Sunday, January 14, 2024

Second update of the year

Greetings from the radio room high in the sky in the centre of the UK, where I have been busy listening to lots of Dutch pirates since the turn of the year. I promised to update the blog more often during 2024 than I managed last year, so I'm staying true to my word with my second update of the year. Here's what I've heard recently:

Freq Time Station name SINPO (type of broadcast)

Sunday, January 14, 2024

1647 1723 Moonbreaker 44444 (m)

1621 1724 Soto 35443 (m)

1638 1724 Kleine Beer 24442 (m)

1638 2210 Bluebird 55444 (m)

1645 2212 Nachtzwerver 34333 (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


  • I switched on the radio this evening to find three stations on air. I soon got some identifications, finding out Soto was using 1621 kHz, Moonbreaker was broadcasting on 1647 kHz, and that low-power pirate Kleine Beer was on 1638 kHz. I have heard the Little Bear a few times recently but I didn’t know anything about him and his station. However, I made contact with him through WhatsApp this evening and he tells me that he runs just 100 watts of power, with his coil antenna standing at nine metres high. Many of the Dutch pirates have antennas at great height which often explains why their signals get out so well. However, although the Kleine Beer’s antenna is not so high (the coil sits just above the top of his house), he is still getting a good signal across the North Sea and he was very happy with my report. He even sent across some photos to share with you, and you can see the studio, transmitter and power meter here:

Saturday, January 13, 2024

1641 1634 Turftrekker 35533-45444, 55555 at 2057 (m)

1629 1649 Tarzan 25332 (m)

1620 1756 Philadelphia 25232 (m)

1620 1833 Delfzijl 44444 (m)

1629 1842 Blauwe Fazant 35333 (m)

1635 1912 Schaduwjager 45444-55555 (m)

1655 2009 Kristal 35443-55444 (m)

1665 2036 Technical Man 45444 (m)

Wednesday, January 10 2024

1638 1802 Mike 45444-55555 (m)

1647 1807 Dikke Berta 45444 (m)

1660 1857 Black Power 35333 (m)

1638 1929 Kleine Beer 25332 (m)

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

1632 1403 Dutchman weak signal (m)

1638 1448 Dikke Berta weak signal

1665 1645 Digitaal 45444-55555 (m)

1629 1646 Optimod 45444 (t)

1638 1647 San Antonio weak signal (m)

1615 1736 Waterman 25322 (m)

1650 1749 Stem vanaf Drenthe 35333-45444 (q) report for Optimod

1665 1756 Armada weak signal (m)

1622 1829 Polkaman weak signal (m)

1640 1841 Nachtrijder weak signal (m)

1620 1934 Marianne 44444 (m)

1665 1946 Kleine Man 45444 (m)

1638 2000 Luka 25222 (m)

Monday, January 8, 2024

1632 1529 Dutchman weak signal-25322 (m)

1620 1529 Zwarte Boekanier 25322 (m)

1646 1534 Eigen Risico weak signal-25322 (m)

1640 1635 Studio Friesland 25442 (q)

1629 1640 Stem van Twente 24332-35443 (m)

1620 1712 Monza 25332-35443 (t)

1637 1712 Lotus 45444-55555 ( r)

1635 1746 Bonanza 35333 (q)

1640 1748 Casablanca 45444-55555 (t)

1629 1748 Schaduwjager 55444-55555 (q)

1631 1754 Lotus 55444-55555 (q)

1640 1814 Nachtrijder weak signal-25322 (m)

1642 1935 Oldtimer 45444-55555 (m)

1629 1940 Mike 45444-55555 (t)

1665 1954 Armada 35333 (m)

1655 2020 Eigen Risico 35333 (m)


    • Again some cracking signals this evening and plenty of maximum sinpos. One of those belonged to Mike Radio, who was on air to test out a transmitter that he wants to sell! He gave out all the details during the broadcast, making this the first time I've heard a sales pitch on air!
    • The other big-hitters on air tonight were Oldtimer, Lotus, Schaduwjager and Casablanca. It's been a good while since I heard Hans from Emmen on my radio, so I made a little video of the reception:
    • As well as the power stations, there were some low-power operators on air, including Nachtrijder, who I don't hear very often and Studio Friesland, who I was hearing for the first time in several year.

