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Short-wave & AM Radio

WINTER SHORT-WAVE 2012/2013

As promised we have created a detailed page based around last winter. This is where daytime reception is generally much better and also when I tend to have more time to tune around. One man who is dedicated to the hobby is our Northern Correspondent Stuart Dobson and he provides a lot of detail, particularly the Dutch section of this report. This page is a cut-down edition of our April 2013 newsletter.

Space Weather: Anyone who remembers Media Network will recall the weekly reports from the  NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center. So go live to Boulder, Colorado, USA for the most detailed reports Space Weather Prediction Centre 

CONTINENTAL HI-POWER RELAYS

These days the borders are increasingly blurred between short-wave pirate and private radio stations. Today, whether a private station, former or current pirate, you can hire air-time over various continental transmitters. These are either ex Eastern European or German 100 kW transmitters. That said these are increasingly being withdrawn from service as low current utilisation plus the equipments age and power requirements condemn them into forced retirement. In the last year the 100kW rig on 6140 has gone leaving another vacant slot in an increasingly empty daytime 49 metre band. We’ll start with these European short-wave frequencies. 

·         6005 kHz, this is primarily Radio 700 a German station, can be heard every week on 6005 and sometimes also 7310 kHz on a Sunday. Has been noted at weekend evenings on 3955 kHz along with BNL Rock Radio.

·         6045 kHz – some really professional programmes going out on this frequency Iceman (Dutch on last sun of month) and XVRB (third Sunday in the morning.) Running 50 or 100 kW from Wertachtal. Earlier in 2012 a weaker Dutch station could be heard with programmes reminiscent of the likes of ABC Europe from the 70s. On March 31st Iceman announced his last transmission on this channel..

·         6070 kHz - Radio 6070 is the former Radio 6150 station on its new allocated channel. This German authorised short-wave private radio is allocated 25 kW on this frequency but seems to forever remain on 500-750 watts. Putting out their own programmes and offshore tapes such as Laser 558 and Radio Nordsee from the 70s.

·         6095 kHz - KBC / Transport Radio. ‘The Mighty’ KBC hires air-time on 6095 kHz from the 100 kW transmitter at Wertchtal from 0900 to 1600 hrs UTC on Saturdays and Sundays. Dutch Transport Radio can be heard each weekday mornings on the same frequency. On Monday 11th March 2013 KBC tested on 5955 kHz from 0900 to 1100 UTC from Naven with Transport Radio noted at the same time on 6095. On the 12th Transport Radio could be heard on both frequencies.

·         European Music Radio having suffered from the closure of the 6140 kHz transmitter is now hiring 7265 kHz every third Sunday from 0800 to 0900 UTC. This is the transmitter first used by Hamburger Local Radio which is a regular here. EMR still use the MV Baltic Radio’s 100 kW transmitter on 9480 kHz from 0900 to 1000 UTC and have taken to using to 6005 frequency in lieu of the defunct 6140. 

·         Radio Joystick and Radio Gloria former German ex pirates have also been heard via the facilities on 6005, 7265 and 9480.

·         9480 kHz - Neither, Stuart or myself have heard Geronimo Shortwave on either the pirate 48 or 43 metres for some time (my last log is on 9th September 2013 on 6265) but like French Atlantic 2000 and Radio City they are now hiring air-time over MV Baltic Radio on Sunday mornings on 9480 kHz. Previously their regular album rock format broadcasts were mainly on 6265 kHz, on 6960 kHz or 7510 kHz. Geronimo, use the well-known Hecten address. MV Baltic Radio a German operator also broadcasts in their own name on 9480 kHz.

It’s always worthwhile tuning into these hi-power relays as familiar voices from the past can crop up here. Also when reception conditions are difficult to enjoy actually listening as opposed to logging the true pirate operators, the hi-power relays are easier on the ear.

EXTENDED AM BAND

We all know about the Dutch and even some times UK privateers which, operate on or above 1611 kHz up to some 1670 kHz or so. I’m not really going to devote a section to these apart from reminding you that they can come on every weekday from quite early in the evenings. Instead try http://mwfreeradio.blogspot.co.uk. However, pirates from other parts of Europe also utilise this part of the wavebands. In the 80s Media Network reported on Greek stations which operated in the same vein. One station currently cropping up in mid-European logs is Radio Anatoli on 1629 kHz. We too have made mention of other pirates from former states of Yugoslavia. Kalibar is a Serbian station which is up on 1735 kHz which takes it outside the part of the band used by their Dutch counterparts. So with the right equipment it could make an interesting catch

UK ACTIVITY

UK stations mainly operate on the traditional 48 pirate band from 6200 up to 6320+ kHz. However, the likes of Radio Underground also pop up on 6385 to 6400 kHz. Other places to try: 76 or 43 metre bands. Listening in it’s easy to put them under one of two categories, sole operators or run by a small dedicated group of people like Focus, Laser, Merlin and Star. 

