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By John D. Tuchscherer

This article was originally published in the March 1979 issue (page SWC-7) of FRENDX, now The Journal of the North American Shortwave Association. It appears here with permission of NASWA.


The amateur station in Heredia, Costa Rica that achieved international renown under the call letters NRH (which rightfully belonged to the U.S. Navy) switched in 1931 to the call TI4NRH. This station was easily heard in the U.S. and was very popular at the time. They operated from 2200-2300 and again at 0200-0300 GMT on 9830 kHz. The station was owned by Senor Amando Cespedes Marin. He was fluent in English, and anxious for listeners reports. All correct reports were verified. This station first went on the air in May of 1928 on a frequency of 9692.

Short Wave Craft magazine of Aug.-Sept. 1930 carried this item from "New York Daily Investment News."

"John Z. Adams as everybody in Wall Street knows, has made the stock brokerage business his avocation for the past 50 years, but his real vocation is radio. Several weeks ago he enjoyed a program of NRH. He immediately wrote a postcard to tell the station he had received its program in Mount Vernon, New York, and asked that he be sent a few facts regarding the station. such as it's hours of broadcasting, number of watts and so on."

In due time the following letter was received from Amando Cespedes Merin.

"My dear radio fan, a postcard is not always a thing to answer; it arrives by mail, unclean and looks cheap from the sender and a radio station many times does not care to pay attention to same; moreover, when it means that the sender did not have enough time or was afraid even to use INK, which is cheap and very gently looking."

"I am telling you all of that because I appreciate all good words from my listeners, BUT, surely enough, no one will get my certificate of reception which cost money, time and devotion, unless the inquiry comes full of details and as an inspiration from the miracle of radio DX hearing."

"Thus you will have to write a letter and state what you heard or what you are actually listening from NRH, and your Diploma will be mailed at once on the assurance that same will give you more light and more devotion to radio activities besides entertaining you."

"A post card is poor visiting card, or like if you were going to visit the governor of your city with a poor suit of clothes. It all counts in this life and I want all my listeners to be decent with little NRH, the marvelous station working with 7.5 watts only."

(signed) Amando Cespedes Marin

During 1935-6 Amando worked as an announcer at TIRCC, Radioemisora Catolica Costaricense, in San Jose. But one day he announced that TI4NRH would return to the airwaves on 31 metres.

TI4NRH was back on the air in 1937 on 9670. The mail address was still apartado 40, Heredia, just as it had been many years before. The transmitter was now a 500 watter and getting out well. There were still frequent.announcements in English and reports were being requested. The schedule was 0130-0300 and 0430 to 0500 GMT.

I have no information on this station after 1942. The station's slogan was "The Voice of Costa Rica" and they had several interval signals but most often a bugle call. By this time "Papa" was engineer and director, while Amando Cespedes junior was the operator.

I had long since forgotten about this stat until NASWA member Jack Jones brought it to my attention in discussing some old time logs (on our mighty one and two tubers) and Jack informedme that the elder Amando had written a book entitled "Me and Little NRH." To date a search for a copy of that book has been in vain, but I have not given up hope. With due respect to Senor Amando Cespedes Marin, my inquiries to book finders have been made by letter, not post cards.


Be sure to check out the Story of TI4NRH - complete with a visit to the dusty archives!

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

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