NASWA Journal Columns · Pirate Radio Report, September 1997

Chris Lobdell • P.O. Box 146 • Stoneham, MA 02180-0146 clobdell◊comcast.net

Pirate Radio Report, September 1997

Hello and welcome to another edition of the PIRATE RADIO REPORT. I hope all of you have noticed the correct email address (lobdell@tiac.net) in the masthead. I’m signing up for broadband internet service via our cable TV provider. It’s supposed to be 50 times faster than a 28.8 modem! We shall see.

This month I’m pleased to report that we have a station profile for you as well as an update on the Weiner-Becker radioship project plus lots of logs!

Weiner-Becker MV Electra Radioship Project Still Afloat

A couple of months ago we reported in this column that the project looked doomed. Money forthcoming from the religious backer had not arrived nor did it seem like it was ever going to arrive.

In late July I was riding around doing a couple of errands while listening to Howard Stern’s AM talk radio show. One of Howard’s guests was Randi Steele [a former Radio Newyork International crewmember]. Randi, it seems was a guest on the Stern show about 10 years ago during the RNI days. Howard had him back on because he had a sex change operation and was now a female. As Howard said, it was first guest to be on his show as both a male and a female! Anyway, Allan Weiner was with Randi to plug his book Access To The Airwaves and while talking about pirate radio, he mentioned the Radioship Electra project was still alive.

I emailed Anita McCormick, who wrote Access To The Airwaves for Weiner. She told me that Allan and Scott Becker were going to be guests on Boston’s WRKO to plug the book and talk about the radioship project. Being the dedicated reporter/editor that I am, I stayed up until midnight to hear the interview on the Jeff Katz show. The hour-long segment featured disbarred lawyer and project head Scott Becker and of course Allan Weiner.

According to information given during the radio program, the MV Electra is basically ready to sail. All that had to be done was modify one of the generators, connect a few wires and they were ready to set sail by the end of the summer. During the show they gave the location of the boat as the Bang Corporation shipyard in East Boston. When crossing over the Meridian Street Bridge from Chelsea into East Boston, it’s on your right.

Since Stoneham is only about 10 miles from there, I decided to take a look. The Electra is there with a shiny new radio mast in the center. The tug boat is a bit rusty with a black hull and a yellow cabin. It is not nearly as large as The Fury 5, Allan’s last radio project. The boat is moored next to a large ship at the end of a long pier so I wasn’t able to get too close. I hope to be able to arrange a visit and board the ship soon so hopefully I’ll have an in depth report for a future column.

Scott Becker is heading the project and Allan Weiner is in charge of outfitting the vessel and operating the transmitters. The destination is a Caribbean country whose name is being kept secret. Programming will be that of the religious group funding the project and also Bill Bragg’s “Yesterday USA Superstation” which features old time radio programming. Alternative programming will also be featured including old RNI programming from the 80’s.

Anyway, that’s the latest info!

Profile: Jerry Rigged Radio

This time we are pleased to present a profile from Simon Bar Sinister of JRR.

“Greetings and Salutations from JERRY RIGGED RADIO headquarters. In late March of 1996 JRR started transmissions to the world, or at least a small part of it. We don’t know what we are doing and don’t really care. We’re just out to have some fun.

Our main transmitter is a Heathkit DX-35 running about 10 to 20 watts of raw AM power and we have just started to test a standby transmitter in LSB/USB.

You’ll never know what we’ll have on our programs because we don’t follow an agenda or given theme. We love to mix it up some, especially by using different frequencies.

Don’t even try to locate us! Our antennas are protected. The last person that trespassed and jumped our fence got his legs chewed off by attack ground squirrels when he stepped in one of their holes. Not a pleasant site!

We have 8 different QSL styles and a map we can give out. More designs are in the works. You never know what you’ll get in your envelope. If you hear us, send all correspondence and reception reports to our maildrop at Jerry Rigged Radio, Box 28413, Providence, RI 02908.”

Thanks to Simon at JRR for this interesting information. If you’d like your pirate station profiled here, send it along and we will be sure to get it printed.

Loggings!

Because of last month’s earlier than normal deadline I was unable to include loggings that should have been in last issue’s PIRATE RADIO REPORT, so we’re doubling up this issue and include those dating back into July.

FREE HOPE EXPERIENCE was heard by Dan McCarthy in Georgia. They were heard on July 6th at 0000 UTC with comedy and playing “Stars and Stripes Forever. Frequency? Yep, the usual 6955 kHz in USB of course. FHX was also noted on August 3rd at 0205 to 0216 fade out. Programming included music and parody Ads. [Wilkins-MO]

KOLD, the Big Band format station was logged on July 6th as well with a program featuring Boogie Woogie tunes at 02:50 UTC on the usual frequency. [McCarthy-GA]

KRAP was heard on August 2nd in AM on 6955 kHz at 0152 UTC sign on playing a variety of music, even Christmas songs! They had a good signal in Missouri. [Wilkins-MO]

RADIO ECLIPSE was noted at 01:24 UTC on July 6th with music by James Brown and a parody AD for “Assheal Hemorrhoidal Treatment”. Yep, 6955 kHz USB. [Mcarthy-GA] They were also logged by Bill Wilkins on August 2nd with a commentary about Andrew Cunannin. Reception was only fair to poor.

RADIO FREE EUPHORIA, with pothead Captain Ganja was noted on 6950 kHz at 0115 on July 27th. Reception was marred by QRM from Radio One also broadcasting at the same time. [Wilkins-MO]

RADIO METALLICA WORLDWIDE was heard by reporter William Wilkins in Missouri for the last time on July 27th on 6955 kHz in the AM mode. Dr. Tornado has been missing from the pirate bands for the last couple of weeks. Was he abducted by aliens or busted by the FCC? Did his transmitter blow up or did he fail to pay his overdue electric bill? Speaking about RADIO METALLICA, Randy Stewart also of Missouri said he received his first ever pirate QSL from them. It was a blue no data card with a personal note on the back.

RADIO ONE came back on the air in July after an hiatus. They were heard on July 27th at 0120 UTC playing their usual slick oldies format. Reception was very good on 6949.9 kHz in the AM mode.

TIE/TAKE IT EASY RADIO is a new pirate. Bill Wilkins heard them for the first time on July 26th from 0558-0602 and then again on the same day from 0652-0654 sign off on 6955 kHz, USB. This North American pirate was heard as far away as New Zealand! They use the Box 1, Belfast, NY 14711 maildrop. [Wilkins-MO]

WLIS/WE LOVE INTERVAL SIGNALS was noted with a rather poor signal on August 2nd at 0048 with many interval signals. They use Box 109, Blue Ridge Summit, PA as their maildrop. [Wilkins-MO]

WREC/RADIO FREE EAST COAST with host P.J. Sparx was heard with a comedy program on August 7th at 0100 UTC. Bill says reception from this one is always very good with a steady signal. [Wilkins-MO]

Conditions should improve somewhat with lower static and noise levels this month, but earlier sunsets also mean lower MUFs in the evening hours causing the 43 meter pirate band to go dead at an earlier hour. Until next month, Happy Pirate DX!

Read more Pirate Radio Report columns.

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