IS FM DEAD?

Discuss all things relating to the busy London Pirate Radio scene.
Albert H
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Re: IS FM DEAD?

Post by Albert H » Sat Oct 17, 2020 4:22 am

Legacy - glad to see that you largely agree with me. Pranker - I partly agree with you too, but the lack of motivation in today's youth is really depressing.

I'm not saying that everything was rosy in my youth - far from it! However, we got off out backsides, learned stuff and found out how to build transmitters, how to soundproof studios, how to avoid the GPO rig thieves.....

The point about language abilities just highlights the deficiencies in the UK's educational system. There's no reason not to teach children other languages from 4 or 5 years old - like in Europe - but the problem in the UK is the paucity of good teachers. They're uniformly stupid. ill-educated and politically naive (they're invariably some kind of "Socialist"). They don't have sufficient education themselves to be able to teach their charges properly! Teachers - when I was a child - were proper, highly motivated educators. Today, they're the dregs of the output of the "universities". If they don't know what to do with their third class "humanities" piece of toilet paper, they go into teaching, so ensuring that the next generation of children will be even more poorly educated than they were - it's a downward spiral to complete illiteracy and innumeracy!

Forty years ago, we could buy ex-police or ex-MOD gear for pennies. I used to modify Pye Westminster and Europa receivers as link receivers, strip the transmitter exciter and modulator and put in a WBFM exciter into the 19" case, and end up with an 80 or 100 Watt rig and receiver for next to nothing. Many of the Europa bases got properly installed up blocks, often on Facilities Sites, amongst the Taxi, Pager and Courier Service repeaters. Often the rigs weren't found for months on end - especially when I used a smart aerial that gave a weakened signal in and around the building housing the gear!

I remember teaching a couple of guys from Birmingham how to build rigs, and they set up a small production line, churning out repurposed Pye gear. They supplied loads of stations outside London, and even shipped some of them to stations in mainland Europe. One of those guys still works for my old company.....

Unfortunately, today's youth are a write-off. Perhaps the next generation will have some get-up-and-go?
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Re: IS FM DEAD?

Post by thewisepranker » Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:32 am

Albert H wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 4:22 am
The point about language abilities just highlights the deficiencies in the UK's educational system. There's no reason not to teach children other languages from 4 or 5 years old - like in Europe
I agree, especially the bit about the UK educational system being deficient, but not with this bit:
Albert H wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 4:22 am
but the problem in the UK is the paucity of good teachers. They're uniformly stupid. ill-educated and politically naive (they're invariably some kind of "Socialist"). They don't have sufficient education themselves to be able to teach their charges properly! Teachers - when I was a child - were proper, highly motivated educators. Today, they're the dregs of the output of the "universities". If they don't know what to do with their third class "humanities" piece of toilet paper, they go into teaching, so ensuring that the next generation of children will be even more poorly educated than they were - it's a downward spiral to complete illiteracy and innumeracy!
I don't see what political agenda has got to do with teaching anything other than politics which isn't part of the national curriculum.

Your arguments tend to resolve in pointing the finger at some sector of society which doesn't achieve anything. I don't think that any one part of society is to blame. For example, it's considered funny to say "I can't do maths" as an adult in conversation when referring to simple addition of two numbers.
The levels of discipline were much different when you were a kid. Teachers can't control the kids nowadays, but the teachers have their hands tied on that because of the demands of society and policy, so I don't see how they can be to blame. The teachers also have to play to the whole Ofsted nonsense, which they have no control of. The kids dick about and then get sent home, which is what the kids want. What do you do with that?

Why don't you go into teaching? You're politically literate and aware, highly knowledgeable and can present ideas well so fit the bill pretty well according to your own requirements.
Albert H wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 4:22 am
Perhaps the next generation will have some get-up-and-go?
Unlikely.

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Re: IS FM DEAD?

Post by Albert H » Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:25 am

Pranker

In my youth I seriously considered teaching as a profession, and actually did some teaching at University level when I was a postgrad. I quickly discovered that it wasn't for me (though I was pretty good at conveying complex subjects to my well-motivated students).

The political stance of the current crop of teachers is crucial. Their left-wing approach to life colours their teaching, and highlights their paucity of understanding of how the world really works. It's quite illuminating (and amusing) to ask a Socialist why Venezuela - the country with the most oil nowadays - has a standard of living well below that of Bangladesh (a country famously without any natural resources). Their usual answer is that they're "not Socialist enough" or "not real Socialists".....

The problems of poor behaviour of school pupils is quite easily overcome, but it requires teachers with authority and some real guts to do it. The teachers have to stand up to the brats, belittling them in front of their friends and peers. Done right, with the right amount of sneer, the utter humiliation of the misbehaving child will ensure that they won't ever want to step out of line again!

I have a couple of friends who are teachers (supply teachers, in fact) and they have no behaviour problems at all in their classes. The brats usually test the supply teachers at first, to see what they can get away with, but the teachers quickly gain full control of the class and the usually troublesome children are quickly controlled (often by gales of laughter from the rest of the class). Properly used, peer pressure can steer the misbehaving child into conforming!

