Radio Galaxy FM  
Radio Matilda

Radio Galaxy FM from Finland

     The V8-engine was steaming when we cruised our vehicle to a small garden in the suburbs of Jyväskylä. It was Saturday 16th May 1992 and it was 2135 local time.
     We got off the car and met 2 young men, whose age was around 20-25 years. After a short negotiation we climbed to another car, which was already full of radioequipment. The driver told us his name was DJ Mega Hertsi. It was time to go.
     In two vehicles we drove to the dark and cold springnight along small roads in the woods. We moved higher and higher to the hills which surround our hometown Jyväskylä in the Central-Fin­land. After many kilometres driving the cars stopped to a place near the top of one hill east of Jyväskylä. On out left side there were no trees and we could see the distant lights of Jyväskylä citycenter in the otherwise dark night. We were on the place.
     The operators started lifting gear out of the car. A homemade 2-element quadi was soon assembled to a tree nearby. It was ejec­ted towards the citylights. Due to the cold weather and possible rain the transmitting equipment was built to the bench of the car.
     The FM-transmitter was a PLL-crystal-oscillator transmitter manufactured in UK by Veronica FM. There is 3 transmitters of this kind in Finland. This one boosts out 15 watts of power to the exact frequency 96 MHz. Other PLL-crystal-oscillator transmitters (by Veronica FM) in Finland are used by Radio Wega in Kouvola (35 watts) and KISS FM in Jyväskylä (30 watts).
     On the car there was an extra carbattery to provide 12 volts for the transmitter. Siemens "walkmans" did provide the modulation from a cassettetape. SWR:s of the quadiantenna was checked with a Kaise SK-2200-meter. The coaxialcable to the antenna and other cables were fixed and the station were ready to transmit at 2230 local time.
     A little bit before 2300 local time DJ Mega Hertsi took contact to the guards with a small radiotelephone. The transmit­tingsite was protected by friends as guards in case police or radioinspectors would try to raid the station. And of cource the surrounding forests did provide a good chance to escape in case we wouldn't get a warning in good time. There were only 2 operators on the site. And we, the editors of PC.
     Exactly at 2300 local time power was connected to the trans­mitter. Carradio came alive at 96 MHz and the music by Madonna took over the airwawes with DJ Saigon presenting the show this time. There was a wide smile on the operators' faces. "It's always so fantastic to transmit", said DJ Mega. Yes it is. Radio Galaxy was on the air.


     Radio Galaxy has worked many years to reach this point. The mainoperator DJ Mega got interested in radio in 1984 as a DX-listener. Later he got interested in transmitters, too, and start using Citizen Band-equipment. DJ Mega found free radio in 1988, when he listened to Right-Wing Radio on the air (95,9 MHz FM in Stereo, 300 watts ERP). RWR was raided in spring 1988, but free radio was kept alive in Jyväskylä by KISS FM (95,9 MHz FM stereo).
     In 1989 DJ Mega decided to try some kind of FM-transmitting by himself. He built many small power (less than 1 watt) FM-trans­mitters and later started building a 8-watt transmitter. 1991 was very active year in building, but it proved to be almost impossi­ble to get the 8-watt driver to work properly. The transmitter was built again 3 times, but the harmonics and other problems seemed to be impossible to win.
     In autumn 1991 DJ Mega heard that it would be possible to order cheap and good "factory-made" FM-transmitters from UK. In the end of 1991 a transmitter with ordinary oscillator was ordered from Veronica FM. In the beginning of 1992 the new transmitter did arrive, but -surprise surprise- it was equipped with a PLL-crys­tal-oscillator! Even better so. This one should even meet the specs of local radio transmitters in Finland. Same kind of trans­mitters all really used by local radios elsewhere in Europe, for example in Estonia (Viimsi Raadio 100,0 MHz in Tallinn).
     Since January 1992 Galaxy has been on the air on 96 MHz at Friday or Saturday nights at 2300 LT. Galaxy doesn't want too much publicity, althought it even had a possibility to appear on na­tional TV. It's the station's policy to keep low profile and not to "wake up" police and radioinspectors.
     Jyväskylä is a very familiar place for radioinspectors of THK (=Telehallintokeskus, same as FCC in USA or DTI in UK). In this hometown of Matti Nykänen (the hilljumper) there has been free radio activity without interruptions since 1984. Anyway, Galaxy is an independent station and the operators of RWR or KISS FM does NOT work on Galaxy. New people are rising to keep the fight for free radio alive and kicking. In Jyväskylä the traditions are very important. That's the reason why Galaxy uses the same frequency as the other stations did use before.
     The programs of Galaxy remind us very much of the programs RWR and KISS FM used to transmit. One reason is DJ Saigon, who also did produce shows for RWR and KISS FM before. Galaxy mostly plays musicshows for young people. Shows include disco, rock and pop from Finland and abroad. Played tunes are mostly from 80's and 90's, but also older music is played occasionally. Music does not have to be TOP-40 stuff. Galaxy uses very much echo-effects and jingles. That's a tradition in Jyväskylä, too...
     The station has received very good feed-back from the public. People seem to like the musicchoices and especially they are happy to have a free radio in town. Some people doesn't like the echo, they say it's impossible to understand what the DJ says. DJ Saigon did give a comment: "It's not important to know what I'm saying, echo is one element of show. And it's beautiful."

