Monday, February 12, 2018

Great conditions on the band

We're only just into February but already the days are becoming a little longer and, although that is not ideal for listening to Dutch pirates from our post in the UK, there have been great propagation conditions on the band tonight, making for some good listening. 



So, it's time to update the logbook. As usual the antenna here is the Wellbrook ALA1530LN+ together with the Lowe HF225.

Freq       Time     Station SINPO

Monday, February 12, 2018
1620       0600       Nordster 54544 music programme
1640       2014       Veronica 34333-444444 music programme
1645       2015       Oldtimer 45444 music programme
1629       2015       Moscou 25222-35333 music programme
1655       2018       Melkbus 23222-34443 music programme
1625       2024       Lokaal weak signal music programme
1715       2029       Digitaal 45444 music programme
1663       2119       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55444 qsoing
1645       2210       Ether Snuiver 45444 qsoing
1640       2235       Monte Carlo 45444 report for Veronica
1660       2255       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55444 qsoing
1638       2306       Alabama 55444 qsoing

Observations

  • I set the computer to record my radio on 1620 kHz this morning and I was rewarded with my first catch of Nordster. The voice was very well known to me, but the first time I've heard this ID. Take a listen to the recording and see if you recognise the man behind the mic!


  • Good to catch Melkbus on 1655 this evening, with a signal that was peaking up really well at times. In fact, this was possibly the best I've heard him, helped significantly by the good conditions
  • The station on 1629 tonight took some identifying. I listened for a while and made some recordings, and after listening back I managed to hear the ID of Moscou Twente
  • It's rare to catch a Dutch pirate as high as 1715 kHz, but if there is anything above 1675 then it will often be Digitaal on the frequency, and so it was tonight. Free from any other stations and without noise, the signal was coming through particularly well
  • Vrolijke Mijnwerker often enjoys a chat with his pirate counterparts in the Balkans, and tonight he was on air chatting with Romeo and Kalibar in Serbia. I'm not sure how much each person understood from the other given the language barrier, but these qsos are always fun to listen to
  • Alabama was interesting to hear at just after 2300 local time here in the UK. This station had been popping up with reports last year, transmitting speech and no music, presumably to keep any local interference at a minimum. However, there was music this evening and a very strong signal


Sunday, February 11, 2018
1629       0640       Polkaexpress 35443 music programme
1620       1848       Weduwe 55444 music programme
1637       1848       Dikke Betta 55544 music programme
1647       1849       Armada 45444 music programme
1655       1856       Relmus 45444 qsoing
1655       1901       Batavier 45444 qsoing
1638       2200       Bluebird 55444 music programme
1645       2208       Witte Raaf 45444 music programme

Observations

  • I made extra effort this morning to get up nice and early and have a good tune around on MW before the sun came up. So, out of bed at 0615, cup of tea in hand, I headed to the radio room to hear . . . silence! The band was empty, and a check of the SDR at Twente revealed the same at the Enschede listening post. Usually on a Sunday there is plenty of activity, but today, the opposite. After a little while there was some non-stop music on 1629, which turned out to be Polkaexpress, but nothing like the activity levels I was hoping for. I shall try again next week!

Thursday, February 8, 2018
1655       1825       Batavier 34333 qsoing
1647       1829       Friese Piraat 24222-35333 qsoing
1636       1835       Marskramer (Friesland) 25222-35443 qsoing
1645       1841       Oldtimer 45444 qsoing
1630       1930       Columbia 35333-45444 testing
1638       2208       Bluebird 55544-55555 music programme
1622       2211       Meteoor 45444 qsoing
1625       2216       Vonkenboer 25342-35443



Monday, February 5, 2018
1647       2227       Armada 45434
1638       2228       Bluebird 55444 music programme
1625       2229       Vonkenboer 25222 report for Armada

Saturday, February 3, 2018
1637       0731       Dikke Betta 45444 qsoing
1625       0732       Bonanza 45434 qsoing

