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Ondas Musicales


The following item is taken from Relampago DX #113 (January 2000) by Takayuki Inoue Nozaki. It is placed here with permission.

Onda Musical, one of the oldest radio stations in the capital of the Dominican Republic, resumed shortwave transmissions after 20 years of a silence, and began to be heard on the measured frequency of 4779.9 kHz in the 60 meter band in the middle of September 1993. While having operated initially in the 90 meter band in the 1950s and 1960s, the station had been audible around 3340 kHz, and was last logged in 1969. The station also transmitted in the 60 meter band, and its signal could be tuned between 4772 kHz and 4780 kHz, despite announcing to operate on the nominal frequency of 4795 kHz. While being on the air in the 60 meter band, it was one of the steady Dominican stations on shortwave and it had been logged from October of 1961 through February of 1973.

In March of 1995, Onda Musical temporally appeared on 4774.9 kHz, which was a previously reported frequency. However except for the outstanding frequency change, the station has remained in the vicinity of the current authorized frequency of 4780 kHz, slightly drifting between 4779.8 kHz and 4780.8 kHz, since it reappeared on shortwave.

On December 28, 1998, I went to visit the station located at Calle Palo Hincado No. 161 Bajos, in the colonial and business district of Santo Domingo. The station had no billboard, though I found that the station name "Onda Musical" and the slogan "la inconfundible" was painted by gilt letters on the glass entrance. Entering inside, there was an empty reception space with a sofa, but there was nobody to speak to. I noted some Merengue being played behind the interior rooms. After calling out with a loud voice "¡Buenos tardes!" (good evening), an operator came up to ask me of my business. I explained to him the purpose of my visit to the station, and he returned inside to call a responsible person. Shortly later, Ramón Pacheco Saiz, the managing director cordially welcomed me, inviting me to make a small tour of the station facilities.

The station facilities contains a studio, a pressroom, an office for the managing director, and a music library. The studio is separated by walls with a large plate glass window into an announcer cabin and an operating room. The announcer cabin is installed with soundproof walls, equipped with two microphones for reading the news and doing interviews. The operating room is equipped with high quality equipment: a "Gates" brand console mixer (eight channel), two turntables, a "Sony" brand cassette deck, a "Sony" brand compact disc player, a "Sony" brand amplifier, a "Sony" brand equalizer, two "Gates" cartridge machines, a radio receiver for program monitoring, and a generic clock for time check. The music library called "discoteca" has a good music collection of about 2,000 volumes, including 45s and LP records, cassette tapes, and compact discs, divided into categories by song type: merengue, salsa, ranchera, Latin American modern pops, oldies, and infant. The wall of the music library is decorated with sponsor companies' calenders and Latin American pop music posters.

On May 4, 1951, "Emisora Onda Musical Empresa Individual de Responsabilidad Limitada" was founded by a electrical engineer, Ramón Pacheco. The studios and offices were first established at Calle Doctor Faura No. 4 in Ciudad Trujillo, Distrito de Santo Domingo. The station was authorized by the "Dirección General de Telecomunicaciones" to transmit on the frequency of 3345 kHz in the 90 meter band with an output of 0.2 kW under the callsign HI2S, and on the frequency of 1400 kHz with an output of 0.25 kW under the callsign HI3S. Both transmitters were made by the founder, and were installed on the eastern outskirts of the city across the Ozama River.

In 1960, Onda Musical changed frequencies in the following manners: the shortwave outlet HI2S moved up from 3345 kHz to 4780 kHz; the medium wave outlet HI3S moved down from 1400 kHz to 1150 kHz. The callsigns were changed to HIAS for both medium wave and shortwave outlets. At the same time, two powerful transmitting units of 1 kW were purchased for the both outlets to improve the audio quality and to get the larger coverage. According to monitoring records in the 1960s, Onda Musical was heard around 3340 kHz and 4775 kHz, being out of the officially assigned frequencies. It seems that the station was on the air alternately in the 90 and 60 meter bands, utilizing two transmitters (0.2 kW and 1 kW). In 1962, the studio and office were moved to Avenida Mella No. 25 in the center of Santo Domingo, and later in 1970 they were moved again to Calle Palo Hincado No. 48, Altos, in Santo Domingo. In 1971, the station commenced the FM transmission on the frequency of 92.1 MHz, with a monaural transmitter of 50 watts with an inverted V antenna. Afterward, the output power was increased with a "McMarti" brand transmitter of 1 kW. The FM service had been in operation from 1971 through 1980, but was discontinued due to transmitter failure.

As of December 1998, Onda Musical, identifying itself under the slogan "La Inconfundible", runs for 18 hours of transmission with a staff of eight persons, broadcasting a variety of music programs, newscasts, cultural programs, public informations, and special announcements of general interest. The station has two newscasts from Monday through Saturday: at 1000-1100 "Noticiero Mundial" (directed by George Rosas) and at 1600-1630 "Informativo Dominicano" (directed by Danilo Arzono). The station transmits uninterruptedly at 1000-0400 daily on 1150 kHz medium wave. The shortwave outlet is irregularly utilized in the early local morning and evening, and specially for the baseball relay transmission.

Technical Information

HIAS 4780 kHz: is equipped with a transmitter manufactured by Ramón Pacheco (1 kW) in 1993, and a 1/2 wave dipole antenna (16 meters high above the ground).
HIAS 1150 kHz: is equipped with a transmitter manufactured by Ramón Pacheco (5 kW) in 1993 and a 1/4 wave vertical antenna (50 meters high above the ground).
HIOM-201 450.6 MHz: is equipped with a "McMarti" STL 20 (20 W). This frequency is utilized to link with the transmitter site which is situated about 2 km west from the studio.

Transmitter site: Calle Club de Leones No. 145, Ensanche Alma Rosa, Santo Domingo, República Dominicana.
Studio: Calle Palo Hincado No. 161 Bajos, Santo Domingo, República Dominicana.


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