Sunday, October 08, 2017

Witte Tornado raided

Greetings from the UK. First, apologies for my extended summer break! I've been busy with work recently, although propagation conditions during the warmer months are never great for listening to the Dutch pirates.

Since I last wrote on here there are been plenty of activity, but not the sort we particularly want to hear about. 

A couple of weeks ago, Friesland pirate Yogi Bear had a visit from the Agentschap Telecom after a night-time MW broadcast and was warned that further transmissions would result in a fine; Luxemburg also had a visit and a warning, and this evening the AT were active in Almelo, effectively closing down long-time regular Sunday evening pirate Witte Tornado.

Having started out as pirates on FM in 1980, station operator Gerard and his wife Marion switched to MW in 2009 and have been broadcasting every week on 1647 kHz for the last eight years, rarely missing a Sunday and presenting a programme for several hours with a mix of Dutch and English music. They attracted a sizable audience of local and international listeners with a signal that was always very strong here in England.

The station remained on air during and after the raid, but at around 1850 UTC a final announcement was made and Witte Tornado closed down for the final time . . .


The couple must now wait for an official letter from the AT which will tell them of any penalty they must pay and what conditions have been imposed on them. The standard here is a warning of a 2,500 euro penalty if they are heard broadcasting again within the next five years. As soon as I know the contents of the letter, I will update the blog.

We wish Gerard and Marion the best of luck for the future.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Latest catches

It's been a little while since I posted some logs, so let's bring things up to date with the Dutch MW pirates I've been listening to here in England. As usual, all times are in UTC, and the equipment at this side is a Wellbrook ALA1530LN-1 antenna with a Kenwood R5000 receiver.

Freq       Time      Station SINPO

Monday, May 8, 2017
1615       2218       Johan 55444 qsoing
1635       2222       Monte Carlo 25222-35333 qsoing

Sunday, May 7, 2017
1658       1758       Batavier 35222 music programme
1655       2006       Zwarte Panter 35333 music programme
1634       2023       Barones 45444 music programme

Saturday, May 6, 2017
1648       2120       Moby Dick 45444 music programme
1636       2122       Keizer en Keizerin 45444 music programme
1620       2123       Spectrum FM 43333 music programme relay
1621       2125       Jeneverstoker 23222 music programme
1656       2136       Nachtzwerver 35333-45434 music programme
1665       2204       Polkaman 24222-35333 music programme
1638       2215       Bluebird 54444-55555 music programme
1670       2216       Noordzee 35333 asking for report
1669       2226       Monte Carlo 44444 report for Noordzee
1660       2243       Noordzee 35333 qsoing
1655       2255       Monte Carlo 45434 qsoing
1656       2259       Romax 33433 qsoing
1647       2301       Noordzee 33333 qsoing
1620       2307       Romax 34433 qsoing
1660       2307       Monte Carlo 44444 qsoing


  • The majority of tonight's stations were busy qsoing, except for Saturday night regulars Moby Dick and Keizer en Keizerin. Also reappearing with a decent signal and powerful modulation was a relay of Spectrum FM, although there was some mixing with Jeneverstoker, who was busy just 1 kHz away on 1621. Spectrum is a streaming station, but several people involved have a pirate history on MW. It's not clear who is responsible for the AM relay, although it is thought to be broadcasting from the Veluwe district. You can read more about the station here

Friday, May 5, 2017
1655       2114       Zwarte Panter 25322-35333 music programme
1671       2115       Batavier 35433-45434 music programme
1646       2115       Twentana 45444 music programme
1632       2115       Curacau 34333-45444 music programme
1620       2116       Marskramer 35333-45444 music programme
1611       2116       Batavia 34333 music programme


  • There were three pirates on 1671 tonight. Broadcasting from the studio of Batavier, also on the microphone were Friesland MW pirates Melkbus and Golfbreker. Also good to hear joint broadcasts like this
  • On an evening when conditions were volatile with signals suddenly coming right up to almost local quality and then back down again, Twentana, Curacau and Marskramer were all very strong at some points during their broadcasts

