Chasing down a Pirate Radio station

I stumbled on this video on youtube. It seems like some old guy has too much time on his hands and is out being a private citizen vigilante:

Part one, he is driving around a neighborhood with a spectrum analyzer looking at signal strength:

Seems slightly creepy.

Then there is part II, the plot twist:

Actually, looks like a nice studio. PRE BMX II console, RE-20 microphones, and a live performance room at a radio station, what a concept.

Part III, trouble of a technical nature sets in:

Brave man, fear of heights is overcome because of his love of radio. I myself suffer from Phronemophobia, not in myself, but in other people.

So this series goes on for some, then… First, a Notice Of Unauthorized Operation (NOUO), then, A construction permit for a C1 station! Wow!

So, they are currently building out their station and putting up a tower. Check out 89.1 Ken’s FM-KNNZ and see how they are doing.  The call sign is KNNZ, licensed to Hawley, MN.  Real radio, alive and well in some places at least.

I wonder what kind of transmitter that is, I do not recognize it.

Good luck, guys.  I will have to check out the web stream, it sounds like fun.

7 thoughts on “Chasing down a Pirate Radio station”

  1. Hope they put a roof on the building soon after setting the transmitter… It won’t do much good if it get’s wet! That is if folks up there are getting rain…

  2. Hey! That’s my old friend Ken! I knew within 30 seconds of starting that first video that this was a setup. Hearing the extended remix of “It’s My Life” confirmed it- Ken’s been playing that song for years. Thanks for featuring these videos!

  3. I loved hanging out in Ken’s studio, back in the early 2000s my band performed live on his radio show. I remember he had a radio tower right in his backyard, I still drive by his place daily and relive the good ol days!

  4. I am glad to see he is on the air, licensed, at 100 KW. That is impressive. I updated the links section to reflect his new website.

  5. The FCC needs to do this more often, turn a pirate into a legit station, rather than create a problem. If large corporations keep running radio, it will die as a medium. How did he get to 100 KW? Either he had the money, or he got donations. It is good to hear that this has a happy ending with a real license.

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