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.


Global HF Weekend Starts Tonight

. . . and runs through Sunday. Propagation has been good on 48 and 43 meters, as evidenced by last night's reception of Clever Name Radio across much of Europe. I'll try to be back later on today with some propagation forecast maps, etc. If I receive any schedules in the mean time, I'll post those, too.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Six Takeaways from Halloween

I follow baseball and football and tend to read clickbait articles, like “Winners and Losers from Week 8,” “The Worst Trades in Pirates History,” and “Minor League Free Agents, Round 1.” Reporting sports and writing about pirate radio are apples and oranges . . . or maybe baseballs and baluns. In general, the two are so different that almost no skills overlap. I won't get into why, but if people took the same approach to writing about radio as sports is analyzed an dissected, we'd have some angry hobbyists.

That's not my goal. The end game here is just to give radio fans a little something extra to read. Some click bait or maybe low-brow reading about high tech.

Halloween was a great time. Lots of stations, big signals, fun programming, DX opportunities, etc. Thanks to all of the broadcasters who took the time, energy, and risks involved to entertain some shortwave fans. I dropped everything to listen on Halloween, which is more than I can say about even this year's World Series.

I didn't make up a list of expectations for the holiday, but I did have some in the back of my mind. First of all, I did expect that some pirates would be on the air and it did happen. But a list of expected events that did happen would be boring, so here is a list of things that I expected to happen that didn't and a list of things that did happen that I didn't expect.

What didn't happen:
  • No medium-wave pirate activity. I had a feeling that either some old AM pirate or, more likely, a current shortwave pirate would run a test on 1710 or 1720 kHz. Didn't happen.
  • Almost no seasonal-only stations. Creepy Radio was it. No Halloween Radio, Radio Halloween, Satan Radio, WAHR, The Count, The Ghost Shortwave, Great Pumpkin, Germany Calling, Witch City Radio, Pumpkin Patch Radio, or Voice of the Abnormal.
  • Limited West Coast activity. I didn't see a bunch of listeners from the West, like I had seen in the past few years. Also, I didn't get the impression that broadcasts were coming from that part of the world.

What did happen:

  • International pirates. The last time I remember hearing international activity on Halloween was in 1992, when it happened on a weekend and when we were having a Pirate Pages DXpedition and letting everyone know we'd be listening. Then, we heard Radio Pirana International from South America and Radio Silverbird from Holland. This year, Radio Voyager was reported by a number of listeners, Lupo Radio was on from Argentina, and Laser Hot Hits was easily audible. Voyager and Lupo both were on much later than normal.
  • Shows above 80 meters. I'm sure that a number of casual pirate listeners tuning around 6925 kHz missed the activity, but WHYP and Radio Free Whatever were cranking on 4065 kHz for a number of hours with great success in terms of coverage and signal strength.
  • Canadian listeners. Apparently, a DXpedition was in progress in the Great White North, but it was great to see a bunch of Canadian loggings again

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween Loggings 2017


WHYP: 4065U, 10/31, 1835+ Thanks to a Chris Smolinski log, I heard a pirate down where I wouldn't've thought to look so early in the afternoon. I tuned in, started recording, and left to plane a door. After about 15 min., the station signed off. Afterward, I checked the recording and most of what I had recorded was mistuned. In about the last two minutes or so of the broadcast, everything locked in and the audio sounded great. Not positive, but I think JB was adjusting the tuning . . . or maybe the transmitter drifted?

WHYP: 4065U, 10/31, 2210+ Very strong and good audio with 2002 Halloween special: JB, LCee, Jay, & more. I guess the brief show at 1835 was a warm-up test for this broadcast. Ended with "Zeller Mash" & George smashing down the studio door, insulting the program, a Brownyard yay-yay-yay chorus, Cpt. Ganja with contact info, Al Fansome, then a loop IS of a girl saying something & giggling. Now, spooky organ music, so maybe that was just the end of the program but not the broadcast?

I heard that a station was on with Elvis music on 4073 and that the OTR unid was back on 6770. Neither were audible, so I went for a band scan.

Radio Voyager (Europe): 6950, 10/31, 2259+ Fair signal with light pop. The R8's dumb sync detector can't lock on. Hearing some pescadores on the frequency, too. Nice to hear a new (for me) Europirate. Unusually good signal. Also, they offer a lot of well-done eQSLs, so it's worth writing in.

Wolverine Radio: 6935U, 10/31, 2322+ Bells, then every Halloween sound effect known to man seems to be crammed into the first few minutes: a variety of screams, moans, swirling sounds, water dripping, creaking doors, growling, moans, boiling something, owls, birds, maybe a cow crying? VG signal. Ha! It's the beginning of the Wolverine Radio Halloween show! ID after about 10 min. of sound effects.

unid: 6955U, 10/31, 2334* credit card ad & off

Clever Name Radio: 6950U, 10/31, 2337 HUGE signal with dance music. Knife Party "Internet Friends" EBS clip from The Purge--"May God be with you all." Female computer ID: "Happy F------ Halloween from ----- Radio. Hope you enjoy your evening." I couldn't understand the female computer-voiced ID, but everyone seems to be in agreement that it's Clever Name Radio

Laser Hot Hits (Europe): 6205, 10/31, 2358+ OK, this one's audible a lot in North America but the signal's really pretty decent tonight. Basically '80s pop format with a DJ. They tend to air live shows over the weekend, then record them to repeat through the week.

