Sunday, September 22, 2013

What day is it?

Tune around late on a Sunday night and stop by at 1620 kHz and you'll often hear Dutch pirate Radio Utopia. So, I was a little confused when I switched on the old valve set late on Saturday and heard Utopia coming out of the speaker loud and clear! It has just gone 0200 local time on Sunday morning as I write these words and he's just about to close down - and he sent me a message to let me know he was also on the frequency for a couple of hours on Saturday afternoon as well!


I've been listening to Utopia for many years now and just recently I found a calendar from the station that dates back to the mid-90s, together with a load of stickers and qsls. When we were in the Netherlands last year we paid Mr Utopia a visit and he took us to see some other pirates in his area. We also talked about my visit nearly 20 years earlier when I slept in a tent in his garden! Good times.

Well I haven't posted any logs for a while, so here's what I've been listening to recently. Unless stated, the radio was the usual Lowe HF225 with the outdoor loop antenna, and all times are UTC:

Saturday, September 21, 2013 (Pye valve radio)
1665       2347       Polkaman 34333 music programme
1648       2347       Moby Dick 55544 music programme
1620       2347       Utopia 55444 music programme
1670       2359       Bravo Sierra 24442 music programme
1625       0100       Batavier 54544 music programme

Thursday, September 19, 2013
1646       1747       Hennie Veldwijk 25322 qsoing
1645       1751       Joepie De Boskabouter 35333 qsoing
1476       1807       Poema 33533-44544 music programme
1645       1819       Casablanca (Twente) 35333 qsoing, music programme later
1635       1905       Nova 4 44444-55544 music programme
1615       1912       Mustang 55444 music programme
1640       1918       Pecon 54544 report for Casablanca
1648       1925       Turfsteker 45444 qsoing
1646       2046       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55544 music programme
1620       2048       Marskramer (Friesland) 44334 music programme
1652       2051       Uniek 33443-44444 music programme
1476       2051       Edelkampioen 33433 music programme
1625       2113       Batavier 44434-54544 music programme
1620       2116       Anton 54544 music programme with English tunes
1647       2149       Jeneverstoker 35333 report for Mijnwerker
1654       2151       Studio 69 34333 music programme
1654       2224       Santana 43543 report for Uniek
1656       2230       Classic (Romax) 44444-55444 asking for report
1629       2246       Noordzee 45444 report for Anton
1620       2256       Noordzee 34433-55544 qsoing

Tuesday, September 17, 2013
1648       2002       Turfsteker 35333 music programme
1668       2002       Witte Reus 35443 music programme
1620       2003       Ruisbreker 34433 music programme
1593       2019       Batavia 21521 music programme
1615       2023       Batavier 34543-55544 testing
1655       2026       Witte Raaf 55544 music programme
1630       2042       Sluwe Vos 45444 music programme
1630       2100       Anton 55555 music programme 
1665       2105       Philadelphia 24222 music programme
1638       2123       Bluebird 55555 music programme

Monday, September 16, 2013
1662       1747       Oldtimer 33433-44444 music programme
1636       1754       Pandora 34533-45554 music programme
1625       1959       Batavier 45444-55444 music programme
1640       2011       Marrianne 35333-45444 music programme
1647       2012       Nachtzwerver 24322 qsoing
1665       2016       Philadelphia 24322-35333 music programme
1637       2018       Uitzendkracht 34333 qsoing
1650       2031       Witte Raaf 45444 music programme
1630       2046       Napoleon 45434-55434 music programme
1635       2049       Toulouse 34333-44444 qsoing
1610       2111       Anton 54444-55555 music programme
1638       2236       Bluebird 55555 music programme
1630       2245       Monte Carlo 33433-44444 report for Anton

Sunday, September 15, 2013
1615       1751       Batavier 35443-45454 music programme with Mustang and Vloedgolf
1645       1752       Noordzee 23342-34443 qsoing
1636       1807       Meteoor 35333, 45554 at 1822
1655       1814       Ijsvogel 35443-45444 qsoing
1629       1826       Speedygonzales met Mexicano 55444 music programme
1645       1829       Grutte Pier 34333, 45444 at 1841, 55444 at 2125 music programme
1640       1841       Veronica 35333-45444 music programme
1611       2005       Batavia 33443, 45344 at 2138 music programme
1625       2008       Napoleon 45444-55555 music programme
1640       2205       Monte Carlo 44444 report for Veronica
1620       2217       Kolibrie 23422 report for Veronica
1647       2329       Jeneverstoker 44444 report for Grutte Pier

