Saturday, April 25, 2015

Weekend pirate loggings: 4/26-4/28/15

Weekend pirate loggings: 4/26-4/28/15

Made it back home to a bunch of pirates on the air, but unfortunately I missed KVPH again and also WPIG. Wonder if WPIG is in any way related to the WPIG from the '90s?

Radio Free Whatever: 6940U, 4/26, 0149-0156* Girlpool "Blah Blah Blah" Mentioned X-FM: "I'm sure you want to go listen to him, not me" "I'm kinda like the president of Hair Club for Men . . . I'm not only the president, but I'm a client of pirate radio." Mentioned stations he enjoyed listening to & haven't been around lately: MAC, Undercover Radio, Blue Ocean Radio . . . " "I'm going to try to listen to X-FM when I'm done here"

unid: 6951, 4/26, 0145+ Noted this station in passing while checking what was on 6965, but disappeared when I was heading back through

X-FM: 6965, 4/26, 0144+ I think this is the 1st time that I caught it, but heard while running the canned "stay tuned for X-FM" IDs. Will tune back to it in a bit, but I'm still finding other stations! Just checked the Twente receiver in NE Holland & signal is barely audible there!

Captain Morgan SW: 6924.2, 4/26, 0159-0244* The Who "Who Are You?" Lou Reed "Walk on the Wild Side" Stones "Jumping Jack Flash" Bowie "Let's Dance." Big signal, like almost everyone else I've been hearing tonight. Twilight Zone theme a few times, which can only mean one thing. Just checked the Twente receiver in NE Holland & signal is very audible there!

unid: 6924.6, 4/26, 0244-0254* Hearing someone here with music immediately after Captain Morgan signed off. Weak. Air raid sirens at 0249 & again later. Thought I heard a bit of "Green Onions" by Booker T & The MGs

WPIG: 6925U, 4/26, 0254+ Weak, but I heard a few clear IDs. Sounds like a phone call. Not sure if this is a recording of the '90s WPIG, but it does sound like it is now. Now singing some songs about WPIG

Radio Free Whatever: 6849, 4/26, 0323+ The Hives "Main Offender" Signal's pretty good, but the audio is overdriven

Radio Casablanca: 6940, 4/26, 1336+ Fair with big band music, computer ID, & a clip from the movie Casablanca."Stormy Weather" "Dancing Cheek to Cheek"

The Crystal Ship: 6876, 4/27, 0145+ Excellent signal with '70s Jukebox Program. Heart "Magic Man" Donner Pass Cafe ad

Old-Time Radio unid: 6770, 4/27, 0200+ Good signal with Abbott & Costello.

European Pirate Logs via the Twente Web Receiver: 4/24/15

 European Pirate Logs via the Twente Web Receiver: 4/24/15

We were busy last night, so I didn't have a chance to check the radio. I did check out the computer earlier in the day & heard these via the Twente web receiver:

Radio Mirabelle: 6300, 4/24, 1420+ Very poor. Sounds about like I’m listening to a somewhat typical reception of a Europirate on my home receiver. I saw the signal on the Twente waterfall & tuned in. It’s mostly just carrier, but I’m getting occasional fadeups of audio. I checked Iann’s chat & it’s Radio Mirabelle because they announce a location in France. Chris Smolinski heard them and received a QSL when the station was running in LSB at a better time of day (2330 UTC), about six weeks ago.

? 6380, 4/24, 1502-1545* Talking about the weather, “but hoping for good conditions for HF” A bit of “Tubular Bells,” announcer mentioned “Mike Oldfield,” then on to other music. Many later announcements in Dutch. Lynyrd Skynyrd “Freebird.” Lots of electronic dance music. Said “---- from Holland. Until next time, bye bye.”

Radio Odynn: 6285, 4/24, 1545-1640* Vince Taylor & Playboys “Brand New Cadillac” Dire Straits “Walk of Life” Norman Greenbaum “Spirit in the Sky” Jetho Tull, Talk in Dutch. Really nice pro-sounding promo with e-mail address & phone number. Arthur Brown “Fire” Amii Stewart “Knock on Wood”

? 6295, 4/24, 1615+ Lot of schlager & talk in Dutch

Misti Radio: 6306.8, 4/24, 1553-1557* The Doors “People Are Strange,” dance music. Fairly weak. ID per Iann’s chat

