Thursday, December 14, 2006

Free Radio Network and Free Radio Weekly keep pirate radio fans informed

If you are a free or pirate radio fan, or have a curious interest in this alternative in broadcasting, the Free Radio Network may be your answer. One of my recurring questions from new hobbyists is, "what is pirate radio, and how can I hear one ?"

Pirate radio, similar to a clandestine station, often employ a great deal of deception in their operations. Most pirate radio operator have no political agenda, and broadcast to provide amusement and entertainment-without a broadcast license. Some operators produce a professional quality program, while others may lampoon politics, the recording industry or fellow DXers.

Hearing a pirate transmission can be a challenge as they have no set operating schedule. North American pirates primarily use 6925 kHz, plus or minus 40 kHz. Pirates are also being reported active on 3275, 4000-4050, 5400, 7500, 8000 and 9290-9320 kHz. You may also hear pirate activity on 13900, 15800 and 21800 kHz. European pirates prefer 6200-6350 kHz range for broadcasting.

The best time to scan for pirates broadcast are on holidays and weekends. Holiday programming is usually theme oriented with Halloween one of the best times to band scan. Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving and of course April Fool's Day offer special holiday programs.

The best online site, and certainly the most current source of information, is The Free Radio Network website at Links include Photos and QSLs, Free Radio Links, and other pirate radio related news. The Message Board link takes you to the FRN Grapevines, a series of links beginning with The Grapevine Pirate Shortwave, where you'll find QSLs, news, observations on programming or propagation and pirate-related questions. Hobbyist loggings are always welcomed.

Other useful links include: the Grapevine LPFM, PX Announcements, A*C*E* Loggings (the very latest logs of what's being heard) I Didn't Hear Anything, The FRN Workshop, The Swap Shop, BPL News and 11 Meters.

Still looking for more? Free Radio Weekly could be your answer. FRW, is a free email-only newsletter devoted to the hobby of listening to hobby pirates and distributed free to those who contribute. Though seperate from the Free Radio Network, FRW is a summary of free radio station loggings, sent to four editors by DXers.
This fine newsletter includes loggings, QSLing and electronic mail addresses and pirate maildrop addresses. FRW newsletter represents the latest on the pirate scene as observed by many well-known enthusiasts, as well as newcomers. If interested, please send your loggings to: Logs or info will forwarded to the appropriate editor.
A sample of pirate loggings from this weeks newsletter include:
All times UTC
Take It Easy Radio
6925/USB, 0100-08+, 2-Dec; Helicopter & barnyard sfx; sea chanty; ID @0107+. SIO=3+44- (Frodge-DXP)
6925/USB, 0206-13+, 2-Dec; EZL music; barnyard sfx; Mr. Grinch song; QSL via Merlin or yahoo. SIO=2+44 (Frodge-DXP)

The Crystal Ship
6875AM- 3 Dec- 2121-2128- SIO 354- Symphony music, Beatles songs including Saw Her Standing There and All My Lovin'. Drowned by noise (or off air). Alerted to this one from TCS e-mail. (McClintock-OH)

Undercover Radio
6925 USB , Undercover Radio, 0323-0352 Dec 3, Dr.Benway with ID and e-mail and postal addresses followed by Memorial Day Weekend program. Poor to fair. (D'Angelo-PA)

Radio Bunny; 6925/USB, 2139-2149:30*, 1-Dec; Simian tunes and sage advice such as; Get your underwear out of your butt crack. SIO=353. Assorted bits followed s/off till about 2153. (Frodge-DXP)

European Pirate Log
The Netherlands
Radio Cupido, 15070 AM. 1540-1600+, 25 Nov. SIO: 131. Operator Rinus playing "White Flag" by Dido, ID. Weak but clear.
Don't forget to do some band scanning during the Christmas and New Years holidays. You never know when Commander Bunny, Voice of Capt. Ron, Big Thunder Radio or Mystery Radio might fade in., or a new voice for the season. Now you're ready for Free Radio Network and the Free Radio Weekly newsletter, and the unpredictible world of pirate radio. Special thanks to Bill, Greg, Ed and Harold, the busy editors at Free Radio Weekly.
(Free Radio Weekly # 565)