We seek to understand and document all radio transmissions, legal and otherwise, as part of the radio listening hobby. We do not encourage any radio operations contrary to regulations. Always consult with the appropriate authorities if you have questions concerning what is permissable in your locale.

Author Topic: Best frequencies for pirate stations ?  (Read 1073 times)

Offline Andrew Yoder

  • DX Legend
  • ******
  • Posts: 2024
    • View Profile
    • Hobby Broadcasting Blog
    • Email
Best frequencies for pirate stations ?
« on: July 02, 2022, 1858 UTC »
Original subject : Re: Comreg Raids against SW stations in Ireland

Best wishes to everyone involved. I've enjoyed hearing a number of Ireland-based stations over the past few decades.

Now that the SW broadcast bands aren't as densely packed, would it be safer to operate in the middle of, for example, 30 or 60 meters?

edit by Ray :
I split the thread and change the subject
« Last Edit: July 02, 2022, 2140 UTC by Ray Lalleu »
Please QSL to: POB 109, BRS, PA 17214
Hobby Broadcasting Blog: http://hobbybroadcasting.blogspot.com/
Drake R8, AOR AR-7030, R-390A, R-388, SX-28A, Philco 44 + some others    Horizontal loops & 1/2-wave inverted V

Offline Brian

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 517
  • Ireland
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Best frequencies for pirate stations ?
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2022, 1935 UTC »


Now that the SW broadcast bands aren't as densely packed, would it be safer to operate in the middle of, for example, 30 or 60 meters?
That is a good suggestion and one that I've discussed with pirate friends.

Offline ukdxer

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 650
  • United Kingdom
    • View Profile
    • Shortwave DX blog
    • Email
Re: Best frequencies for pirate stations ?
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2022, 1948 UTC »
Some of the Dutch pirates now use the 49 metre broadcast band (5.9 to 6.2 MHz) or maybe stations could use 41 metres (7.2 to 7.45 MHz). Back in the 1980s 41m was used by landbased pirates, especially on a Sunday morning.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2022, 1951 UTC by ukdxer »
QTH: South West England
shortwavedx.blogspot.com
ukdxer@yahoo.co.uk

Offline Shortwave_Listener

  • Moderator
  • DXing Phenomena
  • *****
  • Posts: 3234
  • British Columbia, Canada
    • View Profile
    • The Shortwave Listener
Re: Best frequencies for pirate stations ?
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2022, 1954 UTC »
Yes, operating in one of the under used broadcast bands could work very well. 120, 90, 60, 22, 19, 16, 15, 13, and 11 meters all have lots of clear frequencies. 120, 90, 16, 13, and 11 meters are almost completely vacant of stations. I think the 49 meter band is a bit too crowded to pirate on. The pirates I have heard in the 49 meter band all suffered severe interference from legal broadcast stations. I donít think the raided stations were operating on frequencies used by anything else. They both operated in the 43 meter American pirate band. The only legal transmissions I have heard there are MARS stations and the link-11 data on 6945 LSB. The usual 48 meter Europirate band is an HF marine band so it would make sense for a station operating there to get caught for using an emergency channel. In my opinion the 48 meter band is a poor choice for Pirate activity. The last place you want to pirate is on or near safety of life frequencies but many Europirates do. I still have no idea what they could have been interfering with in the 43 meter band though.
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 Radio Parade

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 74
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Best frequencies for pirate stations ?
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2022, 1959 UTC »
Best wishes to everyone involved. I've enjoyed hearing a number of Ireland-based stations over the past few decades.

Now that the SW broadcast bands aren't as densely packed, would it be safer to operate in the middle of, for example, 30 or 60 meters?

