The knack: How to be a pirate DJ

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Indy Lifestyle Online
"The first step to stardom, and possibly a court appearance, is a simple studio. You need a second-hand mobile DJ desk, including turntables, or CD players, plus the vital microphone and mixer. Into this plugs a cassette machine or mini disc player for adverts and jingles. Now, the illegal part - the transmitter. If you're technically clever you could build your own, but most people get them ready-made. About pounds 500 could get you started and ads can be found in Exchange & Mart and The Radio Magazine.

As soon as your broadcasts begin, expert pirate-hunters from the DTI will try to stop you, and prosecute you into the bargain (fines, imprisonment, a five-year ban from working in legit radio are among the risks). Promoting pirate radio is also illegal, so I point you in no particular direction. Eventual capture is inevitable, but longevity is best assured by never causing interference to other operators, especially the emergency services. Being mobile helps to avoid detection. You can record your programmes and send them from transmitters powered by car batteries hidden in woods and fields, or link your main transmitter to a smaller one; when the main one is detected, cut the link and start up somewhere else.

Alternatively, buy a radio licence, which gives you the right to broadcast on minute power for 28 days, for about pounds 3,000. So you've got a choice - broadcast free as a bird while awaiting the heavy knock on the door, or pay dearly for legality, avoiding that meeting with the magistrate." Interview by Fiona McClymont

Peter Moore is the general manager of Radio Caroline, the sole survivor of the Sixties marine pirate broadcasters.