  • The Bogusman sole operator on 48 metres generally above 6300 to 6325 kHz.
  • The Ghoul 6325 kHz.
  • Telstar South –I don’t know if Horace Cracksman is on the air less often or that Stuart and I keep on missing him.. Best heard weekends mid to late afternoon or early evening. These days you need to tune from 6210 up to 6325 to catch him. Classic oldies from the 50s, 60s and 70s and vintage offshore radio shows.
  • Underground appears to go though bursts of transmissions. Mr Underground entertains for a few hours even putting in the occasional cloggie tune to confuse us all.  
  • The White Giant – sole operator around 6306 or 6210.
  • The Wizard – sole operator with music and a reasonable amount of chat around 6300 or 6400 kHz with an announced power of either 35 or 90 watts into a half wave dipole.
  • Xenon Transmitter Company (XTC) – with better conditions a few more of the old sole operators are making some broadcasts particularly around Christmas / New Year. 

Focus International old names on a new station. New kid in the field in 2012 as settled down to broadcasts on the third Sunday of the month. Started on 6240 kHz but depending on conditions and Dutch pirates can appear elsewhere like 6255 or 6285.  

Laser Hot Hits This UK based internet broadcaster used to can maintain up to three transmitters across three bands  These days mainly heard on 76 metres 4026 kHz. The frequency can shift as they try to avoid QRM 

Radio Merlin Dave Martin and Paul Watt reported that this station involuntarily closed down on 8th March due to the loss of the transmission site. This was down to the landlord who insisted the antenna be removed and then cut down the trees. Running 80 watts Merlin has returned from a different site on around 6280/5 or 6305 kHz.  

Radio Star International Sadly, the backer behind this has pulled out concentrating on other projects. So we’ve lost an interesting broadcaster which aimed to recreate sounds like Atlanta Radio, EMR or Skyport. It featured various presenters covering various music genres from light classical music, easy listening, classic rock. The station was utilised 6200 and 7600 kHz from a very well known free radio transmitter. Running 500 watts using a sloping dipole antenna. 

Weekend Music Radio 5800 / 6400 kHz in parallel – heard a couple of times last December. 

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND

Two stations lay claim to 43 metres. The first is Atlantic Radio can still occasionally be heard from Eire on their regular channel of 6960 kHz. The other is Irish Music Radio This weekender both Stuart and myself, on a regular basis. The channel can vary around 6930 to 6950 kHz the station currently occupying 6940. 

Reflections Europe Weekly religious programming from Ireland from late Sunday afternoon until early morning. 6295 kHz comes in very well but severe local interference hampers reception on 3910 kHz. It is not known whether 12255 kHz is still extant.

CONTINENTAL ACTIVITY

  • 76 metre-band from 3890 to 3940 kHz (evenings)
  • 52 metre-band around 5790 to 5820 kHz, (Sunday mornings)
  • 48 metre pirate band. From 6200 up to around 6325 kHz. Here they congregate around 6200 to 6220, 6240 to 6265 kHz, and the majority from 6280 up to around 6325 kHz.
  • 6.4 MHz 6380 to 6425 kHz
  • 43 metres 6900 to 6970 kHz
  • 41 metres band at 7330, 7370, 7480 or around 7600 kHz. 

Activity on 48 metres, 6.4MHz, 43 and 41metres can be at anytime on a weekend not just the traditional Sunday morning slot. Stuart Dobson has time to pull in stations in early, mid and late afternoon as well as the mornings. In our newsletters and on our news page we went on at length last year stations face fines of up to €2,500 thanks to the Dutch Radio Communications Agency new policy towards pirate radio. It is noticeable that some stations don’t appear to have been logged by Stuart or myself for a while. e.g. some high powered ones like Continental, Cool AM, The Farmers from Holland, Marconi or Titanic

Working out who is on is difficult, one suspects certain stations might change names and then go back to a previous one but most appear to retain their identification. Power varies a lot from low power 10 watts or so, 50 to 100, then the hi-power stuff of 500 watts, or a kilowatt or two! Stuart Dobson sends us his very extensive loggings and we’ve trawled through the last four months for this report plus some of my own loggings listing the names with any interesting info. 

