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Author Topic: FM Pirates in Seattle, WA  (Read 4260 times)

Offline Strange Beacons

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FM Pirates in Seattle, WA
« on: August 01, 2017, 1600 UTC »
Thanks to this message board, I have taken an interest in monitoring the FM band here in Seattle for any pirate activity, especially as I am driving around the city from place to place. (I have the most commonly-used FM pirate frequencies programmed into my car radio and I scroll through them as I'm driving).

So far, I have identified three pirates, one on 87.7 FM and two operating on 101.9 FM:

One is broadcasting modern music on 101.9 FM, interspersed with announcements about street crime and local events taking place in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

The second one is transmitting long spoken word segments on 101.9 FM, in what sounds like Mandarin Chinese, along with "New Age" type music, from my own neighborhood near Shoreline, WA.

The third is broadcasting on 87.7 in the West Seattle area. This broadcast is sporadic and typically only transmits when local community events are taking place.

W9SPY

Almost forgot to add this: With the exception of the pirate in my own neighborhood, the other two are fairly well-known locally, as our local news have done stories on them both.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 1649 UTC by Strange Beacons »

Offline Strange Beacons

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Re: FM Pirates in Seattle, WA
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2017, 1709 UTC »
The second one is transmitting long spoken word segments on 101.9 FM, in what sounds like Mandarin Chinese, along with "New Age" type music, from my own neighborhood near Shoreline, WA.

Update: My bad. It turns out that the above station is actually a licensed low-power FM station (KQES-LP) out of Bellevue, WA: KQES-LP

W9SPY


Offline tesla

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Re: FM Pirates in Seattle, WA
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2017, 1455 UTC »
Maybe one should not give so much info. out on the FM pirates just mention you heard them, why help Charlie Out and make his job easier...
don't take offense just an old radio dogs opinion.

Offline Strange Beacons

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Re: FM Pirates in Seattle, WA
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2017, 1603 UTC »
Maybe one should not give so much info. out on the FM pirates just mention you heard them, why help Charlie Out and make his job easier...
don't take offense just an old radio dogs opinion.

No offense taken. And I agree with you. That is why I added the line that says that both of the FM pirates in my town have had local news stories written about them, which is how I first heard about them myself. And both of those pirates are themselves quite public and vocal about what they are doing. In other words, I haven't given out any info that the pirates themselves haven't already given out directly to the news media.

Offline Pigmeat

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Re: FM Pirates in Seattle, WA
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2017, 1209 UTC »
I'd still keep the chatter about them down for their sake. A lot of folks on the FM side are young and idealistic. What seemed like a good thing to do in talking to the press when you're 18 or 19 can turn into a huge regret a few years later.

That's why I never report the few local one's I've heard from time to time on the internet bb's and groups. FM stations of all kinds are dead easy to df day or night.

Offline Strange Beacons

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Re: FM Pirates in Seattle, WA
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2017, 1517 UTC »
I'd still keep the chatter about them down for their sake. A lot of folks on the FM side are young and idealistic. What seemed like a good thing to do in talking to the press when you're 18 or 19 can turn into a huge regret a few years later.

That's why I never report the few local one's I've heard from time to time on the internet bb's and groups. FM stations of all kinds are dead easy to df day or night.

I understand and this makes good sense to me.

This is a serious question: Do you think that I should just delete this post, then? I'd have zero problem with doing that. Thanks.

Offline thelegacy

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Re: FM Pirates in Seattle, WA
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2017, 2329 UTC »
Why they don't make 87.7 Mhz legal for Hobby Radio broadcasting (In Rural Areas) with a power between 1-15 Watts is beyond my understanding.  It would solve a few problems.  In New Zealand this takes place and they call it the guard bands.
87.7 Mhz is far enough from 88.1 that unless your broadcasting with loads of power or have a dirty transmitter chances are you'll not harm a single thing.  There are few LPTV stations using channel 6 (Especially in rural areas). 

Its all about the big wigs polluting the airwaves with the pig slop of Top40 and Rap as well as the same ole songs being played.

Part 15 is a joke as you have a hard time even on AM getting anywhere.  I think Hobby Radio (Pirate Radio, FREE Radio) is necessary to even the genre playing field for every one.  Its why some of us at The New Radio Revolution want to try and change this mess.

Get the public involved and write congress to at least give 87.7 Mhz to the hobby broadcaster.  Or at least decriminalize broadcasting on that frequency as long as no interference is ocuring from your setup.

There is a story about a Pirate in Colorado in which a broadcaster filed for a Translator station license on 95.3 where a Pirate was broadcasting.  The broadcaster traced him and them reported him to the FCC.  Now according to that agent he was barely over part 15 so he didn't even bother to knock.  The broadcaster simply asked that he change frequency and all was well again.

