Tuesday 20 October, 2009, 14:29 - Pirate/ClandestineA previous article on Wireless Waffle talked about the chances of a pirate radio station being caught focussing on VHF FM pirates. A later one focussed on short-wave pirates and discussed which frequencies to avoid in order to minimise getting the authorities' collective danders up.
Posted by Administrator
Posted by Administrator
Over the past 12 months, both Premier Radio (who used 6265 kHz) and Laser Hot Hits (who used 4025 kHz) have had their transmitter sites raided. Bringing together the ethos of the two previous articles, it would make sense that in order for a raid to be worthwhile, even at short-wave, there would have likely been a complaint raised against the station concerned.
So we might, therefore, ask, "Who raised these complaints?" It seems unlikely that major international broadcasters such as the BBC World Service or China Radio International would be at all threatened by pirate operators taking their audience away or causing interference, especially as the frequencies being used by the pirates are not ones being used by an international broadcaster at the time, so there must be another source of complaints.
Across Europe (and indeed the world) there are a series of short-wave (HF) monitoring stations operated by the various national regulatory administrations who produce quarterly reports on their monitoring activities. The purpose of the monitoring and the associated reports is, on the one hand, to check on legitimate users of the HF spectrum, and on the other to identify use which is in contravention to the ITU's rules on spectrum usage. Where an administration identifies contravening transmissions, it can flag these in the reports and, according to the ITU document describing the reports, these will then be forwarded to the administration which is the source of the transmission.
Looking through these reports for the past 12 months (eg from October 2008 to September 2009), there are a number which relate to various short wave pirates. Specifically:
|Date||Time (UTC)||Freq (kHz)||Monitoring Station||Transmitter Location||Station*||Complaint|
|24 Oct 08||1700-2359||4024.57||Rambouillet, France||UK||Laser Hot Hits||Illegal use of frequency|
|25 Oct 08||0000-0600||4024.57||Rambouillet, France||UK||Laser Hot Hits||Illegal use of frequency|
|11 Nov 08||0000-0645||4024.58||Berlin, Germany||UK||Laser Hot Hits||None|
|5 Dec 08||0204-0400||4024.60||Tarnok, Hungary||Not Identified||Laser Hot Hits||Broadcast in non broadcast band|
|4 Apr 09||1715-2400||4025.00||Berlin, Germany||UK||Laser Hot Hits||Broadcast in non broadcast band|
|7 Nov 08||1837-2359||5800.00||Rambouillet, France||8E54 45N29 (Milan, Italy)||PLAYBACK INTL||Broadcast in non broadcast band|
|12 Jul 09||0855-1000||5751.51||Rambouillet, France||1W31 51N15 (Andover, UK)||Best of British Radio||Illegal use of frequency|
|8 Nov 08||0000-0200||5800.00||Rambouillet, France||8E49 45N23 (Milan, Italy)||PLAYBACK INTL||Broadcast in non broadcast band|
|10 Nov 08||2020-2100||5800.00||Tarnok, Hungary||Not Identified||Playback International||Broadcast in non broadcast band|
|4 Jan 09||1249-1300||5801.00||Vienna, Austria||Italy||MILANO (Playback International)||Broadcast in non broadcast band|
|24 Oct 08||2215-0000||5803.00||Baldock, UK||8E7 45N56 (Milan, Italy)||Playback International||None|
|12 Oct 08||0700-0830||5805.03||Tarnok, Hungary||Not Identified||Orion Radio||Broadcast in non broadcast band|
|2 Dec 08||1642||6210.00||Baldock, UK||Belgium||RADIO BORDERHUNTER||SW Pirate|
|12 Apr 09||1345||6202.00||Baldock, UK||8E48 50N15 (Frankfurt, Germany)||Crazy Wave Radio||Non-Conformity RR.5|
|15 Feb 09||0949-1120||6219.99||Vienna, Austria||Italy||MYSTERY RADIO||Broadcast in non broadcast band|
|15 Feb 09||1356-1429||6219.99||Vienna, Austria||Italy||PLAYBACK||Broadcast in non broadcast band|
|12 Apr 09||1815||6220.00||Baldock, UK||10E0 43N50 (Italy)||MYSTERY RADIO||Non-Conformity RR.5|
|9 May 09||1855-1921||6220.00||Vienna, Austria||Italy||MYSTERY RADIO||Broadcast in non broadcast band|
|11 Jul 09||1935-2300||6220.00||El Casar, Egypt||11E24 44N27 (Bologna, Italy)||Mystery Radio||None|
|31 Jul 09||0000-0030||6220.00||Klagenfurt, Austria||Pisa, Italy||Mystery Radio||Broadcast in non broadcast band|
|6 Jan 09||0105||6240.00||Baldock, UK||Netherlands||UNDERGROUND RADIO||Illicit|
|17 Feb 09||1654||6240.00||Baldock, UK||Netherlands||UNDERGROUND RADIO||Illicit|
|5 Jun 09||2340||6420.25||Baldock, UK||4E46 51N38 (Breda, Netherlands)||Casanova or Dutchwing?||Pirate Station|
|7 Feb 09||1657||6870.00||Baldock, UK||12E20 42N41 (Terni, Italy)||Playback International||Non-Conformity RR.5|
|30 Apr 09||1639||6870.00||Baldock, UK||12E20 42N41 (Terni, Italy)||Playback International||Non-Conformity RR.5|
|8 Feb 09||0857-0933||6870.00||Vienna, Austria||9E38 45N41 (Bergamo, Italy)||PLAYBACK||Broadcast in non broadcast band|
|22 Mar 09||0956-1429||6870.00||Vienna, Austria||Italy||PLAYBACK||Broadcast in non broadcast band|
|3 May 09||0845-0940||6870.00||Vienna, Austria||Italy||PLAYBACK||Broadcast in non broadcast band|
|4 July 09||2001-2017||6870.00||Vienna, Austria||Italy||PLAYBACK||Broadcast in non broadcast band|
|12 Jul 09||0430-2200||6870.00||Tarnok, Hungary||USA (!)||PLAYBACK INT. RADIO||Broadcast in non broadcast band|
|14 Feb 09||1425-1443||6878.00||Vienna, Austria||Italy||PLAYBACK||Broadcast in non broadcast band|
|21 Feb 09||0700-2040||6880.00||Rambouillet, France||9E54 44N42 (Genova, Italy)||Playback International||Illegal use of frequency|
|22 Feb 09||0630-0700||6880.00||Rambouillet, France||11E33 44N21 (Bologna, Italy)||Playback International||Illegal use of frequency|
|4 Oct 08||2000-2100||6925.00||Rambouillet, France||20E32 39N4 (Greece)||Spider Radio||Illegal use of frequency|
|26 Jul 09||0000-1700||7550.00||Tarnok, Hungary||Italy||Radio Amica||Broadcast in non broadcast band|
|29 Aug 09||0620-0700||7550.00||El Casar, Egypt||Italy||Radio Amica||None|
|29 Aug 09||0600-0630||7550.00||Klagenfurt, Austria||Italy||Radio Amica||Broadcast in non broadcast band|
|18 Feb 09||1218-1220||9385.00||CRMO, South Korea||Ireland||LASER HOT HITS||Illegal use of frequency|
|19 Feb 09||1606-1607||9385.00||CRMO, South Korea||Not Identified||Laser Hot Hits||Illegal use of frequency|
|28 Feb 09||1130-1300||9385.00||Tarnok, Hungary||Not Identified||Laser Hot Hits||Broadcast in non broadcast band|
* Where the station was identified in the monitoring report, it is shown in CAPITALS.
Where no name was given, it has been identified and added in by searching through various on-line logs from the date concerned.
In addition to the above there are one or two other unidentified broadcasts on typical pirate frequencies (eg 6447 kHz on 21 August 2009) but there does not seem to be any indication of who they might be (nor do logs help with this).
Clearly there has been a lot of monitoring of Laser Hot Hits going on by various administrations (Laser may be impressed that they were heard in South Korea!) Similarly Mystery Radio and Playback International have also been heavily monitored though the grid references given for their locations seems to vary quite a lot. These stations operate over long periods, usually at weekends but outside these times too, so it is perhaps not surprising that they have been 'caught'. A more interesting question might be why other stations have been monitored. Was it a chance happening by the administration concerned, or are the frequencies they are using of particular interest to that country?
There are many more questions that these logs raise: How many 'complaints' are necessary before action is taken? Are the locations produced sufficiently accurate to find the transmitters or are other methods necessary? Do the various monitoring stations co-operate to improve the accuracy of locations? Is there a competition between stations and administrations to show how 'bad' their neighbours are being (eg UK complaining about France and France complaining about UK). And perhaps, most importantly, how come Mystery and Playback are still on air?!