FRS Newsletter/ FRS Summer Splash

The FRS-Holland format sounds different, just a bit different.
Tuesday , 11 June 2024
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Relay problem; Test 41 mb

FRS sticker aboard Caroline ship late 80s

Reception was, despite the 40W of power, only fair and particularly in Great Britain FRS-Holland’s signal was poor. The main problem was that FRSH didn’t have a regular relay station. That implied great uncertainty and extra efforts because Peter Verbruggen had to try to arrange something, again and again every single month. It took a lot of time to find a suitable relay-station. Time which could have been better spent for preparations on the programming side of the station. Another disadvantage was that sometimes a relay was arranged just before a 3rd Sunday resulting in an enormous time pressure because programmes had to be recorded in a great hurry, a demanding job taking into account all the work had to be done in spare time. The situation as described just happened in February when there seemed to be no-one willing to put the FRS programmes on the air. As a result it looked like the 3rd Sunday transmission had to be cancelled but at the very last moment there was a a go ahead for a 4th Sunday transmission. Although…on February 19th there was a short test on 6315 with our spare transmitter. This 10W unit was modified and its output was increased to 20W. With a ‘thank you’ to our Hoogeveen friends.
The 26th February transmission was, apart from a regular one, also a test because a 41 mb frequency was being used. FRS was keen on re-using 7315 as it was this frequency which used to provide excellent reception in the early 1980s. At the beginning of 1989 conditions were improving bit by bit and we felt it was worth trying the 41 mb and in particular 7315. February would be the first month of a series of 41 mb transmissions. Reception on 7315 (100W) was splendid but some of the UK listeners suffered splatter from the powerful BBC outlet operating on 7325. Continental listeners were having no trouble at all. Salient detail: the broadcast was conducted by two stations: the first one signed off at 11:30 CET, the second one continued till 13:00 CET.
We had serious hopes to relaunch a regular 3rd Sunday service with a fresh programme schedule on a fixed frequency as from March 1989 onwards. There was not much time left to prepare the March 3rd Sunday broadcast and therefore it was decided to once again move out to the 4th Sunday broadcast coinciding with the  Easter weekend. FRS got the chance to put out a 5 hour schedule (10:00- 15:00 CET) from a brand new, temporary location. While the morning progressed, the signal was getting stronger and stronger and Radio Tirana was totally nulled out by FRS-Holland’s 60W transmitter operating on 7314.5 kHz. March 19th FRS aired a loop tape on 6240 announcing the upcoming Easter broadcast .

FRSH_15-01-1989_mixJocks [3:48]
FRSH_26-03-1989 Easter_mixPxs [5:22]

‘FRS goes DX’

Part of the March DX-Show was a special feature on the occasion of Radio Caroline’s 25th Birthday. A good moment to offer Peter Verbruggen the opportunity to reveal some facts about about one of FRS-Holland’s most listened to programmes …

More 41 mb

Two 41 mb transmissions were, in the eyes of FRSH, not enough to draw a well considered conclusion regarding the use of the 7315 spot on the dial. More transmissions had to be carried out to justify a final conclusion. The next 41 mb broadcast was on May 21st 1989, following an occasional 48 mb transmission on 6240 on April 16th. During that one indeed 7315 was announced together with a 48 mb frequency. Due to a ‘jamming station’ on 7315, we were forced to cancel the broadcast. 7315 was so strong that it would have become a complete failure. For that reason only 6240 was on air. Programmes went out via two different transmitters. Till mid morning a 30W rig was operational, the second half was carried out with 20W from the Magic Forest.
May 21st: due to the BBC splatter the original 7315 frequency had already been slightly moved down the band to 7310 kHz which proved to be a good choice. Even on transistor radios a nice signal was audible, proving the strength of the 60W signal. Hardly any UK listener reported about 7325 splatter from the BBC. What was disappointing in the first months of 1989 was the lack of response from listeners. For the programme makers quite discouraging because of all time and efforts spent on the shows. It was common knowledge that several shortwave stations had to deal with this problem, especially UK stations. To give a good example: the UK response for FRS transmissions only was some 30% of what it used to be.
Not to forget: FRS introduced a new slogan. ‘FRS-Holland, the Quality One on Shortwave’. ​This new slogan was supported by new jingles and a sticker.

