FRS History 1990-1999


And so- after a rather disappointing year 1994 - FRS entered 1995.

Looking for new facilities
It was a fact FRSH did have excellent transmitting facilities but having a good, reliable and safe location was quite a different story. Previous attempts to bring back FRS in a more regular way had failed. Even former Delmare person Johan Rood was contacted for helping FRS out. A new relay facility turned up via the SWR-Switzerland/ IRRS. SWR-Switzerland had a contract with the Italian IRRS for leasing the 10 kW 7125 SW outlet (30 kW ERP!!) and SWRS on their turn leased air time to several interested Free Radio stations in Western Europe. Programmes were aired each Saturday between 13.00-15.00 CET with repeats the next Saturday between 09.30-10.30 CET &15.00-16.00 CET. It was a non-profit association founded in 1993 aiming to encourage Free Radio programming on SW and help small radio programmers to air through official, high power, legal stations. Relays via the IRRS were running for just over a year. The proposed February 18th broadcast via SWR-Switzerland had to be cancelled. As most broadcasting time was already occupied, FRS had to await further developments. On Easter Saturday April 15th FRS-Holland’s first legal broadcast took place and was radiated across Europe. SWR-Switzerland’s key figure Peter Galliker arranged the broadcast which was on 7125 kHz between 13.00-15.00 CET. The signal was loud and clear and a satisfactory number of reports were received. Not to forget: the March #46 of the famous German Radio News magazine a Pop Poll was included. FRS-Holland was voted as #1 in the catagory Favourite Free Radio stations.

RadioNews46 cover Radio Welt & Night time broadcast
In May the German Radio Welt magazine carried an article about FRS-Holland. In the night of Saturday June 3rd into Sunday June 4th FRSH carried out a special night time broadcast on 6273 kHz.  This broadcast was connected to the EDXC conference in Denmark. Skip tended to be very long that night implying many listeners were unable to pick up FRSH.

15th Birthday 
Following the June broadcast not much happened till October when the 15th birthday would be celebrated. This time the approach was a bit different from the usual anniversary format: so-called Fact Files were aired- info blocks covering one particular aspect from the FRS history. FRS went to a location never been used before with its own transmitting equipment. The site was offered by a German friend of Peter Verbruggen. A complete new FRS studio was finished days before the actual broadcast and late at night the ‘FRS Goes DX Show’ had to be recorded. A drive of some 100 km had to be made in the early hours of Sunday October 15th.  At exactly 09.52 CET FRS took to the air on 6286 kHz. 
Several radio enthusiasts visited the FRS site that beautiful autumn Sunday. At 15:45 CET FRS left the airwaves after almost 6 hours of broadcasting. Several calls learnt that the signal was widely received in Europe although FRS had to deal with relatively long skip. That same evening we were informed that the transmitter had been producing so-called images and that  apart from 6286, FRS had been noticed on for instance 6260. Even in Scotland that signal had been picked up! It appeared the driving stage of the FRS transmitter wasn’t tuned up properly. After all we could be happy with almost 60 letters being received. And the listener: they could be happy with that special FRS Birthday QSL. 

QSL series8 Oct1995 15thAnn front

QSL series8 Oct1995 15thAnn back

New technical developments
Although on the broadcasting side 1995 was a year of not too many activities, there were certainly interesting developments. A new challenge was the fact we were now able to produce jingles and promos with the help of new sophisticated software linked with a PC soundcard.

CoolEdit 1Fantastic sound productions could be produced and Joop ter Zee- the man in charge of the jingle productions- was in high spirits when playing with all this digital stuff in his studio. On one hand productions could become much more accurate, on the other hand a great number of different sound effects could be used adding new dimensions to the newly produced FRS jingles.  In other words: productions sounded more professional, contained higher technical standards and Joop could achieve results which were previously unfeasible.

[Examples Joop ter Zee jingle productions around 1995/ 1996]

Another great tool was the MiniDisc 2Minidisc, a Sony invention. As far as the consumer's market was concerned, the sales of the MD didn’t seem not to be what Sony had hoped for (similar to its digital counterpart DCC from Philips). But the MD was and still is an ideal tool when it comes to relatively low budgeted radio studios. On one tiny little disc you can record  a complete jingle package  knowing that one disc has a a maximum of 80 minutes and 250 tracks. MD equipment has instant starting facilities, just like a CD player but there's more. It has a jog shuttle quickly enabling one to select whatever track he wants. And: it contains sophisticated editing functions. A 3rd and very important development was the worldwide internet. Communicating via E(lectronic)-mail could make things much faster and easier. A good example: sending a reception report during a broadcast. FRS-Holland’s first e-mail address was: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. inspiring Joop ter Zee to create a fast moving promo spot. Now attention for the broadcasts. In all fairness we had to admit that it was certainly not our intention to become a station only popping up during anniversaries and X-Mas occasions. We strove for  more broadcasts although at the same time we realized that would be very hard to achieve because of lack of suitable broadcasting sites. 1995 ended with FRS’ 15th X-Mas broadcast which took place on Christmas Eve Sunday December 24th. FRS Goes DX magazine #137 contained a blank form on which listeners could fill in their X-Mas and New Year Greetings. A success since many forms were returned to the FRS mailbox: it probably was an all time record! The X-Mas spirit emanated from the same location as the one being used back in the previous October transmission. That meant an early Sunday morning car drive had to be undertaken to the transmitting site. At 09.30 CET programmes commenced on 6280 with 120W, sadly without Tony Mitchell. A move was made to 6289 because of interference with Radio Free London. Very long skip made it very difficult to have a clear overview which colleague stations were on the air. Fact is propagation was far from good. Unique was FRSH would also carry out its programming on long wave. In the end that experiment failed.

There was also sadness….in the FRS Goes DX X-Mas edition Peter Verbruggen featured a Norman Nelson tribute. He was the station OP of one of the UK’s best known and most popular SW stations: Radio East Coast Commercial. he passed away November 22nd at the age of only 49. In addition FRS goes DX magazine #138 paid attention to Norman's sudden death, a shock for many people within the SW Free Radio community. 


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