Captain Morgan: 6925, 11/1, 0013+ Excellent signal with dramatic instrumental movie music? "Ghostbusters," "They're Coming to Take Me Away, ha, ha," Rockwell "Somebody's Watching Me" "Thriller," "Monster Mash," Twilight Zone theme

Radio Free Whatever: 4065U, 11/1, 0035+ Excellent signal with instrumental music. If stations use this frequency range tonight, the activities could go on for a long time. A couple of years ago, everyone relied on 43m & activity virtually ended by 0100 UTC. Dick Weed with non-Halloween regular show for everyone who's burned out on Halloween

Lupo Radio (tentative): 6973, 11/1, 0316+ This is tentative--a weak signal with bits of audio on their usual frequency. Assuming that this is Lupo, this is a great chance for West Coast DXers to hear it (usually, it signs off by around 0100 UTC).

.


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Halloween Weekend Loggings

I'm still doing a lot of work on the house before it's time for the inspectors to come, so I'll probably miss a lot of broadcasts & not log a ton of details. But I have been tuning a bit here'n'there while running upstairs & bringing a Hallicrafters SX-42 up on a variac. Will it work or just output the bad capacitor hum? I'm guessing the latter. Anyway, here are my loggings that I'm updating through the weekend:

Yeah Man Radio: 6925.5, 10/27, 2145+ Jazz music. DJ asked for listeners to check into HF Underground & log the station, so I did.

Pee Wee: 6955U, 10/28, 0120+ Tuned in to backwards talk over a deep growling noise. Halloween show with SSTV ID at the end. Good signal

Ion Radio: 6925, 10/28, 1543+ Caught a few minutes. A rockabillyish song and a live story-telling country song. Off and then Morse code at end

unid: 6925U, 10/28, 2145+ Elvis "All Shook Up" Good signal

Clever Name Radio: 6935U, 10/28, 2145+ Black Sabbath "War Pigs." Super signal

1710 kHz, 10/29, 0314+ Checked the frequency and it was surprisingly free of local noise. Actually listenable. I thought that at tune in, I heard some quick fading from a Spanish station, but maybe that was just wishful thinking. I'm sure that I heard one or 2 TIS stations on the frequency and possibly more signals. Unlike most of the times when I'm listening to 1710 in the car and I have either nothing or just the Hudson Co. TIS fading in really clearly, most of the time here, it was a few weak signals at about the same level. After checking the recording a bit, I had a clear fade up of an older vocal song at 0450, then in faded the Hudson Co. TIS with their storm surge emergency procedures. I'd like to think that the station airing the vocal song was a pirate (Radio Reten Lo Que Tienes, in particular), but at this point, I can't rule out the possibilities of a spur or receiver image.

KVR: 6925U, 10/29, 1304-1306* Sounded like instrumental movie music, then Morse code. Station signed on over top of the CW in AM mode. ID per HFU.

unid: 6925, 10/29, *1306-1321* Police "Wrapped around Your Finger," Clash "Rock the Casbah," & a few other songs.Very strong. I assume the same station was also on *1336-1341*, *1350-1351*, *1401-1405*, *1416-1417*, *1435-1438*, & *1452-1455* with similar signals & songs.

unid: 6925, 10/29, ca.1630 My R8 was still in USB mode when I came back to the radio, so I tuned it in USB, switched to AM and the station went off. My guess is this was the station just above.

unid: 6955, 10/29, 1705+ Lively Latino music. Good signal, but audio sounds really tinny. Into rock music, including Steve Miller "The Joker," & "Nowhere to Run."

Recycle Radio: 6950, 10/29, 1955+ '60s garage rock ("Stepping Stone" Abaddon "Blues Today," The Haunted "1-2-5") + lighter '60s pop, too.

Yeah Man Radio: 6925.6, 10/29, 2019+ Jazzy instrumental song, then the announcer mentioned listening to Recycle Radio on 6950 before. Shoutouts to listeners on HFU. Good, maybe VG signal.

Clever Name Radio: 6935U, 10/29, 2102+ Excellent signal with Jimi Hendrix & others. Missed a lot of the show because I finally brought the SX-42 up to 110 V and started listening around (or trying to) while this show was on in the background.

unid: 6950U, 10/29, 2139+ Excellent signal. Noted in passing when my computer was crashing & I was getting bowls, etc. for my daughter's pumpkin carving, but I guess it didn't ID per logs on HFU

Radio Free Whatever: 6960U, 10/29, 2316+ A few newish rock and hard rock songs. Excellent sig. Ha, there's such a difference in tone between the mics(?) that Stavin's deep voice and Dick's somewhat more trebley sound, that it almost seems like they're using different transmitters

Logs via Twente
Deutscher Wetterdienst: 6180, 10/28, 1610+ German female computer voice giving the weather. Basically a German version of our NOAA stations, except that it's sea weather for the North and Baltic Sea, as well as for the Mediterranean and parts of the eastern Atlantic. Wonder if this is on at times that it would propagate to North America? (BTW, this is operated by the German government, not a pirate)

Radio Merlin International: 6305, 10/28, 1628+ Clear ID, pop/rock music "I Want Candy" "Time Warp"


Friday, October 27, 2017

Halloween Weekend! (early updates)

Today's the beginning of the Halloween radio weekend. I don't yet have any loggings, but I really do need to come up with some separate antennas and listening/recording arrangements so that I can log  and record a few more broadcasts.

A few updates about things that I've written about recently:


  • In the South, be listening for Radio Reten Lo Que Tienes on 1710 kHz, which has been reported by a few listeners in Georgia. Signals have been strong, so it will be interesting to see just how far it will be reported. They have an impressive website.
  • I've received an e-mail that a new Halloween pirate, Creepy Radio, will be broadcasting this weekend on shortwave.
  • I've also received some e-mails from some pirates who plan to be on the air for the Global HF radio weekend, so we should have a few special broadcasts to be tuning around for.
  • I received a QSL from Lupo Radio from Argentina. He sent some information about his station, but I want to check with the operator before posting anything.




