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

1 comment:

  1. Good to see that so many AM pirates are operating out of the Netherlands especially. I have also heard stations on a bedside radio: I have a dreadful old and very unselective set, but one Saturday night in 2010, I pulled in a really clear signal from Radio Barones on 1636 kHz, which appeared to be next door to BBC Radio Bristol on 1548 kHz. I am antenna less, but an old 1980's transistor radio in the house goes up to 1650 kHz and can usually be relied on to get Calypso, Relmus, Barones, Napoleon and Vrolijke Minewerker - the more powerful stations.