NASWA Journal Columns · Pirate Radio Report – February, 2023

Brian Penney • 30 Acorn Way • Brewster, MA 02631 swradio◊

Pirate Radio Report – February, 2023

Welcome everyone to another edition of the Pirate Radio Report.

Pirate radio activity has been as robust as ever! After an active Christmas holiday, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day shaped up to be just as active with Wolverine Radio/WDDR, Sycko Radio, WENO, WCDW, Thunder Chicken Radio and Radio Free Whatever all taking to the airwaves. Weekends continue to be the most active time. Remember to check HF Underground, Free Radio Weekly and The Free Radio Network (FRN) for the latest in pirate radio activity throughout the entire radio spectrum.

The 36th Annual (!) Winter SWL Fest is going to be a virtual affair again this year. It will be held for one day only, on Saturday March 4, 2023. I hope to meet with other pirate radio enthusiasts in the “Bob Brown Memorial Hospitality Suite” – A virtual hospitality room, sponsored once again by the Canadian International DX Club (CIDX).Andrew Yoder’s Hobby Broadcasting Radio for February 2023 will feature a conversation with HF Underground’s own Chris Smolinski and can be heard on the third Thursday of each month at 0400 UTC on WBCQ 5160 kHz.Many thanks to this month’s contributors: Glenn Hauser, Greg Majewski, Bill Montney, Ralph Perry, Gianni Serra, Mark Taylor and Jack Widner for their continued support.

4015-USB, PIRATE-NA. WOLVERINE RADIO. 0131, 01-15-23, Program of “ONE or another” dilemmas (most often romantic) songs include: “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one your with”, “One way or another” – Blondie, “One thing leads to another” – The Fixx, ID, SSTV (front and back of a Liberty dollar with “Wolverine Radio”), Fair although noisy. (Taylor–WI)

4030-USB, PIRATE-NA. WDDR. 0355, 1-01-23, DJ Drunken Radio playing classic rock including Steely Dan and Joan Armatrading. Noisy signal here, but I checked an SDR in Milford PA and the signal was quite good there. (Widner-PA)

4030/4034-USB, PIRATE-NA. WANK. 0139, 01-06-23, Rock music, into “Baron von Pretzelsyten”, slowly moved to 4034 USB, then disappeared ~ 0148. Poor–fair. (Taylor–WI)

4030-AM. PIRATE-NA. BALLSMACKER RADIO. 0058, 01-14-23, “Too Much Heaven” – Bee Gees, “Knockin’ on heaven’s door” – Bob Dylan, “Something happened on the way to heaven” – Phil Collins, into a program of “Heaven” themed music. Started good, however signal deteriorated with increasing QRN to poor. (Taylor–WI) 0308, 01-14-23, YL talk and music, S8/S9 with het on plus side. (Hauser-OK)

4185-AM. PIRATE-AM. X-FM SHORTWAVE. 0257, 01-15-23, Redhat playing favorites of the past couple of years as well as on breaks for talking about music, why he doesn’t like Facebook, why he moved to 75 meters, shout outs to HF Underground (including me).Good. (Taylor–WI)

4190-USB, PIRATE-NA. WENO. 0146, 01-02-23, “Ocean” by Velvet Underground, ID sequence which went on for about a minute, into songs by David Bowe, Carbon Based Lifeforms, Brian Eno, Devo and many others. Fair signal. (Taylor–WI)

5879.97-AM, PIRATE-EUROPE. RADIO ROCK REVOLUTION. 1728, 01-01-23, ongoing rock songs; better in USB. Poor/almost fair at times (Serra-Italy)

6030-AM, PIRATE-NA. BALLSMACKER RADIO. 0157, 01-06-23, “Wildfire” IS, ID, “Shout” – Tears for Fears, “I count the tears” – The Drifters, ID, into a program of “Tears” related songs. Started fair, however signal deteriorated to poor when I quit about 0250. (Taylor–WI)

6284-AM, PIRATE-EUROPE. RADIO JOEY.1620, 01-15-23, only playing disco, techno, folk songs.Fair (Serra-Italy)

