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!

Radio Spaceshuttle International final broadcast tomorrow

Space_Shuttle_Atlantis-NASA

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bill F., who shares this message from Dick (DJ Spacewalker) at Radio Spaceshuttle International:

Dear listeners,

Special announcement! Wish you all to be ready to listen very last transmission of Radio Spaceshuttle on 13600 kHz Sunday 13th of September 2015 [19:00-20:00 UTC].

Sad goodbye px with…

1. Results of 2015 Radio Spaceshuttle contest
2. Listeners corner- with musical requests
3. Special announcement from Radio Spaceshuttle International
4. Best ever Spaceshuttle music- worth of listening and recording.

This will be your “Once in Lifetime” change to hear Radio Spaceshuttle and sent reception report. Special e-mail QSL is ready to sent to you-you will got yours very soon after this transmission- if getting your report during Sunday- your QSL is on your post during Monday 7th of September.

Also reports wanted to our Herten Box- will be verified with printed QSL.

All older reports are under work for QSLs….

Many thanks for all regular listeners as well to new ones…. It has been so fun with you.

Your letters/reception reports are very welcome to our address in Herten:

Radio Spaceshuttle International
P.O.Box 2702
NL: 6049 ZG Herten
The Netherlands A little fee (2 euros) for return postage (for full
info printed QSLs) is needed!

I’m not sure if propagation will favor me here in eastern North America, so I’m hoping an SWLing Post reader or SRAA contributor can make an off-air recording of the show. (Hint, hint!)

Frank shares 1991 recordings and original notes of station IDs and interval signals

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SWLing Post reader, Frank, writes from Germany:

First let me say that I enjoy your blog a lot.

After a 2005-13 hiatus, I have rediscovered a childhood hobby and your reviews have helped me find my way to the post-Sony portable shortwave radio markets.

First, I obtained my “childhood dream” radio (Sony ICF 2001D), because at the time I made these recordings I was still in school and 1300 DM would have equaled over 1 year of pocket money, so a Supertech SR16HN had to do. I thought I got some fine results with this Sangean-Siemens re-branded receiver then, using a CB half-length antenna, a random wire, and much endurance.

The Supertech SR16HN (photo: Radiomuseum.com)

The Supertech SR16HN (photo: Radiomuseum.com)

I kept regular logs throughout the years, wrote to 50 international and pirate stations for QSL and compiled this cassette.

A few years before I got that trusty SR16HN, however, I recorded a few number stations (such as G3, Four Note Rising Scale etc) with an ordinary radio cassette recorder, and in 1991 I put them onto this tape as well. The other recordings are done with the same radio placed right in front of the SR 16HN.

Feel free to make use of these recordings. Most of it are the well-known international state-owned shortwave stations of the past; plus European pirates; plus number stations; and at the end, a few (off-topic) local Am and FM stations interval signals.

As I said, this collection I made shortly after the Wende/reunification period, when all former-GDR state broadcasters changed their names, sometimes more than once.

Please continue your good work on the blogs! Weather permitting I am often outside cycling and always have the tiny Sony ICF 100 with me (which I call my then-student’s dream radio of the later 90ies).

Cassette Side 1

Click to enlarge.

Frank’s original hand-written notes. Click to enlarge.

Click here to download Side 1, or listen via the embedded player below:

Cassette Side 2

Click to enlage.

Click to enlage.

Click here to download Side 2, or listen via the embedded player below:


Wow! Frank, what a treat to listen to all these station IDs!

I had forgotten how many interval signals have changed over time and how many, of course, have disappeared. This tape represents a flood of nostalgia for me.

I should add, too, that I’ve enjoyed hearing so many IDs in German. It’s funny, but we all get hooked on listening to language programming from our native or second languages. It makes me realize just how many broadcasters used to have German language services.

Again, many thanks, Frank, for taking the time to digitize these recordings and scan your original hand-written notes. This stuff is invaluable, in my book!

Labor Day weekend: a great time for pirate radio action

Arr2-D2-Pirate-RadioMonday, September 7, is Labor Day throughout most of North America; shortwave pirates love to operate on long holiday weekends (though you can hear them most any weekend for that matter).

So, if you’ve never heard a live pirate station on shortwave radio, this is a great opportunity to catch your first pirate!

Don’t know how/where to hear shortwave pirates? Check out this primer!

Feel free to comment with any Labor Day weekend loggings!

Radio Caroline and a crystal radio: “The making of a rebel”

Radio Caroline circa 1960's.

Radio Caroline circa 1960’s.

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader Mike, who shares a link to this story from the blog
République No.6:

Growing up in Piennes Lorraine, Radio Caroline the making of a rebel

[A]t night with my younger brother we would listen to a “pirate radio station” on a boat that would put real good music on, crusing the international waters between England and France. He burst in laughter and told me: That’s Radio Caroline“. That was it. My brother and I would listen to that station nearly every night on an old “galena radio receiver” with a huge antenna hidden in the attic built with copper wire we stole at the mine. I mean we didn’t really steal it, it was everywhere. It was the wires used by miners to connect detonators to batteries when blowing new tunnels and locals were using it for all sorts of things, like holding parts in chicken coop to tie tomato or green bean plants to stakes and could be found everywhere.

Actually at first we set the antenna in our bedroom but somehow it wasn’t long enough not to mention mom who saw it and tore it down giving her an other excuse to punish us. So we decide it to place it in the attic where no one ever went.

The most difficult part was going to the attic, there wasn’t any stairs. We had to bring a ladder to the trap leading to it. Mom was watching us like a hawk, looking for any excuses to punish us.[…]

Read the full story at République No.6.