You mean in the middle of broadcast bands? In my opinion, there is a greater chance of complaints to ofcom etc by broadcasters who have a license to use those frequencies at certain times, even if the frequency seems empty...
Radio Parade International

Offline Shortwave_Listener

  • Moderator
  • DXing Phenomena
  • *****
  • Posts: 3234
  • British Columbia, Canada
    • View Profile
    • The Shortwave Listener
Re: Best frequencies for pirate stations ?
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2022, 2048 UTC »
There are lots of completely unused frequencies is in the higher frequency bands. The problem with them though is that they go long all the time so NVIS is impossible. The only NVIS band not used by many stations is the 120 meter band which requires huge antennas. But, if you are far from your audience there are lots of good in-band frequencies available in the 22, 19, 16, 15, 13, and 11 meter bands.
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 Brian

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 517
  • Ireland
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Best frequencies for pirate stations ?
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2022, 2053 UTC »
Best wishes to everyone involved. I've enjoyed hearing a number of Ireland-based stations over the past few decades.

Now that the SW broadcast bands aren't as densely packed, would it be safer to operate in the middle of, for example, 30 or 60 meters?

You mean in the middle of broadcast bands? In my opinion, there is a greater chance of complaints to ofcom etc by broadcasters who have a license to use those frequencies at certain times, even if the frequency seems empty...
I doubt that the legal operators would even notice a relatively low power pirate. They just switch on.
It's frequencies that are monitored that are the problem.

Offline Radio Parade

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 74
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Best frequencies for pirate stations ?
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2022, 2054 UTC »
There are lots of completely unused frequencies is in the higher frequency bands. The problem with them though is that they go long all the time so NVIS is impossible. The only NVIS band not used by many stations is the 120 meter band which requires huge antennas. But, if you are far from your audience there are lots of good in-band frequencies available in the 22, 19, 16, 15, 13, and 11 meter bands.

Going long skip and not being receivable in the jurisdiction you broadcast from does have it's advantages....
Radio Parade International

Offline Radio Parade

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 74
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Best frequencies for pirate stations ?
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2022, 2057 UTC »
Best wishes to everyone involved. I've enjoyed hearing a number of Ireland-based stations over the past few decades.

Now that the SW broadcast bands aren't as densely packed, would it be safer to operate in the middle of, for example, 30 or 60 meters?

You mean in the middle of broadcast bands? In my opinion, there is a greater chance of complaints to ofcom etc by broadcasters who have a license to use those frequencies at certain times, even if the frequency seems empty...
I doubt that the legal operators would even notice a relatively low power pirate. They just switch on.
It's frequencies that are monitored that are the problem.

You are probably right.  However, as far as I am aware, all of the HF spectrum is monitored by Ofcom via the Baldock monitoring station on behalf of the ITU
Radio Parade International

Offline Brian

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 517
  • Ireland
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Best frequencies for pirate stations ?
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2022, 2106 UTC »

You are probably right.  However, as far as I am aware, all of the HF spectrum is monitored by Ofcom via the Baldock monitoring station on behalf of the ITU
[/quote]
Yes, all frequencies are monitored but I'm specifically talking about emergency channels.
O/T, Baldock have me located to about 10 or 12 miles of my QTH. Not bad given the distance  :P

Offline Radio Parade

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 74
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Best frequencies for pirate stations ?
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2022, 2115 UTC »

You are probably right.  However, as far as I am aware, all of the HF spectrum is monitored by Ofcom via the Baldock monitoring station on behalf of the ITU
Yes, all frequencies are monitored but I'm specifically talking about emergency channels.
O/T, Baldock have me located to about 10 or 12 miles of my QTH. Not bad given the distance  :P
[/quote]

I always give emergency channels a wide berth and make sure my sidebands have a sharp cut off point of no more than 4 khz each.

Interesting about Baldock triangulation.... your result does confirm my suspicion that their remote triangulation resolution is generally no better than obtaining the approximate area in a range of 10 miles at best... after which a local detector van would need to find the local groundwave to get the precise QTH.  And with low power and the correct antenna, groundwave coverage can be effectively restricted to a couple of miles, depending on immediate topography and wavelength used.  The shorter the wavelength, the less groundwave coverage.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2022, 2117 UTC by Radio Parade »
Radio Parade International

