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Offlineivi
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A Quick Guide to Pirate Radio Listening
    #3844348 - 02/28/05 12:05 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)



What?

A pirate radio station is an unlicensed, illegal station broadcasting in violation of the laws of the country it is located in. Yepp, it's not a thing of the past :thumbup:

How?

Basically all You need to listen to pirate radio is a radio reciever with a shortwave (SW) band, antenna and a lot of patience. If you already have a shortwave radio, by all means start with that. You might ask your family or friends if they have an old shortwave set lying around unused that you can borrow. You'd be surprised how many radios with shortwave coverage people have squirreled away in basements and closets.

Because they are usually low powered and use simple antennas, pirate radio stations are more difficult to hear than most other shortwave broadcasters. This is especially true if you are located in western North America, since most pirates are found east of the Rockies. While you can hear some pirates on simple, inexpensive shortwave radios, you will hear far more on better quality desktop shortwave radios and an outside antenna.

Just remember it's about picking up low power (usually 50-watts or less) radio transmissions. So the better quality receiver and antenna You have, the better You will pull out those weak signals. Try to get something like this as the least and attach an external antenna to it:



Where?

Although there are pirates who go on FM, shortwave band is where it's really at. The most popular range for pirate operators is near the 40-meter (7000 to 7300 kHz) ham radio band. Pirates tend to congregate around a frequency that has little interference. For years, 7415 kHz was the de facto "standard" pirate radio frequency, while today most activity centers around 6955 kHz. The most popular frequencies in use for North American and European pirates at the moment are (in order of most use):

6955 kHz in both AM and Upper and Lower Sideband
6950 kHz mainly being used in the AM mode
7415 kHz AM & SSB, the old standby from the 70's & 80's
13900 kHz in the AM mode
15043 kHz both SSB & AM
1650 kHz in the medium wave band in SSB
6240 kHz in AM & SSB (mostly euro-pirates)

European Pirate Frequencies:

6200 kHz - 6300 kHz - very active at all hours
7415 kHz - 7550 kHz AM & SSB
3900 kHz - 4000kHz AM 9995 kHz - AM
11400 kHz - 11725 kHz AM & SSB
12265 kHz - AM 15015 kHz - 15070 kHz AM & SSB

When?

To avoid getting busted by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) or similar organizations in other countries, pirates
  • do not broadcast on a regular schedule and do not announce it
  • avoid interference to others (others=anything!)
  • broadcast for short length of time (usually around forty five minutes or less)
  • if possible, every time broadcast from a different location

So catching one of these *short* broadcasts can take time and patience. Most pirate activity however takes place on weekend evenings/nights, and holidays like Labor Day, New Year?s Eve/Day etc. In the U.S. Halloween produces more pirate radio activity than any other night of the year. Just turn on Your reciever when it's the right time (weekend or holiday evening/night) and browse the frequencies until You start hearing weird shit :smile:

Why?

The airwaves belong to the people, not governments or corporations who inevitably use them to expand their power and wealth and to emulate fucked up paradigms. Besides pirate radio is probably among the most original you will ever hear. However, the program quality is highly uneven. At its worst, pirate radio is crude, imitative, and "high school" sounding. At its best, pirate radio can let you hear stunning original material, especially social and political satire, that you cannot find anywhere else on the radio dial.

I know that nowadays there are thousands and thousands of licensed broadcasters and  thousands and thousands of internet broadcasters to fit any taste one can imagine, but I think that the actual pirate radio has this unique aura surrounding it. Give it a try, tune in to captain Ganja, Indira Calling, Lounge Lizard Radio or whatever You may come upon and enjoy...

You can find a lot more information at sites like these:

http://www.frn.net/
http://www.radio4all.org/
http://piratearchive.com/

etc.




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Edited by ivi (02/28/05 06:38 AM)


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InvisibleVvellum
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Registered: 05/24/04
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Re: A Short Guide to Pirate Radio Listening [Re: ivi]
    #3844387 - 02/28/05 12:15 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

:thumbup:


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InvisibleCherryBomM
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Re: A Short Guide to Pirate Radio Listening [Re: Vvellum]
    #3844398 - 02/28/05 12:17 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Informative! Thanks.


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OfflineTwister
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Re: A Short Guide to Pirate Radio Listening [Re: ivi]
    #3845051 - 02/28/05 02:16 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Very interesting. I got a SW receiver a while ago and I may just have to sit around and cruise the dial one of thewe weekends. Thanks for the info.


