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Author Topic: How many different stations on air? Names of the stations?  (Read 1822 times)

Offline Harriku

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Hi all. I put this message here. I don't know where else to write this. You can remove or delete this from here.

I have been tuning US-pirates again since September 2022 around 6.9 MHz and logged many here is SW Finland.
I have longwire 800m long directed to US-west coast (300 degrees) + 48mb dipole etc.

Now I wonder how many different stations / transmitters I have heard.
I mean are there many stations using different names?
I can see names like WDOG, Two Dog Radio and One Dog Radio. Is it the same station / transmitter?

How many different stations you think there exists in USA / Canada?

Also I wonder what could be the penalties if raid happens? I have read that those fees could be very high?
And if the amount of the fees is somehow correlated to how many times you have been on air, then
if would be wise to use different names?

Harri / Harriku
Naantali, SW Finland
Remote-rx in Paimio

PS
I had 48mb mobile pirate 1977-1980 and 2004-2006.
Never raided, but all my friends did. High penalties especially during 1980's and 90's.

Offline Harriku

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Re: How many different stations on air? Names of the stations?
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2022, 1330 UTC »
Here I reply to myself.
I can see the reply to my question in the other earlier topic.
All clear now.
harri

Offline Shortwave_Listener

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Re: How many different stations on air? Names of the stations?
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2022, 1653 UTC »
It is known that some stations use multiple names, others it is hard to say. Some are still recognizable even when they use different names by their voice or transmitter (e.g. Nowhere Radio can always be heard on 6974.89 kHz AM). I publish a list of station names and how many times they were heard each month: https://www.hfunderground.com/board/index.php/topic,106488.0.html

If I took a wild guess how many transmitters are on the air, I would say maybe about 30 (out of almost 60 names heard in November). While some stations do claim locations in parts of the USA, none currently claim to be in Canada. There are probably still a few in eastern Canada.

Penalties are high but rare. In the USA it is $10,000 maximum fine and prison time is possible, but nobody in North America has ever gone to prison for operating a pirate radio station (to my knowledge). Penalties are the same in Canada. Busts (a station getting raided) are now very rare. Nobody has been fined for operating a shortwave pirate radio station since the 1990's in North America. All were given warning letters. The last bust of a Canadian station (that I am aware of) was in the 1980's. The amount of times you are on air is not known to effect the punishment unless you continue to broadcast after you were warned by the FCC (or ISED in Canada).

Below is a edited version of what I originally posted. I think it now covers all busts since and including the Great Halloween Bust in 1998.

-The Crystal Ship (https://www.hfunderground.com/wiki/index.php/The_Crystal_Ship) was busted in May 2011, making him the most recent station to get busted. He was turned in by another station (who has thankfully left pirate radio).

-Weather Radio (https://www.hfunderground.com/wiki/index.php/Weather_Radio) was busted in April 2010. He was testing a new 1 KW amplifier, which overloaded the receivers at a nearby FCC monitoring station.

-YHWH (https://www.hfunderground.com/wiki/index.php/YHWH) was busted from Inyokern, California in 2014. It has been suspected he is located near a military base in the Mojave desert and was interfering with their equipment. He ignored the warning and still broadcasts on the unusual frequency of 7475 kHz AM. To get and idea of how weird this station is, see this thread: https://www.hfunderground.com/board/index.php/topic,15663.0.html A search of the forum will turn up more weirdness regarding this station.

-KMUD (https://www.hfunderground.com/wiki/index.php/KMUD) in the California desert was busted on December 16, 2002. The operator of the station, Steve McGreevy, used the name MojaveBeaconeer on this forum. After the bust of KMUD, he became interested in HF Pirate Beacons. More recently he started acting very strange on the forum (e.g. he claimed another forum member damaged his "desert night vision") before he disappeared from this forum all together. After the bust a station using the KMUD name very occasionally broadcast, it seems it was still him. He also seems to have made the "Freedom Radio" broadcast on 1776 kHz on May 21, 2022.

