Thursday, January 11, 2018

The class of 2017

Rewind to this time last year as we began 2017. I reported here that during the previous 12 months I had heard 167 Dutch MW pirate stations at our location in England, a figure that included a few operating with second names and the odd one from over the border in Germany. 

At the end of January 2017 I wrote how during that single month I had monitored broadcasts from 101 pirates - 98 individual operators - and speculated that perhaps by the end of 2017 I might have hit a double-century.

I might not have reached 200 Dutch MW pirates, but an examination of my logs for the year reveals 172 names on the list, just topping the total for the previous year and not far away from the 185 stations I heard during 2015.

Given the upsurge in activity from the Dutch authorities and their campaign to silence illegal broadcasters on AM, this figure is very impressive and suggests the scene is still thriving.

Sure, we don't have anywhere near the amount of stations broadcasting what we used to call 'international music programmes' - a mix of music from across the ages with announcements in English aimed at an audience overseas; there are plenty of stations concentrating solely on what has often been labelled 'agricultural music'; there are some stations who broadcast only to test equipment that have made for other pirates, and there are some who use the band just for qsoing. However, there is no denying that interest certainly remains at a decent level in the Netherlands for switching on an illicit transmitter every now and again and having a chat with another operator or playing some music.

How many people are actually listening to these broadcasts is an interesting subject. I was talking recently to Radio Barones about this. He is of the opinion that it's a small list of listeners, most of whom can be found lurking in the well-used pirate chatroom

I like to think, however, that there is a band of people out there who remain hidden, subterranean and never revealing their identity, but tuning in to these pirate broadcasts in the very true sense of the word 'pirate'. In fact, I know somebody who fits into this category. His favourite station is actually Radio Barones and he's been listening for many years, often making recordings, but never contacting the station and making himself known. I hope there are many other people like this and I have a hunch there are. 

And so to the list of pirates I heard in England during 2017. Have a browse and see how many you recognise . . .

Adje Van Der Steur
Admiraal
Akenzo
Alabama
Alaska
Alice
Alpenjager (Groningen)
Anton
Arizona
Armada


Atlantic
Atletico
Bandoeng
Barcelona
Barones
Batavia
Batavier
Bizon
Blackstone
Blauwe Daihatsu
Blauwe Koe
Blauwe Panda
Blauwe Piraat
Bluebird
Bootsman
Brandaris
Brugwachter
Capri
Carona
Casablanca (Emmen)
Casablanca (Twente)
Centurion
Charlie Brown
Columbia
Curacau
Dageraad
Daniel en Soto
De Kat
Derdeman
Desperado


Digitaal
Dikke Betta
Dinkelland
Dolfijn
Drukstroomjager
Edelkampioen
Eldorado


Electron
Eskimo
Friese Piraat
Golfbreker
Havanna
Horizon
Ijsselstein
Interpol
Jack Sparrow
JB
Jeneverstoker
Johan
Jonge Boer
Johnny Camaro
Kaaiman
Kachel Boer
Kamelen Boer
Keizer en Keizerin


Kooiplas
Kristal
Kruik
Loreley
Lotus
Malibu
Marianne
Marskramer
Melkbus
Meteoor
Mi Amigo
Mike
Moby Dick
Monaco
Monte Carlo
Monza
Moonbreaker
Morgen Ster
Moscou
Musky
Nachtzwerver
Napoleon
Noorderzon
Noordzee
Odynn


Oldtimer
Oliebollen Bakkers
Omega
Orion
Osaka
OSM
Paradiso
Pecon
Pereboom
Pioneer
Polidor
Polkaman
Pontiac
Professor Sickbok
Quintus
Rebecca
Rebel (Drenthe)
Rebel (Friesland)
Reintje de Vos
Relmus
Rode Rover
Rodester
Romax
Ros Am
Ruimzicht
Ruisbreker
Sallandseboer
Sapporo
Santana
Schaduwjager
Schorpioen
Scotland
Silvia
Skywire
Snowman
Spakenburg
Spanningzoeker
Speedygonzales en Mexicano
Skywire
Sterrekijker
Sterrenboog
Technical Man
Telefunken
Torpedojager (North-west Overijjsel)
Torpedojager (Twente)
Toulouse
Transparant
Turfsteker
Turftrekker
Twentana
Uitzendkracht


Uniek
Uruguay
Utopia
Veldwachter
Verona
Veronica
Viking en Tante Foek
Voice Of The Netherlands
Vonkenboer
Vriendschap
Vrij Drenthe
Vrijevogel
Vrolijke Mijnwerker
Wadloper
Waterman
Weduwe
Wegpiraat
Wilskracht
Witte Raaf
Witte Tornado