  • Chris Smolinski received successful tests from Chilean pirate Radio Compania Worldwide on 6925.1 kHz. It looks like we might be on the cusp of another renaissance of South American pirate radio activity, which is kind of amazing, considering that the really active stations from the '90s, such as Radio Cochiguaz, Radio Blandengue, and AARS, have not returned.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Don't forget about Halloween

I've been posting about the Global HF Weekend and sending e-mails about it, but don't forget that Halloween is the big weekend in North American pirate radio. In Europe, Halloween is pretty much just another weekend, but over here, you can expect a few Halloween-only stations to appear + holiday-themed broadcasts from a number of others.

In past years, during the prime times (about 2100-0100 UTC), we've had as many as six stations on the air at the same time. Of course, being prepared for Halloween means being there and listening. But if you have the equipment available, it also means having as many receivers as possible ready to tune in pirates and as many recording devices as possible ready to save the audio.

I currently only have one antenna up, so preparing for Halloween means that I need to set up another one, whether something specific or just a random wire so that I can tune in and record strong signals on a secondary receiver. It also means that I need to have another computer and the audio cable ready to record. I'd like to be capable of recording on three frequencies at once, but both of my 10-year-old laptops recently died and I have to ask myself if it's worth it to record onto cassette and then convert that audio to MP3 files later.

Of course, this is where the spectrum-grabbing capabilities of SDRs are truly useful--and I might just need to revisit it (imagine that). If you have an SDR and can save a chunk of the spectrum, this is the time to do it. And if you live in Europe and want to hear some North American pirates, the SDRs are useful for picking out weak bits of audio on fade-ups from a few different stations that might not be fading in for long.

Speaking of Europe and DXing pirates, given the erratic nature of pirate radio in North America, it might not be worth it for many listeners in Europe to stay up well past midnight listening, but if you want to try it, Halloween is your best bet. A few guys (unfortunately, just a few) from Europe regularly hear North American pirates and post on the HF Underground (I won't mention names in case they don't want the publicity, but some of the current active loggers are from Germany, Belgium, Italy, and the Ukraine and their reports are greatly appreciated), so signals should be audible across Europe on a regular basis. The variable here is propagation and the nemesis is local noise levels from computers, lights, signs, transformers, etc. A noisy environment can hinder or eliminate your chances of hearing some real DX.

I wanted to just write a little note about we shouldn't forget about Halloween, but this is turning into a full-out article! Sorry to babble on! Have a great weekend and, oh, Halloween-themed pirate radio tends to start a few weeks before Halloween (so that ops can get extra mileage out of their programs and because propagation varies). Just last night, Halloween Radio Shortwave was logged.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The technological message in a bottle

I've never been into the "newest, fastest, bestest" technology. I know that a lot of shortwave fans, if not of the present, then certainly the past, were into the hobby because of their desire to experience the cutting edge. That's not me.

My connection (or one of them) with shortwave--especially pirate radio and low-power private stations--has been more low brow.

I've been fascinated with things like messages in bottles and old graffiti.

To me, there's something wonderfully personally impersonal about a message in a bottle. Although it's been tossed out into the unknown, as impersonal as can be, it's meant for one person: who ever finds it.

In the case of graffiti, at the moment at least, I'm not too interested in the high school hood who tags every trashcan, bridge overpass, and bathroom stall, but I do stop any time I see initials carved in stone from more than a hundred years ago, such as from the bored Civil War soldiers who held the lookout above strategic Harpers Ferry (now West Virginia) or those who carved into Jefferson's Rock on the other end of the town.

Other mysterious events that some might include in these realms are the TJIPETIR tiles that have been floating out from a World War I-era ship wreck near Sicily, ocean playset Legos that have washed ashore in the British Isles from another ship wreck, and, of course, the Toynbee Tiles.

I found a mylar balloon in the yard about two weeks ago and I checked it--just to be sure that no note was attached designating it as some kid's weekend pen pal project.

You never know.

These parallels and metaphors are all leading somewhere. I found a link to a great story of an 8-year-old girl who tossed a message in a bottle into the ocean in 1989. She completely forgot about the bottle, moved away, and, about 37 years later, the bottle was discovered and most of the note was still intact.

Here's the link to the story.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

A Catch-All Post

(Probably more of a catch-some post because I'm sure to forget some things.)

I've been starting to see some buzz and get some e-mails about the Global HF Weekend. Thanks for the contacts. As I've mentioned, I'll post as much here as I hear on the radio and find out about, but I think that other people will be doing so as well. I've already heard from Terry's Hobby Radio Blog. He posted a copy of the e-mail that I sent out & said "I will also do what I can to note any interesting inter-continental DX as I hear it on this Blog." Awesome! I'm sure he'll find out some stuff that I don't, so be sure to check his blog before and during the weekend.

Thomas from the SWLing Post blog posted the e-mail as well, and the HB blog got a big jump in hits over the past day, so that's a good sign that people will be listening.

Thanks to Cool AM, I received a radio promo version of the e-mail that I sent out. I don't have a site to upload MP3 files to right now, but if you ask me, I'll send it to you. BTW, the link goes to the Cool AM jingle page, where many jingles that he produced for different stations are located.

Yesterday, an unidentified station on 6880 kHz from North America broadcast relays of numerous old shortwave pirate programs, including WKND, Radio Azteca, Radio Clandestine, Radio Free Whatever, WREC, and possibly others. I tuned in late but I did hear WKND. Good stuff!

Now that my dishwasher is done pumping out tremendous amounts of RFI, I might just check the radio.



Sunday, October 15, 2017

Contacting

I've started contacting everyone that I can think of about the Global HF Weekend. It's a really tedious process that involves tracking down e-mail addresses and trying to get my e-mail program to work properly. Next, I need to post info on a few radio hobby pages. Thanks and good night!

Next Global HF Weekend: November 3-5, 2017

Every time I try to block copy into this blogging program, different Word styles get copied along with it and the text color is black on dark gray, black on black, etc., so I'm starting over with a fresh screen this time.

