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autoteller

Pirate Radioooooooo

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I've been into technology for as long as i can remember, and the only thing that makes technology more interesting to me is when you use it for your own purposes, but at the same time, step on a few toes and cause some trouble. Lately i've been looking up pirate radio stations. Not just FM-AM transmissions though, shortwave pirate radio stations. If you haven't looked into these, they're pretty awesome, and i feel like aside from the internet, is one of the last unrestricted areas of free speech (not if the FCC has something to do about it at least).

 

The methods of getting these fuckers on air are pretty intense in, itself. There's been some radio stations in the past that have been reported to have HUGE antenna arrays (such as radio metallica, which coincidentally has nothing to do with metalica at all, but nonetheless had broadcasts that topped 10,000w with no sort of corporate resources helping them). The people broadcasting these are normally nothing short of genius, 99 percent of the transmitters used are totally homebrew, such as the 'grenade' (pictured below), one of the most popular transmitter types.grenade.jpg

 

As far as the 'programming' some are TOTALLY fucked, and some are relatively tame. Normally you'll find one of two types, but also some small and much stranger ones exist.

 

1. Musical: essentially these guys will just broadcast music, and general chatter. Around this time of year, there's a lot of seasonal pirate shows around, over the weekend there was an insane amount of pirate radio shows for halloween, and being up in the mountains made it that much easier to catch them. Lately in most major cities you'll find that there's a lot of music stations popping up with homebrew transmitters. This is mainly due to the proximity of their listening audience, and the lack of needed a super-powerful transmitter and antenna. Boston actually has a few of these right now. You'll normally find pirate radio stations operating on the lower end of the FM spectrum so there's less interference (depending on area).

 

2. Numbers stations: Numbers stations are totally fucked. They broadcast on specific times, and sometimes dates on varied frequencies for only specific people to hear. The broadcasts are so strange and cryptic, unless you have some sort of background decoding these, you're not going to get anywhere near what they mean. Common factors in these number stations are the voice of the announcer, the numbers said, the lead-in music (most commonly folk music, but sometimes varies), and also tones heard during the broadcast. The actual frequencies the broadcast is found on can also have something to do with the actual makeup of the broadcast, but as all number stations, this varies. more info on these stations can be found here http://www.simonmason.karoo.net/page30.html

 

3. Clandestine: You thought numbers stations were fucked? These take the cake. Mainly people who have a 'far to the side' agenda make these, and see who will tune in. These messages can go from mild to absolutely retarded REAL QUICK. A good example of these stations are the KMR (kentucky militia radio) whose owner "colonel" Steve Anderson was broadcasting shit that was SO far to the left or the right (whatever direction you choose should be ok for this asshole), that when the actual leader of the kentucky state militia (the supposed organization that anderson was broadcasting this for) totally denied having him as a member due to his actions. In the end, a sheriff came to investigate the goings-on, and ended up getting an assault rifle emptied at him by the ol` colonel, who was on the run for years, and eventually got sentenced to 15 yrs.

 

Either way, this is becoming an extremely interesting topic for study for myself. Anyone that wants to add to this or ask questions, feel free. I'm happy to share more info as i learn more.

 

/End dork rant

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yes. but how might I be able to listen to pirate radio? you mean use an AM/FM radio with a huge antenna?

 

i need a shortwave radio for when the zombies come. where can i find one?

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I used to DJ occasionally on this station. Don't let the website fool you, it's a 100% illegal operation...but the FCC has realized after busting them repeatedly over the years that they aren't going to stop broadcasting. I like the idea of pirate radio, but after a while I got tired of the politics that came with doing anything on BLR.

 

I don't know much about the technical end of it. I never saw the transmitter and I'm not sure how many watts they broadcast at. I didn't really want to know, I just wanted to play live. Since I lived in the house where the studio was, they gave me a key and told me to replace anything that I broke or blew up and do station checks every 15 minutes when I was on the air. After a few weeks, there was some positive feedback about my "show" (where I pretty much sat down with a six pack and played whatever my mood dictated), so they wanted me to come to meetings. I told them that if going to meetings was mandatory, then I would rather stop playing. We worked out a compromise where I would keep the studio clean so I could continue to play and not have to go to meetings.