Yogi Bear en Einstein
Zeewolf
Zonnester
Zwarte Arabier
Zwarte Bizon
Zwarte BMW
Zwarte Boer
Zwarte Bouvier
Zwarte Panter (North Holland)
Zwarte Panter (Oldenzaal)
Zwarte Schaduw

There you have it - a bumper year for the Dutch MW pirates. If you've got more to add to the list, perhaps some recordings that we could use on the blog, or any questions, please get in touch. You can email as ever, and you can find us on Facebook and Twitter

Friday, January 05, 2018

Antenna problems

First, a very happy new year to you all. 

I've been suffering with some increased noise levels on MW just recently which has been bothering me, so I did some investigating on Thursday afternoon. It turns out that my loop wasn't operating at full capacity due to a short in the coax cable which had water sloshing around inside it. I dried the cable off a little bit as a temporary measure but will be installing a new cable as soon as possible.

Here are the Dutch MW pirates heard at our location in England during the last few days. The antenna has been the Wellbrook ALA1530LP, and the receiver the Lowe HF225:

Freq       Time      Station SINPO

Thursday, January 4, 2018
1629       1520       Polka Express 25322 qsoing
1625       2315       Batavier 35443 music programme
1620       2319       Curacao 25222 qsoing
1643       2322       Ros Am 55444 testing with non-stop music
1617       2322       Monte Carlo 24322 qsoing 
1636       2327       Odynn 25222-35443 music programme 
1615       2335       Monte Carlo 45444 qsoing
1625       2345       Verona 25222 asking for report


Observations

  • I've seen a few logs elsewhere for Polka Express, so it was good to catch him myself today. He was qsoing with various other stations this afternoon, but I was trying to sort my antenna problems at the time!
  • Odynn was trying out a new sound processor this evening with his 100 watt transmitter. There was a nice bass on the audio and his signal was peaking up very well. Here are a few sound clips from the broadcast:
  • 1643 was on air for some time but without any ID. I'm quite sure this was Ros Am testing. The signal was excellent. More programmes please!
  • When you hear Monte Carlo and his signal is lower than it usually would be, it's often the case that his antenna is lower than it usually is. That was the case on 1617 kHz tonight. A few minutes later and he was much stronger on 1615 during his qso with Curacao. Presumably he had pressed the button and raised the mast

Tuesday, January 2, 2018
1620       1840       Moonbreaker 25222
1650       2103       Marianne 34333 music programme

Monday, January 1, 2018
1635       0059       Bandoeng 45444 music programme
1660       0059       Driland 34333-45444 music programme
1625       0105       Odynn 25332-35333 music programme
1611       1757       Rebel (Drenthe) weak signal-24332 music programme
1640       1757       Veronica 35333 music programme
1620       1807       Musky weak signal music programme
1637       1812       Dikke Betta 45333-45444 music programme
1647       1813       Armada 35333 music programme
1645       1818       Oldtimer 35333-45444 music programme
1615       2101       Bluebird 45444 music programme
1648       2201       Pereboom 44434 report for Oldtimer

Sunday, December 31, 2017
1629       0825       Vriendschap weak signal qsoing
1629       0830       Mike 25322 qsoing
1633       0841       Noordzee weak signal qsoing
1650       1815       Zwarte Panter 45444 music programme
1620       1820       Desperado 33433 music programme
1671       1820       Viking en Tante Foek 25332-35333 music programme
1656       1837       Digitaal 45444 music programme

Friday, December 29, 2017

Festive greetings

Greetings from England! I hope you've been enjoying the festivites, had a great Christmas Day and are looking forward to the new year.

I have some holiday now, so plenty of radio time and in the next fews days I'll be looking through the logs for 2017 and counting up the number of different stations heard, just like I've done for the last couple of years. Despite the authorities in the Netherlands taking a greater interest in MW activity over the past 12 months, I have a feeling that the number of pirates active is pretty high, perhaps greater than the previous year.

I might not have written here on the blog for a few weeks, but I've been listening and keeping up to date with what's been going on . . .