-The Great Halloween Bust (https://www.hfunderground.com/wiki/index.php/Great_Halloween_Bust) was four stations being busted between October 30 & 31, 1998. All were operating on 6955 kHz and received warning letters.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2022, 0348 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 an SDRPlay RSP1A for SWL with a 40 meter band Inverted V at 40 feet. Kenwood TS-570D for ham use.
My website: https://swl7.wordpress.com/
Shortwave Radio Archive: https://www.youtube.com/@SW_Archive
https://archive.org/details/@shortwave_radio_archive

Offline Harriku

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Re: How many different stations on air? Names of the stations?
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2022, 2150 UTC »
Thank you very much of this clear clarification! Now I understand more what is US pirate scene.
I am a station hunter and it is always nice to hear a new one, but of course it does not motivate to hunt so deep if you do not know for sure the stations by name. I suppose the stations from the west coast are much easier to hear here.
I have never tried kiwis located in USA, but it is not so interesting. Also it is deep night here  in Finland during the best on air time (2400 - 0400 local time here).

We have an active DX-community here in Finland with own magazine etc.
I would like to do a story of US pirates. How about an interview to take the details?
Is it possible to have a photo of some station's transmitter?

I made a similar article of Finnish pirates since 1975 (as I was one of them) as we gathered together to the meeting in October 2021. There were 15 stations at present telling their story of the raids and court cases. Very intensive stories! Some guys did run around the woods, police and PTL behind,  in the snow with transmitters and batteries... some stations were raided to two places at the same time... Today there is not so much interest on pirate broadcasting.
harri

Offline Shortwave_Listener

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Re: How many different stations on air? Names of the stations?
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2022, 0108 UTC »
Don't you mean the stations from the east coast are easier for you to hear? They are much closer to Finland. For some reason there are very few pirates from the west coast anyway, they are nearly all in the east. There are only three pirates known or believed to be west of the Rocky Mountains (most stations are in the Northeast USA), they are:

Radio Pushka-https://www.hfunderground.com/wiki/index.php/Radio_Pushka
YHWH-https://www.hfunderground.com/wiki/index.php/YHWH
B Side Radio-https://www.hfunderground.com/wiki/index.php/B_Side_Radio

I also forgot to mention YHWH as one of the stations that has been busted since 1998. He was busted from Inyokern, California in 2014. He received a warning letter, which he ignored (he still broadcasts on 7475 AM). Both YHWH and Radio Pushka are strange stations (particularly YHWH).

Those pages are on the HFU Wiki. I highly suggest you check it out if you haven't already, there is a lot of information there about pirate radio in North America.

If you want, I can send you a list of the different actual stations on the air and the names they use (it would be mostly me guessing, but it gives you an idea of who is who).  Let me know if you want that, I will have to send it as a a personal message.

I could do an interview if you want (if that is what your asking). Send me a personal message if you want to work out the details.

I have a few pictures of transmitters used by North American pirates.

1. Xiegu G90

This is the kind of thing most North American pirates use. Anything SSB is almost always amateur radio equipment modified to transmit outside of the amateur bands. One Dog Radio sent an SSTV last night that said he was using this particular transmitter. This is not a photo of one used by a pirate, but it is the exact same model.


2. Homebrew "Grenade" Transmitter-https://www.hfunderground.com/wiki/index.php/Grenade

Some stations that use AM mode use home made transmitters like this one. Power is typically about 10-20 watts. These are easily recognizable because the only crystals you can obtain for them are many decades and have drifted to unusual frequencies (e.g. 6924.48 kHz). Captain Morgan Shortwave (and others) use these transmitters.



3. Heathkit DX-60

People who prefer only the best sound often use modified antique amateur radio transmitters such as this one. Radio Olah claims to use this particular model with modifications (the audio filter has been disabled so the frequency response is greater than the 6 kHz voice filter). They produce an AM signal and this particular model produces 90 watts. Again, this is a picture from the internet.



