Friday, April 05, 2013

Going back in time

On Thursday afternoon I was sorting though some old boxes at my parents' house and I came across a pile of free radio bits and pieces from the late 80s. There were newsheets from the Scottish SW pirates Weekend Music Radio and Radio Freedom International . . . old copies of Anoraks UK Weekly, Communication and Medium Wave News.

I also found what was left of my very first homemade loop antenna. I remember it well - it went to all sort of places throughout the UK when I was younger. In particular I recall it going on holiday with us to Norfolk, where I was amazed to be able to hear Dutch pirates blasting over the airwaves at all times of the day and night. I remember hearing a station called Rooie Piraat. I heard him just the once and never again. I often think living in that part of Britain would be great for listening to the pirates from the Netherlands and that I would hear all sorts I am unable to hear otherwise, but maybe I would find myself listening to pirates all day long, every day!

As I update the blog I am listening to Radio Barcelona from the eastern part of the Netherlands playing some music on 1633. His signal, as usual, is huge. Last summer I sat drinking beer with the man behind the microphone and with Radio Barones. Two powerful pirates together - good times. 

I've been listening for a couple of hours tonight and although there have been some strong signals, there is a lot of static on the band. This generally increases as we get into the summer months and tends to make life a little tricky for the international listeners. Anyway, this is what I've heard, together with some logs from Tuesday evening . . .

Thursday, April 04, 2013
1654       2135       Santana 45333 qsoing
1670       2140       Underground weak signal testing
1646       2142       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 554444-55555 qsoing
1638       2142       Calipso 54444 qsoing
1640       2142       Veronica 42343-44344 qsoing
1629       2142       Noordzee 55344 music programme
1619       2143       Ruisbreker 24222-35333 music programme      
1655       2147       Vuurvogel 55444 qsoing
1658       2151       Amigo 34343 qsoing
1653       2154       Monte Carlo 34232 qsoing
1648       2154       Casablanca 45444-55544 qsoing
1670       2155       Underground 34333 testing with dipole
1656       2215       Bluebird 44344 qsoing and music programme later
1657       2226       Jeneverstoker 33222 qsoing
1647       2249       Noordzee 44333 qsoing
1659       2259       Studio 69 34232 qsoing
1633       2303       Barcelona 55444 qsoing
1625       2314       Marskramer (Friesland) 35343 qsoing

Tuesday, April 02, 2013
1645       2205       Noordzee 44544 music programme
1655       2205       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55544 qsoing
1638       2211       Calipso 55544 qsoing
1661       2211       Jeneverstoker 34433-45444 qsoing
1654       2229       Vuurvogel 55544-55555 qsoing
1645       2231       Monte Carlo 42432 qsoing
1648       2232       Casablanca 55444 qsoing
1646       2236       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55544 qsoing


  • Conditions on Tuesday evening were very good and the Jeneverstoker was delivering his best ever signal into our location. From what I understand he runs around 100 watts and was doing very well. Have a listen to this. The beginning of the recording is particularly impressive
  • There was a big qso on Thursday evening with station after station joining in, and very little doubling up, which made for pleasant listening. It would have been even better without the annoying static on the band. Vuurvogel particularly caught the ear, with his fine signal, audio and radio voice. Running considerably less power was Studio 69. He was operating with 25 watts and a vertical coil antenna at around 16 metres high and arriving into our radio room with a perfectly listenable signal
  • Underground from right here in the UK was busy testing on his regular channel of 1670. He started with a T antenna and later switched to a dipole, which gave us much better reception, peaking with a SINPO of 34333 and a peak of 42% on our stand alone meter. This way of measuring signals is used greatly throughout the Netherlands, and our meter came from Radio Zeewolf. With a scale of 1 to 100, even slight deviations from day to day can be seen. When we heard Underground a few days earlier, for example, he was peaking at 38%, although the noise level was a little lower that day

1 comment:

  1. Nice blog site, great that there is more than just the logs!

    If you can it would be nice to see a few scans of the stuff from the late 80's on the site to jog the memory. I lost all my old copies of 'Pirate Chat' etc in too many house moves over the years.