Sunday, December 27, 2015

Season's greetings

Season's greetings to one and all, and many thanks for stopping in on this tiny space on the internet to read my words.

I haven't spent a great deal of time listening to the radio during the last few days, but I have heard British pirate Radio Blackbeard with regular broadcasts up on 180 metres. I mentioned some months ago that he had been testing on the band, and it's great his signal is now getting out. He's had reports from across the UK and as far afield as Finland with his 100 watt transmitter, and the signal here has been pretty good at times even though conditions have not been particularly good.

It seems 2016 could be the year that sees more British activity on MW. Phazer from the south-east of England has been on 1512 kHz during the last few days as they often are at holiday times, and I understand UK shortwave pirate Pandora now has a MW transmitter with the antenna in place and ready to go with broadcasts around 1620 kHz+. In addition to that, I know of another British pirate who has been successfully testing around 1655 kHz during the last few weeks. 

The holiday season has of course seen plenty of Dutch pirates on the air, and some operators have been trying in-band frequencies. 1512 kHz is always a popular choice and has seen broadcasts from KerstmanNova 4 and Tempico, while Rietvink has been busy on 1476 and Kleine Cowboy has been using 1539. There has also been pirate activity on 1580 kHz. Hearing stations on these frequencies in the UK can be tricky, but it's always worth a quick check, especially early in the morning when conditions still allow reception, and when many of these stations are on air.

Don't forget you can keep up to date with me through Twitter and via Facebook. You can check out my pirate recordings here and view videos of my reception here.

I will update the blog with some logs soon, but in the meantime, I wish you all a peaceful end to 2015 and a very happy new year.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Two strikes for Professor Sickbok

A few months ago MW pirate Professor Sickbok received a letter from the Agentschap Telecom warning him about his illegal transmissions and that if he was heard again he would receive a penalty notice. The station, from Twente in the east of the Netherlands, continued regular broadcasts on 1640 kHz and last Friday - December 4 - had a second visit from the Dutch telecom agency.

Although not confirmed, it is believed he has been ordered to pay in the region 2,500 euros and warned to stay off the air for the next five years. He was heard playing non-stop music in the early evening on Friday, a broadcast that could well have been his last for a good while.

This latest news comes soon after Radio Zeewolf, Dokwerker and Rode Adelaar received warning letters from the authorities, so it seems the crackdown continues. 

Professor Sickbok, named after a cartoon character from the Dutch comic series Tom Cat, always had a powerful signal here in England, where his voice was instantly recognisable on his regular frequency. 

We wish him all the best and hope he can continue to enjoy the radio hobby in some way.