FRS Newsletter/ FRS Summer Splash

The FRS-Holland format sounds different, just a bit different.
Tuesday , 11 June 2024
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Antenna troubles & Argentina

During the early part of the January transmission, FRS-Holland was received in the U.S.A, quite exceptional knowing this happened after 09.00 GMT, a time when chances of being received across the Atlantic are virtually nil. On Saturday January 31st, one day before the 5th Sunday transmission together with E.M.R., it was discovered that two of the ropes which were permanently hanging on the location since a few months, were pulled out of the trees. In the darkness one new piece of rope was thrown into a tree and the following morning the FRS people were unsuccessful in getting the missing rope on the right place. Therefore only one aerial could be hung up and thus 6250 remained silent that Sunday. Also in February FRS-Holland was only on 41 metres. It was a cold sunny day and conditions apperared to be excellent. Nobody could imagine that it was a kind of historical day in the life of the station because the surprise came a few weeks later when Peter V. received a package of mail containing reception reports for the February broadcast. When opening the package he couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw a letter/report from as far away as Argentina.

January 1982: Report from Argentina

Programme changes

Programme-wise there were a number of changes in the first eight months of 1982. Chris stopped presenting the German Service for the time being but afterwards it turned out that his January 1982 Show was the last one he did for FRS-Holland. However: he became co-presenter of the ILLS, together with Peter V. George Strong was taking over the German Service as from March 1982 onwards. We asked him to recall a few memories from the period he worked for FRS-Holland. Through the years he remained a faithful listener of the FRS programmes on shortwave. And: he would again surface on the station many, many years later….

FRSH_21-03-1982_debut Georg Strong[1:55]

Long skip; Listener’s Club


During the April broadcast FRS was forced to leave 7315 because Radio Woodstock, a Scottish station, used 7315 too. This was, to say the least, strange knowing FRS already continuously used 7315 since January 1981. However, FRS still got a 7325 x-tal and so most of the broadcast took place on this channel. Coincident or not, just like May 1981, the May 1982 broadcast was aired on a 4th Sunday, this time for internal organizational reasons. How difficult it sometimes was to get the aerials properly in the trees was proved by the fact work was finished only 2 minutes before the planned commencement on May 23rd. For the second time in succession 7325 had to be used, this time it was caused by a teleprinter. One week later the second 5th Sunday 1982 broadcast went by without incidents. June 20th could have been one of those normal 3rd Sundays, however a strange phenomenon called long skip surfaced making things rather confusing. It was in fact the very first time FRS-Holland experienced the effects of such strange conditions: a relatively low number of letters but on the other hand reports from remote countries as far away as Italy and Finland! For many faithful FRS listeners reception was impossible simply because they were living within the so called dead zone, an area which was skipped by the signal’s sky wave. Particularly in the summer period long skip conditions could greatly affecting a broadcast witness the fact that FRS could hardly be received in the Netherlands during the July 18th transmission. One thing may not be forgotten: it was June 1982 when the FRS Listenersclub 1982 was officially founded. Main idea behind this club was informing dedicated FRS listeners in detail about FRS by means of a monthly magazine entitled ‘FRS Goes DX. Also the offshore scene and short wave free radio scene were covered in the mag. Through the years ‘FRS Goes DX’ developed into a good-looking and very informative and up-to-date magazine, read by people spread around the world. July 1982, saw George Strong’s farewell show only after having presented the German Show for only five months. Michael was his successor being the 3rd presenter of the German Service within two years.
The fact that FRS-Holland was responsible for putting out its own programmes could result in funny, strange, unexpected but also risky situations as already having been put forward earlier in this story. Hear PV’s story how he got out of a very tricky situation August 15th 1982 ….
Reason for the police’s curiosity could be simply explained: they found Peter’s car unlocked on a rather strange spot near the road. Peter was in a hurry and he (and his mate) forgot to lock the car.