     Power off

     At the same time we were talking about the days gone by, the 45-minutes long show did reach the last song. Of cource it would be nice to keep the show going on 24 hours a day, but the fear of the THK is too strong. On the tape DJ Saigon says the last wishes and the "walkmen's" autos­top says "click". We take the cables off the carbattery and 96 MHz is empty and silent again. At least hundred hands in the citycen­ter push a cassette onto their carste­reos and hope that Radio Galaxy would be on the air again next weekend.
     Pocketlamps give light when we pack the equipment back to the cars. Antenna is ripped off the tree. We start the cars and roll off the forest towards the civilication. The guards tell us that there were no problems. The fieldstrength has been good also in the citycenter.
     Galaxy does not have regular transmissions due to the securi­tyreasons. Transmissions take place after irregular times from different locations and always mobile. For the listeners this means that they don't know if Galaxy will be on the air on any speci­fic day or not. Also the fieldstrength on a specific area varies, because the transmissionsite is not the same every time.

     Let's have a beer

     After a successful transmission it's good to have a beer or two. And what would be a better place to have one, than a terrace on the new walking district in Jyväskylä. Even if it's a cold night. DJ Mega likes to talk, so I'll let him speak and so I can drink without interruptions...
     "Our main team is small. It's quite easy to find guards, but it's much harder to find operators to the main site. Now we are negotiating about co-operation with another FM-station, Radio Milliwatti. We will join our forces and produce jointprograms and operate the transmissions together. Galaxy does not have own address. We can't use the Wuppertal-box, as there is a station with the same name in Germany. But you can write to us via Radio Milliwatti (Wuppertal box). Oh yes, we are always interested to take more people to work for the station. If you are interested, contact us."
     "It's incrediple feeling when a transmission succeeds, plans come true and you get positive feed-back from the listeners. Of cource you can't win every time, everybody have bad days too. Now it's easy to operate, as we have a very good transmitter. Before all our sparetime went to the building of own transmitters. Now we can relax and use the time for producing shows, as we don't need to open the transmitterbox at all."
     "We have the same motives to operate a station as other stations and operators. It's nice to have fun and this IS fun. But of cource the most important thing is the liberation of Finnish radio. Everybody should have a possibility to start their own station. We need more local radios. Radiostations should have different formats and different groups (musically, politically, etc.) should have own stations. Did you know that there's over 1900 unused local radio channels allocated for Finland?"
     "The biggest problem in free radio activity is that it's illegal. You don't get used to it. There's always some kind of stress and fear when you are transmitting in the woods. If somet­hing goes wrong. Police or THK strikes. But it should not keep you away from pirateactivity. We need more free radios to all wawe­lengths and all areas."
     "Galaxy has not applied for a legal local radio licence. We wouldn't get it, so why bother? In fact I will not work on radio for my profession. If some legal station would offer me a job, I would't take it. I would't leavy Galaxy. Or maybe it the case that there would be new operators who would continue after I'm gone."
     "The difference between free radio and local radio is the program style. Our style is more free. We don't kiss advertisers or politicians ass. The political climate in Finland is more free than some years ago. Local radios are not so dull and censo­riced as they used to be. That's why free radios have to fight harder and do better programs."
     "People listen to us because we are different. And there's some excitement in being illegal. It's exciting for the listeners to listen to us, because they know that we can be raided and gone in any minute. Listeners and ordinary people are on our side. We don't cause harm to anyone. People don't think we are some cri­minals. I don't think I'm a criminal, althought I could get heavy fines and one year in prison if they get me."
     DJ Mega drinks the rest of the beer and walks to the night. We eat some kebab before we let our V8 to ride us home. I save the frequency 96 Mhz to a free memorychannel on my carstereo. I have to remember to listen to 96 Mhz next weekend. Maybe Galaxy's on the air. Madonna sings in the night.