6880-USB, PIRATE-NA. MIX RADIO INTL. 2333, 01-21-23, fair-good. An interview between Andrew Yoder /Hobby Broadcasting Casting Show part 3, and Chris Smolinski / HF underground advocate. Show topic: Pirate radio / and much subject matter involved that makes it. Thanks for the program. Needed to hear it! (Montney-MI), A nice discussion of the HFU and government monitoring of it. Excellent Signal. (Majewski-CT)

6885-AM, PIRATE-NA. RADIO GAGA. 0016, 01-09-23, Music selections from The Monkees, Ry Cooper, Roger Miller & Moody Blues (in Spanish) among others. Noisy reception. S4. (Penney-MA)

6920-USB, PIRATE-NA. WDOG. 2005, 01-01-23, Played songs from 1961 to 1991. Nice music. Good Signal with some fading (Majewski CT)

6925-USB, PIRATE-NA. RADIO FREE WHATEVER. 0103, 01-02-23, ID and talk by DJ Dickweed into a program of Indie music, prepared IDs, and talk breaks including shout outs to folks on HF Underground who logged him. Mentioned drinking cheap gin at one point, and later having difficulty with transmitter problems. (Taylor–WI)

6925/4185-USB, PIRATE-NA. SYCKO RADIO. 0433, 01-01-23, ID, section on Bali Frank from HFU, “Everyone wants a piece of the action” (punk), ID, “what to do next” then played “Dream weaver”, talk about 2023 and QSLs. Good. (Taylor–WI) (Majewski-CT)

6925-USB, PIRATE-NA. TWO DOG RADIO. 0225, 01-08-23, rock music at S6/S7, the OPOB = only pirate on band, that is audible. These say it`s Two Dog Radio: https://www. board/index .php/ topic, 107892.0.html (Hauser-OK)

6925-AM, PIRATE-NA. ION RADIO. 2208, 01-11-23, Songs by the likes of Stray Cats, Grateful Dead, with Ronald Regan jokes about the Soviet Union. Fair/Good signal. (Majewski-CT), 2246, 01-11-23. Indistinct signal with OM, YL, (Taylor–WI)

6925-USB, PIRATE-NA. WAVE RADIO. 0141, 01-19-23, “Sirens” – Dizzee Rascal, 0147 ID, more dance music, YL synth voice, into program of contemporary dance music with periodic IDs. Poor – fair overall. (Taylor–WI), 2323, 01-21-23, pirate music at S7.

A few minutes later, some IDs as WAVE Radio, per: /board /index. php/topic,108497.0.html (Hauser-OK)

6925-USB, PIRATE-NA. YEAH MAN RADIO. 2326, 01-20-23, good! Diana Ross and the Supremes w/”I’m Gonna Make You Love Me,” BJ Thomas follows/”Rain Drops Keep Falling on my Head,” 23:30 OM w/ID and “from 1969 next,” the CowSills w/”Hair,” Anncr w/”The

first broadcast of the year, less talk / more mx on this million dollar weekend.” (Montney-MI) 2330, 01-20-23, Yeah Man doing a nice Million Dollar Weekend show. Lots of sixties pop music. Good Signal (Majewsk-CT)

6929.9-AM, PIRATE-NA. HAPPY HAPPY RADIO. 2243 – 2253, 01-23-23, Music selections from Love Affair, Bossa Nostra & Jestofunk. Good signal. S6. (Penney-MA)

6931-AM, PIRATE-EUROPE. INDY RADIO. 1814, 01-2-23, man/woman unclear talk, playing rock songs, w/man DJ brief and longer unclear talk at times. Poor/very poor no audio at times. (Serra-Italy), 2304, 01-15-23, this was poor signal with barely heard audio, male speaking. I could see the carrier on the waterfall. ID was from HFU. (Majewski-CT)

6935-USB, PIRATE-NA. B-SIDE RADIO. 0132, 01-08-23, Fair Cannon Ball Adderley w/”Miss Jackie’s Delight” OM anncr w/ comments on mx played, shout-outs to HF underground. (Montney-MI)

6935-USB, PIRATE-NA. CLOUDSPLITTER RADIO. 2136, 01-06-23, the show was the “Transport yourself back to the eighties”. Nice eighties tunes like Ah Ha “Take on Me”. Started with a good signal and then started to fade at 2200. (Majewski-CT), 2114, 01-06-23, good-fair. On-going from Men at Work w/”Down Under,” A-ha w/”Take on Me,” YL w/”Taking you back to the 80’s” and ID. (Montney-MI)