Freq       Time      Station SINPO

Friday, December 29, 2017
1655       2102       Digitaal 45434 music programme
1629       2105       Akenzo 25322-35333 music programme
1620       2108       Batavia 25322 music programme
1644       2151       Batavier 35333-55444 music programme
1665       2242       Bandoeng 35333-45434 testing
1638       2256       Vonkenboer 25222-35333 testing modulation
1665       2312       Polkaman 25222-35333 music programme
1615       2320       Bluebird 55544-55555 music programme
1645       2334       Noordzee 43442 qsoing
1637       2348       Noordzee 45444 qsoing
1638       2351       Monte Carlo 45444 qsoing

Observations

  • It's not so often you heard Bandoeng on MW these days. He's busier on SW under his various different guises. Hopefully, now his antenna for 186 metres is up and working well, we'll hear some more broadcasts from this great pirate in the next few days

Tuesday, December 26, 2017
1671       1932       Viking en Tante Foek 25322-35333 music programme
1615       1934       Bluebird 35333, 55444 at 2000 music programme
1636       1935       Keizer en Keizerin 25222-35333 music programme
1620       1953       Kruik 32432 music programme
1620       2007       Sapporo 22422 music programme

Observations

  • It's been a long time since I heard the Viking en Tante Foek on the air. Together with Technical Man and Utopia, we paid them a visit in the summer of 2016, so it was good to catch them broadcasting for the first time since that meeting. When you hear live singing on 1671 kHz, it can only be one station!

Monday, December 25, 2017     
1629       1237       Vriendschap 25222-35343 music programme
1611       1250       Verona weak signal music programme
1642       1300       Zeewolf 25342 report for Vriendschap
1620       1311       Silvia 25332 qsoing
1620       1315       Sterrenboog 35343-45444 qsoing
1633       1319       Noordzee 35443 qsoing
1640       1348       Kaaiman weak signal music programme
1629       1416       Twentana 35333 music programme
1647       1418       Friese Piraat 24332 report for Kaaiman
1620       1419       Silvia 25332-35333 music programme
1620       1439       Brugwachter 35443 report for Silvia
1647       1440       Witte Tornado 35333-45444 music programme

Observations

  • There was a nice surprise at just after 1230 here in England when I was having a quick tune around the top of the MW band and heard a signal coming through on 1629 kHz. It is very rare to hear signals from the Netherlands at our location in the middle of the day, even rarer to hear fairly good signals. The station was Vriendschap, who then had a chat with a few other stations when he closed down. That gave me the chance to hear Zeewolf the first time during hours of daylight on MW. Best signal of the lot came from Sterrenboog, who was peaking very well indeed
  • Mid-afternoon and after Friese Piraat had popped up on 1647 with a report for Kaaiman, another station came on the station with continuous music. After a while I wondered if it could possibly be Witte Tornado returning to the air after they were paid a visit by the AT on October 8. Indeed it was, back on their old frequency with a special Christmas broadcast

Sunday, December 24, 2017
1634       2300       Oliebollen Bakkers 34333-44444 music programme
1646       2310       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55444 music programme
1626       2340       Uniek 45434 music programme
1641       0009       Casablanca 44444 qsoing
1647       0014       Schorpioen 32442 qsoing




Saturday, December 16, 2017
1630       2317       Quintus 45434 music programme
1643       2320       Ros Am 44333-44444 music programme
1625       2320       Akenzo 24222 music programme
1648       2334       Moby Dick 34333 music programme
1633       2336       Barcelona 35433-45444 music programme
1618       2336       Turftrekker 55444 music programme

Thursday, December 14, 2017
1640       2215       Professor Sickbok 45444 music programme
1625       2220       Bluebird 55444 music programme
1635       2220       Electron 34333
1611       2229       Horizon 23222 music programme

Tuesday, December 12, 2017
1629       2005       Zwarte Arabier 45444 music programme
1647       2030       Melkbus music programme
1620       2106       Batavia 25222 music programme
1610       2106       Anton 34333 music programme
1625       2241       Bluebird 45444 music programme
1646       2250       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 45444 music programme
1633       2313       Barcelona 35333-45434 music programme

Monday, December 4, 2017
1620       1745       Schaduwjager 55444 qsoing
1645       2010       Oldtimer 45444 music programme
1635       2025       Digitaal 45444 music programme
1637       2100       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55544 report for Digitaal
1625       2120       Uitzendkracht 25222-35333
1625       2132       Pandora 45444 report for Uitzendkracht
1648       2220       Pereboom 35333-45444 qsoing
1629       2220       Spakenburg 34333-44444 testing

Sunday, December 3, 2017
1646       2221       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 45444 qsoing

Saturday, December 2, 2017
1643       1749       Skywire
1636       1750       Keizer en Keizerin 35333 music programme
1645       2110       Ros AM 45434 testing
1615       2115       Twentana 35333 music programme
1625       2250       Pandora 35333-45444 music programme
1630       2336       Barones 44444

