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.[…]
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!
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
(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.
(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.
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.
(Source: RadioWorld via Bill Patalon)
Over the course of two days in May, the Federal Communications Commission took action on four allegedly unlicensed pirate radio operators.
In all these cases — one in Mount Vernon, N.Y., one in Dallas and three in a single location in East Orange, N.J. — the FCC reiterated that operating radio transmitting equipment at certain levels without a valid station is against the law, ordered them all to shut down, laid out the potential ramifications and gave each a window in time for them to explain their actions in writing.
Pirate radio has been a renewed point of concern for broadcasters in the United States, with recent debate over the possible impact of cuts in field offices and with Commissioner Michael O’Rielly keeping a spotlight on the problem.
Continue reading at RadioWorld…