The Superstation Incident

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The Superstation Incident

Postby Andy » Nov 13th, '08, 23:38

Hello chaps. Just a few notes regarding the Superstation bit in the Manchester Pirates audio clips. In the early/mid 90's, 'The Superstation' set up a transmitter just about a mile from my home, on top of a hill. It was fed by a link on about 215 MHz from the centre of a nearby town. Well, you know how these things are.... I couldn't resist! I didn't know any of the people involved and I could have found myself in seriously hot water, but I just had to do it, so I knocked up a small FM TX for 215 MHZ and cobbled a portable cassettte playback system together so I could use it from the car. One night, after they had turned off their link (and the main TX had cut off) I drove up to a hill with a clear view of their link receiving antenna and put my TX on. Up came their main TX and I started my tape, which was just a load of old offshore bits. It lasted about ten minutes, and when I turned it off, the Superstation came straight on and started getting all shirty! Can't think why! As you can hear on the tape, they seemed to know exactly who I was. Although it got a bit hot for a few nights, Dave from the Superstation rang me up and we had a good laugh about it. We're still friendly to this day.
Last edited by Andy on Apr 7th, '09, 22:51, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Superstation Incident

Postby thepostieles » Nov 14th, '08, 20:57

What year were they on Andy? Did they last long and what freq. All good fun eh? :D
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Re: The Superstation Incident

Postby Andy » Nov 14th, '08, 22:53

Hi Les - All I can say is that it was the early 90's. Let's see, I was driving the Toyota Corolla hatchback at the time, so it must have been before 1993. Superstation didn't last very long, although they made a real effort to be professional and I think they even managed a few weeks of 24-hour operation. I became friendly with Dave the main man, although their engineer was always a bit suspicious of me!
Speaking of links, there's a community station around here that links on 1517 MHz. I can hear the link fairly well, as it goes almost over my house to the hill behind me where they have their transmitter. It's very tempting, but I don't think it would be right, somehow. Even I have my principles! :lol:
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Re: The Superstation Incident

Postby thepostieles » Nov 15th, '08, 15:19

Why not go for the hat trick, Aquarius just by Piccadilly, then just by the Superstation, now the community thingy lol :D
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Re: The Superstation Incident

Postby Gary Phillips » Nov 19th, '08, 17:16

Hi Andy. The Super Station audio recording is great and I must admit their DJ does sound rather pi**ed off at you. You were lucky to survive such an incident! The lynch mob was almost despatched Ha ha

Anyway, thanks for the image of The Super Station car sticker. It's now uploaded to the 'Memorabilia' section of Merseypirates. Direct link to site is; www.merseypirates.com
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Re: The Superstation Incident

Postby Gary Phillips » Nov 19th, '08, 17:21

Les, according to their sticker on the 'memorabilia' section of the Merseypirates.com web site, it looks like The Super Station was on 97.7FM :)

thepostieles wrote:what year were they on andy? did they last long and what freq.all good fun eh? :D
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Re: The Superstation Incident

Postby geoff m. stereo » Mar 6th, '09, 20:40

Up until around 1995, I was an engineer/presenter on a weekend pirate in Withington, Manchester.

I am pretty sure the following occurred in early summer 1993, but it might have been 94. For a few years in the early 90's, The Superstation was resurrected each summer on 97.7FM. I was working in London during the week and occasionally driving back to Manchester up the M1 and across the snake. Descending into Manchester one Friday night on the A57, and whilst most stations in the northwest come booming in, The Superstation was really blasting in. Obviously I couldn't resist and over the weekend, out came the DF equipment and the transmitter was fairly quickly discovered, just across Mottram Cutting from Harrop Edge. I'm fairly sure the link frequency that year was 177.5. The studio was a rented office in a converted mill in Ashton. I remember being foxed for a little while by nearby power lines interfering with my DF efforts, which it turned out were scarcely necessary anyway as the TX antenna was a large vertical beam, pointed into Manchester and clearly visible for hundreds of yards around.

I have to hold up my hands and admit to hijacking the odd link myself, and The Superstation would almost certainly have been next had they not got to me first. Shortly after this time, a mistake by an on-air presenter on my station led to the "Suspicious" Superstation engineer you mentioned, plus his mate, paying us a visit. They'd traced our signal to the road we were using, but weren't able to pinpoint the house. Luckily for them our presenter had made a comment about the engineer driving around in a "dodgy looking red Cavalier". So, the next time I rolled up at the studio in said Cavalier, I was closely followed up the path by 2 Superstation engineers who'd been waiting in the road. They knocked on the door and announced "Don't worry we're not the DTI"...

I was able to con them into letting me follow them back and take a look at the Superstation's studio, complete with Maplin mixer and a large framed photo of the Ross Revenge in the corner. I too met Dave, the main man who eyed me suspiciously and asked if I'd present a programme for him the following day. Sadly this gig never materialised - I think Dave thought the better of it!
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Re: The Superstation Incident

Postby Andy » Mar 10th, '09, 19:38

An excellent story, Geoff - I feel I should know you...?

The main TX site at Hobson Moor (just across from Harrop Edge) was the site in use, and their studio with the Maplin mixer and what-not was in the same office by the sound of it. After the 'incidence' they challenged me to DF their studio which I did very quickly with just an Icom R100 scanner and a home-made dipole. Their faces when I rolled up outside the mill were priceless!
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Re: The Superstation Incident

Postby Gary Phillips » Mar 12th, '09, 11:52

Hello Geoff, welcome to the Merseypirates forum and thanks for your first posting.

