Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The guessing game

There were some interesting fun on Monday evening concerning a station on 1624 kHz. I noticed a carrier at around 2100 and was hooked straight away by a strong signal and then powerful modulation. After a while it became obvious that no identification was going to come as different records and different types of music were played, presumably to test the modulation. Observing the reactions of listeners in the pirate radio chatroom, some thought it might be Relmus, while others thought it might have been the powerhouse that is Calipso. Personally, I think it was Vuurvogel testing everything out before a programme in the coming days. Time will tell if I am right . . .

Monday, March 25, 2013
1650       1747       Zwarte Boekanier 24432-35433 music programme
1624       2106       Unidentified station 55434 non-stop music
1640       2109       Caldera 34433-44444 testing modulation
1633       2110       Vrijevogel 23432 music programme
1647       2209       Armada 45434-55434 music programme
1655       2245       Wilksracht 34433 report for Armada
1644       2250       Monte Carlo 24422-34433 qsoing
1648       2257       Casablanca 54434 qsoing
1636       2300       Pandora 55434 qsoing
1657       2339       Jeneverstoker 23322 qsoing

Saturday, March 23, 2013
1656       2130       Calipso 55544-55555 music programme
1612       2131       Tower 34433-44444 music programme
1641       2131       Wadloper 44434 music programme
1648       2132       Moby Dick 44444-55444 music programme
1668       2235       Bravo Sierra weak signal music programme
1625       2245       Batavier 33433-44444 report for Wadloper and programme
1640       2245       Relmus 33433-45544 report for Wadloper
1656       2325       Romax 33433 music programme
1636       2357       Spakenburg 33433-44444 qsoing              
1640       0001       Monte Carlo 24322 qsoing
1647       0034       Jeneverstoker 24222 qsoing


  • It seems to have been quiet on the band for the last few days. Whether this coincides with a drop in the sunspot count I'm not too sure. It could also be something to do with strong winds in the Netherlands and stations not wanting to raise their antenna masts too high
  • On Monday evening it was nearly 1800 before the first station came through. When I came back to the radio a few hours later, Caldera was doing well with 300 watts on 1640, testing his modulation. The voice sounded particularly good. Armada was putting in a power-packed signal on 1647 and when he closed down both Casablanca and Pandora were very strong. 
  • I have a couple of old Sony tuners here and I thought I would try one of them out on MW tonight. I had made no adjustments so I did not even know if it would be possible to receive signals above 1611 khz. So, I connected up the MW coil antenna, currently standing at around ten metres high, and then had a tune to see what I could hear. Straightaway there were Dutch pirates coming out of the speakers and in very nice quality. Pandora sounded particularly good and was lighting up several of the five green LEDs on the receiver. Have a look here . . . 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Latest logs and news

It's the early hours of Friday morning as I write these words. I've had a busy couple of days at work without the chance for much radio action, although I was listening to Casablanca and Jeneverstoker qsoing a little while ago and I'm now tuned to a solid signal from Radio North on 846.

Monday and Tuesday evenings were busy on the Dutch pirate band, with plenty of activity between 1611 and 1700 kHz. And on Sunday evening there was a long and enjoyable broadcast from Radio Utopia on 1620. He was testing out a different modulation system and coming in very well here. I made a small video as he closed down . . .

And here are the stations heard since my last blog entry. I've been using the Kenwood R5000 with the outdoor loop antenna for the last week or so  . . . 

Friday, March 22, 2013
1649       0020       Casablanca 45444 qsoing
1655       0027       Jeneverstoker 35333 qsoing

Tuesday, March 19, 2013
1629       1731       Nova 4 35543 qsoing
1646       1829       Twentana music programme
1620       2218       Kolibrie 24422-34433 music programme
1629       2219       Mustang 44444 qsoing
1668       2225       Witte Reus 34433 qsoing
1647       2226       Bravo Sierra music programme
1645       2227       Noordzee 54444 qsoing
1665       2233       Polkaman 24432-35433 qsoing
1635       2243       Babylona 35433 qsoing
1656       2254       Bluebird 34433-45444 qsoing
1669       2302       Bontekoe testing
1655       2326       Jeneverstoker 35443 qsoing

