May 27, 2011

The All-New 'Free Radio Cafe Forums' are Now Open!

Greetings, Shortwave & Pirate Radio operators, listeners, fans and friends!
I am extending my invitation to you to join a brand-new radio forum,
intended to cover north american and european pirate radio,
pirate QSLs, shortwave broadcasting,
FM and low-power broadcasting, utilities and technical topics,
and possibly more, The Free Radio Cafe forums!

I will be the administrator and primary moderator of the site.

I have had a few folks in already to help me test and tweak the site,
and now it is ready to roll! (My thanks to those who helped!)
Registration is open and automated. You won't have to be "sponsored",
"interviewed" or otherwise try to "justify" your desire to join
this site. Just click on the "Register" link near the top-right of the forum page.

Because of the huge number of "link spammers",  your first post won't appear until it has been approved by the admin.  After that, posts will appear immediately.  We regret that inconvenience, but there's no other way to deal with the spam situation.

As I am a long-time "amateur webmaster" elsewhere, this is something I have
long wanted to do-- but as a free radio broadcaster, 'security concerns'
made it more difficult to do anything about it. Special arrangements
have now made it possible.

The Free Radio Cafe forums run on the modern phpBB3 software system.
Posters have an array of easy push-button options to 'jazz up'
their posts; and you can easily embed YouTube videos, and send
private messages to other users whose preferences allow it.

Our domain home page is temporary; we hope to soon add other features
to help differentiate us from the other radio sites that are out there.
For now, the Free Radio Cafe forums are open!

So c'mon down and give us a look. Register, check out
the 'Cafe Lounge' and maybe make a post or two... and be sure to
post your pirate radio logs over the holiday weekend!

To all my many friends, I would deeply appreciate your support
of this new forum during this critical launch period. The oncoming
holiday weekend seemed like a good time to open. So I hope to
see you there!

Here's wishing everyone a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend!

John Poet, Admin
The Free Radio Cafe Forums

May 26, 2011

'FCC Cracks Down on Rogue Broadcasters'

WASHINGTON: One way to free up spectrum is to shut down rogue broadcasters. Federal Communications Commission agents have been busy this month, issuing more than a quarter-of-a-million dollars in fines. A majority have targeted pirate radio operations.
  So far in the month of May, the FCC has issued $258,000 in fines; $141,000 for operation of unlicensed radio transmitters. On May 5, alone, the commission fined five pirates a total of $50,000. Other violations involve failure to maintain functional Emergency Alert System equipment, inadequately maintained transmitter and tower facilities, excessive power levels and improper record-keeping.
   Piracy was most prevalent in the Eastern United States. Robert Brown and Lloyd Morris of Boston were each fined $15,000 for operating an unlicensed radio transmitter at 99.7 MHz in the city’s Mattapan neighborhood. The commission’s Enforcement Bureau first issues a Notice of Apparent Liability to which the alleged violator can respond and get the fine reduced or possibly dismissed. Brown and Morris received NALs last October and failed to respond and so are now liable for $30,000.

Read more:

May 24, 2011

FRN Knocked Offline by Joplin Tornado; FRN Founder John Cruzan & Family Safe!

On Sunday May 22, The Free Radio Network, one of the leading forums covering pirate radio in North America, was knocked offline by the tornado that ravaged Joplin Missouri.

The F.R.N. website is hosted on a web server owned by John Cruzan, FRN founder, who lives in Joplin. The tornado destroyed much of the telecommunications infrastructure in Joplin, reportedly cutting off telephone landlines, internet and cellphone coverage to most of the area.

For 24 hours, Cruzan's fate was unknown. Pirate hobbyists who tracked the path of the storm reported that it had passed very close to Cruzan's home. There was much concern for the safety of Cruzan and his loved ones.

Thankfully, we can now report that Cruzan and family are safe! As reported via 'Cosmik Debris' on the HF Underground, Cruzan responded to Kracker via Facebook with this message:

"We are fine, no damage at all, My parents home was leveled but they were not hurt, we are busy trying to dig out their stuff for now, thanks for thinking of Us!"  (May 23 at 10:22pm)

As Cruzan has stated "no damage at all", that presumably includes the web server on which the FRN website resides. This would seem to indicate that the Free Radio Network forum will be back at some point. However, because of the massive damage to the Joplin area, it is difficult to guess when communications may be restored to the area enough to allow the FRN server to come back online.

