An audio message:
Music Pirate Radio:
Most of us remember, or have heard of, the pirate radio stations transmitting from the North Sea back in the 1960s. Radio London, Radio Caroline, Radio North Sea, Veronica, Swinging Radio England, Radio Atlantis and many others. But, what about now, in the 2000s? Are there any pirate radio stations out there?
There are one or two that pop up on medium wave from time to time, that’s the AM band, and they can be heard for miles around; if they use a decent antenna. But very few people, if any, listen to medium wave these days. The VHF FM band is far more popular with radio pirates. A simple dipole antenna up at a good height will give excellent results. The audio quality is far better than AM and many pirate stations transmit in stereo. Transmitters are freely available from auction sites, would you believe! Also, most cars have an FM radio fitted so there is a good chance of having many listeners.
Relaying Internet Radio Stations:
A popular practice amongst pirates is to take the audio stream from an internet radio station and transmit it on the FM band. That way, there’s no need for a studio with a microphone, a mixer, records, CDs or tapes… or a DJ. I must add here that I don’t condone illegal broadcasts in any shape or form. I’m not inciting any would-be pirates to rush out and buy a transmitter and commit illegal acts. My advice is, ignore me and do as you think fit. If you do decide to break the law, give a big shout out to me!
The Future of Pirate radio:
As the medium wave AM band is vacated by radio stations, pirates may move in and take their place. But, who has a medium wave radio these days? How many people have and use a transistor radio? Who would listen? FM radio will be around for many years to come but, there is limited space on the band. The question arises… why do people want to set up pirate radio stations? Presumably, genre is one reason that pirate radio is popular. Reggae, soul, indy, garage, alternative… this type of music is available on internet radio but not RF or real radio. I believe the main reason that pirate radio is popular is because mainstream legal radio just isn’t up to the job. Most of the FM commercial stations sound the same. Is this because they are forced to follow the same format and stick the same rules? One day, I might take a radio up to London and tune around the FM band. From what I’ve heard, the band is full of pirates!
I remember the day back in 1967 when Tony Blackburn opened Radio One by playing Flowers In The Rain by The Move. I was used to listening to Radio London and Caroline. For me, at least, Radio One just didn’t work.
Listen to this brilliant internet radio station with music, adverts and news bulletins from the 1960s. Wonderful Radio London 266.
Here are a few pirate radio stations from the past.
London Greek Radio
Radio Free London
The Dread Broadcasting Corporation