Category Archives: Pirate Radio

Halloween: A playground for shortwave pirates!

Halloween is typically the most active day of the year for shortwave pirates. Halloween falls on Thursday, October 31st, and although this is the middle of the week, expect pirates to emerge like The Great Pumpkin!

Here are three things you’ll want to do Halloween night:

1. Hobby Broadcasting Blog

Check out Andrew Yoder’s pirate radio blog ,the Hobby Broadcasting blog.

Andrew is the author of the Pirate Radio Annual and a guru on shortwave pirate radio. Andrew has already logged some Halloween stations this weekend.

2. HF Underground

hfunderground

Follow real-time pirate radio spots and loggings on the HF Underground discussion forum. Chris Smolinski at HFU typically posts post-Halloween pirate stats on the SWLing Post as well–always a fascinating overview.

3. Listen!

Photo by Bill Patalon

Listen for pirate radio stations today and throughout the weekend!  Turn on your radio anytime today, but especially around twilight and tune between 6,920 – 6,980 kHz. Pirates broadcast on both AM and SSB; you’re bound to hear a few. If you’re brand new to pirate radio listening, you might read my pirate radio primer by clicking here. I will be listening until late in the evening.

Happy Halloween to all! 

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“Pirate DAB multiplexes take to the air in Dublin and Cork”

(Source: Radio Today Ireland via Mike Terry)

Pirate radio stations are appearing on unlicenced DAB digital multiplexes in Dublin and Cork, and more are planned for other cities in Ireland.

The “FreeDAB” platform, now carrying around ten stations, was born out of frustration over the procedures in place to broadcast legally on DAB in Ireland.

During the recent 12-month legal DAB multiplex trial operated by ‘éirdab’ in Cork, a radio station wanting to broadcast via this method would need to pay upfront for a five-year Section 71 licence (a list price of €14,000 (plus VAT)) and wait up to five months for the application to be processed.

But waiting five months for a licence and paying five years up-front to be on a 12-month trial are just two of the issues holding back DAB in Ireland.

The technology required to broadcast a multiplex is now easier to acquire and is mostly controlled by software whilst costs to broadcast illegally via the multiplexes also appear to be very low.[…]

Continue reading the full article at Radio Today Ireland.

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Special event stations celebrating anniversaries of famous European pirate stations

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Harald Kuhl (DL1AX), who writes:

At the beginning of August there will be two special event amateur radio stations active on shortwave, celebrating anniversaries of famous European pirate stations Radio North Sea International and Radio Caroline:

Radio Northsea International PA45RNI

from 01-08-2019 to 31-08-2019

http://www.radio-northsea.org

email: pa45rni@radio-northsea.org

[source: https://www.qrz.com/db/pa45rni]

and

GB55RC will be active from the Ross Revenge:

Celebrating fifty five years of Radio Caroline

Thursday 1st – Monday 5th August 2019

2019 is the fifty fifth anniversary of Radio Caroline and the Martello Tower Group are pleased to be able to activate the world famous MV Ross Revenge again in August. This year we have been granted the ‘special’ special callsign of GB55RC. […]

[source: https://www.qrz.com/db/gb55rc]

Special QSLs will be available.

[The QSLs above are] from previous GB5RC activities.

Thank you for the tip, Harald! I’d love to grab one of those QSLs!

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FCC reaches settlement with church-related pirate radio station

Photo by Michael Maasen

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ron, who shares the following news via the ARRL:

After filing a civil action and seeking an injunction to stop a church-related pirate radio station from operating in Worcester, Massachusetts, the US Attorney’s Office this week reached a settlement with the station’s operators, Vasco Oburoni and Christian Praise International Church. US Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Rosemary Harold announced the settlement on June 10. […]According to a consent decree filed on June 10 and subject to court approval, Oburoni and Christian Praise International Church agree not to do so in the future. They also agreed to surrender all of their broadcasting equipment.

“In the event the FCC reasonably suspects that they have violated the Act, the FCC may inspect the premises and seize any broadcasting equipment,” an FCC news release said. If the FCC determines that “the defendants” have operated an unlicensed broadcasting station in violation of the settlement, they will be subject to a $75,000 fine. The FCC received complaints, including one from a licensed broadcaster, that the pirate station was causing interference.

According to the signed consent decree, Vasco Oburoni and Christian Praise International Church admitted that they operated a radio broadcast station in Worcester, on 97.1 MHz, without an FCC license and previously had operated an unlicensed radio station on 102.3 MHz. The FCC had issued multiple warnings and issued a Forfeiture Order in the amount of $15,000 against Oburoni. The FCC said Oburoni agreed to a payment plan but later began broadcasting again without a license on a different frequency.

Click here to read the full story at the ARRL.

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Radio Caroline North via Ross Revenge for Easter fundraiser

(Source: Southgate ARC via Eric McFadden)

Join us this Easter, our 55th Birthday, for our Annual Fundraiser.