Now that Cruzan and family are known to be safe, I don't feel it amiss to offer comment on a somewhat-related matter... after the page-break.

May 16, 2011

"CB radio remains one of the last lawless frontiers in the Mother Lode"

(I guess the following writer hasn't heard about 'pirate radio'!  His description of the cb field jammer is somewhat reminiscent of portable, automated pirate radio transmitters  that some pirates have used, sort of a "set it and forget it" deal-- more often used in Europe than the states, I believe.~  J.Poet)

CB radio hobbyist Jon Greener recently stumbled upon a weapon in a local war over control of the airwaves.

The device was buried at the foot of a tall pine tree in the forest south of Twain Harte. A long cable stretched from the homemade contraption to the tree’s snow-laden upper branches, where a camouflaged Citizens’ Band radio antenna dangled from a metal hook.

“Most people would think this was a bomb,” said Greener, 60, as he brushed aside some dirt and loaded the bizarre box into the back of his 1971 Dodge Tradesman van.

The crude device was comprised of a curious metal box of knobs and a Christmas light timer fastened to the top of a car battery with duct tape. It was spray-painted green, and a 50-foot-long coaxial cable was connected to the end of a 6-foot-tall truck antenna.

“When this thing turns on, you can’t hear anybody,” Greener said as he fiddled with the knobs on the disabled transmitter.

It was a “jammer,” and it was planted in the forest by a saboteur whose goal was to interrupt CB traffic between Sonora and Twain Harte, Greener said.

Read the rest:

May 15, 2011

Palin and Trump the New "Know-Nothings"

By The Radical

Okay, let me try and wrap my head around this . Two of the leading "big names" in the Republican Presidential sweepstakes are ,for the lack of a better term, celebrity candidates.

The first in line is the former Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin. Now this is a woman, who quit half way through her first term in a major political office, thus leaving the citizens of Alaska in the dust to pursue her own selfish interests. This self-appointed media critic, who had the audacity to criticize the show American Idol, stating in her book, "America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag", that the show has nurtured a "cult of self-esteem" through the lack of honest criticism of the talent of the contestants. She opines: "No one they have encountered in their lives-from parents to teachers to their president-wanted them to feel bad by hearing the truth".

Of course, as a paragon of virtue, this woman often pulled aside her daughter, Bristol, when she was a contestant on "Dancing With the Stars", urging her to stop the charade and quit the show. And, of course, being such a truth-teller, she never showed up in the audience of that show, to avoid any photo opportunity to falsely acknowledge the concept of Bristol's "dancing" talent. Nor, did she ever embrace the "cult of self-esteem" by hosting a reality show on TLC called "Sarah Palin's Alaska" in order to jump start a 2012 Presidential bid. But , then again, the show ran only nine episodes, so someone told Mrs. Palin "no" and yet she is now wandering the political landscape like a rogue elephant in attending those nativist Tea Party gatherings attempt to glom onto more attention and adoration that she feels that others do not deserve. Hmmm...Pot Kettle Black!!

May 14, 2011

Recent shortwave reception reports from listeners of The Crystal Ship

Kracker sent us another graphical love note-- via the FRN, before it was deleted.  Guess he didn't like my comment, "That all you got?"

(Just in case you don't get it-- that's supposed to be 'The Crystal Ship' sinking...)

(Notice on listener email: We will be posting some listener mails/reception reports on our blog at from time to time.

Any listener addresses, callsigns and the like, and last names of any female reporters, and anything else deemed sensitive information will be removed before posting. And of course, if you specifically ask that it not be used, it won't be published.

I don't need anybody's mailing address anyway for the time being, as we are only eQSLing for the immediate future.......

May 1, 2011

It's great to have so many adoring fans...

... one of them even cared enough to IMMORTALIZE me on SSTV!  This is our FIRST SSTV appearance, and I didn't have to lift a finger!  (Good thing, because that is beyond my experience level)

Isn't that wolf just the best?

Thanks for the attention, pal, whoever you are-- I LOVE IT!
-- but I recommend you outsource  the 'message' next time, get someone who can take the insults beyond the sixth-grade level.... This just makes you look, well, kinda stupid.