6935-USB, PIRATE-NA. OUTHOUSE RADIO /UNID(?). 0000, 01-14-23, fair. “Who Are You” / The Who starts it off. The Who again w/ “Who are you?” then “Ba-Ba O’Riley”, AC/DC w/ “You Shook Me all Night Long.” SSTV w/ ID. Anncr. w/ “It is Friday the 13th you know, almost like a religious holiday.” (Montney-MI), 0026, 01-14-23, Good with increasing QRN. (Taylor–WI)

6935-AM, PIRATE-NA. B-SIDE RADIO. 0136, 01-22-23, fair-poor. Ol’ Blue Eyes / Frank Sinatra here w/ ”Come Fly With Me,” appropriately Dean Martin follows w/ ”Ain’t That a Kick in the Head” (Love it!) Difficult hearing as audio-clarity dives to the floor. (Montney-MI), 0125, 01-22-23, Barely audible music and some talk by the op. Poor. (Taylor–WI)

6937-USB, PIRATE-NA. DOCTOR ZEEKY. 2245, 01-06-23, good. Opening up w/Mackenzie Carpenter – “Hunting Season,” Kevin MacLoud w/ ”Classic Christmas favorites,” Barnyard mx, CCR w/ ”Have you ever Seen the Rain.”, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole w/ ”Somewhere Under the Rainbow.” (Montney-MI), 2322, 01-06-23, Good Signal (Majewski-CT)

6938-USB, PIRATE-NA. WIND RADIO. 2303, 01-04-23, good. Sod Ven w/”Feel ItAll”, Wildes w/ ”Far and Wide”, Also caught: The Wombats, Bonobo, Infract, Old Sea Brigade, Sam Allen, OM w/ID and “See you around.” (Montney-MI), 2256, 01-04-23, Fair Signal (Majewski-CT)

6945-USB, PIRATE-NA. WWWW. 2345 – 0100, 01-14-23, Rock music selections from ZZ Top, Blue Oyster Cult, Norman Greenbaum, Rush & others. OM w/ID: “Whiskey-Whiskey-Whiskey- Whiskey 100 watts the state of Alabama”. Decent Reception S5. (Penney-MA)

6949.9-AM, PIRATE-NA. CAPTAIN MORGAN SW 2342, 01-07-23, good. The Fabulous Thunderbirds going-on w/”Can’t Stop Rockin,” Ike Turner and Lonnie the Cat next on w/”I Ain’t Drunk” (love it), YL w/ ID, sound like the Twilight-Zone Theme, OM anncr w/”Mid-winter Program Capt. Morgan. (Montney-MI)

6950-USB, PIRATE-NA. THUNDER CHICKEN RADIO. 2141, 01-01-23, “Cluck, cluck, cluck” into a country song and program of hard driving rock eventually an SSTV of Thunder Chicken. Fair. (Taylor–WI)

6950/4030-USB, PIRATE-NA, WOLVERINE RADIO/WDDR. 0106, 01-01-23, Some CW, bit of SSTV, “Echo” ID, SSTV (picture of universe with “Wolverine Radio”), Drunken DJ with an encore “Galaxy Song” – Monty Python. Drunken DJ playing music, taking requests, shouting out to folks who logged him HF Underground, playing SSTV for folks on HF Underground with an image related to their avatar. .a Very good. (Taylor–WI)

6955-USB, PIRATE-NA, RADIO FREE WHATEVER. 2151, 01-14-23, good. Sounding like theme mx from Star-Wars(?). DJ Dickweed introducing his show for the eve. Plenty of mx logged from these following artists: TrySam, Miss Grit, Frankie Rose, Paramore, Bones UK, Black Lips, Pretty Sick. DW with the usual comments and introductions. Also shout-outs to HFU listeners. (Montney-MI)

6960-AM, PIRATE-NA. BALLSMACKER RADIO. 0200, 01-21-22. “Wildfire” IS, 0200 bowling pin strike, ID, “4030 from somewhere in the Northeast”, bowling pinstrike, into a program of “Dance” themed music. Fair. although noisy at times. (Taylor–WI)

