Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Afternoon delight

I was working at home today and at just after 1430 I switched on the radio to the top of the MW band. I didn't really expect to hear anything as it was over an hour before sunset, which is when the Dutch pirate signals usually start to arrive over here. Imagine my surprise when I heard music on 1640 kHz. Then when that station closed down, there were signals on 1645 and 1629. 

I had found a qso between Cobra, Picolo and Baanbreker, and the first two of those names were new to me, although I think Picolo was a more well-known pirate using a different name which is a popular tactic at the moment to throw the increasingly active authorities off the scent. 

It was pretty impressive to hear these guys during the afternoon and a reminder that conditions are starting to pick up again for listening to Dutch pirates here in England. The signals weren't strong, and I wouldn't expect them to be at that time of day, but they were listenable, as you can hear on this short recording of Baanbreker . . .

After that brief burst of activity, the band remained quiet for several hours, with nothing coming through until around 1820 when I heard another qso, this time featuring Baanbreker again, but with the addition of Interpol, Kleine Man and Derdeman, all of whom I've not heard for a good while. 

That's the great thing about this time of year over the summer months. Sure, propagation might be a little up and down, and skip can often be long with Balkan pirates coming in strongly, but it also gives the chance to hear Dutch pirates at a different time of day - and that means the opportunity to hear some names other than the norm. Some Dutch stations broadcast only in the daytime, which means for most of the year I don't get to hear them, but the winter months give that opportunity. Now if I lived by the sea on the east coast I would be hearing the stations round the clock every day of the year - but I don't, and if I did then I'd never leave the radio room!

Anyway, here's a recording of Interpol I made at around 1830 local time. Looking back through my logs it seems the last time I heard this station was on January 7, 2013 - nearly two years!


  1. Great post: for reasons of space and various other factors, I only have communications and domestic sets to listen to the AM bands on, plus I am towards the West of the UK. Nevertheless, Dutch pirates are audible from around 4pm at this time of year. I am not always in a position to positively ID all the signals, but Calipso, Barones and Vrolijke Minewerker all put in very listenable signals at this location. I usually catch pirates operating in the extended medium wave band above 1602 kHz, but on Saturday night, there was a fair signal coming in on 1512 kHz too. I've heard a few Christmas singles getting airplay on the stations too - so that holiday season is approaching. Looking forward to getting in some serious free radio listening over the festive period. Let's hope, with the Dutch and British radio authorities off on holiday, we hear some great pirate radio broadcasting!


  2. Great catches for the afternoon and early evening.

    Just listening this morning from 06:10 UTC and caught some polka coming over on 1640Khz

    Thanks for you post and inspiration at this unearthly hour !