a third storied building near "Plaza de Concordia", Zona 1. The 2nd and 3rd floor are occupied by studio, recording room, theater, news room, technical section, program production section, discoteca.

The first day of my visit, I was introduced to the program production section, and Sr. Nelson Colomo, Programador Musical, told me the story about their program. La Voz de Guatemala, being a Governmental station, has a obligation to play the national music by the "marimba" as much as possible and different from other commercial station, marimba music program is not concentrated in the early morning. Naturally there are some commercial radio stations which play marimba all the day, however, most stations have a tendency to play the music only in the early morning. According to Guatemala Broadcasting Law, radio stations has to play a marimba music program more than an hour a day. TGW Radio Nacional de Guatemala has 5 marimba programs "Tierra Adentro" (0500-0557, Monday-Saturday, Folklore by marimba), "Esta Tierra Nuestra" (1100-1157, Monday-Saturday, Folklore and its place of origin), "Chapiniandia" (1600-1657 & re-broadcst at 2100-2157, Monday-Saturdy a live program of which the station is proud. Some marimbanistas came to theater and play 2 marimbas on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Recorded tape are played on other days.), "En este Pais" (2330-2357, Monday-Saturday, Introducing development and culture of the country between marimba music), and "Fiesta de Marimba" (1330-1557, Sunday). At 57 minutes every hour, 3 minute information program including governmental publicity, program guide, station identification, and so on, is broadcast.

Guatemala is composed of Indigena (50%), Mestizo (40%) and white people (10%). Because of such population component, local stations have programs in vernaculars. In the capital city, almost all people understand Spanish, so there is only one station that has programs in vernacular. R.Nacional de Guatemala once had a morning programme for farmers at 0500 until early 1984, in Kekchi (principal language in Alta Verapaz; the program was produced by Carlos Chen who now works at "Canal 11") and Quiche (principai language of Quiche; Jose Antonio of "Instituto Indigenista Nacional" was in charge) languages were used, but now only Spanish is used for their broadcast.

Newscast is broadcast 4 times a day (total of 2 hours) from Monday to Friday - Saturdays at 0600-0630. UPI is mainly used as news source. To avoid political friction with neighbouring countries, contents are largely limited, compared to other stations. Some of music programs and sports programs are relayed to the following Governmental stations (some of which do not have Radio "Nacional" name, though); TGQ La Voz de Quezaltenango (660kHz), TGFP R. Nacional de Tikal, Flores Peten (810kHz), TGSM R.Nacional de San Marcos, TGRX R.Miramundo, Zacapa (1010kHz), TGME R.Quezada, Jutiapa (1320kHz), TGEB R.Momostenarigo (1380kHz), TGMS R.Nacional de Mazatenango (1440kHz).

The next day I asked for technical information to Sr. Miguel Lopez, Engineer of Technical Section. R.Nacional de Guatemala is using the following system for STL: From studios to Cerro Alux Relay station by FM feeder (VHF) on 100.l MHz (50W), and then converted on 107MHz (25W) to transmitter site at Granja Pavon (at slope of the mountain, 125km South East from the city). Another FM relay station was installed on Volcan Agua in early April 1985, so that FM service (107MHz) can be heard in Antigua City. 100.0MHz is utilized for relaying SW programs in case they are different from MW programs (It is very difficult to tune the channel with a portable radio, so it is obviously a feeder outlet). So usually we can hear them on two FM channels (107 & 100.1MHz) in parallel with MW.

TGWC 1000kHz has been seldom used (//-640) for years, while TGWC 1600kHz never used. Sr. Miguel Lopez did not explain clearly, so I presumed that there is only one transmitter for 1000/ 1600kHz, because the callsign is same. So WRTH should delete their channels or put an inactive mark.

History of the Station

The first MW transmitter was made in 1926 by a radiotelegrafista, Sr. Julio Caballeras, making use of parts donated from Mexican Government. Callsign TGA was assigned to the first radio station. Incidentally, Guatemalan prefix "TG" stands for "Transmision Guatemalteca". On September 15, 1930, TGA Radio Morse was changed to R.Nacional with a nationalization assistance from President, Lazaro Chacon Pazos. Callsign was also changed to TGW, for famous Mexican XEW La Voz de America Latina. Homebrew 150W transmitter was replaced by German "Telefunken" transmitter (1kW). The old transmitter was transferred to TGQ La Voz de Quezaltenango and finally to TGFP R.Nacional de Tikal (but not used now).

Technical information

TGW 640: "Sintronic" transmitter (l0kW) obtained in November 1984, with 1/4 wave dipole antenna. They had a plan to introduce 2 "RCA" transmitters (50kW each) simultaneously to make output power of 100 kW, but did not realized due to economical restrictions.
TGWA 9760: US made "CSI" transmitter (10kw) and a 1/2 wave dipole. Currently inactive.
TGWB 6180: "Collins" transmitter (10 kw) obtained in 1977, replacing an RCA transmitter. Operating 24 hours // 640 kHz on MW until 1980, and afterwards irregular transmission with independent programs (such as English news). Scheduled 2100-2400 and 0400-0700 GMT.
TGWC 1000: US made "CSI" transmitter (10kw). Currently inactive.

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This website is maintained by Don Moore,
Association of North American Radio Clubs
DXer of the Year for 1995
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