Pirate Radio ....

Discussion in 'London and the South East' started by mememeandme, Nov 9, 2005.

  1. nino_savatte

    nino_savatte No pasaran!

    An aerial should be a quarter of the total wavelength to be effective. One should also earth the tx.
  2. Giles

    Giles Well-Known Member

    I can understand there being regulations on bad language, and on transmission power, but do Ofcom really tell you what kind of music to play? Down to what level of detail? What is the justification for this?

    Is it based on the idea that (legally) there can only be a few stations, and they want to ensure a "choice"?

    In a few years, everyone will be DAB, then there will be room for lots more stations without the interference issue, won't there?

  3. nino_savatte

    nino_savatte No pasaran!

    Ofcom don't tell anyone what to play. Playlist policy is determined by the station but what they play must conform to the terms of the license.
  4. mememeandme

    mememeandme New Member

    I think I should know the rule we use, ofcom will use 0.4 mhz seperation gap for uptimal proformance, pirates use 0.2 mhz look at this list below

    87.9 Shine Garage, House SHINE879 44
    88.2 Rude FM Drum & Bass RUDE_FM_ 44
    88.5 House FM House HOUSE_FM 44
    89.4 Sweet FM R&B, Bashment, Hip Hop (Scrolling) 46
    89.6 Select UK Garage, House, Drum & Bass -SELECT- 43
    89.8 Station FM Reggae, Ragga, Soca STATION_ • 42
    90.2 Unknown House UNKNOWN_ 43
    90.4 Whoa FM Hip Hop, Bashment, R&B WHOA_904 45
    90.6 Y2K Garage, R&B, Bashment, Hip Hop Y-2-K_FM 42
    90.8 Lightning Ragga, Reggae, Bashment, R&B LIGHTNIN • 44
    91.6 Genesis Ragga, Bashment, Reggae GENESIS_ 46
    91.8 Passion Garage, Funky House PASSION_ 48
    92.0 Powerjam Reggae, Ragga, Bashment, R&B POWERJAM 42
    92.3 Dejavu Garage, R&B, Bashment, Hip Hop (Scrolling) 42
    92.7 Freeze Garage, R&B, Hip Hop, Drum & Bass (Scrolling) 43
    92.9 Klimaxx Reggae, Ragga, R&B, Bashment _KLIMAXX 42
    93.0 Fresh Garage (Scrolling) Kent & Essex 58
    93.8 Vibes FM Reggae, Bashment Vibes_FM 47
    94.0 Touch FM Garage TOUCH'94 47
    94.2 Blues FM Reggae, Ragga BLUES'FM • 46
    94.4 Flames FM Reggae, R&B FLAMESFM 50
    94.6 Kool FM Drum & Bass, Oldskool KOOL94.6 Wednesdays to Sundays 46
    95.1 Latino FM Spanish 46
    95.2 Origin Drum & Bass, Hardcore (Scrolling) 48
    95.4 Roots FM Ragga North West London 42
    95.5 OnTop FM Grime, Sublow, Eski, MCs South East London 44
    96.1 Upfront House UPFRONT_ 44
    96.4 Surprise FM Soca 42
    96.6 Heat FM Garage, R&B, Bashment, Hip Hop 47
    97.1 Ice Kold R&B, Hip Hop, House, Garage, Drum & Bass, Dub ICE'COLD 47
    97.7 SLR Reggae, Soul, R&B 45
    97.9 Bassline Reggae, Ragga, R&B, Hip Hop, Bashment BASSLINE 42
    98.1 Mystic Garage, Hip Hop, Bashment, R&B -MYSTIC- 45
    98.3 Revive FM Reggae, Revival _Revive- 43
    99.0 Real R&B 47
    99.1 Hav It FM Bashment, Ragga 47
    99.3 9nine3 Garage, House, R&B, Bashment 42
    99.5 Galaxy Reggae (Scrolling) • South London 43
    99.5 Vybe Garage, Drum & Bass, Breaks, Oldskool (Scrolling) Hertfordshire 40
    99.6 Ragga Ragga North London 42
    99.7 Edge Drum & Bass, Hip Hop, Garage
    99.8 Millennium Supreme Reggae, Soul 50
    100.3 Rinse Garage, Dubstep, Breaks RINSE_FM 46
    101.1 Naija Nigerian South East London 61
    101.2 Unique Reggae, Bashment, R&B West London
    101.3 Eruption Hardcore, Oldskool, Jungle Eruption 46
    101.5 Mint House, Garage, Drum & Bass
    101.7 Xtreme Garage, R&B, Bashment, Hip Hop _XTREME_ 44
    101.9 Beat FM Reggae North West London
    102.0 Chillin House, Garage, Oldskool, Drum & Bass CHILLIN_ 50
    102.4 Wax Drum & Bass (Scrolling) 50
    102.5 Juice R&B, Hip Hop, Bashment JUICE-UK
    102.7 The Rhythm R&B 44
    102.9 WBLS African WBLS1028 45
    104.0 Kasaba FM Gospel 41
    104.2 Ruud Awakening Drum & Bass, Breakbeat, Hardcore 42
    104.7 Sub Jam Garage, Drum & Bass _SUB-JAM • 48
    105.1 Itch FM Hip Hop, Rap ITCH_FM- 46
    105.6 Hazard Garage, Bashment, R&B HAZARD__ 48
    106.0 Hot 97 Soca HOT_97UK 48
    106.5 Force House, Garage, Trance, R&B (Scrolling) • Essex 54
    107.4 Ouch FM Garage, R&B, Hip Hop OUCH_FM_
    107.7 ? R&B, Hip Hop, Bashment 44
    108.0 Afric FM African 34
    108.0 Point Blank House (Scrolling) • West London

