Category Archives: Pirate Radio

Global HF Pirate Weekend and the 2015-2016 Pirate Radio Annual

Hammarlund-HQ-120X-DialLightMany thanks to Andy Yoder, author of the Pirate Radio Annual, who writes:

I thought maybe you’d be interested in info about the upcoming Global HF weekend. This event was run a few years ago, with the concept of friendship and cooperation among stations and listeners from around the world. Successful tests would give the stations new listeners in different parts of the world and listeners the chance to hear new stations.

November 5-6, 2016

General frequency ranges:
15010-15100 kHz
21455-21550 kHz

Basic schedule:
European morning, 0800-1200 UTC from Europe to Asia/Japan/Oceania.
European afternoon, 1200-1600 UTC from Europe to North American and vice versa.
European night, 2200-2400 UTC from North America to Asia/Oceania.

Of course, these are general frequency ranges where pirates have broadcast during prior Global HF Pirate weekends. Some stations will surely operate on frequencies and times outside of these ranges. These will be updated on HF Underground and on the Hobby Broadcasting blog ( as schedules are received from stations.

Thank you, Andy! I’ll certainly set aside radio time on the weekend of November 5-6 for pirate radio listening! If conditions are favorable, this could be an excellent time to log some Euro as well as domestic pirates!

Speaking of pirate radio and Andrew Yoder…

2015-16 Pirate Radio Annual


Pirate radio is perhaps one of the most dynamic aspects of the diverse landscape of SWLing. In direct contrast with major broadcasters, many of whom are now thinning out their offerings, pirate radio just seems to adapt and grow.

I’ve had Andy’s latest Pirate Radio Annual (PRA) since my return from Canada in August. I read through much of the volume the first night I received it. I especially love exploring the extensive pirate station profiles.

In short: If you’re a fan of pirate radio, the Pirate Radio Annual is a must.

Not only is this book, which explores the pirate radio scene, well written and insightful, it is chock-full of information. It’s a bit like the programming section of the former Passport to Worldband Radio, only focused on pirates. The book also comes with an accompanying audio samples CD.  Andy Yoder, the author, has been covering the pirate scene for decades; he’s also the former publisher of hobbyist magazine Hobby Broadcasting and actively blogs about pirate radio on the Hobby Broadcasting Blog.

The 2015-16 Pirate Radio Annual is divided into several sections:

  • An intro to the guide which introduces the WGM feature
  • WGM: World’s Greatest Mistake
  • Pirate station classification
  • Global HF Pirate weekends
  • Profiles of pirate radio stations heard in 2014 and 2015, with an additional section on international pirates heard in North America
  • An index for the included audio CD

At $16.95, it’s also very affordable. You can order the 2015-16 Pirate Radio Annual from Universal Radio.

Thanks, Andy, for putting together such a quality publication!

China’s campaign to eliminate pirate radio


Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ken Hansen (N2VIP), who shares a link to the following news item on BGR India:

China to crackdown on unauthorised radio broadcasts

Reportedly, in a national campaign aided by more than 30,000 airwave monitors, in over past six months, more than 500 sets of equipment for making unauthorised radio broadcasts were seized in China.[…]

“The broadcast power of pirate radio stations can be 2,500 to 5,000 watts, which is several hundred of times that of commercial radio, and the signal can be received 300 km away,” the China Daily reported citing the department as saying. Pirate radios may also pose a threat to communication between aircraft pilots and ground controllers as their frequency band neighbours that of flight navigation signals and can create interference, the department said.
Under Chinese law, the unauthorised use of radio frequency bands can attract up to seven years in prison.

Click here to read the full story…

The “Hidden Den” of Pirate Radio


Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Martin Kraft, who writes:

Where’s the hidden den of pirate radio? The Caribbean? The South China Sea? Nope, according to RadioWorld, it’s the New York City metro area:

NYSBA: 76 Pirate Stations in New York, Northern N.J.

A number of pirate stations are operating throughout New York City and Northern New Jersey, according to a recent engineering survey that was recently unveiled by the New York State Broadcasters Association.

According to the survey, 76 stations are currently operating without an FCC license in four primary locations. There are 19 unauthorized stations in the Bronx, N.Y.; 29 in Brooklyn, N.Y.; 13 in Newark, N.J.; and 15 in Paterson, N.J. Brooklyn saw a 58% increase in the number of pirate stations compared to a similar survey conducted in 2015.

