FRS History 1990-1999
Of course FRS' main activity was broadcasting on shortwave. But FRS also produced a (free) radio magazine to subscribers in various European countries.
Edition 121 volume 11 January 1993 saw a completely restyled ‘FRS Goes DX’ in a three column A4 format and improved print quality. From now on 32 to 36 pages were produced comparable with 64 to 72 pages in the old 1992 format! And: more photos in the magazine and a much improved lay-out! Finally ‘FRS Goes DX’ had developed into a good-looking, serious and moreover informative and versatile magazine read by many European radio enthusiasts. Annual subscription fee was DM 35.00 or 35 Dutch guilders. New columns were News from around the World’’ , ‘FRS Satellite Telex’ and ‘Made in Holland’. Also Russian and US Free Radio News were included! But it was unique for covering the European Free Radio SW scene’. That same month, we still talk about January 1993, the first edition of a new publication under the name FRS Newsletter was published focussing on informing the listening audience about FRS-Holland. The publication was sent free of charge to all listeners responding to an FRS broadcast.
First on air activities
Programme wise 1993 started on April 18th when broadcast #108 took off, one month too late because of another annoying postal delay in March. The 2+ hour 6200 programmes were widely received resulting in a good start of the 14th FRS broadcasting year. Initially we thought we had to deal with apalling propagation but in the end the contrary happened to be much closer to the truth: although there was some long skip, signal was well heard in large areas. May 23rd-a 4th Sunday due to time pressure- FRS carried out a 4 hour broadcast with no less than 400W via a new relay. Plans to use 7425 were cancelled and to avoid clashing with any other station within the overcrowded 48 mb band, 6400 was used with satisfactory results. It was, according to Peter Verbruggen one of the best regular FRS transmissions of the past few years. Salient detail: two weeks before the broadcast, FRS appproached UK based Radio Atlantis asking them to keep 6400 free. Atlantis behaved as gentlemen and positively responded to our appeal.
The May broadcast was followed by a night time broadcast via the same relay, this time with 150W. Date was Saturday July 10th into Sunday July 11th. Programmes ran on 6275 from 00:30- 03:00 CEST. The signal path was relatively short which is quite remarkable considering it took place in the middle of the night. Quoting Peter Verbruggen in FRS goes DX #124 (August 1993): "Shortwave propagation is a very elusive phenemenon and that will never change!" Three months later on Sunday October 17th, FRS’ 13th birthday was celebrated. Since October 1990, these celebrations were done in October instead of August because October propagation appeared to be much better compared with August. Four hours were planned via two different relays, already used in the past: frequencies were respectively 6285 (08:50-13:15 UTC) & 6200 (11:00- 13:15 UTC) kHz. In addition we gave it a try on 11406 kHz/26 mb. An hourly loop tape at 09:30, 10:30 and 11:30 on 6275 informed the listening audience about the FRS 13th anniversary broadcast.(promo spots annoucing 13th anniversary and 13th Anniversary Competition)
Main ingredients that Sunday: memories, 80s/90s music (1980-1993), audio clips from the past 13 years & a listener’s competition. And not without success looking at the almost 100 reports from a total of 12 European countries which poured in. 6200 apppeared to be the strongest outlet while 6285 was also doing very well. 11406 only produced 2 reports! Tony Mitchell put Peter Verbruggen in touch with Andy Walker from UK station WGAS, successor of well-known UK based WNKR. That station offered FRS relay possibilities and the first one should go out Sunday November 21st 1993. It would be the first November broadcast in 4 years time. The 4 hour schedule was planned on 6275 between 10:00- 14:00 CET and programmes had to be recorded in a great haste. First thought was that the tapes hadn’t arrived in time. A telephone call was made and Andy Walker’s answer was quite explicit: the secret WGAS transmitting location was betrayed to the UK authorities. All hurry being for nothing! As the week after WGAS would go on air, it was FRSH’s turn two weeks later on Sunday December 5th 10:00-14:00 followed by a repeat 14:00-18:00 hours CET. Indeed, FRS was no less than 8 hours on 6280. Signal was affected by utility, the noise level was quite high and the modulation level seemed a bit on the low side. Two weeks later on the 19th of December the X-Mas Special was planned but a WGAS relay was not possible. Another relay station would be helping out and on Wednesday December 22nd programmes were taped and the DX Show prepared. A local flood prevented Peter Verbruggen from finishing the job, he had to leave his house for a few days.