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Author Topic: Discussion on Russian Mediumwave Pirates  (Read 2537 times)

Offline Kai

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Discussion on Russian Mediumwave Pirates
« on: October 20, 2022, 0747 UTC »
Hi Shortwave_listener

I just wanted to say that Iíve been enjoying your logs of Russian/Ukrainian and Indonesian music pirates over the past months. I love the mystique surrounding these stations! (Why do they broadcast? Do they have listeners?)

I logged and IDed quite a few 3MHz hooligans (both music stations and QSOers) around 2010 with the help of Alex (ULX2) in Kyiv. Most of the hooligans I heard were from oblasts in the west of Russia and the east of Ukraine. (They usually gave out the name of a big city, but I suspect most of them were actually located in more rural areas.)

I agree that the music stations in the 1600Ė1650/1700 kHz range are different from the 'QSO hooligans' on 1.7 and 3MHz. I suppose they fall into the category of 'organ grinders' (шарманщиков) (low-powered stations broadcasting to a local audience). The term for high-powered QSO stations seems to have been дальнобойщиков Ė 'truckers'. (I suppose youíve read the same articles as I via Google Translate.)

I did a bit of listening to these stations in January and February this year via the Kiwi SDR in Tambov. I only listened during local daytime in Tambov, and there were usually one or two (weak or strong) stations on. I guess the fact that these stations were audible via this SDR during local daytime says something about where these stations are generally located.

The Russian/Ukrainian music stations on 1.6MHz seem to have been more or less unknown to Western DXers until around 2006. At least I donít remember hearing about them before Harri Kujala began listening to them in late 2006:

http://www.harriku.com/russia.htm

https://hkdx2.blogspot.com/2008/02/weekend-16-1722008-russian-pirates.html

73

Kai in Oslo

Offline Shortwave_Listener

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Re: Discussion on Russian Mediumwave Pirates
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2022, 1510 UTC »
Thank you very much for your support! It is great to to some ideas from another person (Kris has also been extremely helpful informing me about Russian/Ukrainian stations). I have also wondered who these stations broadcast to, I agree it is probably a local audience. It amazes me that we know these stations have been around so long and yet no DXers ever report hearing them. It seems many are audible in Finland, but the listeners there never log them. I had totally forgot about the шарманщиков, that is probably who these stations are! I canít seem to find much by googling that term, but what I do know seems to be consistent with these stations. I wonder how many listeners they actually have? Is it just a few people, or is there actually a large local audience for these stations? I am currently listening on the Tambov receiver now and reception of many stations is good. That receiver only has a 10 meter long vertical antenna so the signals must be very strong there (they sound better there than on the Finnish receivers with hundreds of meters of wire). I wonder what kind of power and antennas they use?
Lucas Bandura
eQSL appreciated! lucasnerite@gmail.com
Songs are identified with Shazam if needed. I usually use KiwiSDR receivers. Reception from my QTH is using a Kenwood TS-570D or RTL-SDR V3 with a 40 meter band Inverted V at 50 feet.
My website: https://swl7.wordpress.com/
Shortwave Radio Archive: https://www.youtube.com/@SW_Archive
https://archive.org/details/@shortwave_radio_archive

Offline Kai

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Re: Discussion on Russian Mediumwave Pirates
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2022, 1610 UTC »
Yes, who knows, perhaps they have an audience of some kind. At least I suppose they listen to each other.

I'm not sure how common the term Шарманщик/sharmanshchik (plural: sharmanshchikov/шарманщиков) is. But I've seen it here and there. I have no idea if these stations would call themselves that. :)

Good to see that many of them play a lot of Vladimir Vysotsky, but the way! A great singer-songwriter!

Online Ray Lalleu

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Re: Discussion on Russian Mediumwave Pirates
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2022, 1650 UTC »
I don't know about those stations in or around Russia,
but those above 1620 or 1630 kHz surely can't get many listeners.
D/E/F/G/It/Sp : Dutch/English/French/German/Italian/Spanish
+/- : about 0.02 offset, ++/-- 0.03/0.04 offset
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Offline Shortwave_Listener

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Re: Discussion on Russian Mediumwave Pirates
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2022, 1938 UTC »
I don't know about those stations in or around Russia,
but those above 1620 or 1630 kHz surely can't get many listeners.