It's almost time for the next Global HF Weekend, where pirates are trying to get signals to people far away and DXers are trying to hear pirates from other parts of the world. This happens to some extent at any time, but there's a better chance of success if there's an event and it gets publicized. I've always enjoyed hearing pirates from around the world, so this is something that I try to publicize.

If you haven't caught on by now, the weekends are always the first weekend of April and the first weekend of November. This works out well because it's kind of the beginning and end of DX season, and it's generally just after Halloween and April Fool's Day. The latter isn't a big pirating holiday, but it is a good way to remember the broadcasts.

When Harri Kujala started organizing these broadcasts around 2010, the propagation was better and the goal was to get pirates to try frequencies on 19 meters and above, primarily either 19 or 13 meters, but stations also had success on 25 and 31. These days, it seems that the max is probably about 19 meters, with 25 and 31 being good options (but not many pirates use those frequencies).

During the last Global HF Weekend, a few North American pirates put together a test for SWLs who were on a DXpedition in New Zealand--and four stations were reported there. We've also had some luck in North America with European stations being heard here.

As always, I'll post any schedules that I receive here (but I won't post station names on advance schedules). So if any stations want to send schedules to me, I'll do what I can to post them and, likewise, if any listeners are planning DXpeditions, I'll be happy to post about them here, too. Thanks to all, we'll hopefully have a good weekend.



Thursday, October 12, 2017

10/12/17 Loggings

Via Twente webreceiver in The Netherlands
1620, 10/12, 2030-2042* Lots of talk in Dutch and schlager

1629, 10/12, 1910+ The Police "De Do Do Do," Status Quo "Whatever You Want"  Excellent signal

1655, 10/12, 2021+ DJ in Dutch, mentioned Boney M. Think he also said greetings to Theresa & hi to David.

Laser Hot Hits: 6220, 10/12, 1850+ Music by The Smiths, ELO, & Uriah Heap. DJ mentioned that it's Sunday night, so it's a prerecorded show that's being repeated. Excellent signal. DJ talking about how there's nothing to watch on TV on Friday nights, then about preview channels, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, & Prison Break.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Radio Compania Worldwide (RCW)

Last fall, I heard Radio Pirana International for the first time since 1992. On Tuesday evening, Chris Smolinski logged Lupo Radio, which claims a location in Argentina. Digging around a bit more, I found some links to Radio Compania Worldwide (RCW), which claims a location in Chile. In the past couple of years, I've seen that a station or two from Brazil has tested (such as Radio Cidade Oldies). It looks like we might be at the beginning of a pirate radio revival in South America.

Chris speculated that some of the weak carriers that we hear around 43 meters might be South American pirates and I tend to agree. Chances are good that some of the carriers are also North American pirates testing homebrew equipment, too. For that matter, I've seen some people test low-power equipment into an inadequate antenna (such as a wire across the floor), not expecting it to get out anywhere, but I wouldn't surprised if a few people could hear the weak carrier from it.

Enough speculating about the sources of weak carriers on 43m and back to the topic at hand: South American pirate radio . . . RCW, in particular.

Their Twitter feed is here (English translation) 
Here's a brief log on YouTube with classical music
And here's a longer recording (but with weaker reception) on 6925 kHz from Brazil

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

10-4

I didn't post for "talk like a pirate day," but at least I'm posting on 10/4, which, to the best of my knowledge, has never been counted as any kind of a holiday. Seems like a great day to celebrate the CB band, though. If I'd been home and near my receivers today, I would've scanned around at least a little bit so that I could talk about what I heard or decoded today.

But I wasn't home.

So, no loggings or SSTV scans from outbanders. So, here are some links.

First, a recording of someone playing music in the outbander area.

Next, a pirate CB ghost story that also works well for upcoming Halloween as well. Be on the lookout if Angela is "here"

And finally, Convoy

Happy 10/4, good buddy


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Lupo Radio

I saw that Chris Smolinski logged Radio Lupo tonight on 6973 kHz. I hadn't heard of this station, but I ran some searches and found this tweet:

O6973 kHz listened to pirate station LUPO RADIOTango and folk musicThey would come out with 25 w from about 150 km to the west of CABA , from 15 to 22 hours .

I also found a few YouTube videos of Radio Lupo broadcasts. Most are really rough recordings. Here's the best one, received on a homemade regenerative receiver near Buenos Aires, Argentina: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDTsstAU9tw.

With the next Global HF Pirate Radio Weekend coming up in a month (on November 3-5, 2017), it's exciting that another South American station is active.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Finally, another post!

It's been a long time since I've posted anything in the blog.

I don't really have a lot to say for this entry, but I wanted to just post something.

I should have posted last week for Talk Like a Pirate Day. I should have posted during the eclipse. Oh well, at least I'm posting tonight.

Over the past nine days, PBS has been airing episodes of Ken Burns' The Vietnam War. It's extremely well done, like his other projects. It covers the war from numerous angles, including the viewpoints of the South Vietnamese, North Vietnamese, and Viet Cong. This is a radio blog, so I won't go deeper into describing the documentary. But there have been two noteworthy radio-related bits so far: Ho Chi Minh started the Tet Offensive by broadcasting a poem over Radio Hanoi as a signal for the insurgency to start (FYI, I looked this up and Wikipedia says General Võ Nguyên Giáp read "The Big Victory, The Great Task," so maybe I didn't get this correct or maybe Wikipedia was wrong, I'm not sure). Also during the offensive, in Saigon, the undercover NVA troops and VC guerrillas attempted to overrun a radio station (presumably a local station), but they were fought off while the station just played waltzes and Beatles songs.

Probably most everyone who reads these words either knows about or has heard recordings of Radio First Termer, the Vietnam pirate operated by an AFN broadcaster. I wonder how many other less-conspicuous pirates operated in Vietnam?

