Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Auds'n'Ends 10/9/19

As promised, here's my Captain Morgan clock, QSL #122, from 2008. I don't know how many of these have been sent out, but the generosity of many pirate ops is really something.

I think I heard Crystal Radio a couple of times on Sunday on 6950.5 kHz. I made recordings, but both times, the signal was too weak to pull any details. The past couple of days, I've missed their relays of Samurai Radio on the same frequency. I think these Samurai Radio shows were from around 1983 or '84 because the station operator was announcing the old Battle Creek, Michigan, maildrop.

Another station that I've wanted to log is Radio Corsair, the medium wave pirate on 1710 kHz. It was on last night and I forgot to check the car radio. Tonight I did listen, but only had WQFG689 with a "technical difficulties" loop announcement. Every time this happens, I think they should just bring in the WHOT guys to broadcast via their transmitter.

Because this post is called "Auds'n'Ends," I need some audio, so here's Kilokat7's recording of Radio Corsair from about two weeks ago. It's really rough, but the signal starts getting a bit better around the 8-minute mark

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The Captain Morgan Clock

I've had some material for this blog post sitting in an open window of my blog for for about three months. I thought about what approach I should take, to what extent I should write about it here, etc. Then, the motherboard on my laptop died. I pieced my computer back together, wrote my TSM column, all while thinking that I really need to write some stuff on here.

That said, I'm going to take the short approach this time.

I received a great e-mail from Brian Penney about the Captain Morgan clock that he received from the station. Probably most people in North America who read this blog either know about the CM clocks or have one, but I doubt that many of our European readers do.

In an era when licensed shortwave radio stations are disappearing and everyone is sending reports and eQSLs via e-mail, Captain Morgan occasionally sends out QSL clocks. I have to ask him the criteria for receiving a clock, but I'm sure he's sent out hundreds. That's an incredibly generous gift for someone experimenting on the shortwave bands and already providing listeners with some entertainment. It's kind of like being given a gift just for accepting a prior gift.

Here's what Brian said:

Whenever I mail out a reception report I do it for the benefit of the operator.
Never do I expect to get anything in return.

The last thing I ever expected to receive was a coveted Captain Morgan clock.
Well a package arrived in yesterday’s mail and it contained a customized clock from Captain Morgan!

Very special gift and I am truly honored to have received one.
I attached a pic of the clock for your perusal.

He also gave me permission to post his comments and the photo of his clock so long as I also posted a photo of my Captain Morgan clock. I'll post it, but not tonight. I'll put it up in my next post, hopefully within the next few days.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Nice conditions to Europe on Sunday (4/21-4/22)

On Saturday night, X-FM made a long broadcast of music and requests while announcing a phone number. It was the best that I've heard X-FM in a year or two, but a lot of those difficulties were probably because of my antenna mast collapse. Still, the signal was excellent for the duration of the broadcast, and it was great to be able to sit back and enjoy the show.

I was curious about just how well the signal was getting out & I started checking SDRs around the world. The X-FM signal ranged from barely audible to very good at these locations (in no particular order): SW England; Rio Grande da Serra, Brazil; Bjargtangar, Iceland; Kongfjord, Norway; Carlow, Ireland; Wrexham, Wales (carrier); Anasco, Puerto Rico; Maui, HI; & Bonaire SDR. I didn't stay up for the sign off to see if the signal made it into New Zealand, Australia, or Japan, but maybe?

On Sunday, conditions were good and European pirates were broadcasting during the greyline propagation hours. Nice combination! Here are a few loggings via my own receiver:

Mustang Radio: 6265, 4/21, ca. 2324+ Shoutout, I think to BLW in Alabama, who turned in. Into Lynyrd Skynyrd “Sweet Home Alabama” and I think he said hi to me over part of the song. Depeche Mode “People Are People” & Blondie “Call Me.” Thanks to Radio Star & me for logging it on HFU, thanks to everyone for reports. There were some stretches of instrumental music and a string of pre-recorded Mustang Radio IDs at the end of the program  

Radio Voyager: 6950, 4/21, 2310+ Pink Floyd “Us and Them,” then a jazz song with lots of improvisational piano. An announcement or ID by a woman, then a male computer voice with the Radio Voyager e-mail address. A song with a woman singer, maybe Motown or soul?  

