NASWA Journal Columns · Pirate Radio Report, February 1999

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

Pirate Radio Report, February 1999

Welcome to the February 1999 edition of THE PIRATE RADIO REPORT. This month we have a first hand report of a visit by the FCC from Tommy Pickles of Radio Halloween plus some more of your logs.

My FCC Visit by Tommy Pickles

In case you don’t know who I am, I’m Tommy Pickles, the owner/operator of shortwave pirate station Radio Hallowe’en. I’ve been active the past few Halloweens, playing scary sound effects, stories about haunted houses, etc. The usual Halloween stuff.

As a pirate, one always has to come to grips with the fact, that “the knock” could happen, but as one who likes to practice the art of denial I would always think to myself, “na, it won’t happen to me. It’ll be some other poor pirate op who gets it”.

This year, all was going according to plan. The show was recorded, edited, and put on tape.

In order to test the long dormant transmitter, I played the show a couple of days before Halloween. This was probably a fatal mistake as it allowed the FCC to use their long distance monitoring equipment to get a fix on my location.

Then on the Friday before Halloween, the show was aired. Everything went well. The equipment was powered down, the pizza man came with the extra cheese and pepperoni. About 20 minutes later my son said there were a few men at the door. “Probably some local political candidates looking for support” I thought to myself.

I came to the door and one gentlemen handed me his business card and as he did he exclaimed:

“We enjoyed your Radio Halloween show”. I looked at him dumbfounded then checked his card. It was an electronics engineer from the local field office of the FCC. Radio Halloween had been busted! He asked if I was a ham and I said no and asked to inspect the equipment which I refused since they had no search warrant. He gave me a warning notice of violation which was followed by a formal one received by registered mail. Fortunately no fines assessed. To the best of our knowledge, we were NOT interfering with any other legal transmissions. Anyway, after telling us what we were doing was illegal, they left.

Radio Hallowe’en is no more. The transmitter has been sold and the studio dismantled.

[Thanks Tommy for the interesting story.]

Loggings–Keep ‘Em Coming!

RADIO COCHIGUEZ, a pirate originating in South America was logged on January 2nd at 2300 UTC on 6949.5 kHz USB mode by Fred Kohlbrenner in PA. They were playing Latin American music with station IDs in English and Spanish. [Kohlbrenner-PA]

RBCN/RADIO BOB’S COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK, a Georgian pirate returned to the air after a few year’s absence. Bill Wilkins of MO heard them at 0046 sign on January 4th with parodies and mx from the Simpsons TV show. Their maildrop is Box 24, Lula, GA 30554. [Wilkins-CO]

WACK RADIO was heard by Rich D’Angelo in PA. They were logged at 2155 on January 2nd. Many Ids were given as well as parody Ads for the “Destitute Ken Doll”. You can leave reports at a toll free # 1-800-959-8177. [D’Angelo-PA]

That’s it for this month! Don’t forget to make your plans to attend Winterfest ’99 in Kulpsville, PA in March now! There’s always a bunch of pirate fans attending! See the info on the last page of this Journal. Your editor plans to be there.

Happy Pirate DX!

Read more Pirate Radio Report columns.

1 Comment

  1. SPF said:

    What kind of transmitter and how much power were you using? Did you have any responses from listeners other than the FCC? How many haloweens did you broadcast prior to getting busted?? Tell us all about it, oh, and check out my webpage on legal microbroadcasting while you are at it!

    December 6, 2006 at 7:53 am

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