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Global HF Loggings Day 2: Sunday

I'll be away from the computer and radio between 1300 and about 1630 UTC, so if anyone wants to schedule a test during that time, please post it on the HF Underground on the Broadcast Announcements page.

1149 UTC Update: The bands are pretty dead right now, as I type this. No pirates are audible on 43m. 15000-15100 kHz is quiet, except for a carrier on 15040, a noise that always seems to be on 15049, and data on 15072 kHz. 21450-21550 kHz is completely quiet. I didn't see any loggings, but I wonder if more North Americans were testing to Oceania on 43m around 0600 UTC last night?

I checked the Twente tuner, but not much was happening in Europe, either. Radio Batavia was making a Global HF Weekend broadcast on 1620 kHz, so I helped make it global by tuning in:

Radio Batavia: 1620, 4/2, 1155-1208+  mostly Dutch music right now "Don't Waste Your Time with Only Dreaming," older-sounding novelty song in Dutch, Dutch pop song, REM "Shiny, Happy People."



1620 UTC: I'm back to the computer and radio. I'd heard from one station who was planning to be on at 1500 for a high-frequency test and another station who had planned to be on in the morning (EDT), but nothing has been on. I guess the station ops' plans changed.

1849 UTC: A station set up a test for me on 13870 kHz and if everything worked out, I had planned to announce it. But as he was tuning everything up, something failed and threw the breaker in his house. So, that station is off the air for today (and I hope that it's an easy and inexpensive fix for the station op).

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Global HF Loggings Day1, Saturday

Although I have not been receiving schedules or seeing schedules posted online thus far, I do see that some stations have been already been active and successful. For example, Radio Pirana International from South America was reported in North America last night. I could hear the carrier, but not get any audio. I was asleep at the time, but Captain Morgan Shortwave was on after 0600 UTC on 6950 kHz and the signal was reported in New Zealand! [update] I saw that FOUR North American stations were reported in New Zealand last night at 0600+ UTC:


1) WHYP- 6920 USB
2) XEROX- 6929 AM
3) Radio Free Whatever- 6940 USB
4) Captain Morgan- 6950 AM

WREC was also on (6960), but PJ didn't make it to NZ. And the NZ DXer also heard someone on 6955 kHz, but we don't yet know who it was

1230 UTC Bandscan: 15000-15100 kHz and 21450-21600 kHz are basically empty here. That doesn't mean that these bands won't be effective for some tests, but tests might not be as successful as on lower frequencies.

1230-1310 UTC: Hearing occasional weak Morse code on 6925. My guess is that it's pirate related

Moonlight Radio: 6925U, 4/1, 1330+ Very weak, funk music with sax. ID per station, who said it was a James Brown song. Thanks for the QSL & the info!



1400 UTC Bandscan: Weak data on 15072 and a carrier on 21505 kHz.

1430 UTC: Cupid Radio said he's on 15070 kHz. I'm listening right now and I've got something mixing with the 15072 noise. Not yet sure if it's Cupid, a computer noise source, or maybe a spur or receiver image

Cupid Radio: 15074, 4/1, 1440+ Cupid Radio (ID per op) starting to fade in here, with a YL vocal pop song. I've got some local noise on the freq, but others in North America should be able to hear it well. I've had a few very nice fade ups and I hope it'll keep getting better. 1508 UTC, yes, it does seem to be getting better!

XEROX: 6929, 4/1, 1449+ Reggae music, recording from a licensed station. Annual April Fool's Day broadcast. Excellent signal. DJ talking about the countdown. Up to #30, then cut to XEROX IDs & into what sounds to me like Andean folk music. Bart Sambo with Belfast USPS address and e-mail address

1635 UTC: Cupid Radio's broadcast has been really successful, with loggings on the HF Underground from Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Mass., Michigan, Kentucky, New York, Maryland, and Virginia.

BTW, here's a clip of a Cupid Radio broadcast from the last Global HF Weekend (Nov. 2016):


1700 UTC: Just before 1700 UTC, Joe in Rhode Island heard a very weak station with music on 15075 kHz.

1755 UTC: A couple of Twente web receiver loggings while I paint the hallway & put up some drywall:

Radio Bandido: 6850, 4/1, 1540-1556* Pretty good signal & I love the IDs with the horses winneying and "Dueling Banjos" in the background.



Radio Europe: 6875, 4/1, around 1635-1655 VG signal with pop music. Signed off before I could write down any notes

Laser Hot Hits: 6220, 4/1, 1730+ VG signal with some CW QRM earlier. DJ Ian Lawrence with light pop & dance music through the decades.  "Night Has 1,000 Eyes,""Coming Up," poppy cover of "Sounds of Silence," Frankie Goes to Hollywood, etc. Taking requests, e-mail address, etc. I'm hoping that LHH will be audible closer to sunset here

2000 UTC Update: I finished sanding drywall compound on the ceiling, then swept up twice. Back at the radio now. It appears that the signals are starting to skip long in Europe. If some of those stations will just stay on late, we've got a chance to hear them.

Unid: 6925, 4/1, ca2005 Caught the last few words of a speech, then applause & off. Excellent signal

Unid: 6945, 4/1, ca2011 A few seconds of Styx "Too Much Time on My Hands" & off. Excellent signal

Unid: 6230, 4/1, 2104+ Foreign-language music, maybe southeastern Europe? Excellent signal. My guess is Radio Cinco

2142 Update: I still have my radio locked in on 6230 kHz, but DimBulb has been hearing a number of Europeans on 48 meters, including Borderhunter on 6210, Laser Hot Hits on 6220, RFD on 6260, Radio TRX (tent.) on 6300 kHz, and possibly some others.