Join the forces - Radio Matilda

     Radio Matilda is a joint venture of many Finnish pira­tes­tations and -operators. So far stations like Right-Wing Radio, Mayday, Voice Of Free Radio, Diablo, Kapina and Wega have been involved. Since the first joint transmission at spring 1992 Miss Matilda had to be silent a long time because of military service, huge cashprice in lottery, unemployment, employment and a dozen other irrelevant reasons. It wasn't untill January 1993 when something started to happen again.
     A young Finnish free radio enthusiast, DJ Mega Watti, wanted to start his own SW-piratestation. He needed advice, information and contacts, also help from other stations. For that reason he offe­red to organize a joint SW-transmission to get experience and to meet older and more experienced free radio people.
     DJ Mega Watti made contacts with other pirates around Finland to decide the day, time, etc. necessary details of the transmissi­on. The transmission day was going to be 7. February 1993 and the transmittersite was going to be a farmhouse in the deep forests of south-east-Finland. One reason in selecting that place was the rumour of a lion living in that part of Finland. It was thought that even THK (=Finnish FCC) might be afraid of the lion...
     The invitations were mailed soon and in the end of January Mega Watti was receiving "bookings" from people and stations who wanted to join the project. A good amount of people did "regis­ter", and a new Radio Matilda-project was sure to take place. It was also decided to travel to the transmittersite already on Saturday and build the station during the Saturday night.
     During the Saturday people started to move from all around Finland towards the transmittersite near the Russian border. Your PC-editor travelled there too with one car full of people and equipment. It was quite hard to get to the transmittersite, as it was really far a way from eve­rything. After we turned away from the last paved highway we had to drive still over 30 kilometres along small forestroads which were cove­red with solid ice! Our speed was 20-30 kilometres per hour as it's best.
     Anyway, we did get there. On the farmhouse there were Mega Watti, his parents and 2 Valmet-tractors. In one room of the farmhouse there were a ready to use studio. The pirateoperators were offered a possi­bility to sleep in the warm and nice main building. The operators were also told that for transmitters there were a small cottage and sauna on the beach of a small lake just few hundred meters away from the farmhouse. And there were a hole on the ice of the lake so that people could swim there. When our bunch of hard headed pirate operators who have all served in the Finnish Army heard about this small cottage, they all went straig­ht away to set a fire to the sauna. DJ Mega Watti and his parents had no possibilities to stop them.


     People and gear

     Soon the cottage and the sauna were warming up and it was time to look what we've got. In the studio there were a Monacor 6-ch mixer, 3 CD-players, 2 cassettedecks and the necessary mic­ropho­nes.
     5 SW-transmitters were on place and the sixth could be get in working order in just 2 hours time, if needed. All transmitters were home-made valvetransmit­ters. We also had a huge amount of modula­tionamplifiers, wires, coaxialcable and all kinds of gear. One 48 mb SW-dipole was already hanging on the trees near the farmhouse. Other dipo­les were still in pieces, but they should be put toget­her and lifted to the trees during the night.
     On the farmhouse there were a small FM-transmitter (0,5 W). This FM-transmitter would be used in relaying the programsignal from the studio to the saunacottage, where most of the SW-trans­mitters would be situated. The FM-antenna was a Slim Jim.
     On site we had our main man DJ Mega Watti, Frank N. Stein and the Tech­nician from Radio Mayday, the operator of Radio Diablo and DJ Tex Willer and DJ Saigon from Right-Wing Radio. Tom Collins from Voice of Free Radio was not able to arrive on Satur­day, but he should join the others early on Sunday morning.
     On Sunday we would also receive more help. 2 local free radio enthusiasts would come and block the road with the Valmet-trac­tors in case police and THK would come too close during the trans­missi­on. The guards could block the road (there was only one road coming to the transmittersite) with snow and watch for the possi­ble approac­hing cars. If police or THK would approach, the guards would give a warning by CB-radio to the transmittersite. The operators would have enough time to close down the station, hide the transmit­ters to the forest and warm the sauna for THK.
     The necessary sleepinggear were carried the the cottage. DJ Mega Watti provided us among other things with 24 bottles of beer, 24 bottles of "other things to drink" and a good amount of sausa­ges, etc. Later in the evening even more six-packs did show up in a strange way from secret loca­tions...



