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Pirate BBC Essex

BBC Essex are running a Pirate radio station off the coast of Harwich. The station will be broadcast from a lightship, LV Eighteen.

Pirate BBC Essex presenter wins top award!

Just spotted that Ray Clark of BBC Essex has won a prestigious award following the radio programmes broadcast on Pirate BBC Essex during Easter 2004.



Timelapse Movies from Pirate BBC Essex studio

For those of you who missed the action in the Pirate BBC Essex studio on board the LV18, or those who just want to be reminded of some great moments, here are some timelapse movies.

Timelapse Movies from LV18 studio

Pirate BBC Essex on AIR

The past few days have been fraught with activity in Harwich. This morning (Saturday 10th April 2004 at 9am), Pirate BBC Essex went LIVE on air, beginning with Ray Clark.

After much experimentation and tweaking, webcam images are now streaming live on the Internet. We are using EvoCam to capture images on board the LV18 and from Ha'penny Pier. Images are captured and uploaded periodically, one set every few minutes, another set every hour.

Take a look at the Pirate BBC Essex website for TXT messages and full size webcam images, plus, take a look at images from the past 12 hours....

You can listen to Pirate BBC Essex on 729, 765 & 1530 MW or, as a LIVE Real Audio stream (you'll need to download the Real Audio player)


Why lollipop? Don't ask, cos I don't know...someone referred to the Pirate Lightship at Harwich as 'Lollipop' - maybe it's the colour?

Cool day, met loads of great people, most of whom from JLA Computers. I managed to get quite an insight into the workings of the company - they go well beyond just installing wireless kit! They know their stuff - that's for sure.

Apart from the wet and windy(!) weather and the seriously 'high' seas, the project is well on track for LIVE broadcasting from Saturday 10th April, make sure you tune in and login to the Pirate BBC Essex site.

Pirate BBC Essex wireless link

One of our biggest challenges in this Pirate BBC Essex radio project is getting a broadband Internet connection to the Lightship anchored half a mile from the Harwich pier. The crew on board the lightship need to receive txt and email messages, as well as stream a webcam video to the Internet.

So a wireless link from the exhibition room to the ship would be just the ticket. Luckily there is a line of sight between the pier and the lightship. Wireless CNP has jumped in to help by loaning us the wireless equipment.

Big thanks go to Wireless CNP.

Matthew Eaves and I intend to make a trip to Harwich to test out the link next week sometime.

Pirate BBC Essex update

Steve Scruton, Ian Wyatt, Tom Warmington, Jonathan Furness, Matthew Eaves and Tim Ellis met at ULTRALAB to discuss the progress on the Pirate BBC Essex radio station.

We talked about the broadband connection (supplied by Nitrex Broadband) and the wireless link, which we've yet to get sorted. Here's the problem...we have broadband Internet at the Ha'penny Pier, the ship is half a mile (750m) from the pier....and, you guessed it, we need to setup a link between the two. So far we have explored a few websites, Sharing your Apple Basestation Experiences and Antenna on the Cheap best start saving Pringles tubes now.

We talked about the 'ship's log blog' but figured the crew had enough to do so we'll leave that one for another day. We did at least come to some decisions about the website, TXT messaging and emails.

I learnt from Tom that the BBC have some very strange (tight) rules around the use of their logo! We are wondering if we'll get away with this one!

Read more about Pirate BBC Essex

'The Link' deserves a plug...on air

Pirate BBC Essex Radio station is soon to go 'on air' - all our efforts are now focused on developing the software which will enable members of the public to TXT message or email the radio presenters whilst on board LV Eighteen, the Lightship from which the broadcast will be made.

We needed to obtain an SMS number and a mobile phone. We went to a number of Mobile phone shops in Chelmsford, asking for "mobile phone numbers which are good for broadcasting on air."

Luckily, many people were keen enough to help us out, they dug through hundreds of numbers, until we found the one, well... sadly it wasn't available so we settled for the next best number. We cheekily asked if they'd lend us a phone for the duration of the Pirate radio broadcast, and in true British style they provided us with a Nokia Picture phone - cool huh!

Our first plug goes to Adam Jamieson & Russ McIntosh at The Link in Chelmsford, cheers guys.

Pirate BBC Essex Radio Station

ULTRALAB and BBC Essex Radio are working together to celebrate 40 years of pirate radio of the Essex shores, to bring you the BBC Essex Pirate Radio Station. The station goes live in April, broadcasting on medium wave frequencies from LV Eighteen - a former lightship owned by the charity Pharos Trust.

The plan is to transmit a wireless signal from Ha'penny Pier in Harwich to the lightship using wireless base station transmitters. This will allow the radio presenters to receive SMS text messages and emails on board LV Eighteen. We also intend to run two webcams, one streaming pictures of the ship from the pier, the other streaming images of the presenters on board to an Internet website.

There is a sizeable crew already formed, including BBC Essex Radio presenters, Steve Scruton, Ian Wyatt, Tom Warmington, and from ULTRALAB....Matthew Eaves, Jonathan Furness, Alex Blanc and Tim Ellis.

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