Monday, December 31, 2012

A little late night listening

On Sunday morning my alarm sounded at around 0715. The plan was to get out of bed, come down to the radio room and listen to some of the Dutch pirates on MW. I was hoping to hear Zonnester on his usual broadcast, followed by a nice qso. However, it had been a late night and I went back to sleep! 

For a while in the afternoon I listening to free radio activity on shortwave, although conditions were not good at all. On 48 metres, the signals were weak, but there was a standout sound on 41 metres - the Free Radio Service Holland was very strong on 7685. You can hear the quality of reception by listening to a long recording I made. Click here to download it.

It was late in the evening before I got a chance to listen to the MW band. This is what I heard . . .

Late night Sunday, December 30, 2012 / Monday December 31, 2012
1637       0035       Alaska 34543 testing
1636       0039       Soerabaya 24532-35543 qsoing
1665       0050       Polkaman 24532 music programme
1640       0059       Pandora 55544 report for Alaska and Soerabaya
1652       0150       Jeneverstoker 33433 music programme


  • Hearing low power pirates is always interesting for me. Radio Soerabaya runs around 100 watts and was busy qsoing around 1636. His signal was a little up and down but with some very nice peaks. Have a listen here
  • This was the first time I have heard Radio Alaska. When I first heard him tonight he was reporting to another station. Then he returned with a test and a report for Soerabaya. Apparently he was using 100 watts, but he tried an experiment and turned down the power to ten watts. The results were impressive, especially as propagation conditions did not seem to be at their best. You can find my recording here. Broadcasting from the east of the Netherlannds, his antenna is 24 metres high
  • As usual, Pandora was very strong indeed and with excellent modulation quality

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Nice and early

The turkey is all gone and the pile of mince pies is getting less. But the Christmas tree lights are still twinkling and there is still a nice big cake and plenty of festive treats to eat! And, talking of treats, there was some interesting broadcasts at the top of the MW band during the late afternoon/early evening today . . . 

Saturday, December 29, 2012
1616       1616       Zwarte Non 44544 music programme
1611       1617       Batavier 34543 music programme
1512       1617       Tempico 44544 music programme
1655       1621       Relmus 44544-55555 testing antenna after adjustments
1660       1653       Zwarte Panter (north NL) weak signal
1630       1657       Zeehond 34543 report for Relmus
1640       1700       Lotus 54544-55555 asking for report
1645       1716       Schaduwjager 54554 asking for report
1636       1725       Keizer En Keizerin 34533 music programme
1650       1730       Schaduwjager 55555 qsoing
1611       1736       Zwarte Non 44544 music programme
1645       1750       Blauwe Boer weak signal qsoing


  • You don't hear the Black Nun on the air often, so it was good to hear him with a music programme this afternoon, starting off on 1616 and later moving down to 1611
  • Relmus had been busy making some antenna adjustments earlier in the day and came on 1655 to find out the results. Although the optimal frequency for him to get the best out of his set-up is 1670, his signal was superb. Click here for a listen to how he sounded when he signed on
  • There were some other tremendous signals on the band, none more so than Lotus, who was booming in on 1640. This was the strongest I have ever heard him
  • I have often heard the Blauwe Boer mentioned during qsos, but never heard him myself. However, today I heard music on 1645 and, with the help of Herman from Radio Zeewolf, it seems that I was hearing the Blauwe Boer for the first time. He is very much from the old school of pirate broadcasters and around 80 years old. He uses only 50 watts, so it was a fine achievement to make it across the North Sea. He has also been heard in Norway on previous occasions. When the conditions are good, anything is possible . . .

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Listening to the pirates - Dutch style

There has been plenty of activity on MW tonight (Christmas Eve) and stations were audible on the old Philips radio here that we acquired recently. I made a video of the reception of Radio Casablanca on 1647 kHz . . .

