List of seasonal shortwave radio pirates

2013PaisanoQSL-Witherspoon112

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader Chris Smolinski who shares a link to this listing of  “seasonal” shortwave pirates–pirates that are usually only heard one or two days out of the year: http://www.radiohobbyist.org/blog/?p=1725

I love logging seasonal pirates–at least, when I remember to tune in! For example, Radio Paisano [see QSL above] only airs around Columbus Day.

Ofcom: Tackling pirate radio

London

This Ofcom press release focuses on the FM pirate radio scene in London–if interested, you might also check out this short documentary on London pirates.

(Source: Ofcom via Southgate ARC)

A new approach to tackling pirate radio has eradicated the problem in one London borough, and could save up to £1 million for Londoners by being rolled out across the capital.

Pirate radio harms local communities and the critical communications used by the emergency services. Ofcom, which manages radio frequencies, is hosting a summit on 3 November to explore the new approach to tackling the problem.

Pirate stations typically use high-rise buildings for their broadcasts, with illegal transmitters installed on rooftops or hidden in lift shafts. This damages residential properties owned by local authorities, disrupting residents’ lives and putting people at risk from falling equipment.

Ofcom has been working in north London, one of the UK’s most affected areas, with public housing body Homes for Haringey. In 2014, 19 pirate radio stations were illegally broadcasting in Haringey. By quickly removing their transmitters and regularly patrolling and securing rooftops, pirate radio has now been eradicated in the borough.

As a result, Homes for Haringey has saved £90,000 in enforcement and maintenance costs over the past year.

On 3 November, Ofcom is meeting with local authorities from across London to share the success of the Homes for Haringey partnership. If this collaborative and proactive approach is rolled out across the capital, local authorities stand to save an estimated total of £1 million per year.

Illegal broadcasting

Clive Corrie, Head of Ofcom’s Spectrum Enforcement team, said: “Illegal broadcasting harms local communities and risks lives by interfering with vital communications used by the emergency services and air traffic control.

“By working in partnership with local authorities, Ofcom is tackling this problem. We also strongly urge those broadcasting illegally to get involved with internet or community radio, a legitimate route on to the airwaves.”

Astrid Kjellberg-Obst, Executive Director of Operations at Homes for Haringey, said: “Pirate radio stations damage people’s homes and can be extremely distressing to our residents.

“We’ve seen huge success in tackling the problem with the measures that we’ve introduced, removing all pirate radio stations from Haringey and saving the borough tens of thousands of pounds in the process. We will continue to work with Ofcom to keep Haringey pirate-free.”

Harmful interference to emergency services

Pirate radio causes interference to critical radio services, including those used by the emergency services and air traffic control.

In 2014, the UK’s air traffic control service NATS has reported 55 cases of communications interference from pirate radio.

Ofcom also receives reports each week from the emergency services and other, legitimate radio services of illegal interference.

Ofcom has powers to seize illegal broadcasting equipment and prosecute those involved.

Accessible, legal alternatives to get on to the airwaves

For anyone wanting to broadcast a radio station, Ofcom offers accessible, legal alternatives to get on to the airwaves. Since 2005, Ofcom has issued community radio licenses, enabling small stations across the UK to get on-air right and serve their local communities. More than 200 community radio services are now broadcasting.

Ofcom is also supporting a new, innovative way for smaller stations to broadcast on digital radio. If tests are successful the system, called ‘small scale DAB’, promises to open up digital radio to smaller broadcasters for a fraction of current costs.

UVB-76: The Buzzer surfaces on 6,998 kHz

Photo: Andrea Borgnino

Image: Andrea Borgnino

My buddy, Andrea Borgnino, recently heard UVB-76 (The Buzzer) on 6,998 kHz with his Elecraft K3 in Italy. Check out this short video:

While the audio sounds identical to that of UVB-76’s on 4,625 kHz. I strongly suspect this is simply a pirate radio station relay–especially since it’s broadcasting just below the 40 meter ham radio band. Either way, it’s a great catch! Thanks for sharing, Andrea!

Halloween 2015: Chris charts pirate radio activity

SX-99-Dial-Nar

Many thanks to Chris Smolinski, from the HF Underground, who has crunched some numbers from North American pirate radio loggings on Halloween. The number of pirates (and his charts with times and frequencies) are most impressive and informative.

Chris posted the following on the HF Underground and has kindly allowed me to share them here as well. Chris notes:

Here are two charts showing who-was-on-when-and-where this Halloween.

The first one is for Friday night:

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

And the second is Halloween (Saturday) night:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Tune in: Halloween weekend is a pirate radio playground!

Haloween-Pirate-Radio

Halloween is typically the most active day of the year for shortwave pirates…so, here are three things you’ll want to do this Halloween:

  1. Listen for pirate radio stations this weekend!  Turn on your radio anytime this weekend, but especially around twilight and tune between 6,800 – 6,990 kHz. Pirates broadcast on both AM and SSB; you’re bound to hear a few. For a comprehensive primer on pirate radio listening, check out this post.
  2. Note what pirate stations are being logged–in real time–on the HF Underground pirate radio forum. This is a very active community of pirate radio listeners; I often check the latest loggings to discover frequencies where stations have surfaced. Click here to view the HF Underground pirate radio forum. Posting to the forum requires registration and approval by the moderator (so do this in advance!).
  3. Check out Andrew Yoder’s pirate radio blog with its deceptively simple title, the Hobby Broadcasting blog. Andrew is the author of the Pirate Radio Annual and a guru on shortwave pirate radio. He’s already logged a few mid-week, pre-Halloween pirates. Bookmark his site while you’re at it!

Happy Halloween to all! 

Shortwave Radio Recordings: Radio Spaceshuttle International

Space_Shuttle_Atlantis-NASA

SWLing Post and SRAA contributor, Jim Clary (ND9M/VQ9JC), recorded the following final broadcast of Radio Spaceshuttle International while on board a US Navy ship off the coast of Rota, Spain. Jim notes:

I was packing up to leave my ship and return to the USA this week when the latest SWLing Post e-mail showed up with info about SSR’s final broadcast literally seven minutes before he was to come on the air. I’d already broken down the receiving gear, but it came back together in record time, and I was able to get the recorder going with a minute before the transmission started.

Click here to download Jim’s recording as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below. Note that Jim’s recording starts a few minutes before the broadcast begins:

Jim, thanks so much for putting all of your receiver and recording kit back together to make this recording!

Radio Spaceshuttle International: another attempt at a final broadcast

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I just received word from Dick at Radio Spaceshuttle International. Last week, they had technical difficulties which prevented them from transmitting their final broadcast.

Fortunately, RSI is making a third(!) attempt to get the show on the air. Dick has informed me that Radio Spaceshuttle International will broadcast tomorrow (Sunday) September 20 from 19:00-20:00 UTC on 13,600 kHz.

By the way, I asked Dick why he was leaving the air. He told me that it’s simply a matter of time–something he has in short supply right now. Will RSI return to the air sometime in the future? Dick responds:

So, I shall not say final goodbyes…. Hopefully Radio Spaceshuttle will return “on some sunny weekend”

Very good.  We’ll be listening! Speaking of which, I will make an effort to hear the RSI broadcast tomorrow, State side, if propagation is in my favor.

Let’s hope the third time is the charm!