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Author Topic: FM pirates in the Boston area.  (Read 363 times)

Offline Beerus Maximus

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FM pirates in the Boston area.
« on: January 10, 2020, 1420 UTC »
Figured I'd start kind of a megathread for FM pirates in the Boston area. The Boston area could roughly be considered anywhere within 495 but we could consider some outlying areas as well. I have been regularly scanning the FM band with the factory radio in my truck and have found a few things so far. I'd like to keep one thread up to date. There was a good page with Boston area pirates at this link: http://www.bamlog.com/bostonlp.htm but it has not been updated in years.

Here's a few logs to start:

88.5 - Big City FM. Dancehall/rap/Caribbean type music with live DJs, professional liners and commercials for events in Boston. Very famous Boston station that was once on 101.3. Listened again this morning. This station fights with the Rockport MA legal Christian operation along the coast. As you go from western Lynn down 128 it occasionally becomes the dominant signal. This station is located in Boston and is probably much stronger in the city but I don't really venture there often. Last heard 1/30/2020 at 9:00 AM.

89.3 - Portuguese language folk music constantly, top of hour IDs, seems fully automated. Clearly audible at Route 3 and 62 in Bedford/Burlington, rumored to be a long running operation in Billerica. Last heard 1/13/2020 at 9:30 AM.

99.9 - [removed, not a pirate, construction permit translator for WJDA]

Other boards to check for pirate Boston pirate radio intel:

https://www.radiodiscussions.com/forumdisplay.php?672-Boston (most active)

https://radioinsight.com/community/board/northeast/boston/ (not as active)

« Last Edit: January 30, 2020, 1523 UTC by Beerus Maximus »
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Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: FM pirates in the Boston area.
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2020, 1401 UTC »
Some nice catches! I should figure out which FM channels here are at least marginally clear, and check them when out driving.  Plus maybe check 87.9 ?
Chris Smolinski
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Offline Beerus Maximus

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Re: FM pirates in the Boston area.
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2020, 1601 UTC »
Some nice catches! I should figure out which FM channels here are at least marginally clear, and check them when out driving.  Plus maybe check 87.9 ?

Yes - in fact Boston has had pirates as low as 87.7. If you are hearing anything on 87.9 you can pretty much guarantee it is something interesting, as Radio Locator only shows 2 small operations licensed in the whole country on 87.9 and they are far out west.
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Offline IZS4

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Re: FM pirates in the Boston area.
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2020, 1958 UTC »
Thats really cool. We had a Pirate station here where I live several years back. The first time I heard them I was scanning in the lower portion of Fm near our NPR station in my truck and noticed uncensored rap music. I should scan more often. I just never think of anyone doing it anymore.
Listening on an Icom-718 with a 135' OCF dipole or a Grundig G3 and MLA-30 when portable. When QRP I use a Hendricks PFR-3 I built. Coverage is 20,30 and 40 meters.

Offline Beerus Maximus

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Re: FM pirates in the Boston area.
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2020, 1348 UTC »
Thats really cool. We had a Pirate station here where I live several years back. The first time I heard them I was scanning in the lower portion of Fm near our NPR station in my truck and noticed uncensored rap music. I should scan more often. I just never think of anyone doing it anymore.

Florida has long been a hotbed of FM and AM pirate activity. Miami was/is right up there as the king of pirating along with NYC. Tampa had quite a bit of activity as well but you will find stuff all over Florida. Terry Krueger's site is a must-visit and would be a good starting point for you. He's been keeping this site up to date for many years and it is an impressive labor of love.

The URL is: https://sites.google.com/site/floridadxn/florida-low-power-radio-stations
# Genetically engineered sentient sausage & undisputed inventor of the end-fed dipole
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Offline IZS4

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Re: FM pirates in the Boston area.
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2020, 1830 UTC »
Thanks for that link. Lots of useful information. I will keep an ear out more often on FM!
Listening on an Icom-718 with a 135' OCF dipole or a Grundig G3 and MLA-30 when portable. When QRP I use a Hendricks PFR-3 I built. Coverage is 20,30 and 40 meters.

Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: FM pirates in the Boston area.
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2020, 1809 UTC »
This post should probably be titled Lack of FM pirates in the Westminster area.  I checked out 87.9 while driving around town, and did not find any. Oh well. I'll try Hanover PA next.
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 670 ft horizontal loop / 500 ft northeast beverage / 58 ft T2FD / 120 ft T2FD/ 300 ft south beverage / 43m / 20m / 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop / Discone in a tree

Offline Beerus Maximus

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Re: FM pirates in the Boston area.
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2020, 1525 UTC »
ID'd my 88.5 this morning, it's Big City FM which has been on other frequencies in the past and has also been the subject of at least one bust. See: https://www.justice.gov/usao-ma/pr/radio-equipment-seized-two-illegal-radio-stations-boston
# Genetically engineered sentient sausage & undisputed inventor of the end-fed dipole
# Listening from Boston's North Shore
# KiwiSDR, NetSDR,Airspy HF+, Airspy HF+ Discovery, TS-590, IC-7410, FlightAware ADSB sticks
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Offline R4002

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Re: FM pirates in the Boston area.
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2020, 1330 UTC »
Check the higher FM broadcast frequencies as well...frequency, I should say.  107.9 MHz FM is another one.  I do second 87.7 MHz FM and 87.9 MHz though. 

Unfortunately the proliferation of translators and repeaters for AM stations and/or HD Radio sub-channels means there are very few, if any, clear frequencies on the FM bands in larger urban areas. 
U.S. East Coast, various HF/VHF/UHF radios/scanners/receivers