     During the night we lifted 3 antennas in a very hard and cold wind. 1 antenna to the farmhouse and 2 antennas to the cottage. The temperature was around -15 degrees Celsius. One antenna was for 9 MHz and the 3 other for 48 mb. At the same time the trans­mitters were located to the right places and we wondered how to get electricity to all transmitters.
     A part of the operators were testing the FM-link/relay and they found out that the coaxialcable to the FM-antenna was broken and some com­ponents of the FM-transmitter were blown. That's why we decided to forget the 0,5 watts micro-tx. Other possibilities were to use a 35 watts FM-transmitter as a link, take the program­signal from a SW-transmitter which would be located in the studio or build a telephoneline from the studio to the cottage. This should be decided during the bath in hot sauna.
     We were able to start the bath in sauna around midnight. Some operators were at the same time listening to the SW- and MW-bands for any possible pirates, but without success. No-one dared to swim at the lake... Sausages were warmed on fire and eaten with pleasure. Six-packs got empty... and men full...
     Some of the operators got fascinated about the idea of buil­ding a telephoneline from the studio to the cottage. The distance was approximately 500 meters. After an hour or so Saigon, Mega Watti and Frank N. Stein went out to the cold night to build a line. Mega Watti had 500 meters of telephonecable which should be enough. The only problem was that the cable was NOT on a neat package. No, it rather looked like a nightmare...
     Others were already sleeping when Frank and Mega Watti came back to the cottage at 3 o'clock. A little bit later also Saigon came back. The boys had been drinking too many six-packs and they had a "small" argument about the idea of building a telephoneline. They said that over half of the line was ready, but they needed some help in building the rest. Nobody wanted to go out and after an hour everybo­dy was sleeping.
     Around 5 o'clock Mega Watti for some reason got awake and went to continue the line­building. When we woke up in the morning, the other end of the line was truly in the cottage! We were wonde­ring how this could be possible - untill we went out to watch the sunny winter­morning. Yes - the other end of the line was in the cottage, but the line was only 20 meters long instead of the needed 500! Later when the lineroute was examined, it was found out that the te­lephoneboys had build about 30-40 meters of the line in the middle of the forest and later Mega Watti had built 20 meters more close to the cottage. The only thing missing was the first 200 meters from studio to the forest and the 150 meters between the two pieces of cable... "Gre­at" work boys...


     Let the hundred watts shine

     Early in the morning the operators divided into 2 groups. The first group gave the finishing touch to the transmitterassemblies in the cottage and the other group walked to the studio in the farmhouse. We decided to use only 4 transmitters at the same time, as we couldn't lift more antennas easily. The SW-link had to be used to get the prog­ramsignal to the cottage, as the telephoneline was a "bit" too short and 35 watts FM-link was too powerful and it might attract the THK's attention.
     At the same time Tom Collins (Voice of the Free Radio opera­tor) and 2 guards arrived to the farmhouse. The guards took the Valmet-tractors and headed towards a suitable location to block the road. Tom Collins moved gear and people between the 2 action­sites. Mega Watti tested the CB-connections between the guards, the trans­mitter site and the studio.
     In the same location with the studio there were a 45 watts SW-transmitter for 6258 kHz and a 30 watts transmitter with a 9980 kHz-crystal. In the cottage there were transmitters for 6225 and 6281 kHz. These were the frequencies that seemed to be free of interference accor­ding the bandcheck we made just before we divi­ded into groups.
     DJ Tex Willer started to test the studio at 0800 UTC. At 0810 UTC Radio Diablo operator kicked on the 6258 kHz transmitter and Boney M. ruled the wawes. 9980 kHz followed straight away and the live show was in full swing. Tex Willer took care of the begin­ning, later also Saigon, Frank N. Stein and Mega Watti were able to show their talents in live pirate radio. The music was mostly disco, but DJ Saigon played also some tracks of both old and new rock'­n'roll. The Money M. compilation-CD was just released in Finland in February and they got very much airtime. As RWR-boys Tex Willer and Saigon were in studio, you couldn't pass a huge amount of jingles, effects and echo-o-o-o-o-o-o...
     In the cottage in was soon found out that one the two anten­nas there were showing bad SWR-ratings and couldn't be used at all. The other antenna was connected to the big 90 watts Mayday-machine, which blew up. Finally we were able to use a smallpower transmitter (25 watts) on 6225 kHz. The programsignal was taken from the 6258 kHz-transmitter, which was located in the studio.
     The troubles with the gear didn't end yet. Soon after the beginning the Radio Diablo's 9980-transmitter start transmitting carrier only. There was no modulation on the frequency at all. A bit later the transmitter started to give some smoke to the studio and DJ Saigon had to disconnect it in a hurry. From the cottage we carried one extra transmitter to the studio to replace the 9980 one. We gave it a 6281 kHz crystal and connected it to the 9 MHz antenna with an antennatuner.
     Also the studio was giving trouble. The Monacor mixer cou­ldn't handle all the RF. There were too many transmitters in the same location. It just went crazy. Same music could come from all channels, CD could stop by itself and the microphones made strange distorted voices at times. It was also difficult to keep the modula­tionlevels high enough.
     In the cottage the modulationamplifier was not strong enough and the modu­lationlevel on 6225 kHz-transmit­ter was far too low. Later 6225 was switched off and the rest of the show was transmit­ted only on 6258 and 6281 kHz. Those transmitters were both in the studio.
     Around 1025 UTC we had been on the air almost 2,5 hours live, which is quite exceptional and dangerous in Finland. We decided to close down as long as we are not forced to do so. At 1035 UTC the two transmitters were disconnected after the necessary announce­ments. The guards had seen no sign of police or THK.
     It took few hours to disconnect all the gear and pack it. In the end of the project we all sat in the coffeetable together. We all thought that this second Matilda-project was OK, althought it didn't succeed as well as the first one in 1992. Maybe next time we can beat all the troubles we ran into this time. Transmitting is learning.
     If you were listening 7.2.1993 or you hear Miss Matilda on the airwawes some other time in the future, please send your recep­tion reports to the Wuppertal-maildrop with 1 IRC. Matilda will be back!