Tuesday, September 10, 2013
1645       2003       Kaaiman 34443 music programme
1671       2004       Bravo Sierra 23322 music programme
1620       2005       King 34443-44444 music programme
1617       2045       Blauwe Panter 22222 music programme
1640       2102       Noordzee 45434-55544 music programme
1629       2115       Calipso 55544-55555 music programme
1666       2119       Philadelphia 24332 music programme
1650       2142       Monte Carlo 45434-55444 report for Noordzee
1625       2145       Noordzee 42543 asking for report

Monday, September 9, 2013
1611       2239       Batavia 33433-44444 music programme
1625       2240       Batavier 55544-55555 music programme
1650       2250       Monte Carlo 55544 asking for report
1653       2252       Jeneverstoker 24222
1636       2305       Sluwe Vos 34333-45444 testing
1655       2335       Jeneverstoker 35333 report for Sluwe Vos

Sunday, September 8, 2013
1685       2257       Bravo Sierra 22332-34333 music programme
1638       2259       Bluebird 55444-55555 music programme

Saturday, September 7, 2013 (Pye valve radio)
1635       2344       Jeneverstoker 34333 report for Babylona
1648       2345       Moby Dick 55444 music programme
1617       2352       Blauwe Panter 22322 music programme

Thursday, September 5, 2013
1645       2255       Soerabaya 35343-45344 qsoing
1638       2255       Bluebird 55344-55444 music programme
1650       2255       Monte Carlo 55444 qsoing
1653       2330       Jeneverstoker 35333-45343 report for Bluebird
1665       2335       Philadelphia 24322 qsoing

Wednesday, September 4, 2013
1611       2153       Batavia 33433-44444 music programme
1638       2153       Bluebird 55555 music programme
1654       2154       Noordzee 45444 music programme
1646       2222       Soerabaya 23432-34443 report for Noordzee
1665       2224       Philadelphia 25342-35343 report for Noordzee
1653       2231       Jeneverstoker 25332-35333 report for Noordzee

Tuesday, September 3, 2013
1633       2138       Barcelona 54554 qsoing
1665       2138       Polkaman 44444 at 2251 music programme
1636       2206       Nachtzwerver 23432-35333 qsoing
1620       2207       Noordzee 55544-55555 qsoing
1645       2223       Noordzee 55544 qsoing
1650       2234       Monte Carlo 35333-45454 qsoing

Monday, September 2, 2013
1611       2004       Meteoor 44544 qsoing
1640       2008       Professor Sickbok 45444-55544 qsoing
1645       2008       Turftrekker 34433 music programme
1661       2009       Oldtimer 44444 music programme
1648       2012       Turfsteker 34433 qsoing
1633       2012       Vrijevogel 24432 qsoing
1637       2013       Nachtzwerver 35443 qsoing
1625       2024       Noordzee 45444-55555 music programme
1655       2026       Valkenster 45444 qsoing
1650       2030       Vliegende Schotel 45444 qsoing
1619       2045       Saporro 22432-33433 report for Turfsteker
1638       2057       Bluebird 44434-55555 music programme
1645       2123       Spakenburg 45434-55544 music programme
1633       2144       Barcelona 44544-55555 music programme
1650       2213       Monte Carlo 54444 qsoing
1656       2224       Romax 45444 qsoing
1646       2253       Soerabaya 34443-35443 qsoing
1653       2316       Jeneverstoker 34433-45444 qsoing

Sunday, September 1, 2013
1638       2021       Wadloper 44444 music programme
1647       2022       Witte Tornado 45444-55555 music programme
1512       2032       Tempico 43533 music programme
1620       2034       Napoleon 35433-45444 music programme
1650       2255       Monte Carlo 34433 qsoing
1652       2310       Jeneverstoker 35433-45444 music programme
1646       2330       Soerabaya 25332-35333 asking for report
1636       0026       Pandora 55544-55555 music programme

Thursday, August 29, 2013
1638       2209       Bluebird 55544-55555
1652       2210       Uniek 34443-44444 music programme
1657       2211       Jan Tabac 55444 qsoing
1627       2229       Monte Carlo 55544 testing and asking for report
1625       2236       Amigo 34543 asking for report
1650       2238       Noordzee 55544-55555 report for Uniek
1651       2241       Monte Carlo 44544 qsoing
1652       2249       Jeneverstoker 35443 qsoing
1633       2252       Barcelona 53543-55555 music programme
1664       2308       Philadelphia 34443 qsoing
1650       2310       Soerabaya 35343 qsoing
1647       2341       Monte Carlo 55454-55555 qsoing

