Monday, May 26, 2014

Quiet bank holiday

Conditions have not been great recently for reception of the Dutch pirates here in England. As the days are getting longer and longer, signal do not arrive until later in the evening, and when propagation is down there is often not a great deal to hear.

Today was a bank holiday here in the UK and it was very nice indeed to hear the Xenon Transmitting Company (XTC) on 6308 kHz during the late afternoon. This station has been going for many years but is not regular these days - in fact, bank holidays seem to be the best time to catch broadcasts. Hearing XTC takes me back to the 1990s when the British free radio scene was thriving. Later in the evening, Bogusman appeared on 6305 kHz to do his bit. As usual his signal was very good here. There was no activity from the Netherlands to hear, though, and it has been quiet on MW too, with just a couple of stations heard.

Here's my recent log list . . . 

Monday, May 26, 2014
1640       2151       Professor Sickbok 45333 music programme
1640       2225       Monte Carlo 34333 qsoing

Friday, May 23, 2014
1611       2223       Barones 44333-55444 music programme
1623       2223       Monte Carlo 45343-45344 music programme
1648       2224       Uniek 35222-35333 music programme
1655       2224       Witte Raaf 45344 music programme
1695       2224       Korenklopper 45333-55334 music programme
1640       2225       Professor Sickbok 45334 qsoing
1638       2236       Blonde Zwerver 32222 qsoing
1670       2309       Batavier 44344 music programme
1641       2311       Jeneverstoker 35233 qsoing

Monday, May 19, 2014
1630       2011       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 45344-55444 music programme
1640       2011       Professor Sickbok 45344-55444 music programme
1625       2020       King 22322 music programme and testing limiter
1640       2139       Veronica 35232-45344 report for Sickbok
1650       2151       Monte Carlo 35233-45444 qsoing
1629       2207       Mustang 44344-55444
1622       2222       Soerabaya 34333 qsoing

Tuesday, May 13, 2014
1651       2053       Witte Raaf 44444 music programme
1631       2054       Mustang 55444-55555 music programme
1625       2058       Atletico 32422-34333 music programme
1630       2143       Soerabaya 24222 report for Mustang
1635       2143       Monte Carlo 33433 report for Mustang
1636       2148       Noordzee 43333 report for Mustang
1630       2149       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 43333 report for Mustang

Monday, May 12, 2014
1630       2025       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55444-55555 music programme
1654       2028       Vliegende Schotel 44444 qsoing
1655       2035       Oldtimer 55444 qsoing
1611       2057       Batavia 24432 music programme
1646       2159       Noordzee 44444 music programme

Wednesday, May 7, 2014
1620       2210       Pelgrim 35333 music programme
1636       2212       Wadloper 35333 music programme

Monday, May 5, 2014
1620       0554       Amigo 24342 music programme
1618       0556       Zwarte Bouvier weak signal music programme
1638       2015       Bluebird 55555 music programme
1655       2015       Oldtimer 44444 music programme
1671       2016       Armada 45434 music programme
1611       2023       Batavia weak signal music programme
1611       2247       Calipso 55544 music programme

Saturday, May 3, 2014
1632       2334       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 54444 qsoing
1655       2334       Studio 69 33433-44444 music programme
1662       2334       Klaas Snoek 44444-55555 music programme
1633       2336       Barcelona 54544 qsoing
1636       2346       Professor Sickbok 54444 qsoing
1655       2350       Jeneverstoker 33433 qsoing

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
1625       2034       Napoleon 55444 music programme
1611       2324       Calipso 55555 music programme


  • It was good to hear Korenklopper on Friday night. He's not often on air, but can usually be found above all the other pirates, and his choice of 1695 kHz was typical of where he usually broadcasts
  • It's always nice when I hear a station for the first time and there have been three new names for me recently. Blonde Zwerver, Pelgrim and Zwarte Bouvier made it across the North Sea to my radio for the first time in the past few weeks. Judging from the signal strengths, I'm guessing all are low power which makes catching these stations even sweeter
  • Talking of low power, Atletico was doing well on May 13. He was using only 30 watts of power, which sounded like more when the signal peaked. He sent me a picture of his antenna mast, which he has allowed me to share with you:

AT keeping busy

The authorities have been keeping busy in recent days. One of the stations hit was Ruisbreker, who broadcasts on MW from time to time, often getting a decent signal to England with his low-power transmitter. He was broadcasting on FM with his regular Saturday programme when the AT arrived at the transmission site and started to take photographs. A warning was then issued that the broadcast should stop within the hour. And so within the following minutes the plug was pulled and the station closed down. No equipment was seized.

As you can see from these photos, the antenna mast has been taken down . . .

And on Sunday, there was more action when the police noticed at unmanned pirate operating on FM from Barger-Compascuum. The transmitter was sighted inside a tree and the fire brigade was called to remove it . . . 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Defying the authorities

Late on Sunday evening the signal on 94.5 in the east of the Netherlands disappeared. After occupying the frequency illegally for around seven days the station SADO - Schijt Aan De Overheid was taken off the air. For our non-Dutch readers, look it up on an online translator!

SADO caused a great deal of interest, not least by their name! The transmitter power was around 3kw - no where near as much as some Dutch FM pirates run, with output up to 30kw for the bigger concerns. But this station, operating from the village of Balkbrug in Overijjsel, went one step further than other pirates, placing their stacked dipole antenna at the top of a 45 metre T-Mobile mast . . .

The position of the antenna and transmitter meant that, try as they might, the AT and police were unable to take the station off air immediately - doing so would have caused the T-Mobile mast to be disabled.  

As many FM pirates these days, the whole operation was unmanned and operated remotely. But as these pictures show, they certainly raised quite some interest in the local area . . . 

All that now remains is a mains cable and the antenna and some empty cabinets that housed the transmitter - everything else has been removed.