    Ofcom will give you regulation on what you can play and what times, however if you are legal and need to pay big licencing fees, you will have to play the music which gets the biggest audience. If apirate went legal and continued to play its normal music, it will have an audience, but not as big as a station playing pop etc, because there is a higher audience for that,t hats why legals play it, thats where the money is it,
  5. polo

    polo Active Member

    Looking at that narrow list of musical styles, it would seem to be orientated towards the priorities of club owners, promoters and DJs.

    I can't believe all these stations exist because of a band of dedicated music lovers, someone has to pay the wages. Pirate radio stations represent a pretty narrow section of the community in the pay of commercial interests.

    I can't see how this is better than well run and adequately funded community radio stations or commercial stations concentrating on specific styles.

    I think the days of the pirates are numbered, especially when you consider how many channels will arrive when this spectrum is digitised.
  6. mememeandme

    mememeandme New Member

    Lol how can you say that. Look at the music these pirate stations play, every thing urban, everything underground, everything legal stations do not play.

    Commuinty stations are no comparason, they are low powered, they transmit to their estate, they have everyone and anyone on the stations trying to dj and mc. Thats all good, but they won't become anything half decent.

    Pirate radio supplys music to the younger generation, manily, however not all. Old Skool, representing the older generation. Pirate radio fills the gap in the music scene.
  7. nino_savatte

    nino_savatte No pasaran!

    Pirates do not play rock; nor do they play *gasp* jazz or blues; and country music, a minority taste, isn't touched by pirates. Now you could say that it is because pirate radio is for da yoof but that's crap.
  8. polo

    polo Active Member

    Thats just it, it is narrowly focussed on music, tends to be dominated by a few styles thought to be fashionable by a small section of the population.

    Where are the discussions, interviews, plays, poetry, news, phone ins, live performances, politics, current affairs, reviews and everything else that goes to make radio station? Those things take organisation and cost money. Community radio stands a chance of providing the local people and local communities with a voice.

    I don't see why the airwaves should be dominated by a lot of egocentric DJs broadcasting their own narrow musical tastes. Being sniffy about community radio broadcasting just to the local estate is patronising and smacks of elitism. As I understand it the range will be much further than that and the people making applications to run these stations are serious intend to do it professionally.

    The fact is the radio broadcasting regulations have loosened up for the first time in years. Funny, the commercial radio stations don't like the proposals either. Vested interests all over the place.

    But the fact is, that a whole lot of new people are about to get involved in radio and that must be a good thing. It might be like all those North Sea pirates in the sixties breaking the BBC monopoly. Except now all the London pirates are about to have their monopoly broken by the Peckham equivalent of Radio 4. Interesting times! ;)
  9. JWH

    JWH Fnord Fiesta XR3i

    I've got to say I am impressed by a lot of what mememeandme says, because I was expecting to be pretty sceptical. I don't agree with a lot of the tone but the knowledge and patience is having a good impression. Having said that...
    The frequencies are a natural resource that belong to everyone in the country. There's a limited amount of them and the government is the best entity to co-ordinate who uses them and to tax commercial users of it, imo.
    If you look at the lists of stations and repetoires (sp), then it's clear that pirate radio is an activity for i) kids and ii) people that like music that goes "tsssstsstsssstssststssstssstsss"*. So when you say it's the only stations worth listening to, you mean for you to listen to, which is also why people get so fucked off when they can't get to their Radio 4 or whatever. (BTW, I know you are not saying the opposite of this).