Monday, March 18, 2013
1654       1726       Vuurvogel 35443 qsoing
1655       1733       Zwarte Boekanier 25432-35443 qsoing
1655       1736       Spakenburg 35443 qsoing
1661       1800       Pontiac 55555 qsoing
1645       1801       Casablanca (Twente) 35443 qsoing
1625       1803       Johnny Camaro 35443-45444 music programme
1653       1804       Zwarte Boekanier 55544 qsoing
1633       1805       Vrijevogel 35343 music programme
1646       1807       Blauwe Reiger 45454 qsoing
1644       1814       Baanbreker 44444 qsoing
1662       1821       Oldtimer 34443-55555 music programme
1644       1905       Unidentified station 45434 playing Boney M with Painter Man
1648       1918       Admiraal 44434-54444 qsoing
1655       1923       Monza 44434-54444 qsoing
1620       1926       Unidentified station 55544 non-stop Dutch music
1646       2104       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55555 qsoing
1629       2105       Polidor 44434-55544 music programme
1646       2106       Vuurvogel 45434-55555 qsoing
1640       2112       Caldera 35433-45444 qsoing

1649       2124       Dageraad qsoing             
1638       2130       Batavia 35333-45444 music programme
1645       2140       Caldera 34433-45444 qsoing
1631       2141       Dageraad 45454 qsoing                                                                                  
1637       2144       Monte Carlo 54444 qsoing
1654       2149       Noordzee 54444 qsoing

Friday, March 15, 2013
1615       2302       Babylona 35433 music programme
1652       2310       Uniek 33433-44544 music programme
1646       2310       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55544-55555 music programme
1665       2313       Polkaman 35333 music programme
1640       0023       Jeneverstoker 44534 report for Mijnwerker

Thursday, March 14, 2013
1655       1812       Zwarte Boekanier 44544 music programme
1636       1812       Havanna 55544-55555 music programme
1645       1830       Batavier 45544 music programme
1625       2020       Johnny Camaro 33543 music programme
1645       2040       Caldera 33433 music programme
1647       2107       Bluebird 45434 report for Boekanier
1653       2240       Wilskracht 34433 music programme
1650       2242       Santana 44434-45444 qsoing
1648       2253       Noordzee 35343-55444 qsoing then music programme
1625       2305       Amigo 34443-44444 qsoing
1675       2319       Bravo Sierra 24322-34333 music programme


  • On Tuesday it was good to hear Kolibrie (Hummingbird) for the second time. It seems this is turning into a regular slot for his programmes, so keep an ear out on 1620 next Tuesday
  • It's been a while since I heard SW regular Witte Reus on MW, so it was great to hear him back on the band with a short qso. He has plans for further broadcasts
  • Bontekoe was testing late on Tuesday night and was coming through with a fair signal on 1669. There was a station with this name many years ago, but I think this is a different one - the cow noises heard on the frequency suggest this station is also active on SW as some listeners might recognise!
  • With the clocks going forward soon, reception during the early evening will become more tricky here in England, so it was good to take advantage of some great conditions on Monday when stations started coming through at around 1730. The best signal belonged to Pontiac who, just like the last time we heard him, was hitting the maximum 55555. A little later there was also a very strong signal from a station playing non-stop music on 1620. He was on air for around an hour. 
  • Also on Monday, Caldera was doing a great job during his qso, putting in his best signal to date while using a newly-built coil antenna standing 17 metres high. You can take a listen here. We also heard Batavia with better than usual reception. You can download a recording here
  • We visited many pirates when we were in the Netherlands last summer, and one of them was Amigo. While we were there he came on air for a few minutes with his BC191 transmitter and it was a real pleasure to see a typical old-style Dutch amateur in action. So, it was great to hear him at the microphone last Thursday evening in qso with Santana, who we visited on the same day last August. And Santana . . . many thanks for the DVD which I watched recently. Great stuff. Both stations were coming in well here, with Amigo putting in a better signal than usual on 1620, a different frequency for him as he can often be found around 1660. Take a listen to a short recording here

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Is it Christmas again?

If I had been in a long, deep sleep and woken up today I might have been mistaken for thinking it was Christmas again. It was -3 degrees here on Monday morning with a windchill of -7. During the afternoon it was snowing. And during the evening Radio Bluebird was playing festive music on 1647 kHz - among others we heard the Merry Christmas Polka!

On Sunday night I went to bed at around 2230 thinking I would have a good sleep. However, with my wife fast asleep I could not resist the temptation of switching on an old radio sitting next to the bed. It tunes up only to around 1650 kHz, but with the small indoor loop there were some good signals to listen to. I heard Utopia, Jack Sparrow, Babylona, Noordzee, Monte Carlo, Arrianne and Veronica. I even made a few recordings using my mobile phone. Click here to take a listen. It is a good job Lisa is a heavy sleeper!

