Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Making the most of the long days

It's been a very pleasant few days here in the UK, with the sun rising very early, setting very late and with some great weather in between. It's given me a chance to get outside and make the garden look decent and then have a little time to listen around on the MW band during the late evening.

Sunshine in the evening here in England
Tonight was pretty quiet on the band, but with a couple of power-packed signals courtesy of the Wadloper-Relmus combination (aka Wadmus!) and Radio Calipso. Here's what I heard, along with some other recent logs . . .

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
1657       2009       Turfsteker 25353
1630       2013       Zeehond 35353 qsoing
1625       2038       Batavier 34433-45444 music programme
1640       2039       Wadloper-Relmus 45454-55444 music programme
1647       2055       Soerabaya testing
1665       2056       Philadelphia 23322 music programme
1625       2120       Sluwe Vos 34433 report for Batavier
1633       2122       Noordzee 44444 qsoing
1629       2124       Calipso 55544 music programme

Tuesday, June 25, 2013
1625       2109       Batavier 45434-55444 music programme
1652       2110       Uniek 34443-44444 music programme    
1665       2114       Polkaman 34343 music programme
1635       2130       Astronaut 24222-35333 music programme
1645       2200       Monte Carlo 44444 qsoing
1647       2204       Noordzee 44444 qsoing
1665       2343       Philadelphia 23332-34333 qsoing

Monday, June 24, 2013
1609       2000       Black Power 23432 (34433 at 2040, 44434 at 2127) music programme
1642       2002       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 35443 (55555 at 2030) music programme
1662       2002       Oldtimer 33443-44454 music programme
1667       2005       Armada 23322-34333 music programme
1633       2012       Vrijevogel 25432 music programme
1650       2013       Soerabaya weak signal testing
1629       2033       Calipso 55555 music programme
1665       2047       Philadelphia 23322 music programme
1644       2113       Monte Carlo 34333 (44544 at 2145) report for Mijnwerker
1638       2145       Bluebird 55544-55555 music programme
1633       2156       Barcelona 53543 qsoing
1623       2208       Electron 55444 qsoing
1633       2221       Monte Carlo qsoing
1647       2244       Casablanca 54444 qsoing
1657       2254       Monte Carlo 55444 qsoing


Sunday, June 23, 2013
1618       1955       Nova 4 35333 music programme
1638       1957       Bluebird 45444-55544 music programme
1647       1958       Witte Tornado 44444-55444 music programme
1660       1958       UK44 24432 music programme 
1641       1959       Wadloper 44444 music programme
1512       2003       Tempico 44444 music programme
1628       2045       Santana 35333-45444 music programme
1665       2058       Polkaman 24222 music programme
1615       2124       Batavier 45434-55444 music programme
1648       2328       Casablanca 55544 qsoing
1654       2331       Monte Carlo 55444 qsoing
1643       2333       Jeneverstoker 35433 qsoing
1648       2344       Jeneverstoker 45434 qsoing

Monday, June 17, 2013
1645       2050       Caldera 34433 qsoing and later programme with new audio processor
1638       2051       Bluebird 55544 music programme
1667       2052       Armada 34433 music programme
1646       2054       Blauwe Reiger 44444 qsoing
1645       2057       Soerabaya 23222 qsoing
1620       2104       Pandora 55544-55555
1630       2108       Astronaut 22332 music programme
1655       2114       Witte Raaf 45444 music programme
1636       2115       Noordzee 43443-54444 report for Astronaut
1633       2156       Barcelona 44444 report for Astronaut
1625       2200       Astronaut 24332 qsoing
1620       2205       Noordzee 55444 qsoing 