Friday, February 2, 2018
1629       0600       Blauwe Panda 33443 music programme
1629       0655       Marconist 33443-44444 music programme 
1623       1856       Pandora 55544 music programme
1658       1858       Relmus 33333-44444 music programme
1654       1908       Vrije Vogel weak signal music programme


Observations

  • I've seen a few logs for Marconist but never heard the station - until today. Broadcasting from the Veluwe, his signal was arriving here quite well this morning

Thursday, February 1, 2018
1625       0600       Bootsman 24222-44444 music programme
1640       1820       Telefunken weak signal
1645       1821       Batavier 35443 music programme
1611       2003       Zwarte Boer 33333 music programme
1638       2004       Nachtzwerver 33433 qsoing
1665       2005       Meteoor 45434 music programme
1638       2006       Bluebird 55444-55555 music programme
1623       2015       Zwarte Panter (North NL) 22222-34333 music programme

Wednesday, January 31, 2018
1636       1816       Derdeman 35333-45444 music programme
1620       1816       Verona 23322-35443 music programme
1629       1825       Blauwe Panda 34333-45444 music programme
1645       1834       Batavier 35444-45554 music programme
1665       1834       Zwarte Panter (North NL) 35443 music programme
1636       1900       Torpedojager (Twente) 45333-45444 music programme
1636       2145       Noordzee 35333-45444 music programme
1625       2218       Pandora 55444 music programme
1625       2229       Monte Carlo 45444 report for Pandora

Tuesday, January 30, 2018
1625       1834       Bonanza 55544-55555 qsoing
1629       1838       Moonbreaker 35333-45444 qsoing. 
1620       1842       Rebel (Drenthe) 34443-22422 qsoing 
1645       1847       Nachtrijder 25322 qsoing
1620       1858       Zwarte Arabier 45434-55444 music programme
1630       1925       Malibu 24322-34333 music programme
1625       1937       Marianne 54444 music programme
1655       1957       Batavier 24222-35333
1665       1959       Digitaal 45434 music programme
1640       2005       Vader en Zoon Combinatie 35333
1634       2213       Noordzee 35333-45444 report for Marianne 
1629       2213       Monte Carlo 35333-45444 report for Marianne


Observations

  • There was a super signal from Moonbreaker this evening on 1629 kHz, the best I have ever heard him. It seems he has made some changes to his earth part of the antenna. Take a listen to the reception:


  • The Vader en Zoon Combinatie were back on air again tonight, but this station remains a bit of a mystery. Interesting that while they were broadcasting there was another father and son active on the band - Malibu on 1630 and his dad Zwarte Arabier just a few kilohertz down on 1620!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Videos, recordings, new names

Conditions have been very favourable in the last couple of weeks for tuning the Dutch pirates and I've managed to hear plenty of stations, including some new names. I've been recording some signals, too, which I will share with you, together with a video I made in the early hours of last Sunday morning while tuning about the band.

And, I am able to share with you a video made in the studio of Radio Batavier recently while the station was on air. Have fun listening and watching - and catching up with my logs:

Freq       Time      Station SINPO

Monday, January 29, 2018
1640       1844       Vader en Zoon Combinatie 33343-44444 music programme
1645       1846       Oldtimer 45434 music programme
1654       1849       Vrije Vogel 23222 music programme
1625       2332       Pandora 55444 music programme


Observations

  • Another new name on the band this evening. 1640 kHz was the frequency and the station was Vader en Zoon Combinatie. Stations will often announced a location, and the city of Coevorden in the north-east of the Netherlands was given. As well as music, comedy clips were being played and the general sound seemed to suggest this station has arrived on MW from the FM scene. Let's hope we hear them again soon.

