PCS Electronics PCS Electronics - home page PCS Electronics  
RegisterSearchFAQAM & FM Radio transmitters shop UsergroupsLog in
Ideas for pirate radio transmission

Reply to topic    PCS-Electronics Forum Index » Users share experience... View previous topic
View next topic
Ideas for pirate radio transmission
Author Message
Site master
Site master

Joined: 18 Jan 2002
Posts: 3096
Location: Radio Land

Post Ideas for pirate radio transmission Reply with quote
Taken directly from Usenet, someone may find this interesting.
We do not endorse or promote pirate radio or any illegal activities.


If you are operating somewhere where the pigs actually have
arrest authority for pirate radio(like Florida), you need to think
about defense. It goes without saying that the rig needs to be
somewhere that the authorities cannot connect with anyone involveed in
the project!

An abandoned building is an excellent choice if you can find one on
a hilltop. An approach that can be extraordinarily effective if you
can get to it is the roof of a high-rise office building whose roof
sees no foot or mantainance traffic. This is best for an Internet
fed(UPS and Linux mandatory to avoid reboot visits), solar or AC
powered setup where you deliver it once only and then feed it onliine
until it quits, is stolen, or is confiscated. It will have to go in a
totally waterproof, yet well ventilated container for this so as to
avoid both rain and overheating damage. If you need to be able to
make regular service visits, a vacant building is probably better
unless you can get into a poorly-secured apartment building with
multiple vacant units and NO SNITCHES.

There are two basic considerations in site selection: height and
security.Security comes down essentially to privacy, and comprises two
components. One is visual privacy, meaning you can work without being
seen or seen as out-of-place. Make absolutely certain that you can get
to and from your chosen site without anyone thinking your presence is

The other half of security is RF privacy, meaning there must be
nothing nearby that will receive your signal out-of-channel due to
overloading a shitty receiver or any spurs from your rig.
Transmitters used in occupied buildings must be very clean, and
antennas at least 1 wave above a metal roof or with very little
downward lobe in the pattern. The more the power, the greater the

At WSQT, we had great sucess in Washington DC broadcasting for for
about half a year out af a fire-damaged building on a block with
little indoor activity except burglars who seemd to be put off by a
"danger 400 volts" sign referring to the tube-type rig's power
supply. The only hazard(other than stepping through the hole in the
floor, that is!) was being mistaken for a burglar by someone and the
cops called. In DC, haivng a key would have probably been enough to
prevent arrest if this happend, but FL woudl be another story if you
don't have a good cover story.

As there is always the possibility in this Homeland Security-
infested culture of curious witnesses(nommatter how careful you are),
make sure you have a cover story that holds up as to why you are in
the area. It is not likely to work with cops, but the most likely
recipient would be a curious bystander or neighbor for whom this could
mean the difference berween forgetting the encounter or calling the

Ideally you would feed programming to the rig by Internet, with
an expendable "client" computer on the far end fed by a wi-fi
connection to an open network. The client computer will need to run a
stable operating system like Linux and be powered through a UPS if AC
power is used. If you are using solar/battery power or humping
precharged batteries, you don't need the UPS of course.

You will need to set it up for remote administration and remote
control, so you can take control of it from places like public
libraries or Internet cafe's. Do NOT use your home computer to run
this in any jurisdiction where you can be arrested. The FCC has never
bothered to dig this far, but cops do and if they have jurisdiction
you need to take this precaution.

If this is not possible, you will have to hand deliver MP3 players or
tapes(primitive but effective). If you can turn on the AC power(to a
squat) as well, you save yourself the effort of humping in heavy, pre-
charged car batteries(and/or the espense and concealment problems of
solar panels) as well. You will have to blend in every time, of

Make certain your chosen spot is NOT already used by anyone for
anything else! Otherwise, you risk both those people being harassed
and your equipment being just plain stolen. In a building where only
part of the structure(roof, perhaps) qualifies, you must observe the
area to determine that your chosen spot does not get visits from
anyone else.