Observations

  • Our feature on Radio Astronaut went down well with several readers of the blog. Let's hope they were tuned in to hear his broadcast on Tuesday evening, when his signal was peaking even better than on his previous broadcast. And all with 40 watts
  • Philadelphia has been busy for the last few evenings. I mentioned him on the blog recently, and I now have a little more information about this station. He is using a homebrew tx and, just like Astronaut, he uses the 807 valve - two of them, in fact. This gives around 65 watts. He can usually be heard on 1665 kHz. I often get other more distant stations coming in on the frequency, but on the peaks, Philadelphia has been received pretty well
  • Interesting to hear Black Power on 1609 kHz on Monday evening. I guess with the imminent closure of Radio Waddenzee on 1602, pirates will be moving ever lower and inside the main MW band. Perhaps this will lead to more listeners?
  • I haven't posted any recordings for a while, but here's a great one. Radio Electron is famous for his whispering voice late at night, and you can hear him particularly well here, recorded on Monday evening. Reception is so good and clear that you can even hear the fans in the background when the microphone is opened!

Friday, June 21, 2013

One giant leap for a Dutch Astronaut

On Monday evening (June 17) I was having a listen to the MW band when, between the powerful signals of Pandora (1620 kHz) and Bluebird (1638 kHz) I heard something that grabbed my attention. Regular readers of the blog will know low-powered pirate signals particularly interest me . . . and on 1630 I found something that that fitted the bill.

I often have Iann's Pirate Chat open while I'm listening to the radio, and I noticed that a Radio Astronaut was asking if anybody could hear his signal on 1630. The answer was yes! Via the chatroom I had a conversation with the operator and found out a little about his station, which I was hearing for the first time.

It turns out Astronaut has been active on MW since the start of 2013, but broadcasting only every few weeks. He uses around 40 watts of power from a single 807 valve in a home-built transmitter.

Listening on Monday evening was not easy to start with due to interference from stations around him, but once they had closed down, Astronaut was doing very well. Many Dutch MW pirates have antennas at 20-30 metres, some even higher, so with his vertical coil at around only five metres high, Astronaut was doing really well with a sinpo generally 35233. If it hadn't have been for the summer static on the band the listening experience would have been even better.

The low-power broadcasts from Astronaut have so far produced overseas receptions reports from Scotland, Germany, Belgium, Poland and now England.

Plans for the future include trying out a little more power with an 813 final valve, but Astronaut enjoys the challenge of sitting side by side with the power pirates and beaming out his signal across Europe with far less power. 

With permission from Astronaut you can take a look inside his studio and at his antenna with these pictures he sent over . . .


The Radio Astronaut studio (June 2013)
Home-built transmitter with 807 value
The Geloso audio amplifier which is so popular in Dutch pirate studios

The Astronaut modulator with two 811a valves
The Astronaut listening post

Astronaut's base-loaded vertical antenna

Monday, June 17, 2013

As fast as lightning

Times goes fast. It seems like only a few days since I last wrote on the blog, but it's been nearly two weeks. There have been some celebrations during that time, with my wife's birthday, my dad's birthday and today was Father's Day here in the UK. I woke up to presents in bed, followed by a fine breakfast, a lunchtime drink and an excellent dinner. It was food all the way, and I wasn't complaining! And this evening I managed to get a little radio time, starting with some antenna work here on a new mast and then listening to some pirates. As I write this, Calipso is on 1629 trying something out with his audio by the sound of it, while Driland is playing away on 1645 and Studio 69 is just up the band on 1654. Down on 1618 is the Texas Cowboy, with his regular Sunday evening transmission.



There were some big dark clouds outside this evening and, with a warm temperature, it felt like thunder and lightning could be in the air. The result of this when it comes to listening to AM is lots of static, which is exactly what we've got right now. Mind you, winter will soon be on its way . . . with the longest day coming up this week, the days will soon be getting shorter!! It won't be long until the signals of those Dutch pirates on MW are arriving here early in the afternoon once again, rather than late evening as is the case during the summer.

On to the stations heard here recently, starting off with tonight . . .


