Friday, January 30, 2015

Its all Greek to me

Thursday night was an interesting one on the pirate MW band. Zwarte Boer was an early catch from the Netherlands with a long music programme on 1629 kHz. I first heard him at just after 1700 utc and he was still going strong three hours later. And at around 2000 a clutch of other low-power stations were doing great work.

On 1611 kHz Malibu had some great peaks with a sinpo of around 44444, while Digitaal (1617), Johnny Camaro (1620), Vrolijke Fluiters (1640) and Nachtzwerver (1656) were also doing well. Then as the clocked ticked round to about 2100, the propagation conditions became longer skip and 180m+ was chock full of Balkan pirates with decent signals and the Dutch pirates suddenly became much weaker.

One station in particular was getting plenty of attention. Now, I don't pretend to speak or even understand any Greek, but the operator of this station appeared to be using Iann's Pirate Radio Chat, where many station operators and enthusiasts can often be found lurking. I believe he said the station name was Aeneas, and he definitely said he was broadcasting from a height of 5,500 metres in the Greek mountains using a power of 90 watts with a transmitter made in his country.

The signal here was not bad at all, although it was better in the Netherlands. It was also arriving very well on remote radios located in Italy and Bulgaria, which certainly suggests the station was transmitting from one of the Balkan countries. However, I'm not sure about that claim of 5,500 metres. With the help of my good friend Wikipedia, I learn the highest mountain range in Greece is Olympus, which comes in at just under 3,000 metres. And huge transmitters of 10kw+ are commonplace among Balkan pirates, so I'm not sure about only 90 watts being used.

Still, there was no denying the signal was hitting our part of the world pretty well, and it's interesting to get a glimpse of a different pirate scene every now and again. But I've spent 20 years trying to master the Dutch language and all it's variations with only very limited success, and trying to understand anything said by these Balkan pirates is nigh-on impossible! And my wife tells me that sustained listening to Dutch polka will send listeners to a lunatic asylum. Goodness only knows what she would make of some of the music I heard last night!

1 comment:

  1. I suspect the altitude got mixed in translation but rather academic !
    I appreciate your wife's take on the Polka Genre, so good to hear Balkan Stations up here for a change at the 'NW England Polka Asylum'.


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