FRS History 1990-1999
February 22nd saw FRS-Holland’s 1998 kick off with a 3 hour broadcast on 6242 kHz.
Short SW Parade
Power on that first 1998 event was 150W. That day conditions were far from good but all in all it was a good broadcast with a nice signal and loud modulation. Part of the programming was a new programme called the Short SW Parade. Basically a show in which Joop ter Zee played “alternative music” not often to be heard on the radio. Quoting Joop ter Zee: “It's a freaky hit list of records, not older than one year. Goal is to bring unknown records to the FRS audience. So no Backstreet Boys, Madonna's, and Puff's... Also no U2's, Bruce, Simple Minds... Just that one *different* record that you want us to bring to mind.”
[Extracts FRS broadcast Sunday February 22nd 1998: including the Short SW Parade]
Joint FRS-E.M.R. relay; 51 mb debut
After many years of silence Barry Stephens reactivated European Music Radio resulting in a joint FRS-EMR relay on 6275 via Radio Free London on March 22nd. Each station was to be heard for two hours and that schedule was repeated for almost 24 hours. However, conditions that day were rather poor and March 29th saw a complete repeat of the programming. FRS-Holland’s programming consisted of two shows presented by Joop ter Zee (“The Short SW Parade”) and Peter Verbruggen(“FRS Magazine”). Signals on the 29th were better than the previous week but still not very satisfactory. Already one week later on Sunday April 5th FRS-Holland was heard again from the site which was introduced August 1997 during the MOA special. Saturday April 4th preparations on the site started with the usual but vital antenna work. A new antenna had been constructed as it was the first time FRSH would be on 51 metres with own equipment. The antenna was matched to 5815 and a second 41 mb antenna was erected as well. During the Saturday afternoon & late evening FRS tested on 5815 for about 120 minutes. On Sunday April 5th the 120W transmitter was already switched on at 05.30 UTC (!) and at 09.52 CEST official programming commenced on 5815 & 7315, the latter with 18W only. Programmes included shows like 'FRS Golden Show’, ‘FRS Magazine’, ‘The Short SW Parade and a 60 minute version of ‘FRS Goes DX’. At 14.30 CEST both transmitters were switched off. Without any doubt the 5815 outlet had been carrying out a solid signal in wide areas of the European continent as well as in the UK that day. 7315- how long ago was it we used “good old” 7315??- was disappointing caused by some legal station on that frequency. Strange because we monitored 7315 for several weeks and during that period it was completely free and clear. [Extracts FRS broadcast on 5815//7315 Sunday April 5th 1998]
Return German Service
FRS-Holland started the 1998 Summer with a 3rd Sunday: schedule on 6242 kHz June 21st. Programmes were aired between 10.00-13.00 CEST. Although we were very well aware of the then poor conditions, we wanted to seize the opportunity to do this broadcast on the day the 1998 Summer started. The good news was that conditions that day weren’t bad at all. FRSH was heard with fine signals in Central Europe. The bad news was that response was very poor. Highlight that weekend was the return of the German Service on FRS-Holland after an absence of almost one year. Very important realizing that FRS still had a large following of German DXers. In the Summer of 1982 George Strong presented his last FRS show, now 16 years (!!) later he returned as Mark Jones on the first day of a new Summer. By the way: it turned out that Stefan Kramer had nót left FRSH, we had hopes he would return later in 1998 but in the end these were false. [Extracts FRS broadcast on Sunday June 21st 1998 including Mark Jones’ debute show]
IRRS relays & 18th Anniversary
To give you a complete picture: in the period September- December 1998 several relays took place via the SWRS: September 6th, 19th, 20th, October 18th and December 12th, 13th, 18th, 19th, 25th,27th & 28th. All shows were recorded by Joop ter Zee & Peter Verbruggenand some of them went out more than one time.Back now to the festive 18th birthday broadcast in October. The full four hour programming went out on the 25th between 09.00-13.00 UTC on 6240 kHz/48 metres via two familiar relay stations; they already had relayed FRS in the late 80s and early 90s. Conditions that day were very good and apart from the first hour (fading) we provided strong signals in several European countries. Programme output consisted of music from the FRS era 1980-1998, blocks of programme extracts, information etc. Everything went fine until 14.50 CET when technical problems forced us to close down. At that moment some 10 minutes were left. Most encouraging were the great number of positive comments about our programme output. That’s what it is all about!
New logo; test new transmitter; X-Mas radio
In October a completely new FRS logo was introduced and as a result new stickers and QSLs with the logo were printed. The logo was designed by Joop ter Zee’s talented girl friend Willy. On the logo the station name, a globe, the colours red, white & blue and our slogan ‘Just a bit different.’ Up till today FRS uses this logo although in a slightly edited form on the website.
In December Joop ter Zee completed a package of new German & English jingles. Voice-overs came from good old Nolan from the U.S.A. and former FRS presenter Johnny Best who willingly helped out his ‘old’ mates. [Mix of new 1998 jingles from Nolan & JB]
On Sunday December13th FRSH tested a new transmitter on 6210 kHz. The test commenced at 11:15 UTC following the close down of sister-station E.M.R. putting out a regular 2½ hour show that morning. Signal-quality was satisfactory knowing it was only 50W we were putting out. The December 13th test was in preparation for the X-Mas Party which was planned for Sunday December 20th 09.00-13.30 UTC on a frequency within the 48 mb. Part of the programming would be two 30 minute ‘FRS Goes DX-Mas’ editions, great music (covering 4 decades) and reading out many of the letters we had been receiving for our October 25th broadcast. FRS was be heard in German & English with Mark Jones, Peter Verbruggen & Joop ter Zee. But what happened on Sunday the 20th? At 09.52 CET nothing but silence was to be heard on 6240 kHz. Serious and unexpected technical problems prevented FRS to start up the broadcast. Via our friends in Hoogeveen, the new transmitter was repaired already one day later and December 27th FRS radiated the spirit of X-Mas radio with 50W on 6240. Signal quality however was
relatively poor compared with the test on December 13th. It was already mentioned that a number of relays went out via the SWRS. Over the X-Mas 1998 period between December 18th and January 6th FRSH took part in the Second Contest Euro pirate “Memorial Michel Ravigneaux”. During this period FRS was to be heard (among a great number of colleguer stations) on 7590 and 11470 kHz (in USB). Looking back at 1998 we could sincerely say it was quite an active year for FRS-Holland with a total of 7 regular 3rd/4th Sunday broadcasts. The most active year for a long time…