Confessions Of A Real Pirate

28 Jun

Now a confession.

Hope the FCC isn’t listening.

I had a pirate radio station as a kid.

WXRZ put a city grade signal over Brent Place in Succasunna, New Jersey.

Well not all of Brent Place, just the part near my house and on real good days some of Golf Course Road, too.

The signal was always better with a fresh nine volt battery in the transmitter.

My friend Glen lived on the next street and had a pirate station, too.

Glen isn’t here right now, so I’ll confess for him.

Together we operated the only radio network in the neighborhood.

My station would pick up the ABC Contemporary News from WABC at exactly 54:30. Glen got the news from my station and rebroadcast it live on his.

An official network.

Our station consisted of two turntables, a few reel to reel tape recorders, a mic, a mic stand and mic mixer.

The studio was in the laundry room behind the sheets and drying clothes.

I was pretty tight working with that equipment and spent hours ‘smacking’ the vocals using a recorded ID and records. WFIL was tight, but they were no WXRZ.

We often broadcast by remote from my front yard. This involved bringing the studio equipment outside and running a wire back to the transmitter.

All went well until the day when Glen turned to me and asked, “do you smell something?”

It smelled a little like smoke.

That is forever known as the ‘Day The Station Burned Down’.

Thankfully we were outside and not broadcasting from the behind the sheets in the laundry room.

The small studio I’ve assembled at home reminds me of WXRZ. But it does way more.

The reel to reel was replaced by a multi-track software editor on my laptop.

The inexpensive Lafayette Radio mic mixer is now an M-Box that interfaces with the laptop.

A borrowed Neumann Microphone replaced the five dollar tape recorder mic we used.

Anyone can be a ‘pirate’ today.

Creating Podcasts and programs in your home is very much like pirate radio.

There is no better way to sharpen your skills than by playing with your own blog, podcast or perhaps internet station.

They can still hear me on Brent Place from a thousand or so miles away.

Think of what I save on nine volt batteries.

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Posted by on June 28, 2008 in Radio programming


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