Thursday, May 4, 2017
1625       2042       Blauwe Koe 35333 qsoing
1620       2044       Sapporo 35333 qsoing
1620       2047       Blauwe Koe 35333 qsoing
1655       2055       Snowman 35343 music programme


  • Quiet on the band tonight. Blauwe Koe and Sapporo were qsoing for a while and Snowman was doing well as usual with his low power while spinning some good tunes on his regular frequency of 1655 kHz

Wednesday, April 26, 2017
1629       1827       Edelkampioen 45444 music programme
1625       2213       Napoleon 45444 music programme
1633       2213       Ruimzicht en Morgen Ster 24322-35443 music programme
1655       2214       Wilskracht 45434 music programme
1647       2214       Blackstone 24322 qsoing
1620       2221       Spanningzoeker 55444 qsoing

Sunday, April 23, 2017
1647       1725       Witte Tornado weak signal music programme
1655       1738       Dikke Betta 35443 music programme
1625       1747       Mike 25242
1655       1750       Relmus 25242, 35333 at 1927 music programme
1620       1922       Weduwe 44433-44444 music programme

Tuesday, April 18, 2017
1630       2127       Marianne 44444 qsoing
1633       2129       Ruimzicht 25222-35333 qsoing
1645       2132       Monte Carlo 35343 qsoing
1629       2136       Noordzee 34333-45444 qsoing  
1633       2137       Barcelona 55444 qsoing

Monday, April 17, 2017
1647       2150       Monte Carlo 34333-44444 music programme
1633       2201       Ruimzicht 25232-35333 report for Monte Carlo
1633       2204       Barcelona 45444 qsoing
1645       2210       Monte Carlo 34333 qsoing

Sunday, April 16, 2017
1655       2114       Wadloper 35333-45444 music programme
1647       2115       Witte Tornado 45333-45444 music programme
1627       2115       Barones 55444 music programme
1638       2128       Bluebird 55444 music programme
1615       2128       Kooiplas 35333 qsoing
1615       2131       Monte Carlo 24222-34333 qsoing
1627       2145       Monte Carlo 25222-35333 qsoing

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Closing in on last year's total

At the end of January I wrote that during the first month of 2017 I had heard 101 Dutch MW pirate stations, which came via 98 different transmitters. That compared favourably with the 167 stations I heard throughout the whole of 2016. 

Now we're a third of the way through the year I thought it would be fun to see how many pirates I've heard in the first four months of the year. And I can reveal that I've logged 148 of them - only 19 behind the figure for the whole of last year, which suggests that even in this day and age of rapidly advancing technology, there is still plenty of interest in analogue broadcasting on AM, at least in the Netherlands anyway.

A few in this hefty list of the pirates heard from the beginning of January to the end of April are the same station using a different name, and the odd one or two is broadcasting from just across the border into Germany, but they act in the traditions of the Dutch pirates and qso in the language with the other stations on the air, so they are included here:

Adje Van Der Steur
Alpenjager (Groningen)
Blauwe Daihatsu
Blauwe Koe
Blauwe Panda
Blauwe Piraat


Casablanca (Emmen)
Casablanca (Twente)
Charlie Brown
Daniel en Soto
Dikke Betta

Friese Piraat
Jack Sparrow
Jonge Boer
Johnny Camaro
Kamelen Boer
Keizer en Keizerin


Moby Dick
Monte Carlo
Morgen Ster
Professor Sickbok

Rode Rover

Technical Man
Torpedojager (North-west Overijjsel)

Torpedojager (Twente)
Vrij Drenthe
Vrolijke Mijnwerker

Witte Raaf
Witte Tornado
Yogi Bear en Einstein
Zwarte Arabier
Zwarte Bizon

Zwarte BMW
Zwarte Boer
Zwarte Bouvier
Zwarte Panter (North Holland)
Zwarte Panter (Oldenzaal)
Zwarte Schaduw

If you've heard any stations not in the list, or have any comments to make please get in touch via one of the usual ways, clicking the buttons at the top of this page, or leaving a message on this post. It's always good to hear from you.

Friday, April 14, 2017

A very Good Friday

I didnt get to the radio until around 2215 local time (2115 UTC) tonight, but when I did switch on the receivers, the MW band was really buzzing - not with interference but with a whole raft of stations.

