Friday, April 14, 2017

A very Good Friday

I didnt get to the radio until around 2215 local time (2115 UTC) tonight, but when I did switch on the receivers, the MW band was really buzzing - not with interference but with a whole raft of stations.

It was great to catch Curacau on 1617 kHz with a music programme. Back in the 1990s when I first found the Dutch MW pirates, he was a regular. Nowadays it's pretty rare to catch him on air, even more so with a whole show - I heard him qsoing in January this year but before that I have to go back to October 2013 to find him in the logbook.

Morgen Ster was an interesting one. This was not the low power station Morning Star that can be heard on 1611 kHz, but a different station - I'm pretty sure it was a regular operator using a different name, but I can't quite put my finger on which one!

Good to hear Odynn in action on 1640 tonight. He was doing really well with around 120 watts of power, and he sent some pictures straight through to me while he was on air, which he has very kindly allowed me to share with you:







Here's a compilation of some of the Dutch pirates heard here in England tonight:


And here's the lowdown on the stations heard tonight and since I last updated the blog:

Freq      Time        Station SINPO

Friday, April 14, 2017
1617       2121       Curacau 34434-45444 music programme
1625       2121       Blauwe Koe 44444 music programme
1633       2122       Morgen Ster 33333-44444 music programme
1640       2122       Odynn 33443 music programme
1648       2122       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 54434-55544 music programme
1655       2122       Relmus 34433-44444 music programme
1666       2122       Batavier 33433 music programme
1630       2147       Blauwe Daihatsu 33443 qsoing
1633       2214       Barcelona 55444 report for Morgen Ster
1640       2234       Professor Sickbok 54444-55555 report for Mijnwerker
1642       2237       Jeneverstoker 33333 report for Mijnwerker
1620       2238       Monte Carlo 44444 report for Curacau 
1641       2254       Casablanca 55444 qsoing
1633       2305       Electron 45444 qsoing
1634       2308       Monte Carlo 55444 qsoing


Observations

  • Relmus often has guests in the studio. More often than not Wadloper makes an appearance, but tonight it was Sluwe Vos sharing the microphone - and he hopes to make a return to MW soon with his own transmitter
  • Professor Sickbok has had contact from the Agentschap Telecom on several occasions in recent times and as a result has been very quiet on the air. Before tonight I had not heard him this year, but he popped up on his old regular frequency of 1640 kHz with a report for Vrolijke Mijnwerker and then for a qso with various other stations, including Casablanca, who himself has been less active recently than previous years. He was putting in a stonking signal on 1641 kHz

Wednesday, April 12, 2017
1640       2215       Monte Carlo 45444 qsoing

Sunday, April 9, 2017
1645       2239       Barones 45434 music programme

Saturday, April 8, 2017
1635       1750       Havanna 45444 music programme
1655       1800       Relmus 35343 music programme
1623       1807       Batavier 24332 music programme
1620       1823       Sapporo 25442 qsoing
1610       1824       Verona 24342 testing
1625       1826       Turftrekker 25342 qsoing            
1635       1852       Alaska 25332 report for Havanna
1648       2131       Moby Dick 43433 music programme
1635       2132       Batavier weak signal music programme
1629       2132       Turftrekker 35333 antenna test
1620       2134       Kruik 24222-34333 music programme
1638       2138       Osaka 34333-44444 music programme
1642       2200       Turftrekker 55444 antenna test
1623       2204       Jeneverstoker 23332 qsoing
1663       2221       Wilskracht 44333 music programme
1638       2222       Pecon 43433 qsoing

Friday, April 7, 2017
1655       1825       Relmus 35343 music programme
1655       2137       Monte Carlo 55454 qsoing
1628       2137       Twentana 45444 music programme
1633       2139       Carona 35333 qsoing
1636       2221       Romax 32442 qsoing
1638       2221       Bluebird 55444 music programme     

Tuesday, April 4, 2017
1617       2134       Witte Raaf 34443 music programme
1644       2136       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55444 music programme
1660       2144       Monte Carlo 34333

Monday, April 03, 2017

A birthday milestone

Since we last spoke I hit a bit of a milestone with my 40th birthday. We kept it low-key with a few days hidden away in west Wales by the sea, staying in a log cabin without even a radio in sight! If we go there again, though, I will definitely take a receiver - neighbours were few and far between and the noise level would have been non-existent.

I had some great presents - plenty of real ale - and a very fitting gift from my girls . . .