 

Then I moved, and they moved, and I haven't talked to anyone involved with the station since. Apparently they're still on the air, if you want to check them out there's a stream on their website.

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yes. but how might I be able to listen to pirate radio? you mean use an AM/FM radio with a huge antenna?

 

i need a shortwave radio for when the zombies come. where can i find one?

 

there's a few ways, and it really depends on what station/what area. shortwave radios are kinda preferred because high frequencies like shortwave travel further than am/fm signals, so if you're close to a pirate fm/am beacon you can use a simple am/fm radio, plus chances are you'll get better reception. shortwave signals can be heard country-round. actually there was a guy who used to transmit some pretty radical shit from cuba.

 

as for stinkmouse.

 

this is you

 

2qd3ouv.jpg

 

you're so big of a faggot, i don't need to justify ANYTHING to you. hell, that picture is gay as fuck and you have a woman on each side of you.

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hmmmm.... i don't know where to go with this. but i'll try to find some more info to put up on this.

 

There's a few things to take into account when making a pirate station, too, and a few methods of how it's done. The bulk of shortwave pirate radio beacons, you'll find out in the middle of nowhere. These guys go to great lengths to make sure that their work 1. stays up and 2. is heard CLEARLY. For most all pirate stations, they almost even have a regular format worked out to ensure the clarity of their station, and to sort of test the waters so to speak for their signal. For this, they've made "QSLs". QSLs are pretty standard to radio, in legitimate and non-legitimate broadcasting. This is the best way to basically explain them - pulled straight from wikipedia.

 

QSL is one of the Q codes used in radiocommunication and radio broadcasting. A Q code message can stand for a statement or a question. In this case, QSL means either "do you confirm receipt of my transmission?" or "I confirm receipt of your transmission". A QSL card is a written confirmation.

 

QSL cards confirm either a two-way radiocommunication between two amateur radio stations or a one-way reception of a signal from an AM radio, FM radio, television or shortwave broadcasting station. They can also confirm the reception of a two-way radiocommunication by a third party listener. A typical QSL card is the same size and made from the same material as a typical postcard, and most are sent through the mail as such.

 

Basically, this states your location, and other basic info that's needed to the broadcaster. Sometimes QSL reports can be made through an email address nowadays since technology has developed, but still some send out old-fashioned QSLs just to keep 'the old way' alive. Below is a basic QSL with all needed areas that are useful to the broadcaster. Below is a standard QSL, though this one is plain, a lot will be pretty detailed, and i can pretty much compare them to show flyers almost. Almost always handmade artwork, and pretty out-there shit sometimes.

 

VoiceOfTheRockQSL.gif

 

The QSLs however were sent out through maildrops to ensure the anonymity of the stations. The QSLs are sent to the maildrop location, and are bundled for to however long the station wants them kept before sent out. After the specified amount of time/quota is reached, they send them to the station themselves, ensuring no trail back to them.

 

These help quite a bit in making the signal able to be heard country-wide, or in some cases internationally (as is the case with the broadcasts from cuba i posted earlier). The most basic case of interference you'll find with pirate radio is interfering with already established legitimate radio stations, which almost always triggers a FCC investigation because it's essentially taking up the space of a pre-existing radio station, although this is more common on FM/AM frequency pirate transmissions, it does happen from time-to-time with shortwave broadcasts. Also, atmospheric conditions enter into the broadcast, and reception of the signal itself through a process called propagation. I could try to explain this, and totally lose ALL of you, or you could go to someone that knows it better, like this site. Even things as sunspots have some sort of hand in high frequency wave reception, it's quite involved, but pretty interesting.

 

If even more is wanted by people on this topic, then i'll post as much as i can.

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I actually work in electronics and know this guy named Ceaser that makes all this shit from scratch.

Seems pretty cool at first but then he won't shut the fuck up about it or stop bragging about how smart he is.

 

Cool trick I learned though, if you're in a high rise you can use a slinky as an antenna and weigh down the bottom a little, then drop it out your window.

From what I've heard most of these dudes mainly just used it to talk to each other and the shit mostly stopped when cheap internet came around.

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