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GadgetGuru
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10 Oct 2021, 8:00 pm

Anyone else here interested in "pirate radio" (meaning unlicensed transmission of radio signals)?

I'm primarily interested in local broadcasting in the FM band (88-108MHz), and this has become SO much cheaper and easier than in years past.

Yes, I am aware of the relevant laws (for the USA, anyway), and am NOT looking to be a nuisance to anyone, or to interfere with "legitimate" stations.



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10 Oct 2021, 8:31 pm

Go for it…. And best of luck.. don’t get caught please. Aren’t you suppose to be on a ship or boat off the coast of the US….. :mrgreen:


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Fnord
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11 Oct 2021, 8:38 am

GadgetGuru wrote:
Anyone else here interested in "pirate radio" (meaning unlicensed transmission of radio signals)? ...
Yes, and as a licensed Amateur Radio Operator and a licensed Radiotelephone operator, I have participated in monitoring and locating illegal transmitters here in the U.S.



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11 Oct 2021, 8:59 am

Fnord wrote:
I have participated in monitoring and locating illegal transmitters here in the U.S.


To me, that sounds like JUST as much fun as operating a pirate station.


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Fnord
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11 Oct 2021, 2:25 pm

GadgetGuru wrote:
Fnord wrote:
I have participated in monitoring and locating illegal transmitters here in the U.S.
To me, that sounds like JUST as much fun as operating a pirate station.
Not for the radio pirates, I am sure...



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11 Oct 2021, 2:35 pm

The smart kids do it from the back of their mom's Jeep like Christian Slater. 8)


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11 Oct 2021, 2:49 pm

Fnord wrote:
GadgetGuru wrote:
Fnord wrote:
I have participated in monitoring and locating illegal transmitters here in the U.S.
To me, that sounds like JUST as much fun as operating a pirate station.
Not for the radio pirates, I am sure...


loolz... juggling repeater boxes.


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Fnord
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11 Oct 2021, 3:01 pm

Jakki wrote:
Fnord wrote:
GadgetGuru wrote:
Fnord wrote:
I have participated in monitoring and locating illegal transmitters here in the U.S.
To me, that sounds like JUST as much fun as operating a pirate station.
Not for the radio pirates, I am sure...
loolz... juggling repeater boxes.
When low-end repeater boxes start at $1200 and mass in at about 8 kg., there will be very little juggling involved.



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11 Oct 2021, 4:55 pm

hmmm... solid state equipment from china .. low wattage or high wattage amplifiers ... big db gain antennas, or directional beams, can always park oneself on a mountain .
and MODULATION.. please understand Fnord am just poking fun .Not meant to upset .
Ham Radio is a serious business and has a long and "distinguished " history .And saved a great many people over its existence.


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Eurythmic
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21 Oct 2021, 4:25 am

The internet and audio streaming has to some degree reduced the allure of pirate radio.

When I'm in the car I sometimes listen to a local community station, one that prides itself on being somewhat lefter than I am politically, but I enjoy the style of music they always play with minimal chatter and advertising.

I think in setting up a pirate station your biggest challenge will be in getting listeners, people don't generally scan the airwaves looking for new stations. Along with the fact that operating hours can be a challenge, will you be on air 24/7? Who is going to operate the station when you need to sleep or work?



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23 Oct 2021, 9:38 am

Eurythmic wrote:
The internet and audio streaming has to some degree reduced the allure of pirate radio.

When I'm in the car I sometimes listen to a local community station, one that prides itself on being somewhat lefter than I am politically, but I enjoy the style of music they always play with minimal chatter and advertising.

I think in setting up a pirate station your biggest challenge will be in getting listeners, people don't generally scan the airwaves looking for new stations. Along with the fact that operating hours can be a challenge, will you be on air 24/7? Who is going to operate the station when you need to sleep or work?


All stations operate more or less automatically. We had shoutcast station running at my university in late 90s-early 2000s, but shut it down when copyright became issue. It was pretty cool to feel like you are running a station, especially talking with listeners, taking requests even though it was just a PC with a cheap microphone and winamp. About the same time I've helped to build a website and setup online streaming for a local FM station and it was kind of weird to find out their broadcasting setup was almost identical, just a slightly better PC and a little more expensive microphone :D



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31 Oct 2021, 12:41 pm

I used to have a 10 watt fm transmitter which I used to use occasionally. We did a station called Party FM from a mates house whilst his mother was on holiday. I also used a 4 watt transmitter I built from a kit earlier when I lived in a technical college halls of residence and in the holidays from my parents house giving out their home phone number for requests. :oops:



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31 Oct 2021, 3:37 pm

↑ I think just about every tech school has had at least one clandestine (e.g., "Pirate") FM radio transmitter made out of parts found around the electronics lab.



Eurythmic
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01 Nov 2021, 7:38 am

badRobot wrote:

All stations operate more or less automatically.


It might be an Australian thing, (legal) stations here must be under the control of a person at all times.



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01 Nov 2021, 8:30 am

Eurythmic wrote:
It might be an Australian thing, (legal) stations here must be under the control of a person at all times.
It is the same in the 'States.  There must be someone to monitor the station, make adjustments, and shut down the station (if needed) either on-site or by remote control.

Amateur Radio repeaters on mountain-tops have either a dedicated phone line or use a series of tones or digital commands through the uplink channel.



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01 Nov 2021, 9:50 am

In New Zealand you can use up to 1 watt to broadcast with a licence:

https://www.rsm.govt.nz/licensing/frequ ... adcasting/