Radio Casablanca: April 19, 2016

Last night at about 00:10 UTC, I was pleased to hear the interval signal of one of my favorite pirate radio stations: Radio Casablanca.

“Rick Blaine” fired up his AM transmitter and pumped out some amazing WWII era music on 6,940 kHz for about one hour and a half. Radio Casablanca only pops up a few times a year, so I always feel fortunate to grab the broadcast (click here to listen to previous recordings).

Signal strength varied over the course of the broadcast and the bands were quite noisy–still, the Casablanca signal punched through quite well at times.

Close your eyes and imagine what it must have been like to hear the great bands of the era over the shortwaves…

Click here to download an MP3 of the full recording, or simply listen via the embedded player below. Note that the interval signal starts around 01:25:

Hot Legs Radio: May 25, 2014

For your listening pleasure: about 20 minutes of pirate radio station, Hot Legs Radio–recorded May 25, 2014 starting around 1:55 UTC.

Hot Legs Radio was broadcasting around 6,925 kHz in AM.

Hot Legs was rather weak and somewhat over-modulated. Indeed, in regular AM mode, I couldn't make out the station ID at all. Fortunately, by turning on the WinRadio Excalibur‘s AM synchronous detector and selecting the less noisy lower sideband, I dug the signal out of the noise. AM sync also helped compensate for the over-modulation.

You’ll hear me re-tune a couple of times in this recording. Hot Legs' signal was a bit of a moving target.  I don’t think it would have been as noticeable in standard AM mode (which is more forgiving of drift), but in AM sync, you’ll hear a tone when the frequency shifts.

Still, I’m quite happy to have caught Hot Legs Radio–a new pirate logging! Hope to hear them on again soon.

Click here to download the recording as an MP3 or simply listen via the embedded player below:

Wolverine Radio: April 20, 2014

Many thanks to SWAA contributor, Greg Shoom, for this recording of the pirate radio station, Wolverine Radio. Greg comments:

"This is the last 25 minutes of a broadcast of shortwave pirate Wolverine Radio. I stumbled across it a few minutes earlier. This was recorded on a Sony digital audio recorder."

Greg recorded this broadcast in Harrowsmith, Ontario, Canada on April 20, 2014, on 6,945 kHz USB, starting at 02:20 UTC. He used a Kaito KA1103 receiver with its built-in telescopic antenna.

Click here to download the recording as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below. Please subscribe to our podcast to receive future recordings automatically.

Captain Morgan Shortwave: February 13, 2014

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For your listening pleasure: thirty eight minutes of the pirate radio station, Captain Morgan Shortwave. 

I recorded this broadcast on February 13, 2014 starting around 1:35 UTC, on 6,924 kHz. This broadcast sounds more like a test transmission than a programmed show. 

Simply click here to download an MP3 of the recording, or listen via the embedded player below:

Wolverine Radio: January 19, 2014

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For your listening pleasure: 1 hour and 17 minutes of pirate radio station, Wolverine Radio–recorded Sunday, January 19, 2014 starting around 1:40 UTC.

Wolverine was broadcasting on 6,94o kHz in the upper side band. Typical of Wolverine, lots of music variety which spans the decades and no commentary other than station ID throughout.

While reception was waning when I decoded Wolverine’s SSTV QSL (see right), signal strength and audio fidelity were excellent as always.

Click here to download the recording as an MP3 or simply listen via the embedded player below:

UNID Shortwave Pirate: December 31, 2013

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On New Year’s Eve (December 31, 2013), while band scanning, I tuned to 6,955 kHz around 22:15 UTC, and  heard a relatively strong pirate station.

For at least 51 minutes, this unidentified pirate played various percussion music, much of which sounded like recordings of live drum circles. I never heard an ID during the broadcast, nor did anyone on the HF Underground board.

Listen for yourself: click here to download the recording as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below.

Radio Casablanca, October 10, 2013

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Thursday night, I received word from Richard Blaine at Radio Casablanca:

“We plan to be on the air tonight on 6940 kHz AM, starting sometime around 2300 UTC, and running until the plane to Lisbon has departed.”

So at 23:00 Zulu, I started recording…

Though the noise level was particularly high on the lower HF bands, and Casablanca’s signal wasn’t quite as strong as previous nights, I could still enjoy Blaine’s nostalgic mix of WWII era music through the static. What a treat.

You can listen to the full recording via the embedded player above, or simply click here to download the MP3.

Radio Borderhunter

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I tuned in Europirate Radio Borderhunter on 15,500 kHz AM, starting around 21:50 UTC on September, 21 2013. For an AM signal out of Europe to make it to the east coast of the US, I was most impressed with Radio Borderhunter's strong signal.

I recorded about forty minutes of the pirate's broadcast before propagation shifted.  He then moved down to 6,210 kHz in the 48 meter band, a prime Europirate hangout, to continue his show.

Click here to download the recording as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

Radio Cinco De Mayo

Radio Cinco De Mayo made its annual broadcast on (you guessed it!) May 5th, 2013, starting around 00:17 UTC on 6925 kHz USB.

Early Saturday morning, the band's condition sounded like that of summer, with atmospheric noises (a few static crashes, produced by local thunderstorms), but propagation was steady and the overall quality very respectable.

You can download an MP3 of the full recording by clicking here, or by listening via the embedded player below.

Check out Ragnar's off-air recording of Radio Cinco De Mayo (and more!) on his PiratesWeek podcast.

UPDATE (May 08): Just received my Radio Cinco De Mayo QSL:

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Hard Tack Radio

For your listening pleasure: a 24 minute recording of the pirate radio station, Hard Tack Radio.

Hard Tack Radio plays US Civil War era songs "celebrating the Blue and the Gray."