Make sure you have multiple ways in and out of the area, and
preferably that it is close to cover-places you can disappear into if
hard-pressed. A rabbit knows every hole in his territory he can
disappear into, and so should you.

To access your chosen site, you will need to blend in unless the area
gets NO foot or motor traffic at all, like some semi-abandoned
industrial areas. If you are using the roof of some office building as
a site, either suit-and-tie or the uniforms of the building
mantainance staff will work. In a gentrification neighborhood, you
have two choices: dress as a yuppie, or dress as one of thsoe the
yuppies are forcing out. Which system you use depends on what you can
pass for-and who you deem the greatest threat to snitch or steal your
gear. You need to look like you belong there, but not like someone
the cops would harass or espeically seach just for being in the area.

Installing the antenna is going to be the most visually obvious part,
and should be done while not in posession of anything else as a
precaution. Do this work at night unless only day access is possible,
and then clear out. The one exception is this: On large roofs, quick-
setup masts and military style quick-setup antennas tuned for your
frequency might allow rotating between multiple sites with each site
totally clean while not in use. Make sure you cannt be seen from the
ground in this case.

You can rig "traps" to indicate unauthorized access to the area. One
simple way is a tripline rigged up to an ordinary car alarm of the
"silent paging" type. Use fine fishing line or dental floss painted up
to match the area as the tripwire and conceal the alarm and its
battery where they will not be noticed. If someone is poking around
while you are in the area, you will be paged and know to say away. A
protracted surveillance can be discovered by using tiny "telltales"
like a single hair glued acress a door to indicate entry. When you
are on-site, a tripwire between two tin cans with rocks inside will
give you an audible warning of any approach-it's an old moonshiner's
warning device.

Another security approach works if you have a computer on-site and wi-
fi connection. This is to simply set up a surveillance camera just
like the bosses do and set it up as a webcam on a site whose URL is
not known to anyone else-and whose video does not identify the site.
Check the camera online before any approach to see if anything is
amiss. Of course, in this system, you need only approach at all if
something has gone wrong with the equipment.

One other precaution: In arrestable jurisdictions,NEVER, EVER drive a
car so close to your site that the same person can see you attach
something to the building and then get in your car! People have been
arrested in things like urban scavenger hunts due to failure to
observe this rule.

Lastly, you need to decide for yourself in advance how you want to go
in reacting to any arrest attempt. During a WSQT portable show in the
runup to the 2005 Bush Inaugural, I had to fend off a cop in SWAT
looking gear who came in talking tough. He made an excuse about
thinking my soda was a beer when he saw how far I was prepared to go.
I was worried about going to Gitmo for targetting the Presidential
Inauguration with the broadcast, and had decided not to be taken no
matter what(same rules as in Iraq). He made that "what's in your OTHER
HAND" face-saving excuse about the soda and then both he and I cleared
out. At least he had the good sense to find an honorable way out and
avoid a very nasty fight.

As a result, the next time the FCC harassed WSQT, they waited
until five minutes after I cleared the scene(at a fixed location) and
then harassed others there. I found it damned interesting that two
weeks after Katrina, after one week of Mad Max beyond Superdome, that
the FCC shows up five minutes after I left from a mantainance session
over an hour long!

BTW, in Miami cops carry Tasers. You can short out Tasers with
aluminum window screen under your clothing(foil will also work but
holds heat and tears easily). Cop fires Taser, darts penetrate screen
and clothing but touch the metal and short out. Taser does nothing,
you take of running-and the cops needs a few extra seconds to react.

At WSQT, we take the "guerrilla" in guerrilla radio seriously so I
thought "Radio Insurgents" in places like Florida would appreciate
these thoughts.


Best regards,
Marko - PCS Electronics
Turn your PC into a FM radio station!
fax +386 4 2316 128
Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:02 pm View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:    
Reply to topic    PCS-Electronics Forum Index » Users share experience... All times are GMT + 1 Hour
Page 1 of 1

Jump to: 
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group