Blue Moon Radio: 6850, 4/21, 2314+ The signal was very weak but audible. I could hear music throughout, without many problems of deep fading. But aside from the signal being too weak for me to know the words, I just didn’t know any of the songs. HF Underground DXer Skipmuck heard a lot of the songs and mentioned that they were being played on a loop. My guess is that was just for the night and that it switched back to live programming this morning. I checked the Twente web receiver the next day and listened to the station again. One thing from listening on Twente is that your music levels sound good, but the mic levels are really weak. Even though the signal is very good in the Netherlands, I had to turn the audio output up about the whole way to be able to understand the announcer. The operator said he's using "25 watts and a half wave dipole. Over the past few days we have received reports from throughout Europe, Scandinavia, Ukraine, Russia, and east coast of USA."

Friday, April 19, 2019

Radio Cuckoo Logging and Skyline Radio Germany Test

Last night, I was working outside, scraping and painting the house. I don’t remember why I needed to go inside (maybe to take our dog back inside because she was barking at people walking down the road?), but I did. When I went inside, I checked HF Underground and saw that Skipmuck in Massachusetts was hearing the European pirate Radio Cuckoo and IDing a number of songs, so I thought I might have a shot. I ran up to the radio, locked in on the signal and managed to ID one song after fighting through static and the drone of my receiver’s drifty sync lock.

Radio Cuckoo: 6240.3, 4/18-19, 2342-0042+ Really tough copy, but some signal was audible throughout. In many cases, all I could hear was a beat, but I had Gary Numan "Cars" fade up nicely. In the last 30 minutes, it seemed to be fading away, but then it came back for a really nice fade up. Also heard an announcement and possibly an ID and e-mail address. I sent a reception report with a couple of audio clips to the station today and received a nice e-mail and eQSL back. Power is between 40 and 50 watts, and the station is working on a much more powerful transmitter. When that happens, it should be audible across much of the East Coast of North America.

Also, I received this e-mail from Skyline Radio Germany, which was popular a few years ago. Unfortunately, those times and frequencies mean that it won't be audible in North America. But, thanks to the modern world of the Internet, it's possible to listen via an online receiver:


After a long time of absence - WE ARE BACK ON THE AIR! kindly gave us the possibility to be on air with
our shows via their transmitter located somewhere in Northern Germany.

If you would like to try to catch our programmes, six hours,
on April 20th, 2019, Easter Saturday afternoon local (15.00 - 21.00 UTC)
would be a good time to give us a listen.
Try the 75 metre band shortwave on 3975 kHz!
Let's keep fingers crossed for no geomagnetic storms!
If propagation conditions should be bad the transmission
will be postponed until further notice.

It might be a good chance for you to catch our special eQSL-card.
We look forward to your reception reports and comments to:
SKYLINE RADIO GERMANY, P.O.Box 2702, 6049 ZG Herten, The Netherlands
or via e-mail to: skylineradiogermany /at/

Have a great time with us and Good DX,
DJ Jan-Hendrik

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Radio Piraña International Beacon Test Tonight

Jorge Garcia sent a bulk e-mail (& posted on HFU) that he'll be testing a beacon transmitter on 6342 kHz CW tonight starting at 2200 UTC with 20 watts. With that much power, it seems like RPI could well make it into North America.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

TSM & a "Mystery" Track

Lost in all of the packing & shipping of PRAs is the fact that I wanted to mention that I received the latest issue of The Spectrum Monitor. It's been a while since I've included it here . . . and I definitely need to. If you haven't seen TSM, it's essentially a continuation of Monitoring Times, except in PDF-only format. I think the fact that it's not on bookstore shelves and not passed among friends limits its new audience potential. To me, at least, it seems to be more a magazine for "those in the know." If you liked MT in the past, you're sure to enjoy TSM. You can check it out the wesbite here.

The 2017-18 Pirate Radio Annual has 86 tracks listed in the book, but 87 on the CD. Those 86 tracks in the listing are correct, but the last track (#87) is not listed. Track #87 is The Relay Station and I recorded it on October 1, 2016, on 5150 kHz at 2101 UTC. TRS doesn't often ID, so I was happy to catch this.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

2017-2018 PRA Notes and 2019-2020 (?) PRA

First of all, thanks to everyone for the orders and support so far. I've received a number of nice comments via e-mail, letters, and on HF Underground. I really appreciate it all. It's also been great to reconnect with some old friends and get to know some radio fans a bit better.

I've been packing books much of the weekend and haven't listened a lot, but I did hear WTF Radio and Weird Al Radio for the first time tonight. Weird Al Radio reminded me of shortwave pirates from about 1983 to maybe 1995 or so, when his songs were often aired. And the late H.V. Short of RFM frequently played the Spatula City ad from the Weird Al movie UHF.

