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Yes is / was mate, and as you know quite public! Our policy was be seen and left alone rather than be seen trying not to be seen and raising unwanted attention! Because in the long run we were left alone and so the theory proved to work very well for us, our other three sites were equally as open / public.
On the technical side of things our longwire antennas were always totally isolated and completely free standing both ends ie both feed end and termination point. Most pirates sites we visited were all the same ie the wire going directly in to the tree at the transmitter end of which is so wasteful RF wise as this creates capacitance from the wire to the leaves and branches! Drastically reducing the amount of actual radiated power. Earth wise we used a spider web of random lengths of ground wire each attached to copper rods two foot long fully submerged both rods and wire this was a permanent install at all of our sites. On the day of transmission we would also run a ground plane directly under the longwire end to end. Plus we would run two counterpoise quarter wave lengths at 90 degrees from the chaise of the TX. We found to match the signal of most local land based Pirates we didn't need to run more than 10w to equal their 50w plus this gave us much more battery available capacity hence we could be on much longer without our signal being weekend by the dying batteries. Our five AM TX's were all transistor and each one variable between 10 and 80w so again very efficient current drain wise. Most of the day we only ran 10w but once it started to get a little dark we would increase the power accordingly giving us upto a 9db signal increase so very substantial.We were also able to modulate the carrier upto 110 percent with out any distortion what so ever! Using purpose wound modulation transformers with precise characteristics wound by a small transformer company just south of the river for me. The average modulation percentage was only 65 / 85 max percent on most of the other pirate TX's so this gave the elusion we were so much more powerful by comparison not bad from only 10w though.
Boy I do so miss those great times.
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Link: FREE RADIO
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