Other teachers I know have moved into the private sector (to the detriment of wider schooling) because of the OFSTED nonsense that they had to endure.

The biggest destructive force in UK education was the late '60s introduction of the "Comprehensive" system. This ensured that all classes proceeded at the pace of the dimmest child, and guaranteed that the intelligent children were held back in the name of "educational equality". It's interesting to note that the most educationally successful countries in Europe all have a three-tiered school system, with selection based on ability.

My child went to a proper (Grammar) school, and she gained a real degree from a proper University - she's highly educated, and none of her education was done through fee-paying schools or colleges - the free, state system where she lived was adequate.

The UK really is in a mess..... and then along comes Coronavirus!
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Re: IS FM DEAD?

Post by Bton-FM » Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:39 pm

Albert H wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:25 am

The problems of poor behaviour of school pupils is quite easily overcome, but it requires teachers with authority and some real guts to do it. The teachers have to stand up to the brats, belittling them in front of their friends and peers. Done right, with the right amount of sneer, the utter humiliation of the misbehaving child will ensure that they won't ever want to step out of line again!
This rarely works because it just makes the student resent the teacher for humiliating them! If kids still misbehaved after they were caned (pre 1986) which is surely the ultimate humiliation for a child in front of their mates, then the problem is a bit deeper then ‘they are choosing to misbehave for no reason, they are just brats’.

Behaviour at school is usually a reflection of family life, so humiliating a child isn’t going to solve anything just make the child hate school more, hate the teachers more and misbehave regardless of the consequences! Giving kids endless consequences for their actions (even though they carry on wreaking havoc), while not solving domestic issues, is pissing in the wind. That’s one reason why most school teachers are incompetent.

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Re: IS FM DEAD?

Post by LeeCavanagh » Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:52 pm

Oh yes, I remember those pye Westminster’s too, back at the end of the 80s, my 2nd tx ever happened to be one of those, only thing I didn’t like was it took a few seconds to lock.
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Re: IS FM DEAD?

Post by Sparki » Sun Oct 25, 2020 7:19 pm

Ugh! took so long to write a post I got logged out and lost it! :roll: lets see if I can remember what I put...

I'm 33 and fell in love with pirate radio when I was 13 (year 2000) as a station came on in my area, at school the kids were well into it and I had a listen for myself but I didnt know what time they were on all I knew it was on from Friday night till Sunday night. I waited and it came on about 6pm and was all crackly, low sound quality and the DJ's sounded like they were speaking through a mic that was wrapped in foam. It was a raggedy station, but the DJ's played great tunes and had character. As time went on I started doing net radio in 2007 and back the end of the 00s had my own online radio station that in the end got relayed onto FM in London it was such a buzz knowing I was being heard outside my area, anyway I did do some pirate radio appearing on a few stations doing guest slots and they ranged from dodgy eerie old flats with weirdos lining the floors, to not so bad places with nicer less edgy people. Everyone was there to be heard though and the music brought us together, FM is lost on kids these days and their fix is streaming, youtube and spotify playlists. Me growing up in the 90s and 00s was reliant on pirate stations and Radio 1 specialised dance shows at night, I used to go through tapes like anything! now there isnt many pirates on and the hassle is not there any more, no exciting buzz. I used to and still do take over peoples radios in their cars tuning around to see what we can find I love it! its different and better than shit fodder thats forced down our throats commercially.

I have never run a proper pirate but I have a rough idea of how it works, if you can count me trying to help a mate set up his Chinese transmitter with a dipole hanging off his balcony then thats what experience I have lol! basic but least we had a go and it prob sounded shit and prob only went about 3 miles! lol but I can safely say I grew up in a generation where technology was around but hadnt developed as quick as it does now so there was still an element of learning things and tinkering about with stuff to get it to work. Being 33 I see the 40s one way and I see 18 the other way, Im stuck in the middle generation where Im not young and Im not old, I have old skool ways but have also adapted to some of the newer ways. We have the newer lot coming up now and they know fuck all about the struggle, the secrecy and experience and they prob wont experience it in their life time as its all laid out on a plate for them now days.

Oh as for the squat party comment... wasnt there a station in Brighton run by some squatters? played lots of gabba and speedcore along with some DnB, had a pretty good run if I remember.
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Re: IS FM DEAD?

Post by Matt » Sun Oct 25, 2020 7:54 pm

I don't go at all for the idea that the lack of radio is due to the quality of education in the UK and behaviour in schools. This whole argument reeks of the old idea that when I were a young un, we respected our elders. No we didn't. The school I went to was absolutely wild.

Anyway...