It was great to catch Curacau on 1617 kHz with a music programme. Back in the 1990s when I first found the Dutch MW pirates, he was a regular. Nowadays it's pretty rare to catch him on air, even more so with a whole show - I heard him qsoing in January this year but before that I have to go back to October 2013 to find him in the logbook.

Morgen Ster was an interesting one. This was not the low power station Morning Star that can be heard on 1611 kHz, but a different station - I'm pretty sure it was a regular operator using a different name, but I can't quite put my finger on which one!

Good to hear Odynn in action on 1640 tonight. He was doing really well with around 120 watts of power, and he sent some pictures straight through to me while he was on air, which he has very kindly allowed me to share with you:

Here's a compilation of some of the Dutch pirates heard here in England tonight:

And here's the lowdown on the stations heard tonight and since I last updated the blog:

Freq      Time        Station SINPO

Friday, April 14, 2017
1617       2121       Curacau 34434-45444 music programme
1625       2121       Blauwe Koe 44444 music programme
1633       2122       Morgen Ster 33333-44444 music programme
1640       2122       Odynn 33443 music programme
1648       2122       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 54434-55544 music programme
1655       2122       Relmus 34433-44444 music programme
1666       2122       Batavier 33433 music programme
1630       2147       Blauwe Daihatsu 33443 qsoing
1633       2214       Barcelona 55444 report for Morgen Ster
1640       2234       Professor Sickbok 54444-55555 report for Mijnwerker
1642       2237       Jeneverstoker 33333 report for Mijnwerker
1620       2238       Monte Carlo 44444 report for Curacau 
1641       2254       Casablanca 55444 qsoing
1633       2305       Electron 45444 qsoing
1634       2308       Monte Carlo 55444 qsoing


  • Relmus often has guests in the studio. More often than not Wadloper makes an appearance, but tonight it was Sluwe Vos sharing the microphone - and he hopes to make a return to MW soon with his own transmitter
  • Professor Sickbok has had contact from the Agentschap Telecom on several occasions in recent times and as a result has been very quiet on the air. Before tonight I had not heard him this year, but he popped up on his old regular frequency of 1640 kHz with a report for Vrolijke Mijnwerker and then for a qso with various other stations, including Casablanca, who himself has been less active recently than previous years. He was putting in a stonking signal on 1641 kHz

Wednesday, April 12, 2017
1640       2215       Monte Carlo 45444 qsoing

Sunday, April 9, 2017
1645       2239       Barones 45434 music programme

Saturday, April 8, 2017
1635       1750       Havanna 45444 music programme
1655       1800       Relmus 35343 music programme
1623       1807       Batavier 24332 music programme
1620       1823       Sapporo 25442 qsoing
1610       1824       Verona 24342 testing
1625       1826       Turftrekker 25342 qsoing            
1635       1852       Alaska 25332 report for Havanna
1648       2131       Moby Dick 43433 music programme
1635       2132       Batavier weak signal music programme
1629       2132       Turftrekker 35333 antenna test
1620       2134       Kruik 24222-34333 music programme
1638       2138       Osaka 34333-44444 music programme
1642       2200       Turftrekker 55444 antenna test
1623       2204       Jeneverstoker 23332 qsoing
1663       2221       Wilskracht 44333 music programme
1638       2222       Pecon 43433 qsoing

Friday, April 7, 2017
1655       1825       Relmus 35343 music programme
1655       2137       Monte Carlo 55454 qsoing
1628       2137       Twentana 45444 music programme
1633       2139       Carona 35333 qsoing
1636       2221       Romax 32442 qsoing
1638       2221       Bluebird 55444 music programme     

Tuesday, April 4, 2017
1617       2134       Witte Raaf 34443 music programme
1644       2136       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55444 music programme
1660       2144       Monte Carlo 34333

Monday, April 03, 2017

A birthday milestone

Since we last spoke I hit a bit of a milestone with my 40th birthday. We kept it low-key with a few days hidden away in west Wales by the sea, staying in a log cabin without even a radio in sight! If we go there again, though, I will definitely take a receiver - neighbours were few and far between and the noise level would have been non-existent.