The Philips B5X14A is popular in the studios of pirate stations throughout the Netherlands, so it's a novelty being able to hear them on such a radio here in England

Monday, December 24, 2012

A very happy Christmas

A very happy Christmas to everybody out there... to all listeners, blog readers, station operators, dxers and radio enthusiasts, we wish you all the very best for the festive season. Many thanks to all of you who have been kind enough to send Christmas cards through the mail, which are sitting proudly in the house. And thank you also to those who have sent email cards, which look fantastic. Have a look at these:

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Manic Monday

Greetings from England, where it is 0200 local time as I write this from the radio room while listening to Laser Hot Hits booming in on 4026 kHz. It's nice and warm inside, but the frost is forming outside and it's a cold night. 

The days are getting shorter and shorter, which is a good thing for trying to catch signals on MW from the Netherlands and on Monday I was able to hear a station on 1625 at 1215 UTC - that's very early indeed. I wasn't able to catch an ID, but music could clearly be heard.

I've been trying out a new addition to the radio collection at this side. I've acquired a Philips B5X14A, which was made in the Netherlands in 1961 and can be seen in pirate studios throughout the country. It looks great and it performs very well. In fact, on Monday evening I was able to hear Monte Carlo on 1635 and Utopia on 1611 without an external antenna - fine conditions on the band and a very well-made receiver. Here are a couple of pictures . . . 

And so on to the stations heard recently . . . 

Monday, December 10, 2012
1642       1749       Blauwe Reiger 35433 qsoing
1615       1750       Alpenjager 34433 qsoing
1647       1802       Calipso 54544 music programme     
1636       1902       Zwarte Arabier 45433 qsoing
1625       1911       Roderover 35433 qsoing
1655       2156       Carona 44544 music programme              
1611       2156       Utopia 34533-44534 music programme
1658       2156       Sluwe Vos 23522 music programme 20 watts
1663       2157       Readymix
1635       2207       Monte Carlo 35443-45544 music programme      
1650       2213       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55444 qsoing
1654       2231       Noordzee 54444 qsoing
1647       2236       Toulouse 45434 qsoing
1647       2251       Jeneverstoker 24432 qsoing
1665       2252       Potkachel 44444-55544 music programme
1633       2300       Barcelona 55444-55555 qsoing
1647       2306       Casablanca 45534 music programme
1665       0000       Monte Carlo 44544 report for Potkachel
1654       0003       Jeneverstoker 25432 report for Potkachel


  • There was some early-evening qso action at the top of the MW band before Calipso switched on for a fine music programme for several hours. As usual the signal was booming across the North Sea
  • Nice to hear the Zwarte Arabier for the first time in a while and also to catch the Roderover (you can hear him by clicking here)
  • When condtions work in our favour here in the UK, it's possible to hear stations running very low power, and there was a fine example on Monday with Sluwe Vos. He was running only 20 watts yet was peaking really well. Even with Vrolijke Mijnwerker nearby to his frequency, and later with Potkachel close to 1658, it was still possible to hear Sluwe Vos talking and to identify many of the tracks being played
  • The man with a million names became Potkachel on Monday. When he started his transmission the audio was very wide. In fact, it was possible to hear the station from 1645-1685. However, this was soon reduced and his famous voice was on air for a while with some interesting music before a qso with Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Jeneverstoker and Casablanca. Click here was a recording of how Potkachel was received at our location towards the end of his broadcast

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Frosty weekend

Good morning from England, where it is cold and frosty outside, but warm in the radio room with lots to listen to on the mediumwave band. I had intended to come down here much earlier and my alarm sounded at around 0645, but our bed was too warm and I stayed there until around 0800! So, I finally turned on the radio at around 0825 and although I had missed Zonnester's usual Sunday morning programme, he was busy qsoing and I heard his usual strong signal and some of the other stations he was chatting to. Here are the logs . . .

