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Hampshire pirate radio thread

Posted: 19 Dec 2017 22:27
by Mad Radio DXer
I am creating this thread seeing as there is more pirate radio activity for Hampshire these days than in the past. Here is what to watch out for...

Updated 15/09/2019 to reflect active & inactive stations.

Active:

87.6 SWR - most of the time it plays continuous mixes of house, 80s soul, electro, old skool & reggae dancehall. Presenter has been heard with the ID of "SWR" which I think means "Southampton West Radio", as he has mentioned places here based more on the west side. Only heard on weekends & some bank holidays, although recently in 2019 broadcasts have been heard on normal weekdays. Signal coverage seems minimal, covering the west & maybe northern parts of Southampton. Reception is lost as soon as I move to the east side.

88.9 UK Bass - heard very randomly. Seems to broadcast 2 hours at a time mostly at weekends. Also they sometimes relay fellow pirate Code South from the Brighton area, & Raw Innocence from London doing simulcast shows. Received on the east & west side of Southampton very clearly so they must have a good strong transmitter. Has RDS of "UK BASS".

Inactive:

87.9 Lush FM - was quite active throughout 2017 & maybe early 2018 with some gaps in between but has since disappeared. Seems to be from the Portsmouth area. Station had RDS. Was an easy station to receive outside of Portsmouth area. Live performances were very rare & mostly aired recorded continuous mixes. Mostly played house music.

94.7 QBase (presumed inactive) - no idea if this station is still going on or not. Based in Portsmouth area. Had to travel to surrounding areas in Portsmouth for clear reception of this station. Played all sorts of dance music including old skool.

Faze FM - operated on different frequencies. Broadcasts were very short lived. Gaps in broadcasts could even be a year. Primary RDS display was dynamic with station name & phone number of the studio for shoutouts + requests. Played drum n bass & house.

I have received & captured recordings of the stations mentioned above. Check out my Youtube channel, Mad Radio DXer

Re: Hampshire pirate radio thread

Posted: 19 Dec 2017 23:23
by Julian Hardstone
It's a dying art, but nice to see there's still a few.
About 9 years ago I did a Sussex bandscan inland from Brighton, and logged 12 pirates
http://ukradio.info/Skywaves/Keymer.txt

Re: Hampshire pirate radio thread

Posted: 23 Dec 2017 18:04
by dxradiofan
Julian Hardstone wrote:
19 Dec 2017 23:23
It's a dying art, but nice to see there's still a few.
About 9 years ago I did a Sussex bandscan inland from Brighton, and logged 12 pirates
http://ukradio.info/Skywaves/Keymer.txt
I guess you were on a high spot devils dyke or ditching beacon etc ?! Only one pirate these days in Brighton code south on 105.5

Re: Hampshire pirate radio thread

Posted: 04 Feb 2018 14:35
by Tim Bucknall
Thanks for sharing

Re: Hampshire pirate radio thread

Posted: 21 Mar 2018 17:55
by Mad Radio DXer
Tim Bucknall wrote:
04 Feb 2018 14:35
Thanks for sharing
No problem Tim.

An observation I want to post.

87.9 Lush FM has been trying to get back on the air over the past month. Their broadcasts have been very random & they only play a mixtape with no voiceover. Most of the time when they were on air more regularly back then they had very few live shows. Yesterday I heard an empty carrier hovering between 87.7 to 87.9 but no idea if it was them or not, but I have heard this empty carrier in the past.

Re: Hampshire pirate radio thread

Posted: 22 Apr 2018 14:58
by Tim Bucknall
Is swr still on 87.6 and would they play devotion by nomad on Saturday night?
I was at a good hilltop site last night during the lift

Re: Hampshire pirate radio thread

Posted: 25 Apr 2018 14:21
by Mad Radio DXer
Yes, SWR still broadcasts on weekends & bank holidays. It is the only Hampshire pirate I know of still on air.

I have never heard this station play that song as they repeat a lot of stuff every week, but I would not put it past them as I have heard a lot of retro stuff from the 70s to the 90s.

Re: Hampshire pirate radio thread

Posted: 01 Jul 2018 22:49
by Mad Radio DXer
Update for 01/07/18.

SWR which only broadcasts on weekends & bank holidays was off air today Sunday. The station was heard on the Saturday, so no idea if broadcasting technical fault, OFCOM intervened or the owner is on holiday. Will check again the following weekend.
No other pirates here on air. At one stage I thought they were succeeding since there would be upto 3 on air, a record from my memory since pirates in this part of the woods either don't last long compared to the London ones, or there is only one at a time.

Re: Hampshire pirate radio thread

Posted: 23 Jul 2018 08:40
by Mad Radio DXer
Update 23/07/18

SWR on 87.6 still going. Heard for the past couple of weekends so maybe technical problems for the weekend when they were not on air.

UK Bass on 88.9 heard doing testing this month, maybe on for a couple of hours.

Re: Hampshire pirate radio thread

Posted: 26 Jul 2018 17:52
by bristolpirates
sleeper77 wrote:
01 Jul 2018 22:49
At one stage I thought they were succeeding since there would be upto 3 on air, a record from my memory since pirates in this part of the woods either don't last long compared to the London ones, or there is only one at a time.
That's pretty good in this day and age. In Bristol, I can't remember what the record was, but maybe 4 city-wide stations maximum at one time in the 90s. Late 80s might've had a couple more at one point, before the xmas 1988 cut-off for pirates that wanted to apply for the upcoming licenses.

