Thursday night at 00:00 UTC, I was pleased to hear the interval signal of one of my favorite pirate radio stations: Radio Casablanca.
“Rick Blaine” fired up his AM transmitter and pumped out some amazing WWII era music on 6,940 kHz for well over one hour and a half. This is the first time I’ve been able to catch Radio Casablanca in well over a year (click here to listen to previous recordings).
Close your eyes and imagine what it must have been like to hear the great bands of the era over the shortwaves…
Thursday night, I received word from Richard Blaine at Radio Casablanca:
“We plan to be on the air tonight on 6940 kHz AM, starting sometime around 2300 UTC, and running until the plane to Lisbon has departed.”
So at 23:00 Zulu, I started recording…
Though the noise level was particularly high on the lower HF bands, and Casablanca’s signal wasn’t quite as strong as previous nights, I could still enjoy Blaine’s nostalgic mix of WWII era music through the static. What a treat.
For one thing the format is WWII-era music. When I hear Radio Casablanca, I close my eyes and imagine what it must have been like to hear the great bands of the era over the shortwaves…
Radio nostalgia at its best.
The signal strength is always sufficient to be heard in relatively good fidelity here in my radio room, but not so strong as to detract from the perceived distance. I believe the recording you’ll hear below could very well mimic broadcasts over shortwave, heard across borders during WWII as well as listened to on classic console radios in people’s living rooms and front parlors.
When my buddy Mark Coady posted that he was listening to Radio Casablanca Tuesday night on 6940 kHz AM, I immediately rushed outside to hook up my antenna, and started rolling. I didn’t want to miss even one more minute (I came across Mark’s post about twenty minutes into the broadcast). Though regional storms produced some static pops and crashes, overall fidelity is decent. You will hear the filter and side-band sync being adjusted at times as I attempted to eliminate adjacent noises–which, in the end, are all a part of the listening experience.
On Sunday, December 17th, around 22:00 UTC, I happened to pick up the last thirty minutes of Radio Casablanca; a pirate that plays a nostalgic mix of music from the 1930’s and 1940’s. They were broadcasting on 6939 kHz in AM.
You’ll hear me tweaking the receiver in the first three minutes while, in the background, I was entertaining my children. I though about cutting it out but, on second thought, simply uploaded it as-is. I switched from a very wide AM bandwidth to AM sync and then AM sync with only the lower sideband (to kill some noise in the upper side band) after adjusting the center slightly below 6940 kHz.
I love how the recording starts on a tone and then morphs into Close as Pages in a Book by Benny Goodman and his Orchestra.