    Sunday, January 7, 2024

    1635 1657 Moonbreaker 35443, 45444 at 1846  (m)

    1647 1657 Witte Tornado 35433 (m)

    1665 1658 Digitaal 45444-55555 (m)

    1656 1844 Delfzijl 45444 (m)

    1695 2210 Korenklopper 45444 (m)

    Saturday, January 6, 2024

    1629 2125 Turftrekker 35433-45444 (m)

    1675 2126 Technical Man 35443-45444 (m)

    1645 2127 Yogi Bear 44444-55555 (m)

    1665 2128 Digitaal 45444-55555 (m)

    1625 2140 Polkaman weak signal-23422 (m)

    1620 2156 Philadelphia weak signal-25422 (m)

    1629 2215 Blauwe Koe 45434-55555 (m) 


      • Some wonderful signals audible from the Netherlands this evening. Yogi Bear (1645 kHz), Digitaal (1665) and Blauwe Koe (1629) all hit the magical sinpo of 55555 during their broadcasts.

      Wednesday, January 03, 2024

      Happy New Year!

      I hope you all had the most wonderful Christmas and have started the new year in fine style. It has been a long while since I wrote on the blog, but it's more that time so often gets away from me than anything else. I've been listening to the radio most days, I've met up with great radio pals in the last few weeks and I have plenty to write about, so my resolution for 2024 is to update this blog as regularly as I can. Now, I have said this before and then failed, so I will be trying my very best this year!

      When I'm tuning the bands, this is where I can be found, hidden away at the top of the house. I have a variety of receivers here, and it's still all old-style - no SDRs. The radio I tend to use most of all is the Kenwood R-5000 but the piece of kit doing most of the work is the Wellbrook loop. The company who made this excellent apparatus closed down last year so I'm not sure what I will do when the antenna comes to the end of its life, but it's still going strong and I hope that is the case for many more years to come.

      As it has been so long since I last wrote on here, there is a lengthy gap in the log book. I'm not going to fill in all the missing dates, but I'll take it back to the beginning of December:

      Freq Time Station name SINPO (type of broadcast)

      Wednesday, January 3, 2024

      1674 1950 Korenbloem 24232 (m)

      1620 1953 King Kong 44444 (m)

      1629 1954 Delfzijl 55444 (m)

      1655 1954 Eigen Risico 25222- 35333 (m)

      1638 2019 Spakenburg 44444 (m)

      1638 2236 Montecarlo 35333-45444 (r) report for Spakenburg

      (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


        • Interesting to hear Radio Korenbloem this evening. His is a name that does not crop up too often for me, so when I find out that he is running only 90 watts this evening and with his antenna at only ten metres high, then it even more impressive that a listenable signal is arriving from across the North Sea on 1674 kHz.

        Tuesday, January 2, 2024

        1620 1950 Marianne 43433-45444 (m)

        1633 2210 Monte Carlo 34333 (m)

        Monday, January 1, 2024

        1638 1359 Alabama weak signal (m)

        1636 1555 Mi Amigo 25332, 35443 at 1623 (m)

        1512 1635 Buzz/Blackbeard 25322 (m)

        1647 1702 San Antonio weak signal (m)

        1636 1706 Bonanza 25222-35333 (m)

        1646 1741 Rietvink 35333, 45444 at 1849 (m)

        1620 1818 Marskramer 35333-45444 (m)

        1656 1849 Concorde 24332-34333 (m)

        1640 1913 Marconist 35333-45444 (m)

        1646 1924 Oldtimer 45444 (m)


