Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Lockdown 3.0

England has now been placed into a third Covid-19 lockdown so we are confined to our homes once again. Similar restrictions are also in operation in the Netherlands which must go some way to accounting for the non-stop action at the top of the MW band. With nowhere to go, Dutch amateurs are switching on their transmitters more than ever, which is giving listeners plenty to tune in to. 

I mentioned recently that I have a new radio room. There is still work to be done, but you can see on this photo where I sit as I update the blog and listen to all these Dutch pirate stations I write about. The world is a strange place these days, but at least I have somewhere to gather my thoughts and tune into a happy place.


Here are my latest logs and observations, together with some recordings and photos, which I hope you enjoy. Stay safe everybody.

Freq Time Station name SINPO

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

1635 1218 Boerenzwaluw weak signal (m)

1629 1310 Dolfijn 25322-35443 (r)

1636 1316 Noordzee 23432-35443 (q)

1638 1325 Osaka 23442 (q) 

1634 1329 Baanbreker 23342 (q)

1617 1343 Zwarte Piraat weak signal (q)

1630 1347 Noordzee 23422 (q)

1629 1347 Marskramer 25332 (q)

1620 1407 Turijn 25332 (q)

1655 1450 Eigen Risico 25332 (m)

1629 1523 Marskramer 35443 (m)

1646 1523 Karel Doorman 25342-35443 (m)

1632 1533 Toulouse 35443, 45444 at 1628 (q)

1650 1559 Dageraad 25332 (q)

1633 1632 Alabama 55555 (q)

1645 1706 Schaduwjager 55444-55555 (t)

1629 1728 Monza 44444 (m)

1632 1729 Nimmerzorg 35443 (m)

1660 1804 Belladonna 25222-35333 (m)

1648 1809 Baanbreker 35333 (m)

1625 1809 Pandora 45444 (q)

1620 1812 Wegpiraat 35333 (q)

1641 1817 Valencia 25322 (q)

1670 1819 Concorde 25222 (m)

1650 1851 Dageraad 25332-35333 (q)

1617 1935 Marianne 45444 (m)

1630 2005 Meteoor 35443 (q)

1638 2008 Valencia 24222 (q)

1629 2011 Turftrekker 35333-45444 (q)

1625 2357 Pandora 45434 (m)


(m) = station was broadcasting a music programme
(q) = station was qsoing
(r) = station asking for a reception report from another station
(t) = station was testing


Observations

  • Lots of activity again today, with the peak of the conditions coming during the early evening. A personal highlight was hearing Karel Doorman with a super signal on his usual frequency of 1646 kHz. Just listen to this reception from a station running only around 100 watts:

Monday, January 11, 2021
1665 1357 Noordzee 25332 (r)
1615 1551 Zwarte Boekanier 35333 (q)

1625 1559 Pandora 35443 (t)

1640 1606 Schaduwjager 55444-55555 (q)

1647 1608 Noordzee 35443 (q)

1635 1613 Johnny Camaro 25442 (t)

1636 1622 Noordzee 35443 (q)

1620 1721 Zwarte Boekanier 35443-45444 (r)

1670 1725 Digitaal 45444 (m)

1630 1735 Wegpiraat 35443 (q)

1645 1741 Kleine Man 44444 (m)

1640 1743 Casablanca 45444 (q)

1655 1745 Telefunken 25222-35333 (m)

1635 1808 Johnny Camaro 24332-35333 (q)

1621 1823 Dageraad 25222-35333 (m)

1629 1834 Kaaiman 35443 (m)

1633 1846 Nimmerzorg 34443-45444 (q)

1640 1848 Baanbreker 34333 (m)

1631 1918 Columbia 45444 (q)

1656 1918 Klok 25332-35443 (m)

1670 1931 Meteoor 45444 (r)

1660 1933 Veldwachter 35333 (q)

1620 1953 Derde Man 35333-45444 (q) report for Kleine Man

1647 2045 Armada 45434-55444 (m)

1638 2231 Bluebird 55444 (m)



Observations

  • It’s been a while since I heard Johnny Camaro, but he was testing on the band today and delivering a fair signal into the UK with just 75 watts of power.

  • Good to hear Kleine Man with a lengthy music programme on 1645 kHz - and when he closed down, his son came on air to give him a report - Derde Man!

  • There were plenty of great signals around today, as you can hear on these recordings:

Sunday, January 10, 2021

1625 0557 Rietvink 35333-45444 (m)

1647 0600 Telefunken 34333 (m)

1611 0605 Alabama 55444 (m)

1625 0638 Marconist 35443-45444 (q)

1620 0641 Noordster 55555 (q)

1620 0645 Kleine Jopie 24432, 34443 at 0705 (q)

1622 0648 Hemmeling 44444 (q)

1512 0702 Kameleon 34333 (m)

1629 0724 Polka Express 35443 (m) 

1647 0739 Avia 35333 (m)

1616 0740 Waterman 22422 (m)

1655 0758 Belladonna 35333 (m)

1638 0805 Eigen Risico 34333 (m)

1665 1131 Professor Sickbock 25322 (m) 

1687 1530 Witte Reus weak signal (t)

1647 1531 Witte Tornado 55444-55555 (m)

1635 1531 Marskramer 35443 (m)

1620 1738 Derde Man 35333 (m)

1655 1800 Belladonna 35443 (m)

1685 1807 Digitaal 45444 (m)

1625 1828 Sapporo 34433 (m)

1615 1837 Batavier 24222 (m)

1638 1846 Boogschutter 24322 (m)

1671 1901 Technical Man 55444 (t)

1635 1932 Barones 55444 (m)

1625 2040 Turftrekker 45444 (m)

1656 2043 Arizona 23432 (m)

1621 2118 Ros Am 54444 (t)

1655 2224 Witte Raaf 44444 (m)


Observations

  • Another interesting day on the band, kicking off with some early morning listening. First up was Rietvink coming in loud and clear - perhaps the best I’ve ever heard him - on 1625 kHz while Telefunken was also spinning some tunes on 1647 kHz. Alabama then joined in the fun on 1611 kHz with a killer signal and a music programme I could still hear well after 0800 local time.