I also had another radio for the collection - a very nicely restored Cambridge International tube receiver from 1953. I already have one, but it got a little smashed recently and had started to go a bit deaf, but the replacement is a very good-looking model which tunes very well and has no crackling on any of the switches. I'm having a bit of a move around in the radio room at the moment, but I will post some pictures soon and some videos of the new radio in action. For the moment, though, here's a picture of my old Cambridge looking a bit sorry for itself . . . 


I must say a big thank-you to all my radio friends in the UK, Netherlands and around Europe for the very kind birthday wishes that were greatly appreciated. And a special mention to Alf from Sweden, who I met in the Netherlands last year at the Summer Meeting and spent a very pleasant day with when visiting various Dutch pirates the following day. He sent me a wonderful recording of a station calling itself Tripple L Radio (the man with a thousand different names is perhaps slightly better known as the Black Bandit) and sending out a special birthday message to me. I didn't hear the broadcast myself, so it was great to get this in my inbox, which I'm sharing with you now. It certainly brought a smile to my face:



On to some logs now. Not a huge amount of activity to report as signals are now arriving later in the day from across the North Sea and propagation has generally been well down:

Freq       Time       Station name SINPO

Monday, April 3, 2017
1632       1742       Bizon 35443 qsoing
1670       1752       Batavier 35333 music programme
1640       1801       Veronica 25322-35333 music programme
1655       1911       Relmus 35333 music programme
1640       2139       Monte Carlo 35333 report for Veronica
1633       2140       Ruimzicht 25222-35333 report for Veronica
1633       2144       Barcelona 45333 report for Veronica  
1620       2238       Monte Carlo 35333 qsoing

Saturday, April 1, 2017
1636       1825       Keizer en Keizerin 35333 music programme
1630       1828       Yogi Bear en Einstein 35333-45444 music programme
1620       1831       Brandaris 35333-45444 asking for report

Observations

  • Brandaris isn't on the air much these days, but he has a lovely depth to his modulation which makes him quite easy to spot when he is on the band. Great to catch him tonight for only the third time during 2017

Friday, March 31, 2017
1620       1836       Eldorado 24322-45444 music programme
1655       1836       Relmus 25222-35333 music programme
1641       2156       Monte Carlo 35333 qsoing
1630       2208       Blauwe Daihatsu 35333 qsoing

Thursday, March 30, 2017
1620       2122       Utopia 35333-45444 music programme
1629       2159       Jack Sparrow 45444 report for Utopia
1633       2200       Barcelona 55444 report for Utopia
1625       2207       Monte Carlo 34333 report for Utopia

Wednesday, March 29, 2017
1630       1645       Digitaal weak signal music programme
1638       1659       Noordzee 25342 qsoing
1620       1702       Sterrenboog weak signal qsoing
1636       1709       Torpedojager (Twente) weak signal qsoing
1620       1753       Moonbreaker 25342 asking for report
1638       1757       Dageraad weak signal qsoing
1632       1806       Toulouse 25332 qsoing
1645       1904       Casablanca (Twente) 25222 music programme
1611       1904       Twentana 33433-44444 music programme
1620       1906       Meteoor 45444 qsoing
1655       1946       Relmus 35333 music programme
1620       2200       Spanningzoeker 55444-55555 qsoing

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
1620       1649       Sterrenboog 25332 asking for report
1638       1650       Friese Piraat 25332 music programme   
1620       1656       Digitaal 25332 report for Sterrenboog
1645       1718       Oldtimer 35333 report for Friese Piraat
1638       1721       Digitaal 35343 qsoing
1630       1722       Blauwe Daihatsu weak signal report for Friese Piraat
1650       1759       Rodester 45444 qsoing
1645       1840       Odynn 25222 music programme
1630       1844       Marianne 35333-45444 music programme
1623       2005       Napoleon 44444 music programme
1647       2215       Barones 55444 music programme

Observations

  • Good to catch two of my favourite stations Napoleon and Barones tonight. I listened to both for a good while before eventually heading to bed. The Grundig Hit Boy was was in the bedroom so I had a quick tune around not expecting to hear much without a loop. But, sure enough, there was Baro, fading up and down very slowly, and sounding very strong when the signal was on a high

Monday, March 27, 2017
1640       2140       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55444 qsoing
1655       2142       Wilskracht 45444 qsoing
1629       2142       Bluebird 55444 music programme
1640       2145       Veronica 35434 qsoing

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Superman flying through the air

