SWLing Post Bill Patalon sent me this piece from the ARRL stating that amateur radio applications have been on hold at the FCC as most of the agency has been closed in the US government shutdown. It appears the government will reopen now, at least for the next three weeks.
Thinking about the closure of the FCC and its effect on licensed operators, also made me think about unlicensed radio operators: a.k.a. pirate radio stations.
Are government shutdowns a potential broadcast opportunity for pirates that might not otherwise take to the air?
I’m curious if anyone noted new shortwave or FM pirate stations during the US government shutdown. Did the respite from FCC enforcement bring anyone out of the woodwork? Please comment!
PS: Can you do us a favor? In comments, please stay on topic (radio) and refrain from political arguments. Many of us appreciate the SWLing Post as a refuge from the toxic back-and-forth prevalent on so many other sites. If you would like to engage in political discourse, please check out Reddit. Thank you!
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bruce Atchison, who writes:
Randy Bachman featured the music played on Radio Caroline in two shows
broadcast on CBC during the spring of this year. Check out both on
www.randybachman.com and scroll down until you find the pirate radio
Both programs of Randy’s Vinyl Tap brought back so many good
Thanks for the tip, Bruce!
Halloween is typically the most active day of the year for shortwave pirates. Halloween falls on Wednesday, 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
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.
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!
(Source: Tom Taylor Now)
The FCC’s busting more pirates in smaller markets.
True, the Dallas office issues two Notices of Unlicensed Operation for an 87.9 in Houston, run out of New Beginnings Fellowship Church. But agents from Dallas also found a pirate FM at 93.5 up in the smallish Texas Panhandle town of Amarillo. (That one was also operated out of a church, the Iglesia Bautista Renovacion Ministerio Internacional.) The spectrum cops from Dallas also detected a 95.9 in Port Arthur, Texas. And out in California, agents from the L.A. office ventured up to Oxnard to respond to a complaint about a 99.1 operating from a business. (It was a business run by Maria Gonzalez, who gets the NOUO.) So while the traditional pirate radio hotbeds in South Florida, the New York City area and Boston get attention, there seem to be more complaints and more investigations in smaller markets. If the “PIRATE Act” that passed the House ever makes it through the Senate and is signed into law, the FCC would be required to make twice-yearly sweeps of the five most active areas for pirates. But it seems illegal FMs may simply be popping up in less-likely places. The equipment’s cheap and you might not get caught. Though one pirate in Miami got nabbed doing something novel – operating a pirate station out of a parked RV. (Sure keeps the costs down.)
Click here to read at Tom Taylor Now.