Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Hobby Broadcasting Radio QSLs

 


The QSLs just arrived from the printer! I think I'm overly enthusiastic to have a few hundred QSLs printed for just a shortwave program, but why not? 😜 

I'm sending out hardcopy QSLs to listeners who send a hardcopy report in. I'll verify reports for whatever radio station aired it, whether WBCQ, pirates, or Part-15 stations. So far, I've sent out eQSLs for e-mailed reports to people who heard HB Radio on WBCQ and Mix Radio International.


Monday, November 14, 2022

Hobby Broadcasting Radio #1 in the can



 

Hobby Broadcasting Radio show #1 done. Whew! It's scheduled to be aired on WBCQ's 5130-kHz transmitter on Thursday November 17 from 11-12 PM EST (November 18 from 0400-0500 UTC).

This show is primarily an interview with Brian Penney (longtime pirate listener and also the pirate radio columnist for NASWA), where we also talk about Halloween stations and manage to squeeze in some clips from stations on that weekend. 

The plan is for HB Radio to be on the air every third Thursday of the month at this time on 5130 kHz. I also hope to get it on to a video platform (not that there's any video), such as YouTube or Rumble. My hope is that those will be good outlets for people to learn about shortwave radio--especially independent shortwave radio.

If you hear show #1, did it sound like something you'd want to listen to each month? If not, is there anything we could do to make it better?


Thursday, October 13, 2022

Hobby Broadcasting Radio

For years, I've mostly avoided airtime. I've been invited to be on the radio a few times, but turned it down. I did a bunch of radio interviews around 1996 for the second edition of Pirate Radio Stations, and more for the third edition of the book around 2001, culminating in an appearance on Art Bell. The biggest reason that I stopped is that I'm not a smooth talker and not the quickest on my feet. I just don't really like to talk that much. So, I stuck to what I've been better at: writing.

But over the course of the past few years, I've seen plenty of people with interests in shortwave and other "mysterious" radio, but they never really connect with the pirates and DXers. They catch mystery transmitters in video games and watch spy numbers station videos on YouTube. The newbies aren't reading about it in books, or magazines that I used to write for, like Popular Electronics, Popular Communications, etc.

Just before the pandemic rolled in, as we were discussing the state of the hobby at the SWL Winterfest, I was thinking that I should create a monthly show to put on YouTube and to get onto the private shortwave stations. That maybe showcasing some audio bites from recently heard stations and radio history would get pique some interest in the hobby and get cause positive discussion.

During the Covid shutdowns, I thought it would be a perfect time, but I had so much going on, both workwise and personally, that I didn't. But I kept thinking it was something that I should pursue. 

I received an e-mail a few weeks ago, offering the opportunity to create a radio show about pirate radio on the 5130-kHz transmitter of WBCQ. Whether this is God giving me a green light or I'm on the precipice of taking on more than I can handle, I don't know, but I said "yes" and I'm starting to brainstorm and assemble things.

The first episode of Hobby Broadcasting Radio will air on the 3rd Thursday of November on 5130 kHz. I've been considering assembling a program 0 to start with, but I'm not sure that I would have it ready in October.

Thanks & have a great evening!

 


 



Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Farmers from Holland

 I've been listening to Bluebird Radio from Netherlands on 1629 kHz via the Twente web receiver this afternoon. I've also been listening to another Dutch pirate on 1618 kHz. The programming is what I'd expect: mostly polkas and schlager tunes and some shoutouts.

About 25 years ago, I heard the pirate Farmers from Holland a few times on shortwave. If I remember correctly, I sent the station a reception report and a cassette recording, but I never received a response. Ah well, that said, the response from my reception reports to Dutch pirates has been far better than that from licensed stations in Peru and Bolivia.

Farmers from Holland had a fun QSL and it would have been nice to have received one, if for no other reason than that I could have used my own QSL to illustrate this blog entry, rather than search around on the Internet to find this image:


I'd read before that most of the Dutch medium-wave pirates are from the rural northeast, toward Germany. If the pirate operators from this region aren't farmers, they must know some. Wonder how many Dutch farmers listen to their friends playing polkas above the MW band while out in the fields?

Lately, I've seen some news reports about Dutch farmers protesting climate restrictions that they say will put as many as 30% of farmers in the country out of business. Some of the news bits that I saw were tractor parades on Dutch highways (reminiscent of the Canadian truckers in the spring), dumping milk, burning hay bales, etc. I believe I read that The Netherlands is the #2 exporter of agricultural products behind the US, so this is potentially a big deal.

I assume it's a polarizing topic in Europe as it is in North America. Here, most corporate media has ignored the Dutch protests, but the independent and right-leaning media has covered them somewhat regularly.