2220 Update: I have a carrier on 6210 for Borderhunter, but no audio. I have just a little audio on 6220 for Laser Hot Hits, but I doubt I can copy anything yet. Fortunately, I am hearing something:

XEROX: 6929.3, 4/1, 2220+ Excellent signal with clear IDs, Bart Sambo, & music.

Captain Morgan SW: 6375, 4/1, 2320+ Twilight Zone theme, Paul McCartney "Band on the Run." No IDs, but based on the TZ theme, I'm guessing that this is Captain Morgan. Just checked the Twente receiver & it's still too early for the signal to reach Europe. A whole bunch of computer-voiced IDs at 2325, then off



WREC: 6950, 4/1, 2318+ Caught a clear computer YL ID on the way down to check 6375. By 2328, heavy QRM from pescadores

Radio Pirana International: 6930, 4/1, 2340+ weak carrier here, but maybe audio will come through later in the evening. Online, the station op said that he's received reports over the past week from US, New Zealand, Germany, & Finland! Only 10 watts.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Schedules for Global HF Weekend

I'll add test schedules here as I receive them. Update 4/2: A lot of stations have been on the air specifically for the Global HF Weekend, but few are sending in advance schedules. That's fine, but I'm mentioning it here because there's still radio to listen for--even if it's not scheduled. Also, one test didn't work out; I received an e-mail from a station at 3 AM my time (0700 UTC), asking what frequency to use. I was asleep and couldn't post it here. Sorry about that!

Friday
6930 kHz, 2200-1400 UTC

Saturday
6285 or 6300, 1200+ UTC
6930 kHz, 2200-1400 UTC
15070 kHz, 1430+ UTC

Sunday
6285 or 6300, 1200+ UTC
6930 kHz, 2200-1400 UTC

Reminder to European hobbyists, unlike past years, transatlantic conditions are looking best between 0330 and 0630 UTC on 6 MHz, so any success with these signals might require getting up in the middle of the night. But I've been looking at the propagation to other parts of the world and the high frequencies are looking good.

We'll see as the weekend transpires.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Propagation, MUF, and long-distance radio for the Global HF Weekend

With the Global HF Weekend coming up and the recent blank sun phenomena that we've been experiencing, I thought it'd be best to check out the maximum usable frequency for different times of the day to different parts of the world.

In the past, the Global HF Weekends were great because stations could test on high frequencies that they usually don't operate on and listeners who normally either tune 48 or 43 meters could do likewise. Yup, I've heard a few station operators say "Why would I broadcast on 19 meters? A couple of years ago, I went on for a few hours on different weekends and I didn't receive any reports." Given the time and effort combined with the risks that the ops are taking, that makes sense. But if people are all on the same page; the stations are on a different band and the listeners are checking it, too, well, that changes everything.

Unless the Sun disagrees.

I've heard from at least one station who's planning to use frequencies on both 19 meters and 13 meters this upcoming weekend. It will be a good test to see if the predictors can be defied. And I really am interested in seeing what will happen with the long-distance (or any distance, really) signals at these frequencies.

But right now, my conclusion is that rather than shifting frequencies (at least dramatically), hobbyists might consider switching times for broadcasting and/or long-distance listening this weekend.

For this blog entry, I went to http://www.voacap.com and ran predictions based on a location of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (not far from here). FYI, if you set the transmitter at location X and the receiver at location Y, the results will be the same as if the receiver is at location X and the transmitter at location Y. I entered a power of 100 watts in SSB mode. Different power levels or modes and directional antennas will change the results, but this should give an idea of the propagation (at least to or from the northeastern US/southeastern Canada).

The largest number of shortwave pirates per capita in the world are in the Netherlands, so I'm starting off with the MUF between Harrisburg and The Netherlands:


As you can see, there's a weak spot from about 1500 to 1800 UTC where propagation should allow for signals to make it between Netherlands and Harrisburg in the 17000 to 19000 kHz area. But by far the best times are between about 0330 and 0630 UTC between 5000 and 7000 kHz.

You'd be safe to suspect that propagation between Harrisburg and Ireland would be similar:


It is, but the possibilities improve somewhat drastically, both in terms of potential signal strength and frequencies/times that should support transatlantic propagation.

Likewise, the opposite happens when the signal comes from or travels to a point deeper in Europe, Hungary in this case:

I think it's interesting that although 0330-0500 UTC around 6000-7000 kHz is still in the "sweet spot," there's a better window between 15000 and 21000 kHz.

Heading north to the Ukraine, the graph looks like this:


There are a few differences between Ukraine and Hungary on the map, but both are rather similar.

Now, for some exotic DX:


New Dehli looks very difficult!

Now, South Africa:


Reaching Johannesburg from the Northeast looks very possible. Even 21 MHz should work from 1700 to 1900 UTC, but is anyone listening . . . or are any South African shortwave pirates on the air?

I've never heard of any Japanese shortwave pirates, but here's the graph for Tokyo:

The best shot here appears to be 1000-1200 UTC around 9 MHz or 1200-1400 UTC around 11 MHz.

North American listeners who hear fishermen across the bands probably won't be surprised to see the graph between Harrisburg and Rio de Janeiro:

The peaks aren't as strong as those for Ireland or the Netherlands, but the levels are pretty decent for a very long time . . . and across a wide spectrum. If there were just more stations on the air from Brazil . . .

There's a DXpedition running in New Zealand this weekend. Here's the graph between Harrisburg and Auckland:


It looks like stations from the Northeast trying for New Zealand would do best between about 9000 and 13000 kHz from about 0700 to 1200 UTC.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Weekend Logs: 3/24/17-3/26/17

Back'n'forth from the radio. Great night for listening!