Pirateinformation from Finland 1993

     Finnish pirate radiostations (Free Radios) usually operate on the 48 meter band 6200 - 6300 kHz. Many stations can also be found on FM-band 88 - 108 MHz locally. On short wawes frequencies outsi­de 48 meter band are used only seldom, but sometimes you might hear stations around frequencies 7360-7390, 9980, 11400 and 15040 kHz.
     FM-stations can be on the air almost anytime, but the best time to listen to FM-pirates is to switch on your radio at wee­kends around 2100 - 2400 local time. Short wawe stations have a tradi­tion to be on the air at Sundays around 1100-1300 local time. Nowadays stations have also been on the air at weekend nights after midnight. Best night to try is the night between Saturday and Sunday.
     Most stations answer friendly to listeners letters and recep­tion reports. You should remember to enclose 2 IRC's or 3,50 FIM postage stamp to cover the mailing costs. If you need any techni­cal advice, the best stations to write are Meteor, Mayday and Diab­lo. Questions about starting and running your own station can be send to any station. The main addresses are P.O.Box 220342, D-5600 Wuppertal 22, Germany and P.O.Box 82, SF-40101 Jyväskylä, Finland. If you use the Jyväskylä-box, please don't write "Radio" on the envelope. Preferably use only station ini­tials.
     Most stations transmitt only music for younger generation (pop, rock and disco) and small bits of talk. Some stations and DJ's use heavily effects, jingles and echo. Only few stations have longer spoken parts in their shows. One of them is Radio Meteor, who have sometimes good piratenews and -info in Finnish language.
     The amount of stations has been raising all the time since the "recession" in the early and mid 1980's. New stations appear both on FM and SW all the time, but too many of them disappear or quit pretty soon.

     This is what you can hear

Radio Meteor, Wuppertal and Jyväskylä boxes. The station has been founded already in 1980. The founder, DJ and operator of the station is Rick Random. Today the station broad­casts with the power of about 60 watts. Valve transmitter. The most frequent frequency to try is 6239 kHz, but you should also listen to 6274 and 7360-7390 kHz.

Radio Mayday, Wuppertal and Jyväskylä boxes. This station has been founded in 1988 by Frank N. Stein and The Technician. Programs are presented by Frank and Susan Stein (the only female pirate-DJ in Finland). Station broadcasts mostly on 6274 kHz, but also 6240, 6258 and 9980 kHz can be used. Transmit­ting power can be anything between 15 and 90 watts, as Mayday has many transmitters to use. With 90 watts Mayday has also been heard in Canada, North-America.