Conditions have been rather up and down in recent days. A strong signal from a Dutch MW pirate can become weak and watery within a few minutes before strengthening right up again. But there have been some interesting catches, as you can see from the logs:

Freq       Time       Station name SINPO

Wednesday, March 22, 2017
1618       1745       Pontiac 35443 asking for report
1629       1750       Mike 45444 testing
1620       1753       Sterrenboog 35443 report for Pontiac
1630       1810       Alaska weak signal
1620       1828       Moonbreaker 44433 music programme
1629       1857       Turftrekker 35333-45444 music programme
1645       2021       Casablanca (Twente) 35333
1636       2210       OSM 35333 music programme
1630       2214       Monte Carlo 34333 qsoing
1640       2220       Vonkenboer weak signal qsoing
1633       2242       Barcelona 45333-45444 music programme
1641       2250       Barones 55444 music programme



Observations

  • Great to catch OSM (O Superman) at just after 2200. I was having a last tune around of the radio before heading to bed, and I heard his familiar theme tune - James Last and Music Box Dancer on 1636 kHz. So I cancelled sleeping for a while and tuned in. He was using his 20 watt transmitter on this occasion, running at 18 watts. Modulation was strong and signal peaking up very nicely. Even with power pirates Barcelona on 1633 and Barones on 1641 it was still possibly to listen to O Superman. Great work for the low power

Tuesday, March 21, 2017
1656       1633       Transparant 25332 music programme
1620       1642       Sterrenboog 25332 qsoing
1629       1644       Zwarte BMW 25332 qsoing
1650       1703       Edelkampioen 45434 music programme
1612       1710       Atlantic 24332 testing   
1636       1846       Dolfijn 45434
1638       1849       Admiraal 35333 report for Dolfijn
1635       1908       Twentana 45434 asking for report
1620       1916       Nachtzwerver 35333 qsoing
1630       1938       Marianne 54444-55555 music programme
1616       2200       Napoleon 45444 music programme
1645       2214       Monte Carlo 45444 report for Marianne
1640       2300       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55434 music programme
1636       2313       Romax 33433 report for Napoleon

Observations

  • I mentioned above how signals can currently be very strong one minute and then dip right down the next. Edelkampioen was a good example of this tonight. He was incredibly strong at the start of his transmission before fading down
  • Conditions were back up later in the evening, and Marianne was coming in extremely well for his regular Tuesday night programme


Monday, March 20, 2017
1620       1744       Alice 25332-35333 testing
1650       1818       Vrijevogel 25322, 35443 at 1931 music programme
1629       1825       Spanningzoeker 55444 report for Alice
1611       1828       Zeewolf 24322 report for Alice
1660       1835       Batavier 35333 music programme
1636       1837       Odynn 25222 testing 
1620       1844       Nachtzwerver 35333 qsoing
1630       1825       Spanningzoeker 55555 qsoing
1612       1959       Atlantic 34433 testing
1655       2233       Wilskracht 45444 qsoing
1640       2240       Monte Carlo 35333 qsoing



Observations

  • Atlantic has been busy testing recently, sometimes using the name Test Piraat. He has quiet a distinctive voice, however, so there is no hiding place! 
  • Good to catch Odynn for a few minutes this evening. He has also been testing, using around 75 watts. I'm looking forward to hearing more from him soon
  • I am a big fan of tuning in to low-power pirates - it's something that particularly fascinates me. The ability to hear a signal of just a few watts emanating from hundreds of miles away is always a thrill. But at the other end of the spectrum, it is also always a pleasure to hear a power-packed pirate with a full sinpo of 55555 and top-notch modulation. Spanningzoeker fulfiled that criteria perfectly tonight. Again, he is always easy to recognise - there are only a handful of Dutch MW pirates with his sound

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Zonnester raided

Bad news to report from the Netherlands. Radio Zonnester, a Sunday regular on 1620 kHz, was broadcasting on Friday morning and received a visit from officers of the Agentschap Telecom at around 0800.

The authorities were searching in the area for an FM pirate but were listening to MW at the same time. When Zonnester came up on the band, they took action to remove the station from the air.


Many Dutch MW pirates have received a letter from the AT in the last 12 months warning them to cease transmissions for the next five years or face a hefty financial fine. Zonnester is expected to receive the same letter. It is possible we will hear him before the letter arrives, but the future of the station is uncertain.