Tuesday, November 28, 2017
1646       2225       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55444 testing antenna
1638       2227       Batavia 23322 music programme
1620       2228       Mi Amigo 35333 music programme

Monday, November 27, 2017
1645       2116       Oldtimer 35333-45444 music programme
1640       2116       Veronica 35333 music programme
1647       2119       Pereboom 55444 report for Oldtimer


Observations

  • A new name cropped up on the band tonight. Pereboom appeared on 1647 with a report for Oldtimer. It seems he was broadcasting from Friesland, but I have no other details other than this seems to be a pirate from the past returning to the air. 

Sunday, November 26, 2017
1640       0815       Kaaiman 25552 music programme

Saturday, November 25, 2017
1650       0800       Golfbreker 25452 music programme

Tuesday, November 21, 2017
1630       2125       Marianne 55444-55555 music programme
1638       2245       Bluebird 55444-55555 qsoing
1629       2248       Alabama 45444 qsoing
1630       2253       Monte Carlo 35333 qsoing

Sunday, November 19, 2017
1611       1020       Atlantic 25422 qsoing
1620       1030       Zender Johan 25332-35443 qsoing
1637       1042       Admiraal weak signal qsoing
1645       1048       Digitaal weak signal qsoing
1649       1057       Lotus weak signal qsoing



Observations

  • A morning of superb conditions meant reception was possible way later in the morning than usual. Dutch signals have usually faded out between 0800 and 0900, but today they could be heard until around 1100

Thursday, November 16, 2017
1629       1821       Spanningzoeker 55555 qsoing
1629       1822       Schaduwjager 55555 qsoing
1636       1826       Torpedojager 45444 qsoing
1629       2010       Columbia 35333-45444 music programme
1611       2011       Zwarte Boer 24332 music programme

Tuesday, November 14, 2017
1647       1655       Friese Piraat 35333-45444 music programme
1647       1720       Digitaal 45433-45444 report for Friese Piraat
1647       1735       Admiraal 35333 report for Digitaal
1647       1820       Nachtzwerver 35443 qsoing
1635       1830       Batavier 35333 testing
1630       2050       Marianne 45434-55444 music programme
1655       2051       Kristal 45433-45444 music programme
1647       2115       Armada 45433-45444 report for Kristal
1620       2137       Sapporo 44333 qsoing
1611       2137       Spakenburg 44444 qsoing
1615       2236       Monte Carlo 35333 qsoing
1638       2237       Bluebird 55444 music programme

Monday, November 13, 2017
1645       2115       Oldtimer 45444 music programme
1645       2230       Monte Carlo 55444-55555 asking for report
1626       2239       Alabama 25222 report for Monte Carlo
1625       2310       Pandora 55444 music programme

Saturday, November 11, 2017
1625       2250       Barones 45444 music programme
1655       2255       De Kat 23222 music programme
1645       2304       Dinkelland 55444-55555 testing
1650       2314       Monte Carlo 45444 asking for report
1636       2320       Romax 35333 asking for report
1640       2326       Monte Carlo 34333 qsoing
1650       2332       Dinkelland 55444-55555 testing
1619       2335       Jeneverstoker 23222 music programme
1645       0016       Vonkenboer 25332 qsoing
1656       0049       Paradiso weak signal qsoing
1625       0125       Uniek 35333 music programme




Wednesday, November 8, 2017
1638       2345       Bluebird 55444 music programme

Tuesday, November 7, 2017
1620       1825       Zwarte Arabier 55444 music programme
1645       1841       Batavier 45434 music programme
1655       1910       Relmus 45434 music programme
1620       1940       Sapporo 33433 report for Zwarte Arabier
1611       1940       Centurion 25332 report for Zwarte Arabier
1630       1942       Marianne 45444-55555 music programme
1620       1943       Turftrekker 45434 report for Zwarte Arabier
1625       2010       Yogi Bear en Einstein 33333 music programme
1647       2114       Armada 45434 testing
1629       2211       Noordzee 45434 qsoing
1629       2219       Monte Carlo 45434 qsoing
1629       2229       Spakenburg 45434 testing modulation

Monday, November 06, 2017

Latest logs from England

I hope you all enjoyed bonfire night and had lots of fun. We had a good night and also celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary. A big thank-you to the various WhatsApp messages we received from our pirate friends in the Netherlands - it was very kind of you.