Good point, I forgot nearly all European mediumwave receivers stop at 1611 kHz. As Kai said, i imagine they at least listen to each other. Maybe, if they have no contact information they simply broadcast because there could be an audience, without knowing for sure there is one? Seems unlikely though, I doubt they would continue to operate if they have no idea if they have even one listener. I have listened to the Greek/Serbian/Dutch mediumwave pirates and it seems their audience is each other.
Lucas Bandura
eQSL appreciated! lucasnerite@gmail.com
Songs are identified with Shazam if needed. I usually use KiwiSDR receivers. Reception from my QTH is using a Kenwood TS-570D or RTL-SDR V3 with a 40 meter band Inverted V at 50 feet.
My website: https://swl7.wordpress.com/
Shortwave Radio Archive: https://www.youtube.com/@SW_Archive
https://archive.org/details/@shortwave_radio_archive

Offline kris

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Re: Discussion on Russian Mediumwave Pirates
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2022, 2134 UTC »
     The topic is developing in an interesting way. Lucas- thanks for mentioning me!
Here are some of my words to explain where the шарманкa came from. In ancient Russia, there were wandering musicians playing lyre-like, instruments made by themselves and romantically called шарманкa . This name was adopted by Russian radio amateurs, who called it their home-built transmitter.
"шарманщик" is even a nice apt description of such broadcasters, instead of the pejorative name "radiochulign"  coined by the authorities.
 They say "I work on шарманкa " but I have not heard him say "I am a шарманщик".
The fact is that perhaps half of the Russian population is related to the military, and it is easier to "fix"
 a decommissioned transmitter there than to buy a Western-made TRX (legal barriers and prohibitive dollar prices for them). Romantic, free broadcasters, young people and grandpapas, who pursue their radio passions beyond shortwave licenses, work on such often dilapidated equipment. It is the authorities who call them "radio-hooligans", and they call themselves "svobodnyj", "свободный" means freedom.
   The first transmitters were built on television lamps, because only this was available in Russian stores. The obtained power of about 10W allowed for reception in the area of ​​several streets and such a young constructor had a group of his listeners in the district where he lived. They listened to their favorite music and talked about their equipment, while the authorities hunted them with GAZ bearing cars.
Then came the transmitting lamps used by the military and HAMS from the GU ... series, which allowed to reach a power of several hundred watts. Even recently, the owner of Radio Buchta was looking for these lamps for his car HF transmitter, because they used up quickly (probably had a few kW of power).
  Interesting observation about the reception range of these stations. You can hear them in the daytime in Finland on a vertical antenna, worse on long antennas. Europe does not pick them up (central and western, neither do I), even after dusk. The conclusion is obvious - these are low-power stations located in the western and central European part of Russia, from where the direct wave reaches the recipients. At night, they are lost in the multitude of reflected waves and high background levels.
    I picket out the Radio Buchta Swobodnych Wołn on 1575kHz legibly during the day.
It broadcast from Belarus near the Russian border, it had to be a local transmitter with a power
of at least 10kW. A few years ago in Poland, on the initiative of local communities, a group of low power transmitters (1-10kW) was officially operating. Unfortunately, for economic reasons, they all seem to have fallen silent.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2022, 2207 UTC by kris »
RX888 ( SDR-FE-PLAY, HRD-747, Sony XDR-F1HD),
Ant. Sky Loop 180m 15m AGL, Sky Loop 120m 35m AGL
       + QRM X-phase eliminator
QTH: Gdańsk N.Poland  Ru/Sp/Gr/Sb=Russian,Spanish,Greek,Serbien
eQSL appreciated to: 13krzycho@gmail.com

Offline Shortwave_Listener

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Re: Discussion on Russian Mediumwave Pirates
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2022, 2326 UTC »
As I said I would, I have uploaded some recordings of these stations for Kris to listen to (or anyone else of course). Please check the video description for each one, I have put the time in the video that the station operator speaks (you can click on the time to jump directly to that part of the video). Maybe you will be able to tell me what they are talking about? I will likely hear many more of these stations over the weekend and I will continue to upload more recordings.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1fwOHPxIi0&t=9s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJAhwXQ7kIQ&t=8s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L62_eSP41Zo&t=9s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_oYtN-0awA
Lucas Bandura
eQSL appreciated! lucasnerite@gmail.com
Songs are identified with Shazam if needed. I usually use KiwiSDR receivers. Reception from my QTH is using a Kenwood TS-570D or RTL-SDR V3 with a 40 meter band Inverted V at 50 feet.
My website: https://swl7.wordpress.com/
Shortwave Radio Archive: https://www.youtube.com/@SW_Archive
https://archive.org/details/@shortwave_radio_archive

Offline Kai

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Re: Discussion on Russian Mediumwave Pirates
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2022, 0652 UTC »
Yes, this thread is getting very interesting indeed, Kris!

Thanks to you and Shortwave_listener (and the web SDRs!) we're finally getting to know the Russian music pirates a bit better. I think they will remain partly a mystery, though (I like mysteries!), because I have a feeling it will be very difficult to contact them. (But who knows, perhaps it's possible via this forum: https://6p3s.ru/forum/index.php)

Offline kris

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Re: Discussion on Russian Mediumwave Pirates
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2022, 1419 UTC »
   Here is what I read in the recordings (not everything is understood):
No 1: 1650v kHz 25'25 only for whom "karmak" (Kazakh?)
  (this is some comment to the lyrics of the song)
49'05 ah muse, you always are, you are not sick, flowing words
1.00'15 who are urgent, I'll end this, all the best
    No 2: 1628 kHz Magnit (that's his ID) finished, who was listening hello everyone
No 3: 1645 kHz Orlov Arbat, ... obtained little musical rights
No 4: 1615 kHz Magnit finished, who was listening hello everyone

 - Thanks Kai for the last link to the Russian Free Broadcaster page.
Entries start in 2007 but the forum is still open in 2022. This is an idea to get in touch with them through this forum, maybe the isolation barrier will break.
There is something to read about throughout the winter. If the google translator even twists the words, you will understand what the author meant. Even these old entries say a lot about their passion for radio, desires, fears and problems. Years pass, but not much changes there.
    A simple Russian as a human will share with you his last loaf of bread and a bottle of vodka.
They have it instilled in the air that politics, religion, or sex are not talked about.
 Maybe that's why Russians, Ukrainians, Georgians and Kazakhs talk to each other in the 100m band!
RX888 ( SDR-FE-PLAY, HRD-747, Sony XDR-F1HD),
Ant. Sky Loop 180m 15m AGL, Sky Loop 120m 35m AGL
       + QRM X-phase eliminator
QTH: Gdańsk N.Poland  Ru/Sp/Gr/Sb=Russian,Spanish,Greek,Serbien
eQSL appreciated to: 13krzycho@gmail.com

Offline Shortwave_Listener

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Re: Discussion on Russian Mediumwave Pirates
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2022, 1701 UTC »
Thank you very much to Kai and Kris! That website is probably our best chance at contacting a station operator. Maybe one of you wants to try, or I could register there and give it a try? Very nice that Kris was able to identify Magnit!
« Last Edit: October 21, 2022, 1731 UTC by Shortwave_listener »
Lucas Bandura
eQSL appreciated! lucasnerite@gmail.com
Songs are identified with Shazam if needed. I usually use KiwiSDR receivers. Reception from my QTH is using a Kenwood TS-570D or RTL-SDR V3 with a 40 meter band Inverted V at 50 feet.
My website: https://swl7.wordpress.com/
Shortwave Radio Archive: https://www.youtube.com/@SW_Archive
https://archive.org/details/@shortwave_radio_archive

Offline Shortwave_Listener

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Re: Discussion on Russian Mediumwave Pirates
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2022, 1531 UTC »
Here are some more recordings I would greatly appreciate a translation of. Please check the video description for each one, I have put the times in the video that the station operator speaks (you can click on the time to jump directly to that part of the video). These are the recordings I made over the weekend. I made many more recordings (which everyone is welcome to view on my YouTube channel) but the links below are only to recordings that the station operator speaks in.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPDzLND6bIM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Slvz0eAbrRQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0D9ckG8B-4&t=2s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hP1ye936n7U&t=10s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swjEnu7Yc0w
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FU_majNx7Hk

