Sunday, February 11, 2018

Couple of updates, 2/11/18

Finally, after years of things piling up after building an addition on the house, I'm starting to catch up with some radio stuff. I cleaned layers of stuff off my desk. Among other things, at different layers, I found Corsette oscillators, parts, QSLs, photos, etc. I also printed QSLs that I received from the past 18 months or so and got those into albums.

One thing that I found in the mess was an unaddressed package. I cut it open & it's a 2014 Pirate Radio Annual. This one sold out a while back & a number of people asked about its availability. So, if anyone reading this wants it, it's $18 including shipping. Send an e-mail to me & I'll let you know if you were the 1st to ask. Then, you can either pay me via PayPal, check, etc.

I've had a chance to listen to the radio a bit over the past week while working in there. I've heard The Relay Station, Nuttin' on Shortwave, Yetti Radio, Deez Nuts Radio, etc. Good stuff.

_   _   _

About two years, I bought an old navy rack at a local auction. I didn't go to the viewing, but I saw the photos. It had a couple of speaker slots, an open place with a shelf that held an amplifier, and a blank panel. A lot of things at the auction sold for pretty high prices, but amazingly the rack went for $16. Couldn't believe I got a full-sized rack for $16! I got there and went to move it and it didn't budge. Not a bit. I went to the backside and the former owner had replaced the speakers with projects: each speaker panel contained one side of an enormous power supply. The blank panel wasn't wired together, but it had a modulation transformer (that I looked up later & saw is good for 500 watts out). 

In all, this beast weighed somewhere around 600 lbs. and I needed to get it out. To shorten the story a bit, a good samaritan helped out & we were able to get it up a few basement steps & into the back of the van.

I disassembled the whole thing, painted the cabinet, & finally moved the cabinet into my upstairs radio room. Last night, I discovered a problem. How do you lift a Hammarlund SP-600 up over your shoulders in height and screw it into the front panel of the cabinet? 

Anyone have any techniques for mounting boat anchors into full-size cabinets?

_   _   _

I've been working on the CD for the 2017-18 PRA. I have clips done for about 35 stations now. It's been fun re-listening to bunches of stations from the past few years.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Station listing for the 2017-2018 Pirate Radio Annual

It's past time that I update the blog! But I have the house to the point where the final inspection is done (still a lot of work to go, but nothing that's quite so pressing), so I hope to update the blog more often again (and not just when it's time for the next HF Global Weekend).

I've been working on the 2017-2018 Pirate Radio Annual and just finished the station listing. The first group is the stations based in North America that were reported on shortwave and 1710 kHz between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2017. This also includes stations from outside the continent that were relayed here, such as Artem's World of Music and Radio Enterhaken.

The 2nd group is stations from Europe that have been reported across a somewhat large area of North America between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2017. Europe is filled with pirates. In fact, in 2017 alone MWPirateFan from the UK heard 172 different Dutch medium-wave pirates. Profiling every international pirate from Europe is way beyond the scope of what I can do with the Pirate Radio Annual (at least at this time), but I draw the line at stations that can either be heard by a number of listeners along the East Coast or if a station can be reported further inland (such as in Ohio), they're in.

I've included Latin American shortwave pirates, which have really taken off, in with the European stations. I think in the book, I might separate the two to make it easier. In total, the book will contain listings for 24 stations from Europe and four from South America, I think this is the most stations from outside of Europe that will have been included in a PRA.

As always, if you operate one of these stations, please feel free to e-mail information about your station, photos, sample QSLs, or audio clips that I could use in the book. Also, if you operate a station and feel that it should be included (and it isn't on the list), please send a link to the loggings. There are a lot of unidentified loggings (and a lot of loggings in general), so it can be easy to miss a station.