Other MW stations to have been ordered to stop tranmissions in the last year include: Japie De Sloper, Professor Sickbok, Blonde Zwerver, Zwarte Boekanier, Concordia, Sesam Junior, Turfsteker, Dokwerker.

We wish station operator Wim all the best.


Monday, March 13, 2017

Longer days and shorter nights

With the nights getting shorter with every passing day and less than two weeks until the clocks go forward with the start of spring, opportunities to hear the Dutch MW pirates here in England are getting slimmer.

You will see from my latest logs below that whereas at the end of February and start of this month it was possible to hear signals during the mid-afternoon, and sometimes earlier, it's now around 1800 local time before I can properly hear stations. That, coupled with sporadic propagation conditions, means that trying to listen is not always easy and can be frustrating as signals fade up and down - usually on the decline when a station operator makes an announcement! 

However, that all adds an extra dimension to the hobby and, like Max Nielsen commented on the blog's Facebook page: "There is nothing better than to here a great tune, with the fading, the crackles and the pops." If it's perfect reception we want, then there are plenty of internet stations we can listen to, and unstable signals are just part of the listening experience.

And so on to some logs. Plenty of stations have been heard in the last couple of weeks but, as you will notice, those transmitting during the afternoon are now unlikely to be heard here until the nights start drawing in again.

Freq       Time      Station name SINPO

Monday, March 13, 2017
1638       1934       Turftrekker 35333-45444 music programme
1670       1955       Digitaal 45434 music programme
1625       2000       Witte Raaf 35333 music programme
1620       2202       Batavia 35333 music programme
1635       2203       Ruisbreker 25332-35333 music programme
1646       2202       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55444-55555 music programme

Observations

  • There was some activity during the early evening but without any station identifications, so I haven't included them in the list above. There was a strong signal with continuous music on 1648 kHz at 1756, while an hour later there was a killer signal on 1620, peaking at the maximum SINPO of 55555. There was also a very strong carrier on 1653 at around 1930, but not even any audio this time. Another carrier I heard was on 261 kHz - a test from Radio Luxemburg, who I was hearing for the first time. It was only a carrier, though, with no audio. Still, great to catch my first Dutch pirate on the longwave band
  • Witte Raaf has been quiet of late, so great to catch him back on the air tonight - the first time I'm heard him since last October

Sunday, March 12, 2017
1619       1657       Uniek 25442, 35443 at 1815 music programme
1647       1703       Witte Tornado 35453, 55444 at 1931 music programme
1625       1816       Batavier 35333 music programme
1633       2307       Barcelona 35433-45434 music programme

Friday, March 10, 2017
1611       1808       Polidor 35343 music programme
1632       1812       Wilskracht 35343 music programme
1611       1823       Derdeman 25342 music programme
1647       1829       Nachtzwerver 35333 asking for report
1625       1836       Derdeman 25342-35343 music programme
1655       1849       Relmus 25222-45444 qsoing
1645       1851       Alabama 25342 qsoing
1645       2015       Barones 55444-55555 music programme
1671       2112       Twentana 45434 music programme        
1629       2113       Moonbreaker 35333 music programme
1621       2123       Daniel en Soto 25322-35333 music programme
1611       2130       Batavia 23422 music programme
1625       2142       Turftrekker 34333-45444 music programme
1632       2157       Electron 44444 asking for report
1616       2205       Uniek 35333 music programme
1638       2211       Schorpioen 33433 asking for report
1634       2237       Monte Carlo 35333 music programme
1630       2255       Blauwe Daihatsu 24322-34333 report for Daniel en Soto
1636       2310       Nachtzwerver 45333 report for Monte Carlo



Observations

  • A busy evening on the band tonight with a new name and one I haven't heard in a good while. Blauwe Daihatsu was difficult to decipher, and it took a little help to work it out, but we got there eventually. While the name is new to me, it's not a new station, although I've not heard him on air for a good while with his other name
  • Schorpioen was making it on to my log list for the first time since March 27, 2014. And the previous time I heard him was in April 2012, so it's fair to say a catch of this station in quite rare. He popped up on 1638 a couple of times throughout the evening
  • It was good to hear Electron for the first time in a while. He has a very distinctive whispering voice which makes him easy to recognise. It was the first time I heard his signal since November 9, 2016
  • The strongest signal tonight was the mighty Barones, who has visitors in the studio in the form of Batavier and Witte Reus. Just to confuse listeners, which is always fun, the Baro was playing jingles from all three stations!
  • Relmus was also packing a real punch towards the end of his broadcast on his regular Friday night frequency of 1655 kHz. So strong was his signal at one point that I was thinking he had signed off the frequency and a higher-powered station had come on air