Radio Scanwood, Wuppertal and Jyväskylä boxes. Scanwood started broadcasting in 1980 and it uses many frequencies on 48 mb. It has been on the air very seldom lately. The DJ uses name Mister X.

Radio Bristol, address is not known. Last known address was P.O. ­Box 41, 7700 AA Dedemsvaart, Holland, but this box doesn't seem to operate any longer. Bristol has also been founded in 1980. Nowa­days the station transmitts very irregulary, mostly at Christmas time, on 6233 kHz. Other 48 mb frequencies may also be used.

Radio Diablo, Wuppertal and Jyväskylä boxes. Diablo started broad­casting in 1991. It transmitts anywhere on the 48 mb mostly at weekend nights. The transmitting power is around 20 watts. Valve transmitter. One of the DJ's is Jack The Ripper.

Voice of the Free Radio (VoFR), Wuppertal and Jyväskylä boxes. The operator Tom Collins founded this station in 1989. The DJ's inclu­de Tom, Lasol and Saigon. The best frequency to listen to is 6240 kHz. At the moment the transmitting power is 17 watts from a valve transmitter to a half-wawe horisontal dipoleantenna.

Radio Relax, Wuppertal and Jyväskylä boxes. The same operator has been transmitting with many different names since the late 1970's and "Relax"-name has been used since 1989. The operator and DJ is Robert Eb. Nowadays the stations is on the air very seldom, but it might be heard on the 48 mb with 15 watts of power.

Right-Wing Radio (RWR), Wuppertal and Jyväskylä boxes. This stati­on has been founded in 1985 and operated on FM (95,9 MHz FM Stereo 150 watts) and SW (6225 kHz 15 watts) in Jyväskylä untill 1988 when it was raided. RWR is still on the air on 48 mb via relays few times a year. Many DJ's, for example Tex Willer, Sai­gon, Simon Heel, Radio-Rambo, etc.

Radio Milliwatti, Wuppertal and Jyväskylä boxes. Milliwatti has been founded in 1990 by DJ Lasol. It has been broadcasting on FM 106 MHz and it has been planning SW-transmissions, but the future is uncertain. The transmitting power has been around 1-4 watts.

Jolly Roger Radio, Wuppertal and Jyväskylä boxes. This station has been founded in 1989 and it has been transmitting on FM in Cent­ral-Finland. Low power, less than 10 watts. The future of this station is uncertain.

KISS FM, Wuppertal and Jyväskylä boxes. KISS FM was started as a very big operation in 1989 to continue the work of RWR and it used to broadcast on 95,9 MHz in FM Stereo with a high quality PLL-crystal oscillator transmitter in Jyväskylä. DJ's were Tex Willer, Pale and Radio-Rambo. The station is inacti­ve now, but as all of the equipment is still in town, the station may reappear.

Radio Aallot, Jyväskylä box. This station started in 1990 and it transmitts on 104,5 MHz in Päijät-Häme. The transmitting power is 10 watts and the transmitter is a high-quality one made by Ve­ronica FM, UK.

Radio Rupikonna, no address known, but can be reached via Jyväsky­lä box. Operates on FM in Pori, West-Finland.

Radio Decline, no address known, but can be reached via Jyväskylä box. Operates on 6140 Khz and 48 mb in Pori, West-Finland. High power, but irregular.

Radio Galaxy, no address known, but can be reached via Radio Milliwatti. The station has been founded in 1991 by operator and DJ Mega Hertsi. Operates in Jyväskylä on 96 MHz FM. The transmit­ting power is 15 watts and the transmitter is a high-quality PLL- crystal oscillator Veronica FM-transmitter. Other DJ's are Saigon and Lasol. Plans to switch to FM Stereo and will also start SW-trans­missions with the help of former Radio Royals (operated around 1981) operators.

Radio Bonanza, Jyväskylä box. Bonanza has been founded in 1991. It operates irregulary on 48 mb with 15 watts of transmitting power. The operator and DJ is Jack Killian.

Radio Wega, Jyväskylä box. This Wega has no connections to former Radio Wega, who operated in Jyväskylä in 1989. This one has been found in 1991 by the operator and DJ Mega Watti in Kouvola area. Station operates on 96,3 MHz in FM stereo with 150 watts of power. The driver trans­mitter is a 35-watts PLL-crystal oscillator Ve­ronica FM-transmit­ter, stereoencoder is from Holland and the 150 watts linear ampli­fier is ex-Radio Nova (Rauma, Finland 1983-84).

