Thursday, January 31, 2013

Late night qsoing

It is the early hours of Thursday morning as I write these words, and the MW band has gone quiet after a late-night qso. I did not switch on the radio until just after 2300 UTC but, as usual, there was activity from the Netherlands although propagation conditions were not good. Several of the legal US stations had started to come through, suggesting long skip, with the effect that signals from across the North Sea were not as strong as they often are. Here is what I heard, along with logs from the past few days . . .

Wednesday, January 30, 2013
1640       2328       Electron 24322-34433 qsoing 
1650       2329       Noordzee 35433-45444 qsoing
1660       2332       Eendracht 23322 qsoing
1665       2334       Polkaman 24432
1638       2337       Calipso 45444-55544 qsoing
1657       2346       Jeneverstoker 23332-34333 qsoing
1655       2348       Bruine Beer 35433-45434 qsoing

Tuesday, January 29, 2013
1663       1656       Digitaal 44444 qsoing    
1663       1700       Readymix 34543 qsoing
1648       2237       Electron 34443 qsoing
1647       2238       Armada 44444 qsoing
1629       2241       Bluebird 24432-34433 music programme
1658       2248       Electron 45544 qsoing
1627       2254       Noordzee 43543-54544 music programme
1665       2303       Polkaman 33433-44544 music programme
1655       2326       Carona 55555 qsoing      
1624       2334       Salamander 42432 qsoing
1655       2348       Jeneverstoker 35333 qsoing
1636       2357       Romax 34343-44444 qsoing
1650       2358       Monte Carlo 44444 qsoing

Monday, January 28, 2013
1656       2115       Studio 69 44444 qsoing
1648       2118       Readymix 34433 music programme
1659       2120       Oldtimer 34433 qsoing
1638       2130       Calipso 55544 music programme
1620       2146       Ijsbeer 24433-34443 qsoing
1669       2152       Korak 24322 qsoing with Ijsbeer
1639       2214       Professor Sickbok 32542 (later 45544)
1655       2328       Jeneverstoker 35423 qsoing
1633       2329       Barcelona 55544-55555 qsoing
1647       2332       Noordzee 55444 qsoing
1647       2334       Casablana 55544 qsoing
1629       0028       Bluebird 25422-35433 report for Barcelona and then music programme


  • Good to hear Eendracht back in action. It was a shame 1660 kHz was not a little clearer as there was a hetrodyne caused by a legal station from Costa Rica, who often comes through when conditions are right
  • The voice behind Bruine Beer was a famous one. I wonder just how many names the Black Bandit has used over the years?
  • Bluebird has been busy over the last few days with some fine peaks on his signal, made even more impressive as he uses only 80 watts
  • There was a new name for me on Monday evening when Ijsbeer was heard on 1620 in qso with Korak, who was using 1669. Interesting that these low-power Dutch stations were talking to each other in English for some of their broadcasts. Korak might be better known to some readers for his work on shortwave in the 1990s. He used to be a Saturday night regular, pumping out a solid signal on 76 metres. Maybe he will be back on that band one day. For now, it was good to hear his voice on MW. You can download a short recording here. And you can listen to qso partner Ijsbeer here

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Low power is king

Good evening from England, where the snow has been replaced with rain. And last night the antennas were rattling as the wind speed reached nearly 50mph. But I'm happy to report everything is still standing and the pirates are still coming in loud and clear. This afternoon I was listening to shortwave and to Focus International blasting in on 6285 kHz with a super signal. And this evening I have been listening to the Dutch pirates on MW where conditions have been very fine, with low power stations coming in very well indeed.

Tonight, Bravo Sierra (12 watts), Sluwe Vos (25 watts), Uniek (90 watts) were all arriving across the North Sea very well as conditions were perfect for us. Here are tonight's logs and some other recent catches . . .