Offline RainBrandy

  • DX Legend
  • ******
  • Posts: 1190
  • North West of Germany
    • View Profile
    • Email
Better not here
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2022, 1123 UTC »
source: THE EUROPEAN TABLE OF FREQUENCY ALLOCATIONS AND APPLICATIONS IN THE
FREQUENCY RANGE 8.3 kHz to 3000 GHz (ECA TABLE):

6312 kHz (DSC distress traffice). 6312.5, 6313, 6313.5, 6331, 6331.5, 6332 kHz (DSC calling)
Maritime communications EN 300 373 Appendix 17 channeling plan. Appendix 25
allotment plan.
6215 kHz. (Radiotelephony distress and safety traffic).
6268 kHz (Telex distress traffic).
6314 kHz (Maritime Safety Information)
6765 kHz - 7000 kHz Land military systems (e.g. German Bundeswehr army mobile)
6925.5 kHz frequency used by KKN50 (CIA)

... maybe it was a reason of the complaints of German / NATO authorities
« Last Edit: July 05, 2022, 1152 UTC by RainBrandy »
QTH: NW Germany
RX: modified Sony ICF 2001D, Perseus SDR; KiwiSDR
ANT: dipole for 45mB
eQSLs highly appreciated! RainBrandy@gmx.net

Offline R319

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 70
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Best frequencies for pirate stations ?
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2022, 1452 UTC »
Yes, operating in one of the under used broadcast bands could work very well. 120, 90, 60, 22, 19, 16, 15, 13, and 11 meters all have lots of clear frequencies. 120, 90, 16, 13, and 11 meters are almost completely vacant of stations. I think the 49 meter band is a bit too crowded to pirate on. The pirates I have heard in the 49 meter band all suffered severe interference from legal broadcast stations. I donít think the raided stations were operating on frequencies used by anything else. They both operated in the 43 meter American pirate band. The only legal transmissions I have heard there are MARS stations and the link-11 data on 6945 LSB. The usual 48 meter Europirate band is an HF marine band so it would make sense for a station operating there to get caught for using an emergency channel. In my opinion the 48 meter band is a poor choice for Pirate activity. The last place you want to pirate is on or near safety of life frequencies but many Europirates do. I still have no idea what they could have been interfering with in the 43 meter band though.
I don't know the original post "Comreg Raids against SW stations in Ireland", what station was raided ? what frequency they used ?
Be careful that - in Europe - low band such as 120m, 90m or 60m are not in use by station BC but are in use by digital operators, maritime services etc...
For example 2177 khz & 2187.5 khz  - 120m BC band - have the same usage as 6312 khz.
https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CFR-2003-title47-vol5/xml/CFR-2003-title47-vol5-sec80-1077.xml

Offline Shortwave_Listener

  • Moderator
  • DXing Phenomena
  • *****
  • Posts: 3234
  • British Columbia, Canada
    • View Profile
    • The Shortwave Listener
Re: Better not here
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2022, 1826 UTC »
source: THE EUROPEAN TABLE OF FREQUENCY ALLOCATIONS AND APPLICATIONS IN THE
FREQUENCY RANGE 8.3 kHz to 3000 GHz (ECA TABLE):

6312 kHz (DSC distress traffice). 6312.5, 6313, 6313.5, 6331, 6331.5, 6332 kHz (DSC calling)
Maritime communications EN 300 373 Appendix 17 channeling plan. Appendix 25
allotment plan.
6215 kHz. (Radiotelephony distress and safety traffic).
6268 kHz (Telex distress traffic).
6314 kHz (Maritime Safety Information)
6765 kHz - 7000 kHz Land military systems (e.g. German Bundeswehr army mobile)
6925.5 kHz frequency used by KKN50 (CIA)

... maybe it was a reason of the complaints of German / NATO authorities

Could be. I wonder if those military communications are digital or SSB? The only legal analog communications I have heard in the 43 meter band is MARS (Military Auxiliary Radio Service-USA) and the digital stuff usually obliterates pirates. I have a hard time believing that a low power AM signal caused a problem receiving a high power digital signal. However, it could have interfered with SSB voice.
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

 

HFUnderground T-Shirt
HFUnderground House Flag
by MitchellTimeDesigns