Monday, March 11, 2013
1647       1720       Bluebird 35443 (55544 at 2203) music programme
1638       1731       Hooiberg 35333-45444 music programme
1662       1743       Digitaal 35443 qsoing
1653       1749       Baanbreker qsoing  
1633       1805       Vrijevogel music programme
1648       1851       Noordzee 43443 qsoing
1663       2142       Readymix music programme
1656       2142       Twentana 35333-45444 music programme

1630       2146       Melkbus 35333-35443 music programme
1638       2210       Armada 45444 testing
1655       2230       Monte Carlo 35333 qsoing
1655       2233       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55444 qsoing
1647       2238       Noordzee 44444-55444 qsoing
1648       2326       Casablanca 45434-55544 qsoing
1654       0015       Jeneverstoker 24322 qsoing
1640       0027       Monte Carlo 44444-54444 qsoing
1654       0028       Noordzee 55544 qsoing


  • It was 1720 when I first heard Bluebird and he was still going strong with his music programme five hours later! And at 0020 on Tuesday morning as I write these words, he is back on air qsoing! His signal is consistently strong here with good modulation
  • Hooiberg is a new name for me, and he was also busy on 1638 on Sunday evening. When I heard the station I recognised the voice behind the microphone but could not think who it was. However, with a little help from my pirate PR man (!), I now know where I have heard the voice before. Listeners to 48 metres SW might also be able to work out which other station the operator runs
  • Twentana was doing very well on 1656, putting in one of the best signals we have heard from him. Also peaking nicely was Melkbus with a long music programme on 1630

Friday, March 08, 2013

QSO crazy

For the last few evenings I've been tuning in to the MW pirates quite late, but there has still been plenty to hear. In the space of one hour on Thursday evening I heard nine different stations. Seven of them were qsoing and two were busy with programmes. I know some people who are not keen on endless chatting on the band and much prefer to listen to music and talking. I don't mind either type of broadcast - sometimes I like to leave the dial on one station and listen to lots of music, especially if the signal is strong and modulation is good - and at other times it can be fascinating to compare signals of stations qsoing with each other.

Thursday, March 7, 2013
1647       2252       Armada 45444-55444 qsoing
1656       2252       Batavia 24322 music programme

1698       2252       Korenklopper 45333-45444 asking for report
1645       2300       Vuurvogel 54444 qsoing
1647       2307       Casablanca 54444 qsoing
1698       2317       Polkaman 34333 qsoing
1625       2320       Marskramer (Friesland) 24332-34343
1647       2326       Noordzee 44444 qsoing
1651       2329       Jeneverstoker 24322-44444 qsoing
1670       2332       Korenklopper 45444 qsoing
1665       2354       Polkaman 24332-34333 qsoing

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 (using the 1950s Pye receiver)
1647       2358       Monte Carlo 45444-55544 qsoing
1645       0002       Noordzee 44444 qsoing
1655       0004       Jenvestoker 23322 qsoing
1628       0008       Jack Sparrow 44433-44444 qsoing
1660       0010       Amigo 33433 qsoing

Tuesday, March 5, 2013
1636       2304       Arrianne 54444 qsoing
1655       2304       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55544 music programme
1676       2308       Polkaman qsoing
1629       2311       Noordzee 45444 qsoing
1654       2317       Jeneverstoker 24322 qsoing
1645       2318       Monte Carlo qsoing
1636       2321       Pandora 54544 testing
1654       2340       Noordzee 45534 qsoing
1660       2351       Monte Carlo 24422 qsoing
1648       2352       Casablanca 55444 qsoing
1638       2354       Calipso 55544 qsoing
1660       2354       Noordzee 45444 qsoing

Monday, March 4, 2013
1645       1715       Zwarte Boekanier 25442 music programme
1640       1726       Blauwe Reiger weak signal asking for report
1655       1733       Digitaal weak signal qsoing
1656       1749       Blauwe Reiger weak signal qsoing
1671       2213       Armada 34433 qsoing
1656       2218       Vuurvogel 35433 qsoing
1650       2223       Monte Carlo 35443 qsoing
1645       2227       Torpedojager 35433 qsoing
1655       2233       Electron 35443 qsoing
1645       2241       Marianne 34433-55555 qsoing
1647       2245       Armada 35433 qsoing
1655       2249       Monte Carlo 35433-55444 qsoing
1657       2332       Jenverstoker 24332-34433 qsoing
1647       2333       Casablanca 45444 qsoing

Sunday, March 03, 2013
1615       1845       Batavier 35433 music programme
1630       1845       Marskramer 55444 qsoing
1647       1845       Witte Tornado 55444 music programme
1660       1846       Viking 55544 music programme
1629       1855       Pandora 45434 qsoing
1638       2000       Calipso 55544 qsoing
1620       2005       Weduwe 55444 music programme
1641       2114       Witte Raaf 44544 music programme
1675       2122       Polkaman 25332
1647       2139       Bluebird 55544 at 2330
1512       2140       Tempico 22522-43544 music programme
1647       2353       Casablanca 55544
1623       2357       Anatolia 33333-55444 music programme
1654       0008       Jenverstoker 35333 qsoing


  • It's always good to hear Korenklopper pop up on the band from time to time, especially as he was one of the stations I visited last summer when I was on holiday in the Netherlands. He had a very strong signal on Thursday evening, first of all on the unusual frequency of 1698. Dutch pirates are starting to creep higher and higher in the band, just like many of their Balkan counterparts, so keep an ear out right up to 1700 kHz+
  • Vuurvogel has been busy qsoing over the last few days and it seems that every time I hear him his overall sound is a little better. On Thursday his modulation was the best yet. I really hope this long-standing pirate will be on air soon with some programmes
  • There are two stations from the Netherlands called Marskramer and it was the one from Friesland who was playing music on 1625 on Thursday night. On the peaks the signal was very good with clear modulation
  • There are often plenty of Greek and Serbian stations arriving on our radios in England, and there was a particularly strong signal on 1623 last Sunday night. Trying to identify these stations is incredibly difficult, but with a little help from the Anodos forum it seems Radio Anatolia was the station we could hear with a very good signal

Sunday, March 03, 2013

A little late night listening

At around 1930 on Saturday evening I had a WhatsApp message from the team at Matrix Radio, who have joined forces with Batavier this weekend. They were asking if I was near my radio, but I was at work. However, when I arrived home at around midnight they were still going strong and I have been enjoying listening to them on 1670 kHz with a fine signal on the old Pye radio. It was great to hear these two stations on air together as it is four months ago to this day that they were in England, together with Radio Barones, celebrating our wedding. Great times.

I made a couple of short videos of reception here this evening . . .

Also coming in with good signals on the old radio were Barcelona, Uniek, Monte Carlo and Moby Dick

Saturday, March 02, 2013

One for the Guinness Book of Records?

Good day from England! I am happy to report Friday night has been a good one for listening to the Dutch pirates, with plenty of activity and good signals. Here is what I've heard . . . 

Friday, March 01, 2013
1655       1739       Dikke Betta 45444 music programme
1620       1741       Sterrekijker 45444-55555 music programme
1646       1742       Zwarte Bizon 25332 qsoing
1646       1744       Mustang 35443-45544 qsoing
1645       1806       Relmus 55544 music programme
1648       1826       Casablanca 44544 qsoing
1647       1833       Zeewolf 33543 qsoing
1640       1911       Jonny Pecon 44444-55544 asking for report
1640       2105       Veronica (Westerhaar) 34533-44444 music programme
1656       2150       Calipso 55544 music programme
1670       2150       Matrix 35543 music programme
1656       2222       Noordzee at same time as Calipso!
1623       2244       Twentana 35433 music programme
1630       2311       Zeehond 24332-34443 music programme
1655       2356       Jeneverstoker 33333 qsoing
1638       2357       Calipso 55544 qsoing
1665       0035       Vroljke Mijnwerker 55544 music programme


  • If you think the antenna mast on the Sterrekijker qsl card looks high, you would be right. From top to bottom is indeed 60 metres high. In the Netherlands, many FM pirates have antenna masts at this sort of height, some as tall as 100 metres. However, for a MW antenna to be so high is quite rare and perhaps Sterrekijker (Stargazer) has the tallest MW mast in the Netherlands? Does anybody know any different? The antenna was certainly doing a fine job on Friday evening as his signal was booming in here from quite early and hit the magic 55555 sinpo
  • Very nice to hear Veronica with a long music programme on 1640 and some great peaks on the signal. He might have been surrounded by some powerhouse signals, but he was coming in loud and clear. Take a listen to his signal by clicking here
  • Relmus and Calipso were ruling the airwaves for much of the evening with their music programmes. Relmus was joined in his studio by the Wadloper and Witte Raaf, together with some FM pirates. And in the east of the Netherlands, Matrix was joined by Batavier as they hosted a joint programme
  • There were some other impressive signals during the evening, with propagation conditions better than recent nights. Dikke Betta was strong and Jonny Pecon was coming in very well also. Listen to a recording of him here
  • Late on Friday evening, Zeehond was playing away on 1630 with a fair signal here, and the Vrolijke Mijnwerker brought the night to a close with some late-night music on 1665 with the usual booming signal
Radio Barones has been missing from the band this year, but as I write these words some old recordings of his fine programmes can be heard at http://www.mysteryradio.co.uk. Happy memories

MW Free Radio