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Radio Maranon, Peru

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The following item is taken from Relampago DX 101 by Takayuki Inoue Nozaki. (Por las Rutas del Peru 15). It is placed here with permission.

Radio Maranon was first heard in Japan with a fairly good signal, on November 22, 1987. About two months later when the station made the experimental broadcast on 4835kHz in the 60 meter band. In fact, its frequency had been measured in the range of 4834.8kHz - 4834.9kHz until the shortwave transmission was suspended a few years ago. During the time Radio Maranon was broadcasting on shor twave, it was occasionally audible around 1100-1200 in Japan. At that time, the station signed on at 1100 with the Peruvian National Anthem, and gave the following identification along with the "Christus Vincit" melody: "Esta es la senal de Radio Maranon desde Jaen, Republica del Peru. Transmitimos con dos frec uencias para un auditorio en sintonia: 580kHz onda media y 4835 onda corta tropical, La Voz y el Sentir de Nuestros Pueblos, la senal de la cultura popular. " As of November 1987, the morning transmission on weekdays consisted of the following programs: 1105-1130 "Aires Andinos" (30 minute traditional folklore show); 1130-1220 "Informativo Zonal" (agricultural information program, for the peasant listeners living in the northeastern region of Peru, directed and con duced by the Ministry of Education).

On September 26, 1998, I visited Radio Maranon, located at Calle Francisco de Orellana 343, in the residential area of Jaen. In contrast to other local stations in the city, Radio Maranon has the most complete and professional broadcasting facilities: a fully equipped control cabin with an announcing room, a recording studio, a radio-auditorium for live shows, a record and cassette library, a press room, a computer center, a repair workshop, an administration offi ce, and a reception room. The studio is divided into a soundproof announcing r oom and a control cabin, equipped with a "LPB" S-15A model console (8 channel) , three "TASCAM" 112MKII model stereo cassette decks, and an "Ampex" brand microphone. In the backyard of the station building, there is a FM transmitting u nit with a steel antenna tower of 29 meters high. During my stay in Jaen, the FM outlet was off the air due to a technical problem and it was undergoing repairs. It was installed to provide the daily programs with high quality FM stereo audio for the listeners living in the urban area of Jaen. The station broadcasts on 96.1MHz stereo with a "CTE International" brand transmitter of 0.25kW . Initially, they planned to broadcast an independent programming on FM. Howev er, due to lack of operators and program producers, the FM outlet has carried simultaneous programs with AM.

In April of 1975, Radio Maranon began broadcasting not in Jaen, but in San Ign acio, the most northerly provincial capital of the Department of Cajamarca, only about 20km from the Ecuadorian border. It was established by the Vicar Arch bishopric of Jaen under the direction of Padre Jose Marina Guallart, for the principal purpose of cultural orientation, education and the promotion of Chris tianity to the peasants living in the isolated communities. The station transmitted on the frequency of 1180kHz medium wave, using a "Sparta" brand transmitter of 3kW power. Its transmissions were at 2300-0400 (i.e. 1800-2300 local ti me) while electricity supply was available in the town. They encountered many difficulties in installing and maintaining the station facilities, because San Ignacio was not an easily accessible site. Since there was no passable road for vehicle between Jaen and San Ignacio at that time, a large amount of building material and transmitting equipment were shipped by a horse-drawn wagon. The trip took 3 or 4 days. Whenever they had some technical trouble, they would go to Jaen or sometimes to Lima in order to obtain parts . Currently there is no problem finding public transport. The route between Jaen and San Ignacio is connected by a dusty unpaved road of 114km. Regular buses and colectivos (shared taxis) are available and the trip takes about 4 hours . Another problem was that San Ignacio had an unstable electricity supply only in the evening, and it was often cut for a couple of days. Naturally, Radio Maranon was equipped with its own diesel-generator in case of emergency. However, it needed fuel which was not easily obtainable there. With these difficulties, it was unable to continue operating as the founder had initially planned. By the close of 1975, the station ceased to broadcast from San Ignacio.

The missionaries of the Vicar Archbishopric of Jaen had made every effort to resume the transmissions, and one year later, Radio Maranon reappeared on the air transmitting from Jaen in the heart of the Province of Jaen. On October 4, 1976, the station was officially inaugurated under the direction of Padre Alfredo Bastos Norena, with the support of CEMCOS (Centro de los Medios de Comunicacion Social). Radio Maranon is a religious broadcaster owned by the Roman Catholic Church, however, its principal objective is not only broadcasting the Bible. The station aims at assisting "campesinos" with educational and cultural orientation, under the slogan "la voz y el senir de nuestros pueblos" which has characterized itself as the voice and the feeling of rural peasants.

Radio Maranon has remained broadcasting on 1180kHz with an output of 3kW since the first experimental transmission took place in San Ignacio. After having operated with a provisional license for years, the station was authorized by the Ministry of Transports and Communications on May 13, 1980 with a definitive license for a 10 year-period. The station was assigned to transmit on 580kHz w ith an output power of 10kW. When the frequency was shifted from 1180kHz to 58 0kHz, the 3kW transmitting unit was replaced by a powerful "Harris" brand transmitter of 10kW to cover the vast expanse of the Province of Jaen.

