March 10, 2013

TCS Shortwave Relay Stations Rock Listeners from Newfoundland to Hawaii in Saturday Night TCS Marathon!

'In the Court of the Crimson King' Album cover

By John Poet

In an unprecedented night of  back-to-back relays of multiple TCS shows, listeners from Newfoundland to Hawaii and uncounted points between were pummeled with Rock 'n Roll in two different programs from The Crystal Ship, broadcasted on the TCS Shortwave Relay Network.  The shows went on for over three hours.

It began around 0115 UTC on March 10th (local Saturday night), on 6930 kHz USB, with an unidentified relay station keying up with Judas Priest's "Breakin the law", after which began the airing of  "The Crystal Ship's Rock 'n Roll Art Show", ( here and here).  This show was heard over wide areas with fairly strong signals.  Among listeners' comments on the signal quality were "S9, but a really fat S9 - really sounding great" and "Killer signal in MO. seriously ...a really great sounding signal".

Cover art from 'Yes'

The TCS Rock 'n Roll Art Show explored selections from the genre of 'Art Rock', opening with Iron Butterfly's "In-a-gadda-da-vida"  (yes, the whole 17 minutes), followed by a commentary by John Poet (yours truly) on the various characteristics of the sub-genre of art rock, (typically long and involved instrumentals and sometimes including influences from classical music, orchestral instrumentation, sonic experiments,  poetry, etc., often in very long "compositions", as opposed to "songs") and the various bands which most typically are associated with it.  The program's most typical art rock bands included many selections from The Moody Blues, Electric Light Orchestra, King Crimson's "In the Court of the Crimson King", Pink Floyd's "Time" and "Roundabout" by Yes.  Atypical selections from bands not ordinarily associated with 'art rock', but compositions which fit the aforementioned characteristics of art rock, included "Love is like oxygen" by The Sweet, and Bruce Springsteen's "Jungleland".

A Chicago listener managed to record the TCS Rock Art Show in its entirety, here.  Reception is fairly good throughout, and very strong through much of the recording.

'In Search of the Lost Chord' - Moody Blues cover

The 'Rock 'n Roll Art Show' ended about 0254 UTC after about an hour and a half. 

Only moments later, another unidentified relay keyed up on the same frequency, and started a transmission of the program I called "The Crystal Ship Unchained," which skipped our usual opening sequence and began with the Soviet National Anthem in English (there I go again, that "treasonous voice of dissent"!)  The speed with which the second relayer came on the air, confused quite a few listeners who thought it was coming from the same operator; the signal strength was not far off from the first transmission initially. (I was in a pirate radio chatroom at the time with quite a few listeners.)  However, I was made aware that the second relay would take place just before it came on the air, and posted new threads to make it clear that this was now a second relay station on the air.

'TCS Unchained' featured numerous rock selections including The Who's "I'm Free" & "Magic Bus", as well as Dokken's "Breaking the Chains" and Van Halen's "Unchained" which was also used in the station ID for the program.  This program was also widely heard, including in Hawaii, and ran for another hour and a half-- resulting in just over three hours worth of TCS relay transmissions giving listeners from coast-to-coast and beyond a long window of opportunity to tune in.

If you missed out, don't worry-- you'll get another chance soon.  There are a lot of new shows currently on the drawing board or in production, and it is expected that TCS relay activity will increase over the coming year, far beyond what it has been for the past year-and-a-half.  While another such relay marathon in one night is unlikely, listeners throughout most of North America will have their fair share of chances to tune in!  When it happens--

Turn Up The Radio!!!

eQSL for reception reports of the 'TCS Rock 'n Roll Art Show'

 73s and FIGHT for FREE RADIO!


  1. Comments are wide open. Hopefully no one gets out of hand...

  2. Sorry I missed this one Poet, but congrats on the activity and good to see TCS being relayed!

  3. Great show, Poet! That had a lot of my favorites in it.


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