FRS History 1990-1999
A late 1996 start; varying success
The first ‘FRS Goes DX’ magazine came out late March and the editorial covered an overview of 14½ years of publications. Not without reason: from that moment onwards ‘FRS Goes DX’ was going to be published quarterly. Producing the magazine had become a very time consuming job, there was too much time pressure and Peter V. wanted to spend more time on his family and other aspects of radio. It would take almost four months before the first on air activity would be started. April 28th would become a disappointing day. Long skip ruled the airwaves and within a radius of 300 kilometres nothing was to be heard. It was the 3rd successive broadcast taking place from the same location and at 07:00 Speed & Verbruggen took off to the site. The final programme preparations had been done the night before! This time a second rig was in operation, programmes went out on 6252- later 6255- & 6385 kHz. Reception was satisfactory only after 12:00 CET when the 48 mb opened up. That day programmes ended up on 6252 as the other rig had to be switched off due to a faulty modulator.
Relay via RFL
Sunday July 21st FRS-Holland had planned a summery 3rd Sunday broadcast via Radio Free London which eventually was aired a week too late. Tapes were sent on Monday -sent by special messenger- but that was no guarantee the package would arrive within 5 days... Shame on postal services!! In actual fact the broadcast started Saturday evening at approx. 22:00 CEST. Programmes continued till the early Sunday evening and the 4-hour programme block was repeated a total of six times. Reception was varying between poor and good depending on the reception area. During the nightly hours FRSH was picked up in the USA; two reports were received. Nice indeed. All FRS jocks were involved with the July programmes: Joop, Tony, Stefan and Peter. Three weeks later a nightly North America test was conducted via FRS’ own transmitter. Also this time FRS was lucky: reports came in from the USA, Ukraine and Russia. [Extracts FRS-Holland broadcast via RFL July 21st 1996]
A new site
September 29th a second relay was conducted on 6275 via Radio Free London. Fair to good conditions that day but response happened to be rather low. Already 3 weeks later Sunday October 20th FRS celebrated its 16th anniversary. Once again RFL’s facilities were to be used and most surprisingly FRS was allowed to use a new, remote and private location in a southerly neighbouring country. Things were arranged via Joop ter Zee’s girl friend! A week before the actual broadcast would take place, Peter Verbruggen visited the location to form an idea about the opportunities in relation with aerial etc. On Friday October 18th current and former FRS jocks celebrated the 16th anniversary in a local Greek restaurant, a splendid evening. The following day, programmes from the UK already started at 19:00 hours on 6275 in parallel with 3945. In the night from Saturday into Sunday, two FRS transmitters were operational from an FRS site on 6958 & 15046. At 02:15 one of the transmitters produced smoke and further transmissions were cancelled. Four hours later Peter Verbruggen prepared for a drive to the new site. This time a trip without engineer Bobby Speed: for the 1st time since January 1983 Peter Verbruggen engineered a broadcast all by himself (knowing engineering wasn’t his thing!) . Erecting the aerial was a huge problem and Peter succeeded minutes after the planned commencement of the anniversary shows. At 10:15 CET FRS was heard loud and clear on 6243 kHz. Listeners participated by sending in their personal memories and a listener’s competition, Fact Files and numerous extracts were played during the broadcast. Almost 70 reports were received and all correct reports were verified with a special photo showing a new and completely rebuilt FRS-Holland studio. Sadly Tony Mitchell said goodbye to FRS-Holland in October 1996 due to other commitments. He had been on the station for almost 9 years with quality programmes and a great musical choice.
[Extracts FRS 16th Ann. broadcast October 20th 1996: start with competition promo – include extracts final Tony Mitchell Show ]