As Jaen is geographically located where the Andes mountains (Cordillera Central), meet the Amazon jungle, its signal did not reach some isolated settlements . Therefore, they made an application for getting a shortwave license. It was on August 13, 1986, when the Ministry of Transports and Commutations authorize d Radio Maranon to broadcast on 4835kHz in the 60 meter band with an output of 1kW, under the callsign OCX2E. The shortwave outlet began operations and went on the air on September 29, 1987, using a "Elcom Bauer" brand transmitter of 1kW connected into a 1/2 wave dipole antenna. The shortwave outlet was designed to provide the programs for people who had been unable to catch its signal o n the medium wave band. The shortwave transmission covers completely the provi nces of Jaen and San Ignacio in the daytime, and before sunrise and after suns et, it covers most of the northern and eastern departments such as Amazonas, Cajamarca, San Martin, and Piura.

Since a couple of years ago, Radio Maranon has broadcast only on 580kHz medium wave, but not on shortwave due to technical problems. The station runs at 0945-0300 (Monday-Saturday) and 1100-2400 (Sunday), providing a diversity of programming: news, popular communication, social service, culture, religious, music, and entertainment.

Education of the "campesino" is the guiding principle behind all of Radio Maranon's programming. However, the station staff understands that education is not just learning facts. An important aspect of the programs is teaching the peasants critical thinking skills and helping them understand their role and their culture's role in the world around them. In fact, shortly after getting star ted, the station got a first hand look at the peasants' lack of critical think ing skills when it first polled listeners on which programs they most liked or thought were most useful and those they least liked. Radio Maranon focuses on education with news, information on growing various crops, and brief lessons in Peruvian history, geography, nutrition, sociology, physics, and the Bible, among other things. Traveling priests distribute free notebooks for listeners to use while listening to these broadcasts. Most educational programs are repe ated later in the day for those who might miss them in the morning.

Radio Maranon carries a newscast entitled "Noticiero Maranon" three time a day at 1100-1200, 1800-1900 and 2300-2330. For timely national news, they formerly listened to a couple of shortwavers broadcasting from Lima, but currently they listen to satellite broadcasts; other news is taken from national newspaper s. For local and regional items, The station has over 200 volunteer correspond ents in the Province of Jaen and neighboring communities, who send periodical reports of their local news and events. For international news and information , the station monitors daily newscasts from the BBC, Radio Netherlands, Deutsche Welle, and the Voice of America.

Identification text
"Desde la Provincia de Jaen en el nororiente de la Republica del Peru, transmite Radio Maranon, La Voz y el Sentir de Nuestros Pueblos, OAX2E 580kHz amplitud modulada 10kW, 4835kHz banda tropical de 60 metros 1kW. Nuestra direccion: Calle Orellana 343 Jaen. Casilla Postal No. 50. Telefono y FAX No. 74731147."

Opening announcement
"Desde Jaen en el nororiente de la Republica del Peru, transmite Radio Maranon OAX2E 580kHz amplitud modulada 10kW, 4835kHz banda tropical de 60 metros 1kW. Nuestra direccion: Calle Orellana 343 Jaen. Casilla Postal No. 50. Telefono y FAX No. 74731147. Radio Maranon es una emisora cultural educativa pertenecien te al Vicariato Apostolico San Francisco Javier del Maranon. Estamos afiliados a la Asociacion Mundial de Radios Comunitarias - AMARC, a la Asociacion Latin oamericana de Educacion Radiofonica - ALER y a la Coordinadora Nacional de Rad io - CNR. Que la alegria de Jesus resucitado nos acompane en este dia."

Closing announcement
"Desde Jaen en el nororiente de la Republica del Peru, transmitio Radio Maranon, La Voz y el Sentir de Nuestros Pueblos, OAX2E 580kHz amplitud modulada 10kW , 4835kHz banda tropical de 60 metros 1kW. Nuestra direccion: Calle Orellana 343 Jaen. Casilla Postal No. 50. Telefono y FAX No. 74731147. Radio Maranon es una emisora cultural educativa perteneciente al Vicariato Apostolico San Francisco Javier del Maranon. Estamos afiliados a la Asociacion Mundial de Radios C omunitarias - AMARC, a la Asociacion Latinoamericana de Educacion Radiofonica - ALER y a la Coordinadora Nacional de Radio - CNR. Que la paz de Jesus resuci tado nos acompane siempre. Muy buenas noches."

Technical Information

OAX2E 580kHz: is equipped with a "Harris" brand transmitter of (10kW) + a 1/4 wave omnidirectional vertical antenna (150 meters high above the ground).

OCX2E 4835kHz: is equipped with a "Elcom Bauer" brand transmitter, 7 01B model (1kW) + a 1/2 wave dipole antenna (30 meters high above the ground). OBW2Y 96.1MHz: is equipped with a "CTE" brand FM stereo transmitter (0.25kW) + a 4 elements directional power antenna (29 meters above the ground).

Transmitting site is located at Fila Alta district, about 2km so utheast from the studio. Studio and transmitting plant are linked by FM.

Station address Jiron Francisco de Orellana No.343, Ja en, Provincia de Jaen, Departamento de Cajamarca, Peru.

E-mail address radioma@mail.cosapidata.com.pe

Radio Maranon has been a good verifier since it began broadcasting on shortw ave. If the reception reports are correct in the details as to programs and th e quality of reception, the station will verify with a QSL card. At the moment , there are no stickers or pennants at the moment. Send your reports in Spanis h to the following address:

Radio Maranon
Apartado Postal No.50,
Jaen, Peru

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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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