    Pirate radio - right now anyway - reflects the music interests of a pretty small slice of the London "community", certainly less than aboveground radio. To say that pirates play stuff that no-one else does is true but to say that they play everything
  10. JWH

    JWH Fnord Fiesta XR3i

    Tangent: I'm speculating but things like that might be interesting in 3+ years when WiMax (city-wide broadband) or 3G takes off + becomes cheap and you could get portable internet radios. Unlimited frequencies!
  11. Giles

    Giles Well-Known Member

    One of the arguments for government control over both radio and TV stations has always been the "scarce channels" argument: that if there can only be a fairly small number of stations due to bandwidth constraints then the state has to play a big role in ensuring fair distribution of channels, and some control over content (news must be "fair", stations can't be too partisan about anything).

    In a digital world where there can be loads of stations this argument largely goes out of the window.

    It will be interesting to see how things develop. I think internet radio is the way forward, with DAB being only a stopgap.

    Internet-enabled mobile phones will become ubiquitous in a few years, I think.

  12. mememeandme

    mememeandme New Member

    Pirate radio, supplys the style of music which are not avaiable else where. You can listen to Jazz, country etc on legal stations.

    As for phoneins and interviews, there is oftern a lot of interviews, and discussions, Kool Fm used to have an "open forum" where there was 6 people in the studio or more, 6 microphones, and the listeners would spark a full blown discussion!

    Late night radio you get all the phone ins, De Ja Vu, 92.3 have phoneins nearly everynight, regarding politics, imigration, and so on.

    Listen out!
  13. mrtambourineman

    mrtambourineman Banned Banned

    Are you sure? :confused:
  14. mememeandme

    mememeandme New Member

    Jazz Fm now Smooth 102.2. For Jazz and I'm sure they play Country on there also. Its all there! Search for it, scan your radio.

    so the answer to your question, yes I am sure.
  15. chio

    chio New Member

    Jazz FM was already watered down, but relaunched last year as Smooth FM and now plays almost no jazz.

    Country 1035 went through a series of owners including Mean Fiddler before finally folding and being relaunched as an Asian talk-radio station.
  16. mememeandme

    mememeandme New Member

    Jazz Fm is 0.2mhz away from the frequency I transmit on, everyday I hear loads of Jazz being played on their station. Because of the high pitched sound of the Jazz music, it always cuts into my station, thats how I notice it, then I flick to 102.2, and they are playing Jazz..
  17. chio

    chio New Member

    There are restrictions on language, and transmitter power restrictions are a given (to ensure the most efficient use of frequencies). There are certain restrictions on music, given in the form of a "format". For example, the format of Xfm is as follows:

    These are guidelines, not hard-and-fast rules, but persistent breaches will result in a warning or a fine. A station can apply for an alteration to its format. It's generally designed to make the best use of the frequencies - indeed, the Communications Act 2003 contains a clause stating that one of the main functions of the radio licensing process is to increase choice. (For example, if a city had a 15-24 pop station, a 25-44 AC station and a rock station, and a new licence was advertised, chances are it'd go to a completely different format - eg. news/talk.)

    As for DAB, it's nascent technology even though it's ten years since they first switched it on. Coverage, even within London, is patchy, the receivers are still pricey and the quality of the stations is fairly bad; mostly automated pop jukeboxes with no presenters. It's already full, and one of its big weaknesses is that the medium of transmission of stations (multiplexes) are controlled by the large radio groups - meaning it's prohibitively expensive for small stations to make it on there!
  18. chio

    chio New Member

    Quick question for you.

    A legal community station pays thousands of pounds of licence fees, goes through endless government bureaucracy and waits years to be awarded a licence. They spend money on a decent Ofcom-approved transmitter from a reputable firm and find a proper site to put it on, paying site fees. They pay extortionate PPL and MCPS/PRS copyright fees.

    A pirate sticks a transmitter on a tower block and sends out a signal with scant consideration for others. Why should they have the right to?

    (edit: The same goes for commercial stations - they're legitimate companies who have a right to go about their business without interference from illegal transmitters.)
  19. Louloubelle

    Louloubelle Well-Known Member

    Last year I spent much of the summer working on radio programmes and attending meetings for my local community radio station.

    I work with musicians and recording artists who have all worked on pirate radio, however as we work with children and try to do Very Good Things we thought it would be a good idea to get involved with a legit station from the beginning.

