Category Archives: Pirate Radio

Mark Your Calendars: Global HF Pirate Weekend, November 3-5, 2017

(Source: Andrew Yoder)

Next Global HF Weekend: November 3-5, 2017

It’s still a couple weeks away, so be sure to mark the next Global HF Pirate Weekend on your calendar.

The idea behind the Global HF Weekends are to promote friendship through radio around the world. The hope is that listeners will be able to hear different stations and for broadcasters to reach distant locations. Anyone may participate. I’ve already heard from a few stations who plan to broadcast and I’ve been in contact with a number of listeners.

The last one, which occurred during the first weekend of April, resulted in some success with intercontinental broadcasting. Four North American pirates all operated around 0600 UTC between 6920 and 6950 kHz and were heard in New Zealand. A South American station ran 24/7 tests on 6930 kHz across Global HF Weekend and was reported in Germany, Maryland and Pennsylvania, and South America with only 10 watts. One Dutch station was logged in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Michigan, Kentucky, New York, Maryland, and Virginia. Other stations were active specifically for the weekend, but just for a local or regional audience.

We’ll see how many stations show up during the next weekend. It seems unlikely that stations will be using 13 meters this time and much more likely that stations will be trying the 6900-kHz range and possibly 31 and 25 meters.

November 3-5, 2017
Maybe 15010-15090 kHz, probably 6200-6400 kHz and 6800-6990 kHz

Of course, these were general frequency ranges used by pirates during prior Global HF Pirate weekends. Some stations will surely operate on frequencies and times outside of these ranges. In fact, the way conditions have been lately, frequencies at or below 15 MHz seem like they will be more effective for intercontinental broadcasting. These will be updated on the Hobby Broadcasting (http://hobbybroadcasting.blogspot.com/) blog as it happens and also check the loggings on HF Underground (https://www.hfunderground.com/).

Radio Caroline at 50 years

Radio Caroline circa 1960’s.

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, William Lee, who shares this item from ABC News:

Radio Caroline: Golden age of British pirate radio remembered, 50 years on

They were the pirates of the open seas — bringing rock and pop music to a new generation.

And the British government was furious.

Back in the 1960s, when pop and rock were taking over the music scene, British teenagers had to turn to pirate radio stations to hear bands like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

Barred from broadcasting from land, stations such as Radio Caroline and Radio London had taken to the water, using rusty old ships moored in international waters to broadcast to millions of eager listeners across the UK.

The government wasn’t happy and 50 years ago, on August 14 1967, the Marine Offences Act made it illegal to support the ships or broadcast from them.[…]

Continue reading…

William note that this story can be found on multiple news sources, but the ABC has more photos.

Other sources include:

Many thanks for the tips, William! Like many Post readers, I do love Radio Caroline!

A TIVDIO T6-A Six Watt FM Transmitter (via Walmart!)

My, how times have changed!

I remember when I was a kid, if you wanted an FM transmitter with more power than the allowed FCC Part 15 regulations (250uV/m or 48dBu at 3 meters), you had to build it or hack it yourself.

Those days are long gone. SWLing Post contributor, Bill, shares a link to this six watt FM transmitter available via Walmart of all places!

Of course, Walmart isn’t exactly selling this transmitters in stores–they’re simply handing the inventory and shipping for a third party retailer (AMI Ventures Inc. in this case).

And I’m picking on Walmart because the TIVDIO T6-A, along with other similar FM transmitters, have been available from retailers like Amazon and eBay for ages.

Still, I find it a little funny that you can essentially start your own community/neighborhood FM station by making a purchase at Walmart!

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai questioned about pirate enforcement

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

(Source: Tom Taylor Now newsletter)

FCC staff will be “cops on the beat” against pirates.

Chairman Ajit Pai had his stats ready for yesterday’s House Oversight Hearing – the FCC’s issued 39 NOUOs (Notice of Unlicensed Operation) this year, among other enforcement actions. Pai knew the question about the effect of closing of 11 field offices was coming from somewhere, and it was posed by Tampa-area Republican Rep. Gus Bilirakis. Pai says as a Commissioner, “I had substantial disagreements with the original” plan of then-Chair Tom Wheeler. The compromise worked out with Congress included closing the Tampa field office – but Pai says the Commission’s doing its best to address the pirate problem that is “a problem all across the East coast.” That when he says the staff is determined to be “cops on the beat” against unlicensed operators. That seemed to satisfy Bilirakis. More from the hearing – there’s support for a new minority tax certificate plan. It would incentivize an owner to sell to a qualified minority by offering a tax break or deferral. And we haven’t mentioned the #1 complaint around telecom – doing something to choke off robocalls and “spoof calls.”

Check out the full Tom Taylor Now newsletter which also includes questions posed to Chairman Pai, about defining Net Neutrality.

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.