Scream On The Air Waves: Pirate Radio

15 06 2011

If you’re like most regular people you rarely or never listen to the radio. Unless it’s the zombie apocalypse and all other forms of media are as dead as disco, you’re probably not glued to the radio all day. For the most part the FM dial has been reduced to a creative wasteland, void of thought-provoking content, innovative music programming, and interesting on air talent.

Well If you ever thought “DUDE! I wish I had a station so I can yell monkey balls all over the airwaves” you’re in horrible horrible luck. To get a station legally in United States in any major city, get ready to pony up a few million dollars, and all your pride. If you don’t have the big buxs but want to hear something besides Lady Gaga every time you blink than your gonna have to become a pirate. Arrrrrr me scallywags! A pirate of the airwaves!

A quick word from our nonexistent legal department “Pirate Radio is illegal and you can and most likely will be fined/put in jail for having/operating an unlicensed transmitter, stupid we know but it’s the law. So The Love Stain doesn’t actually advocate anybody doing this, cough.”

With that said starting a station is pretty easy, and takes a few steps before even getting started

Step 1: Scope out your area for an empty channel. If you’re in a major city that’s a little harder to do but if you can keep at least two channels apart than you’re in pretty good shape.

Step 2: Look around for any big obstructions in and around your broadcasting site, big stuff kills your signal broseph, that is bad.

Step 3: Get legal. Understand what you might be getting yourself into. Learn as much as you can about the FCC, they can be assholes. Even though Pirate Radio seems harmless it’s illegal but there are some legal loop holes like Code of Federal Regulations title 47, Volume 2. Cough.

Alright now with all the boring stuff out-of-the-way here’s the fun part.

Step 1: Get a transmitter! The Transmitter is the heart of any station it’s what makes all the magic happens. One can make a transmitter if you have a big brain which we don’t have. Or you can buy a 20 to 30 watt transmitter from the internet from a company overseas. Chinese companies like Hlly Electronics make a pretty decent and inexpensive demon of a transmitter. It’s so easy to use anyone can do it. Also wattage of a transmitter has a lot to do with the signal strength of your station. Higher the wattage, the large the signal, the more listeners.

Step 2: Get an Antenna! A good antenna is everything. A transmitter with 20 watts with a good antenna can do the same amount of work as a 200 watt transmitter with a rockin antenna, and altitude. For small transmitters a comet antenna works wonders, if you have the cash and a more bulky transmitter a High Gain Colinear wave antenna will rock your signal into several cities. Note: the higher the gain the better the antenna. The higher the altitude the higher the range.

Step 3: Coaxial Cables! Coaxial cables is what links the transmitter and the antenna together. For tiny transmitters and antenna an R58 antenna will do the job. If you have something with a little more power try a LMR400 coaxial cable with an N1 fitting. It’s a better cable and you won’t lose as much wattage when the transmitter shoots the signal up to the antenna.

Step 4: Pick up and SWR meter. SWR meters measure the amount of wattage being transmitted from the transmitter to the antenna. This thing is pretty handy but not needed.
That’s all the technical stuff.

As far as music or anything to be broadcasted over the air you would need to pick up mixing board. Hook up the mixing board directly to the transmitter, this is highly rudimentary but it works. You can separate the “studio” from the transmitter via a common UHF antenna but it takes a few more brain cells than we have to complete.

Once the board is put in you can hook up any type of audio device to it. Microphone, record, tape, CD player or a computer.

The last and probably most important thing in this whole process is to actually have the guts to do something like this. Even if you only broadcasting one block or 100 blocks. If you have never been on a microphone speaking through a few hundred speakers around town than you’re deeply missing something in your life. Grab a transmitter and a record player, hike up a mountain and get rowdy.



One response

20 04 2013
Jones sabo is generally the dog's drastic scarcity

Cheers! It is appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy.

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