FRS History 1980-1989
On Sunday January 5th & 12th 1986 no Delmare signal was observed on 6205 making the FRS people rather suspicious.
Contacting Johan Rood learned that the transmitter was not operational due to technical problems. He added it would be very difficult to obtain some of the parts which were badly needed to repair the big transmitter. Direct result was there were no FRS activities in January and February (and March, April & May would see as well no Delmare relays). That didn't keep Joop ter Zee from producing a number of fresh jingles. In the mean time Peter V. had to show patience....he waited till March and when finding out there was no progress at all in Belgium, he decided to try and find a new relay station as long as Delmare would be off air. A number of stations were approached and this resulted in two serious contacts with the IRRS and Radio Rainbow, both from the Republic of Ireland. It was agreed that on every 2nd Sunday a one hour relay would emanate from the Rainbow outlet on 6240 while on the 3rd & 4th Sunday the IRRS would air the complete FRS programming, 3 hours for each Sunday. Spring 1986 a new info-sheet was produced.
The period between May 18th and June 15th must have been rather confusing, not only for the listener but even for the persons involved with FRSH. In 28 days no less than 7 transmissions were to be aired and that's to this very day a FRS-Holland record. A few things happened which need some explanation and weren't expected. Sunday May 18th and 25th the very first 1986 FRS programmes were put on the air, respectively via Radio Rainbow on 6240 (May 18th 10-11 CEST) and the IRRS (May 25th) on 6225 3 hours). The trouble with these transmissions was both were broadcasted one week too late. Not the stations were to be blamed but the postal services since the two parcels were sent by special messenger. Both were delivered more than a week after being sent. A big shame!
Sunday June 1st saw the unexpected return of the Delmare transmitter. As FRS-Holland could quickly anticipate to this new situation, the May programmes, which would go out via the IRRS, were copied and also sent to P.O.Box 36 in Antwerp. And so it happened that the May programmes not only went out via the IRRS but also via Delmare's 6205 outlet. Signal-strength was very good but the modulation left much to be desired.
In great haste the June programmes were recorded because the 3rd Sun was already on the 15th. That same Sunday an extra 60 minute programme was heard on 6240 via Radio Rainbow Ireland. For the FRS people time to take a breath, not for Peter Verbruggen because he will explain something about the agreement which was reached with the IRRS.
“We wanted to secure regular FRS transmissions. Depending on one relay station didn't work. So the IRRS was contacted and we asked them to relay us each 4th Sunday for a total of 3 hours. These 3 hours were selected from the 6 hour 3rd Sunday transmission via Delmare. In case the Delmare relay had to be cancelled for some reason, the IRRS would relay our full schedule, 3 hours on a 3rd and the remaining hours on a 4th Sunday. It was an ideal solution to secure monthly FRS activity on the SW bands. Continuity would be guaranteed which was the most important thing.”
In July everything went as planned: on the 13th via Rainbow on 6240, the 20th via Delmare and on the 27th a transmission via the IRRS on a new frequency being 6275 kHz. Also in the Summer of 1986 long skip conditions were killjoy although things were not as poor as it was in 1985. On August 17th the 6th Birthday celebrations took place and (because of long skip conditions) this would be repeated in the afternoon of Sunday September 28th, a week too late because of postal delays. The 4th Sunday transmission via Ireland was moved to the 5th on August 31st because it was to the day 6 years ago that FRS-Holland began broadcasting on short wave. For the very first time FRS programmes went out on a so called 'out of band’ frequency, namely 6830 kHz within the 44 metre band. Reception wasn't satisfactory and the shows were repeated September 14th with a much better signal quality.
Due to the circumstance that the September Delmare relay took place on the 4th Sunday, it once again happened that FRS was to be heard via two different relays on the very same Sunday, namely on 6205 & 6830. For the record: October 12th the IRRS repeated the September transmission. To show how good reception was on October 19th, a quote from 'FRS Goes DX' issue #52 published late October 1986: "Reception of FRS-Holland's October 19th transmission can only be described as outstanding. No dead zone, a very strong signal and a much improved modulation quality." Close quotes. October 26th saw FRS for three hours between 10.00- 13.00 UTC via the IRRS. Five more transmissions would follow in the last two months of 1986. Sunday November 16th broadcast #64 via Delmare on 6205 & two weeks later on the 30th via the IRRS; Sun December 21st 1986 saw the broadcast of the traditional X-Mas get together in Peter Verbruggen's studio followed by a repeat 3 days later on Boxing Day. During these recordings video footage was shot for a future second FRS video. That material has never been released. The X-Mas broadcast produced excellent coverage and more than 70 letters were received from 10 different countries including the USA. We may not forget to mention December 28th when a 4 hour broadcast was aired on 6850 via the IRRS. Because of military services operating nearby 6830, a new frequency was introduced: 6850. One event which added lustre to 1986 was the pop poll 1986 of the German Pirate Info News Magazine. Its readers choose FRS-Holland, with an absolutely majority, as the number 1 SW free radio station. Also in the catagories 'Best Listener's Service' and 'Best DX-Show' FRS took the first positions. In the English magazine 'Wavelenght' FRSH. was also the number 1 short wave station followed by Atlanta Radio, Radio Rainbow, Britain Radio & Radio Apollo.