Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Antenna work

Today I've been busy with my MW coil antenna, making the earth connections to the mast, and there's not much more to do now. Soon, as well as the loop antenna I use for listening to all the pirates, I'll have the coil antenna in action as well. I used this a couple of years ago for a short time, but the earth I had was minimal so I abandoned it. But this summer I've placed lots of copper pipe in the ground which should help it work better. As many of the Dutch pirates use this antenna to transmit with, I'm hopeful to get an improvement in reception. Also, two good MW antennas on the go will mean that, with the help of the noise cancelling enhancer I've got, it will be much easier to null any unwanted local interference. In short, the antenna situation here will be improved this autumn and I'll be ready to hear lots of pirate signals from across the North Sea.

The band seems to be getting a little busier again following a drop in activity levels following some work from the Dutch authorities, issues warning letters to some MW pirates and paying the odd visit here and there. Also, now the days are becoming shorter, signals can be heard for longer over here, which is a real plus. Whereas during the summer it is often late evening before stations are audible, I can already hear them from around 1700 utc - as the weeks pass by and the clocks change later this month, the signals will start to arrive earlier and earlier.

There has been some excellent propagation just recently as well. Take Sunday evening, when there were some tremendous signals to be heard. Have a listen to this mp3 and you'll see what I mean.  



That mp3 kicks off with Quintus, who is followed by Pontiac, Moonbreker, Schaduwjager, Viking, Witte Tornado and Blue Star Star. The standout signals are Pontiac and Schaduwjager. Both are usually very strong here, but they were local quality this time. Amazing!

Time now for the latest logs from this side:

Monday, September 29, 2014
1645       1723       Blauwe Reiger 35443 qsoing
1633       1734       Vrijevogel 25222 music programme
1643       1736       Baanbreker 34333 qsoing
1640       1753       Pecon 45434 qsoing
1640       1756       Free Netherlands (Klaverboer) 25222 qsoing
1613       1804       Black Power 45444 short test
1620       1824       Calipso 55444 music programme
1655       1901       Carona 35333-45344 music programme
1646       1902       Zwarte Bizon 45344 qsoing
1655       2150       Wilskracht 35343 music programme
1636       2230       Pandora 55444-55555 testing
1647       2236       Jeneverstoker 35333 report for Pandora

Sunday, September 28, 2014
1620       0510       Santana 45344 music programme
1647       1703       Witte Tornado 35343, 45444 at 1740, 55444 at 1828 music programme
1671       1734       Viking 25332, 45444 at 1900 music programme
1629       1755       Quintus 45434-55444 music programme               
1620       1828       Moonbreker 34333-45444 music programme
1636       1830       Schaduwjager 55555 testing
1660       1842       Pontiac 55444-55555 music programme
1655       2211       Vliegende Schotel 35333 asking for a report
1636       2217       Pandora 55444 music programme
1630       2325       Bluestar 35333 testing

Saturday, September 27, 2014
1647       1645       Casablanca 34333 qsoing
1620       1650       Akai 34333 qsoing
1636       1650       Keizer en Keizerin 34343 music programme
1646       1654       Vendor 25342 qsoing
1630       1708       Bonte Specht 25332-35333
1648       1712       Zeewolf weak signal qsoing 
1648       1801       Pecon 35333 qsoing
1655       1841       Relmus 45434 music programme
1648       2043       Moby Dick 55444 music programme
1665       2049       Polkaman 25222 music programme
1630       2053       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 43443-54444
1620       2105       Calipso 54444 music programme
1630       2235       Blue Star 35443 testing
1655       2239       Wilskracht 24332-34333 music programme

Wednesday, September 24, 2014
1640       2007       Wadloper 35333-45444 testing modulation
1620       2231       Calipso 55444 music programme
1636       2255       Pandora 45444 report for Calipso
1648       2255       Monte Carlo 35333 report for Calipso
1640       2306       Monte Carlo 35333 report for Calipso

Monday, September 22, 2014
1636       2146       Mi Amigo 25222-35333 music programme
1648       2228       Monte Carlo 35333 report for Mi Amigo

Saturday, September 20, 2014
1629       1907       Quintus 35333 music programme
1645       1908       Batavier music programme
1611       1908       Barones 35333 music programme
1636       1912       Keizer en Keizerin 35333 music programme
1647       2247       Nachtzwerver 35333-45344 qsoing

Tuesday, September 16, 2014
1650       0032       Jeneverstoker 25222 qsoing
1636       2204       Romax 44444 music programme
1620       2205       Calipso 55555 music programme
1650       2205       Mi Amigo 35333

Observations

  • Because of the recent AT activity some stations have been changing their name. So, you might hear one that you think is new when actually it's an old hand with a different ID!

  • It was good to hear Blauwe Reiger for the first time in a while on Monday. Also good to catch Wilskracht a little later in the evening. When I was in the Netherlands in August I was driving around with Relmus and we went down the street where Wilskracht lives. I was looking at his antenna when we suddenly noticed the man himself chatting to his neighbour! We had a little talk, and that was another Dutch pirate I've had the pleasure of meeting. Strange for him that a listener from England should suddenly be driving past his home!
  • On Sunday morning I set the computer to record 1620 kHz from 6am local time (0500 utc) thinking I might hear Zonnester with his regular programme. When I listened back to the recording, there was indeed a station on the frequency, but it was Santana and with a fine signal, too
  • Moonbreker was a new name for me on Sunday evening. He was broadcasting from Twente and giving out the email address moonbreker@gmail.com
  • On Saturday it was good to hear Zeewolf on MW for the first time in a while. Although the signal was weak, it was around 1700 utc and so still early and before the sun had set. He was using only 40 watts

MW Free Radio