Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Holiday time

It's been a few days since I wrote on the blog. We spent this bank holiday weekend having a little holiday in a caravan in Wales - relaxing and enjoying the good weather. Of course, the portable radio and loop came with us, and I even tried them out in the car on the way home this evening (Monday). We listened to Vuurvogel (1655 kHz) and Professor Sickbok (1640) with really good signals.

While we were in the caravan, we listened a little bit during the night time, and these are some of the stations we heard: Witte Raaf, Witte Tornado, Jan Tabak, Jeneverstoker, Batavia and Vrolijke Mijnwerker

On Saturday night we fell asleep listening to a really good, strong signal from Batavier on 1625 and when I woke up a little time later he was still going and still sounding good. And that was at a time when conditions were not particularly good.

I didn't make any logs on holiday, but here are a few stations heard this evening and some others heard recently . . .  

Monday, May 27, 2013
1620       2254       Bruin Bernard 55544-55555
1652       2254       Jeneverstoker 25422-35433 music programme
1633       2300       Barcelona 55544-55555 qsoing

Monday, May 20, 2013
1568       2030       Daniel 32532 music programme
1654       2039       Vuurvogel 55544 qsoing
1640       2040       Wadloper 45444 music programme     
1660       2041       Jan Tabak 54444 qsoing
1659       2046       Zeepiraat 33333 qsoing
1670       2048       Zeepiraat 33333 qsoing
1652       2050       Uniek 34333-45344 qsoing
1646       2052       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55444 qsoing
1647       2058       Armada 45334 qsoing    
1637       2103       Napoleon 34333-44444 music programme           
1650       2108       Vligende Schotel 45344 music programme
1633       2109       Barcelona 55444-55555 qsoing
1645       2143       Sluwe Vos 34333 qsoing

1620       2149       Calipso 55544-55555
1647       2210       Majorca 44344 qsoing
1647       2219       Monte Carlo 45344-55344 qsoing
1653       2231       Jeneverstoker 35333 qsoing
1648       2242       Casablanca 45344 qsoing

Sunday, May 19, 2013
1630       2045       Schaduwjager 44444 music programme
1618       2047       Cowboy 35343-45444 music programme
1638       2047       Bluebird 45344 music programme
1647       2048       Witte Tornado 35434 music programme
1671       2048       Viking 35433-45444 music programme
1539       2050       Edelkampioe33433 music programme 

1648       2323       Casablanca 55444 asking for report
1665       2323       Polkaman 34333 music programme
1640       2323       Professor Sickbok 45444-55544 music programme           
1656       2340       Studio 69 24332 qsoing
1645       2345       Pandora 54444-55544 qsoing
1654       2345       Noordzee 44444-54544 music programme
1657       2350       Jeneverstoker 33433 qsoing


  • Conditions on Monday evening seemed pretty good, both when listening in the car on the portable radio and when listening at home with the Lowe HF225 and outdoor loop. Bruin Bernard and Barcelona were both peaking at the maximum 55555, while Jeneverstoker was significantly weaker with his far lower power, but doing a good job nonetheless, and playing some records for a change as he can usually be heard qsoing
  • Before we had our holiday, there was a very nice catch of the Zeepiraat. It was a first for me, and very nice to hear a station announcing a broadcasting site of the Mebo 3! The signal was fading around, but was very good on peaks, especially for low power. I posted a couple of recordings on the Am Forum here
  • There was another first for me on May 20 when I heard Daniel for the first time - and using 1568. The main MW band is becoming increasingly popular for pirate activity, especially since local and international operators are slowly switching off their MW services. I've heard Edelkampioen using 1512 for his regular broadcasts in the past, and on May 19 he was using 1539, the same frequency Batavia often uses, so this is another channel to keep an ear on
  • Low power stations always capture my interest a great deal - to hear a pirate from another country with just a few watts of power is a little special, so it was great to hear Sluwe Vos recently coming in well with just 20 watts of power. I made a recording, which you can download here. As you will hear, the signal was tremendous for the power used and, without the static, reception would have been amazing

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Clocking on

Just like nowadays I listened to the Dutch MW pirates extensively during the 1990s. I used to have an octagon loop antenna and amplifier, which worked really well with the Sony ICF2001D receiver that I still use every now and again today. Most nights, and especially at weekends, I would tune around at the top of the band and see what I could hear. My favourite station was Radio Barones and even back then he would boom in loud and clear. He must have been using 1611 kHz one night and I thought it would be an interesting experiment to see if I could hear him on the little clock radio that sat next to my bed. So, I placed it next to the loop and tuned around and . . . there he was - the Baro on my clock radio!