Metsäradio, Wuppertal and Jyväskylä boxes. "Forestradio" has been found in 1992. They operate on 48 mb mostly on 6240 kHz. The station uses modern radioamateur transceivers (AM-mode anyway), so they can use almost any frequency and power they want.

Radio Matilda, Wuppertal box. A special station name which is used when Finnish pirate operators are having meetings and joint trans­missions on SW. Stations who have been taking part in Matil­da-transmissions are: Mayday, Voice of Free Radio, Diablo and Right-Wing Radio. The frequencies have been 6205, 6240 and 6275 kHz at the same time in SW stereo = left and right channels on different frequencies. Plans to appear 1-2 times a year.

Studio 7, no address known. Operates in Jyväskylä on FM in fre­quencies above 100 MHz. Old station, but low power and irregular transmissions.

Radio Mega, no address known. Has been founded in 1991. The stati­on operates on 91,2 MHz in Kotka, South-East Finland. The trans­mitting power is about 10 watts, sometimes in stereo. Mega is related with Radio Wega.

Radio Vapaa Perämeri, no address known. This station has been heard in 1992 in northern Finland in Oulu-area on FM. Large cove­rage = high power.

Radio Nightmare, no address known. Operates in Kouvola area on FM 96 MHz (4 watts), SW 6240 kHz (40 watts) and SW 7379 kHz (40 watts). Operator is DJ Freddy Krueger. Irregular transmissions.
Hell's Chest, no address known. This is a TV-pirate operating in Kouvola area on channel 23 with 6 watts of transmitting power. Station was raided in 1992, when part of equipment was lost, but no operators were caught. The station will be back on the air soon and it is related with Radio Nightmare.

Unidentified stations, no address known:
- Broadcasts in East-Fin­land in rural countryside. Station operates in 88,2 MHz FM Stereo. Transmitting power now is 4 watts, but should be soon 50 watts. The operator and DJ is Tuho. The station is also starting TV-pirate­transmissions on channel 2.
- Broadcasts in Jaala in Kymen lääni-area in 99,8 MHz FM. Unstabile transmitter, but high power and large coverage.

     Listen out for Finnish pirates as they are not so hard to hear as you might think. If you have problems in identifying the sta­tions you heard, you can always send a cassetterecording for inspection to Free Radio Campaign - Finland (FRCF), P.O.Box 82, SF-40101 Jyväskylä, Finland. Remember the return postage.


SWR – a radioenthusiasts' dream

     Through the decades radioamateurs and DX-listeners have also been pioneers in broadcasting. In the beginning of the 20th century many broadcasting pioneers around the world were radioamateurs. In the 1970's we had again a huge amount of new radiostations on the air in many European countries. This time the enthusiasts were mostly DX-listeners.
     For some reason through the years the enthusiastic pioneers have been broadcasting illegally without licences. I wonder why broadcasting has always been so close to the hearts of so many active radioenthusiasts?

     Over a century of experience

     In the end of the 1980's some active Finnish radioenthusiasts started to form a loose group. They were radioamateurs, DX-listeners, piratebroadcasters, scannerlisteners and CB'ers. They came from different parts of Finland. They were men, who always wanted to reach out for something new and different.
     In 1999 the group was in a critical situation. They desperately wanted to break through and to something special first. Go, where no man has gone before. Just for their own mental stability. Those 10 men had alltogether almost 200 years of radioexperience. That's why it was quite difficult to find something totally new in the radioworld.

     Broadcasting. In shortwaves!

     Most bands and modes were already heard and done. When the group continued to discuss about the possibilities, they found themselves again and again talking about the same subject: broadcasting. In Finland broadcasting is the most limited part of the radio as a hobby. FM was out of question, nothing new there. In mediumwaves there has been Finnish legal stations already on the air. TV sounded a bit too expensive for us poor enthusiasts. There were no legal equipment available for the long waves and we doubted if we can built it ourselves. But... how about the shortwaves?
     An idea about the legal shortwave station hit like zillion volts. Or watts. That hasn't been done in Finland before. Untill now.
     Quick connections to different parties proved, that in theory this could be done. The biggest problem was to find a legal transmitter. Also it would be nice, if the station could be founded with only a handful of dollars. Or without any dollars. But everything can be done. If there's a will, there's a way. And now there was a will.