Radio Pioneer: 6735, 4/24, 1856+ Nice signal, BZN “Just an Illusion” Buddy Holly “Bye Bye Love” & “Oh Boy” Signal is 20 kHz wide! Cliff Richard “Bachelor Boy” & “Congratulations” & “Lucky Lips”

Radio Arcadia: 6850, 4/24, 1856+ CW & ID Audio sounds a bit overdriven. Nice signal. Many YL IDs, but a heterodyne on the frequency made listening tough

Radio Voyager: 6950, 4/24, 1903+ Dixieland jazz with a male announcer. Not sure about the language. Nice signal. Also hearing tangos, blues, classical music. Nice promo with e-mail address at 1953

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Mid-week Loggings: 4/23-4/24/15

Mid-week Loggings: 4/23-4/24/15

Doing some listening to the radio tonight & also via the Twente online web receiver earlier.

The first print run of the 2014 Pirate Radio Annual is almost sold out. I'm looking into printing costs right now to see if it's worth ordering more copies.

The Crystal Ship: 6876, 4/24, 0040+ Heartbreak Hotel Show (lots of ballads), Julianna Montana ID. I've been lucking out & hearing TCS a lot over the past two months. As always, the signal's awesome, but tonight there's more noise as we're heading into the spring & summer months (even if it doesn't feel like it tonight). Rainbow "Stone Cold"

OTR unid: 6770, 4/24, 0330+ A Day in the Life of Dennis Day episode

European pirate loggings via the Twente web receiver:

Radio Verona: 6290, 4/23, 1455+ Weak pop music with occ. fade-ups. Light ‘70s or ‘80s pop, ‘80s pop/dance music, schlager. Fast-talking male announcer in Dutch, clear ID. Seems to be long periods of dead air

?: 6300, 4/23, 1532+ Rick James “Super Freak.” Had to leave before IDs

Radio Merlin International: 6255, 4/23, 1758+ Good signal, clear IDs from DJ with contact info “Nobody plays a better variety of music” promo. Music a little harder & angrier than I’ve typically heard from Merlin

Radio Python: 6291, 4/23, 1818+ “Altrex just closed down, but he’s not listening, I think . . . he’s moved on to better & bigger things” Asked for requests “so you don’t have to hear my crazy music” Song “Get Your Rocks Off” Mentioned that XAT screws up all of the URLs.

Delta Radio (WB): 6325, 4/23, 1920+ Electronic & dance music + Madness “Baggy Trousers,” A Flock of Seagulls “I Ran,” The Fratellis “Mistress Mabel” OM testing with “one, two” test counts at 1954 UTC. Genesis “I Can’t Dance,” Heart “Barracuda” Thanks to Metallica, “This is Delta Radio, from the south west of Holland.” Said 20 watts, Iron Butterfly “Inagaddadavida” (the single version), Led Zeppelin “Kashmir,” Metallica “Creeping Death” “Blackened”

Zender Barcelona: 1633, 4/23, 2100-2107* OM in Dutch, tough to copy IDs because he’s broadcasting for a Dutch audience and not slowing down for the IDs, mentioned “Zender Barcelona” and I could hear it clearly at sign off. Very old polkas,

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Weekend Loggings: 4/19-4/20/15

Weekend Loggings: 4/19-4/20/15

unid: 6951, 4/19, 0126-0140* Clip of an old documentary about wireless. Good signal with a tiny bit of bleedover from Wolverine

Wolverine Radio: 6955U, 4/19, 0126 Huge signal, but I was listening to the station on 6951 and hoping that I'd be able to identify it

Liquid Radio: 6925.2, 4/19, ca0330+ Fair sig--the best I've had in the past few times I've heard Liquid. Techno dance music, ID per HFU. I need to check my recording more closely.

The Crystal Ship: 6876, 4/20, 0029+ Excellent signal. ATF "Der Kommissar," Psychedelic Furs "Love My Way," Human League "Don't U Want Me Baby?," A Flock of Seagulls "I Ran," Gary Numan "Cars," The Buggles "Video Killed the Radio Star," Barnes & Barnes "Fishheads," Devo "Whip It," Thomas Dolby "She Blinded Me with Science," The Vapors "Turning Japanese," Soft Cell "Tainted Love," Thompson Twins "Lies" Lots of t-storm QRN

Old-Time Radio unid: 6770, 4/20, 0000+ Amos & Andy. Nice signal

Channel Z: 6956.2, 4/20, 0004-0008* Just caught the end of the show with Sex Pistols "Anarchy in the UK." "Last channel you'll ever need" ID at QRT. Lots of t-storm QRN

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Midweek loggings: 4/15/15

Midweek loggings: 4/15/15

Lots of stuff going on at the radio HQ that should result in some interesting articles. I've been in contact with some old '90s-era shortwave pirates--some inactive & one reactivated. And I've been working on a new radio project that I hope will be helpful to a variety of hobbyists. More details to come. For the time being, here's a logging from tonight:

Old-Time Radio unid: 6770, 4/15, 0000+ Lots of comedy on tonight: Abbott & Costello, Burns & Allen, and Fred Allen. Ads for 1948 Ford trucks & Rexall drug stores.