        • The first day of a brand new year and the first thing I notice when switching on the receivers is that the noise level has dropped. People in the neighbourhood must have switched off their Christmas lights, so that’s a great boost for me when it comes to listening to the Dutch pirates. One of the most important things for listening, in my opinion, is a low noise level - get that down as far as possible and the signals will come through, even from those stations running very low power.
        • At just before 2pm in the UK I can hear traces of Alabama on 1638 kHz. A couple of hours later he is somewhat stronger and, when he ends the broadcast, Mi Amigo switches his transmitter on to 1636 kHz. A little later I hear Rietvink on 1646 kHz from the Veluwe and, when he closes down, station Marconist from the same region switches on to 1640 and spins an interesting collection of records, including plenty of British music. I always enjoy it when stations co-operate on the frequencies in this way - it shows a lovely collaborative spirit and proves that by and large the pirate family is a nice place to reside.
        • Later in the evening, Turftrekker was busy playing music on 1642 kHz. I missed this, but my comrade Nigel in the centre of the UK was listening and made this ace video of his reception:

        Sunday, December 31, 2023

        1645 1758 Barones (m)

        1655 1759 Eigen Risico 24322 (m)

        1620 1839 Rebel 24222 (m)


        • It's always good to hear Radio Barones on my radio, especially on the last day of the year as we reflect on what has gone by. Baro was one of the first pirates I met in the Netherlands, and that was now over 30 years ago! Nice to see his signal is getting out well, as this recording from YouTuber AlexBLR in Belarus - some 1,500 Km away - demonstrates:

        Friday, December 29, 2023

        1638 1907 Alabama 45444 (m)

        1620 1907 Philadelphia weak signal-25332 (m)

        1629 1907 Bizon 44444 (m)

        1630 2143 Polkaman weak signal-24332 (m)

        1635 2216 Electron 25332 (m)

        1635 2332 Pandora 35333-45434 (r) report for Electron


        • The best signal of the evening belonged to Alabama. Here's a taster of how he was received here:

        Thursday, December 28, 2023

        1620 2134 Marskramer 35443 (m)

        1629 2135 Delfzijl 34333-45444 (m)

        1645 2135 Kristal 35443 (m)

        1656 2135 Spakenburg 45444 (m)

        1670 2135 Blauwe Koe 45444 (m)

        1630 2233 Polkaman weak signal-25322 (m)

        Monday, December 25, 2023

        1512 1635 Buzz FM 24432 (m)

        1629 1636 Musky 25332-35333 (m)

        1636 1645 Twee Gebroeders 24332-35333 (m)

        1655 1654 Turfsteker 24222 (t)

        1629 2045 Orban 44444-55555 (m)

        1644 2050 Blauwe Koe 35333-45444 (t)

        1655 2103 Eigen Risico 25332-35333 (m)


          • Christmas Day 2023 and I’ve slipped away to the radios before we eat. It’s dark here in the UK now and my first stop on the dial is 1512 kHz where I am expecting to hear my old mate Buzz FM. He’s been a regular on MW recently and his signal can get out pretty well, particularly earlier in the evening. Sure enough, I hear the classic 90s dance music on the frequency and I know I have found him. The signal is peaking pretty nicely and I send him a reception report which he is grateful to receive.
          • Further up the band I hear music on 1620 kHz, 1629 and 1636. Now comes the game I enjoy - finding out which stations are the ones I can hear. Back in the good old days, the only way to do this was to listen and to wait, but there are various other avenues open to us these days. I do often listen to a particular frequency for a decent length of time, but I also enjoy IDing stations, so I’m often checking the various WhatsApp groups I am in, and also checking in with other listening friends in the UK and the Netherlands to see what they can hear. We then often take a different frequency each and wait for the station identification.
          • The station on 1636 kHz reveals itself to be Twee Gebroeders from Twente. They are a Christmas regular with long programmes on the frequency and there is a good chance they will be on the channel for the next few days.
          • After a few minutes a signal arrives on 1655 kHz and I listen to some music before finding out it is Radio Turfsteker with a short test transmission. 
          • After food time I pop back to the radio and find out that 1629 was Musky, but there is another station on the frequency now with a booming signal and awesome modulation, while on 1644 kHz is Blauwe Koe coming in loud and clear.