I've been doing plenty of evening listening to MW of the past few days, and this is what I've heard:


Freq       Time      Station SINPO

Monday, November 6, 2017
1625       2057       Pandora 55444-55555 music programme
1647       2058       Nachtzwerver 35333 music programme
1635       2102       Vonkenboer 25332 music programme
1636       2113       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55444-55555 music programme
1620       2210       Utopia 45434 testing
1655       2212       De Kat 25322-35333 testing
1649       2222       Monte Carlo 34333-45444 music programme
1636       2230       Napoleon 45444 



Observations

  • Utopia was testing tonight but experiencing some problems with his modulation, and another station also have a little technical difficulty was Napoleon. He was loud and clear on 1636 after Mijnwerker had closed down, but his transmitter cut out on several occasions
  • Friesland pirate De Kat was reportedly using a new antenna - and it was certainly working well. My logs show I've heard this station only once before. He was peaking up pretty well tonight, so let's hope he makes it across the water a little more frequently now

Sunday, November 5, 2017
1620       1900       Atletico 52442 qsoing
1629       1904       Ruimzicht 25442 qsoing
1636       1906       Alpenjager 35343 qsoing
1620       1906       Weduwe 55444 music programme
1654       1910       Wilskracht 35333-45444 music programme
1629       1946       Reintje de Vos 34333 qsoing
1638       2100       Bluebird 55444 music programme
1627       2159       Vonkenboer 25222 music programme 

Observations

  • Some interesting catches tonight, starting off with Atletico. This was a station using a different name to usual, but I couldn't quite put my finger on who it was. I recognised the voice, although it was difficult as the station was doubling up with Weduwe, who was busy with a music programme on the same frequency of 1620 kHz
  • Atletico was in a qso round with various stations, including Alpenjager and Reintje de Vos. Also in the group was a station on 1645 who was playing only minimal music and talking quite extensively. I couldn't quite catch the ID as there was a fair bit of fading on the signal

Saturday, November 4, 2017
1646       1630       Zwarte Bizon 45444
1655       1639       Relmus 45434 at 1709 music programme with Yogi Bear 
1650       1645       Moscou 25442
1629       1705       Edelkampioen 55444-55555 testing
1620       2135       Barones 45444 music programme
1631       2140       Polidor 33333 music programme
1611       2141       Twentana 35333 music programme 
1636       2335       Romax 34343 qsoing
1648       2351       Moby Dick 45333 music programme 

Observations

  • One of the things I enjoy when listening to the Dutch pirates on MW is trying to work out which station I'm listening to before the ID comes. There are lots of ways of doing this . . . some stations have a regular frequency and a certain time of the week they broadcast, sometimes a station might consistently broadcast slightly off channel, there's signal strength to consider, along with modulation quality. And the type of music being played comes right into the mix, too. Tonight there was a killer signal on 1620 kHz with outstanding audio quality. To my ears it had to be Edelkampioen, and so it was. He was trying out his antenna after fixing a fault. Safe to say, it's working pretty well again! I made a short recording using my mobile phone, which you can listen to here:


Wednesday, November 1, 2017
1620       1855       Sapporo 45444 qsoing
1655       1933       Batavier 45444 music programme
1660       1940       Digitaal 45444 music programme

Tuesday, October 31, 2017
1630       1949       Marianne 35333-45444 music programme

Monday, October 30, 2017
1640       2155       Veronica 34333 music programme
1625       2205       Pandora 55544 music programme
1640       2242       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 44444 report for Veronica
1660       2319       Monte Carlo 45444 qsoing
1640       2327       Monte Carlo 35333 qsoing
1637       2339       Vonkenboer weak signal qsoing

Sunday, October 29, 2017
1638       2325       Bluebird 55555 music programme
1623       2348       Jeneverstoker 25322 report for Bluebird

Saturday, October 28, 2017
1625       1611       Pandora 45544 testing
1636       1613       Keizer en Keizerin 35443 music programme
1647       1652       Digitaal 45434 qsoing
1655       1734       Akenzo 24322 music programme
1620       1806       Twentana 45433 music programme
1648       2140       Moby Dick 34333-44444 music programme
1628       2207       Santana 44433 music programme
1642       2217       Monte Carlo 35222 qsoing

Thursday, October 26, 2017
1625       1652       Pandora 55444-55555 music programme
1636       1704       Dolfijn 35443-45454 music programme
1627       1726       Reintje de Vos 35443 report for Pandora
1620       2105       Napoleon 45434 music programme
1620       2123       Monte Carlo 25222 qsoing

MW Free Radio