Sunday, January 28, 2018
1629       0709       Vriendschap 34443-44444 qsoing
1635       0712       Havanna 55555 qsoing
1635       0715       Kwiksilver 45434 qsoing
1629       0718       Edelkampioen 55544 qsoing       
1627       0732       Palingvisser weak signal qsoing 
1620       0734       Blauwe Piraat 23322-34433 qsoing
1622       0738       Kleine Jopie weak signal-24222 qsoing



Observations

  • I set the alarm clock for 0630 this morning and managed to drag myself to the radio for around 0700. Early on a Sunday morning is often a busy time for Dutch pirates. There is usually a station or two on air with a music programme and you can guarantee a qso will follow - this often involves a good number of stations. Today that number hit seven as operators chatted away following a programme from Edelkampioen, who was sending out his usual killer signal to the UK. As ever, Havanna was very strong, hitting the maximum sinpo of 55555. As well as the big signals there was some interest from some low-power operators. It's always nice to catch Blauwe Piraat, and his signal peaked up very nicely. Using less power, said to be 20 watts, was Kleine Jopie, who I have not heard for a long while, and there was a new name in Palingvisser (Eel Fisher). I don't have any more details about this station just yet, but I'll be listening for him again next Sunday morning and hopefully there will be some more information to give soon.

    Saturday, January 27, 2018
    1629       1800       Dolfijjn 34443-44444 music programme
    1635       1800       Keizer en Keizerin 35333 music programme
    1645       1801       Casablanca (Twente) 23422-34433 music programme
    1625       1821       Pandora 44444 testing
    1670       1830       Viking en Tante Foeke 25222 music programme
    1620       1838       Admiraal 33433 report for Pandora
    1655       1855       Relmus 44444 music programme
    1648       2350       Moby Dick 44444 music programme
    1621       0011       Turftrekker 55444 music programme
    1665       0012       Polkaman 24222-35333 music programme
    1633       0027       Jeneverstoker 34333 music programme




    Friday, January 19, 2018
    1629       1801       Mike 45444 testing
    1653       1808       Batavier 35333 music programme
    1620       1809       Musky 34333
    1635       2206       Zwarte Panter from B4 studio 35333 music programme
    1620       2208       Utopia 32432-44444 music programme
    1645       2211       Meteoor 45444 testing
    1629       2216       Noordzee 22322-34333 music programme
    1620       2228       Twentana 34333 music programme

    Observations

    • There was a party in the Batavier studio tonight during a live broadcast on 1635 kHz and, with permission, I can share with you a film that was made during the transmission. So, enjoy this behind-the-scenes look at the studio, transmitter and what goes on when a Dutch pirate is on air!

    Sunday, January 14, 2018
    1632       0649       Kwiksilver 44444 qsoing

    Saturday, January 13, 2018
    1637       0659       Dikke Betta 55444 qsoing
    1620       0703       Eldorado 55444 music programme
    1645       0704       Rocking Billy 35333 qsoing
    1634       0707       Barcelona 55444 qsoing
    1620       0825       Utopia 23432-34443 testing
    1620       1554       Poema 35333-45444 music programme
    1655       1601       Columbia 33333 music programme
    1647       1614       Admiraal weak signal report for Columbia
    1610       1616       Texas weak signal qsoing
    1629       1626       Turftrekker 35323 report for Poema
    1626       1632       Poema 35333-45444 qsoing
    1620       1634       Desperado weak signal music programme
    1629       1645       Edelkampioen 45434-55444 qsoing
    1611       1806       Noordzee 35333 music programme
    1647       1815       Nachtzwerver 24322 testing
    1636       0009       Romax 33433-44444 qsoing
    1648       0010       Moby Dick 43433-44444 music programme
    1655       0010       Wiite Raaf 44433-44444 testing
    1626       0012       Twentana 44433-44444 qsoing
    1640       0012       Melkbus 24332 music programme
    1647       0018       Jeneverstoker weak signal music programme





