MW Free Radio

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Strange times

Greetings from a very subdued UK where, just like in the rest of Europe and the world, we are living with the coronavirus pandemic which is having consequences for many thousands of people. The world is changing rapidly and it won't be long until we are on full lockdown here. Many people, including myself, are already working from home while looking after children whose schools have been closed in a bid to combat infection rates.



In such stressful times as we worry about what might happen to us and our families, a little light relief is very welcome, so I've been taking the opportunity to listen to the radio regularly over recent days, mainly using a very fine receiver that has been loaned to me by a fellow dxer while he's not using it. The AOR AR7030 Plus is a complex but wonderful device that is giving me plenty of pleasure - and some frustration! It has a deep network of menus that take some getting used to, but I am getting more familiar with them every day and learning a little more. The good news is that the receiver is very effective on the small part of MW where I tend to listen and has been doing a great job of pulling in plenty of Dutch pirates, as you can see from the latest logs:

Freq      Time     Station name SINPO Type of broadcast

Sunday, March 22, 2020
1640      1824      Professor Sickbok 45444 music programme
1670      1830      Digitaal 44444 music programme
1632      1841      Sapporo 35333 music programme
1671      1845      Viking en Tante Foeke 33433-44444 music programme
1647      1905      Barones 55444 music programme
1640      1914      Moonbreaker 44434 music programme
1630      1928      Columbia 45444 music programme
1618      2149      Zender Johan 55444 qsoing
1494      2158      Coast FM 44444 relay from Ireland


Observations
     It’s been a while since I heard Columbia on the air, so it was great to hear him tonight. He had a great signal here, which you can listen to on the recording above.

Saturday, March 21, 2020
1615      1829      Derde Man 35333 music programme
1630      1830      Nachtzwerver 33443 music programme
1647      1832      Keizer en Keizerin 44444 music programme
1665      1832      Vonkenboer 25332 music programme
1645      1835      Linda Radio 45444 music programme
1665      1852      Turfsteker 35333 report for Vonkenboer
1665      1859      De Klok 35333 qsoing
1667      1932      Vonkenboer 25332 music programme
1615      2139      Blauwe Koe 45434 music programme
1656      2310      Nachtzwerver 45434
1640      2311      Mi Amigo 42432 music programme
1636      2312      Bluebird 54444 music programme
1494      2349      Laser Hot Hits 44444 Irish relay

Observations
     Plenty to listen to from the evening right through into the late night today. Linda Radio on 1645 kHz was a tribute broadcast in memory of Jan, the operator of Radio Wadloper, who sadly died a year ago to the day. Jan’s transmitter (below) was fired up and his daughter Linda took the hot seat in the studio, surrounded by family and friends, including Radio Batavier and Relmus. A lovely idea.




     Laser Hot Hits was active on 1494 kHz via a transmitter based in Ireland that has also recently been relaying Coast FM. Laser has also announced 1530 kHz is in use by the station, although I’ve not heard them on that frequency.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020
1512      0557      Mike 44434 music programme
1652      0602      Eigen Risico 35333 music programme
1636      0605      Zeelandia 24222 music programme
1616      0608      Telefunken 25222-35333 music programme
1640      0649      Telefunken 35443 music programme
1671      2012      Twentana 35333-45444 music programme
1658      2114      Orban 45444 qsoing
1638      2117      Bluebird 55444 music programme
1658      2119      Turfsteker 35333 qsoing
1665      2123      Vonkenboer 25332 qsoing

Observations
     I got an early morning message today from Radio Pacman to let me know there was some interesting activity on 1512 kHz. So, I jumped out of bed, headed to the receiver and found Mike Radio on the frequency coming in loud and clear with his breakfast show! And there was a fair bit of activity up on 186 metres, with Zeelandia a rare catch for me.



Tuesday, March 17, 2020
1611      2220      Technical Man 44444 music programme
1656      2222      Snowman 25332-35333 music programme
1642      2222      Monte Carlo 45444 qsoing
1615      2225      Blauwe Koe 54444 music programme
1636      2227      OSM 35333 music programme
1640      2252      Casablanca 55444 music programme
1640      2343      OSM 35333 report for Casablanca

Observations
     Very good to hear O’Superman on air today. Whenever I hear James Last’s Music Box Dancer at the top of the MW, I can be pretty sure I’ve found a broadcast from OSM. He uses only low power but the signal was coming in well as you can see and hear on the video clip



     Also coming in very well indeed tonight was Casablanca on 1640 kHz




Monday, March 16, 2020
1634      2004      Bluebird 55544 music programme
1647      2004      Twentana 45444 music programme
1655      2026      Vrolijke Mijnwerker 35333 music programme
1640      2040      Spakenburg 44444 music programme
1647      2115      Orban 54444 testing
1611      2147      Utopia 34333-44444 report for Orban
1611      2234      Alabama 55444 report for Utopia
1642      2245      Monte Carlo 35433
1638      2338      Bluebird 55444 music programme 

Sunday, March 15, 2020
1617      0611      Noordster 55444 music programme
1638      0614      Interpol 45444 music programme
1613      0640      Eigen Risico 34343 report for Noordster
1645      0647      Marconist 35343 report for Noordster
1618      0648      Hemmeling 24332 report for Noordster
1615      2115      Blauwe Koe 55444 music programme
1644      2116      Curacau 35333-45444 music programme
1660      2117      Vonkentrekker 24222 music programme
1665      2137      Vonkenboer 25332 music programme
1636      2149      Alabama 55544 report for Curacau
1670      2251      Monte Carlo 34333-44444 report for Vonkenboer
1636      2317      Monte Carlo 35333 report for Alabama




Saturday, March 14, 2020
1634      1926      Bluebird 55444 music programme
1647      1927      Yogi Bear en Einstein 35443-45554 music programme
1655      1928      Moonbreaker 35443 music programme
1638      1938      Boogschutter 23322 music programme
1645      1950      Polydor 33433-44444 music programme
1616      2002      Schaduwjager 55544 testing
1617      2046      Blauwe Piraat 24223-35333 report for Schaduwjager
1616      2049      Witte Duif 25332 report for Schaduwjager
1630      2109      Concorde 34443 music programme
1615      2130      Boomerang 55444 asking for report
1665      2150      Vonkenboer 25332 music programme
1655      2220      Turfsteker 35333 music programme
1655      2254      Vonkenboer 24332 qsoing
1665      2256      De Klok 34333 qsoing

Thursday, March 12, 2020
1633      1730      Belladonna 25342 music programme
1635      1817      Baanbreker 23332
1645      1822      Hennie Veldwijk 25222 qsoing
1618      1839      Hengelo 25222-35333 music programme
1687      1840      Armada 45434 testing
1657      1844      Pecon 45434 qsoing
1655      1856      Eigen Risico 35333 qsoing
1636      1921      Santana en Cobra 35333-45444
1611      1958      Eldorado 45444 music programme

Wednesday, March 11, 2020
1665      2115      Kristal 45444 music programme
1638      2246      Bluebird 55444 music programme

Tuesday, March 10, 2020
1617      2025      Marianne 45434-55444 music programme
1655      2218      De Kat 25332 music programme

Monday, March 9, 2020
1638      2112      Bluebird 55444 music programme
1647      2115      Oldtimer 45444 music programme
1665      2118      Armada 45434 music programme
1618      2119      Enschede 25322 FM station relay
1669      2209      Armada 45434 qsoing with Serbia

Sunday, March 8, 2020
1634      0624      Hemmeling 35333 music programme
1617      0632      Noordster 45333-45444 report for Hemmeling

Saturday, March 7, 2020
1635      1740      Barones 45444-55555 testing/music programme
1647      1801      Keizer en Keizerin 34443 music programme
1640      1810      Ruimzicht 24432 music programme
1665      1839      Nachtzwerver 34333 music programme
1615      2032      Turftrekker 55444-55555 music programme
1630      2037      Marskramer 43433-45444 music programme
1647      2050      Moonbreaker 44444 music programme
1650      2107      Jeneverstoker 23432 music programme
1656      2109      Test Piraat weak signal music programme
1640      2120      Mi Amigo 44444 report for Moonbreaker
1651      2155      Eigen Risico 34433 music programme
1635      2252      Lotus 55444 asking for report
1640      2310      Monte Carlo 44444 report for Lotus
1618      2312      Akai 32322 qsoing
1633      2340      Polkaman 25222-35333 music programme

Thursday, March 5, 2020
1647      1733      Vendor 34333 music programme
1638      1811      Eigen Risico 34333 music programme
1715      1816      Telefunken 24332 music programme
1647      1903      Nachtzwerver 34443 qsoing
1645      1906      Baanbreker 24332 qsoing
1642      1955      Drukstroomjager 54444 testing
1645      2000      Orban 55444 asking for report
1653      2010      Drukstroomjager 55444 testing
1633      2012      Dolfijn 35443-45444 music programme
1655      2014      Meteoor 35443-45444 report for Drukstroomjager
1638      2150      Bluebird 55444 music programme

Wednesday, March 4, 2020
1617      2040      Turftrekker 55444 music programme
1632      2044      Concorde 34333 music programme
1638      2044      Boogschutter 25222 music programme
1670      2047      Mexicano en Speedy Gonzales 45444

Tuesday, March 3, 2020
1617      2116      Marianne 45444 music programme
1614      2208      Blauwe Fazant 33433 report for Marianne
1645      2208      Monte Carlo 45444 report for Marianne
1640      2242      Anton 45434 report for Monte Carlo
1635      2303      Electron 35333 qsoing
1638      2310      Bluebird 55444 qsoing

Thursday, February 20, 2020
1641      2040      Marskramer 35333-5434 music programme
1635      2040      Bluebird 35433-45444 music programme
1611      2049      Zwarte Boer weak signal music programme