Old-Time Radio unid: 6770, 4/15, 1130+ An episode of Cloak & Dagger about WWII espionage

XLR8: 6950U, 4/16, 0045-0056* A live version of "Purple Haze," clear IDs @ QRT. Nice signal

Liquid Radio: 6925.2, 4/16, 0045+ ID per HFU. Have a carrier, but I'm getting a lot more audio from the pescadors on the frequency that from Liquid tonight.

Radio Casablanca: 6940, 4/17, 0010+ Huge signal with some RTTY down underneath, but that just gives it real shortwave atmosphere. "Stormy Weather" & other WWII-era songs, plus clips of the movie Casablanca.

Just received this eQSL from Rick Blaine four days ago

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Weekday loggings: 4/9/15

Weekday loggings: 4/9/15

Old-Time Radio unid: 6770, 4/9, 2325+ Duffy's Tavern, then promo for what to expect next week on NBC. Static's bad tonight

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Easter Weekend Loggings: 4/5/15-4/6/15

Easter Weekend Loggings: 4/5/15-4/6/15

Everyone right now seems to be hearing Radio Free Whatever with a huge signal, but I'm struggling with a massive noise environment to pick out any details.

This is just slightly better than trying to listen inside a mall

Radio Free Whatever: 6950U, 4/5, 0130+ Most of the time, I have a high-pitched roar and can occasionally get a few fadeups and pick out a word or so. BUT I actually do have a couple of real details: I heard Dick Weed and Stavin with shoutouts, including one to a listener in Albuquerque (I think they said that listener is using an SDR?) and I heard the chorus of "Take the Skinheads Bowling" by Camper van Beethoven.

Wolverine Radio: 6940U, 4/5, 0148+ I tuned in to Wolverine Radio, as per the ID on HF Underground, accidentally jostled the computer, and bumped the USB cable, which shutdown my Winradio software.  I've now clicked to start it three separate times and I've had a fatal exception error and other times that the software is coming up, but not running. Why did I bring a radio that depends on the reliability of my computer to function? Oh and the signal here was a bit more above the noise
I tried to hear Sluwe Vos this morning for a long broadcast that he was making on 21460 kHz, but the noise was awful. Not sure if everyone in the few houses in the area has a couple of neon signs in the basement, head demagetizers running, and dishwashers on, but this is a mess. I gave up and think I'll try tuning a few stations in on the Twente web receiver instead.

Loggings via the Twente web receiver, except as noted:

Focus International: 6285, 4/5, 1545+ A lot of '70s hard rock. Announced e-mail address. Newer more metal cover of "Carry on My Wayward Son"

Radio Merlin International: 6305, 4/5, 1552+ "Funky Town"

Reflections Europe: 6295, 4/5, 1600+ Weak signal with some fair peaks. American Christian programming. Show ended with contact information & a zip of either "90016" or "50016" I think an ID came next because I heard "6295" Next show was from Jeffersonville, IN. Seems to be fading in.

6243, 4/5, 1603+ Light pop music

Laser Hot Hits: 4026, 4/5, 2152+ Announcer reading comments from various listeners, gave out e-mail address, and said that the live programs would continue to 0300. Song from 1987. Nice signal in Twente, with a little noise

Mustang Radio: 6320, 4/5, 2158+ Pop music in noise, ID per Iann's chat. At 2220, I'm hearing it at almost identical strength on my receiver as on Twente. Op saying good morning to me at 2224. Thanks!

Radio Barones: 1614, 4/5, 2201+ Dutch talk, phone number in Dutch, then phone number in English and ID "Radio Baro" Extremely strong. Also heard a female announcer.

Radio BarraQuda: 5800U, 4/5, 2234+ Can hear this one on my home receiver, but much better on the Twente receiver. Light pop "Just the Two of Us." Some raspy noise here.