Now I surely doubt he was part 15.  5-15 Watts is more like it for the range he was getting.  So this tells me that things are about to change for the better as the public even sent hate mail to the broadcaster putting up that AM Translator on FM.
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Online MDK2

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Re: FM Pirates in Seattle, WA
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2017, 1603 UTC »
The second one is transmitting long spoken word segments on 101.9 FM, in what sounds like Mandarin Chinese, along with "New Age" type music, from my own neighborhood near Shoreline, WA.

The third is broadcasting on 87.7 in the West Seattle area. This broadcast is sporadic and typically only transmits when local community events are taking place.

Small world. When I moved to Seattle 20 years ago, I first lived in West Seattle (near the no-longer-there High Point housing project). Then I lived in Greenwood, the far northeastern part near the intersection of Aurora and 105th/Northgate, right by the also-now-gone Larry's Market. (Looks like the old movie theater from the 70s or 80s is still open, though - I guess stadium seating hasn't killed off all the old multiplexes yet.) I ended up in Queen Anne before returning to Denver. You must be near my old Greenwood home.
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Offline Strange Beacons

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Re: FM Pirates in Seattle, WA
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2017, 1549 UTC »
The second one is transmitting long spoken word segments on 101.9 FM, in what sounds like Mandarin Chinese, along with "New Age" type music, from my own neighborhood near Shoreline, WA.

The third is broadcasting on 87.7 in the West Seattle area. This broadcast is sporadic and typically only transmits when local community events are taking place.

Small world. When I moved to Seattle 20 years ago, I first lived in West Seattle (near the no-longer-there High Point housing project). Then I lived in Greenwood, the far northeastern part near the intersection of Aurora and 105th/Northgate, right by the also-now-gone Larry's Market. (Looks like the old movie theater from the 70s or 80s is still open, though - I guess stadium seating hasn't killed off all the old multiplexes yet.) I ended up in Queen Anne before returning to Denver. You must be near my old Greenwood home.

Yes, if you were still here, we'd be in fairly close proximity to each other. Definitely a small world!

Offline atrainradio

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Re: FM Pirates in Seattle, WA
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2017, 1749 UTC »
Thelegacy- I agree 100%! In rural, uncrowded FM bands, 5-15 watts should be allowed, HOWEVER, the FCC would need to get pre-approved FM transmitters so that people aren't buying shitty transmitters that throw spurs and harmonics all over the place. That would allow for some formality and give each broadcaster a good, clean signal to do his thing.
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Offline jordan

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Re: FM Pirates in Seattle, WA
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2017, 0040 UTC »
Why they don't make 87.7 Mhz legal for Hobby Radio broadcasting (In Rural Areas) with a power between 1-15 Watts is beyond my understanding.  It would solve a few problems. 

I second that! In fact, not just 87.7, but the ENTIRE 76-88 MHz band (76.1 thru 87.9 MHz), since few, if any, television stations broadcast on this band anymore. Most have moved to UHF or VHF-HI nowadays.

Offline Strange Beacons

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Re: FM Pirates in Seattle, WA
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2019, 1535 UTC »
Heard another FM pirate last night here in Seattle, again from my car while out tooling around. The frequency was situated in an area of the FM band where (IMO) it was least likely to cause any interference. Signal was fairly strong for what I roughly determined to be about a two to three mile radius.

The content was actually a bit of a mind-blower, as it was geared toward the hoax/rumor/whatever-you-want-to-call-it about Paul McCartney being dead. Select Beatles songs were played (from the Sgt. Pepper, Magical Mystery Tour, and Abbey Road albums), interspersed with some of the backwards clips that allegedly contain "clues" to Paul's untimely death. (The Number Nine/Turn Me On, Dead Man, Cranberry Sauce/I Buried Paul).  :) I was able to listen for close to an hour, then had to head for home.

Offline Strange Beacons

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Re: FM Pirates in Seattle, WA
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2019, 0502 UTC »
Heard the same station again tonight (Saturday). Fairly good signal at my QTH, with only a bit of fading every now and then.

Songs I heard:

Beatles: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Beatles: Lovely Rita
Grace Jones: Strange
Pulp: Common People
Wall of Voodoo: Mexican Radio
The Clash: This Is Radio clash

In between songs, there were some funny clips of weird sounds, old radio adverts, etc.

Edit: Forgot to mention that this station identifies as Underground FM and typically announces an email address during transmissions.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2019, 0259 UTC by Strange Beacons »

Offline Treehouse SWL

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Re: FM Pirates in Seattle, WA
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2019, 0003 UTC »

That's a great playlist! I wish I could hear that one up here in Lake Stevens!

Have you run into any Lynnwood-Everett-Snohomish County pirates on FM? I haven't myself, but I also haven't spent much time looking.
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Offline Strange Beacons

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Re: FM Pirates in Seattle, WA
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2019, 1544 UTC »

That's a great playlist! I wish I could hear that one up here in Lake Stevens!

Have you run into any Lynnwood-Everett-Snohomish County pirates on FM? I haven't myself, but I also haven't spent much time looking.

No, I haven't. But while you are out driving around, keep your car radio tuned to any of the known FM frequencies used by FM pirates and you may get lucky.