Sunday, June 16, 2013
1512       2114       Tempico 45444 music programme
1638       2114       Bluebird 55444 music programme
1618       2115       Texas Cowboy 45344 music programme
1645       2115       Driland 34343-45344 music programme
1635       2142       Monte Carlo 44444 music programme
1654       2145       Studio 69 34333 music programme
1629       2257       Calipso 55444 report for Bluebird
1651       2305       Jeneverstoker 34232 asking for report
1657       2345       Jeneverstoker 34333 asking for report

Tuesday, June 11, 2013
1646       2048       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55444 qsoing
1652       2048       Uniek 34343 music programme


1654       2053       Vuurvogel 44444 qsoing
1665       2054       Polkaman 24432 music programme
1647       2055       Noordzee 24432-34433 qsoing
1638       2101       Bluebird 44444-55555 music programme
1654       2102       Brokkenpiloot (Black Bandit) 55444 qsoing
1631       2130       Albatros 35433 qsoing
1645       2216       Monte Carlo 44444-55444 qsoing
1640       2218       Professor Sickbok 55444 continuous music
1648       2231       Casablanca 45544-55544 qsoing
1650       2236       Monte Carlo 44444 qsoing
1655       2251       Monte Carlo 45444 qsoing
1655       2254       Jeneverstoker 35333 qsoing
1636       0008       Pandora 55544-55555 qsoing

Monday, June 10, 2013
1629       2147       Calipso 55444 qsoing
1620       2147       Noordzee 44444 music programme
1640       2148       Professor Sickbok 45434-55444 music programme
1654       2148       Studio 69 35333 qsoing
1659       2150       Philadelphia 23322 music programme
1674       2150       Batavia 35333-45434 music programme
1654       2155       Schildpad (Black Bandit) 55444 qsoing
1656       2316       Jeneverstoker 34323 qsoing
1629       2319       Noordzee 44444-55444 qsoing

Sunday, June 9, 2013
1632       1847       Verona 25452
1620       1847       Zwarte Weduwe 25452 music programme
1647       1848       Witte Tornado 35443 (45444 at 2013) music programme
1635       2011       Eldorado 45444-55444 music programme
1640       2012       Wadloper 43433-55444 music programme
1620       2023       Mustang 42442-44444 testing
1512       2033       Tempico 33533-44544 music programme
1654       2055       Vuurvogel 54444
1651       2113       Uniek music programme
1620       2142       Noordzee 43333 report for Mustang
1638       2146       Bluebird 55444 qsoing
1654       2146       Studio 69 24332 music programme
1633       2152       Barcelona 54444-55444 qsoing
1649       2321       Casablanca 54444 qsoing
1660       2322       Monte Carlo 34333 qsoing
1655       0008       Jeneverstoker 35333 qsoing

Observations

  • Good to hear Driland on the air tonight. It's been a good while since I last heard him. The audio seemed better today than it has been in the past, and he was playing a nice mix of English and Dutch music. The night's strongest signal came from Bluebird, who is consistently very good here. It would be great to hear him playing some English tunes one of these days as his signal is every bit of international strength
  • Last Monday (June 10) I heard a station on 1659 for several hours. There seemed to be very little talking going on, so I left the computer recording the frequency when I went to bed. The next morning I had a listen back to what I had got, and finally heard an ID. It was a little tricky to catch. It sounded like Philadelphia, but I wasn't 100 per cent sure. So, I sent the recording to Radio Zeewolf - Herman can identify anything, no matter how good or bad the signal. And, sure enough, he told me it was Philadelphia. It seems this station was on air some years ago and has recently returned to the band. The power from his side is thought to be around only 20-30 watts, so this was another nice low-power catch for the collection

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Perfect day

At the end of a perfect day here in England it was nice to catch some activity on the top of the MW band. If the weather stays like this for a little while I think the speakers will be out in the garden during the evenings and we'll be listening to pirates from the Netherlands while enjoying a beer or three and watching the sun go down.