Observations

  • Batavier signed on 1625 at 0200 local time this morning (September 22). I am now tuned to him as I type and he's coming in really well. Apparently he has just returned home after an evening of female company and thought he would switch on his transmitter!
  • With the days slowly becoming shorter I can start to hear the Dutch pirates a little earlier in the day. While many pirates will only broadcast at night, some only broadcast in the daytime, so I don't get to hear them very often. On Thursday it was nice to hear Vennie Veldwijk again, along with a new name for me Joepie De Boskabouter
  • It's always interesting to hear pirates in-band, so as well as hearing Poema and Edelkampioen recently on 1476 it made a nice change to hear Batavia on 1593. The frequency is far from clear here, with various legal stations audible during darkness, but I could just about make out the station from the north of Holland coming through
  • There have been some real powerhouse signals audible here recently. Radio Anton has been incredibly strong both times I've heard him in the last few days, and it made a nice change to hear him with plenty of English music on Thursday night. That same day, Turfsteker was peaking with his best-ever signal here. I'm not sure if he has increased his power, but he was coming in with 45444 and sounding great

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

No antenna needed

Regular readers of the blog will know I like to get across to the Netherlands every now and again. I was most recently there in August last year, travelling across the country with my family, meeting lots of people and seeing lots of pirate studios. On the final day of the holiday we stopped off to see Radio Batavier. We didn't have long at his place, but just as we were leaving he picked up a little portable radio and said I should have it. It was very kind and typical of the Dutch pirates I have met over the years.

It wasn't until yesterday that I finally got round to having a good look at the radio. I noticed it was able able to receive FM, MW, LW and, interestingly SW as well. It is a tiny little receiver and just right for carrying around the house. Just before I went to bed last night, I switched it on. I expected MW coverage would stop at 1602, or perhaps 1611 kHz. Imagine my surprise when the digital display read right up to 1656! So, it was pirate-ready. 

I had been listening to Radio Calipso on my communcations receiver, so I knew he was putting in a very strong signal on 1629, so I thought I would check out that frequency on my new radio. Without an external antenna, I wasn't confident of hearing anything, so when I heard loud music coming out of the speaker on 1629, I was amazed! I picked up the radio and took it around the house with me, going from room to room with Calipso coming out of the speaker loud and clear. And without a big antenna. Very impressive.

Many thanks Mr Batavier!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Scanning the band

Last night I tuned in quite late to the MW pirates from the Netherlands, but the ones I heard were coming through really well. I made a recording and then turned it into a video. Have a look at this and you will hear Monte Carlo, Sluwe Vos, Batavier and Jeneverstoker, all coming in really well. The equipment on this side was the Lowe HF225 and outdoor loop antenna as usual.

A bit of a mystery

As I write these words and I am listening to a Dutch pirate on 1620 kHz. It's Radio King from "the north side of the Netherlands". The signal is pretty good, currently peaking at around 44444, certainly the best I have heard from the station who used to be know as Atletico.

There was also some pleasant listening on several occasions last week on 1629. I have no idea what station I was listening to, but it was jazz and funk music during the late evening. I though it was possibly the Danish pirate station Radio OZNRH who programme jazz music from Sunday to Thursday. However, I sent an email to them and apparently they are using 1616 kHz at the moment, so it was not them I heard. So, it's a bit of a mystery. Every now and again there was an announcement. I made a recording . . . 




If anybody has any details about this station, please let me know!

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Soerabaya surprise

After arriving home from work in the early hours of Saturday morning I switched on the old valve radio in the living room out of curiosity and to see if there were any pirates on air. Immediately I heard the voice of Radio Soerabaya, coming in really well with his low-power transmitter. He is usually on air to qso with other stations, but there was a nice surprise tonight as he played some English records for a change as part of a short programme. 

The Barones soundtrack

Well I hope you have enjoyed the last five days of Barones recordings. It's been interesting going through old tapes and reliving some good times from the past and remembering what I was doing back then. 

You heard a couple of recordings from the 1990s when I was at college and should have been studying, rather than listening to pirate stations into the early hours of the morning. And you heard the sound of some more recent broadcasts. During those inbetween years I moved out of my parents house and bought my first place. I met my wife and our first daughter was born. We moved to our current home and our second daughter was born. A lot has happened during that time - and Barones was on air the whole time with international programmes.

In around 2005 I would sometimes fire up the ultra-heavy Racal RA17 and have a tune around the bands.


