The wonderful world of listening to the radio

Tag: Curacao

QSL Direct 107 Curacao

I got “Great!” as an answer on my reception report for Direct 107, a station broadcasting on 107.1 FM. Is it enough to count as a QSL or not? Probably not. But for me it is another nice souvenir from a holiday on Curaçao!

Nevertheless I’m still grateful to the people at the station for acknowledging my reception report. Nice logos on the email make up for the lack of detail! And I learned a new word in Papiamento: “Atministrashon”.

Direct 107 broadcasts in Papiamento, the language of the people on Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire. On Curaçao it was recognized as an official language in 2007 (which is a bit late if you ask me). If you know a bit of Spanish and English you might be able to understand a bit of it. But the origin is Portuguese rather than Spanish. Which is a reminder of dark times when the Dutch “imported” slaves from the Portuguese colonies Cabo Verde, Senegal and Guinea Bissau to the islands.

Modern Papiamento is more a mixture of Spanish, English and Dutch though. There are 180.000 people on the islands that speak Papiamento. Together with the people from the islands that live in The Netherlands there are about 250.000 Papiamento speaking people in the world. I would have loved to send my report in Papiamento language, but there is no Google Translate for it…

Direct 107 is one out of two stations of Direct Media on FM. They also run a television program TV Direct13.

QSL Hitradio 915 Curacao

Maarten Schakel, station manager, was so kind to QSL Hitradio 915 Curacao. I submitted around 10 reception reports to various FM stations on Curacao. This was only the second report that got confirmed. Together with the email from Paradise FM it is the only detailed response I received so far.

I sent my report to . Do visit the Hitradio 915 website. It is really very flashy and gives you that special Curacao holiday feeling: Bon Bini!

Email to QSL Hitradio 915

QSL Paradise FM 103.1 MHz

Since 2010 Curacao, a former Dutch colony, is an independent country. And thus the EDXC lists it as a separate radio country as well. Unfortunately, by the time I resumed my hobby about a year ago, the only medium wave station Z86 went bankrupt and is off air. The Dutch Coastguard in Willemstad, which I received often between 1980-1990, doesn’t have a significant HF presence anymore as ship traffic goes by satellite. All that is left is basically FM. So when I visited the island in March this year I decided to send QSL requests to the stations I heard, in an attempt to add Curacao to my collection.

Email to QSL Paradise FM.

Joris Reer from Paradise FM was the first to reply with an email confirmation of my reception. Joris, who is host of the afternoon show, also asked my phone number. Next day I was on the air in the “Reer in het Verkeer” show explaining what our beautiful hobby is all about. Unfortunately for English speaking readers the show, like the QSL, is in Dutch which is still the official language on Curacao, next to Papiamento and English.

If I did my homework correctly, Curacao is the 197th radio country in my collection. And yeah, Joris was correct that it is a bit of a “cheat” as it is obviously not really DX. The only other “cheat” in my collection is Liechtenstein. I received “Radio L” while traveling with my wife on a 1500 km bicycle tour through the Alps years ago. I drafted my reception report during a stop for lunch in the capital Vaduz.
But if anything, the Paradise FM QSL is a nice memory of a beautiful holiday on Curacao!

Joris Reer, afternoon show host on Paradise FM.

Curaçao DX adventure (3)

For an island with a population slightly over 190.000 people Curaçao has quite a few FM radio stations! I heard 17 different ones during my stay on the island. Ok this is not DX, but I’m just fond of radio. And it was nice to see the variety of radio stations in either Dutch, Papiamento (or a mix) or even in Spanish (like Radio Rumbera). Quite a few religious stations (New Song, Messianic Waves, Deltha), and a wide variety in music styles.

That said I didn’t get the impression that the situation is sustainable from a financial point of view. The economy of the island was severely impacted by the closure of the Isla refinery in 2019. Covid hit tourism, the only other main source of income, badly. And this impacts revenue streams from commercials.
Yes there are stations with sound programming, disc jockeys, up to date news bulletins, a healthy volume of commercials and presence on social media. But there are also a few that seem to be a “skeleton” operation with non-stop music mainly. The owners of the only medium wave station Z86 and Mi95 on FM went bankrupt earlier this year…

91.5Hitradio 915
92.1Direct Life
92.7Radio Deltha 92.7
93.3Telecuraçao FM
96.5Radio New Song
97.3Dolfijn FM
97.9Easy FM
98.5Radio Semiya
99.7Radio Mas
100.3Messianic Waves
101.9Radio Hoyer 1
103.1Paradise FM
104.5Radio Active
105.1Radio Hoyer 2
107.1Direct 107
107.9Rumbera FM

Messianic Waves seems to have replaced Hit 100.3 FM/Super Jumbo on that frequency. I did not receive anything on the frequencies for Laser 101 (101.1 MHz), Radio One (103.9 MHz) and Fiesta FM (106.3 FM). Not sure whether they are still online as their websites are also silent. And I might have missed logging Clazz FM on 95.1 MHz. The FM-Scan site does list a few other stations that I didn’t hear.