Here are the stations heard on Tuesday evening and some logs from last Wednesday as well . . . 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013
1611       2144       Batavia 35333 music programme
1620       2145       Napoleon 35443-45434 music programme
1629       2145       Calipso 55555 music programme
1636       2146       Noordzee 54444 music programme
1645       2146       Witte Raaf 45444-55444 music programme
1645       2146       Unidentified station 23432-35333 non-stop music
1654       2158       Napoleon 45434 music programme
1633       2201       Barcelona 53444-55555 report for Noordzee
1615       2208       Batavier 34443-55555 music programme
1643       2224       Monte Carlo 23432 qsoing
1629       2235       Batavia 33433 music programme
1665       2235       Polkaman 34433 music programme
1635       2255       Monte Carlo 34333 qsoing
1649       2335       Casablanca 45544 music programme

Wednesday, May 29, 2013
1476       1926       Poema 23432 testing
1620       1930       Meteoor 34433 qsoing
1638       1930       Bluebird 34443 (44544 at 2112) music programme
1630       1932       Marskramer 45454 qsoing
1616       1937       Nova 4 24342-34343 qsoing
1476       2019       Edelkampioen 23432-44444 music programme
1644       2021       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 45444 qsoing
1650       2026       Kristal 34543 qsoing
1653       2026       Vuurvogel 45444-55544 qsoing
1620       2030       Anton 44444-54444 music programme
1625       2033       Batavier 33533-44544 music programme
1665       2048       Polkaman 34322 music programme
1636       2113       Noordzee 32432-43433 music programme
1642       2117       Wadloper 23422-33433 testing
1648       2128       Moby Dick 44444 qsoing
1615       2330       Batavier 55444 music programme

Observations

  • There was a little static noise on the band on Tuesday night but some cracking signals as well. Top of the pile as usual were Calipso and Barcelona. Also doing very well was Witte Raaf and Noordzee. And Batavier sounded like a local station here on the peaks. Take a listen to my incredible recording by clicking here
  • After switching frequency from 1620 to 1654, Napoleon was coming in really well
  • There was a station playing non-stop music on 1659, including Man Of Action several times! Somebody testing by the sound of it
  • Last Wednesday there was some activity on 1476 kHz. Firstly, Poema was doing well with a low-power testing using a coil antenna, followed by Edelkampioen, who started off with a similar signal but got stronger, reaching around 44444 at the peak

Going back in time

Back in the 1970s there was a popular MW pirate from the Manchester area of the UK that had great fun on the air and great fun trying to evade the officials of the post office. Here are three short films I found on YouTube


Tuesday, June 04, 2013

The monthly report


There is masses of pirate radio information on the internet these days but I was recently sent a link to the website of Hans Knot. Among many other things on his website is a monthly international radio report, which contains plenty of interesting information. The new edition for June includes an extract from Emperor Rosko's DJ Book and much, more more. Take a look here and click on 'international report'

Photographic evidence

For listeners of the Dutch pirates on MW who live outside of the Netherlands they might well ask where all of the transmitting equipment is bought from. With hundreds and hundreds of stations on air throughout the country, equipment gets bought and sold between station operators, and there are also regular radio markets which attract many pirate operators.

One of these markets was held on May 25th - the Frisian Radio Market, where more than 100 radio amateurs and hobbyists were selling goods that will have had plenty of appeal for the pirates!

Here are a few photos, courtesy of Radio Pluto, of some of the items that were on offer. I like the look of the old valve radio for 20 euro . . . 




You can find more information on the Am Forum by clicking here

The in-band crowd

I have mentioned recently how more and more Dutch pirates are regularly using the main MW band for their programmes, operating from as low as 1350 kHz. With a little help from RP(i), here is a list of the stations that can be heard regularly at the weekend. And with local legal stations in the UK starting to turn off their MW services, reception of the pirates is becoming more and more possible on this side of the North Sea

Saturday (times are variable)
1503 khz, Radio 0511
1521 khz, Radio Vinyl, BS
1512 khz, Radio Sanussi, Winetoe, Skyline
1539 khz, Radio Batavia, Radio WMBR
1566 khz, Radio IJsselstein

Sunday (times are variable)
+/- 1473 khz, Radio Coberco
1503 khz, Radio 0511
1512 khz, Radio Sanussi or another station
1521 khz, Radio Vinyl, BS
1539 khz, Radio Bavaria
1539 khz, Radio Batavia, Radio WMBR
1566 khz, Daniƫl

MW Free Radio