Saturday, October 30, 2010

QSLing the Unpredicatable and Unlicensed

To get you started with your pirate QSLing, here's my October column for Monitoring Times. Copyright 2010, Gayle Van Horn and Teak Publishing. May not be redistributed.

QSLing the Unpredictable and Unlicensed

Urban legends, things that go bump in the night. Even in shortwave radio, one night a year brings out the bizarre and unpredictable.

Radio Bob, one of my favorite former pirate broadcasters, once graced the airwaves on Halloween with an unforgettable radio voyage through the bizarre world of ghostly goings-on from Shake Rag, Georgia. Who knows what became of Bob, but last years Pumpkin Patch Radio reminded us that The Devil Went Down to Georgia - and perhaps you’d like to QSL “if you dare.” Satan Radio made an appearance with a mixture of backwards talk and death metal music, followed by Rig-O-Mortis’ multimedia special from the Voice of Doom.

Historically, Halloween produces more pirate radio broadcast than other holidays. This years weekend holiday on Sunday, October 31, will likely find more pirates haunting the airwaves, so begin checking on October 29-30 around 6925 (AM or USB), plus or minus 30 to 40 kHz. The majority of U.S. pirates operate between 2000-0400 UTC, however, some may opt for earlier broadcast.

If the station QSLs, most operators will announce their email address or postal maildrop address during the broadcast. Others may announce “QSL via FRN,” a reference the operator prefers to verify by scanning the logs posted at Free Radio Weekly website at Include please QSL in your FRN Grapevines log post. To find our more about Free Radio Weekly, or contribute, send an email to . Ragnar Daneskjold keeps the pirate community up to date on pirate news through his Pirates Week Podcast on the Shortwave Pirate Info website at

European pirate stations may offer a Halloween special, though most appear to be a scaled down version from North American stations. European activity is best heard in North America from 2100-0200, around 3900-4025 and 5800-7490 kHz upper or lower sideband. Check too between 1300-1900 UTC on 15055-15080 kHz.

If you hear Mystery Radio, you can use that station as a propagation indicator, for other European pirate stations. Programming is modern dance music and broadcast are daily on 6220 kHz. The best time to log Dutch pirate, Cupid Radio is during their frequent DX frequency test, usually on 15070 kHz anytime from 1200-1600 UTC. Send your details to or to the Oldebroek address.

Does the bizarre appeal to you ? Maybe you’re just curious and that first pirate has eluded your log book so far. Don’t be surprised if you hear the likes of Ghostbusters from Pumpkin Patch Radio gracing the airwaves for Halloween 2010.


Atlantic Radio, 3910 kHz. Full data personal letter and post card from Stephen Prendergast. Received in 31 days for a pirate report to: or postal: Ballyvary, Castlebar, Co. Mayo, Ireland. (Silveri Gomez, Italy/playdx2003)

Borderhunter Radio, 6205 kHz. Full data e-QSL showing Frans at the mic and mixing board. Received in one day for pirate report (Andrew Yoder, PA/Cumbre DX)

Radio East Coast Holland, 6220 kHz. Full data e-QSL from Ronald, received in four days for pirate report to: (Gomez).

Radio Playback International, 6870 kHz. E-QSL received in 90 days for pirate report to: (Norbert Reiner, Germany/playdx2003)

Radio Skyline, 3980 kHz. E-QSL received in 14 days for pirate report to: (Reiner).

Radio Spaceman, 3900 kHz. E-QSL received in two days for pirate report to: (Reiner).

Outhouse Radio, 6925USB. Date/frequency with Radio Caroline logo e-QSL. Received in a few hours for pirate report to: (Yoder)

Radio Ronin SW, 6950 kHz. Large full data color samurai card. Received in two weeks for email report to: (Yoder).

Pirate Mail Drops
U.S. addresses require three mint stamps. European drops recommend at least two IRCs.

Box 510
CH-4010 Basel

P.O. Box 1
Belfast, NY 14711

BRS/ Blue Ridge Summit
P.O. Box 109
Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17214

SRS Deutscheland
(station name)
Postfach 10 11 45
DE-99801 Eisenach

Box 293
Merlin, Ontario NOP 1W0

P.O. Box 73
7160AB Neede

P.O. Box 9
8096 ZG

Casilla 159
Santiago 14

c/o SRS News
Ostra Porten 29
S-442 54 Ytterby

US Email Contact List

Though not a complete list of all U.S. pirates, the following list are stations that have been monitored within the year.

All Aboard
Ann Hoffer (FRN post)
Barnyard Radio
Blue Rhino Radio
Blue Ridge Radio
Brando Radio
Calling Marco Radio
Captain Morgan
Channel Z (Blue Ridge)
Dead Cat Radio (FRN post)
Derby Shortwave
Eccentric Shortwave
Grasscutter Radio (Merlin)
Grey Rhino Radio
Iron Man Radio (Belfast)
KUSA North America
KXMN (Belfast)
Liquid Radio
MAC Shortwave
Mack Truck Radio
Maple Leaf Radio (Belfast)
Northwoods Radio
OTH Radio (FRN post)
Pirate Radio Boston
Pirate Radio Saint Helena
Polka Dot Rhino Radio
Pumpkin Patch Radio
Punxsutawney Pothead Radio (Belfast)
Radio Bronco
Radio Casablanca
Radio Cinco de Mayo
Radio Free Speech (Belfast)
Radio Free Whatever
Radio Ga-Ga
Radio Is My Friend
Radio Jamba International
Radio Josephine
Radio Lunchbox
Radio Marlene
Radio Paisano
Radio Pigmeat International
Radio SRV
Radio XXP
Red Rhino Radio
Satan Radio
Somebody’s Gotta Say It Radio
Sycko Radio
The Crystal Ship
Thinking Man Radio
Undercover Radio (Merlin)
Voice of the Beast (FRN post)
Voice of Doom (FRN post)
Voice of Honor
Voice of KAOS
Voice of Next Thursday
Voice of the Robots
Voice of Spike
WBNY (Belfast)
WDDR World Wide
WEAK Radio
WNKR relay
WTCR 20th Century Radio (Belfast)
Weather Radio (FRN post)
Wind Up Radio (FRN post)
X-Ray Radio
Yellow Rhino Radio
(Gayle Van Horn/Oct 2010 Monitoring Times QSL Report)