Tag Archives: Andrew Yoder

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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Advice on preserving 1940s era homemade records

At the Winter SWL Fest last week, my friend, Andrew Yoder (author of the Pirate Radio Annual) told me about a recent find: homemade records by amateur radio operator W3JJN.

Andrew wrote about these recordings on his blog:

[…]Before open-reel decks were wire recorders. Information was magnetized onto a fine reel of stainless steel wire. It was essentially the same concept as tape decks, whether open reel or cassette, only the tape system was a refinement (an oxide coating on a plastic tape), rather than trying to magnetize a wire.

[…]Before wire recorders were record recorders. These took an audio source and the needle cut a blank disc with grooves. From what I understand, these homemade discs weren’t meant to be played back too many times because the needles wore into the grooves more quickly than commercially manufactured records. I’m not sure what they were all made from, but I know that some were aluminum discs with a thin layer of plastic.

I always look for the homemade records because there weren’t too many options for audio sources back then. By the open-reel tape era, a lot of people were recording entire albums to tape, so they weren’t necessarily recording the radio. But, for example, in 1940, the options were basically either family greetings, someone singing or a band playing, or the radio. And chances are good that any recording you find is the only one in existence.

I found three of these on Saturday.

Here’s a photo of one.

They are amateur radio QSOs from W3JJN to a couple of other operators. W3JJN cataloged the discs by side . . . and this was number 477. So, at least 237 other records existed in his homemade record collection at one time. The sides that I have are dated in late 1945 and early 1946. To me, this is an astounding find because I’m not sure how many recordings exist of any amateur radio operations prior to 1950, not to mention that this is still very early in the post-war period.

I did some searching on W3JJN and he was William E. Belz, who lived at that time on 1509 Linden Avenue in Baltimore, Maryland. He was a TV repairman who was born in Duncansville, PA, and died in 1981 after a lengthy illness.

My big problem here is that these records are disintegrating. The plastic layer is cracking badly and separating from the aluminum discs. I guess what I really need is one of the laser turntables that can play back audio from broken discs and won’t damage the grooves. I don’t think I can risk playing any of these on a regular turntable, but I want to recover the audio quickly before the discs degrade further.

Click here to read the full article.

Post readers: Any advice on preserving these recordings? It sounds like using an actual needle to make a digital copy might be a little too destructive.  Are there alternatives?  Please comment if you have any experience or suggestions!

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Reminder: Global HF Pirate Weekend – March 30, 31, and April 1, 2018

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Andrew Yoder, who shares details about the upcoming Global HF Pirate Weekend:

Next Global HF Weekend – March 30, 31, and April 1, 2018

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.

The last one, which occurred during the first weekend of November 2017, was very successful. A handful of North American stations were reported on Europe and vice versa. And South American stations were heard in the North. 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 GHFW. 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.

March 30, 31, & April 1, 2018
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/).

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Mark your calendar: Global HF Weekend – March 30, 31, and April 1, 2018

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Andrew Yoder, who shares details about the upcoming Global HF Pirate Weekend:

Next Global HF Weekend – March 30, 31, and April 1, 2018

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.

The last one, which occurred during the first weekend of November 2017, was very successful. A handful of North American stations were reported on Europe and vice versa. And South American stations were heard in the North. 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 GHFW. 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.

March 30, 31, & April 1, 2018
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/).

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Listen for Halloween pirate radio this weekend and Tuesday night

Haloween-Pirate-RadioHalloween is typically the most active day of the year for shortwave pirates. Halloween falls on Tuesday, October 31st, however you should start listening for activity this weekend as the pirates emerge like The Great Pumpkin!

Here are three things you’ll want to do this weekend and on 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!

Crosley-Dial-BlackAndWhite

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! 

Speaking of pirates, don’t forget: the 2017 Global HF Pirate Radio Weekend is next weekend (Nov 3-5)!

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