One comment about the "graphics" on the CD-R for this edition. I got a good price on a couple of spools of the coated (pre-labeled?) CD-Rs that you can't really put labels on. I had what I thought might be a good idea for the CD-R "graphics" and after I'd already finished them, I showed my family. I thought maybe the style would give it a personal, somewhat endearing look. My responses were somewhere in the realm of "horrible" and "just no." Sorry about that!

A few weeks ago, I posted the station list for the 2019 PRA. My goal was to get 2019 done before the next Winter SWL Fest, and then see if I could get 2020 out before Christmas 2020. That would be 3 editions in about a year and a half. I was thinking about all of this scheduling. As much as I want to get back the PRA onto an annual basis, I think that putting out three editions in a year and a half would just annoy everyone ("Oh another PRA already? I just bought one"). So, I'm considering making the next edition a combined 2019-2020 and trying to release it about this time next year, to get everything back on track. Does that sound reasonable?

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Packing & Shipping PRAs

I've been packing PRAs tonight & should have a 2nd batch ready to go out tomorrow. Probably most of these will be arriving at their destinations around the middle of next week.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

2017-2018 PRA Now Available

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]  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.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Ghosts in the Air Glow

No time to write at the moment, but I heard the Ghosts in the Air Glow experimental broadcast tonight via the HAARP facilities & wanted to mention it for anyone who would want to tune in. The signals on 2 and 3 MHz were nonexistent here, but 4500 kHz was weak with SSTV images, and 6900 kHz was very strong.

For more information, see:

The live feed is worth checking out, even if you can't hear the radio transmission. Only a few more of these broadcasts will be made before the event is finished.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Station Listing for the 2019 Pirate Radio Annual

As I mentioned in my blog post from yesterday, the 2017-2018 Pirate Radio Annual is finished and the files are at the printer. I don't know yet when the books will be available, but I hope it'll be within the month.

I spent a few hours today and assembled the station listing for the 2019 PRA. The stations in this list are those that have been reported in North America on shortwave in 2018. The second list is stations from Europe and South America that were reported across a significant part of North America in 2018.

If you're a DXer or a station operator, please e-mail me to let me know if I missed any stations here. If so, please include links to the missing station.

Amphetamine Radio
Bah Bah Radio. See Bye Bye Radio
Bangalore Poacher
BID Radio. See Burn It Down Radio
Big Johnson Radio
Black Pearl Radio
Black Swamp Radio
Blue Ocean Radio
Brownie Radio
Buddha Radio
Burn It Down Radio
Bye Bye Radio
Canadian National Radio
Captain Morgan
Captain Zee-Key
Carpet Shark
Cat Radio. See WCAT
Celtic Music Radio
Chamberpot Radio
Channel Z
Cinder Claus Radio International
Clever Name Radio
Cool AM
The Crystal Ship
DB Cooper Radio
Deez Nuts Radio
DimBulb Radio
DORM Radio
Dr. Detroit
Drunken Squirrel Radio
Drunken Winky Radio
The Electric Circus
Evil Elvis
Fess Parker Radio
Freedom Radio
The Ghost Shortwave
Goat Herder Radio
Green Monster Radio
Hot Legs Radio
Hot Radio
Howdy Doody Radio
Insane Radio
International Free Radio Service
Ion Radio
Kid from Brooklyn Shortwave
King Kong Radio
KINK Radio
KOOT Radio
Lukewarm Radio
Man Cave Radio
Mat Radio 2000
Misfit Radio
Mix Radio International
Montreal Rose
Moonlight Radio
Mother's Milk Radio
Newport Pirate Radio
Nuttin' on Shortwave
Old Pirate Radio
Outhouse Radio
Partial India Radio
Peace Radio
Pee Wee
Piss Ant Radio
Planet Z Radio
Rabid Rabbit
Radio Appalachia
Radio Boo Boo
Radio Casablanca
Radio Cobain
Radio Comedy Club International
Radio Enterhaken
Radio Free Connecticut
Radio Free Do Whatever
Radio Free Ramones
Radio Free Whatever
Radio Fusion Radio
Radio Ga-Ga
Radio Galifrey Intergalactic
Radio Humperdoo
Radio Illuminati
Radio Olah
Radio Paisano
Radio Stasi
Radio Strange Outpost 7 (RSO7)
Radio Tango America
Rave on Radio
RCCI. See Radio Comedy Club International
Recycle Radio
The Relay Station
Renegade Radio
Rockabilly Radio
Sekio Radio
Seven Trees Radio
Skippy Radio
Sloppy Joe Radio
Solar Centric Radio
Space Radio
Spectres of Shortwave
Squirrel Radio
Stretchy Radio
TCS. See The Crystal Ship
This Is Not WMPR
    Calvin Coolidge
    Fruitcake Station
    Remember Pearl Harbor
    Sousa Station
    Titanic tribute
UNID Radio
Unidentified Radio
Unsuspected Radio
Toynbee Radio
Turkey Breast Radio
The Vinyl Station
Voice of America
Voice of the Angry Cat
Voice of Elvis
Voice of Monotony
Voice of Pancho Villa
Voice of the Report of the Week
Voice of the Yetti
WBPR. See Black Pearl Radio
The Whistler
Wild 100
WNBC relay
Wolverine Radio
Woolvureen Radio
WQXI relay
WQXR relay
X - 1
Yeah Man Radio
Yetti Radio. See Voice of the Yetti
Zodiac Radio