All these years later I thought I would try the experiment again. And on Wednesday evening I placed a 1980s Bush clock radio inside my loop antenna and tuned around. I had no idea how high this radio could tune, so imagine my surprise when I came across the famous voice of Jan Tabak - on 1650 kHz. Most domestic radios are not set to receive stations above 1620, but this one certainly is, and Jan Tabak was coming in loud and clear. Perhaps some people will think it is impossible to receive foreign pirate stations on such a radio, but I made a short video for everybody to see . . .

A few minutes ago I was trying out the clock radio again and heard Jeneverstoker playing some records. It just goes to show that as long as you have a decent antenna, any radio will do! And you can make your own loop antenna for MW very cheaply. Have a look here.

And now for a few recent logs from this side of the North Sea . . .

Tuesday, May 14, 2013
1620       2043       Kolibrie 35333 music programme
1650       2109       Jan Tabak 45444-55555 music programme
1638       2110       Bluebird 45444-55544 music programme
1645       2128       Noordzee 43433 report for Kolibrie

Monday, May 13, 2013
1633       2129       Barcelona 55444-55555 music programme
1655       2129       Relmus 45434 music programme
1663       2130       Readymix 43443 music programme
1657       2148       Jan De Roos 45444-55444 music programme
1640       2209       Monte Carlo 35333 report for Barcelona
1648       2229       Casablanca 45434 qsoing
1653       2244       Jeneverstoker 35333-45343 report for Jan De Roos
1655       2321       Pluto weak signal testing
1636       0004       Pandora 55555 music programme

Sunday, May 12, 2013
1620       0515       Zonnester 35322-45444 music programme


  • Jan Tabak's broadcast was something of a marathon. He is usually on air for only a few minutes - using this or one of his many other names - but it was gone 0400 Dutch time in the early hours of Wednesday morning when he finally shut down the transmitter. I really enjoy his style of broadcasting as you never quite know what to expect next - from the music to the talk, literally anything could happen! More long broadcasts please
  • The weather on Monday evening was not good, especially in the north of the Netherlands. Relmus was experiencing a thunder storm while he was on air, and he reckons it might have been lightning that caused his abrupt departure from the airwaves. He expects to be back on air soon though
  • At around midnight on Monday there was a big signal on 1636 - and some powerful audio to match. It was Pandora, who was on air for around an hour playing plenty of English music. He often signs on the band quite late and when I listen to him I often think how I must be one of only a few people in the world tuned in as most people are in bed sleeping!
  • On Sunday morning Zonnester was busy with his weekly programme on 1620. I didn't manage to get out of bed early enough to listen live, but I left the computer recording the frequency and listened back to about an hour of his broadcast. It always amazes me how many messages and calls he receives while on air. This must be one of the most popular regular pirate broadcasters

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Winding down on a Saturday night

It is the early hours of Sunday morning as I write these words and I'm having a listen to the pirates on MW and SW after a day at work. Tower has just closed down on 1611 and I am currently tuned to Bluestar on 1625, who has just taken a live telephone call from Tante Foek. She can often be heard singing along to tunes on 1671 kHz, but did tonight's singing via the telephone line! Moby Dick is still going strong just up the band, and a little higher is Polkaman on 1665. There is a fair bit of static to contend with tonight as various parts of Europe are battered by rain, but signals are coming through well and it is easy listening. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013
1611       2319       Tower 44444-55444 music programme
1625       2320       Bluestar 45333-55444 music programme
1638       2320       Bluebird 44444 music programme
1648       2320       Moby Dick 45444-55555 music programme
1665       2320       Polkaman 24222-34333 music programme