6965-AM, PIRATE-NA. THE BEGINNING SW. 2120, 01-16-23, Music selections from Roosevelt, Way Out West, Vinai, Caleidescope & others. OM w/ID. Good signal. S8. (Penney-MA)

6974.9-AM, PIRATE-NA. RADIO NOWHERE MAN. 0039, 01-16-23, Somewhat Chinese traditional ambient music, wide variety of music, jazz, punk, ambient, contemp. Rock, etc. all segued. 0158 YL “This is Radio Nowhere Man”. Fair. (Taylor–WI)

6975.5-AM, PIRATE-NA. ALL AZTECA RELAY SERVICE. 2354, 01-22-23, A show of the classic Azteca Radio show #12. These were great shows with satire of the hobby. Nice to hear them again. I received an eQSL for my posting on the HFU. Good Signal (Majewski-CT)

Pirate News

FCC Says Its Pirate Enforcement Is Picking Up, Including New Hires and Equipment.


Jan 26, 2023 

The Federal Communications Commission says its battle against pirate radio returned to more normalcy as the agency’s pandemic response became less restrictive and it had more flexibility to return to undertaking more investigations. The result is the Enforcement Bureau took 38 actions against alleged operators of unlicensed stations, including issuing 21 notices during 2022 to property owners where those stations were broadcasting from.

Because pirate radio stations often cease operating for a period of time but then return, the Bureau will continue to monitor the properties for which notices were provided and will initiate enforcement action where appropriate,” the FCC says in an annual report about its progress in combatting pirates. The annual report is now required under the Preventing Illegal Radio Abuse Through Enforcement Act or PIRATE Act, which was signed into law by President Trump in January 2020.

If the number of enforcement actions seems small, the FCC explains that ever since the new law took effect field agents have been hampered by not only the pandemic but also a “lack of funding” to implement many of the requirements in the law. It is a similar complaint the FCC shared with lawmakers when it issued its previous report a year ago.

The PIRATE Act raised the potential maximum fine for those found guilty of operating or supporting an unlicensed station to $100,000 for a single act of violation, up to a $2 million maximum. It also gave the FCC additional enforcement authority over property owners and managers that permit pirate radio stations to operate from their property.

Under the new law, the FCC was required to build a database of pirate radio stations. This week the Enforcement Bureau released its first version of the database, covering all of the agency’s interactions with alleged pirates last year. It shows nearly half of the pirate enforcement actions were in New York, where there were 18 investigations last year. Pennsylvania accounted for 16% of the investigations, while Maryland is where another 11% of cases were focused.

Pirate Sweeps Begin

The PIRATE Act also required the Commission to conduct annual enforcement “sweeps” in five cities where pirate radio is the biggest problem at least once a year. And then, within six months, field agents are mandated to return to those markets to conduct “monitoring sweeps” to determine whether the unlicensed operators simply powered back up or changed frequencies.

Those sweeps were slow to begin – not because of the pandemic, but because Congress failed to provide additional funding to the FCC to conduct them and the agency opted not to shift existing resources to pay for the staff needed to meet the requirement. But that should change this year since the Biden administration included funding for the pirate enforcement as part of the FCC’s current $390 million budget for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30. Under the Biden proposal, the Enforcement Bureau would receive an increase of $5 million to implement the new law and to hire the 15 new employees. To date, the FCC has posted six full-time positions – five field agents and one field counsel – and it says it has additional hires planned toward the end of the fiscal year.

Even without the additional staff, the FCC report says its staff reviewed pirate radio complaints in order to identify the current top five markets with the most pirate radio operations. “The Commission developed a plan for pirate sweeps, which was initiated in the fourth quarter of 2022,” it says, offering no further details.

The annual report to Congress also says that more money is being spent on FCC equipment to hunt down pirate stations. That includes developing new mobile direction-finding vehicles to help field agents trace a pirate station back to its home base. The FCC says it also is prepared to purchase six vehicles to support the additional staff that will be hired. That process has been delayed, however, until a government purchase window opens. In the meantime, the FCC says it will continue to use older, existing vehicles in its fleet that were scheduled to be taken out of service. It has also begun to purchase and develop investigative tools that will be integrated into the new direction-finding vehicles after they are purchased.

Read more Pirate Radio Report columns.

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