Tag Archives: Pirate Radio

FCC Commissioner outlines 2016 anti-pirate agenda

fcc-logoMany thanks to an anonymous SWLing Post contributor who writes:

The FCC released this material [yesterday]. It consists mainly of letters to various organizations to ask their members to avoid cooperating with unlicensed radio stations.

The concern is that real estate owners may be harboring unauthorized stations, and that businesses may support such stations with advertising funds.

I would point you to an interesting opinion on the subject by Prof. John Anderson:

O’Rielly Outlines Anti-Pirate Agenda for 2016

John references this recent YouTube video clip of a Congressional hearing where FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is questioned on the FCC’s enforcement efforts:

Again, I am not the source of the following material–the FCC is:


STMT. News Media Contact: Robin Colwell at (202) 418-2300, email: Robin.Colwell@fcc.gov  OCMO https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-338021A1.docx

Released:  03/01/2016.  FCC ENFORCEMENT ADVISORY: PERSONS OR BUSINESSES OPERATING “PIRATE” BROADCAST STATIONS ARE SUBJECT TO ENFORCEMENT ACTION. (DA No.  16-159)  This Enforcement Advisory discusses the rules that prohibit “pirate” radio, explains to the public at large what broadcast actions are illegal, why such activities may harm the public, and what do to in case someone suspects “pirate” broadcasts.  EB . News Media Contact: Will Wiquist at (202) 418-0509, email: Will.Wiquist@fcc.gov


Note that the bulk of this report focuses on FM/AM radio pirates in local markets rather than shortwave pirates (though I’m sure, on occasion, shortwave pirates are on the FCC radar).

Radio Caroline: A video diary of the weekend aboard the MV Ross Revenge

Ross-Revenge-CarolineMany thanks to Mike Terry who shared the following note and video via Facebook:

The great old days when the signal was mellow and radio waves were not blocked by buildings and hills and propagated beyond the horizon especially at night, it all added to the excitement. We would never have heard many of the great records of the 60s and later without this station! So many international stars made their name on the offshore stations around our coast 50 years or so ago. UK radio was changed for ever.

[Note: This video may only be viewable via Facebook or the SWLing Post site.]

2015 summary of shortwave pirate radio activity

pirateMany thanks to Chris Smolinski at HF Underground who has released his annual summary of shortwave pirate radio activity for 2015. The summary is built upon a computer script that parsed thread titles and timestamps of the messages from the HF Underground pirate radio board.

Message board activity based on the day of the week.

Message board activity based on the day of the week.

It’s a fascinating read and reinforces my belief that the HF pirate radio scene is certainly one of the most dynamic and active components of our shortwave radio listening hobby here in North America (and Europe). Thanks, Chris, for putting together this summary!

Click here to read the 2015 summary on HF Underground.

Make time for some holiday listening


Remember that there are some unique broadcasts to tune to today and throughout the holidays. Here are a couple of note:

Of course, many of your favorite international broadcasters will also have holiday specials throughout the week.

If you like pirate radio listening, you’re in for a treat as well. Typically, there are numerous shortwave pirates on the air during the holidays–especially on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

What? You’ve never tuned in a pirate station before? There’s no better time than now to log that first pirate! Click here to learn how.

Did anyone hear the Grimeton VLF broadcast earlier today? Though it’s nearly an impossible catch for me State side, I still tried. Sadly, a long line of (unseasonal) thunderstorms moved into the region and I was forced to unplug my large external loop antenna in the wee hours of the morning.  I hope they had a successful broadcast.


While we’re talking about radio and the holidays, I thought I’d also share this photo (above) that SWLing Post contributor, Mario Filippi sent in last week.

He and his wife made this cake for the annual office Christmas party. Mario comments:

“Since I am the ‘go to’ radio guy at work, we decorated the cake with various radio icons and slogans with the hope of putting smiles on everyone’s face.”

No doubt, your cake was a success!

Good cheer!

The SWLing Post has an international set of readers. While not everyone celebrates Christmas like my family, there seem to be many celebrations and festivals that happen this time of the year.

However you celebrate, here’s wishing you and yours the best of the season! 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

FCC: Remarks on the Growth of Pirate Radio

SX-99-Dial-NarMany thanks to SWLing Post reader, Bob, who writes:

Remarks on the Growth of Pirate Radio from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Communications and Technology Subcommittee, November 17, 2015:

“I know that this committee is concerned about pirate radio. During my tenure we have taken 280 enforcement actions against pirate radio, that’s in the last two years. Commissioner [Michael] O’Rielly has been a real leader in keeping us focused on this. We’re working with the NAB [National Association of Broadcasters] on a joint task force on pirate radio. But we need more tools.

“We’re playing whack-a-mole with pirate radio. Every time a pirate radio station pops up, we whack it. We need to have consequences for those who facilitate those stations popping up. The landlords who look the other way, because helping pirates is risk-free.

“Congress could make it illegal to aid or abet pirate radio operations. Denying them the opportunity to operate in this way would be a significant means of thwarting the continued growth of pirate radio.”