Category Archives: Pirate Radio

Radio Caroline to broadcast on 648 kHz mediumwave

(Source: Southgate ARC and Mike Terry)

Caroline to be on 648 kHz with 1 kW ERP

We can now announce that our AM frequency will be 648 kHz with a power of 1000 watts. This is ERP or simply the power radiated by the aerial.

A transmitter was imported from the Continent a few days ago and is now being modified to suit the frequency. There are further hurdles, but as you can see progress is being made.
http://www.radiocaroline.co.uk/#home.html

It’s taken Radio Caroline 53 years to get an AM licence and it was perceived as a threat to the BBC for many years.

Ironically 648 kHz was best known for transmitting the BBC World Service in English around the clock on 648 kHz from September 1982 until March 2011 from the Orfordness transmitting station on the Suffolk coast.

RadioWorld: FCC Puts Pirate Activity in Spotlight

(Source: RadioWorld via Bill Patalon)

Over the course of two days in May, the Federal Communications Commission took action on four allegedly unlicensed pirate radio operators.

In all these cases — one in Mount Vernon, N.Y., one in Dallas and three in a single location in East Orange, N.J. — the FCC reiterated that operating radio transmitting equipment at certain levels without a valid station is against the law, ordered them all to shut down, laid out the potential ramifications and gave each a window in time for them to explain their actions in writing.

Pirate radio has been a renewed point of concern for broadcasters in the United States, with recent debate over the possible impact of cuts in field offices and with Commissioner Michael O’Rielly keeping a spotlight on the problem.

Continue reading at RadioWorld…

A Radio Laser 558 revival

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dave Porter, who writes:

Radio Laser aka Laser 558 was an 80’s pirate station off the coat of England. Looks like one of the main movers is hosting a revival.

Dave shared the following email from Laser 558:

7 April 2017

Dear David,

Hopefully you have now had chance to read through Radio Adventures of the Communicator book? I hope you enjoyed reading and it was informative? I am interested to hear any comments, questions or suggestions you might have.

There is still considerable mileage in the Laser brand – hobby pirates using the Laser brand enjoy considerable success.
You don’t need me to tell you how successful Laser was. Few of us in the 1980s thought the memories would last so long, yet hundreds have bought my recent books about Laser, and many would like to work on a new Laser project. Maybe it’s because interest in 80s music has never been higher, or maybe deep down, everyone wants to be a pirate, even if only at weekends!

Our project is to Relaunch Laser
I’ve joined with other broadcast professionals to relaunch the Laser project from a ship. We believe that a reborn Laser venture would be economically viable, and it will be fun and exciting as well as profitable. A “little bit of naughtiness” invariably gives a project a whiff of extra desirability, it attracts more interest from anyone with a freedom-loving rebellious streak. The original Laser team and I were already aware of this when planning the station in 1983 and that basic tenet is just as true today. This is however 100% legal.

I felt that you would want to be involved and not miss this wonderful opportunity. The chance of a lifetime to be part of an exciting fun project. YOU could be working with experienced Laser engineers and some of her best known DJs. This is a golden opportunity to be a part of a radio venture on board a ship; one that the public can visit and get enthusiastic about.

The Pirate Ship
Our ship is chartered, licensed and insured for the public to visit and can berth in any of five dozen harbours and docks around the UK. Both radio and TV studios are being constructed on board along with a public performance area. With on board dining facilities, it means our audience can join us to experience life on board and enjoy a live performance by one of the artists recording that week. As well as recording facilities we are offering the ship for filming, just like the Radio Veronica ship in Amsterdam. The ship will be the main location for a feature length movie to be shot on board which the producers hope to expand into a TV series; we’ve seen some scripts and it’s very exciting. Members of our team may even be seen on screen!

This project is much more than just a radio station. We have been testing a Laser Tribute stream for some time and more recently our Laser TV Channel 558 has been streaming too. This will have both live and pre-recorded programmes. The music and videos showing on our ‘test transmissions’ now are taken from genuine 1980s Laser discs; we have a very wide library of all the hits from the era, and more, but Channel 558 will be more than just 80s. You can watch CHANNEL 558 right now on your computer or a smartphone – just click here or the test card at the top of this page. (some interesting adverts at :15 and :45!)