Alan Masyga Project
Al Fansome Memorial Radio Program
All about That Bass
Allegheny Mountain Radio
Amphetamine Radio
Artem's World of Music
Auld Lang Syne Radio
Bangalore Poacher
Bat Country Radio
Big Johnson Radio
Black Cat Radio
Black Swamp Radio
Blue Ocean Radio
Boombox Radio
Brockett 99
Brownie Radio
Burn It Down Radio
Captain Morgan Shortwave
Celtic Music Radio
Chairman of the Board Radio
Chamberpot Radio
Channel Z
CKUT Shortwave
Classic Pirate Radio Relay Service (CPRRS)
Clever Name Radio
Coca-Cola Radio
Cold Country Canada
Cool AM
Cosmic Dust Shortwave
Cradle Rock Radio. See Radio Free Whatever
Creepy Radio
Crystal Ship, The
CWCW Radio
CYOT
D. B. Cooper
DBRX
Doctor Detroit
Dorm Radio
Downunder Radio
Edmund Fitzgerald Radio
Electric Circus
Eurotemptations Shortwave
Fab Four Radio Show
Fake Radio USA
Fart Knocker Radio International
Filthy Frank Radio
Flashback AM
The Fox
Girl Scout Radio
Gospel Radio Shortwave
Grab the Puss Radio
Happy Hanukkah
He-Man Radio
Hip to Be Square Radio
Hit Parade Radio
Hobart Radio International
Hot Radio
Howdy Doody Radio
How Sweet It Is Radio
Indira Calling
Ion Radio
Insane Radio
International Free Radio Service?
Ion Radio
Jolly Roger Radio
K2000
KBOX
KCPR
KDST
KFBN
Kid from Brooklyn Shortwave
KIPM
KMUD
KNBS
KPZL
Kracker Radio (See Radio Jamba International)
KROW
KULP
KUNT
KVPH. See Voice of Pearl Harbor
KVR
Laser Hot Hits
Lee County Radio
Left Lane Radio
Liquid Radio
Live Mic Radio
Locomotive Radio
LTO Radio
Lukewarm Radio
MAC
Make Your Liver Quiver (MYLQ) Radio
Moonlight Radio
Mouth of Mohammed Radio
Mr. Man Radio
N8tive Radio
Network 51
Newport Pirate Radio
No Coast Pirate Radio
North Sea Radio. See Northwoods Radio
Northwoods Radio
Not a Very Clever Name
Not for FCC Airplay Radio. See The Fox
NRUI/Amelia Earhart
Nuttin' on Shortwave
Old Time Classic Radio Plays
Orbital Mind-Control Satellite
Partial India Radio
Pee Wee
Peskie Party Radio
Pipeline Radio
Pirate BBC Radio
Pirate Radio Boston
Pirate Radio Network
Pirate Radio Wilson
Potato Pirate
Pumpkin Patch Radio
Radio After Dark
Radio Airplane
Radio Appalachia
Radio A** Clown International
Radio AV
Radio Azteca
Radio Blah Blah Blah
Radio Casablanca
Radio Cinco
Radio Cinco de Mayo
Radio Clandestine
Radio Comedy Club International
Radio Deadman
Radio Eclipse
Radio Enterhaken
Radio Eyeball
Radio First Termer
Radio Free Euphoria
Radio Free Mars
Radio Free Ramones
Radio Free Trump
Radio Free Whatever
Radio Fusion Radio
Radio GaGa
Radio Garbanzo
Radio Halloween
Radio Illuminati
Radio Indiana (see WJD)
Radio Jamba International
Radio Ken
Radio Merlin International
Radio Metallica Worldwide
Radio Morania
Radio Mushroom
Radio Noid
Radio One
Radio Paisano
Radio Reten Lo Que Tienes
Radio Ronin Shortwave
Radio Tambour
Radio Tango America
Radio Three
Radio Tornado
Radio True North
Radio Trump
Radio USA
Radio USA (fake). See Fake Radio USA
Rádio Univates FM
Radio Zed
Rave On Radio
Ravisher Project
RCCI. See Radio Comedy Club International
RCW Radio
Recycle Radio
Red Beacon Radio
The Relay Station
Renegade Radio
Requiem for Radio
Revolutionary Radio
Revolution Radio
RFF Radio/Radio Free Furry?
Ritalin Radio
Scala FM
Sekio Radio
Seven Trees Radio
Shortwave Ghost, The
Skippy Radio
Skyline Radio
Sloppy Joe Radio
Soft Rock Radio
Solar Centric
Sonic Death Shortwave
Space Bunny Radio
Stupid A** Name Radio Network
Sycko Radio
Tangerine Radio
Tango One Six Five
Technosender
The Crystal Ship. See Crystal Ship, The
This Is Not the BBC
This Is Not WMPR
TimberWolf Radio
Toynbee Radio
Twangy Radio
Unclever Name Radio
Undercover Radio
Underdog

