1760 kHz Balkans region pirate heard in Michigan

Scanning no man’s land between 1710-1800 kHz and I find a weak carrier on 1760. Noting a number of trans-atlantic carriers on the 9 kHz spaced frequenices, I surmise that propagation is decent towards Europe on medium wave. I stick with the 1760 carrier a bit longer and begin to notice some very weak muffled modulation. On signal peaks I can tell it’s dance music, with a fast thumping beat, but nothing else can be made out. Audio is threshold at best. Could this finally be my first Euro pirate log on medium wave? I immediately connected to a remote...

Yawneb

Hot summer static best describes radio conditions around here this time of year.  Summer also provides a time to catch up and purge my stale old SDR recordings to make room for the new upcoming DX season.  Some SDR recordings are tough to let go, and I find myself hoarding them much like recordings of stations I made on cassette tape decades ago.  Boxes of cassette tapes are now replaced by terabytes of Perseus SDR recordings with countless hours of radio programming that no one person could ever digest and process in one lifetime. Aside from hours upon hours of medium...

WJDI 15KW Christmas Eve 1996 off-air recordings

A big thanks to “Doug” for writing in and sharing his memories of 1620 WJDI and sharing his off-air recordings of WJDI’s big Christmas Eve broadcast of 1996.  Doug recorded two hours of the show in amazing clarity from his home in Shandaken, NY.   Doug’s recordings capture the moments right up to the point when the pole transformer blew.  The third recording ends with the sound of dead air after the incident.  Please see the 1620 WJDI story to read more about this. Doug recalls the following: “The day I helped Dave and Jim with the cage antenna erection will...

The 1620 WJDI Story

I connected with Dave Schneider a year ago after posting some old WJDI audio clips on my blog.  After exchanging some emails, we thought it would be nice to properly document the history of WJDI with facts provided by the person behind the operation, Dave Schneider.  This story documents Dave’s interest in DXing at an early age and how this interest evolved into the first WJDI in 1970 using only 7-1/2 watts.  WJDI would later be recognized as running one of the most powerful hand-crafted pirate transmitters on the AM dial on 1620 kHz during the late 1980s through the...

1720 heats up!

Pirate activity has continued to be slow at the top of the AM dial for most of this DX season, especially with the void left by the absence of The Big Q on 1710.  Some new life has been discovered on 1720 kHz though, perhaps the new MW pirate “clear channel”.  There have been a number of shortwave pirate radio shows being relayed on 1720 kHz during the last few weeks including Radio Free Whatever, Pirate Radio Boston and Partial India Radio.  DXers from Montana to Florida and the Midwest have reported hearing these broadcasts.  I’ve caught a few of...

80s Pirate Radio: Part 8

On October 28th, 1989 I logged an old Halloween favorite, pirate radio station “WBST” on 6210 kHz at 0412 UTC.  Here’s a scratchy off-air recording of that reception including a nice ID: WBST Pirate 6210 Khz 0412-0421 UTC 28OC89.mp3 “Free Radio One” was a very active shortwave pirate during the late 1980s. Classic shortwave anti-government ramblings using an interview format was the norm for this “Christian Patriot” station: Free Radio One 7415 KHz 0244-0305 UTC 26JN89.mp3 Another 80s pirate gem in the form of “Radio Angeline” as heard here with their chilling Send In The Clowns music box interval signal, poetry readings...

Sunrise scan

I got up an hour before sunrise this morning to do some MW DXing.  Conditions were relatively poor, but low powered 740 KVOR Colorado Springs was blasting in – unusual – and only heard one time before.  Otherwise, a dud as far as catching any South Pacific signals.  738 kHz Tahiti was only showing a faint carrier this morning, while faint audio could be heard a few mornings ago at sunrise.  The strong 1017.008 Tonga carrier that was present a few mornings ago was non-existent this morning.  A check of the tropical bands also showed poor signals in the 120...

The Big Q bids farewell

A much unexpected announcement was heard over the airwaves from 1710’s favorite oldies pirate, The Big Q, on April 14th: It’s a sad loss for 1710 kHz and medium wave DXers across the country who were always eager to catch The Big Q.  It’s unclear right now if the April 14th broadcast was indeed the final show.  My thanks and congrats go out to the people behind The Big Q for always providing a very unique broadcast with a top notch signal and sound.  1710 will not be the same during those late nights.  73 my friend and best wishes...

SDR File Analyzer: Taking a closer look at 1710 kHz

A big thanks to Simon at SDRradio.com for his release and continual tweaking of a useful tool that comes bundled with the SDR-Radio.com V2 suite known as the SDR File Analyzer (for 64 bit Windows machines only).  Here’s a spectrogram showing a variety of AM signals present over a course of 6-1/2 hours on 1710 kHz New Year’s Eve 2012 generated by feeding my Perseus .wav files into the File Analyzer tool.  The strong AM carrier in the center belongs to The Big Q which signed off between 1030-1100 UTC.  The moment of sign-off is quite obvious on the image....

Pirate radio meets Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM)

It was bound to happen at some point with pirates now pushing the technological envelope.  First, Red Hat from X-FM Shortwave experimenting with C-QUAM AM Stereo broadcasts on shortwave, and now with Undercover Radio dabbling with Digital Radio Mondiale.  Obviously this isn’t practical for a number of reasons as demonstrated in the video below, but it’s great to see pirates experimenting with new modes and proves that DRM isn’t just reserved for the big 100kw broadcasters. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpQtiLEHiWM]