As long as I can remember I like to listen to short wave. Not only normal music stations or informative ones (I like to listen to Radio Wereldomroep Netherlands on SW), but strange stations too, like number stations or broadcasting radio pirates.
If you thought that pirate stations disappeared on the bands, you are wrong. There are different types of pirate stations.
- Music (broadcast) stations – mainly operation on 3 meter band (FM), 48 meter band, 85 meter band and around the 185 meter band (all AM). Fun fact – at least 60% of these stations in Europe are of Dutch origin (!).
- Freebanders – pirate stations operating outside radio amateur bands. Examples are the well known 27 MHz ‘division’ freebanders, around 27.555 MHz USB or the 48-meter band, running at 6.635 MHz LSB.
- Fake amateur stations – using a fake call and trying to participate in ham activities like qso rounds, contests and normal DX work.
- And a special group – the number stations and out-of-band military data stations. But as they are operated by governments, well, we just have to tolerate them 😉
The last few weeks I am quite active on the listening part. There are many fine sites on identifying a station (music, military,number stations, illegal beacons on HF, etc.). One very fine source of information is the HFunderground.com website.
If you are into irc (you should be, it’s old but very effective) you should be on StarChat. On StarChat there are two very nice irc channels regarding swl, ham radio and pirate stations : #pirateradio and #wunclub. Both of them full with swl enthousiasts and hams.
On the left side of this page, I have put a number of links to different SWL and pirate radio related sites.