Unids
   Brother Stair Numbers
   The Count
   Declaration of War against Japan (4947 kHz)
   8-MHz station
   Fruitcake
   OTR Unid
   Ride of the Valkyries numbers
   Slavic Numbers
   Sousa
   Swedish Rhapsody
   The Yodeler

UNID Radio
Union City Radio
Unknown Name Radio Network
Up Against the Wall Radio
UREA Radio
Vivian Girls Radio
Voice of the Angry Pigmeat
Voice of Bob
Voice of Grease
Voice of Helium
Voice of Laryngitis
Voice of the Loaf
Voice of Pancho Villa
Voice of Pearl Harbor (KVPH)
Voice of Portugal
Voice of the Report of the Week (VORW)
Voice of Revolutionary Vinco
Voice of Shortwave Radio
Voice of Uncle Don
WAHR
WAZU
WBFR
WBOG
WCOK. See Coca-Cola Radio
WCTU
WDBC
WDDR
WEAK Radio
WEEK Radio
WFDR
WFUQ
WGAY
WGOD
WGWR
WGXC
WHIP
White Rider Radio
WHJR
WHYP
Wild 100
Witch City Radio
WJD
WJDI
WJFK
WLIS
WLVS
WMFQ
WMID
WMPR
WNPP
Wolverine Radio
Woolvureen Radio
WORK
WPIG
WQLB
WREC
WRMR. See Red Man Radio
WRRI
WSKY
WTKY
WUBR
WYDX
X-2
X7 Radio
XEROX
X-FM
XLR8
X Minus One Shortwave
Yeah Man Radio
Yeti Radio
YHWH
YNOT Radio

Europe and South America
Baltic Sea Radio
Radio Batavia
Radio Black Arrow
Radio Compañía Worldwide
Blue Dragon AM
Borderhunter Radio
Coast FM/Energy FM
Cupid Radio
Enterprise Radio
Focus Radio International
IBC Radio
Johnny Tobacco
Laser Hot Hits
Radio Dontri
Radio Merlin International
Mike Radio
Mustang Radio
Radyo Oleg
Radio Pirana International
Radio Python
Sluwe Vos Radio
Stove Farmer
TRX Radio
Technical Man
Radio Tower AM
Radio Voyager
Radio Wilskracht
Zender Akenzo

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Global HF Weekend Loggings: 11/5/17 (Sunday)

Great stuff while I was out yesterday afternoon & night! In addition to what I reported last night, also UKDXER commented on the last post that he had a tentative log of Channel Z on 6300 and he heard Wolverine Radio with a signal so strong that people in Europe thought it was via European relay! BTW, UKDXER's blog is a fantastic source of Europirate info. Also, I received an e-mail from Ray in Europe, who sent the following unid loggings:

6930 Friday evening, Nov. 3rd : I had a carrier from 2240 UTC to 0007 UTC, with some music at 2309 UTC. No idea from where.

6940 : another carrier at 2246-0003 UTC
6935,1 : already a carrier at 2104-2206 UTC

Can anyone help him with these? As an aside, I also heard the carrier on 6930 kHz. I wondered at the time if this was Radio Pirana International . . . and I still do. Guess an e-mail is in order. . . .

I haven't seen any reports of North American pirates being heard around 0600-0800 UTC last night (or European stations being reported over here in that time frame). Wonder if people are sleeping in and will report it later?

LFR is reporting Baltic Sea Radio on 15085 kHz at 1220 UTC with a strong signal in the UK. I've been sitting on the frequency, hoping that something will come through, but I have a feeling that the only thing I'm going to get is the knowledge that I need a better antenna for 19 meters! Regardless, BSR is obviously making a long-distance test and I hope the station is getting out well (even if I can't hear it).

