Posted by: calloftheandes | June 25, 2010

Taxi Driver Thankful for Restored Radio Signal

No piercing trumpet triplets of the finale of the William Tell Overture or shout of “Hi-yo, Silver, away!” accompanied the HCJB Global Voice engineers´ exit from the coastal Ecuadorian city of Esmeraldas.

But they were heroes to one listener who stopped them to say thanks.

“We were heroes in a silver Toyota pickup,” recounted Tim Zook. “As we left to return to Quito, a taxi driver honked at us and when I rolled the window down he yelled ´thanks!´ for repairing the radio transmitter. He had seen HCJB Global Voice on the pickup door.”

Tim Zook and Milton Pumisacho

Training permeated the trip, as did mutual learning between Zook and his companions. “Milton Pumisacho is an engineer and teaches me what he knows as well,” Zook said.

The other, Luis Chila,  is a volunteer who cares for the transmitter site at Esmeraldas, several hours northwest of the capital. The city of 100,000 is provided a crystal clear FM signal of Christian programming, bringing listeners music and encouragement. Luis visits the transmitter site regularly to change filters and take meter readings.

“He calls when the signal sounds less than perfect,” said Zook.

“All we had to do was remove a lizard that shorted the 3000 volts in the transmitter and replace a fuse,” Zook concluded. “I wish it was always this easy.  It was easy to be a hero this week.”

Zook with Luis Chila


  1. […] stations, along with FM repeaters in the provinces of Pichincha, Manabí, Tungurahua, Cotopaxi and Esmeraldas, are now operated by an Ecuadorian foundation called HCJB […]

  2. […] we could donate to two refugee camps food and supplies generously donated by private companies, by Radio Station HCJB Ecuador and by Hospital […]

  3. […] to Esmeraldas—known as the “green province”—the FM repeater station carries programming by Rueda and others several hours away in Quito. The provincial capital, also […]

  4. Way to go Tim! Wish I were there

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