    My experience was that the community radio station had limted funds that had been provided to a consultant with a background at the BBC (nothing wrong with that) who was white, middle class, a bully and a control freak. Other people on the steering committee were all white, with BBC cut glass accents and their own ambitions and aganedas.

    I work with lots of local youth projects where many young people (not white with cut glass accents) are enthusiastic about DJing, emceeing, etc.

    I asked the steering committee if they would be interested in giving space to the young people and they seemed enthusiastic and encouraged me to ask the kids to get involved, but whenever anyone actually wanted to do anything they just said "hhhm, well yes that does sound very interesting, but well we're not really sure if that's what we really want at this time". It was infuriating and deeply frustrating. I produced a 1 hour documentary and it was 10 times as much work as it should have been due the the incredible long and winding saga of beaurocratically choked meetings.

    During these meetings lots of other people who had worked on other radio stations became really frustrated because a small group of people kept sabotaging everything and drawing it out so that nothing ever really happened. I saw 3 different respected, experienced people storm out in disgust on 3 differnt occasions.

    I think the thing about pirates is that they can and in some cases do convey a voice of the people who can't access so called community radio.

    The other good thing about pirates is that they just get on with it and play music and broadcast without having to have 8 million meetings first.

    Another obviously good thing about pirates is the issue of freedom of speech. For example certain friends of mine look around them at the state their communities are in (basically they live in the nearest thing to a ghetto on London / possibly the UK) and reflect upon their own histories in relation to the situation of the broader populus of the country and draw conclusions based on what they see and feel.

    Now these people are very dear to me and I share many, though not all, of their views and trust me, you're not going to hear their views on radio 1 or even 1xtra.

    Some pirate stations play really good music, some pirates are a political and revolutionary tools and as such should be supported and encouraged.

    My experience of community radio was that it was a lot of work pushing a against anal retentive control freaks who were going to do what they wanted to do anyway regardless of what the local people wanted. People just gave up. Me, I just thought "I've had enough of this" and decided to make films instead.
  20. Louloubelle

    Louloubelle Well-Known Member

    they should have the right to because
    a) people who pay thousands for license fees and attend endless beaurocratic meetings tend to be (IME) a self selecting group, not representative of the broader community (not true of all community stations but certianly true of my local station)
    b) because the chummy bunches of old boys and friends who get together to run community stations (again IME) have their own cherished political views that do not reflect the views of the disempowered communities who really need and are entiled to a voice and a platform to express their views
    c) cos pirates play music from the streets not just a select playlist of affluent american artists
  21. chio

    chio New Member

    You've had a bad experience with one community station, presumably a temporary RSL - since no permanent ones have even been licensed in London yet, let alone made it to air (except Resonance FM which was part of a pilot scheme). That's an issue with one particular bunch of people, not the system as a whole. I've been involved with a number of community and commercial stations, and while there are more egos per capita than other areas, it's not the unbearable hell-hole you describe!

    As far as point c) goes, I'm not sure where you got the idea that the current crop of inner-city community stations play "a select playlist of affluent American artists". Take a look at New Style, an Afro-Caribbean station in Birmingham, or ALL FM, serving the diverse communities of inner-city South Manchester with one of the most eclectic selections of music around with involvement from a wide range of groups across the community.
  22. Louloubelle

    Louloubelle Well-Known Member

    I made it very clear that I was only speaking of my own experience. I've visited a community station in another part of London and it did seem very well run and to be a genuine voice for the community, however if you had tried to get involved with my local station (I wish I could acurately convey just how disheartening an experience it was) I have no doubt that you would have found it to be unbearable.

    How wonderful! It's great if that those stations exist, however in London the situation is different as you know. We have a very long way to go before community radio can fulfil role of the pirates in delivering community based news views and debates.
  23. polo

    polo Active Member

    Community radio is just starting, so it is best not to pre-judge it. I'm sure most people will hope that your experience will be untypical.

    Is an editorial clique of BBC types better or worse than a clique of London club promoters? In my opinon one is as bad as the other, and radio would be better off without either.
  24. mememeandme

    mememeandme New Member

    I didn't say we should get away with it, I know what we do it illegal, I didn't start this thread with the intention of moaning we should be left alone its unfair, we do the radio knowning we will lose x amount of transmitters. The only way to rid pirate radio. Is to fill up the band fully with legal stations, leave from for us to go on, we will take it. Everytime a pirate station finishes for good and news gets about there is a frequency up for grab, there will be so many people getting transmitters changed to that frequency to start a station.

