Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Long-distance listening

It's just flipped over to Tuesday morning and I'm listening to King Radio from the Netherlands. This MW pirate, who used to be known as Radio Atletico, is broadcasting with around 150 watts on 1625 kHz and coming in pretty well here in England on the peaks. Sometimes the signal is fading down however as propagation changes and conditions become increasingly long skip. And that is why I can hear legal stations from the US pretty clearly on 1610, 1620 and 1630 kHz. On a personal level, hearing such stations does not set the pulse racing as these are licensed operators, although it never fails to amaze me just how well signals can cross the Atlantic Ocean some nights.

I listened to the Dutch pirates during the early evening on Monday and there was a nice qso at around 1600 utc with some cracking signals, none more so than Schaduwjager who, as usual, sounded like he was broadcasting from a studio next door with a power-packed signal and excellent modulation.

Here's what I heard, together with some other recent station logs:

Monday, November 25, 2013
1635       1606       Zwarte Boekanier 45444 qsoing
1620       1606       Schauwjager 55544-55555 qsoing
1630       1611       Spanningzoeker 55444 qsoing
1611       1616       Batavia 34333 music programme
1651       1618       Baanbreker 23332-34433 qsoing
1620       1618       Silvia 35443 qsoing
1650       1629       Zwarte Boekanier 45444 qsoing
1620       2201       Quintus 43433-44444 testing
1629       2201       Calipso 55544-55555 testing
1647       2201       Armada 55544 music programme
1655       2202       Witte Raaf 45434-55444 music programme
1636       2202       Noordzee 44433-44444 music programme
1625       2257       King 35333-45444 music programme

Sunday, November 24, 2013
1611       2110       Technical Man 54444 music programme
1625       2110       Relmus 55444 music programme
1647       2110       Witte Tornado 55444 music programme
1660       2114       Digitaal 34433-44444 qsoing with Arizona
1570       2122       Soto En Daniel 22422-33533 music programme

Thursday, November 21, 2013
1638       2325       Bluebird 44434-55544 music programme
1620       2330       Amigo 33433 music programme
1656       2351       Romax 24222-34333 asking for report

Monday, November 18, 2013
1620       1731       Zwarte Boekanier 45444-55555 music programme
1645       1732       Casablanca (Twente) 25332 music programme
1610       1734       Digitaal 44544 qsoing
1647       1743       Vendor 42432
1622       1751       Zorro En Karabijn 35443 qsoing
1613       1754       Black Power 44444 testing
1647       1805       Pecon 35343-45344 qsoing
1635       1847       Zwarte Arabier 44433-55544 music programme   
1646       1905       Blauwe Reiger 44444 asking for report
1646       1909       Baanbreker 35343 qsoing
1650       1913       Zwarte Boekanier 55544 qsoing
1646       2257       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 45444-55444 qsoing
1638       2257       Bluebird 45434 music programme
1629       2257       Noordzee 45444 music programme
1647       2312       Noordzee 44434 qsoing
1647       2331       Monte Carlo 33333, 55444 at 2353 qsoing
1651       2336       Jeneverstoker 34333 qsoing
1629       0014       Calipso 55444 qsoing

Observations

  • I didn't listen for too long on Sunday evening, but I stumbled across an interesting signal on 1570 kHz. I was meandering across the top of the MW band as I often do, and dipped down to 1512 to see if anything from the Netherlands was audible. That frequency was clear, but as I made my way back up to 1.6 MHz, some traditional Dutch sounds caught my ear on 1570. I stayed tuned and eventually heard a voice talking. Then, I heard the microphone change hands and another voice was coming out of my radio. It was Soto and Daniel. They can often be heard chatting away around 1570 but this was the best I had ever heard them

  • Technical Man was busy on shortwave during the daytime on Sunday before switching to MW during the evening. His signal was pretty good here as usual, but what really caught my ear was that he was giving out an email address. This is the first time I've heard him do that, so I'll be dropping him a line soon. You can get in touch with him at technicalman@hotmail.nl

Sunday, November 24, 2013

What a sight

Last Sunday the Norderney, the home to Radio Veronica between 1964 and 1974 arrived in Amsterdam, where it will now be permanently moored. 

After the ship was seized by the Radio Control Department in 1975 it was sold to an operator in Antwerp, who turned it into a party ship. However, after that company went bankrupt a Dutch operation in Groningen bought the ship and have completely renovated it . . .












Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Interesting catches

The clock has just ticked over to Wednesday and the temperature outside feels not far above zero degrees. It's nice and warm here in the radio room, though, and I'm listening to Radio Bluebird on 1638 kHz as I write these words. Around an hour ago Radio Barcelona was booming in on 1633, and I made this short video. You can see his signal is peaking very near to 80% on the meter - a figure only a handful of Dutch pirates are able to achieve




Conditions for receiving our friends in the Netherlands on Tuesday evening were variable, sometimes dipping right down. However, that didn't stop some interesting catches, including a station heard here for the first time and a few putting in some rare appearances. Have a look at the logs . . . 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013
1647       1800       Armada 45534 testing
1629       1806       Flevojager 33433-44544 music programme
1640       1829       Baanbreker 24322-34433 qsoing
1621       1900       Karbijn 35333-44444 asking for report
1625       1906       Zwarte Diamont 35333 qsoing
1635       1910       Relmus 43433-55544 testing audio 
1636       1950       Nooitgedacht 45434-55444 music programme
1665       2011       Polkaman 25322-35333 music programme
1629       2035       Turftrekker 42442-43443 music programme
1616       2041       Zorro en Karbijn 35333 testing 
1645       2058       JB 45444-55444 asking for report
1651       2104       Turfsteker 35333 report for JB
1633       2106       Brandaris 44444 asking for report
1640       2107       Nova 4 34333 qsoing
1633       2130       Ridiculous 22322 qsoing 
1629       2207       Denappel 35333 testing
1633       2241       Barcelona 55544-55555 music programme
1638       2355       Bluebird 55544-55555 music programme