I had some great presents - plenty of real ale - and a very fitting gift from my girls . . .

I also had another radio for the collection - a very nicely restored Cambridge International tube receiver from 1953. I already have one, but it got a little smashed recently and had started to go a bit deaf, but the replacement is a very good-looking model which tunes very well and has no crackling on any of the switches. I'm having a bit of a move around in the radio room at the moment, but I will post some pictures soon and some videos of the new radio in action. For the moment, though, here's a picture of my old Cambridge looking a bit sorry for itself . . . 

I must say a big thank-you to all my radio friends in the UK, Netherlands and around Europe for the very kind birthday wishes that were greatly appreciated. And a special mention to Alf from Sweden, who I met in the Netherlands last year at the Summer Meeting and spent a very pleasant day with when visiting various Dutch pirates the following day. He sent me a wonderful recording of a station calling itself Tripple L Radio (the man with a thousand different names is perhaps slightly better known as the Black Bandit) and sending out a special birthday message to me. I didn't hear the broadcast myself, so it was great to get this in my inbox, which I'm sharing with you now. It certainly brought a smile to my face:

On to some logs now. Not a huge amount of activity to report as signals are now arriving later in the day from across the North Sea and propagation has generally been well down:

Freq       Time       Station name SINPO

Monday, April 3, 2017
1632       1742       Bizon 35443 qsoing
1670       1752       Batavier 35333 music programme
1640       1801       Veronica 25322-35333 music programme
1655       1911       Relmus 35333 music programme
1640       2139       Monte Carlo 35333 report for Veronica
1633       2140       Ruimzicht 25222-35333 report for Veronica
1633       2144       Barcelona 45333 report for Veronica  
1620       2238       Monte Carlo 35333 qsoing

Saturday, April 1, 2017
1636       1825       Keizer en Keizerin 35333 music programme
1630       1828       Yogi Bear en Einstein 35333-45444 music programme
1620       1831       Brandaris 35333-45444 asking for report


  • Brandaris isn't on the air much these days, but he has a lovely depth to his modulation which makes him quite easy to spot when he is on the band. Great to catch him tonight for only the third time during 2017

Friday, March 31, 2017
1620       1836       Eldorado 24322-45444 music programme
1655       1836       Relmus 25222-35333 music programme
1641       2156       Monte Carlo 35333 qsoing
1630       2208       Blauwe Daihatsu 35333 qsoing

Thursday, March 30, 2017
1620       2122       Utopia 35333-45444 music programme
1629       2159       Jack Sparrow 45444 report for Utopia
1633       2200       Barcelona 55444 report for Utopia
1625       2207       Monte Carlo 34333 report for Utopia

Wednesday, March 29, 2017
1630       1645       Digitaal weak signal music programme
1638       1659       Noordzee 25342 qsoing
1620       1702       Sterrenboog weak signal qsoing
1636       1709       Torpedojager (Twente) weak signal qsoing
1620       1753       Moonbreaker 25342 asking for report
1638       1757       Dageraad weak signal qsoing
1632       1806       Toulouse 25332 qsoing
1645       1904       Casablanca (Twente) 25222 music programme
1611       1904       Twentana 33433-44444 music programme
1620       1906       Meteoor 45444 qsoing
1655       1946       Relmus 35333 music programme
1620       2200       Spanningzoeker 55444-55555 qsoing

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
1620       1649       Sterrenboog 25332 asking for report
1638       1650       Friese Piraat 25332 music programme   
1620       1656       Digitaal 25332 report for Sterrenboog
1645       1718       Oldtimer 35333 report for Friese Piraat
1638       1721       Digitaal 35343 qsoing
1630       1722       Blauwe Daihatsu weak signal report for Friese Piraat
1650       1759       Rodester 45444 qsoing
1645       1840       Odynn 25222 music programme
1630       1844       Marianne 35333-45444 music programme
1623       2005       Napoleon 44444 music programme
1647       2215       Barones 55444 music programme


  • Good to catch two of my favourite stations Napoleon and Barones tonight. I listened to both for a good while before eventually heading to bed. The Grundig Hit Boy was was in the bedroom so I had a quick tune around not expecting to hear much without a loop. But, sure enough, there was Baro, fading up and down very slowly, and sounding very strong when the signal was on a high

Monday, March 27, 2017
1640       2140       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55444 qsoing
1655       2142       Wilskracht 45444 qsoing
1629       2142       Bluebird 55444 music programme
1640       2145       Veronica 35434 qsoing

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Superman flying through the air

Conditions have been rather up and down in recent days. A strong signal from a Dutch MW pirate can become weak and watery within a few minutes before strengthening right up again. But there have been some interesting catches, as you can see from the logs:

Freq       Time       Station name SINPO

Wednesday, March 22, 2017
1618       1745       Pontiac 35443 asking for report
1629       1750       Mike 45444 testing
1620       1753       Sterrenboog 35443 report for Pontiac
1630       1810       Alaska weak signal
1620       1828       Moonbreaker 44433 music programme
1629       1857       Turftrekker 35333-45444 music programme
1645       2021       Casablanca (Twente) 35333
1636       2210       OSM 35333 music programme
1630       2214       Monte Carlo 34333 qsoing
1640       2220       Vonkenboer weak signal qsoing
1633       2242       Barcelona 45333-45444 music programme
1641       2250       Barones 55444 music programme


  • Great to catch OSM (O Superman) at just after 2200. I was having a last tune around of the radio before heading to bed, and I heard his familiar theme tune - James Last and Music Box Dancer on 1636 kHz. So I cancelled sleeping for a while and tuned in. He was using his 20 watt transmitter on this occasion, running at 18 watts. Modulation was strong and signal peaking up very nicely. Even with power pirates Barcelona on 1633 and Barones on 1641 it was still possibly to listen to O Superman. Great work for the low power

Tuesday, March 21, 2017
1656       1633       Transparant 25332 music programme
1620       1642       Sterrenboog 25332 qsoing
1629       1644       Zwarte BMW 25332 qsoing
1650       1703       Edelkampioen 45434 music programme
1612       1710       Atlantic 24332 testing   
1636       1846       Dolfijn 45434
1638       1849       Admiraal 35333 report for Dolfijn
1635       1908       Twentana 45434 asking for report
1620       1916       Nachtzwerver 35333 qsoing
1630       1938       Marianne 54444-55555 music programme
1616       2200       Napoleon 45444 music programme
1645       2214       Monte Carlo 45444 report for Marianne
1640       2300       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55434 music programme
1636       2313       Romax 33433 report for Napoleon


  • I mentioned above how signals can currently be very strong one minute and then dip right down the next. Edelkampioen was a good example of this tonight. He was incredibly strong at the start of his transmission before fading down
  • Conditions were back up later in the evening, and Marianne was coming in extremely well for his regular Tuesday night programme

Monday, March 20, 2017
1620       1744       Alice 25332-35333 testing
1650       1818       Vrijevogel 25322, 35443 at 1931 music programme
1629       1825       Spanningzoeker 55444 report for Alice
1611       1828       Zeewolf 24322 report for Alice
1660       1835       Batavier 35333 music programme
1636       1837       Odynn 25222 testing 
1620       1844       Nachtzwerver 35333 qsoing
1630       1825       Spanningzoeker 55555 qsoing
1612       1959       Atlantic 34433 testing
1655       2233       Wilskracht 45444 qsoing
1640       2240       Monte Carlo 35333 qsoing


  • Atlantic has been busy testing recently, sometimes using the name Test Piraat. He has quiet a distinctive voice, however, so there is no hiding place! 
  • Good to catch Odynn for a few minutes this evening. He has also been testing, using around 75 watts. I'm looking forward to hearing more from him soon
  • I am a big fan of tuning in to low-power pirates - it's something that particularly fascinates me. The ability to hear a signal of just a few watts emanating from hundreds of miles away is always a thrill. But at the other end of the spectrum, it is also always a pleasure to hear a power-packed pirate with a full sinpo of 55555 and top-notch modulation. Spanningzoeker fulfiled that criteria perfectly tonight. Again, he is always easy to recognise - there are only a handful of Dutch MW pirates with his sound

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