    When a frequency come available a few months ago, although I had my station I was in the process of getting another transmitter tuned to that dial to claim it, I was going to run two stations, but someone beat me to it, 4days from when the station ended, there was about 4 people fighting to use it.

    The good pirates respect the fact we are doing something illegal, and will do everything we possibly can to minermize this fact, EG, no swearing, having good hosts, no bad lyrics during the day and so on. Clean advertising, good transmitters and so on.

    Regarding transmitters, legal stations buy transmitters which cost £2,000 + some up to like £30,000! Ours cost anything from £300 to £500.

    Its one of those things, its a brand name, the legal transmitters arn't actually that differnt. My rig builder showed me his design, and a legal rig which he brought for £4,500. His actually looked cleaner, he put them both onto a spectum analyser, his transmitters was actually proforming better, not losing anypower, it was all bang on frequency the legal rig wasn't so good.

    Its like if you buy a pair of nike trainers you will pay £100. Or if you buy a pair of what are the cheap makes... Aerdor or something you will pay £10. But we all know, them cheaper ones will wear better than the nike ones. Remember that. I had a pirate transmitter on for 5 months flat, during the summer it coped the boiling rain, the transmitter was on the roof top under a plastic tub. I swaped them over after 5 months, and got it serviced, my builder said there was no problems at all with the transmitter. Now tell me that isn't quality.

    Don't knock the equipment.

    And what is all this about club promoters, they have nothing to do with pirate radio, I havn't met one management of a station who runs a club or promotes one, clubs pay for advertising on the station, because the stations target the music these clubs play, "steet, underground music". simple.
  25. basher t

    basher t New Member

    Not all community radio is shit.
    Resonance FM is a community station that gets tons of listeners around London and worldwide through www.resonancefm.com
  26. mememeandme

    mememeandme New Member

    Where exactly in London does Resonance broadcast to on FM?
    We broadcast in central London. Our transmitter is at London Bridge, and has a range of 5km (3 miles). This is an approximate figure only, and in some areas (such as Hackney and Brixton), the signal may be poor. Unfortunately there is nothing we can do about this, as we are bound by OFCOM (the regulatory body for broadcasting in the UK) to limit our transmitter power, and thus its range.

    Low powered. 3 Mile range they are prob using a 20-50watt transmitter. Therefore, they are targeting a certain target group, in a 3mile radious. Their listener bass cannot be that large.
  27. mrtambourineman

    mrtambourineman Banned Banned

    You broadcast 0.2 mhz away from a legal and wonder why you get complaints :eek:
  28. nino_savatte

    nino_savatte No pasaran!

    That simply isn't true: Jazz FM doesn't play jazz (oddly enough); there isn't a station that plays a lot of country and as for rock, do you honestly think Xfm or Virgin play anything other than mainstream, chart-oriented rock or golden oldies? Xfm calls itself "London's music alternative" but it isn't very alternative at all; it is very mainstream, so mainstream that it plays The Beatles.
  29. mememeandme

    mememeandme New Member

    No I don't wonder why, my station stayed on with one transmitter, I was using the same transmitter for 5 months, 24/7. Dosn't that tell you something? My station hasn't had 1 complaint issued against it.

    And you are trying to talk asif you know what your talking about, if you had any knoledge in how radio works you would understand Jazz Aka Smooth FM broadcasting using thousands of watts, we transmit using 150/300watts, they transmit from Crystal Palace, We transmit from a 20floor tower block.

    Who is going to interfere with whom? It's not us overpowering them, its them overpowering us, this is why we can transmit 0.2 away because we use low power compared to the legals. If you put two stations using 2,000watts 0.2away from each other you will have very bad interference/bleed over.

    Thats that sorted... Regarding Smooth Fm's music style. I can be 100% certain they play jazz, as I say, I hear it cutting into my station, flick to 102.2 and funny enough they are playing Jazz. Trust me they play Jazz music.

    Taken from Jazz Fm - Smooth Fms website

    "jazzfm offers an ever-growing archive of more than 200 jazz audio programmes, compiled and presented by the UK`s leading jazz experts, we hope you`ll find it addictive.

    Visit the discover jazzfm section for an introduction to jazzfm and the numerous styles of jazz that are covered."

    "Campbell Burnap
    Swinging jazz from all eras - classic jazz, early blues, big band, be-bop and more"

    "Ramsey Lewis
    The best music from the great jazz legends"

    I belive Smooth Fm, does play Jazz music.
  30. jæd

    jæd Corporate Hooker

    So what happens to someone in that block who wants to listen to Jazz on Jazz FM...? Jazz FM is a legal station. If you get raided you can't complain as you aren't legal.

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