North America
Channel Z: 6300, 11/5, 1410+ Excellent signal. A lot of '60s music that I don't know, including some folky songs. Z back announced the songs by It's a Beautiful Day, Grateful Dead, Love, Jefferson Airplane, Cat Stephens, Traffic

Europe

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Late Saturday Update

I had to be away today from about 1700 to 0400 UTC (!), so I missed an awful lot of activity. Worse yet, I stopped at three different places that were supposed to have open wi-fi so that I could at least update the blog with things that others were hearing, but none of the wi-fis were working. Also, I took along my Degen 1103, but I only heard one station . . . and barely. Here's my logging:

Wolverine Radio (tentative): 6940U, 11/5, 2130 Music. 

How's that for a logging? If the Wolverine Radio is too weak for me, then maybe it's time for a more sensitive receiver! It really makes me wonder if something is seriously wrong with the sensitivity. Anyway, Wolverine was reported in England and on the continent. Channel Z was also testing on 6300 kHz around the same time. Wonder if anyone in Europe heard it because it looks like it should have made the trip.

Speaking of making the trip, Johnny Tobacco, Enterprise Radio, Laser Hot Hits, and Radio Mexico were all reported. Also, from South America, Lupo Radio, Radio Compania Worldwide, and Radio Pirana International were all logged in the U.S. Great stuff!

Here's a tip that's still active. I've been avoiding listing station names for stations, but this one's posted on HF Underground, which reaches a lot of people. Jorge Garcia of Radio Pirana International says:

We are on all night on 6930 kHz from S.America up to 12 UTC  and on 6390kHz from Europe on 6390 kHz up to 9 UTC

Both transmitters are on now.



Global HF Weekend Loggings: 11/4/2017

Wow, last night wound up being a bit better than I'd expected in eastern North America! Clever Name Radio and Dr. Detroit were both reported in England by a few listeners. I could even clearly hear CNR on the Twente web receiver in Holland, so hopefully a few other people in Europe tuned in as well. Also, when Cool AM was going to bed last night at 0355 UTC (!), he heard a station on 6925 on the Twente receiver, so that was presumably a North American station. Going the other direction, Radio Enterprise from Italy made it across (or at least its carrier did) on 6950->6940, as well as Laser Hot Hits on 6205, and Johnny Tobacco's Radio Abu Dhabi, which had a pretty decent signal on 6285 kHz.

Haven't heard much in terms of schedules today, although I did receive a schedule from a continental European pirate that will be on today from 1415-1630 UTC on 7720 kHz USB. That one probably won't be audible beyond Europe and North Africa, but those in other parts of the world can tune in via web radios.

Radio Enterprise is active across Europe right now on 6950, so maybe it will be active around 2100-0100 UTC again?



North America

Europe
Baltic Sea Radio: 15050U, 11/4, 1305+ Chris Smolinski is getting some signal, but I never do well hearing BSR. I'm hearing it on the Twente receiver, but I've only thought that I've heard a tiny bit of audio on my own receiver. Not sure if I'm going to have any luck today.

Europe via Twente webradio
Clinic Radio: 6235, 11/4, 1504+ ID & address in English, but all songs so far have been in German or Dutch. I believe this one only plays medical-related music?

Radio Enterprise: 6950, 11/4, 1509+ Tuned in to clear ID and e-mail address. Pop music and announcement in, I believe, Italian

Considering the late-night (in NA) signals, here are a couple more propagation pix. First, here's the same Harrisburg, PA, arrangement as shown in yesterday's post, except at 0600 UTC. There's a lot of faint signal spread across Europe and into Africa and South America.
The next image is the same specs, but at 0800 UTC:

Although the signals have disappeared from most of Europe, they would actually be expected good in Ireland and parts of the UK. There also might be a shot at Japan.

It seems that a station in the Northeast could do well between 0600 and 0800 UTC, but the question is whether anyone would be listening in those parts of the world?






Friday, November 3, 2017

Global HF Pirate Weekend logs: Friday night 11/3-4/17

Dr. Detroit: 6955, 11/3, 2143+ pop music--I think mostly from the '80s. Dr. Detroit said the show was being broadcast via Radio Illuminati. Boston "Rock'n'Roll Band" Excellent signal. This is also being reported with a good signal in England! BTW, Dr. Detroit is a mostly forgotten movie. Here's the trailer.