FRSH_August 1982_PV about Incident [5:30]
FRSH_18-07-1982_mixPxs [2:02]
FRSH_15-08-1982_mixPxs [1:50]

Joop ter Zee returns

FRSH_15-08-1982_SoundsAlternatives [2:08]
FRSH_August 1982_JterZee about return [3:33]

August 29th saw no 5th Sunday broadcast because of the happenings two weeks earlier. Peter V. felt it was better to keep the station silent for a few weeks… The 3rd Sunday September 1982 broadcast had to be cancelled. When arriving in the wood to erect the aerials on Saturday evening at 19.30, much too our surprise we were in the middle of a party going on, organised by Bobby Speed’s younger brother. Most of the partygoers planned to sleep at the location, so it was goodbye 3rd Sunday. One week later on Sunday September 26th the transmission took place in the pouring rain. Already on Saturday evening the aerial was erected and all transmitting gear was left behind on the secret location….in the pouring rain because later that evening and the entire night it was raining cats and dogs. As a result Peter had quite some difficulties in tuning up the rig properly that Sunday morning: the tx had become a little wet. Although Peter was convinced that the tx wasn’t tuned up properly, the opposite was the case witness a call from Barry Stephens receiving 7315 kHz with a superb signal that morning! The following programme schedule, which would remain unchanged till October 1983, was to be heard (see below!) 

October: new car battery; CBN Radio Australia

CBN telegram about cancelling FRS relay in Australia
Original CBN px cassette
FRS programme schedule till October 1983

Sunday October 17th and 31st saw good conditions and passed by without serious problems. Although…there was always ‘something’ which happened in those days and perhaps that is just making operations on a secret location very exciting! On the 3rd October Sunday, FRS had to switch to 7310 because of utility on 7315 and 7325. For the two hour 5th Sunday broadcast on October 31st no less than 50 letters were received. Sounds Alternative was repeated because two weeks earlier Radio Tirana Int. using 7310 was causing interference after 13:00 CET. The 48 mb rig was about to be put back in service in October but the inverter converting the car battery’s 12V into 320v HT failed to start up. Talking of car batteries: a brand new & heavy 320 Amps car battery was achieved to power the 10W rigs as from October 31st onwards. In this way there wouldn’t be any more problems with car batteries going flat by the end of a broadcast.
On October 31st FRSH launched a first: Australian Clandestine Broadcasting Network (CBN) was relayed for 60 minutes. It was originally intended for August. In the 1982 Summer FRS was approached by CBN. They liked to introduce themselves to a European audience. In return FRS would be relayed from Sydney. Certainly an interesting prospective. The broadcast was a success partly due to the favourable band conditions. Already in July FRS aired a 15 minute Free Radio Spot introducing CBN to its audience.
It was disappointing that the FRS relay in Australia had to be cancelled. CBN sent a telegram to the Dedemsvaart address in which they made mention of ‘studio problems’. A relay on a later date never took place.

New 40W rigs, failed test; pop poll

In the mean time two new 40W transmitters were obtained by FRS-Holland. Both were former E.M.R. transmitters which had almost never been used because Barry Stephens had always been very satisfied with his 10W transmitters. It was the idea to use at least one of these rigs in the New Year. For that reason on the 3rd November Saturday, one of these rigs would be put into service as a kind of test (one day before the regular 3rd Sunday broadcast). The test was announced in ‘FRS goes DX’ edition #5 from October. Followed by an explanation in edition #6 (December): the test had to be cancelled because of an issue with the power supply. In retrospect a pity as the 40W rigs would never been put into service, see January 1983.
In November FRS News, an UK free radio magazine published the results of an pop poll and FRS-Holland took up a fair 5th position behind stations such as Caroline SW and Radio Nova Dublin. Talking of magazines…the famous Dutch Free Radio Magazine published part 1 of a two-volume article about the Free Radio Service Holland. More information in the 1983 article
With the traditional X-Mas Party FRS said goodbye to 1982. Sunday December 19th it was the first time since January that two frequencies were occupied. It was not the original 10W transmitter but one of the new 40W transmitters being used on 6237 kHz in the 48 mb. A new auto reverse cassette machine was installed enabling the FRS people to return only once for a tape change during an entire broadcast, a further reduction of the risk being caught by the authorities.

FRSH_19-12-1982_XMasParty(1) [2:22]
FRSH_19-12-1982_XMasParty (2) [3:55]