Map of pirate blocks - Thameside Radio 1980

Discuss & sharing nostalgia relating from the pirate stations of the 60s up to modern day inactive stations.
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gobuddy
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Map of pirate blocks - Thameside Radio 1980

Post by gobuddy » Mon Aug 24, 2020 5:34 pm

I've just found this map showing transimiision sites used by Thameside Radio 90.2 . It's an old bus map with the sites drawn on. Probably dates from 1980 or so. Mainly tower blocks of course but there's also Hampstead Heath which was used fro the first few months.

Some have since been knocked down - like South Acton - and security has got better since then, but they were all accessible at the time with a bit of blagging and a set of FB keys.

The listener addresses on the fmthen.com recordings suggest that at the time they covered out to what is now the M25. How many in use now?
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Albert H
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Re: Map of pirate blocks - Thameside Radio 1980

Post by Albert H » Tue Aug 25, 2020 3:24 am

Thameside coverage was (usually) pretty good. The rigs were usually 80 to 120 Watts (according to transistor availability), and the aerials were generally J-poles, slim-jims , ⅝-verticals and the occasional stacked dipoles. Links were usually around 200MHz, though some 500MHz gear was used on occasion.
In those days, Band II was much quieter, and the gaps between stations were not filled with the kind of rubbish that jams the band in London these days. Thameside coverage was basically all of London and quite a bit of the surroundings too.
Incidentally - there are many sites that Thameside used that aren't on that map!
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gobuddy
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Re: Map of pirate blocks - Thameside Radio 1980

Post by gobuddy » Tue Aug 25, 2020 3:49 pm

There certainly are lots of the blocks we used missing - I guess the map dates from Thameside's first year or two.
I must have picked it up by accident as I didn't recognise it and was going to throw it out until I saw what the marks were.

Albert H
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Re: Map of pirate blocks - Thameside Radio 1980

Post by Albert H » Fri Aug 28, 2020 2:26 am

Gobuddy - do you remember the firework rockets escapade?

About two weeks before Guy Fawks Night Thameside asked their listeners to buy the biggest firework rocket they could get. Then on the next Sunday night broadcast, they went up one of the Brentford blocks with a radio mike linked back to their main studio. At 9pm, they got their listeners to all launch their fireworks at the same time. The view from the top of the block was amazing - fireworks as far as we could see - all over London! You could see where the signal was getting to!
"Why is my rig humming?"
"Because it doesn't know the words!"
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gobuddy
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Re: Map of pirate blocks - Thameside Radio 1980

Post by gobuddy » Sat Aug 29, 2020 12:19 pm

Oh yes, fireworks night was great!. I lived fairly near the blocks so reception was amazing too. I still smile that the BBC's "People Just Do Nothing" has the fictional pirate "Kurupt FM" broadcasting from those blocks. Makes separating fiction and reality extra difficult.

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