afternoon in the summer of 1975, after having spent the last Five years
listening to the landbased QSO Radio stations, I found myself at my then home
address in Edmonton London N9 At the bottom of Lancelot House in it's adjacent
car park servicing my motorcycle, and listening to Radio Mi-Amigo at the same
time. Whilst I was working on my
then 650cc Yamaha, Another motorcycle pulled up along side me and a chap got off
the bike and walked over to me, as like myself
he was a motorcycle enthusiast. We
started chatting and he noticed that my radio was tuned to Radio Mi-Amigo and
asked me how long I had been listening to Pirate Radio Stations, and so I told
him of my keen interest in radio from a small boy.
He then introduced himself a Peter Ray, aka Pirate Pete, and asked me if
I had ever listened to any of the MW QSO stations. So I explained to him how I
would listen every night after midnight, and how much I had always wanted to be
able to have taken part.
Peter then asked if I knew of a station called Telstar 3, I told him yes I did because in fact it was one of the first land based QSO Pirates I had ever heard, and he then told me that it was his QSO station. So naturally I could not believe that after all this time that just by shear chance I would meet one of the pirates I had listened to for such a long period of time, and also the one thing that I had so much wanted to do was now in my grasp. So naturally I then said “ how do I get hold of a transmitter, I want to join in”. Due to this by chance meeting my Radio pirating day’s were about to begin, because thanks to Peter Ray The following night I was the proud owner of my first MW transmitter, a 50 watt 807 valve Rig. I strung a quarter wave long wire aerial from the kitchen window, of my 11th floor flat in Lancelot House, Edmonton, to the roof of the multi-storey carpark below. At midnight that night I netted the Rig’s Oscillator on 1367khz, switched the PA on, tuned the output of the 807 valve into the aerial and put my first call out.
One of the many
stations I had listened to in the past Radio
Gas Bracket Run by John Ford, aka The Duke, was the first to reply to me.
This was the start of countless nights sat in the dark with just the
Orange glow of the valves, and the blue translucent anode glow flashing with the
modulation, truly an exhalant thing
to see, talking to many other stations doing exactly the same.
During my time spent QSOing in fact two hole years I had contacted dozens of stations in London, and the Southeast of England, and of course all the stations I had listened to for such a long time dreaming of one day taking part. In addition to the English Based Pirates I had regular contacts with many Dutch pirates including Radio Black Shadow, and Radio Johnnie Walker. I received reception reports from all over eastern Europe. Oh and of course I was visited twice by Eric Arthur Gotts, once at my then home address of 111 Lancelot House, and on the second occasion at 205 Lancelot House, the home of my friend John who had also got very interested in radio. I was fined heavily on each occasion, so I obviously continued transmitting. Most of the QSOs comprised of each of us playing maybe two tracks then commenting on the over before and then passing it around to the next in line, very often this would continue until dawn. We would then rapidly close down after arranging to meet on air the following night.
My QSO activities continued until 1977, when one evening in September, I made my last Transmission As a QSO pirate in favour of starting North London Radio as a broadcast station.
|Typical 100 watt MW QSO valve transmitter from the 70s|
|Another typical 100 watt MW QSO valve transmitter from the 70s|
|A top view of the 50 watt transmitter used by Garry Stevens used for QSOing|
|A top view of a 100 watt valve transmitter|
|A typical 100 watt MW valve transmitter|
|Radio Nocturne, a MW QSO station on air|
|A solid state MW transmitter used for QSOing and broadcasts|
|A low power solid state MW transmitter used for QSOing|
|Valve receiver and ATU used in conjunction with the above transmitters|
|Peter's collection of sophisticated test equipment|
|More RF test gear|
|The all important watt meter used for testing the output of many a rig|
|Transmit site for Radio UK, run by Nigel (No.6)|
|The demise of Lancelot House, could it have been the RF|
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