Glenn Hauser logs: new VOA via Colombia 600 to Venezuela

Glenn Hauser

** VENEZUELA [non]. You may recall that VOA has been trying to get
into Venezuela via a MW transmitter in an adjacent country. Guyana was
approached some 6 months ago about using a 560 kHz relay, but VOA was
turned down. TWR Bonaire, which owes the USA something for licensing
KTWR Guam, would seem the obvious choice, but they must have higher
priorities for 800 kHz, at least during prime time.

On September 11, Don Moore informed me: ``COLOMBIA - Starting next
week VOA Spanish programs for Venezuela will be relayed on 600 kHz
(listed 50 kW) via Radio Libertad in Barranquilla, Colombia. The
broadcasts are scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. on September 15th, or 0000
UTC September 16th. The schedule I received shows the relays as being
three hours long Monday to Friday (local days) and two hours long on
Saturday and Sunday. (VOA via Don Moore)``

So I`m all set to monitor this début via remotes in the area. Before
0000, none of them are any good for 600 kHz except TWR Bonaire, where
I noticed there is also someone in Barinas, Venezuela tuned to 600:

600 kHz, Sept 15 at 2353 UT, sounds like a preacher in Spanish, with
QRM. But at 0000 Sept 16, Radio Rebelde is mostly dominant, no VOA
heard yet. There are basically two stations mixing. On the Key West
SDR I compare to 5025, distorted Rebelde, and find no match at first,
but then I can hear a match in the background of 600, and the
foreground talk is about Venezuela.

600 would not seem a very good choice, but at least there are no YVs
on it -- yet; there may not have been (m)any other options, and R.
Libertad is a good 50 kW. Nearest major competitor may be 40 kW in
Guayaquil, Ecuador. Barranquilla is 863 km = 536 statute miles from
Caracas, with Maracaibo about midway. At if you
enter Caracas, Venezuela, looking closely at the map, that merely
reaches the west end of Caracas? province, near where the map is
labeled Carabobo. You have to enter ``Caracas, Caracas, Venezuela`` to
get to the capital city. The path is unfortunately all over-land since
Bqa is on the NW coast. But this will be relying on skywave.

How does that compare to the CubaRM? R. Rebelde on 600 is in the east,
San Germán, Holguín, at 1494 km = 928 statute miles = 807 nautical
miles from Caracas; and its bearing is NW from there. Venzies with
direxional radios may be able to null it and get mostly HJHJ/VOA. Is
it not convenient that this ``opposition`` service is already named
Radio Libertad, but that`s coincidental as it goes way back deriving
from the Bqa newspaper La Libertad:

Guess what, I don`t see anything about hooking up with VOA on its
website, nor is there any specific program schedule to be seen.

Resuming what I am axually able to hear on 600: at 0016, Rebelde is
dominant // 5025 as VOA fades; 0022 RR music // 5025 via KW. 0027
``VOA Noticias`` definitely heard, 0028 again concerning Venezuela;
0031 VOA ID, ``una producción de La Voz de America``.

At 0049 I`ve brought up the ``listen live`` link here, first of seven
and there is the VOA relay loud & clear, with program ID ``Buenos
Dias, America`` --- so it`s anything but live! Rather played back from
the morning some 12 hours ago. 0101 concluding that program, with ID
again, and now also for ``600 AM, en Barranquilla, emsisora afiliada
con sistema de noticias de la VOA``; Then own callsign ID as ``HJHJ,
50 mil vatios...`; at 0114 another joint ID. Perhaps they have now
switched to the less stale tarde VOA program, `El Mundo al Día`, also
available as a 32-minute podcast, but archive shows M-F only, as
nothing ever happens on weekends.

VOA website does not say anything about this either that I can find,
but you can get their program audios --- are there any others left in
``Radio en vivo`` is NOT live, but the latest 32-minute episode:

And o yes, specifically for/about Venezuela, basically a TV show, but
audio-only also available and surely filling some of the 600 hours, in
fact probably what initiated this service at 0000:
(Glenn Hauser, OK, WOR)