The reason that FM is on its way out is that the kids aren't listening to it. Most of them wouldn't know how to tune a radio, if indeed they have one. In fact, most of the 40-somethings I know don't have an FM radio outside of the car. When I was in my teens, the guys doing radio were all a bit older than me or a lot older than me. That's consistently been the case as I've got older myself. The kids younger than me weren't doing radio and weren't replacing those that went before them. Increasingly we go to the net for our entertainment. In the car, at home, at work... What's the point in risking prosecution and having to pay for all of that expensive equipment (that you're bound to lose) when people aren't going to tune in in any decent numbers?

I'm nostalgic for those days and I love it when I do tune into something unexpected - and I love the fact that around my way in Merseyside, there's still the odd one that pops up. But Very few people would "find" it. We're weird here, on this forum. We're the ones that are clinging on. This is a niche interest now.

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Re: IS FM DEAD?

Post by famefm » Sun Oct 25, 2020 8:54 pm

Could not have put it better myself. Very few people tune in to almost everything good or bad not like in 1985 when solar and horizon radio possibly had a million listeners on a Sunday afternoon?

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Re: IS FM DEAD?

Post by thewisepranker » Sun Oct 25, 2020 9:52 pm

Sparki wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 7:19 pm
Oh as for the squat party comment... wasnt there a station in Brighton run by some squatters? played lots of gabba and speedcore along with some DnB, had a pretty good run if I remember.
Yeah, Freedom FM.

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Re: IS FM DEAD?

Post by Bton-FM » Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:41 pm

Matt wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 7:54 pm
I don't go at all for the idea that the lack of radio is due to the quality of education in the UK and behaviour in schools.
Neither do I, that was a tangent to the thread.

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Re: IS FM DEAD?

Post by Bton-FM » Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:43 pm

thewisepranker wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 9:52 pm
Sparki wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 7:19 pm
Oh as for the squat party comment... wasnt there a station in Brighton run by some squatters? played lots of gabba and speedcore along with some DnB, had a pretty good run if I remember.
Yeah, Freedom FM.
How long ago was that?

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Re: IS FM DEAD?

Post by teckniqs » Sun Oct 25, 2020 11:03 pm

About 10 years ago 88.3 MHz

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Re: IS FM DEAD?

Post by Albert H » Mon Oct 26, 2020 12:34 am

Bton-FM wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:41 pm
Matt wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 7:54 pm
I don't go at all for the idea that the lack of radio is due to the quality of education in the UK and behaviour in schools.
Neither do I, that was a tangent to the thread.
It may be tangential, but it's actually germane in that the lack of proper education today is raising a generation of technical illiterates. My friends who try to employ teenagers as apprentices have great difficulty in finding suitable candidates nowadays. Many 16-year-olds are effectively illiterate and innumerate. There's no point in trying to continue an education that they've never had!

Today's kids want instant results. They don't have the attention spans to learn the principles of electronics, and the idea of getting some tools and instruments and building transmitting gear themselves is just entirely beyond their intellectual scope. They simply can't be bothered to learn anything.

OTOH - Many of the mainstream stations will leave Band II over the next few years. Rumours abound suggesting that Radio 1 is going to be online only in the near future - that'll free up some useful frequencies in the middle of the band. It might be worth building a few big rigs for 98.8 and 98.5, and jumping on those frequencies when they become available! That's probably the only way to get a reasonable audience size now.

Today's youth don't listen to the radio. They're all about Spotify and YouTube. Radio is for their parents!
"Why is my rig humming?"
"Because it doesn't know the words!"
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Re: IS FM DEAD?

Post by g33ky » Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:22 am

Albert H wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 12:34 am
Bton-FM wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:41 pm
Matt wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 7:54 pm
I don't go at all for the idea that the lack of radio is due to the quality of education in the UK and behaviour in schools.
Neither do I, that was a tangent to the thread.
It may be tangential, but it's actually germane in that the lack of proper education today is raising a generation of technical illiterates. My friends who try to employ teenagers as apprentices have great difficulty in finding suitable candidates nowadays. Many 16-year-olds are effectively illiterate and innumerate. There's no point in trying to continue an education that they've never had!

Today's kids want instant results. They don't have the attention spans to learn the principles of electronics, and the idea of getting some tools and instruments and building transmitting gear themselves is just entirely beyond their intellectual scope. They simply can't be bothered to learn anything.

OTOH - Many of the mainstream stations will leave Band II over the next few years. Rumours abound suggesting that Radio 1 is going to be online only in the near future - that'll free up some useful frequencies in the middle of the band. It might be worth building a few big rigs for 98.8 and 98.5, and jumping on those frequencies when they become available! That's probably the only way to get a reasonable audience size now.

Today's youth don't listen to the radio. They're all about Spotify and YouTube. Radio is for their parents!
I can see R1 going DAB/Online only which would save the BBC a lot of £££, probably the same for R3. R2 on the other hand still advertises "88-91FM" in its ID so I think it's pretty safe on FM, it is the most popular station UK-wide (according to RAJAR).
FM for lyfe!

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Re: IS FM DEAD?

Post by Electronically » Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:33 am

They would need to be nuts to do online connections drop etc no worth it.

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