I caught Hard Tack's broadcast Friday night (April 12) around 23:10 UTC. Their upper side band signal was pretty strong and well above the active noise floor, though there was a heterodyne/data noise located right around 6926.8 kHz. You won't hear this noise in the recording below, because I effectively used the WinRadio Excalibur's notch filter to eliminate it. At the very end of the recording, I turn off the notch and you'll hear the noise a few seconds before the broadcast ends.

Click here to download the full recording of Hard Tack Radio, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

This Hard Tack Radio SSTV image can be decoded at the end of the broadcast.

Radio Ronin Shortwave

Ronin's mix starts with the Sex Pistols (Photo: 45cat.com)|

If you can't tell from the number of recordings I posted today, last night was a busy night for pirate radio.

I heard no less than five pirates: AATW Radio, Red Mercury Labs Radio, Rave On Radio, Black Cat Radio and Radio Ronin Shortwave.

Though many had great signals, the strongest was Radio Ronin Shortwave on 6.925 MHz (AM). Ronin's broadcast started around  22:15 UTC (March 22, 2013) and lasted for more than an hour. Near the end, you will hear some interference from maritime mobile stations in the upper side band of 6.925--that just ads character in my book.

Click here to download the full recording by clicking here, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

Standard Pirate Radio Disclaimer:This is a recording of a real pirate radio broadcast, and as such, may include strong or colorful language or lyrics. In general, if you are easily offended by the words, ideas, music lyrics, or music herein, you should slowly…back… away…

All Along The Watchtower Radio

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One short pirate broadcast I caught last night was All Along The Watchtower Radio.

AATW Radio's USB signal on 6.955 MHz started around 00:24 UTC (23 March 2013).

The (robo voice) host, Alex Jobs, played a great mix of music starting with a version of Video Killed the Radio Star by The Presidents of the United States of America. It actually sounded pretty good in upper side band!

Hear for yourself! Click here to download the MP3 recording of the full broadcast, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

The Voice of Alex Radio Show

(Image source: s***youhate.tumblr.com)

This past weekend, I recorded a number of pirate radio stations; one of them was The Voice of Alex Radio Show: a tribute station for a girl whose life was taken by a drunk driver in 2011.

I recorded The Voice of Alex Radio Show on 6925 kHz upper side band on March 10th, 2013, around 23:30 UTC.

Click here to download the recording as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

Boombox Radio

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This morning, around 11:15 UTC, I caught a pirate that I had never heard on air before: Boombox Radio. Though rather weak, over the course of their 31 minute broadcast on 6,925 kHz AM, the signal did increase significantly (possibly as propagation improved).

I was very surprised to hear a North American pirate on at this time of the morning.

Click here to download the full recording, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

Boombox, great to hear you on the air! 

X-FM

For your listening pleasure: three hours of the pirate radio station X-FM.

This broadcast was recorded this morning, starting around 2:00 UTC, on 6,950 kHz AM. X-FM can even be received in C-Quam stereo--something I have yet to try.

This is a 10 year anniversary broadcast of X-FM and has an excellent mix of music (everything from Indie rock to trance) and Redhat's live commentary. Superb signal strength, too.

You can download the recording of X-FM by clicking here, or simply listen via the embedded player below (note that I included X-FM's full seven minute interval signal/leader):

Standard Pirate Radio Disclaimer:Though X-FM is quite a professional pirate (is there such a thing?), this is a recording of a real pirate radio broadcast, and as such, may include colorful language. In general, if you are easily offended by the words, ideas, music lyrics, or music herein, you should slowly…back… away…

Radio GaGa

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For your listening pleasure: two recordings of the pirate radio station, Radio GaGa. Both of these broadcasts were recorded on 6.925 MHz in the upper side band on February 23rd, 2013; the first one at 12:40 UTC, the second one at 04:10 UTC.

Download the broadcasts from this page, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

Wolverine Radio

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For your listening pleasure: 2 hours and 46 minutes of pirate radio station, Wolverine Radio--recorded Sunday, February 17, 2013 around 2:40 UTC.

Wolverine was broadcasting on 6.925 MHz in the upper side band. Typical of Wolverine, lots of music variety which spans the decades, and no commentary other than station ID throughout.

I decoded two of the SSTV images Wolverine transmitted; the Canadian flag (see right) and this one. You can easily decode these live, or via the recording below. Per Ragnar's suggestion, I now use MMSTV to decode SSTV images.

Click here to download the full recording of Wolverine Radio, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

WMPR

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For your listening pleasure: 32 minutes of pirate radio station, WMPR.

I recorded this broadcast of WMPR on 6.925MHz AM on February 17th, 2013 at 10:00 UTC. You'll note that this recording sounds a little "brighter" than a typical shortwave radio recording.  This is due to the fact that I widened the AM filter to match the bandwidth of WMPR's signal (about 17 kHz!).

Click here to download the MP3 of the recording of WMPR, or simply listen below:

Wolverine Radio

Wolverine Radio was the strongest of the pirate radio stations I heard last night.

Wolverine was broadcasting on 6.935 MHz in the upper side band. Very good signal and excellent fidelity for SSB. Typical of Wolverine, lots of music variety and no commentary other than station ID throughout.

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Wolverine Radio–at least each time I’ve heard them–sends an SSTV image at the end of the broadcast. Last night was no exception, though I had a difficult time decoding, and no time to tinker.

UPDATE: Thanks, Ragnar of Pirates Week, for both of the Wolverine images.

Ragnar decoded both SSTV graphics using using MMSTV in Scottie1 mode.

Click here to download an MP3 of Wolverine Radio's broadcast, or stream via the embedded player below: