Monday, December 30, 2013

More good wishes from pirate land

Over the last few days, more emails have arrived with festive greetings . . .

Christmas listening

During all the festivities I've managed to listen to the radio for at least a few minutes every day. Last night there were some powerhouse signals from Relmus and Barones, who has been very busy during Christmas, usually on 1611 kHz.

We were listening in the living room last night, with some festive snacks and drinks close by . . .

Essentials for Christmas pirate listening

Also coming in well last night was Radio Spakenburg and the Witte Tornado, while Polkaman was doing well on 1665.

1476 kHz was busy on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, with the Farmers on air for many, many hours. The signal here was pretty good and it seems this frequency is now very usable when it comes to listening at our location in the UK. A few weeks ago I was getting some interference on the channel, but it now seems pretty clear, so I look forward to hear much more pirate activity on there in 2014.

Interesting frequency

It's 1730 local time here in the UK and I've just come down to the radio room to see what pirate activity is going on. The first station I've found is Radio Eldorado on 1611 playing a few records, while the Zwarte Boekanier is busy with his regular Monday programme on 1630 kHz. Perhaps most interesting of all though is Radio Digitaal, who is testing on the unusual frequency of 1730 kHz.

The Kenwood R5000 tuned in to 1730 kHz

Radio Digitaal at 50% on the Dutch-style signal meter

I've heard stations from the Netherlands using 1690 and even 1700 before, but I think this is the first pirate I have logged on such a high part of the MW band. The good thing about being up there is that you are free from any interference from other pirates. As I write, the SINPO is somewhere around 45434 with some nice old pirate tunes. I wonder if more stations will creep higher up the band as MW becomes busier and busier with more FM pirates making the switch because of the high fines they face if caught?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The pirate next door

I spent a few hours listening to the top of the MW yesterday afternoon and evening. The first station I came across was Radio Eldorado on 1635 kHz asking for a report. His signal was really blasting in at around 1630 and during the next hour there were some other great signals, none more so than Radio Schaduwjager who was qsoing on 1620. Have a look at this video to get an idea of the reception at our location here in England - see the S-meter move in time with his superb modulation. It's almost as though the signal is coming from my next-door neighbour rather than several hundred miles across the North Sea

I also made a video on Sunday morning. I'm not often out of bed too early on a weekend when I'm not at work, but I woke up at a reasonable time and had a listen to 1620 kHz. Radio Zonnester has a weekly programme on the frequency and was coming in pretty well here at around 0800 utc

I haven't posted any logs recently, so here's the lowdown on what I've been listening to in the pirate world recently . . .

Monday, December 16, 2013
1635       1629       Eldorado 45444 asking for report
1629       1634       Vrijevogel 25322-35333 music programme
1620       1639       Wegpiraat 35333 asking for report
1644       1641       Admiraal 35333 report for Eldorado 
1627       1652       Admiraal 34333 testing
1627       1700       Monza 45444 report for Admiraal
1641       1703       Admiraal 35333 qsoing
1625       1705       Johnny Camaro 35333 report for Weg Piraat
1620       1708       Schaduwjager 55555 qsoing
1619       1713       Monza 35333-45444 qsoing
1620       1716       Zwarte Boekanier 45444 qsoing
1638       2101       Calipso 55434 music programme
1651       2107       Turfsteker 35343 qsoing
1650       2115       Kristal 45434 qsoing
1645       2120       JB 44444 qsoing 
1645       2129       Digitaal 34433-44444 qsoing
1620       2251       Noordzee 44434 music programme
1647       2253       Monte Carlo 55444 qsoing

Tuesday, December 10, 2013
1638       1628       Bluebird 45444 music programme
1630       1740       Spanningzoeker 34433-45444 qsoing
1645       1745       JB 25332 qsoing
1638       1749       Osaka 24332 qsoing
1644       1755       Baanbreker 24322 qsoing
1633       1758       Dageraad 24322 qsoing 
1635       1758       Marskramer (Friesland) 24332 qsoing
1656       2115       Twentana 34323 music programme 
1645       2126       JB 35333-45444 qsoing
1625       2131       King 35333 music programme
1649       2148       Turfsteker 25222 qsoing
1620       2228       Calipso 55444 music programme
1635       2228       Relmus 35333-55444 music programme
1660       2252       Amigo 25322-35333 music programme
1657       2304       Noordzee 34333 report for Amigo
1645       2315       Santana 35333-45434 music programme
1629       2322       King 35333 qsoing
1660       2331       Noordzee 45434 qsoing
1628       2338       Zwarte Diamont 24322 qsoing
1629       2357       Noordzee 45434 qsoing
1655       0007       Klaas Snoek 55434 report for Calipso
1651       0007       Jeneverstoker 33433 report for Calipso
1638       0020       Bluebird 55444 music programme

