Issue No 112 Winter 2020 / November 1023
Well having done FM in the last newsletter time has come to do Medium and Shortwaves. I don’t intend to try and catch up with three years events apart from a few noticeable events. We last reviewed this in December 2018 Issue 110. What we can see is that pirate SW broadcasting maintains its continued decline and some weekends on Sunday morning the old 48 metre band 6100 to 6320 kHz is exceptionally quiet.
Since this last Shortwave issue we have lost our Northern Correspondent Stuart Dobson who used to send in his logs and comments. Stuart sadly died in October 2020. He used to be able to receive the continuing Irish pirates on Mediumwave.
Radio North 846 – this has been established for over 20 years. It initially used an old 1kw Marconi rig but this was replaced by a 2.5kW Nautel. According to reports on the net it is from Redcastle in County Donegal. According to Frequency Finder AM it is from Greencastle in the same county and lists power as 3kW. Format country, oldies and Christian music and some religious programming.
Radio Star 981 uses 1kw from County Monaghan with Country and Christian music. This is far harder to hear down in south-east England but in the past around dawn or sunset was receivable.
Stuart also used to hear Energy Power on 1386 kHz which was an oldies pirate from Dublin but I can’t see it on any current listings. The station reportedly moved to 1440 kHz. There is a regular AM pirate noted on 1611kHz Radio Augusta International since December 2021 which claims to broadcast from the Ivory Coast with 100kW from a ship but general opinion is that this eminates from Belgium. I have received it and identified it but it is quite a weak signal but it can be interfered with by pirates from the Netherlands.
1233 kHz Radio Rock Revolution can be heard and this maybe from Ireland
1512 kHz Radio Blackbeard Dutch pirate broadcasting in band late at night mainly on weekends.
Dutch Extended AM
Talking of which 1611 kHz to 1700 kHz are still active with our Dutch friends and around 1700kHz there are stations from the Balkans. In the past I have picked up the odd non-Dutch station around this part of the band.There apparently are more like QSO type stations and can be somewhat on and off but their Greek counterparts seem to put out some music. Back to the Dutch and they also transmit on Sunday mornings you too can find out if you go the Twente remote receiver. They also go in band having heard them on 1593 on a Sunday morning too!
AM SE England
A transmitter can be hard on occasion on a Sunday morning on 1269 or 1476 kHz. It used to come on-air on the first Sunday of the month. Things were very quiet across the summer.
Albatross is understood to be the station sometimes relaying Caroline Flashback. The last reported frequency was 927 kHz which I have heard in the south east of England.
One major thing is the increase in licensed short-wave privateers and they are not only from the Netherlands or Germany. On page two is a copy of a list produced and researched by Stig Hartvig Nielsen received via the SMC on Facebook.
So real pirate radio is still out there using the familiar bands and tending to be more spread about the day. And some popping up in the official 48 metre band alongside the legal privateers. Which can be confusing.
During the summer this band seems empty apart from the private stations listed above. Perhaps with the change of season some real pirates will return alongside these.
A small number of stations persevere here. Times sheard 7to 9am Deltracks early evening.
5810 Deltracks 5880, 0909 Radio Rock Revolution. 5140 1657 Charleston Radio Internartional (with musisc from 30s and 40s)
I am still quite restricted in my weekend short-wave listening. I do sometimes cheat and resort to tuning in via the twente remote receiver at websdr.ewi.utwente.nl when I am working in the kitchen, This is a Wide-band WebSDR based in Enschede, the Netherlands. I have in on my ipad. Of course you can use it as an aid to identify stations you can’t in the UK.
As you can see from the list of privateers a number of former Dutch pirates are operating legally Piepzender, Casonova, Delta International in addition to these the frequencies of 3955, 6070, 6150 and 6160 can also carry progamming of pirate stations where they pay to be relayed. This I think is a factor in the decline of pirate operations. There is a reasonable list below but note they can be on anytime and mostly only one is on air at a time. Two well known UK pirates have been raided since our last newsletter Radio Merlin 6305 on 16th September 2021 at around 11.45 am and The Bogusman on December 22nd 2018. Both were alleged to have been causing interference to 6312 kHz an international distress frequency. Bogusman usually ran quite high power and produced strong signals down south. He was raided at his home locale, He now transmits via Radio 292 on 6070 kHz.