    Friday, January 12, 2018
    1645       1740       Friese Piraat 35333 music programme
    1629       1756       Dolfijn 34333-44444 music programme
    1645       2215       Monte Carlo 35333-45444 asking for report
    1645       2325       Meteoor 44444 qsoing
    1630       0025       Noordzee 34443-44444 qsoing
    1636       0028       Marskramer 35333 music programme



    Thursday, January 11, 2018
    1625       1739       Pandora 45444 music programme
    1629       1833       Spakenburg 35333-45444 qsoing             
    1647       1841       Telefunken weak signal testing
    1629       1846       Blauwe Panda 25222 qsoing
    1620       1851       Moonbreaker 32332 qsoing
    1629       1858       Moonbreaker 35333-454444 music programme
    1624       1901       Batavier 44444 music programme
    1633       1904       Blauwe Panda 24222 qsoing
    1633       1921       Morgenster 25222-35333 music programme
    1655       2040       Digitaal 45444 qsoing
    1665       2042       Meteoor 35333-45444 qsoing
    1655       2052       Meteoor 35333-45444 qsoing
    1638       2205       Bluebird 45444 music programme

    Wednesday, January 10, 2018
    1645       2000       Oldtimer 35443 music programme
    1616       2006       Malibu 25332 testing with 65 watts
    1690       2012       Digitaal 45444 testing
    1655       2020       Wadloper 45434 testing new modulator
    1636       2227       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55434 music programme
    1645       2227       Ros Am 45433-55544 testing close at 0042
    1620       2231       Utopia 33433-44444 music programme
    1630       2256       Noordzee 33333 testing
    1641       2325       Casablanca 44444

    Monday, January 8, 2018
    1645       1900       Oldtimer 35333-45444 music programme
    1654       1902       Vrijevogel weak signal music programme
    1636       2225       Vrolijke MIjnwerker 55434 music programme
    1620       2227       Mi Amigo 33333-34443 music programme
    1647       2230       Batavia 25222 music programme
    1650       2234       Monte Carlo 23222-34443 music programme (antenna low)
                   
    Sunday, January 7, 2018
    1629       0600       Mike 45434 music programme
    1620       1743       Polka Express 25222-35333 music programme
    1621       1855       Orion 25222-35333 report for Polka Express

    Saturday, January 6, 2018
    1620       1645       Technical Man 34333-44444 music programme
    1629       1645       Edelkampioen 55444-55555 music programme
    1646       1648       Zwarte Bizon 35333 qsoing
    1635       1711       Keizer en Keizerin 24222-34333 music programme
    1655       1711       Columbia 34333 testing amplifier
    1656       1756       Digitaal 35333-45444 report for Paradiso
    1621       1838       Turftrekker 44444 music programme
    1656       1844       Klabautermann weak signal music programme
    1620       1902       Moonbreaker 35333 music programme
    1645       1903       Friese Piraat 35333 report for Edelkampioen
    1611       1952       Twentana 34333-44444 music programme
    1621       2200       Turftrekker 44444 music programme
    1655       2259       Dinkelland 45444 testing
    1615       2300       Bluebird 44444 music programme
    1626       2301       Uniek 33433-44444 music programme
    1630       2303       Zwarte Panter from B4 studio 34333-44444 music show
    1611       2309       Utopia 33433-44444 report for Twentana
    1637       2313       Digitaal 45434 music programme
    1636       0057       Vrolijke Mijnwerker 55444 music programme    
    1648       0057       Moby Dick 45434 music programme
    1646       0058       Jeneverstoker 33433 music programme
    1611       0058       Technical Man 44434 music programme



    Friday, January 5, 2018
    1625       1632       Verona weak signal music programme
    1636       1648       Kaimaan 25332 music programme
    1646       1741       Zwarte Bizon 34333 report for Kaimaan
    1637       1742       Dikke Betta 35333 report for Kaimaan
    1645       1753       Digitaal 35333 qsoing

    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

    MW Free Radio