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Posted on Tuesday, August 29, 2000 - 03:49 pm:   

Radio Daze
During my MNC years there was a craze for running pirate radio stations... at one time there were about eight of them in my corridor alone! Of course, no-one was listening because we were all too busy broadcasting.
I remember once I wanted a quiet night in listening to all my Rush and Genesis records, but I only had them on vinyl and didn't have an auto-changer. Being naturally a bit lazy, I walked across the corridor and handed over a big pile of records to Jason who then spent the next three hours broadcasting my "requests" to me, probably the only listener- now THAT'S what I call service! Inevitably there was a crackdown on the radio underworld (instigated I recall by Mr Taylor who was fed up of having The Archers jammed every day I guess). This was less of a problem for us students than you may think as every corridor had AT LEAST one rock band, so with our other broadcasting avenues closed we simply turned up our guitar amplifiers! Not content with that, Brian Anderson and I managed to connect his amplifier up to the Tannoy system by reversing one of the 70 volt line transformers, and we had a night of Monty Python over the tannoy system.
However did we qualify?

Tony Currie
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2001 - 03:07 pm:   

RE - Pirate Radio

I spent some time at the college in 1988 as a lecturer, and lived on site as a warden. At the time, some of the rooms in Darenth were let out to students at East Bank Polytechnic, which has an annexe in Dartford. Quite a number were female, and they were given an entire floor in Darenth to themselves. I was asked to look after them, and had a suite in the middle, with en-suite bathroom and living room!!

Anyway, some of the students took it upon themselves to set up their own pirate radio station, constructing it from various modules from Maplin, RS and the like. It did work, but caused severe interference to local TV's.

Roger Taylor and I tracked this station down to the room of one of the more troublesome first year sparkies and confiscated the equipment, but impressed by their enthusiasm, we managed to get some funding from the college to enable them to set up a legal station.

We gave them the opportunity to construct their own station, get the appropriate licences and a place to operate, but not one of them took up the offer!

I suppose it was the illegality of the operation that appealled and the chance to brag about being a "pirate radio operator". When it became "proper", the main motive disappeared and it became boring. Stolen apples are more tasty, I suppose.

Posted on Thursday, October 18, 2001 - 03:10 pm:   

Whilst a lecturer at Greenhithe (happiest days of my teaching career!) I taught many hours a week on practical electronics. Many times the students would come to the lab (101) wanting to build/repair various modules. I lost count of the number of circuits I designed for linear amps. The better students were on am and fm.

Unknown to me, as fast as my groups were getting circuits working my mate Roger Taylor was acting as a one man DTI Radiocommunications Interference Unit tracking down the culprits. What fun. From time to time students would borrow oscilloscopes to check the depth of mod etc.

I particularly remember being stuck in traffic on the A2 one morning and virtually the whole of the medium wave was splattered by mnc pirates.

Best wishes to all,
Tim Strickland, now at Hastings College as Director of International specialising in radiocomms!

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