KVR: 6930U, 11/3, 2217-2231* REM "Shiny, Happy People" "The End of the World as We Know It" Mic pulled from music source, then morse code at end

Clever Name Radio: 6945U, 11/3, 2215+ Very strong here & I can hear it on the Twente web receiver in Holland! Female computer voice IDs. Early Pink Floyd & Offspring songs. Computer voice with shoutouts to the PEI DXpedition & to Krissy in the UK, who e-mailed

unid: 6930, 11/3, 2301+ Weak carrier, about the same strength as Enterprise on 6940. Not sure if it's a pirate or what part of the world it's from. Signal strength & frequency makes me think of Radio Pirana International, but I don't have any indication that it's on tonight

XLR8: 6950U, 11/3, 0028+ Much weaker signal than normal for XLR8 here. ID per HFU

Europe
Radio Enterprise (tent.): 6940, 11/3, 2254+ Decent carrier right now, but it doesn't really sound like it's strong enough to have any audio (and it doesn't), at least not yet. It's been heard In Europe for at least an hour

Radio Abu Dhabi: 6285, 11/4, 0057+ Sounds like some clips of different older countryish songs. Occasional talk by DJ with a deep, rough voice. ABBA "Dancing Queen." Lot of static or this would be pretty good. Still, it should be audible for a number of people in the East. I think I just heard Johnny Tobacco say "Thanks for listening" Seems to be losing signal strength & audio. <moments later> signal comes right back up & sounds pretty good again

Weekend Propagation Outlook

Propagation maps are looking bleak between Europe and North America. That said, actual results have been good between about 2200 and 0300+ (I'm not sure about the end time because I haven't seen loggings past this time).

I used the VOA propagation models at http://www.voacap.com/. The images depicted here all come from that site. Feel free to go to the site and check propagation for your region. For transmission power and mode, I used 100 watts of SSB because that seems like a pretty standard baseline for North American pirates & for at least some of the European pirates who might want to be testing specifically to reach across continents.

For the first image, I used Harrisburg, PA, as the location because it's the closest one to my location and that way no one will feel like I'm giving away their location. Here is 100 watts into a dipole about 30 feet above the ground on 14.1 MHz (essentially the same for either 13900-13950 kHz or 15010-15090 kHz).

 As you can see, a station with these specs should do very well into the deep South, Spain, western North America, all of Canada, and (whether or not anyone is listening) Greenland, the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America, and northern South America.

Next up, the same specs, except at 2100 UTC:

Fairly similar, but a bigger 1st skip hole and a great shot at South Africa and maybe a weak signal into Japan, South Korean, etc. Of course, there's also a nice zone for Angola, Namibia, and the Sahara, but I've never seen any reports from those areas.

Now, I'll switch over to Europe. I picked Netherlands because it's the hotbed of activity in Europe. Here's 100 watts SSB into an antenna about 30 feet high at 0000 UTC:

I'm really encouraged by this because we've been hearing some stations from Europe the past week and although I'm sure that some of the variables are different (power, antenna height, mode, and location), overall this picture is bleak and it doesn't look like much anything would be audible in the U.S. or most of Canada. The fact that a few stations have been heard this week with better than average signals makes me think that actual propagation this weekend should be a bit better than what's shown here.

Now, to see what happens when the frequency drops. Here are the same variables but on 5.3 MHz (think just below 49 meters):

 The signal is surprisingly good, but we haven't heard any pirates using 57XX kHz or so lately, so we really don't have any real results to compare it to. Still, it looks like a Dutch station operating on these lower frequencies has the chance to have a great signal in all of Europe, parts of Asia, and still have a chance to be heard in northeastern North America. Something to keep an eye on.

For about the past two decades, the primetime tests for Dutch stations who want to be heard in North America are about 15030-15080 kHz between about 1500 and 1600 UTC. Here's the same test except with the transmitter on 14.1 MHz (roughly the same) at 1500 UTC:

Not so great results for the Northeast, but as you can see, this looks great for anyone in the western half of North America who doesn't typically expect to log Europirates! Also, this looks good for DXers in Australia and New Zealand.

Even though propagation looks challenging, it appears that propagation will allow plenty of opportunities to hear stations in different parts of the world.