Friday, May 10, 2013
1638       2057       Bluebird 33433 music programme
1643       2058       Wadloper 54444 music programme
1647       2058       Armada 54444 music programme
1656       2058       Studio 69 35443-45444 music programme
1512       2058       Winnetou en Verona 44454 music programme
1683       2107       Bravo Sierra 25232-34333 music programme
1539       2115       Batavia 22432-33433 music programme  
1629       2211       Calipso 55555 music programme
1650       2242       Jeneverstoker 35343 qsoing
1643       2243       Monte Carlo 34443 qsoing

Wednesday, May 8, 2013
1670       2129       Korenklopper 45434 music programme 
1656       2129       Studio 69 44444 music programme
1652       2129       Uniek 34333-45444 music programme
1636       2130       Barcelona 55444 qsoing
1635       2134       Mi Amigo 34333 qsoing
1683       2137       Bravo Sierra 24222 music programme
1620       2140       Batavia 45434 music programme
1632       2140       Barcelona 55444 qsoing
1645       2156       Spakenburg 45444 qsoing
1620       2251       Valencia 34333 asking for report
1665       2252       Majorca 35343-45344 qsoing
1650       2343       Monte Carlo 33433 qsoing


  • On Friday night one of the best signals came from Wadloper. He was busy on 1643 for some hours, along with his good friend Relmus, who sent me a couple of photos from the transmission site. Interesting how the power had doubled by the time the broadcast came to an end!

  • Just like Wadloper, Studio 69 operates from Friesland. Sometimes he uses around 25 watts and on other occasions has somewhat more power. Friday night was one of those with a power boost. Take a listen to his great signal here
  • There was a nice surprise on Friday when I heard Batavia on 1539. He uses this frequency quite often for his music programmes, but I've never managed to hear his signal on the channel before. There were some legal stations audible most of the time, but Batavia's signal peaked up very nice at one point, and I made a recording, which you can listen to here
  • Calipso is always incredibly strong here and right around Europe. Friday night was no exception as he hit the magic 55555 sinpo while using a new inverted L antenna - the same type as that used by Radio Barones

  • On Wednesday evening it was good to hear Mi Amigo for the first time in a good while. Also busy with a programme at the same time was Korenklopper. For those who would like to catch his broadcasts, it's always worth checking out the area just above where most of the Dutch pirates operate - 1670-1700 is his favourite part of the band
  • I sent Uniek a recording of his Wednesday broadcast as the signal was so good. In return I had another superb qsl in my inbox

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Getting the jobs done

It's been a few days since I posted here on the blog. I've been busy with work and enjoying the sunshine while tidying the garden on my days off. I also found a great way to display one of the superb presents we had when getting married last year. We were lucky enough to have several Dutch pirates come over to England to share the happy day with us and they brought some fantastic clogs with our names on. They are now adding a touch of colour to the house . . . 

And yesterday there was time for some antenna adjustments. The outdoor loop antenna is now much higher than previously, sitting up by the roof of the house, and although signals are not particularly stronger, I noticed a little less noise when tuning around the top of MW. 

Coming in very well last night was Rebel on 1636. He is usually busy around 1620 with long music programmes, but last night he was qsoing with Calipso. I listened firstly on the loop antenna with the Lowe HF225 and later on the small indoor loop with the Sony 2001D. Despite using only low power, Rebel was doing a great job. And as for Calipso, he sounded like a local station, with no antenna at all! It was also possible to hear the Jeneverstoker without an antenna, although his signal was much weaker. Not bad at all for around only 100 watts, though.

Here are a few recent logs . . . 

Monday, May 6, 2013
1620       2220       Calipso 55544 testing
1636       2225       Barcelona 55544 music programme
1656       2225       Studio 69 25442-45444 music programme
1620       2230       Napoleon 45444 report for Calipso
1638       2252       Bluebird 45444-55544 qsoing
1648       2300       Casablanca 45444 qsoing
1650       2307       Monte Carlo 35443-45444 qsoing
1653       2327       Jeneverstoker 25332 qsoing

Friday, May 3, 2013
1646       2158       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55534 music programme
1638       2158       Bluebird 44444 music programme
1636       2159       Keizer En Keizerin 23432 music programme
1654       2215       Nachtzwerver 23432-33433 qsoing
1634       2226       Monte Carlo 33433 qsoing
1655       2236       Monte Carlo 34433 qsoing
1622       2244       Marskramer (Friesland) 34433 music programme