This time rather than give a list of stations heard in 2023 I thought we would concentrate on one or two recent weekends and before I do here is a note of some more significant stations:
FRSH (Free Radio Service Holland) FRSH continue to produce around five broadcasts a year (July, November and December for example). They can be heard as a relay on 6185 kHz but also reported on 7700 kHz 41 metre band for longer range propagation which is not from a listed privateer station. This year they have added a transmitter of 31mb 9900 or 9935 kHz but on the last weekend of October shifted it to 9345 because of conditions.
Weekend Music Radio – Yes this is the long running station with studios based in Scotland. Like other pirates they have hired airtime over 3975 and 6160 kHz and have been heard weekly in the summer. They have also been relayed most weeks on 6290. They won’t say where this is from but in the past these have come from Ireland or sometimes the Netherlands. 6290 runs all weekend repeating the shows across the weekend continuously. This is how Radio 48 used to do it sign on a Friday evening and continue until Monday morning when the transmitter would be switched off or the battery would die. Radio 48 was the first station to programme this way. As conditions could be highly variable on a Sunday morning it made sense to be on all weekend. Radio 48 reported that this was a very successful approach. WMR is well worth a listen into and programming is up to the usual standards. I think the shows are recorded as live and go out on a server and are then picked up by the transmitter operators. Although I note that 6290 is almost in parallel to 3975/6160. It is slightly behind.
Due to my time constraints here are the logs from AlfaLIma.net across 6th to 8th October. I tend to tune in via twente remote receiver when I am preparing the Sunday midday roast. At other times on my receivers there is a lot of local interference caused by various equipment. Stations are listed by frequency, time and station ID. Some stations are nipping into the official 49 metre band alongside there now legal counterparts! It can be hard to pick up more than one pirate at a time on the last Sunday 29th of October I received 6255 Radio Monique International on 6255 mid afternoon with a heavily modulated signal (almost distorted) signal WMR on 6290 and Free Radio Service \holland on 7700 kHz.
The following Sunday life was a bit better with FRSH on 6185 49mb and 9335 kHz 31 mb, also on 48 metres 6270 Deltracks (this is a relay of an internet 24/7 station, another unidentified Dutch piarate on 6280 and WMR on 6295.
The logs below are from http://www.alfalima.net and show the wide frequency and time spread of today’s stations.compare this to the past when on Sunday mornings 6200 to 6320 would be jammed with stations.
Friday, October 6th
5140 1931 Charleston Radio International
5880 1911 Radio Rock Revolution
6286 1850 Johnny Tobacco
6296 1856 Radio Deltracks
6931 1923 Indy Radio
6940 1918 Zeppelin Radio
Saturday, October 7th
3905 1935 Laser 558
5140 1030 Charleston Radio International
5880 1035 Radio Rock Revolution
6060 1601 Radio Delta International
6210 1638 Soul of England
6210 1656 King Shortwave - killed Soul of England. Sas note: The station KING used to use 6215 in the past.
6210 2010 Panda Radio
6260 1900 Free Radio Victoria
6265 1716 Misti Radio - 1756 : end
6270 1941 Radio Deltracks
6275 1633 Radio Ronalisa
6290 1618 Weekend Music Radio - via relay
6940 1912 Zeppelin Radio
6946 1920 New Dance Radio
Sunday, October 8th
5140 0722 Charleston Radio International
5800 1530 ContiKenzo
5810 0727 Radio Deltracks
5840 0815 Polka Radio
5880 0717 Radio Rock Revolution
6020 0806 Radio Casanova - 0931 : end
6171 0751 Gringo Radio - strong signal all day long!