XLR8: 6955U, 3/25, 0038+ Recorded most of it with the tuning off by 3 Hz, whoops. That makes song identification kinda tough. Excellent signal with a variety of music, but a lot of punk. Fear "The Mouth Don't Stop," Circle Jerks "Paid Vacation," Parquet Courts "Ducking & Dodging," Flamin' Groovies "Teenage Head," Dead Kennedys "California Uber Alles," And lots of obscure music that I can't identify.

The Crystal Ship: 6876.1, 3/24, 2325+ Static crashes, but VG signal with Judas Priest, Autograph "Turn up the Radio," Van Halen "Unchained," The Who "Goin' Mobile," The Who "Magic Bus," 38 Special "Rockin' into the Night." TCS "Unchained" program promo, Promo for TCS merch to own a piece of pirate radio history, eBeastiality ad, Free Radio Cafe ad,

Liquid Radio: 6925, 3/25, 0140+ Pretty good signal, clear ID at 0140. More like '70s rock music, rather than the regular electronic. Peter Schilling "Major Tom." Static levels really jumped around 0150 (or the signal dropped?), making this much less intelligible.

Cool AM Radio: 6925U, 3/25, 1238+ ID not long after I tuned in. Lots of WMPR-like electronic dance music. Nice signal. Thought I was hearing This Is Not WMPR for the 1st time

Gospel Music SW: 6925.4, 3/25, 1824+ Contemporary Christian worship music, such as Matt Redman "Bless the Lord," Chris Tomlin "How Great Is Our God," "Blessed Be the Name of the Lord," "You Are the Everlasting God," "Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty," "Here I Am to Worship," Promo with “on the 8th day, God created radio” & email address “Gospel Radio, your gospel shortwave station”

Unid: 6930, 3/25, 1824+ A pirate is also on with a nice signal here. I need to get another antenna up because I've got 6925.4 recording here & I'll check back here later after the I've got a decent chunk recorded.

6290, 3/25, 2223 Some audio on this

Radio Cinco (tent.): 6260, 3/25, 2245+ Big signal, Spanish?-language talk, Radio Cinco ID, into The Chiffons "One Fine Day." I'm calling this "Radio Cinco" for the time being, but I dunno if that's a real ID from the station

Captain Morgan: 6949.9, 3/26, 0023+ Strong signal--even above the noise of the dishwasher & vacuum cleaner running. I guess this is a Chuck Berry memorial show: Cpn Morgan playing Chuck Berry "Too Much Monkey Business," "Brown-Eyed Handsome Man," "Sweet Little 16" A number of audio dropouts. I wonder if RF is getting into the CD player or computer?

Radio Eclipse: 6925U, 3/26, 1914+ Tuned in to a Billy Joel song, then a Steve Mann editorial from Radio Eclipse and Louis Armstrong "What a Wonderful World." BTW, I believe this is an old show from about 20 years ago. Good signal

This Is Not WMPR: 6925, 3/26, 2117+ Good signal, but some bad local QRM here. My 1st time to hear it. Female computer-voiced IDs. Dance version of "I'll Be Glad When You Are Dead, You Rascal, You"

Radio Cinco (tent.): 6260, 3/26, 2230+ Nice signal, but terrible local QRM. I'm guessing that this is the same station that I heard IDs as "Radio Cinco" last evening.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

3/21/17: A few recent logs

I've been sending out a bunch of generic informational e-mails about the Global HF Weekend. My apologies for not sending personal e-mails to everyone right now, but I don't have time. I have been trying to respond to everyone who writes back, but I still have a few more e-mails to catch up with.

Before I do that, I've had a chance to listen to the radio a little bit here'n'there, so next are a few loggings:

The Crystal Ship (tent.): 3425, 3/22, 0050+ Little more than a carrier on 90m in plenty of static crashes.

WHYP: 4065U, 3/20, 0111+ Excellent signal. I tuned in during an old Radio Bingo show, with lots of repeating phrases, etc. John Arthur wins the bingo prize! Also a few audio bits of Radio Free Euphoria and WMOE in the mix. Then into WHYP with plenty of music, including Sex Pistols “Anarachy in the UK” The Damned “New Rose” Ramones “Blitzkrieg Bop” The Lurkers “Shadow”
The Minutemen “History Lesson, Pt. II” The Nosebleeds “Ain’t Been to No Music School” Off after George Zeller repeated bits

The Relay Station: 5150, 3/21, 1608+ Manfred Mann "Blinded by the Light" The Doors "Riders on the Storm" & much more. Good/VG signal

Radio Free Whatever: 6930U, 3/19, ca. 0100+ Weak most of the broadcast. Didn't hear a lot, but did hear Dick Weed mention that he was going to sign off because the signal seemed to be skipping over most everyone now.

Europe
Radyo Oleg: 6965U, 3/20, 2148+ Poor, with some fair peaks. A Flock of Seagulls “I Ran” Laura Brannigan “Self-Control”Clear ID with “Radyo Oleg . . . Northern Ireland . . .shortwave, your station” with processing and delay on the final syllable of “station”

Sunday, March 19, 2017

E-mailing about Global HF Pirate Weekend

Just finished sending out info about the Global HF Pirate Weekend to a few hundred European stations from the UKDXer e-mail list. If you have a station that's on this list but you didn't receive an e-mail, let me know because it means that I either don't have it or a have a bad address for you (I have had a large number of bouncebacks). Now I need to post notices to more sites, etc. And, any listeners or operators can feel free to pass information, too. The event is already in place; I'm just passing information around so that more people will hopefully know about it.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Some logs: Blizzard logs? 3/12-3/14/17

I hope that our heater or our neighbor's TV or whatever it is starts working properly because I'm getting S9+ noise on the low bands and if snow is a good reason to be on the air, then tonight, tomorrow, and Wednesday should be awesome days for broadcasting most everywhere from Chicago to Maine. With NYC preparing for a blizzard, it'd be great to hear one of the old stations at the top of the AM band again, but I doubt that'll happen. Likewise for the long call-in shows from WONS in the 43m band. Regardless, I'll try to keep checking the bands for something interesting.