I find all the chat from both you and Andy fascinating as regards the pirate scene in Manchester, but obviously cannot comment on it too much as I know little or nothing about it, but great chat all the same. I do know similar things happened on the Merseyside pirate scene, pirates were always tracking each other down, some of it was just friendly rivalry at the time, but some stations were not so friendly with each other and incidents of knocking down aerials, jamming, raids, fake raids and various other threats were quite commonplace at one time. So thank God everyone is mates now though eh! :shock: :D
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Re: The Superstation Incident

Postby geoff m. stereo » Mar 21st, '09, 19:25

Hi guys, it's great to be here!

Andy, we've never met unless of course, you were one of the crowd of Superstation types crammed into that small room in Good Hope Mill in 1993. It's possible we've talked though, as I was a G1 in the 80's. I'll have to dig out the log and have a look. Obviously we won't have been talking about any of this stuff - I once mentioned pirate radio and was told by a prominent member of the repeater group that listening to KFM had been "worse than CB"!

Gary, there was plenty of rivalry amongst the Manchester pirates. In the mid 80's, there were fallings out between the Stockport lot. The late 80's saw the ethnics in town at it and in the 90's, the Stockport boys were at it again - mostly a new crop of pirates this time (apart from one of the originals) but still Stockport and it's suburbs, and still at each other's throats. Even the Superstation (allegedly) had their studio in Ashton broken into through the loft and things taken.

During the time when my station was active in the mid-1990s, I'd scan the FM band for pirates and when one appeared, the "dodgy red Cavalier" would roll into action. The local pirates with small coverage areas were dead easy to find with just a scanner and a rubber duck - we're talking Bramhall, Woodley, Stockport, Cheadle, Gatley, Heald Green... I'm sure you've an idea which ones I'm talking about. Some covered huge areas and weren't so easy. I was stumped by The Superstation when it moved up Bury way around 94/95. The biggest one of the lot was Carousel. I was briefly involved with the Carousel people but before this time, I'd traced their link (easy) on around 176MHz. The main signal on Band II wasn't so easy... estimated at 2.4KW ERP, end-stop all the way across the Cheshire plain and Liverpool! Obviously it was up the high peak somewhere, but exactly where was anyone's guess. Through word of mouth however everyone got to know where it was and this resulted in their TX getting stolen one weekend and the police involved. The bloke who owned the gear had assumed, rightly, that the Old Bill would be more interested that something had been nicked, than what it actually was. Still, it must have taken some balls to call them in...

That's all for now! I will be sending some audio in soon!
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Re: The Superstation Incident

Postby Gary Phillips » Mar 29th, '09, 02:50

Hi Geoff. Very interesting stuff once again, particularly the guy who informed the Police that his illegal transmitter had been stolen! hee hee I dont think I would have the bottle to do that! :o :shock:

Any recordings you have would indeed be appreciated Geoff and so thanks in advance for that :)
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Re: The Superstation Incident

Postby nick00 » May 14th, '12, 06:31

those were the days,i was the operator of fab fm from woodley,i was good friends with dave miller of the superstation & john marsden from wild 107.7.When we moved to 97.7 in 94 we had just purchased the superstation transmitter from dave.As for his engineer friend ian walsh he was a little arrogant & nasty with it.We decided to call it a day at the end of 1995 due to other commitments.And came back for a short stint in 97 as nrg 107.9fm broadcasting from stockport town center via a link on 444.4mhz to site on werneth low.but the spark had gone so i decided to give it up altogether.
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Re: The Superstation Incident

Postby Andy » Jun 14th, '12, 14:43

Hi Nick. Interesting stuff, the Stockport area seemed pretty hot for pirate activity in the late 80's and early 90's. I find your comments re Ian Walsh rather mystifying - I've known Ian since the early 70's and I've always found him a friendly and obliging type. Perhaps he was going through a bad patch!
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Re: The Superstation Incident

Postby Steve Martin » Jul 30th, '12, 14:57

I certainly remember listening to KFM from Stockport in the early 80's. They were really professional, I think it was somewhere around 94 FM and reception in Wirral was really good.
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Re: The Superstation Incident

Postby radiokarl » Jul 30th, '12, 21:25

KFM had a great signal on 94.2 in 1984. They got raided and came back on 1017 AM (i think). Another station from that area was Smalltown Radio which changed its name to Southside Radio on 92.1.
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Re: The Superstation Incident

Postby nick00 » Aug 26th, '12, 19:54

smalltown radio was owned by paul wood,he decided to change it to southside radio as his backer liz suggested the change because it sounded better.the frequency change from 92.1 to 103 was for better coverage from thier transmitter site on werneth low.the studio was a top notch one too,based upstairs at cobdens place in stockport town center.
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Re: The Superstation Incident

Postby Phil » Sep 25th, '14, 10:14

I was raided on Southside on 15 March 1985. I was ironically playing a song by the Police!!! They came in with the DTI and started packing up the studio kit. I left the mic open but I am still searching for audio from the raid. The DTI guys jumped out of their skin when Paul had raced up to wernerth to unplug the tx!! Sudden static fm hiss from the monitor in studio. Southside was on 103 at the time. ... soon to be taken by Key 103 aka Piccadilly. Anyone recall this.... SOUTHSIDE 103 - SOLID AS A ROCK
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