Sunday, December 2, 2012
1616       0825       Alpenjager 35553 qsoing  
1641       0826       Orion 34543 qsoing
1620       0829       Amigo 24532-34533 qsoing
1629       0830       Admiraal 34543 qsoing
1620       0834       Zonnester 35433-45554 qsoing
1655       0845       Dikke Betta 24542-34543 qsoing
1641       0846       Quiksilver 34533 qsoing

The propagation conditions changed at about 0900 and here in England it becomes more difficult to hear the Dutch pirates before they start arriving again from around 1500. It was the same yesterday morning... Ijsvogel was blasting in at around 0800 and Vriendschap also had a good signal, but an hour later the signals had gone. However, to hear the pirates from across the North Sea during daylight hours is a real treat and something that is not possible during the summer. Here's a video of how Ijsvogel was coming in yesterday morning on the small indoor loop antenna and portable receiver. Very impressive signal. The small amount of interference you can hear was actually from the mobile phone I was using to make the video. For most of the time his signal was the maximum 55555

Here are some of the other stations we have heard recently . . . 

Saturday, December 1, 2012
1655       0820       Ijsvogel 55555 qsoing
1645       0845       Vriendschap 35533 qsoing
1611       1920       Barones 54534-55555 music programme
1636       1922       Keizer En Keizerin music programme
1650       1924       Moby Dick 44544 music programme    
1633       2332       Barcelona 54544-55555 qsoing
1636       2337       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55544 qsoing
1661       2342       Polkaman 23422-33533 music programme
1636       2344       Spakenburg 44444 qsoing
1640       2350       Monte Carlo 54544 qsoing
1611       0040       Utopia 44534 music programme
1642       0043       Soerabaya 24422 asking for report 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
1660       2318       Kristal 55544 qsoing
1633       2321       Barcelona 55544 qsoing
1646       2324       Monte Carlo 45534 qsoing
1652       2330       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55544 qsoing
1653       2339       Jeneverstoker 24422 qsoing
1641       2352       Orion 34433 qsoing
1647       0018       Casablanca 44534-55534 qsoing

Monday, November 26, 2012
1647       1850       Calipso 55534-55555 music programme
1617       1856       Nova 4 35533 qsoing
1619       1900       Weg Piraat 24522 qsoing              
1610       1900       Black Power 45533-45544 testing  
1646       2050       Vrolijke Mijnwerker (testing while Calipso on frequency!)
1662       2100       Oldtimer 35533 music programme
1635       2120       Melkbus 24522-34433 music programme      
1648       2142       Readymix music programme
1651       2142       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55534-55555 music programme
1633       2241       Barcelona 54544 qsoing
1645       2249       Marianne 55544 qsoing (splatter 1630-1660)
1650       2256       Monte Carlo 45544-55544 qsoing
1653       2328       Jeneverstoker 24422-34433 qsoing
1647       2359       Casablanca 45544-55555 qsoing
1640       0028       Soerabaya 24522-34533
1645       0035       Pandora 55544-55555 qsoing

Monday, November 19, 2012
1650       2120       Witte Raaf 34433 music programme
1679       2132       Digitaal 34533 qsoing 50 watts
1675       2136       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55544 qsoing
1645       2159       Marianne 44434 qsoing
1644       2227       Monte Carlo 24432 qsoing much weaker than usual. Later 34433
1655       2230       Noordzee 34433 qsoing
1633       2230       Barcelona 44534-55555 qsoing
1654       2235       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55444 qsoing


  • On Saturday night (December 1) Barones was booming in with a long programme. As usual, the audio an modulation quality were superb. Also very strong were Vrolijke Mijwerker and Barcelona. Click here for a Barcelona
  • Last Monday (November 26) there was an interesting experiment from two powerhouse stations. Calipso was busy with a programme on 1647 and was incredibly strong as he always is. And at about 2050, the Vrolijke Mijnwerker switched on to 1646 just to see how his signal compared to Calipso. The result was fascinating to listen to. One minute Calipso was strongest and then, when he faded, Mijnwerker came up very, very strong
  • It's always nice to hear Pandora on air. The best time is often very late in the evening but his signal and audio are always superb. Click here to listen to how he sounded during the early hours of November 27