I am also trying to join the Russian forum. I have sent an email asking to join (that is the only way, no registration on the website itself) and I will inform you when I receive a reply.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2022, 1533 UTC by Shortwave_listener »
Lucas Bandura
eQSL appreciated! lucasnerite@gmail.com
Songs are identified with Shazam if needed. I usually use KiwiSDR receivers. Reception from my QTH is using a Kenwood TS-570D or RTL-SDR V3 with a 40 meter band Inverted V at 50 feet.
My website: https://swl7.wordpress.com/
Shortwave Radio Archive: https://www.youtube.com/@SW_Archive
https://archive.org/details/@shortwave_radio_archive

Offline kris

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Re: Discussion on Russian Mediumwave Pirates
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2022, 1810 UTC »
    IDs for last recordings by Shortwave_listener:
No1 1634v 06'08   pozdrawlaju(greetings) Komantator Radio
No2 1710v 17'55 wsio charaszo, spasiba kto słyszał, wsem poka > all is well, thank you who heard, bye       everyone
No3 1698v too noisy
No4 1662v 43'50 tak uż wsio charaszo, muzyka akoncziłaś, rabotał Pajalnik
No5 1634v 4'27   eto ja Komantator Radiostancja
                09'33   powieria (believe) Komantator Radiostancja
No6 1679v 02'40 druzja diapazona Drużba (Drużba band friends) , para pesni posłuszate (it's time to listen
                 songs)
                 Drużba charaszo weczera, niebo czistoe (Drużba good evening, clear sky)
                04'58  ne bałakajte, dobro pożit', dobro parjadok (don't talk, good live, good order)
                  Drużba c wami (Drużba with you), kak prochodiło?(How was it?)
   - The content shows that this is an Ukrainian station, only "clear sky" is important to them!
« Last Edit: October 27, 2022, 1823 UTC by kris »
RX888 ( SDR-FE-PLAY, HRD-747, Sony XDR-F1HD),
Ant. Sky Loop 180m 15m AGL, Sky Loop 120m 35m AGL
       + QRM X-phase eliminator
QTH: Gdańsk N.Poland  Ru/Sp/Gr/Sb=Russian,Spanish,Greek,Serbien
eQSL appreciated to: 13krzycho@gmail.com

Offline Shortwave_Listener

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Re: Discussion on Russian Mediumwave Pirates
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2022, 0246 UTC »
Thank you for all the translations! I have corrected all the logs and YouTube videos with the correct identification.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2022, 0313 UTC by Shortwave_listener »
Lucas Bandura
eQSL appreciated! lucasnerite@gmail.com
Songs are identified with Shazam if needed. I usually use KiwiSDR receivers. Reception from my QTH is using a Kenwood TS-570D or RTL-SDR V3 with a 40 meter band Inverted V at 50 feet.
My website: https://swl7.wordpress.com/
Shortwave Radio Archive: https://www.youtube.com/@SW_Archive
https://archive.org/details/@shortwave_radio_archive

Offline Shortwave_Listener

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Lucas Bandura
eQSL appreciated! lucasnerite@gmail.com
Songs are identified with Shazam if needed. I usually use KiwiSDR receivers. Reception from my QTH is using a Kenwood TS-570D or RTL-SDR V3 with a 40 meter band Inverted V at 50 feet.
My website: https://swl7.wordpress.com/
Shortwave Radio Archive: https://www.youtube.com/@SW_Archive
https://archive.org/details/@shortwave_radio_archive

Offline Shortwave_Listener

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Re: Discussion on Russian Mediumwave Pirates
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2022, 0610 UTC »
This is the most popular transmitter design used by these stations (I think this is it anyway).

Lucas Bandura
eQSL appreciated! lucasnerite@gmail.com
Songs are identified with Shazam if needed. I usually use KiwiSDR receivers. Reception from my QTH is using a Kenwood TS-570D or RTL-SDR V3 with a 40 meter band Inverted V at 50 feet.
My website: https://swl7.wordpress.com/
Shortwave Radio Archive: https://www.youtube.com/@SW_Archive
https://archive.org/details/@shortwave_radio_archive

 

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