Sunday, January 27, 2013
1615       1747       Batavier 34433 (45444 at 2115) music programme    
1647       1748       Witte Tornado 44544-55555 music programme
1651       1759       Uniek 33433 at 2110. 44444 at 2230 music programme
1660       2110       Bravo Sierra 24322-34433 music programme
1670       2114       Sluwe Vos 24322-34433 music programme
1665       2115       Polkaman 24422-35433 music programme
1620       2120       Cowboy 55544 music programme       
1655       2131       Black Bandit? 55544 testing
1635       2159       Relmus 55444 music programme
1650       2223       Monte Carlo 42542 report for Witte Tornado
1643       2237       Monte Carlo 44433-45444 music programme
1656       2331       Jeneverstoker 33433 qsoing

Monday, January 21, 2013
1688       2204       Armada 44444 music programme
1638       2204       Calipso 55544 music programme
1650       2208       Monte Carlo 34433-44444 qsoing
1656       2215       Noordzee 45544 qsoing
1647       2228       Noordzee 35443-55544
1647       2233       Monte Carlo 44444 qsoing
1611       2245       Twentana 22532-34543 asking for report
1648       2249       De Nostalgie 35433 asking for report
1631       2253       Albatros 25432 qsoing
1655       2256       Wilskracht weak signal qsoing
1633       2259       Barcelona 55544 qsoing
1648       2329       Casablanca 43543 qsoing


  • As I write these words, Uniek is still busy with his music programme on 1651 with reception very good. He is running the same power as usual but has made some antenna adjustments. Click here to listen to a recording made at around 2230 and you can hear just how good he is coming in

  • Witte Tornado was booming in when I first heard them during the early evening and were even stronger when closing down at around 2220. Super reception, just like Relmus, who reported the swr on his antenna was not good. That did not stop the usual superb reception, often like a local MW station
  • It was good to hear Monte Carlo with an English music programme on 1643 and lots of talking. More of the same please!
  • Sluwe Vos received reports this evening not only from the UK, but from Norway and France. Like he said to me, that sort of occurrence is regular with low power shortwave broadcasts but for MW it is something special
  • Last Monday I heard De Nostalgie for the first time. He was on 1648 and asking for a report, but nobody came back to him. His signal was pretty good here on the peaks. A recording can be found here
  • Also last Monday, Twentana was reaching our location for the first time on MW. There was some occasional interference from the legal stations  on 1602 as signals faded up and down, but overall the reception was fine. We also recorded his signal, which can be found here

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday night entertainment

As I mentioned before, conditions earlier in the evening for reception for the Dutch pirates were not great here in England. However, as the evening progressed, signals started to get stronger and there was plenty of entertainment on the band, headed up by the powerhouse signal of Radio Relmus . . .

Sunday, January 20, 2013
1671       1820       Viking 24532 (later 35433) music programme
1620       1834       Anton 35543 music programme
1647       1835       Wadloper 34533 music programme         
1611       1835       Technical Man 35533 (later 45534) music programme
1651       1836       Uniek weak signal music programme
1619       2116       Cowboy 45433 music programme
1624       2119       Rebel 23432 music programme
1663       2121       Polkaman music programme
1647       2130       Relmus 45444-55534 music programme
1656       2147       Matrix 33422 music programme
1629       2149       Babylona weak signal
1512       2200       Winnetour 22532-33543 music programme     
1638       2218       Calipso 55544
1647       2323       Casablanca 44534 asking for a report
1655       2352       Jeneverstoker 35543 qsoing


  • 1647 was busy for most of the evening, starting off with Wadloper and followed straight after by Relmus. Both signals were good, but Relmus was stronger, blasting in here with some fading the only negative
  • Technical Man was busy on 1611 last Sunday evening and was back again for more tonight. In fact, as I write this at 2340 UTC, he is still going strong. Again, the signal is good with fading
  • Conditions clearly improved later in the evening as low power stations Rebel, Matrix, Polkaman, Jeneverstoker and Babylona could all be heard. Rebel often uses around only 30 watts and was peaking very nicely. He was also heard in Sweden
  • Winnetour was a new one for me. 1512 is never a good channel during darkness as plenty of legal stations can be heard around that channel which causes all sorts of problems when trying to hear the pirates. However, for a few minutes Winnetour peaked up quite well. Click here for how he was sounding while playing a German version of Wooden Heart

Its all white!

Good day to you all from England where it has been snowing all day long. This follows heavy snow during the last few days, and with more forecast for the days ahead, winter has finally arrived!