I've been to Southampton for band scanning before, but couldn't find a really decent spot to settle down with the SDR. The band was very dead in a park in the centre of Southampton. There weren't even that many legal stations, plenty of space for DX and pirates. Bristol is chock full.

Can you point me to a good hill with a field on it that would be a good spot for band scanning near Southampton? It needs to have a good regular bus route going past it too.

Re: Hampshire pirate radio thread

Posted: 27 Jul 2018 12:13
by Tim Bucknall
i like your thinking, i just got a disability bus pass..

Re: Hampshire pirate radio thread

Posted: 27 Jul 2018 16:48
by Mad Radio DXer
Outside of Southampton not sure, maybe Winchester since that is fairly high although never tried band scanning there.

In Southampton, maybe try Bassett area as it has a park there, accessible by bus & is quite high. Driving through there I notice the likes of London get enhanced.

The problem is round here where I live, it is quite flat so trying to find a good spot is hard. The best one I have found so far is where I go to but it is not very accessible with public transport.

Re: Hampshire pirate radio thread

Posted: 27 Jul 2018 17:53
by bristolpirates
Thanks Sleeper. If I manage to get out that way, I'll give it a go.

Re: Hampshire pirate radio thread

Posted: 29 Jul 2018 18:33
by Nick Gilly
UK Bass seems to be on tonight on 88.9, weak here with drum & bass and shouting MC.

Re: Hampshire pirate radio thread

Posted: 18 Aug 2018 08:26
by bristolpirates
A couple of weeks back I made the trip to Southampton Common, but didn't get a chance to write about it yet.

It was baking hot that day. I set the SDR up with the aerial on the tree next to the old well, so I could sit on the log bench. I totally forgot to set the gain on the SDR, as I was a bit nervous being so exposed to passers by, and I didn't record the whole band.

SWR doesn't come in strong at all on Southampton Common, but setting the gain might've helped pull it in better. However, Cowes Radio was coming in nicely from IOW. I could also hear some non-local community stations. A few French stations came in weak too, but this is just flat conditions I expect. Otherwise there was not a hint of DX. It's nice to see my SDR running without all the horrible interference spikes I get at home though, shows me exactly how bad it is here.

I was more comfortable walking about with my Tecsun PL-606. I did find one or two spots where SWR was a bit stronger, but unfortunately there happened to be couples out relaxing in exactly the same spots. Even with a regular portable radio you can get some dodgy looks these days, so I avoided.

Re: Hampshire pirate radio thread

Posted: 18 Aug 2018 11:20
by Tim Bucknall
great work and max respect on the mobile set up.
i REALLY need to sort out mobile band recording, my RDR pocket sdr will record small chunks of band but i can't extract the F***** files from the unit,
theres no usb socket it has to be done wirelessly and i just can't get it to work. i'm sure the problem is with me not the unit. i'm not tech savvy

also the spectrum display radiates hash so i need to significantly seperate the aerial from the unit
i could stick a mag mount ant on a metal bus shelter roof and listen in the shelter for instance

i experimented with old outdated overpriced frequency recorders from optolelectronics etc but the build quality was a disgrace.

ultimately i found my Czech made Pira P275 rds analyser is the best for auto bandscanning when its not practical to write copious notes.
it stores rds data and whether the tx is unstable or off freq without the need for a pc but obviously it misses weak stuff and you can only playback rds not audio- but its reliable and easy to use and has never made me swear :D
its perfect for london pirate scans


if you ever feel like sharing your i/q files i'd be interested to get a look at the txs down there to see if any of them has distinctive faults or offsets that might help me ID them on low level tropo, i don't get south of London in my travels

our file sharing forum
viewforum.php?f=65

heres a 384khz sdr file featuring the romanian pirate and a meteor shower
https://mega.nz/#!MlVEBSwA!Va7xuOxMfMji ... X5UnEfxAX4

its possible the last driver in our family will have to stop driving in november due to hereditary Glaucoma so i def need to think about a mobile set up that doesn't need a car

Re: Hampshire pirate radio thread

Posted: 18 Aug 2018 18:43
by bristolpirates
I'll try and upload them, not that they are that great. It does take some time, as after about 2GB, Virgin throttle the upload speed. I will .zip every file individually to try and cut the size a bit.

Thanks for the other file. It took a bit of fiddling to get SDR Sharp to play it properly, but adjusting the filename to include 87.6 as the centre freq and then flipping the IQ did the trick.

Re: Hampshire pirate radio thread

Posted: 19 Aug 2018 09:49
by bristolpirates
Uploaded and posted in the other forum :)

Re: Hampshire pirate radio thread

Posted: 29 Aug 2018 18:02
by Mad Radio DXer
Nick Gilly wrote:
29 Jul 2018 18:33
UK Bass seems to be on tonight on 88.9, weak here with drum & bass and shouting MC.
Yes it was them. They were doing a very rare live show...

https://youtu.be/wbvrQazyxj8

Re: Hampshire pirate radio thread

Posted: 19 Dec 2018 20:28
by Mad Radio DXer
I have updated the 1st post of this thread. Only one Hampshire pirate station still going as far as I know which is SWR on 87.6, heard last weekend. No idea if UK Bass has been on air since I received them back in the summer as I have not done much FM DXing over the past few months. They can be quite hard to catch on air given their very limited broadcast time mostly lasting three hours at most.