I did not actively search for stations outside Curaçao other than Aruba (which I tried from Westpunt) and Bonaire. But no results for these two islands. I did hear two stations from Venezuela though, both from Punto Fijo (145 kms away):

PDVSA on 105.7 FM, a station from the Venezuelean State Oil Company, also identifying as La Voz Petrolina.

Radio La Voz Internacional on 101.3 FM. I had this station listed on 106.9 FM, with Festivo FM listed on 101.3 FM, so maybe something changed overthere.

Curaçao DX adventure (2)

I had the privilege of being able to spend 2 weeks on Curaçao in the Caribbean. And I decided to bring my small Grundig G6 Aviator portable with me. In the past I often took my portable with me while travelling for work. But confined to a hotel environment my experience was not always positive. I found that noise levels were often so high that reception was often very poor or non-existent.

On this trip I had the opportunity to move away from our apartment. Around 7.30 PM it was dark, and most evenings I enjoyed one or two hours listening to Latin American stations on medium wave under a tropical night sky . In total I logged 53 stations. Not all of them qualify as “DX” but it was fun nevertheless!

540Radio ABC, Santo DomingoDOM
550Radio Munidal, CaracasVEN
590Radio Santa Maria, La VegaDOM
610La Cariñosa, BogotáCLM
650Antena 2, BogotáCLM
670Radio Rumbos, CaracasVEN
680Radio Nacional Colombia, BogotáCLM
680WBQN Borinquen Radio, San JuanPTR
710Cristal Radio Red, MedellínCLM
770RCN Bogotá, BogotáCLM
780La Voz de Dios, CaliCLM
780ZBVI, TortolaVRG
800TWR Bonaire, KralendijkBES
810Radio Caracol, BogotáCLM
810Radio Paz, San JuanPTR
830Radio Sensación, San AntonioVEN
840Radio HJ Doble K, NeivaCLM
840Nacional FM, HowardPNR
850Candela 850, BogotáCLM
860La Voz del Caneguate, ValleduparCLM
860Radio Mundial 860, San CristóbalVEN
880Caracol, BucaramangaCLM
910La Voz del Rio Grande, MedellinCLM
930La Voz de Bogotá, BogotáCLM
940WINZ Fox Sports, MiamiUSA
970Radio Red, BogotáCLM
980RCN Radio, CaliCLM
990RCN Radio, MedellínCLM
1000RCN Radio, CartagenaCLM
1020Emisora Claridad, MedellínCLM
1070Radio Santa Fe, BogotáCLM
1080La Voz de Antioquia, MedellínCLM
1090Unión Radio Cultural, CaracasVEN
1090Caracal Radio, CúcutaCLM
1100BBN – Red de Radiodifusión BiblicaCLM
1100Caracol Radio, BarranquillaCLM
1130Radio ideal, MaiquetiaVEN
1140Radio Paisa, MedellínCLM
1160Su Presencia Radio, BogotáCLM
1160Caribbean Radio LighthouseATG
1200Radio Tiempo, CaracasVEN
1210La Cariñosa, CúcutaCLM
1220Santa Maria Colombia, BogotáCLM
1260BBN – Red de Radiodiffusión BiblicaVEN
1270La Cariñosa. CartagenaCLM
1340Amor Años Maravillosos, BogotáCLM
1400Harbour Light of the Windwards GRD
1420Radio Sintonia, CaracasVEN
1450Radio Maria Venezuela, Catia La MarVEN
1470Esperanza Adventura, MedellínCLM
1490Emisora Punto Cinco, BogotáCLM
1510La Voz de la Unión, La UniónCLM
1540ZNS1 National Voice, NassauBAH

The most distant distation was WINZ Fox Sports, Miami with 1913 km. I also heard ZNS1 Nassau/Bahamas at 1679 km, Cali/Colombia at 1275 km, and Howard/Panama at 1212 km. I tried to log the American Virgin Islands, but no trace of any of the 4 stations, most likely because they switch to low night power? The Voice of Nevis, another target, was blocked by a very strong LV de Caneguata.

No doubt I could have heard many more stations, as the band was crowded. Fading was a significant problem though, hampering station identification. Sometimes a Colombian station was audible for only 10 minutes or so, dropping in signal strength only to be replaced by another Colombian. And on some frequencies, close to 800 kHz in particular, I had the feeling my little radio was overloading with a strange oscillator howl. Maybe due to the presence of the strong TWR transmitter? Funny detail: pressing the back light button or changing the frequency by 1 kHz seemed to suppress it for a few seconds. I seriously consider bringing my little RSPdx SDR receiver next time I visit.

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