Wednesday, February 19, 2020
1640      2240      Monte Carlo 35343 qsoing
1631      2245      Spakenburg 44444 qsoing with new antenna for first time
1635      2252      Electron 34443 qsoing
1656      2253      Snowman 25232-35333 music programme
1494      2254      Coast FM 45444 music programme relay
1645      2255      Monte Carlo 35333 qsoing

Tuesday, February 18, 2020
1660      1911      Buzz FM 35443 music programme
1644      2220      Professor Sickbok 55444 music programme
1494      2229      Coast FM 34433 music programme relay
1638      2254      Bluebird 55444 music programme

Observations
     It’s not often I hear activity from this side of the North Sea these days, but today there was an appearance from Buzz FM on 1660 kHz and a relay of Coast FM on 1494. Buzz was a big noise on the FM scene in the East Midlands during the 1990s and featured several voices who have since become well known on the shortwave bands. This broadcast came from a transmitter belonging to one of those guys, while the activity down on 1494 was coming from the Republic of Ireland.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Stormy weather and unstable signals

It's been a quiet day on the bands as far as reception of the Dutch MW pirates goes at our side of the North Sea, but here's what has been heard, together with some other recent station logs and news

Freq      Time     Station name SINPO Type of broadcast

Sunday, February 16, 2020
1611      0701      Utopia 23432 music programme
1640      0707      Eigen Risico 24422 music programme
1645      0735      Avia weak signal music programme
1640      1702      Professor Sickbok 25222-35433 music programme
1645      1736      Vonkenboer weak signal report for Professor Sickbok
1656      1740      Johnny Pecon 25332-35333 report for Vonkenboer
1655      1747      Professor Sickbok 35333-45444 qsoing

Observations
     A week ago it was Storm Ciara. Today it was Storm Dennis doing it’s worst. Here in England it has been very wet and very windy, and the Netherlands has been the same. Sunday mornings are usually a busy time for Dutch pirate activity, but it was notably quieter today. Utopia was on 1611 kHz at breakfast time while Eigen Risico was on 1640 kHz, but signals were significantly weaker than usual as the operators were running with antennas at reduced height because of the high winds. Added to that, there were long-skip propagation conditions with US legal stations audible on 1610, 1620, 1630, 1640, 1650, 1660 and 1670 kHz!
     Many of the Dutch pirates use vertical antennas sitting at the top of adjustable masts which often reach in the region of 30 metres, so during storms they tend to run at much lower heights. While signals in the Netherlands might not be much affected, their strength will be much lower outside of the country as antenna height is crucial for getting out the skywave. Great that these stations were braving the weather, however, to provide some Sunday morning music. I hope the studios were nice and warm!
     By around 0800 here in the UK, any stations on air had faded out. Signals were back at 1700, however, with Professor Sickbok on his old favourite frequency of 1640 kHz. A qso followed with various stations, but conditions later in the evening were far from optimum.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020
1645      1912      Meteoor 45434 testing
1617      2045      Marianne 55444 music programme

Monday, February 10, 2020
1648      2118      Oldtimer 45444 music programme

Sunday, February 9, 2020
1617      0653      Blauwe Piraat 35433 asking for report
1617      0701      Noordster 55444 report for Blauwe Piraat
1645      0728      Avia 25332-35333 music programme
1647      1842      Witte Tornado 45434 music programme
1642      1859      Turftrekker 34333-45434 music programme


Observations
     With Storm Ciara lashing the Netherlands today, the band was much quieter than usual on a Sunday, although conditions this morning were pretty good. Blauwe Piraat was coming in well and I also heard Avia for the first time. I thought this must be a relatively new station and after making contact with the operator found out that he has been on MW for a couple of years, although he had not previously received a reception report outside of his own country. Must have been those strong winds pushing his signal across the North Sea!

Friday, February 7, 2020
1636      0625      Dolfijn 35333-45434 music programme

Thursday, February 6, 2020
1636      0530      Torpedojager 35333 music programme
1636      0856      Noordzee 32442 report for Torpedojager
1636      0858      Havanna 44444 report for Torpedojager
1640      2359      Casablanca 55544-55555 music programme
1638      0013      Unidentified 25222 report for Casablanca

Wednesday, February 5, 2020
1633      0530      Noordzee 45434 music programme
1633      0833      Belladonna 24332 music programme

Tuesday, February 4, 2020
1635      2348      Vonkenboer 25332 music programme
1647      2354      Astronaut 24332 testing

Observations
     I managed just a little late-night listening today and caught two low-power pirates on air. Astronaut is not often active but was trying out a new 80 watt transistor transmitter. His signal was perfectly listenable and earlier in the evening had made it to Serbia as he had a qso with Radio Romeo in the Balkans.

Sunday, February 2, 2020
1611      0659      Interpol 44444 music programme
1636      0659      Santana en Cobra 45434 music programme
1631      0721      Kwiksilver 34433 report for Santana en Cobra
1655      0731      Digitaal 35333 music programme