Shortwave Pirates

A look at the world of shortwave free radio


New station Moose AM sent me this eQSL. Many more QSLs from the 1990s to the present day in the QSL Gallery


Most stations can be found in specific parts of the shortwave spectrum.

76 metres: 3900-3945/4010-4100 kHz:

This is popular with European pirates, especially in the evenings when skip is longer, and during the day in winter months. A regular is Laser Hot Hits on 4026 kHz. 

52 metres: 5800-5840 kHz:

European pirates can also be found here, overspill from 48 metres. Not so popular recently.

48 metres: 6200-6400 kHz:

This is a prime area for the Euro-pirates, especially at weekends.

 47-42 metres: 6400-6900 kHz:

Other pockets of pirate activity occur in this area ... in particular between 6400 & 6450, 6500 & 6600 and around 6700-6750. Stations often pop up wherever they find a clear frequency 

43 metres: 6900-7000 kHz:

This area tends be mostly used by North American pirates, but is growing in popularity among Euro-pirates.

39 metres: 7500-7700 kHz:

Unreliable propagation means this band isn't widely used but some Euro-pirates can be heard here.

Others also can be heard on higher shortwave frequencies ... such as 9290, 12256, 15070 among others.

Very few operate to fixed schedules and will just come on air when they feel like it. Weekends are the busiest times, especially Sunday mornings in Europe. Some can be heard outside these frequencies.

A good source for finding out which stations are on air is the popular Pirate Radio Chat where stations and DXers chat about all things pirate radio. Go to: 

What can you expect to hear:

The vast majority of European pirates come from the Netherlands, although there are also active stations in Germany, UK, Scandinavia and Italy and other European countries. The main diet is music - pop, rock, dance, schlager, polka, indie. Some of the programmes are pre-recorded, others transmitted live. Power used ranges from a few watts to up to 1kW (or more sometimes!).

Many will issue QSLs for correct reception reports. See the QSL Gallery section for QSLs received over the years.

The Addresses section has contact and web site details for many pirates.

The Links page has many links to websites with logs, information and other useful resources for the DXer.

So, happy hunting!

What's New...

Apr 21 2017: QSL Gallery, Addresses

Mar 24 2017: Addresses (dead links remoed)

Mar 18 2017: QSL Gallery

Feb 26 2017: QSL Galley, Addresses

Feb 18 2017: QSL Gallery, Addresses

Feb 5 2017: QSL Gallery, Addresses

Jan 28 2017: QSL Gallery

Jan 22 2017: QSL Gallery, Addresses

Jan 4 2017: QSL Gallery

Dec 25 2016: QSL Gallery, Christmas 

Dec 12 2016: Addresses

Dec 4 2016: QSL Gallery, Addresses

Dec 2 2016: QSL Gallery, Addresses

Nov 27 2016: QSL Gallery, Addresses

Oct 29 2016: QSL Gallery, Addresses

Oct 23 2016: QSL Gallery, Addresses

Oct 7 2016: QSL Gallery, Addresses

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