Shortwave Pirates

A look at the world of shortwave free radio


It is sometimes possible to hear North American pirates in Europe, usually late evening, around the 6.9 MHz area.  A good place to check who is on air is the HF Underground forum. Recently I received an eQSL from Mix Radio International in the USA , after picking up a signal in SW England.


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. 

60 metres: 5000-5150 kHz:

Once  this band was full of stations from Africa, Asia and South America but not now. Some pirates have started using this band, such as 5140 kHz for Charleston Radio International.

52 metres: 5780-5840 kHz:

European pirates can also be found here, overspill from 48 metres. 

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 also used by some Euro-pirates.

39 metres: 7500-7750 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 I've 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...

Jul 30 2019: QSL Gallery

Jul 21 2019: Addresses

Jul 19 2019: QSL Gallery, Links

Jul 11 2019:  QSL Gallery, Addresses, Links

Jun 29 2019: QSL Gallery, Addresses

Jun 16 2019: Addresses

Jun 5 2019: QSL Gallery, Addresses

May 26 2019: QSL Gallery

May 13 2019: QSL Gallery

May 5 2019: Addresses, QSL Gallery

May 3 2019: QSL Gallery

Apr 30 2019: Addresses, QSL Gallery

Apr 13 2019: Addresses, QSL Gallery

Apr 7 2019: QSL Gallery

Mar 16 2019: QSL Gallery

Mar 10 2019: QSL Gallery

Feb 19 2019: QSL Gallery

Feb 10 2019: QSL Gallery

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