Monday, December 9, 2013
1650       1601       Zwarte Boekanier 35333 qsoing
1645       1611       Zwarte Boekanier 45444 qsoing
1655       1636       Digitaal 45444-55544 music programme
1640       2030       Professor Sickbok 44444 qsoing
1651       2033       Kristal 54444 qsoing
1629       2034       Vrijevogel 35443 qsoing
1645       2034       Zwarte Boekanier 55444 music programme
1620       2302       Calipso 55544 music programme
1656       2303       Klaas Snoek 54444 music programme
1636       2321       Pandora 55444

Monday, December 2, 2013
1611       1914       Zwarte Arabier 45434 music programme
1638       2124       Bluebird 55434 music programme
1618       2142       Monza 35433-45444
1647       2259       Monte Carlo 44444 qsoing
1646       2309       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55444 qsoing
1649       2336       Jeneverstoker 34433 qsoing
1650       2339       Monte Carlo 44444 qsoing
1629       0011       Calipso 55544 qsoing
1665       0036       Philadelphia 23222 music programme
1644       0103       Soerabaya 35333 report for Calipso

Saturday, November 30, 2013
1625       1732       King 35443 music programme
1647       1850       Vendor 45444 music programme
1657       1918       Black Bandit 55434-55544 music programme
1648       1921       Moby Dick 45434-55544 music programme
1621       1943       Zwarte Diamont 34333 report for King
1630       1949       Zeehond 34433-44444 report for King
1611       2045       Barones 54434-55444 music programme
1629       2150       Kruik 33433 music programme
1625       0028       Relmus 44444 music programme
1633       0032       Barcelona 55544 qsoing
1645       0035       Nachtzwerver 33433 qsoing


  • Eldorado was testing out a new antenna system on Monday evening. Given his superb signal over here and a fine report from Sweden, it's fair to say it seems to be working well. Also working with a new antenna when we heard him last Tuesday was Twentana. Conditions weren't great that night, but the signal was pretty good for the power output
  • Good to hear Turfsteker on Monday night. Many thanks for the greetings. This low-power pirate from the east of the Netherlands does very well with his small transmitter with signals often very good over here
  • Last Tuesday was a busy one. Propagation was variable, sometimes changing rapidly. When conditions were in our favour, there were some fine signals to be heard, notably from high-powered pirates Calipso and Relmus, but also some of the smaller operators like Amigo and King

Seasons greetings

Well Christmas is only a week away and we have been busy here sorting out the tree and decorating the house. And today, some solar powered lights arrived that I am going to put around the antenna mast - a picture will be coming in the next few days!

Our inbox has been busy with Christmas greetings from pirate operators and listeners, with the first to arrive from Radio Soerabaya on December 1 . . .

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Waking up with Calipso

First of all, apologies for lack of posts for a little while . . . I've been busy with work and also decorating parts of the house. With Christmas approaching there will be less work so I can spend more time with the family and also listen to more pirates! 

I might not have written anything on here in the past few days, but I've been listening to the radio, and it was a nice surprise to hear a decent signal coming in this morning at around 0830 on 1620 kHz. It was Radio Calipso and he was still coming in well at 0915 with no problem to understand everything that was going on. It's quite rare to hear Dutch MW pirates at that time of the day at our location because we are in-land and not near the sea - that means we usually hear stations only during the hours of darkness. 

I was listening late last night as well (Monday), mainly to Klaas Snoek, who was having lots of fun on 1656 kHz. I started off by listening down in the radio room and later moved up in to the house, where I tuned in on my Lowe HF150 that is now in the living room. I made a video of the reception at around 0200

I finally called it a day and headed to bed at around 0245 with Klaas Snoek still going strong with his unique style of broadcasting. It makes for great listening. 

Somebody else who was tuned in and enjoying the programme was Bill Lewis of Live Wire Radio fame. For anybody who has been listening to the pirates for a long while, you might well remember this name from the 1990s and into the early 2000s. Live Wire was a real powerhouse of a pirate, operating from here in the UK, broadcasting firstly on SW and later on MW, where he would often QSO with Dutch pirates who received him really well across the North Sea. I travelled to the Netherlands with him several times back then, visiting pirates right across the country and had many great times. 

Bill hasn't been on the scene for around ten years but has just started listening again, and I would like to place a bet that by this time next year this once great pirate is back on air and chatting to all his old friends across the water once more.