  • Good to catch an appearance from Kameleon on 1512 kHz, a frequency that was once very well used by the pirates but which does not see so much action these days.
  • While signals started to fade away at around 0830, they were back just a few hours later when I heard Professor Sickbock on 1665 kHz.

  • Witte Reus was doing some low-power testing during the afternoon and managed to hear his five-watt carrier in Finland. I could also hear it at my location with some fragments of audio, so everything there seems to be working well. I was sent these pictures while he was live on air:



  • Many of the Dutch MW pirates monitor their signals on various SDRs around Europe while they are on air, and sometimes this can lead to some fun and games. A few years ago you would switch on your transmitter and then have no idea what was happening on the frequencies around your own, but nowadays thanks to technology pirates are clued up. So much so that they like to compare signals and audio, and tonight Barones and Technical Man were on air at the same time, with similar power, similar antennas and also exactly the same music at the same time! Both were very strong here but with subtle differences to the audio, and it was fascinating to compare. 

Saturday, January 9, 2021

1675 1211 Digitaal 35443 (m)

1617 1217 Black Molly 25442-35443 (m)

1645 1220 Turfsteker 25332 (m)

1660 1223 Caballero 45444 (q) report for Digitaal

1660 1227 Concorde 25442-35443 (q)

1628 1228 Vendor 24332, 35443 at 1331 (m)

1660 1236 Spanningzoeker 45444 (q)

1656 1250 Arizona weak signal (m)

1643 1256 Nachtrijder weak signal (m)

1647 1257 Nachtzwerver 25342-35443 (t) mod test

1647 1308 Spakenburg 25442-45444, 55555 at 1340 (q)

1645 1318 Admiraal 25332-35443 (q)

1674 1332 Veen Piraat (Noordzee) 45444 (q)

1655 1401 Eigen Risico 35333 (m)

1660 1415 Dutchman 25332 (m)

1655 1438 Telefunken 25332-35443 (m)

1635 1454 Schaduwjager 55555 (r)

1637 1456 Wegpiraat 35443-45444 (q)

1638 1502 Osaka 34343 (q)

1640 1505 Schaduwjager 54444-55555 (q)

1625 1732 Uniek 35443 (m)

1633 1732 Dolfijn 45444 (m)

1670 1756 Matrix 25332 (m)

1647 1757 Armada 44444 (t)

1629 0029 Blauwe Koe 45444 (t)

1655 0030 Yogi Bear en Einstein 55444-55555 (m)


Observations

  • Another great afternoon on the band with signals audible from just after midday. Turfsteker was running around 75 watts yet coming in really well, and there was a nice catch of Nachtrijder on 1643 kHz with a carrier power of just 15 watts.

  • The most impressive signal of the afternoon came from Spakenburg. He has long wanted to achieve a maximum sinpo rating of 55555 with me, and he hit that today. I never expected it would be possible to achieve such reception at only 1pm in the afternoon and some three hours before sunset, but he was blasting on and I made this recording. I used my mobile phone to capture the sound, so the quality is not perfect, but you can still hear just how strong the signal was. The reception was even more impressive when you consider Spakenburg was running at just half of his maximum transmitter power and with his antenna at just 11 metres, somewhat lower than is possible.


  • It was good to hear Caballero for the first time in a long while, and that is one of the benefits of these great conditions - it is currently possible for me to hear stations who tend to broadcast sporadically and mostly during the daytime. When the usual window I have for reception of the Dutch MW pirates is so much smaller, the range of stations I can hear is therefore also limited.

  • My evening ended with hearing Blauwe Koe testing his audio on 1629 kHz and then listening to a monster signal from Friesland on 1655 kHz courtesy of Yogi Bear en Einstein. The audio quality was also most impressive.


Friday, January 8, 2021

1620 1617 Derde Man 25222-35443 (m)

1635 1618 Rebel 25332-35333 (m)

1656 1621 Nachtzwerver 24332 (q)

1645 1622 Noordzee 44444-55444 (q)

1646 1628 Dageraad 24322 (q)

1645 1643 Turfsteker 35333 (q)

1629 1645 Vrije Vogel 24222  (m)

1640 1720 Ros Am 55444 (m)

1674 1722 Digitaal 45444 (m)

1670 1748 Vonkentrekker 23222 (m)

1662 1844 Concorde 34333 (m)

1611 1910 Admiraal 44444 

1645 1927 Vossenjager 44444 (m)


Observations

  • Nice to hear Rebel from Drenthe for the first time in a while. As is the case with a good number of stations I’ve heard recently, his signal was the best I have ever heard from him. Propagation conditions have certained helped, but he told me he has been working on his antenna, and it shows, He was running just 90 watts of power and hitting my location with a peak sinpo of 35333.

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