Today we did a little sledging in the snow... and there was also time for a little radio listening. This afternoon I was tuned to the Bogusman on 6325 kHz and right now I am tuned to Laser on 4026 and Radio Anton from the Netherlands on 1620. Conditions on MW are not too good right now, but will hopefully improve as the evening goes on. When I hear more stations I will post some logs, but for now here are a couple of pictures of the loop antenna in the snow . . . 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Sunday night bandscan

We made another little video on Sunday evening, scanning the top end of the MW band. Watch below and you can see reception of Relmus, Barcelona, Cowboy and Technical man with my commentary!

Rocking Relmus

Sunday night was good fun on the MW band with Relmus and Sandra entertaining Friesland and European pirate fans with a super-long broadcast on 1655. Have a look at this video to get an idea of how they were being received on this side of the North Sea. The antenna was only a small MW loop and the signal was perfectly listenable with just the internal antenna on the receiver. As you can imagine, the signal was even better with the outdoor loop or the coil antenna

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Relaxing music for a Tuesday evening

One of the stronger signals on the band on Tuesday evening came from Radio Noordzee. He was busy with a music programme between 2200 and 2300 UTC. You can click here to download the broadcast, together with a report from Vrolijke Mijnwerker when he closed down.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Radio Polidor on video

Conditions on the MW band are not as good this evening as last night. In fact,  at around 1800 UTC they were very poor and right now Puerto Rico is coming through on 1660 and there is a legal station audible on 1670, so it seems conditions are long skip much earlier tonight. However, around 90 minutes ago Wadloper was king of the band, testing a new modulator on 1636, and Radio Polidor was also coming in with a fine signal. I made a short video of his reception on the Philips biampli radio . . .

Non-stop action

It has been some time since an evening like that! Propagation conditions at the top of the MW band were perfect for listening to the Dutch pirates on Monday. From around 1600 UTC stations started arriving across the North Sea with good signals, and they got better and better with perfect listening conditions right throughout the evening. As Professor Sickbok closed down from his marathon music programme at 0305 Dutch time, he was still blasting in with a powerful signal. And as I write these words I am able to hear Radio Rebelde from Cuba on 1620. There are other stations from the USA coming through on 1630, 1650 and 1670. 

Here are the stations we heard from the Netherlands at our location inland in England . . . 

Monday, January 7, 2013
1646       1558       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55544-55555 testing
1650       1605       Zwarte Boekanier 34543-35543 music programme
1641       1611       Non-stop music 34533-44544
1633       1630       Vrijevogel 34543 music programme
1655       1638       Non-stop music 55555
1645       1701       Digitaal 44554 qsoing
1655       1713       Turfsteker 34543 qsoing
1646       1714       Soerabaya 33543 qsoing
1656       1720       Vligende Schotel 44544 qsoing
1653       1730       Zwarte Boekanier 45554 qsoing
1647       1732       Noordzee 45554-55544 qsoing
1644       1744       Interpol 43543 qsoing
1646       1802       Baanbreker 34543 qsoing
1641       1803       Blauwe Reiger 43543 asking for report
1646       1844       Blauwe Reiger 34543-44544 qsoing
1640       1850       Pecon 45554 qsoing
1655       1928       Mustang 44544 music programme
1647       1930       Calipso 55544-55555 music programme
1611       2105       Black Power 54554
1655       2108       Black Power 55544-55555 testing modulator
1663       2120       Readymix 34543-44544 music programme
1646       2140       Dageraad 35533-45544 report for Vrijevogel
1640       2150       Monte Carlo 44544-55544 qsoing
1638       2156       Dageraad 35533 qsoing
1655       2158       Houstonpiraat 45544 music programme
1632       2200       Akai 35533-44544 music programme
1656       2215       Vligende Schotel 45544 report for Houstonpiraat
1645       2219       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55555 qsoing
1640       2237       Professor Sickbok 44544 music programme
1645       2243       Monte Carlo 54554 qsoing
1629       2244       Bluebird 44544 music programme
1655       2256       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 54444-55555 qsoing
1654       2357       Jenverstoker 33533 qsoing
1650       2357       Monte Carlo 54544 qsoing
1647       0003       Noordzee 54544 qsoing
1647       0017       Casablanca 54544 qsoing


  • Strong signals were certainly the order of the day with several stations reaching the maximum SINPO of 55555. Click here to listen to a compilation of recordings of some of the stations heard at this side