WHYP: 6940U, 3/12, 2200+ A Jay retrospective, with his last interview with JB. Fair signal. Off with "Goodbye to You"

The Crystal Ship: 3425, 3/13, around 0300 Probably a pretty good signal, but I could only hear the carrier & a bit of music because of wideband S9+ local noise from something. Maybe a bad heater?

The Relay Station: 5150, 3/13, 2208+ Boston "Don't Look Back" VG signal & audio

Well, the blizzard was pretty much a bust here. 6" instead of the 12"-18" that the weather forecasters were calling for. I spent the day sweeping, scrubbing, & polyurethaning a floor--and missed a pi-day themed station in the morning. But I've got one on now:

unid: 6925U, 3/14, 2251+ Run DMC "It's Tricky." Excellent signal

Oh yeah, I almost forgot that I heard a bit of something earlier:

unid: 6925U, 3/14, ca1600 Folks on HFU were reporting TV show audio. I tuned in and the signal was getting buried under local noise, still leftover from last night, around S7. Someone with a strong AM signal signed on overtop and swished the VFO back'n'forth a few times.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Next Global HF Weekend: March 30-April 2, 2017

Next Global HF Weekend: March 30-April 2, 2017
It's still a few weeks away, so be sure to mark the next Global HF Pirate Weekend on your calendar. The last one, which occurred during the first weekend in November was a sort of trial run. Cupid Radio and Mike Radio from The Netherlands were both widely reported in North America, and the former even made it to Japan. Sluwe Vos Radio wasn't reported as much in North America, but this Dutch station was reported in Brazil during the last GHF weekend.

March 30-April 2, 2017
General frequency ranges:
15010-15100 kHz
21455-21550 kHz

Basic schedule:
European morning, 0800-1200 UTC from Europe to Asia/Japan/Oceania.
European afternoon, 1200-1600 UTC from Europe to North America and vice versa.
European night, 2200-2400 UTC from North America to Asia/Oceania.

Of course, these are general frequency ranges where pirates have broadcast during prior Global HF Pirate weekends. Some stations will surely operate on frequencies and times outside of these ranges. These will be updated on HF Underground (https://www.hfunderground.com/) and on the Hobby Broadcasting (http://hobbybroadcasting.blogspot.com/) blog as it happens.


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Winter SWL Fest: Day 2 Continued

I had planned to add more about day 2, but I was either away from a power outlet, experiencing some spotty Internet connectivity, talking to people, or at the mall eating mall-grade cheesesteaks (a misteak, so close to Philly). Anyway, there was plenty of great stuff to take away from day 2 . . . and we talked the whole way home about the people we talked to, the stories we heard, the information we gathered. Really energizing. I don't want to write about too much of it here because I know some people are sensitive about being written about. But, wow, when you're listening to a forum from a guy who was in a North Korean chemical weapons factory and he's showing videos that he secretly filmed while he was there . . . that's something else!

Changing topics a bit, here are a few of the receivers that were in the hospitality suite and were generously available to be tuned

A pair of JRC NRD-301A receivers
The Racal RA6790
The Racal RA3791
An Icom IC-R9500

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Winter SWL Fest Day 2

This morning, I've been learning about DXing in Japan, presented by Toshimichi Ohtaké and Sakaé Obara of the Japan Shortwave Club (JSWC). [I blockcopied their names from another page to get the accents & spelling right, but it's probably going to be messed up]. Sakae has a blog that's worth checking out for general shortwave-listening information. Some fascinating information. For example, Radio Australia received 20,000 letters per month from Japan alone in 1973.

Sakae said that although shortwave listening in Japan has dropped off significantly since the radio explosion of the '70s, Baby Boomers are getting back into the hobby. He also said that more young listeners are getting involved.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Winter SWL Fest

I've been out and away from the radio for quite a while, but I'm at the Winter SWL Fest and am sitting in the audience of the Shortwave Shindig (being broadcast live via WRMI on 6855 and 9395 kHz), hosted by David Goren. With the lights dimmed, it has a sort of low-key variety show feeling. I don't think that there are many experiences quite like this anywhere in the world.

I've spent a number of days over the past few years listening to vintage radio programs on the old-time radio unidentified station. Some of these broadcasts were variety shows, such as Jack Benny, Red Skelton, etc. I'm sure that it doesn't quite have the majestic vibe of attending the original variety shows of the '40s and '50s, but I still imagine that the feeling of being here is the closest I'll get to experiencing those shows of yesteryear.

The original "Gang of Three" NASWA Winter SWL Fest organizers being interviewed
There's always a lot of interesting information here. Tomorrow should be a fascinating forum with Chris Ise and Andy Walker, who will talking about Offshore '98, Radio San Marino, and Mystery Radio. Right now, broadcast anthropologist Mark Fahey is giving a teaser for his forum tomorrow regarding radio archiving.

I'll be writing more about it soon, but the next Global HF weekend is March 30-April 2, 2017. I've already heard from some hobbyists who are interested in participating, so I'm looking forward to activities over the weekend.

Burley Cathedral

On an entirely different note, I was trolling around through some little antique shops and found a cathedral radio made by Burley. I'd never heard of Burley and I found almost nothing anywhere on the Internet about the company or the radios. Someone refinished the cabinet, maybe in the '80s?, and there was no tube lineup/model number label glued inside the case. But it does have a decal on the chassis with patent numbers. And in small print is "Mfd by U.A.C.C." I found that this means "United Air Cleaner Company" and UACC made the Sentinel radios. I guess that Burley was probably some brand made for a little department store or hardware store, but I have no idea who . . . and this case doesn't match up with any other radio that I've found online. At some point, I'll probably write more about this radio. But for now, here are a couple of photos: