Cuban Five Letter Stations

Are there new changes in ham radio from Cuba now? I was under the impression their operators were limited to 10 watts of power and a simple wire antenna. To my surprise when I worked CO8RRM on 40 meters a few evenings ago, he said his power was 50 watts. He sounded great all along the east coast with his vertical dipole antenna.

Perhaps the extra letter in the call-sign is a designation for higher power and extra privileges? This is my first contact with a Cuban station with five letters……

License requirements in Cuba today resemble the challenges of early ham radio in the United States. My congratulations to Rafael from Baracoa, GITMO for his accomplishment and the great signal into West Virginia. Keep up the great work and I’ll be listening for more of those five letter call-signs.

John Smithson, Jr., N8ZYA, is a regular contributor to and writes from West Virginia, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

5 Responses to “Cuban Five Letter Stations”

  • Paul Stoetzer N8HM:

    Only the prefix determines license class. CLs are the lowest, 3rd class, license. CMs are 2nd class. COs are 1st class.

  • Jason ke7tdy:

    I believe that the 10watt an wire antenna is the (new) rules on their (newly gained) privleges on 60m.

    I think they are also only allowed domestic (to them, so within Cuba) qsos on 60 as well.

    I hear co6lc on the upper bands a lot. Worked him many times. His english seems good, maybe for difinitive answers, try looking him up, he may be one of the priveleged ones with internet (roughly 2-2.7 million, mainly in urban ares such as Havannah have internet. Monitored of course but Im sure the license questio s would be allowed)

  • Fred VE3FAL:

    Power is limited to 50 Watts for the CM and CO stations and
    CL stations are limited to 10 Watts,
    During emergencies one can use 100 Watts ERP.
    CO class A stations can run up to 2000 Watts


  • Ben KC4MJB:

    Just worked Rafael on 7030 Khz CW. I was running 5 watts and he was hearing me at a 589 and i was able to catch him at 599. Very good signal into Gainesville, FL tonight. It was a pleasure to work Co8RRM

  • Mirek VE3XIN:

    Power (RF output) on HF bands: CL class 50 Watts, CM 500 Watts, CO class 1 KW
    60 meters band 50 Watts for all classes of license with 100 Watts allowed during emergency.

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