  • Vrolijke Mijnwerker nearly always has a powerhouse signal, and he was booming in tonight. Also very strong were Black Power, Monte Carlo, Noordzee and Casablanca
  • Because of the good conditions, many stations were stronger than usual, and it was a treat to hear the likes of Readymix, Dageraad, Akai, Jeneverstoker and Soerabaya coming in better than usual. Bluebird had been busy qsoing the previous evening but was much stronger tonight
  • Every now and again we come across a station we haven't heard before. This time, it was Interpol, who joined in a qso around 1645 kHz. He picked the perfect day to switch on his transmitter!
  • While qsos are interesting, especially when it comes to comparing signal strengths, modulation quality etc, it is always good to hear some programming. The Zwarte Boekanier was busy playing records at around 1600 UTC, while Vrijevogel was on air for some hours with a regular Monday broadcast. Professor Sickbok and Noordzee both provided the entertainment as we crossed into Tuesday morning, beaming a mixture of music across Europe in the early hours

Monday, January 07, 2013

The latest from England

This is the first blog entry for 2013, so firstly we would like to wish everybody a very happy new year and hope that the next 12 months brings you everything you wish for.

A few days ago we all went shopping and one of the things we found in the sales couldn't have been more perfect . . . 

As I write these words on Sunday evening, I have just been listening to the Cowboy on 1618 with a very strong signal, and I've also been tuned in to a music programme from Jeneverstoker on 1655 - it's quite rare to hear him playing English music. And this morning I was listening to Zonnester with his weekly transmission on 1620.

And here are some of the stations heard from the Netherlands during the past days. As usual, the receiving equipment at this side is the Lowe HF225, together with a Welbrook loop antenna in conjunction with a coil antenna for MW which are fed into an MFJ noise cancelling signal enhancer . . .

Friday, January 4, 2013
1648       0009       Casablanca 55544 qsoing
1645       0013       Monte Carlo 45544-55555 qsoing
1654       0013       Jeneverstoker 34533 qsoing
1664       0014       Amigo 33433 qsoing
1635       0017       Korenklopper 43543 qsoing
1645       0018       Pandora 55544 qsoing
1633       0020       Barcelona 54544-55555 qsoing
1650       0039       Odynn 35533 testing      
1645       0118       Korenklopper 45434-45544 qsoing

Wednesday, January 2, 2013
1644       1801       Blauwe Reiger 35443 qsoing
1625       1809       Weg Piraat 35543
1645       1812       Spanningzoeker 55544-55555 qsoing
1665       1818       Digitaal 34533 qsoing
1645       1822       Telstar 25432-34533 qsoing
1611       1823       Zwarte Panter 34523 testing
1650       1841       Zwarte Boekanier 44444-45554 qsoing
1635       1849       Nachtrijder 24422 music programme
1625       1853       Nachtpiraat 34433 qsoing
1628       1853       Rockefeller 24422 testing
1615       1901       Batavier 24432-34533 music programme
1655       1919       Drukstromjager 54544 qsoing
1646       1932       Hennie Veldwijk 34543 qsoing
1639       1935       Dagaraad 34533-44544 qsoing (audio a little low)
1645       1941       Vriendschap 34433-44544 qsoing
1635       1945       Eldorado 55544-55555 testing
1638       2000       Calipso 54544 music programme
1640       2259       Professor Sickbok 44533-45544 qsoing
1660       2302       Studio 69 34543-44544 music programme
1640       2304       Santana 45544 qsoing
1647       2308       Noordzee 45544 qsoing


  • It was an interesting qso during the early hours of Friday morning, with some real killer signals. I made a great recording, which I will feature on the next MW Pirate Review, which will be available this month
  • Nice to hear Odynn back on the radio here, coming in very well on his usual frequency of 1650
  • It was a busy evening on January 2 with some great catches. Rockefeller is usually busy on shortwave, but he was testing with 30 watts and a 100m longwire antenna and could be heard clearly here in the UK. Weg Piraat and Nachtrijder were also doing well with low power
  • It's been a while since I heard the Zwarte Boekanier and he was blasting in with a very strong signal. Also pushing the meter nice and high was Eldorado, along with the usual powerhouses Spanningzoeker and Calipso
  • Studio 69 is regularly stronger now than previously. Maybe he has more power or made some antenna improvements. Whatever he has done, it has had a positive effect