Coffee and Radio – with Ivan Dias

That São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, America, and the seventh largest in the world, with a population of 11,300,000, is nothing new.

Front of the cafeteria, “Mundo Pão de Olivier”,
located in the Republic Square, São Paulo Brazil. Photo: Ligia Katze

The meeting place was not accidental: I met DXer Ivan Dias in a prominent cafe called “Mundo Pão de Olivier”, located in the Republic Square, an iconic meeting point in São Paulo.

Mundo Pão de Olivier, is a concept cafeteria by Olivier Noel Christian Anquier, better known as Olivier Anquier, is a French, Brazilian naturalized chef, businessman and presenter. He is currently a judge on the reality show Bake Off Brasil.

And speaking of France, a curious fact referring to the world of coffee, in 1652 the first of the later famous Parisian coffee shops with the name of Café Procope was installed in Paris, frequented by illustrious men such as Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau and Benjamin Franklin among others.

Now if you live in São Paulo, in current times and want to eat a real Croissant, without being in Paris, this is the right place, however the coffees are Nespresso, so don’t expect strong emotions.

Aerial image of La Plaza de la República located in the center of the city, It is one of the most visited places in Brazil.
Martin Butera with Ivan Dias, ready to start the interview. Photo: Ligia Katze

Here you can listen to the interview in Portuguese:

Here is a translation and adaptation to the English language:

Today Coffee and Radio brings you an interview with DXer Ivan Dias

MB: What was your first approach to the world of radio?

Radio has been linked to my life since I was very little, that has to do with my move to the city of Sorocaba where I live to this day.

I was born in Sao Paulo capital and my father worked in a company that had to move to the city of Sorocaba (about 100 km away by road) and in that way the whole family ended up moving to that city.

I remember that in 1986, the soccer world cup in Mexico was taking place, television at that time in Sao Paulo was only on VHF and as our television was a bit old, you had to install a converter to be able to tune in to the channels and due to the soccer world cup, they were all exhausted and we could not buy, it seems like something from another world (laughs) …

The radio ended up being the protagonist of the house, I would be between 7 or 8 years old, I still remember the announcements of the stations, that really marked me a lot.

Another curious thing that I remember now, at that time in Brazil to save energy the stations changed their power during the evening at night, for example a medium wave station that transmitted with 1 KW, would start transmitting with 250 W and that at that time was manual, I remember the announcer announcing the change of transmitter, I remember asking my mother what that was and of course my mother couldn’t answer me, (laughs) …

I started with shortwave radio because I have someone who is an electronic technician and he bought a magazine, which was called Total Electronics and that magazine had a column written by Valter Aguiar and there they talked about shortwave stations and I was very curious.

So I started looking for a shortwave radio, at that time I was about 14 years old and that was the beginning.

MB: Do you remember what was that first radio you got?

If it was a Philco B469 it had medium wave and 2 short wave bands, I think it was 41 or 49 meters.

Then I was getting and buying many radios, until I almost reached the end of the 90’s where I bought a radio that made all the difference, it was the Sony 7600 D, I even have the feeling of having bought it around here near where we are doing this interview today.

With that radio I already achieved many things, it was the one that really opened a horizon for me, it was a digital radio, very complete even with a side band and it was thanks to whichI started in the utility DX.

Despite liking radio stations a lot, I think that where I have more interest is in utility stations, with that radio, I managed to set up an interface to decode digital modes, I remember capturing the first RTTY packages from the Brazilian Navy, the British Navy, the German meteorological service, even the latter I remember, send a reception report and I remember they responded quickly.

First radios of Ivan on the left the Philco B469 and on the right the Sony 7600 D. (Example images)

MB: What radio stations you listened to when you started the hobby influenced you the most, as a listener?

There are many stations beloved here in Brazil by the dxsistas, I always like Radio Nederland a lot, it had an excellent news production and the main thing had a program called “The world of communications”, I remember I waited all week That program, in my city at that time it was very expensive to have a telephone line and even the postal mail did not arrive, it took a long time, so my only contact with other DXers was to listen to the radio.

Later, other radio stations that I listened to a lot were Radio Sweden International, also Radio Canada, when I started listening to them, they no longer had service in Portuguese so I listened to them in Spanish.

MB: Speaking about languages, do you like to listen to the radios in their official language or do you prefer them translated?

It depends, if it is an obvious information or cultural program, it is more comfortable for me to listen in Portuguese or Spanish, now if it is for a serious DX, while the language is more rare or exotic it is better, I am going to tell you a curious case I got confirmation from an Icelandic station, broadcasting in Icelandic and I assure you it is a very strange language, you cannot understand anything, to compare for example if you listen to the Tanzanian language in Swahili you can understand something now Icelandic you do not understand anything .

I remember when I listened to the radio, it was at a weekend that there was a Formula 1 race, that is how it was that I managed to understand something, because the announcer named the riders through the names of the drivers, I managed to understand that they named Michael Schumacher and Mika Pauli Häkkinen.

MB: Why do you think that DXing activity in Brazil no longer seems to be so strong?

I think we had a very busy time, even until the beginning of the year 2000, DXers DXcamp meetings were held, we had newsletters from different local clubs, but for the most diverse reasons that began to decrease.