The old Racal. The one I have used to belong to Baro

Although I can't find any recordings from that time, I sometimes found Barones on air late at night and remember giving him a call on one occasion. I had been away from the hobby for several years and he was surprised to hear from me, but that contact lit the pirate spark for me, just as it did when I moved to my current house. And other listeners around Europe tell me a similar story - they have come and gone from the hobby but always been pleased to hear this voice coming from their radio when they listened around again.

It seems the pirate hobby is always there, sometimes dormant, but once you've got it, there's no shaking it. Interestingly, the current silence from Barones is the longest in his 40-year history. He was last on air on December 23, 2012. I'm guessing it won't be long now until he is back and working towards making it to half a century.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Celebrating a pirate legend Part five

We moved to our current house in 2008 and the radio hobby took a back seat as we sorted out our new home and looked after our first daughter. After a couple of years though, I decided to buy a new receiver. I bought a second-hand Kenwood R5000 and put up about 20 metres of wire down the garden.

It had been a few years since I had tuned in to the pirates and for me the hobby was not burning as brightly as it had done previously. However, I had a listen around the MW one night and have a guess who I heard? Yes, it was Barones. From that night onwards I was hooked on our hobby once again.

This recording, from 1675 kHz on Saturday, February 5, 2011 is the first one I made after returning to the pirate scene. 


Thursday, September 05, 2013

Celebrating a pirate legend Part four

Well I know Mr Barones has been raising a bottle or two this week in celebration of keeping his station going for four decades. It's a tremendous achievement, and he tells me he has been enjoying listening to the recordings here on the blog.

Today we spin back in time 19 years, although I can't be exactly sure of the date. This recording wasn't made by me, but another Barones fan here in England - so many thanks to you. It's an interesting one to listen to for me as there is talk of Radio Delta listening in England. He was staying with me at my parents house for a holiday after I spent a few days at his place the previous year on my first visit to the Netherlands.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Celebrating a pirate legend Part three

Today as I continue my week-long look back at Radio Barones, we stop off at May 22, 1993. Ace Of Base were top of the charts in the UK with All That She Wants, and the Baro was going strong, in his 20th year on air. At that time I used to send 7inch singles to the man behind the microphone as they were difficult to get hold off in the Netherlands and he was keen to play vinyl, rather than CDs. It was the same story with other stations, too, and I was often in my local Woolworths buying records to send across the North Sea. Even now I can listen to Dutch MW pirates and hear those records being played on the air that I bought two decades ago.

Today's recording is shorter than the previous two as Barones is in qso mode, talking with Radio Pelikaan, who also used to broadcast from the Achterhoek, and with Toekomst, who can still be heard from time to time

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Celebrating a pirate legend Part two

It's Tuesday and it's time for the second on my week-long tribute to Radio Barones. Many thanks for the kind words and emails from those of you who enjoyed yesterday's recording. I hope you all like this second instalment from the legend of the Achterhoek, which was recorded here in England nearly two years ago to the day, on September 4, 2011 on 1653 kHz


Monday, September 02, 2013

Celebrating a pirate legend

During this very week 40 years ago a pirate legend was born. On September 4, 1973 Radio Barones hit the airwaves for the very first time. Since that first broadcast the station has thrilled pirate listeners and dxers the world over and the name has become synonymous with a power-packed signal, superb modulation and with programmes like no other pirate.

I met the man behind the microphone for the first time in 1993. He welcomed me into his home and into his studio and we have been friends ever since. I have visited him many times since that first meeting and he came to England last year when I got married. 

The appeal of Barones goes far and wide. And so does the signal. The station remains the only Dutch MW pirate to have been heard in Japan without the use of web receivers. 



Barones has been off air this year due to various reasons, and I have lost count of the number of people who have asked me where this great station has gone. I am sure he will be back on air in the coming months but, in the meantime, for fans across the world, and to celebrate four decades as a pirate, I am going to present a different recording of the station for the next five days. To make them easier to listen to, I have made each recording into a YouTube movie. So, sit back, relax and enjoy the first instalment of this legend of the airwaves . . .

Sunday, September 01, 2013

That's one way to keep warm

I'm listening to Radio Napoleon on 1620 right now. He's coming in really well from the eastern side of the Netherlands and playing some good tunes. His musical taste is very similar to the mighty Radio Barones and it's a pleasure to listen to him. A little earlier, Wadloper was on the air from Friesland, with his big pal Relmus at the microphone. They were busy on 1638 kHz and sent me this picture of the transmitter while they were on air. I'm guessing the studio was nice and warm!


Valves glowing in the Wadloper studio

MW Free Radio