Thursday, March 9, 2017
1629       1734       Edelkampioen 55444 music programme
1620       1740       Mike 35443 music programme
1622       1851       Dageraad weak signal qsoing
1642       1903       Pecon 45434 report for Waterman
1611       2027       Batavier 23422-34433 music programme
1621       2030       Marskramer 34333-44444 music programme
1631       2035       Blauwe Panda 23432 music programme
1636       2039       Dolfijn 45434 asking for report
1631       2148       Carona 35443 asking for report

Observations

  • Nice to catch Pecon for the first time in a while tonight
  • Carona appeared a few times this evening. I'm pretty sure this is a different station to the one that regularly used to transmit on 1655 as I haven't heard him since March 30, 2015. He used to have a very strong signal here and always used that same frequency. It could be that this station was using a temporary different name

Wednesday, March 8, 2017
1636       1800       Torpedojager (Twente) 25322 music programme
1620       1914       Alice 35333 music programme
1620       2252       Monte Carlo 35333 qsoing
1631       2255       Alpenjager (Groningen) 33333 music programme
1635       2258       Bluebird 55444 music programme
1623       2343       Jeneverstoker 23322 report for Alpenjager

Tuesday, March 7, 2017
1645       1810       Skywire weak signal
1622       1828       Dageraad 23432 report for Skywire
1655       1829       Wilskracht 35333-45444 music programme
1631       1830       Blauwe Panda 25432 report for Skywire
1620       1833       Johnny Camaro 24442-34443 music show. Later 1622
1629       1916       Turftrekker 35343-45444 music show. Later 1615
1640       1945       Eldorado 44444 testing
1630       2005       Marianne 45444 music programme
1646       2009       Barones 55444 testing
1653       2023       Barones 55444 music programme

Monday, March 6, 2017
1640       2210       Veronica 25222-35333 music programme

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
1633       1541       Barcelona 25342 testing
1645       1542       Casablanca (Twente) weak signal
1645       1720       Digitaal 35333 music programme             
1625       1813       Mike 35333 music programme  
1650       1816       Batavier 25322 music programme
1645       1816       Alabama weak signal report for Digitaal
1655       1828       Batavier 25322 music programme
1645       1945       Digitaal 45444 testing
1615       1949       Waterman 25322 music programme   

Tuesday, February 28, 2017
1656       1724       Digitaal 25322 qsoing
1611       1730       Anton weak signal qsoing
1623       1800       Bizon 35343, 45444 at 1834 asking for report
1655       1813       Batavier 25322, 35333 at 1854 music programme
1631       1824       Dageraad 34333 qsoing
1626       1838       Dageraad 34333 qsoing
1625       1843       Turftrekker 55444 report for Bizon
1616       2107       Napoleon 34333-55444 music programme
1630       2107       Marianne 44434-54444 music programme
1635       2108       Ruisbreker 33333-34443 music programme

Monday, February 27, 2017
1645       1629       Digitaal 25232 music programme
1638       2221       Bluebird 55444 music programme
1630       2233       Monte Carlo 35333 asking for report
1631       2251       Alabama 24322 report for Monte Carlo

Saturday, February 25, 2017
1620       1145       Utopia weak signal music programme
1611       1147       Johan weak signal music programme
1635       1155       Havanna 25332, 35343 at 1343 music programme
1636       1544       Spanningzoeker 35343 report for Dolfijn
1620       1602       Eldorado 25342 music programme
1683       1638       Noordzee 35343
1636       1705       Keizer en Keizerin 35333 music programme        
1701       1744       Digitaal 35333-55444
1645       1807       Skywire 25322-35333 music programme
1642       2320       Twentana 33433-44444 music programme          
1648       2338       Moby Dick 44444-54444 music programme
1668       2341       Snowman 23222-34333 music programme
1633       2342       Turftrekker 34333-55444 music programme

Observations

  • Today was one of those great days when signals started to arrive during the morning. Although Utopia and Johan were very weak, Havanna was doing very well. I stayed with him throughout his broadcast, listening to the strength getting stronger until it peaked with a SINPO of 35343 at just before 1400.

Thursday, January 23, 2017
1645       2240       Barones 55444 testing
1655       2248       Batavia 35333 music programme
1632       2255       Monte Carlo 33333 asking for report

MW Free Radio