Loggings back at the home shack:

Captain Morgan SW: 6950, 4/5, 2340-2351* Blues and early rock with a good signal. IDs and some sound effects, then off.

Old-Time Radio unid: 6770, 4/5, 2353+ If I heard the ending program ID correctly, this was the Goon Show. If so, interesting that this station is airing some British OTR, too. Next, a fairly long NBC news update: update of WWII news, such as the Normandy invasion, and news about the invasion of Italy. Amos & Andy show next.

Unid: 6955U, 4/6, 0006+ Excellent signal here when the station's on the air. Only stays on 15-30 seconds at a time. Seems to be a different song each time. Human League "Don't U Want Me, Baby?" Salt'n'Pepa "Push It," Queen "Bohemian Rhapsody," Queen "We Are the Champions," Queen "Another One Bites the Dust," Queen "Fat Bottomed Girls," Eagles "Witchy Woman," etc.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Whatever happened to KCBM?

Whatever happened to KCBM?

Years ago, I heard KCBM, a West Coast pirate that broadcast with an AM-style talk show format that reminded me a lot of WSKY and some of the old New York City AM stations. KCBM broadcast somewhat regularly on Saturday nights for a few hours apiece with the "Barry and Ken Show." I don't know if they were involved in professional radio, but they had a sound like guys who worked in radio, but decided to cut loose and have fun on their own shortwave pirate station on weekends.

In April 2006,  I e-mailed DJ Barry Strange a few times and was asking him a few questions in preparation for an article.  He was always extremely friendly and he never alluded to the fact that something might be wrong with his health. Instead, he mentioned that he was busy working on writing a few books and was planning to try some high-frequency tests.

Five weeks later, I (along with about two dozen other DXers) received this e-mail from his sidekick Ken:

I have some sad information to tell you all. Barry Strange of KCBM has
passed away today at 0600 PST of Mesothelioma. Barry and I knew each other
ever since 1991 when we initially started KCBM on a frequency of 7440 khz at
50 watts. Since that time we grew into a 150 watt station on 6990 khz in the
41 meter broadcast band (USB). First and foremost Barry wanted to thank all
of you for making his dream of running his own radio station. You guys were
the driving force behind KCBM and he and I wanted to sincerely thank you
from the bottom of our hearts. I have the most profound and high respect for
the HAM operators and the regular listeners that we had. Hopefully soon I
will try to get the station back on air and keep it going.

Again, thanks for the years of support!

Barry - We will all miss you!

At the time, I was stunned.

Over the past few years, I've wondered what happened to Ken from KCBM and I wondered if anyone had any additional information about the station. One thing I've wanted to find is old recordings from KCBM around 2005/2006. Also, Ken said that the station started on 7440 kHz (presumably under a different name).

Today, I thought of KCBM again, ran a few Google searches, and looked on YouTube, but turned up very little. Over the past few years, I've wondered what happened to KCBM and I occasionally searched Google, then went back to work after finding very little.

Today, the lightbulb went off and I thought I'd just e-mail everyone who received the bulk e-mail from Ken about Barry's death nine years ago. My guess is that most of these e-mail addresses are no longer functional, but I hoped that with some luck, maybe I'd find some information or maybe a recording from someone.

Within a minute, I had bounceback messages from half of the email addresses that I'd contacted. I thought it was doomed.

But, within about five more minutes of sending the message, I received this message back from Martin Foltz:

I have a QSL from KCBM from 2006 and I think I have a recording of it. I think it was their last broadcast. I had a recent computer failure but I did a back-up of the audio files for 2006. I'll look when I have time. I might have some old emails from back then but that's an old desktop computer and will take some time to get to. I thought the story was that one of the guys was in the hospital but I don't know if this was because the FCC was after them. It would be interesting to know the real story. Guys on the QSL were Ken and Barry, heard on 6990 kHz on 4/30/2006.

Later, I received two more e-mails: one from someone who wished me luck in the search and one from someone who said that Ken passed away a few months after he last heard KCBM. I think he was thinking of Barry who had died.

Martin later said:

I'll send you the file when I find it. It's on a DVD and my new laptop doesn't have a DVD reader so I will need to use another computer to get the file onto a memory stick.  

This alone doesn't get me closer to the story of KCBM, but an audio file of one of the old programs would be great. And maybe Ken or someone else who knew about the station will read this blog entry and I'll hear from them? If anyone from the station would like to contact me, my e-mail address is: ayoder /atsymbol/ hobbybroadcasting /dot/ com