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TUCoPS :: Radio :: dxtips.txt

Listening tips for DX Pirate listeners


DXing Shortwave Radio Pirates, is an aquired skill that you will find is 
easy to learn and you will improve quickly. 

Recivers:  The type of reciever you use will have a great affect on  
your success as a pirate radio DXer, however you wont need an expensive 
rig to listen to pirates. Your reciever should have the capability of 
recieving sideband signals since many pirates use this mode. 
  You should use the best antenna possible, Pirate stations are usually 
low power and the signals can sometimes be difficult to pull in. In 
most cases the recievers built in whip antenna will not be sufficiant to 
pull in these weak signals. You almost always will require an outside 
antenna. Your antenna does not need to be a fancy skillfully designed 
antenna, usually the best antenna is a long  wire antenna, which is 
basicly a piece of wire strung outside, it can be any length, but the
longer it is and the higher you hang it the better it will work.

 Now that you have your radio and antenna set up, it is time to start 
looking for pirates. The best times to listen are on Friday, Saturday, 
and sometimes Sunday evenings, from about 6pm eastern time to 1am eastern 
 Shortwave radio pirates usually use HAM radio transmitters, for this 
reason they often broadcast on the outside of the ham bands, since the 
transmitters will tune there with no modifications.
 The most popular area is 41 meters from 7370 kHz to 7490 kHz.  popular 
frequencies in 41 meters are 7375 , 7415, 7445, 7470, 7490. Keep in mind 
that a lot of older pirate transmitters have analog tuning dials and it 
is difficult to tune to a specific frequency, so a pirate who is targeting 
7415 kHz may actually be heard on 7412 or 7419, so tune all around t
hese areas when looking for pirates.
 Annother popular pirate band is 43 meters 6910 Khz to 6970 khz, popular 
frequencies in this area are 6950, 6955, 6960, 6965. This area has seen 
more use than 41 meters lately.
 When you decide to go pirate hunting, patience is the key, dont expect to 
hear a pirate broadcast the first time you tune to a frequency, many 
pirate DXers spend hours listing to static as they wait for a pirate to 
suddenly pop up on the frequncy. Most pirate programs last only about 30 
minutes and sometimes the signal will be quite weak, dont tune past a 
frequency too fast, it is sometimes easy to miss a broadcast this way. 

Read all of the information you can about pirate radio, the more you 
learn about it the better you will become at predicting pirate activity. 
Subscribe to the ACE (the association of clandestine enthuseasts) this is 
a club for pirate radio dxers, you will recieve a monthly bulliten with 
lots of great articles, dx tips, and pirate station loggings. this 
information will help you build a mental data base that will help you 
become a better pirate dxer.

 When you finally hear a pirate, keep a note of the frequency and time, 
after you do this a few times you will start to see a pattern of when 
the best time to listen in your area is. After the pirate is off the air, 
dont turn your radio off immediately, often other pirates will follow on 
the same frequency.  

Above all, be patient, and keep listening, the longer you listen the 
better your chances. If you listen long enough, you WILL hear a pirate, 
and with practice you will be hearing several different stations every 
weekend.  Good Luck!

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