     We were surprised to find out how many different kinds of recources and talents were represented in the group. The transmitters were built by ourselves, tested in own workplace and approved by the Finnish DTI/FCC. The association was founded. The stationbuilding was reconstructed. The studio was built. The licences were applied. And almost everything was done with own time and own money.

     Scandinavian Weekend Radio

     The results of the enthusiasts' work were heard on the airwaves already less than one year after the GO! –decision. In the town of Virrat, in the village of Liedenpohja operates the Scandinavian Weekend Radio. SWR started broadcasting in shortwaves 2. July 2000. SWR is the first and only independent, commercial, private shortwave station in the Nordic Countries (Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmard, Iceland).
     SWR broadcasts every first Saturday of the month at 00.00 – 24.00 Finnish time. In wintertime that is UTC + 2 hours and at summertime UTC + 3 hours. SWR is also on the air in some special occasions, for example at Christmas.
     Untill 5. May 2001 SWR was broadcasting only in 25 meters in 11690 and 11720 kHz. 2. June 2001 SWR started to use another transmitter. It operates in the 48 mb, were the frequencies are 5980, 5990 and 6170 kHz.
     In the 25 mb the reception has been best in Central-Europe and the British Isles, but SWR has also received several reports from USA. In the 48 mb the reception is better in Finland and the neighbouring countries. The transmitter power in both bands has been around 50 watts. Upgrades are planned and they will follow.

     From enthusiasts to enthusiasts

     An association called "The support association of alternative broadcasting" is responsible for the operation of SWR. The editors and DJ's of the station are mostly members of the association. All members have fulltime jobs elsewhere and no-one is a radio professional at the moment. All the members have sometimes been working on some other radiostation, either as an editor or in maintenance. SWR also gives airtime to contributors and students. SWR also relays good quality shows from organisations like Radio Marabu and The Big Backyard.
     The station has been built to an old farmhouse in countryside. There are studio, kitchen, lobby, outside toilet, sauna and a room for sleeping. The antennatower is located in the garden and it is about 20 meters tall.
     The studioequipment is mostly inexpensive brandname homestereolevel pieces: 2 MD-decks, 3 CD-decks, 2 turntables, 1 MC-deck, 1 mixer and 3 microphones. All programs are recorded with a VHS-homevideorecorder. The incoming calls are feeded into the mixer with the help of a laptop PC with Nokia GSM-card and a hands free set.
     The antenna for 25 meters is a halfwave dipole antenna, which is hanging around 20 meters of the ground. In 48 mb SWR uses a special dipole antenna 6 meters of the ground.

     Freedom and power

     SWR has no format and no playlists. There is a rule, that over half of the music should be from Finland. SWR aims to play mostly music, that is not played in other radiostations. The editors are couraged to use other languages than Finnish. English is most common language in programs. The editor makes the final decision. He plays whatever he wants and talks whatever he wants. Almost all programs are broadcasted live.
     Luckily the SWR editors have very different taste of music. That’s why there is lots of different music in different shows. DJ Ville has a show called "Perkele" (= devil), where he plays heavyrock and other black and hard music. DJ Tex Willer loves rootsmusic and plays Rock'a'billy, country and '50's rock'n'roll in his "Rockin' Rhythm" –show. DJ Häkä takes it to the limit with techno and dance.
     SWR has only limited recordcollection. The editors mostly bring their own records to SWR when they have a show to do. Some recordcompanies have started to send promocopies to SWR. Especially small independent recordcompanies have liked the possibility to reach listeners around Europe.
     Eventhough SWR is a commercial station, there has been only few advertisers so far. SWR is not selling radioadvertisements actively. The station mostly gets the needed money from the members. The biggest cost for the station are the music copyright fees.

     Do you want to join?

     SWR is operated by the volunteers. SWR is open for people who love radio. SWR rents airtime to enthusiasts who want to be on the air. All of you are very wellcome to visit out station during the broadcasts. If you happen to be in Finland around the first saturday of the month, come and see SWR.
     You can find more information and great photos about SWR in SWR-webpages at You can send questions, reception reports and comments by e-mail to The mailing address is SWR, P.O.Box 35, FIN-40321  JYVÄSKYLÄ, Finland. SWR answers to all correct reception reports with a multicolor QSL-card. Just remember to enclose 2 IRC's or 2 USD with your report.
     SWR has managed well, because there has been so many people who have been working hard to make the dreams come true.

     DJ Tex Willer

The author was first time applying for a broadcasting licence in 1983, he has been producing radioshows to 6 countries and he has been a managing director of a large Finnish local radiostation.