Your Own Private Pirate TV Station


On thursday 20-11-08 members of media collective !Mediengruppe Bitnik gave a workshop demonstrating how to quickly build a short range Television station from readymade electronic parts that are easily available in your local electronics store.
Building the broadcast station allows you to broadcast through the ether, the broadcast can be received on TV’s or VHS recorders with an antenna-in. This DIY broadcast station costs around 200 euro’s to make.

vouwblad2 vouwblad

To explain how to construct the station they produced a small zine with instructions. Here you can download an A4 file (150k, PDF) Print this out doublesided, fold it according to the instructions below and there you have your beautiful pocket size manual. Carmen adds instructions:

When you print the zine, it is important to print full size (do not scale to paper size) in order for the front / back and the cutting mark to fit.

Here are some links on how to fold the pocket zine (or also make an own one).
There are several sources who claim to be the inventors of the pocket zine, these are the best three:

Sam Proof on

Elizabeth Genco on

Metacafe on!/

Why Make Your own Private Pirate TV Station?
“Freedom is fostered when the means of communication are dispersed, decentralized, and easily available, as are printing presses or microcomputers. Central control is more likely when the means of communication are concentrated, monopolized, and scarce, as are great networks. (…) The onus is on us to determine whether free societies in the twenty-first century will conduct electronic communication under the conditions of freedom established for the domain of print through centuries of struggle, or whether that great achievement will become lost in a confusion about new technologies.”
Technologies of Freedom, Ithiel de Sola Pool (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1984)

Here are some video’s of the workshop:
Video of the workshop 36 min, ogg/theora, 384 x 288, 500 kbps, 142 mb.

A short (and incomplete) history of tv hacking 35 min, ogg/theora, 384 x 288, 500 kbps, 136 mb.

Posted on: Sunday, January 18, 2009 by: in category: Collaborative Online Video workshop, Hardware, Manuals