We will be broadcasting Radio Caroline North live from our radio ship, Ross Revenge, anchored in the estuary of the River Blackwater, from 9:00 am on Easter Friday until 2:00 pm on Easter Monday (all UK times).

You will be able to hear us on 1368 AM (courtesy of Manx Radio) in the north west of the UK (and parts of Ireland) and on our own 648 AM frequency in the south east, and also round the world online at www.radiocaroline.co.uk and on our mobile app.

In addition, you will be able to hear our regular Radio Caroline album format and Radio Caroline Flashback programmes on their normal channels, when they are not carrying the Radio Caroline North programmes.

It’s been quite a year, with our 648 AM and London DAB transmissions both building a substantial new audience for Radio Caroline.

However, with each expansion, our annual running costs increase substantially. And there’s lots more we would like to do.

This year, we have created a stylish Radio Caroline Bell teeshirt, based on a design that  was originally used for the Radio Caroline Roadshows.

Starting on Easter Friday, and ending at midnight UK time on Easter Monday, if you are able to make a one off donation of 25 Pounds or more, or join the Radio Caroline Support Group (for a minimum monthly donation of 7.50 Pounds, cancellable at any time), we will send you your Retro Radio Caroline Bell teeshirt.

And remember, donations of any amount will always be gratefully received.

The donation button will go live on our website early on Easter Friday.

After deducting the cost of the teeshirt, we are planning to use approximately one half of your donations to maintain and expand our broadcast operations, and the other half for the maintenance and upkeep of Ross Revenge.

Happy Easter!

Radio Caroline

www.radiocaroline.co.uk
www.facebook.com/radiocarolineofficial
twitter.com/theradcaroline

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Radio Doc: New York City’s pirates of the air

SWLing Post friend, David Goren (the same fellow behind Shortwaveology and the Brooklyn Pirate Radio Sound Map) has just produced and presented a BBC World Service documentary about the pirate radio scene in NYC.

Spoiler alert: it’s amazing–!

Below, I’ve included the description and audio links from the BBC World Service:

New York City’s pirates of the air

As the workday winds down across New York, you can tune in to a clandestine world of unlicensed radio stations; a cacophonous sonic wonder of the city. As listeners begin to arrive home, dozens of secret transmitters switch on from rooftops in immigrant enclaves. These stations are often called ‘pirates’ for their practice of commandeering an already licensed frequency.

These rogue stations evade detection and take to the air, blanketing their neighbourhoods with the sounds of ancestral lands blending into a new home. They broadcast music and messages to diverse communities – whether from Latin America or the Caribbean, to born-again Christians and Orthodox Jews.

Reporter David Goren has long followed these stations from his Brooklyn home. He paints an audio portrait of their world, drawn from the culture of the street. Vivid soundscapes emerge from tangled clouds of invisible signals, nurturing immigrant communities struggling for a foothold in the big city.

With thanks to KCRW and the Lost Notes Podcast episode Outlaws of the Airwaves: The Rise of Pirate Radio Station WBAD.

Producer/Presenter: David Goren

Click here to download New York City’s pirates of the air via the BBC World Service.

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Now available: The 2017-2018 Pirate Radio Annual

Listening to Channel Z in a parking lot with the Tecsun PL-660.

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Thomas Ally, who notes that Andrew Yoder has released the 2017-2018 Pirate Radio Annual.

Here’s the announcement from the Hobby Broadcasting Blog:

2017-2018 Pirate Radio Annual is done and I’ve received the copies back from the printer already! This edition is 308 pages and contains an audio CD-R (playable on standard CD players) with clips from 87 different pirate stations from around the world, nearly all from 2016 and 2017. This edition contains 181 illustrations and entries for approximately 307 stations reported in North America in 2016 and 2017 (280 North American shortwave stations and 27 from Europe and South America).

It also contains some “articles” on the Common and Precious Beacon, Radio Pirana International from South America, and upcoming Global HF Pirate Weekends/propagation for reaching different parts of the world.

This edition will cost $20 ($16.50 + $3.50 shipping) in the U.S. I took the packed book to the post office for the international shipping cost and was shocked to discover that it will cost $24 to ship it anywhere in Europe (so, $38.00 = $16.50 + $21.50 to Europe) I’ll eat a couple dollars of the cost because the shipping is so high. It’s so expensive that it will soon pay for airfare to Europe just to deliver copies!

This price is good for the next month (up through 5/1/2019). I’m not sure if I’ll keep the price the same or raise it at that time.

Please send check or money order to:

Hobby Broadcasting
PO Box 109
Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17214

or send the money via PayPal to info [at symbol] hobbybroadcasting.com.  If you trust that I won’t run off with the money to Sealand, please use the “Friends and Family” option so that PayPal won’t charge a fee.

4/2 update: One final note about ordering via PayPal: Could you please include your shipping address with the PayPal order? The PayPal messages haven’t included addresses and when I sign into PayPal and click on the “more information about this transaction,” the address still isn’t coming up. So, I’ve been e-mailing people for addresses, which could delay shipping.

Thanks for the tip, Tom!  I just ordered my copy!

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