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Invisiblericochet
Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 1,112
Re: A Short Guide to Pirate Radio Listening [Re: Twister]
    #3845080 - 02/28/05 02:28 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

this has always fascinated me. thanks for sharing the info because even though I have all the music I want and never listen to the radio I'll check it out because I'm always looking for new stuff. also, to listen to actual good music and possible discussion/rant from a *gasp* radio would be great. I need to find a good used SW radio. :thumbup:

I assume you've seen Pump Up the Volume? if not, do so. even though it's from Hollywood and is fabricated, I'm sure the core message is there. :smile:


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OfflineLouisSkolnick
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Re: A Short Guide to Pirate Radio Listening [Re: ricochet]
    #3845626 - 02/28/05 08:57 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

That's pretty sweet. I'm looking around on ebay for a receiver now.


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InvisibleIrradiated_Feces
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Re: A Short Guide to Pirate Radio Listening [Re: LouisSkolnick]
    #3845688 - 02/28/05 09:37 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

This is Happy Harry Hard-on saying "Remember my dear, I can smell a lie like a fart in a car."


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OfflineGr8fulJ420
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Re: A Short Guide to Pirate Radio Listening [Re: LouisSkolnick]
    #3845707 - 02/28/05 09:55 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

I've heard it rumored around my city that there is a long-time pirate broadcaster with a rig in a van which he broadcasts from several times a week in different locations around here. I've always found that appealing :-)


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OfflineLouisSkolnick
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Re: A Short Guide to Pirate Radio Listening [Re: Gr8fulJ420]
    #3846131 - 02/28/05 12:29 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Ivi....you recommend any certain type of receiver?


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Offlineivi
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Re: A Short Guide to Pirate Radio Listening [Re: LouisSkolnick]
    #3846247 - 02/28/05 12:57 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Hmmm... I'm not sure, there are so many different models out there. I can only recommend You to read the tips and reviews and/or asking for advice teh 1337 airwave haxx0rZ at the Grapevines forums :shrug:

Choosing shortwave radio equipment
General coverage reciever reviews at eHam
The FRN Grapevines forum

You can always go to Your local radioshack and ask the shop assistant for a nice and cheap shortwave radio reciever for listening to weak and distant broadcasts. I bet he'll be able to help You much more than I can.

P.S. I myself use a reciever made back in 1970  :crazy: Time to upgrade, but first I need a digicam.


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Edited by ivi (02/28/05 01:42 PM)


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InvisibleKrishna
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Re: A Short Guide to Pirate Radio Listening [Re: ivi]
    #3846253 - 02/28/05 01:03 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

don't you think that internet radio and the ability to do real-time streaming has made (or will make) traditional pirate radio obsolete, though?


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Offlineivi
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Re: A Short Guide to Pirate Radio Listening [Re: Krishna]
    #3846294 - 02/28/05 01:19 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

I'd say it's pretty much like comparing printed books with an on-screen text :crazy2: Have the modern technologies made books obsolete?


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OfflineLouisSkolnick
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Re: A Short Guide to Pirate Radio Listening [Re: ivi]
    #3846317 - 02/28/05 01:25 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Thanks for the links. I'll check into them.


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Invisiblericochet
Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 1,112
Re: A Short Guide to Pirate Radio Listening [Re: LouisSkolnick]
    #3848958 - 02/28/05 10:15 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

after being on a research binge last night, I found this site with some general info of what to look for in a SW receiver.

http://www.dxing.com/swrx.htm

I am looking at the Grundig YB400 and possibly Sangean ATS-505P, as they seem to be fairly inexpensive models with all the features one just getting into SW would need. they also look very good aesthetically. you might research those two or just find something with similar specs. there are a ton of models to choose from it looks like, but something along those lines or even less with similar capabilities would be fine.

thanks for inspiring me to check this out further, ivi.


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Offlineivi
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Re: A Short Guide to Pirate Radio Listening [Re: ricochet]
    #3867868 - 03/04/05 03:06 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Thanks, that's a nice link. I guess both Grundig and Sangean look good for portable recievers, You should try and get an external antenna too :yesnod:

The name Pump Up the Volume didn't ring any bell, but now that I checked imdb I remember seeing it many years ago. I think I'm going to look it up :thumbup:

P.S. I'm now listening to a recording of Indira Calling broadcast from January 30 . That guy is crazy :lol:


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Edited by ivi (03/04/05 03:26 PM)


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