This blog post is to provide some background and to ask one question: Has anyone heard any Dutch pirates with programming that in any way is connected to these protests--even if it's just playing some requests for farmers? I haven't, but I haven't listened as closely as many people do . . . and I also don't understand Dutch!







Monday, April 25, 2022


No, the photo doesn't represent anything in particular. Just nice to see Eastern Redbud in full bloom, swarmed with pollinating bees.

As I was just starting to type this entry, I saw that Elon Musk officially bought Twitter. Crazy times we live in. I had made comments that I thought we were in an era of corporations guided strictly by accountants, who slowly made decisions that would only help the bottom line. Nope. It seems that Elon Musk (Twitter), Jeff Bezos (Washington Post), Mark Zuckerburg, and others are the Tesla, Edison, Sarnoff, Armstrong, etc. of the 21st century. 

Also, it's interesting to see that people are now following Radio Europe closely enough that 5835.2 is now marked as "UKR Radiostatsiya Evropa" on the Twente web receiver. I'm not sure if I've seen any other pirate marked on that site.

Saw that WRLY was relaying WEHM this afternoon, but I missed it. Not sure that I would've heard it anyway because I'm getting a lot of interference here during the daytime now; think it might be the neighbors' solar panels, but I haven't walked around with a portable to see.

The station yesterday (I assume Mix Radio International) on 6875 that moved to 6960 kHz had an incredible signal. Hours of classical and opera music with no IDs. Saw it was logged directly in Bermuda and France, and the signal was perfect here for hours.

Log via Twente Web Receiver

Radio Ukraine: 5835.2, 1630-1935* Bruce Springsteen "Born to Run," "People Get Ready," Beatles "Help!" Eric Clapton "Layla," Johnny Cash "I Walk the Line," Led Zeppelin "Stairway to Heaven," Rolling Stones "Sympathy for the Devil," "River Deep, Mountain High"

Radio Columbia: 1640, 1935-1948* Perfect signal there on 1640 kHz. A number of IDs and talk in both English and Dutch. Lots of Dutch instrumental songs, but now a light rock song about the rain coming down in English.

Radio ?: 1642, *1648-1653* Lots of Dutch instrumental radio production music. Dutch talk, with many mentions of  Radio Columbia. To me, the ID sounded like "Radio Bungamore"


Tuesday, April 5, 2022

A few logs from Europe via Twente

 I listened to a few stations on the computer while I was working (also on the computer) today. I should've checked the radio early because someone was on in North America. Later on, I was working and occasionally checking the HFU board . . . but I forgot to check the Latin America board and Radio Cidades was heard with good signals in New England, Alaska, and France on 10230 kHz around 2300 UTC!

Logs via Twente web receiver

unid: 4625, 1400+ Music being aired on UVB-76's frequency. I assume this is a jammer, but presumably from Western or maybe Central Europe because it had a good signal, but UVB-76 wasn't audible at all. 

Radio Europe: 5835.2, 1815+ "Respect," Beach Boys "Good Vibrations," Chuck Berry "Johnny B. Goode," Beatles "Hey Jude," Nirvana "Smells Like Teen Spirit," Who "My Generation," Clash "London Calling"

Marianna?: 1617, 2025+ Some older Dutch pop. Male announcer with short, tight reverb

1621, 2110+ Polkas & schlager. Male announcer sounded like he mentioned "Marianna" a lot, so I assume he's QSOing with the Marianna op. I couldn't understand his ID

1646, 2125+ Polka-ish song "Little by Little." Levels are varying a lot and sometimes they were really distorted, such as during one annoucement

 


Saturday, April 2, 2022

Mike Radio & Mix Radio International being heard across the Atlantic

 Getting this up quickly in case anyone sees this message & checks it out in time:

Mix Radio International: 15500 kHz USB, 1722+ Mix has a fair signal with smooth jazz on the Twente web receiver



Mike Radio: 5841 (via Twente) and 15080 (on my own receiver), 1645+ Excellent on Twente web receiver with "Angie." Announcement with both frequencies. 15080 is intended for Eastern Europe, but I heard a decent carrier on 15080, and even some occasional audio. First I've heard Mike Radio with my own radio in a few years. I'm recording it from my R8, but casually listening on Twente. Shoutout to me & Kinks "Sunny Afternoon," Mike Radio jingles. Said getting stronger in Australia on 15080. Said should be audible in Kiev on 15080, if anyone has time to listen. My antenna isn't that great on 19m, so I'd bet some other DXers could hear this with a better signal in North America


I guess Mike Radio was audible in Ukraine on 5841 as well as 15080 because soon after it signed off, Radio Europe showed up on 5835.2 kHz.

Radio Europe (Ukraine): 5835.2, 1730+ Bob Dylan "Like a Rolling Stone"