Europe and South America
Coast FM
Crazy Wave Radio
Energy FM
Focus International
Key Channel Radio
Laser Hot Hits
Lupo Radio
Radio Abu Dhabi
Radio Harmony
Radio Powerplay
Radio Zeppelin
Zenith Classic Rock

Friday, March 22, 2019


After spending too long creating and placing running heads, creating the cover, and debugging files over the past two or three weeks, the 2017-2018 Pirate Radio Annual is done and at the printer, as of this afternoon! This edition is 308 pages and will contain an audio CD-R (playable on standard CD players) containing clips from 86 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).

Now I have my fingers crossed that the files will be OK and the printer won't have any problems.

Then, I'll have to start work on the 2019 Pirate Radio Annual . . .

Thursday, February 7, 2019

A couple more Dutch MW logs via Twente

A few logs via the Twente web receiver:

1611, 2/7, *1615+ Modern dance music, into schlager. Played some short segments of various more modern pop or rock songs, including George Thorogood "Bad to the Bone" around 1645 or so, then into much older schlager songs. Audio very strong, but not distorted

1629, 2/7, 1600-1635* instrumental & vocal schlager songs, male announcer in Dutch. Announcement & off after an older instrumental schlager song. A song or two sounded like calliope music. Good signal, but some interference from a data station on about 1622-1624. Someone on the chat said "1629 Edel," so maybe Radio Edelkampioen?

Dolfijn Radio (?): 1629, 2/7, 1955+ Calliope-sounding music & schlager. I think one song was The Mavericks "All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down." On the pirate chat, a listener mentioned ID as Dolfijn, but I only heard talk from a male announcer at about 2030. Not sure about the ID because I have a tough time understanding anything in Dutch (and a lot of other languages :o)

Monday, February 4, 2019

Follow up to 1/30 logs

I received an e-mail from Ray about my 1645 kHz log on the Twente receiver. Yup, it was not Misti Radio, but rather someone playing a song for Misti. Here's the e-mail:

Your station on 1645 kHz logged at 1650 utc on Jan 30th is not Misti Radio, but Zender Concorde, playing hard rock, including German rock.

You can hear it again through the site of achimbrueckner, with a recording beginning at 1641 utc (after two shorter ones of the same station). That is a very good recording, just a bit of noise. At about 11min42sec, the DJ says "OK Misti..." and more in Dutch, agreeing about a request for a record from Rainbow. Then playing that record, I think (I don't know really that rock group).

I did not hear an ID of the station, but I'm pretty sure that Achim could not be wrong on such a good reception.

Many thanks to Ray for the clarification and research!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Couple of SDR logs from this morning.  I'm still laying out the Pirate Radio Annual, so maybe I'll add more to this post, maybe not, but I at least wanted to post something!

Via SDR in New York
OTR unid: 6770, 1/30, 1410+ Fading out at times but heard an episode of Hallmark Playhouse with a Hallmark Card ad at the end, into Night Beat episode “The Doctor’s Daughter,” originally aired on 10/27/1950. At end, went into NBC promos. QRT part-way through the promos

Via Twente Receiver
Misti R (?): 1645, 1/30, 1650- Male DJ in Dutch, but did say “misty,” so I assume this is either Misti Radio or he was saying hi to Misti. Rainbow “Long Live Rock’n’Roll,” Stevie Nix “Stand Back”