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Author Topic: Last FCC Bust of a SW Pirate?  (Read 1226 times)

Offline radioartisan

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Last FCC Bust of a SW Pirate?
« on: March 12, 2024, 0045 UTC »
It seems like every week in the FCC Daily Digest I read about one or several FM pirates in the US getting busted.  Anyone know the last time a shortwave pirate got busted in the US?  Interestingly, the PIRATE act, which was passed in 2020 and the FCC has been using to levy exorbitant (and arguably unrealistic) fines against operators and landlords defines pirate operation within only the AM and FM broadcast bands, and not shortwave.
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Online Shortwave_Listener

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Re: Last FCC Bust of a SW Pirate?
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2024, 0105 UTC »
As far as I know it was YHWH is 2014. He operated on several unusual frequencies very close to a military base. A few stations were busted around 2011 as well.
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Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: Last FCC Bust of a SW Pirate?
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2024, 1313 UTC »
There's an (incomplete) list of busts here on the HFU Wiki: https://www.hfunderground.com/wiki/index.php/Bust

That's right! The HFU has a Wiki! The best kept secret in pirate radio!  ;D
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Offline radioartisan

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Re: Last FCC Bust of a SW Pirate?
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2024, 1650 UTC »
The best kept secret in pirate radio!  ;D

Well, now the secret is out!   ;D  Thanks!  I will dig into this wealth of information; thanks for everything you do.
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Offline shadypyro

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Re: Last FCC Bust of a SW Pirate?
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2024, 0228 UTC »
And Charleston Radio got the bust not too long ago, as the authorities considered it a “pirate station”
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Offline Charlie_Dont_Surf

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Re: Last FCC Bust of a SW Pirate?
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2024, 2144 UTC »
And Charleston Radio got the bust not too long ago, as the authorities considered it a “pirate station”

But, of course, that was in Switzerland, where the FCC does not have jurisdiction.
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Offline Charlie_Dont_Surf

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Re: Last FCC Bust of a SW Pirate?
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2024, 0113 UTC »
As far as I know it was YHWH is 2014. He operated on several unusual frequencies very close to a military base. A few stations were busted around 2011 as well.

That must be this incident in the FCC enforcement database: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-331583A1.pdf

There are a number of US military facilities in that area though the specific services interfered with are not mentioned in the enforcement notice I linked to. Also, if this is the same incident (and it seems like it must be), "Josiah" is likely not his legal name.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2024, 0117 UTC by Charlie_Dont_Surf »
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Offline Charlie_Dont_Surf

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Re: Last FCC Bust of a SW Pirate?
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2024, 0151 UTC »
Anyone know the last time a shortwave pirate got busted in the US?

The format FCC enforcement database does not make it easy to determine that but my potentially incomplete search revealed the following in 2015, from operation on 6876 KHz in Michigan:
https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-336269A1.pdf
which would be associated with this thread about The Crystal Ship, which was the "reboot" of a very well-known HF pirate in the 1980s, though there is no mention of "the knock" here, for what that is worth:
https://www.hfunderground.com/board/index.php/topic,23152.msg84410.html#msg84410

Going backward in time from there, the next thing I found was the YHWH incident at the end of 2014, already discussed in this thread. Before that, I found this from 2013:
https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-320165A1.pdf
I was unable to find an HFU thread associated with this incident.

Later that year, I found this though it is unclear to me if this was associated with what we would consider to be a pirate broadcast, or something else like run-of-the-mill RF interference, which is documented quite often in the enforcement database:
https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-324212A1.pdf
https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-324211A1.pdf





« Last Edit: March 31, 2024, 0157 UTC by Charlie_Dont_Surf »
I don't STRETCH the truth.

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Every minute Charlie squats in the bush, his signal gets stronger."

Offline MDK2

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Re: Last FCC Bust of a SW Pirate?
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2024, 1420 UTC »
The format FCC enforcement database does not make it easy to determine that but my potentially incomplete search revealed the following in 2015, from operation on 6876 KHz in Michigan:
https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-336269A1.pdf
which would be associated with this thread about The Crystal Ship, which was the "reboot" of a very well-known HF pirate in the 1980s, though there is no mention of "the knock" here, for what that is worth:
https://www.hfunderground.com/board/index.php/topic,23152.msg84410.html#msg84410

Going backward in time from there, the next thing I found was the YHWH incident at the end of 2014, already discussed in this thread. Before that, I found this from 2013:
https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-320165A1.pdf
I was unable to find an HFU thread associated with this incident.

Later that year, I found this though it is unclear to me if this was associated with what we would consider to be a pirate broadcast, or something else like run-of-the-mill RF interference, which is documented quite often in the enforcement database:
https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-324212A1.pdf
https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-324211A1.pdf

I do remember, back in 2016 or 2017, John Poet talking about getting the knock somewhere on the board. But I also remember that there was some heated argument where real names were revealed which I know got deleted forever by the mods or admin, and perhaps that particular post was among those that were removed. The gist was that some other pirate ratted out TCS, which led to JP finding other folks to relay his shows while he was still making them. He seems to be permanently retired now.
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Offline clobdell

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Re: Last FCC Bust of a SW Pirate?
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2024, 0102 UTC »
As I remember John Poet was doing a show from a friends house and FCC tried to bust his friend! ... That same FCC agent was the same one to visit Ronin and leave his business card in Ronin's mailbox.
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Offline Charlie_Dont_Surf

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Re: Last FCC Bust of a SW Pirate?
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2024, 0014 UTC »
As I remember John Poet was doing a show from a friends house and FCC tried to bust his friend! ...

If they now go after landlords and property owners, I suppose that "makes sense", even though that incident you describe occurred years before they started (famously?) doing this in the current AM & FM pirate bust push.

Maybe this is a good justification for remote operation by internet or microwave link.  ;)

That same FCC agent was the same one to visit Ronin and leave his business card in Ronin's mailbox.

I heard about that one. This is laziness. We can call him "the low-energy agent".  ;)
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Every minute Charlie squats in the bush, his signal gets stronger."

Offline Polar Bear

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Re: Last FCC Bust of a SW Pirate?
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2024, 1957 UTC »
It seems like every week in the FCC Daily Digest I read about one or several FM pirates in the US getting busted.  Anyone know the last time a shortwave pirate got busted in the US?  Interestingly, the PIRATE act, which was passed in 2020 and the FCC has been using to levy exorbitant (and arguably unrealistic) fines against operators and landlords defines pirate operation within only the AM and FM broadcast bands, and not shortwave.

I think that you missed the point of the Enforcement Action.
Broadcasters pays to be on 88 - 107 MHz and you don't!
When a broadcaster complains about harmful interference - it is because the broadcaster doesn't want other people competing with his legal licensed station.
On the HF bands - it would be hit or miss, because first, it requires a lot more power than 100 watts SSB - on the ham bands for people to hear you because on the HF AM you must use brute force to get your signal to be heard more than just a couple of miles away with Amplitude Modulation.
Tests were conducted using a horizontal dipole antenna at a low level in the 1930's and they just didn't work well.
So anything you do on HF that involves construction of a Vertical Radiator - tower antenna hot stick, would be visual as well as audio - aural.
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