Observations

  • The new one was Karbijn, heard firstly on 1621 and later on 1616 with Zorro, although they were also testing on various other nearby frequencies. On the peaks, the signal came up quite well. I don't know much about this station at the moment, although I'm guessing they have an FM background
  • There were a couple of rarities on 186 metres tonight. Firstly, it was a nice surprise to catch Nooitgedacht for the first time in a while. He used to be a regular on the band in the 1990s but is not so active these days, although he still always uses 1636 kHz, just like he did 20+ years ago. As ever, the signal was one of the strongest on the band. Another station not heard very often who appeared tonight was Denappel. He was using 1629 and seemed to be testing, so perhaps we can expect to hear more from him in the coming days

  • Great to catch Brandaris on the band as well - the first time I've heard him since August 26. His audio always stands out and tonight was no exception. He was asking for a report and playing a few records before a qso with Ridiculous. That station is more usually on SW, and this might have been the first time I've heard him on MW
  • Relmus was testing a different audio system on 1635 and sounding pretty good. Conditions deteriorated a little while he was on air, so I look forward to hearing him when propagation is a little more favourable

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Relmus rocking

It's Saturday night and there are some powerhouses on the band right now. Barones is booming on 1611 and on 1625 is Relmus, putting a brand new transmitter to very good use. He was also on air last night (Friday), testing out the new equipment.

For some time Relmus has been using a low-power transmitter of around 150 watts, but he's back with higher power now, sounding like he did a year or so ago when he was a regular with Friday night programmes that could be heard right around Europe. Let's hope those broadcasts will now return, with plenty of people, fun and beers in the studio.

Below you can see the new transmitter in a series of pictures from the earlier stages of building though to the final one, taken while Relmus was on air on Friday night






Friday, November 08, 2013

Late-night polka

I arrived home at around 2345 on Thursday night after a long day at work. With a cup of tea in hand I switched on the old Pye valve radio in the living room (connected to the outdoor Wellbrook loop antenna) and quickly found Monte Carlo bringing a qso with Noordzee to an end. He closed down a couple of minutes later. Then I found Calipso booming away on 1629 with his usual awesome signal. But he too stayed on air for only a few more minutes before closing. A quick tune up the band and I am now listening to Radio Polkaman on his usual frequency of 1665 kHz. He can be heard several times a week, often into the very early hours playing - you guessed it - loads of polka tunes. I know he was using around 35 watts from a PL519 valve in his transmitter a couple of years ago. If he is still using the same equipment, he's doing pretty well as his sinpo right now is peaking at around 34433.


The time is now 0055 and there is a signal just below 1647. It's my friend Radio Soerabaya and he's doing some tests by the sound of it. The signal is between 24332 and 34443 - once again very good for low power of around 80 watts.

I was at home all day on Monday and had the chance to do some listening during the afternoon. At just after 1400 Bluebird was coming through on 1638 kHz and not long later there were several stations qsoing. It's great to be able to hear stations so early in the day now the autumn is here. The long days have plenty of benefits for the pirate listener!

Monday, November 4, 2013
1638       1410       Bluebird music programme
1651       1526       Turfsteker 25342 qsoing
1650       1528       Zwarte Boekanier 35443, 45444 at 1536 qsoing
1620       1532       Digitaal 23322 qsoing
1621       1533       Baanbreker 24332, 34443 at 1550 qsoing
1625       1535       Dageraad 24332 qsoing
1645       1552       Digitaal 35343 qsoing
1638       1723       Bluebird 45444, 55555 at 2110 music programme
1645       2105       Caldera 34543 music programme
1651       2106       Turfsteker 35333 music programme
1630       2121       Kristal 44444 asking for report
1631       2209       Monte Carlo 44444 music programme
1645       2240       Johannes Van Schaffelaar 34333-45444 asking for report
1646       2259       Monte Carlo 45344 qsoing
1665       2340       Philadelphia 24232 music programme

Sunday, November 3, 2013
1512       1750       Tempico 44544 music programme
1647       1750       Witte Tornado 44444 music programme
1620       2144       Napoleon music programme
1655       2216       Studio 69 music programme

Wednesday, October 30, 2013
1655       1440       James Bond 45434- 55555 music programme
1625       1810       Batavier 35333 music programme
1611       1810       Armada music programme
1629       1810       Firebird music programme

Sunday, October 27, 2013
1651       2313       Jeneverstoker 33433 qsoing
1638       2316       Bluebird 55444-55555 qsoing

Monday, October 28, 2013
1620       1637       Digitaal 35443-45444 music programme
1651       1738       Turfsteker 35443-45444 qsoing
1644       1743       Alaska 44444 qsoing
1637       1748       Admiraal 45444 qsoing
1636       1802       Baanbreker 34333 qsoing
1640       1830       Dageraad 44444 qsoing
1611       2120       Armada 34433-44444 music programme

Nice surprise

A nice surprise in the email box this week . . .

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Celebrating with Baro

Tomorrow (Sunday) marks one year since I married my wife. One year since we celebrated with family and friends from the UK, France and the Netherlands, including MW pirates Batavier, Matrix and Radio Barones. So tonight we have both been having a few drinks and listening to the Baro live on 1625. A great deal has happened during the last 12 months, both for us and for Barones, but it's great to hear him on the air this evening with some fine music for us and his listeners across Europe and out into America. Thank you for the tunes and the congratulations. 

Have a look at these videos of the reception over here. That's us on top of the old tube radio




MW Free Radio