I think it’s a bit of everything, for example if you live in Sao Paulo it is almost impossible to do DX, today in big cities, we have a lot of electrical noise, then we are going through the worst propagation cycle.

Also the absence of large stations, which I think were always essential for them to exist, because those stations were a bit the gateway for many people and somehow you need to have simpler things, and then look for the most difficult.

In any case, my opinion about the hobby is that it is far from over, I usually encourage my friends to get an SDR and go to the countryside to listen and record radios. I usually do that, I go a few days to a place away from the city and then I bring myself content to listen to for 6 months. That way I don’t need to turn on the radio in my city and get discouraged, I think that today the Dxsista lacks a bit of adaptation.

MB: Much complaint, little action?

Exactly, I used to say that if you have a radio 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you still can’t get 10% of what the radio has to offer, because the radio has a lot to offer. give.

Today there are some of the simplest and cheapest SDRs, but what is missing is what Dxsists want to adapt.

MB: Are you interested in paper QSL today?

Speaking of QSL cards, even with a radio that I told you had the Sony 7600 D, with that receiver I got one of the most important confirmations that I have, it is a QSL from a station in Salvador 17.235 Khz Imperial Radio, they transmitted with 800 W and as far as I know it is the only QSL from that station sent to Brazil.

The first qsl of a large station was HCJB, from Quito Ecuador, I remember very well at 15295 kHz I have a WRTH (World Radio TV Handbook) in my head (laughs) …

Now today it is much more difficult to confirm the qsl on paper, I say this in relation to the medium wave stations here in Brazil, which are the ones that interest me at the moment.

The funny thing is that in the 90s you sent a receipt report explaining what it was and requesting a refund and the stations responded. I even have many letters typed on a typewriter.

Maybe today’s instant social media communication and all that. term that radios do not take the time to answer a letter.

In my case, I like to send 99% of letters in a conventional way, I only send by email, when I know that the station is going to respond to me with a PDF or JPG of the station, with a virtual QSL. Now receiving only a message from the station of thanks, without a logo, without anything from the station is not worth it for me.

As I was talking about adaptation, I had to adapt on the subject of QSLs, I now sent a letter explaining with a generic QSL already written, explaining if they can return it with the stamp and signature of the station, note that thanks to that system, I get a lot more response.

MB: Do you have a YouTube channel where you upload recordings of the stations as a confirmation?

If I use it a lot even for FM stations, since in Dx the listeners are very short to get a detail, then I record them and then I send the link to the stations and I explain them.

Some radios are very surprised …

MB: You created a radio club that you can tell me about the Regional DX Club?

It started as follows. I already knew some radio listeners from the city, about 2 or 3 people and thanks to a yahoo list of the time, I began to perceive that other people from nearby cities participated.

So I started thinking about making a list only of members from my city and nearby places, today we no longer maintain activity through the mailing list, it is all by WhatsApp, anyway the group for various reasons decreased activity a lot.

MB: In your city Sorocaba, a very particular phenomenon was born, it was in that city that the first free FMs in Brazil were born. What can you tell me about that?

Well, I lived through the last stage of this phenomenon, they were students of the school, where I studied electronics Etec Rubens de Faria e Souza, it is near the bus station of the city, they were free stations that had no identification, they were just young people sharing music, sometimes they put people on the air talking that they were in different cities and asked for musical themes, it was a very interesting phenomenon.

MB: Lastly, Ivan, I ask you for a few final words and a reflection on the hobby?

First I would like to thank you, it was a pleasure to be talking about the hobby, I believe that we are living a new moment in relation to radio listening, since in addition to this interview, we are gathered here to plan a Dxcamp that we are going to carry out soon in the Marajó Island.

I have never really seen an initiative of this type here in Brazil, we are going to travel the two more than 2000 kilometers away, to an Amazonian island, I hope that it can encourage not only here in Brazil, but also show foreign Dxers that There are serious people here looking for opportunities for DX and if they want to come and participate in some activity together, they will be well received.

Thank you very much Ivan

Martin Butera, with Ivan Dias at the Dxcamp of the Marajo Island Amazon jungle, more
information at: https://dxcamp-marajo2019.blogspot.com/ Photo: Ligia Katze

What is Coffee and Radio?

Coffee and Radio is an exploration of Brazilian radio listeners.

How they began listening to radio, the local or international stations that influenced them, the interests they have when tuning to a station, the languages they like to listen to, if they send listeners reports and collect QSLs, their antennas and receivers, and all aspects related to their radio listening both in shortwave and in other bands and modes.

About the Author

Martin Butera (PT2061SWL) is an Amateur Radio operator with more than 30 years of experience and has participated in DXpeditions throughout South America, under the Argentine radio callsign LU9EFO and Brazilian callsign PT2ZDX.

He collaborates for several newsletters and magazines, covering world radio, he is our accredited collaborator in South America for the Radio Heritage Foundation, he is also the founder of the Brazilian CREW Radio Oyentes, known as 15 punto 61 (15.61), now simply called 61 CREW.

Martin is Argentinian, born in the city of Buenos Aires capital. He currently lives in Brasília DF, capital of Brazil. He is also a journalist, documentary maker and founding member of Radio Atomika 106.1 MHz (Buenos Aires, Argentina).

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