FRSH, the Quality One on SW [0:05]

Summer oldies; new Herten maildrop

FRS goes DX promo 1989 [1:56]

Sunday June 25th would be the last (90th) FRS transmission for the the time being. A tremendous signal was ruling the 7310 frequency and to mark the new Summer, only flashbacks were being played: Motown, California Sounds, Mersey Beat, Bubble Gum & Glitterrock. Holidays forced to cancel the July transmission. And so the 9th Birthday would be a good opportunity to introduce a number of new programme ideas and jingles. But that was still a long way off and there was another important forthcoming change. After thorough consideration it was decided to use a new mailing address. The well known P.O.Box 41 in Dedemsvaart, the Netherlands had been used for just over 8 years. Main reason was that it took too long before letters were forwarded from Dedemsvaart to the FRS headquarters. People had to wait too long before getting their reply or order. Most of these 8 years Dedemsvaart had been providing a very reliable and good service. In 1989 things deteriorated, thus resulting in a new address: P.O.Box 2727, 6049 ZG Herten, The Netherlands. Various colleague stations and free radio magazines were approached to announce our new address.

New jingles & usa voice over

Original US voice-over master cassettes

Return on air; new tx equipment

During the period August- October no programmes were recorded and preparations with regard to producing new jingles (see ‘New jingles & USA voice over’) and programme ideas progressed very slowly, mainly due to a lack of time. One of the reasons for not being on air so long was finances. Lots and lots of money had been spent on leasing airtime, it was just getting enough. And so the idea came up to once again be in charge of our own broadcasts. In other words: buying new transmitting equipment. In the course of 1989 FRS-Holland indeed purchased some new equipment for carrying out occasional transmissions. The first serious broadcast with an own transmitter was carried out on Sunday November 12th and at the same moment it was FRS’ return after almost 5 months of silence. The transmission was carried out on 7308 kHz with a x-tal controlled 150W transmitter having four of those lovely 807’s in the PA stage. The transmitter was connected to a 150W modulator using 807s as well. Very good results were achieved with an aerial only hanging some 3 metres (!) above the ground. The results of the June transmission had removed the last doubts regarding the 7310 frequency. Even in the North West of England a strong signal was picked up with no splatter at all from the BBC on the adjacent 7325 channel. A quotation from the people behind the weekly ‘Anoraks UK’ news sheet: “The best by far was 7310 and this even rivalled its adjacent neighbour (BBC World Service) for volume although its signal level was understandably lower.”
Already two weeks after the November 12th test, a scheduled November broadcast went out, once again on 7310. In fact this one would go out on the 19th but the cassettes didn’t arrive in time… And so it was Sunday November 26th when FRS sounds ruled the airwaves…a special on air message informed the listeners about the 7 day delay.

FRSH_26-11-1989_mixJocks [2:14]

10th X-Mas Party

Sunday December 24th a 5½ hour special X-Mas broadcast was planned. It was the 10th FRS X-Mas Party, recurring yearly and being very popular among the FRS audience. To celebrate the magic ’10’, a special QSL was available. The broadcast also included a listeners competition (looking back at the previous 9 years of Seasonal broadcasts) and FRS jocks played their favourite 1980s tracks. The response for this transmission was much better than for the previous ones, thanks also to the solid reception. Until 13:00 CET FRS was on 7310, the remaining part was continued on 7315 because of Radio Tirana signing on on….7310 as from 13 CET onwards. Returning to the subject of listeners’ response: ‘FRS goes DX’ edition 89/90 (Nov./Dec.) included a Peter V. contribution entitled ‘A Little Consideration’ in which he expressed his concerns about what he calls “the growing lack of good response from the shortwave audience”.

FRS goes DX #89-90 Dec 1989-1
FRS goes DX #89-90 Dec 1989-2
FRSH_24-12-1989_mixJocks(10th annual XMas Party [0:46]

Danny Kay quits; USA test