Over the years during several QSOs I have been told by the OM that they used to listen to a radio station from Del Rio at night that could be heard all over North America which was actually XER, later XERF and now XHRF located in Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila, Mexico.
Commonly referred to as border blasters, these stations were licensed by the Mexican government as commercial radio stations that transmitted at very high power to the United States from various Mexican cities near the US/Mexico border. Licensed by Mexico’s Ministry of Communications and Transport (SCT), the border blasters used transmitters with an output far in excess of those licensed commercial stations in the United States.
The XERF stands out as one of the oldest stations in the country. The concession to operate the XER is granted to the Radio Difusora de Acuña Company, S.A. July 30th. Illegally invading the radio space, its real owner, the American doctor John R. Brinkley, directs the signal of the station to the United States, in order to promote the medical services offered by its clinic, located in Ciudad Acuña, and to put in selling a series of curative products. Due to its location characteristics, signal strength (75,000 watts), the target market, the form of financing and the origin and intentions of its owner, the XER is considered as an international commercial transmitter.
On October 21, the most powerful station on the continent officially opens in Villa Acuña: the XER with permission to operate at 665 kHz (although it actually transmits at 735 kHz frequency). The station begins its broadcasts at night and becomes the only radio station in the country with nightly programming.
For September 12, the approval of an increase in power to 500,000 watts appears in the Official Gazette of the Federation.
LaXERA changes frequency from 960 kHz to 800 kHz. Due to the irregularities with which it operates, the XERA represents a serious problem for the governments of the United States and Mexico: besides deceiving its audience offering products and miraculous cures ; violates current laws, evading taxes and disseminating alleged Nazi propaganda. The Mexican government decides to remove it from the air.
By presidential decree, on July 16, the expropriation of the XERA is promulgated in the Official Gazette.
In March the station was reopened, granting the concession to the Radiodifusora Company of Coahuila, S.A. The transmission plant was located at its current location, at kilometer 10 of the Ciudad Acuña-Presa de la Amistad highway. During this second stage, the XERF takes advantage of its nature as an international free channel to continue transmitting at 250 thousand watts of power. This coverage allows him to cover a wide extension of the American territory, reason why it diffuses preferably country music and programs of religious type in English.
Part of the electronic equipment of what was XERA, is used by XEX in Mexico City. XERF subsequently appeared and there was a rebirth at the border with other stations, which resulted in new disagreements.
Due to its geographical location, the magnitude of its facilities and because it is a clear free channel (Class 1-A / A), the Mexican government considers it of strategic interest to incorporate the XERF. By virtue of the foregoing, since its creation in 1983, the IMER initiates the steps to acquire it. In February of 1986, the Institute buys the fixed assets of the Radiodifusora Company of Coahuila. The operation is finalized a year later, when the corresponding deeds are signed. The rights of the concession were transferred to the IMER free of charge.