          Sunday, December 24, 2023

          1655 2150 Oliebollenbakkers 45444 (m)

          1512 2155 Buzz FM 25322-35333 (m)

          1638 2156 Moonlight 24332 (m)

          1647 2157 Witte Tornado 35333 (m)

          1633 2202 Eigen Risico 24232 (m)


            • I never like to wrap Christmas presents too early. In fact, it’s almost a tradition that I leave it until Christmas Eve and then do the job while my radio is switched on and the Dutch pirates are blaring out. Today was no exception. At nearly 10pm local time I am up in the radio room making the presents for my wife look pretty while listening to a big signal on 1655 kHz. Now, regular listeners to this part of the band at this time of year will know that a station on this frequency at night time during the festive season almost certainly belongs to the Oliebollenbakkers. And sure enough, it turns out to be them. Oliebollen is a traditional doughnut eaten at this time of the year and the name is one used by a group of stations in Friesland who get together over Christmas - mainly Yogi Bear, Dr Einstein, Relmus and Batavier, together with various others who visit the studio. Many beers are consumed over the course of these broadcasts as the pirates enjoy themselves behind the scenes. What we don’t know is how many oliebollen are actually eaten while the transmitter is on air!
            • Daytime reception of the Dutch pirates on 1.6 MHz is quite rare at this location, although it does happen sometimes. Facebook can be handy to find out who is on air when conditions don't allow me to hear first-hand, and there can also be some insights from behind the scenes - like this video posted from Zwarte Boer today:

            Tuesday, December 12, 2023

            1665 1640 Digitaal 45444 (m)

            1654 1736 Noordzee 25222

            1620 1806 Robin Hood 23322 (m)

            1639 1808 Bonanza 35333 (m)

            1655 1808 Eigen Risico 25222-35333 (m)

            1628 1809 Al Capone 24222 (m)

            1620 1930 Marianne 45444 (m)

            1638 1935 Bluebird 45444 (m)

            1575 2030 Melkbus 25322 testing

            Monday, December 11, 2023

            1636 1555 Calipso 25222-35333 (m) stream via Mi Amigo

            1626 1605 Zwarte Boekanier 25232 (m)

            1665 1659 Josje Power 35333 (t)

            1620 1701 Zwarte Man 35333-45444 (m)

            1660 1702 Ijsvogel 35333 (q)

            1630 1708 Schaduwjager 45444 (q)

            1620 1900 Black Power 35333-45444 (m)

            1629 1903 Columbia 35333-45434 (m)

            1647 1904 Nachtzwerver 24222-35443 (m)

            1636 1928 Glimlach van Twente (Mi Amigo) 45434 (t)

            1656 1953 Eigen Risico 35333 (m)

            1640 2240 Monte Carlo 35333 (q)

            1635 2304 Pandora 45434 (m)

            Saturday, December 9, 2023

            1620 1801 Torpedojager NWO 25222 (m)

            1628 1843 Mi Amigo 25222-35333 (m)

            1655 1843 Oliebollenbakkers 45444 (m)

            Friday, December 8, 2023

            1646 1450 Digitaal 25342 (m)

            1632 1624 Dutchman weak signal (m)

            1665 1644 Josje Power 25222-35333 (m)

            1640 1644 Musky weak signal (m)

            1629 1644 Vrolijke Mijnwerker 35333 (m)

            1620 1720 King Kong 45444 (m)

            1645 1802 Baanbreker 25232 (q).

            1629 1834 Dikke Berta 35333-45434, 55555 at 1907 (t)

            1645 1900 Quintus 35333 (t)

            1653 1907 Nachtzwerver 25322-35333 (m)

            1667 2310 Monte Carlo 35333 (m)

            1638 2313 Tarzan 25222 (m)

            1655 2313 Nachtzwerver 25222 (m)


              • It’s been a long time since I heard anything from the Netherlands on 1.6 MHz during the afternoon, so today I was delighted to hear music on 1646 before 3pm local time. With music from Londonbeat and The Spencer Davis Group playing away, the signal was by no means strong, but with minimal fading it was listenable, and turned out to be afternoon/evening regular Digitaal actually using a slightly unconventional frequency for him as he is often up at 1670 kHz and higher.

              Thursday, December 7, 2023

              1665 2040 Delfzijl 45434 (q)

              1620 2145 Professor Sickbock 45434 (m)

              1674 2146 Digitaal 45434-55444 (m)

              1647 2205 Moonlight 25322-35333 (m)