4. Another homemade transmitter

I got this QSL card picture from the HFU Wiki. I do not know about this design, but it looks to be a low power crystal controlled transmitter (similar to the grenade transmitter).
« Last Edit: December 12, 2022, 0241 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 an SDRPlay RSP1A for SWL with a 40 meter band Inverted V at 40 feet. Kenwood TS-570D for ham use.
My website: https://swl7.wordpress.com/
Shortwave Radio Archive: https://www.youtube.com/@SW_Archive
https://archive.org/details/@shortwave_radio_archive

Offline flexoman61

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Re: How many different stations on air? Names of the stations?
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2022, 0128 UTC »
Interesting, would love to see the pics you posted but the images are not there.
Please QSL to: flexoman61@gmail.com
Connecticut
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Offline radiogaga

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Re: How many different stations on air? Names of the stations?
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2022, 0235 UTC »
Dont set the images to disappear on imgbb.com
I made that mistake...

rgg

Offline Shortwave_Listener

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Re: How many different stations on air? Names of the stations?
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2022, 0242 UTC »
Fixed it.
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 an SDRPlay RSP1A for SWL with a 40 meter band Inverted V at 40 feet. Kenwood TS-570D for ham use.
My website: https://swl7.wordpress.com/
Shortwave Radio Archive: https://www.youtube.com/@SW_Archive
https://archive.org/details/@shortwave_radio_archive

Offline flexoman61

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Re: How many different stations on air? Names of the stations?
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2022, 0435 UTC »
Thanks for pics
Please QSL to: flexoman61@gmail.com
Connecticut
ICOM R75, Kenwood R-2000, Radio Shack PRO-2037
43m band folded dipole/VHF ground plane

Offline Harriku

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Re: How many different stations on air? Names of the stations?
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2022, 1856 UTC »
Thank you for the photos and info. Yes, I mean the east coast...
Very interesting to read that the authorities first like to give warnings than make raids!

I am curious to make a article of US pirate radio. So, could you put a mail and I will contact you privately?
I do not know where from to find your email.

I have visited pirates in many countries and there is own history, background and culture in all of them on illegal broadcasting.
Those meanful things usually comes from the happenings after war around 50's-60's and also state's role in broadcasting.
It seems that illegal brodcasting in USA is more based on ham operators as SSB is more in use.
Here in Finland or even in Europe I have never heard SSB-station, all in AM.

harri

Offline Pigmeat

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Re: How many different stations on air? Names of the stations?
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2022, 2300 UTC »
I've got a Grenade, second or third owner, that's pushing 30 years old. Radio Anarchy got raided by the FCC once, but they let him go, they couldn't figure out how his homebrewed transmitter worked.

Don't print out that schematic of the Grenade as Gospel because it's not. There are a lot of modifications and parts that will and won't work. The guy who built them used parts that he had on hand, and modified others to make them work. People will just get frustrated following that schematic. 

Offline Shortwave_Listener

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Re: How many different stations on air? Names of the stations?
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2022, 0028 UTC »
I sent an email to harriku@dnainternet.net
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 an SDRPlay RSP1A for SWL with a 40 meter band Inverted V at 40 feet. Kenwood TS-570D for ham use.
My website: https://swl7.wordpress.com/
Shortwave Radio Archive: https://www.youtube.com/@SW_Archive
https://archive.org/details/@shortwave_radio_archive

Offline Pigmeat

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Re: How many different stations on air? Names of the stations?
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2022, 0320 UTC »
John Poet was busted about a decade before 2019. The guy that ratted him out tried to do the same to me in 2003.

Offline Shortwave_Listener

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Re: How many different stations on air? Names of the stations?
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2022, 0335 UTC »
John Poet was busted about a decade before 2019. The guy that ratted him out tried to do the same to me in 2003.

You are correct, the Wiki says it was May 2011. I think I was thinking of the last time he visited the HFU.
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 an SDRPlay RSP1A for SWL with a 40 meter band Inverted V at 40 feet. Kenwood TS-570D for ham use.
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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