Tom is the founder of Erecta Radio.
The virus caught me rather quickly. When I was 12 years old, I was a phone operator at Radio Marina. This radiostation was also a pirate. Radio Marina broadcasted from Zemst, nearby Mechelen.
Radio Marina was a weekendradio and had as targetaudience "the older people". The leading man behind the station was Bčre Bedford, and with his music, he brought a pleasant change in the lives of the elderly.
But the equipment of Radio Marina was confeslated several times. Now, Radio Marina is gone. The voice of the old people will never speak again ...
Around that time (1985) I had only only 12 years but I knew I wanted to have my own private radio station. So I started to invest. With the money I worked hard for, I bought second hand radio equipment, for a very friendly price. I still have two old record players that must be at least 20 years old. If I look at them, I see a lot of memories.
When I was 13, I started to experiate with C.B. (Citizen Band). So another illegal activity that attracted me. My dad's hair grew grey due to my illegal hobbies! One weekend, when he and my mom came home from a relaxing weekend at the Belgian seaside, he noticed a huge C.B. antenna on the roof of our house. Fortenately, he never said I had to remove the antenna.
So I came into my puberty, a period in a human's life when someone likes to do bad things, things that aren't allowed. To have an illegal C.B. was nice, but going life in the air with my own radiostation, that seemed the top for me. I started to look around for a transmitter. A shop (who doesn't exist anymore due to failure!) sold little transmitters. The power of my first transmitter was limited to only 0,5 Watt, but hey, most illegal radiostations started very small and modest. Those first broadcasts were just for testing, I played music for my neighbour David, who was so kind to listen to me.
Not many listeners, right ? So I needed a bigger transmitter.
Due to my older brother, I met his friend Marc, a graduated
industrial engeneer. Marc built an own transmitter on his own for
us, Radio Erecta. The power of this transmitter was already
increased to 5 Watt.
But the antenna is even more important than a strong transmitter. So I bought a new one for 5 500 Belgian Francs, some 150 US $. This antenna has one dipole. Other radio broadcasters from Mechelen have at least 4 dipoles ... But then again, they have a large income due to commercials, ... Erecta doesn't have any income, but that's another story.
I also placed a announcement on the Dutch Teletext caus I wanted to share my experiences with other illegal radio makers. I met Wim, who has his own illegal radiostation in Zaandam called ASO Radio. One day I travelled to Zaandam to join Live his program activities. That day was great so we decided to make radio programs for each other.
A colleague of Wim is Maarten, who also has his pirate station called Radio Russia who broadcasts in Amsterdam, Holland. Maarten builds transmittor, so we agreed he built one for me too. This new transmitter has 25 Watt and a possibility to broadcast in STEREO ! In Belgium, that's a priviledge that is normally only for the public radio stations.
If you are illegal, you can better make sure that you do it right !!!