FRS History 1990-1999
Sunday March 17th saw the first activities of 1991.
FRS had no other choice than using 7290 kHz which was a very clear channel but at the same time an out-of-band frequency. Signal strength was fair and modulation good; all in all it was a fairly satisfactory broadcast with a modest response. Already on April 21st FRS returned with 25W of power. The broadcast lasted just over 3 hours and FRS suffered slight interference from Ozone Radio whose signals emanated from the Irish Republic.
100th regular broadcast
Following the 10th anniversary in October 1990, Sunday May 19th 1991 marked another milestone in FRS’ history: the 100th regular broadcast! A 5 hour broadcast was put out with 120W on 6225 with a line-up consisting of Stefan Kramer, Mark Stafford, Joop ter Zee, Gerd and Peter Verbruggen. The transmitter OP encountered huge problems hanging up the aerial. For Gerd it would be his final International Listener's Show as he was moving out of FRS City. A new job was waiting on him. Certainly a loss because Gerd had been very well substituting his predecessor Chris. The good news however was Gerd would be continuing his FRS goes DX magazine contributions!
Summer break and 11th anniversary
The poor propagation prevented the FRS team from recording fresh shows and as a result a Summer break was made. Highlight (but not on the broadcasting side of things) was FRS engineer Bobby Speed's marriage on Friday August 23rd. September 15th propagation had much improved and FRS returned via a new relay. Between 12:00-14:00 CEST FRSwas on 6200, power was no less than 200W. This broadcast was ideal to promote both the upcoming 76 mb broadcast and the 11th anniversary. Saturday Sept. 21st FRS tested on 3910 between 23:00- 02:00 CET. It was on the same day that Peter Verbruggen visited the famous annual Bürscheid SW Free Radio get together. Not much later, British Radio Fax would start to be using 3910 as a fixed frequency. Sun October 20th, a year after the most successful broadcast in FRS’ history so far, the 11th anniversary was celebrated. The location was rather unique… With the help of JB, FRS used a location which belonged to a Belgian FM station within a stone’s throw from the Belgian-German border! FRS people could easily wave to the customs officers. Already 15 days earlier, Saturday October 6th, the Inverted V aerial was erected and at 16:15 CET that day a short 20 minute test was conducted with 150W of power. Part of the celebrations was a show recorded in Peter Verbruggen's studio together with both German presenters Stefan Kramer & JB on Friday October 5th. It was the first time the German FRS crew were recording a show in the main FRS studio. Lots of 80s tracks & freaky old jingles were played in all shows and of course remeniscing. A strong signal was heard that day on 6225 kHz, programmes lasted from 09.56- 13.00 UTC. That was one hour less than planned: Mark Stafford was sadly missed because of an illness. Response was quite good: some 40 letters. In FRS goes DX_110-111 from October 1991 well known US DXer Andrew Yoder debuted with his first column--> FRSgoesDX_110-111_AugSeptOct1991_AndrewYoder.pdf
As already mentioned: in the late 1980s/early 1990s Bürscheid was the centre of a Free Radio 'get together' in which shortwave free radio played a vital role. Many (mainly) German station OPs ánd listeners met each other in Bürscheid, a small village in the German federal state Nordrhein-Westfalen, close to the city of Leverkusen. In particular the fact station OPs on one hand and listeners on the other hand could meet each other in person made the annual Bürscheid meeting very popular. FRS goes DX 108/109 contains a advertorial for the September 21st 1991 meeting.
On December 22nd the 12th annual X-Mas broadcast came from the same location as used in October. After drawing lots (!) JB was the one who had to climb into the tall and wet antenna tower to erect the inverted V. Certainly a risky job! But JB did an excellent job. FRS was heard on 6225 with its very own 150W transmitter and 150W modulator. Dutch Radio Reflex on 6220 caused heavy interference and following switches to 6280 and back on 6225, FRS finally ended on 6299. Salient detail: just after switching to 6299, Reflex left the airwaves. It was Mark Stafford who rang up from the UK advising us to stay on 6299. And so we did… Because of the frequency changes, the DX Show was partly repeated after 14:00 hours. That same evening at 20:00 CET almost the complete broadcast was repeated on 3883 from a different site. For the record: Joop ter Zee was absent in the FRS’ programming, instead there was a double German Service. Rather unique! Still 1991 had not ended and an extra 5th Sunday broadcast took place on Sunday December 29th.A two hour broadcast was conducted on 6290 and later on 6240 because of Radio Orion interference. This broadcast was carried out by a well-known Scottish weekend station…. Power was 100W. Reports from as far as Lithuania and Spain proved that reception was pretty good that day. Remarkable: November 2008, almost 17 years later, Peter Verbruggen met the Scottish OP at the Amsterdam Radio Day and believe it or not: during that occasion the original programme cassettes were returned to him. A memorable moment!