The survey does observe that it has likely underestimated the number of pirate stations in the area, and that the total number could be more than 100.

“Like our previous studies, the new survey provides compelling evidence that the FCC needs to address this problem,” said David Donovan, president of the NYSBA. “Last summer, the entire New York Congressional delegation asked the FCC to fix the problem. While the FCC has published an Enforcement Advisory, it needs to devote the manpower and resources to increase its enforcement efforts. Moreover, Congressional action will be important to assist the FCC in these efforts.”

The potential harms associated with pirate stations include: interference to Broadcast Emergency Alert Services; interference to FAA frequencies; and failure to comply with RF radiation rules of licensed broadcast stations.

The survey was conducted by engineering firm Meintel, Sgrignoli and Wallace. The full study can be found here.

Thank you, Martin!

When I visit my buddy David Goren in Brooklyn, I’m simply amazed at the diversity of the pirate radio scene on the FM band. When David isn’t surfing the shortwaves, he’s logging local pirate radio stations. Check out his Facebook page: Flatbush Pirate Decoder. David most recently presented a program on the NYC pirate scene at the 11th HOPE conference–you can download a recording of the presentation here.

A Great Pirate QSL Card!


Here’s a great example of a QSL report from Pirate Station X-FM Stereo Shortwave monitored Halloween 2015. Not only is it a beautiful card, Redhat (the Deejay) also included the playlist as a .txt attachment.

As I recall he also made live announcements of who had left reception reports/comments on the HF Underground forum as well as for those who sent him emails directly.

I sent a short recording as part of my reception report, and it was an added bonus to see that mentioned in his QSL card.

I am quite impressed with all the effort made to turn out a quality QSL card, but a Pirate transmitting in stereo obviously appreciates quality!!

Pirate Radio receptions are memorable events on their own, but the QSL cards really make them special! Happy Pirate hunting!

Robert Gulley, AK3Q, is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Robert also blogs at All Things Radio.

Reserve your copy of the 2015-2016 Pirate Radio Annual


Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Tom Ally, who shares the following announcement from Andrew Yoder’s Hobby Broadcasting blog:

The 2015-16 Pirate Radio Annual is now nearly finished and I’m taking advance orders for copies of the book. I’ve had the CD ready for a while now (although I need to start burning copies). I started laying out the PRA about a month ago, then realized last week that my column margins were too narrow, so I re-set it. Just finished the cover tonight and the files are going to the printer tomorrow. From there, the finished books should be ready in 4-6 weeks.

In case you are wondering what the Pirate Radio Annual is, it’s a paperback book with an 5.5″ x 8.5″ trim size. This is the 6th edition. Each are divided into two parts: the first is pirate radio “articles” and the second part of the book is a listing of entries on North American shortwave pirate stations that were reported in the past year (and also European pirates that were reported in a large portion of North America). The book contains images from dozens of stations + contact information, URLs of websites, etc. Because this year’s edition is running long, I cut back on the “articles” in this year’s edition . . . WGM: World’s Greatest Mistake and the updates for next two Global HF Pirate weekends.
This year’s edition is 230 pages (34 pages longer than the last edition) and contains an audio CD-R with sample tracks of audio from pirates from the past year. 92 different stations (up 20 from last year) are represented on the CD….although the recording is on a CD-R, it is an audio CD that can be played in standard CD players, computers, etc. BTW, after creating hundreds of these CDs, I heard from one reader that the CD wouldn’t fit properly in his slot-loading Mac computer. If you want to use it in one of these computers or device with a narrow slot, let me know and I can send your CD without a label.

If you want an advance copy, the price until August 7 is $16 + $3 shipping ($19) to the United States. I’m not yet sure if the extra 34 pages will affect the shipping cost to the rest of the world. I should probably wait until the copies arrive so that I can check the shipping cost/weight to Europe/Australia/Canada/etc., rather than guessing and posting an amount that’s totally inaccurate, so I appreciate your patience while I get it figured out.
Also, I found a less-expensive printer for this edition. When I was offering advance copies at the Winterfest, I thought it’d be more expensive than it wound up being. So, if you advance ordered at the Winterfest, I’ll be returning $1 with your copy.

You can either send a check or money order in US funds to:

Cabinet Communications
PO Box 109
Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17214

or you can send the $ via PayPal to info /at/

I buy each issue of the Pirate Radio Annual, so I’ll order my copy ASAP. Thanks again for the tip, Tom!

What is the Pirate Radio Annual? Check out on of my reviews.