EVENTS
We’re currently lining up special events to publicise both the Pirate Ship and the radio brands:
Live Laser Lover Road Shows from various indoor and outdoor locations.
Laser Weekends at a UK Holiday Camp.
Laser Party Nights live from the radio ship each weekend.
BROADCAST EXPANSION
Programmes will be made available to local radio stations for rebroadcast, perhaps overnight. A DCMS consultation exercise currently taking place is expected to remove the restrictions on networking, which will substantially expand the possibilities of our daytime shows also being carried on other stations.

Our radio programmes will also be made available to the new local DAB muxes and we may take a channel on the national DAB, if reasonable terms can be agreed.

GOING FORWARD
What need to expand our team to include more help to help us relaunch LASER in some style and carry our plans out in full. The opportunities for this project are limitless, and this time around, its all legal! This exciting new opportunity is a metamorphosis of pirate radio into a legitimate and even more enjoyable operation; using today’s technology and communications capabilities, with a tried and tested brand identity.

News will be published HERE when we are ready to release it. I’m sure that you would like to be involved in what will be the most fun-packed radio party ever. If you confirm that you really ARE interested and we can take things from there.

Hope to hear further from you,

Best 73
Paul Rusling
Email: Paul@Laser558.eu

Many thanks, Dave, for sharing the news. Sounds like Laser 558 has some ambitious goals ahead!  Pretty amazing. We’ll continue to follow their progress.

FCC Commissioner pushing for aggressive pirate radio enforcement

Many thanks to an SWLing Post contributor who shares this FCC PDF document: Remarks of FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly Before the 2017 Hispanic Radio Conference, Fort Lauderdale, Florida March 28, 2017.

Note O’Rielly’s remarks regarding pirate radio enforcement in the south Florida radio market:

“Many of you may have heard me speak before about pirate radio, a huge problem here in South Florida and one that has a disproportionate impact on the Hispanic radio community. The failure to properly address it highlights a deficiency in the Commission’s enforcement tools and undermines our overall credibility. Today, these squatters are infecting the radio band at the expense of listeners of legitimate radio stations, causing great harm to emergency preparedness within covered areas and undercutting the financial stability of licensed radio stations, your stations.

To that point, I could use your assistance in batting down arguments that pirate radio stations are somehow training grounds for those seeking to enter the field or that these “stations” bring a unique service to primarily minority communities, and therefore should be left alone. Few people actually have your background, experience, and history of serving these important communities, so your voice and words would be a welcome rejoinder to these baseless claims.

On my part, just this morning, I spent some time with the FCC’s Miami Field Office to ring the figurative fire alarm on overall efforts to combat pirate radio stations. Quite frankly, I sought answers on why these stations weren’t already eradicated. In particular, I discussed their recent enforcement actions in this market, what obstacles they face in expediting cases, and what additional authority may be of assistance. I also raised the issue of whether the ability to seize pirate equipment found in common areas could aid their efforts. In addition, we discussed whether our current fines should be increased, and if imposing penalties on those that directly and intentionally facilitate pirate stations could be helpful. It was a very positive meeting, and I walked away with renewed belief that the Miami Team was up to the task. But, they are also on notice that I expect to see this situation addressed quickly and sufficiently.”

Click here to read Commissioner O’Reilly’s full remarks (PDF).

In addition, this reader notes a new job posting with the FCC for an enforcement officer:

https://fcc.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/466088000/

Global HF Pirate Weekend: March 30-April 2, 2017

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Andrew Yoder, who writes:

Just a reminder that the next Global HF Weekend is coming up: March 30-April 2, 2017

Finnish DXer Harri Kujala started the weekends (the 1st weekend of April & the 1st weekend of November) about five years ago & I said I’d write about them. The idea was for listeners in faraway areas to be able to hear broadcasts that normally would not be audible (or barely so)–all while promoting cooperation among those in the hobby. In those first GFWs, some transatlantic QSOs were established and stations from Europe & North America were reported in Russia, India, Ukraine, Japan, and other countries.

I’d expect that some stations will post schedules on HFU. I’ll also be tracking the broadcasts and schedules on my blog, so if any stations send schedules to me, I’ll post it, but without the station name: just date, time, frequency. This will be especially handy for those stations who choose to operate outside of Harri’s suggested 19m and 13m frequencies. Given the lack of sunspots and the low solar activity, 9, 11, 13, and 15 MHz might be better choices than 21 MHz.

Here’s the rest of the general info:

March 30-April 2, 2017
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 America 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 (https://www.hfunderground.com/) and on the Hobby Broadcasting (http://hobbybroadcasting.blogspot.com/) blog as it happens.