  • 76 Metres – not so busy on an evening these days but stations such as Alice 3905, Blue Star hi power 3905 Enterprise 3905, MRF 3935,Skyline 3905 noted, Technical Man 3905. 
  • 52 Metres very quiet Orion 5820 kHz used to be a regular every Sunday but not heard for a while. 
  • 48 Metres – the mainstay of pirate operations some also crop up regularly on 6.4 MHz. 

Whilst most are Dutch, there is a smattering of German stations amongst this list. There is the ever perennial Radio Waves International on various frequencies including 6240 and 11400 kHz  with low power and lower modulation from France. Surprisingly German language Radio Marabu having relayed via MV Baltic Radio appear to have gone pirate again noted on 6210. 

AC/DC 6245, Antonia 6306 or 6920, Altrax not so regular these days 6285, Batavia 6300, Black Arrow 6295, Black Panther 6300/6390 or up above 6.4 MHz 6445/6470,Blue Star hi power 6295 Boomerang 6290, Bonofox 6300, Borderhunter regular hi-powered Cloggie on 48 metres generally 6205 or 6240, California (German station) 6260, Caroline 6325, Casanova 6295, Condor 6250, Contact 6300, Crazy Wave Radio 6266 / 6300 kHz German with English programmes by Andy Walker, Cupid Radio (German) 6260, Delta fairly strong on 6325 or 6215 or around 6400, De Tipp &  Elvis 6240 (from E Holland), Digitaal 6290/6300, East Coast Holland 6280, Enterprise 6205, Estonia 6320,. Flying Dutchman 6266, 6295/6300, Fun 6210.  

Golfmeister 6295, Hoffmeister 6210, King Shortwave 6215 or 6200, Luxembourg 6285, Magic AM 6280 another hi-powered sender, Malaisi 6306, Mazda 6297 usually strong signals, Misti Radio 6295, the seasonal Mistletoe 6240, NMD 6290/5, Mona Lisa 6290, Morning Star 6285, Mustang 6325, Night Pirate 6300, Nova 6266, Odin 6250, Orangutan 6205 hi-power but rare broadcasts these days, Osaka 6285/6325, Panda 6295, Pandorra 6215, Pirates for Peace 6290, Polaris 6290,  Polka 6205, Powerliner around 6295, Python 6260, Quintas 6210 or 6295, Rainbow 6305, Ram Radio 6297, Rave On Radio 6295, Rockerfellow 6295/6306, Puma 6300, Saturnus 6245, Scotland 6220/6220, Shadowman 6295, Skylab 6285, ,Sluvie Vos 6215, Soundwave 6280, Starlin 6300, Technicaal Man 6200. Tina 6325, Telstar 6300 (Dutch), Top Radio 6295/6305, Trans Europe 6300, Verona 6295, Veronica 6325, Voice of the Netherlands 6240/6325, White Snake 6290, Zee Wolf 6240, Zero Zero 6325, Zodiac on 6330. 

  • 6.4 MHz and above - Well anywhere from 6375 to 6450, some stations crop up around 6550 kHz using similar frequencies to the now long defunct Brigette. 

Baken 16 6375, Centraal 6395, Golf Victor 6375, Lowland 6425, Pink Panther 6550/5, Pioneer 6555 or 6745, Ready Mix 6450, Rolex Radio 6435, Shortwave Radio 6565, Studio 52 6450, Universe 6450, XXL Shortwave Radio 6535,Trans Universe 6920 

  • 41 Metres – not such a tight band as it used to be. In the Late 70s you would tune from 7290 to 7350 kHz, and when this was used by official stations the pirates migrated to 7400 to 7500 kHz. These days few stations use what used to be the second most popular European pirate band. Those that to can be anywhere from 7425 to 7685 kHz. 

Crazy Wave Radio or 7425 The Free Radio Service Holland on 5800 / 7685 from a very well known UK transmitter and on 6005 via Radio 700, Free Radio Victoria 7630, Future 7476 

Lastly this winter Radio Space Shuttle from Finland on 15,880 kHz has been testing with 500 watts on various beams from 0900 hrs on a Sunday. Frequency can vary either side of this channel. 

AM RECEPTION Winter 2012/2013

846 kHz Radio North – from Eire with a country format and religious programming in the evenings.

981 kHz Radio Star Country – again from Eire with a country format and close to the border. If you want to DX Star Country the best time is an hour or so before or after dawn.

1395 kHz Energy Power AM – logged by Stuart but other new continental stations can make it hard to receive down south.

1602 kHz Waddenzee (daytime) / Seagull (1602 nightime plus 1395 kHz) from North Holland. 

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