6210 1646 King Shortwave
6210 1916 Radio Deltracks
6235 1508 Radio Monique
6245 0842 Radio ACDC
6265 0856 Radio Scotland International - 0912 : end
6270 1448 Radio Joey - 1507 : end
6275 0905 Radio Blackstone - 0911 : end
6290 0705 Weekend Music Radio - via relay
6305 1629 Radio Ronalisa
6385 0736 Radio Mexico
6390 1701 Panda Radio - 1713 : end
6400 1014 Kiss AM
6940 1900 Zeppelin Radio
6946 1907 New Dance Radio
15238 1455 Cupid Radio –
Friday, October 27th
5140 1558 Charleston Radio International
5803 1911 Free Radio Victoria
6270 1846 Sunrise Radio
6272 1708 Misti Radio
6275 1541 Monte Carlo Radio - 1546 : end - NL pirate
6380 1548 De Wittereus
6931 1713 Indy Radio
Saturday, October 28th
3975 1656 Weekend Music Radio - via Shortwave Radio
4945 1629 Radio 60 - via Zender Akenzo
5140 1029 Charleston Radio International
5840 1649 Radio 60 - // 4945 kHz - via Radio Continental
5880 1024 Radio Rock Revolution
6060 1441 Radio Delta International
6160 1536 Weekend Music Radio - via Shortwave Radio
6210 1717 King Shortwave
6260 1501 Radio De Mi Amigo - NL pirate
6270 1448 Misti Radio
6270 1603 Studio 52
6290 1408 Weekend Music Radio - via relay
6301 1728 Triple L Radio - (Johnny Tobacco)
6305 1418 Radio Pandora
6380 1456 Kiss AM
12075 1034 Radio Delta International
12105 1433 Radio Extra Gold - 12100 kHz at 1542 - via relay
Sunday, October 29th
4945 1715 Hitmix - via Zender Akenzo
5140 0939 Charleston Radio International
5880 0933 Radio Rock Revolution
6020 0920 Radio Casanova - 0932 : end
6160 1115 Weekend Music Radio - via Shortwave Radio
6183 1800 Gringo Radio
6210 1752 King Shortwave
6255 1042 Radio Monique
6275 2001 Skyline Radio Germany - 2005 : end - via relay
6290 0902 Weekend Music Radio - via relay
6295 1723 Weekend Music Radio - via relay
6300 0857 Kiss AM
6380 1008 Kiss AM
6380 1354 Radio Joey
6380 1727 Kiss AM
6400 1345 Baken 16
6875 0909 Radio Europe - Italy
6931 1740 Indy Radio
6940 1956 Zeppelin Radio
6990 0914 Flux AM
7475 1030 Star Radio
7700 0947 Free Radio Service Holland
7760 1052 Radio Eldorado - via Radio Jan Van Gent - LSB
9346 0958 Free Radio Service Holland - // 7700 kHz
12075 1036 Radio Delta International
41 metre band and beyond (6200 to 6450)
7725 kHz Radio Pamela. This is the UK station which appears on various frequencies on 41 and 48 metres with 50 watts. UK activity is at an historic low and tends to be short broadcasts. Back in the day Radio 48 would record their shows on a USB and this way they would transmit from a Friday night until a Monday morning when either the rig was switched off or the battery ran too low. They claimed to be the first UK station to do this. Response from listeners was good as reception conditions would vary across the day and the weekend. Traditional Sunday morning broadcasts you are reliant on conditions which as we all know will vary across the weekend.
Republic of Ireland
In my research I came across Comreg (Commission for Communications Regulation) In their 2021/22 annual report they detailed actions taken against two short wave pirate operators. In both instances this was instigated by complaints from other European nations regulators.
In the first example ComReg investigated a complaint from the UKs OfCom) regarding harmful interference on a frequency of 5770 kHz from an unlicensed station operating from Ireland. To quote the report “the transmitter location was pinpointed and confirmed by ComReg to be coming from a private residence in the Dundalk area. ComReg obtained a warrant and conducted a search and seize operation with the assistance of the Police. ComReg seized a home-made short-wave transmitter and associated antenna on the property. All equipment was removed by ComReg, and the property owner was cautioned and signed an undertaking not to undertake any further activity of this kind. The station was identified as Sovereign Radio and may also have operated on 1494 kHz AM at times. In 2018 we heard this around 6315/6320 kHz and obviously some sort of relay of a web station.
They also received a complaint from the German Communications Regulator of harm from an unlicensed broadcast station on a frequency of 6985 kHz. The frequency band 6 765 – 7 000 kHz is harmonised by NATO and NATO member nations for military use and this illegal transmission was interfering with NATO frequencies within Germany. ComReg sought assistance to determine the origin of the incoming skywave to pinpoint the location of the source of transmissions. This enabled ComReg to find the limited ground wave signal to monitor the operation of the station The Vault was emanating from a private residence in the Carlow area. ComReg obtained a warrant and conducted a search and seize operation with the Police which found a shortwave transmitter and associated antenna on the property. All equipment was seized by ComReg and the property owner was cautioned and signed an undertaking to not conduct any further activity of this kind.
Any mention of radio stations and services included on this newsletter are intended purely and simply as NEWS. They do not imply any support, endorsement or otherwise of the reported stations. We are forced to include such a disclaimer as UK law makes it an offence to support or endorse any unlicensed radio stations. And have in the past threatened legitimate news media with prosecution as they were deemed to be supporting these stations.
SAS Interference is published by the Surrey Anorak’s Society and is for private circulation within the membership of the Society and interested parties, copyright of the Surrey Anorak’s Society or its’ authors with all rights reserved. No part may be reproduced without the written or verbal consent of the society.