FRS History 1990-1999


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Following a few set backs in the second half of 1993 (for instance no traditional X-Mas Party), FRS was determined to start the New Year 1994 with a loud bang.

Relays via WGAS...poor conditions
For the second time WGAS- the World Greatest Anorak Station- would act as relay station. But prior to that, FRS got an unexpected offer for January 9th. At 11:45 UTC programmes commenced on 6219 but soon a move to 5944 had to be made. This unusual switch was announced live on air by the responsible station OP. Too much interference (powerhouse on 5955) resulted in a yet another switch to 6229 and finally FRS ended up where it started that morning: 6219. One week later on the 16th, FRS chose to use 7414 kHz within the 41 mb. That would be in favour of continental listeners, taking advantage of the longer path of the 41 mb signal (emanating from the UK). Conditions appeared to be rather weird- in The Netherlands almost 2 hours non reception and in Germany a lFRSgoesDX 129_MayJune1994_Coveristenable signal- and January would be the start of a very poor period. We were afraid the planned February broadcast would be subject to poor conditions. Indeed! On February 20th poor conditions  ruled during the WGAS relay
.At 13.57 CET the transmitter left the airwaves: both tape machine and programme tapes were stolen.
The transmitting equipment was left untouched.... As a result no 14:00- 18:00 hours repeat took place. WGAS agreed to repeat the shows March 6th. Luckily Peter had copies of the programming. Next WGAS relay was on April 24th on a new channel: 6220 operated in parallel with 7419. For only this occasion FRS was to be relayed on two parallel frequencies. This time a more or less strong signal on 48 but a very poor modulation. 7419 was weak or non-receivable most of the broadcast. So far 1994 was very disappointing with a lack of quality signals and poor listener’s response.

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Six month break
FRSH went silent for 6 months. Looking back we didn’t regret the decision to take that long break as propagation continued to be very poor that Summer. Despite the lack of broadcast activities, the 1994 summer brought some exciting news. ‘FRS Goes DX’ subscribers received early July edition #129 which was totally restyled. The slogan we used in those days was: ‘FRS Goes FX, thé magazine for the internationally orientated radio listener.’ A new promo spot supported the restyled magazine, the spot is to be heard in the above audioclip from February 20th 1994. What once was a simple news sheet, had developed in a stylish and informative radio magazine. Completely different news came from De Hague. Peter Verbruggen explains.... 
FRSgoesDX_129_MayJune1994_Editorial.pdf  (three pages serve as an example for the restyled FRS goes DX)

De Hague visit
“It was in July that Joop ter Zee and I together would go to De Hague where we would meet up with good old Gerd. Reason for the De Hague trip was the PTT exhibition 'On the air, off the air' which was all about illegal radio broadcasting equipment being confiscated by the RCD, a PTT division and exhibited in the PTT museum. We hoped for that our former 10W transmitters were part of that exhibition. January 16th 1983 FRSH was raided and a wooden trunk containing our two 10W SW transmitters was confiscated. A year later- 1984- both rigs were to be seen on Dutch television and it was then that we discovered that the RCD had nót been destroying our equipment. From certain sources we learnt that there was a kind of little museum at the RCD Headquarters in Nederhorst den Berg in which several unique confiscated transmitters had been stored. As soon as we 1994july TXtrunk_DeHague-1_400pheard about the exhibition in De Hague we planned to make a trip to find out whether the wooden trunk was among the exhibits. Saturday July 23rd, a very hot 30+ temperature day , Joop and I drove to De Hague with some expectations ánd a large cool box full of tins with cola etc. We reached De Hague early in the afternoon and nearly 15 minutes later we met Gerd in the museum. The exhibition was on the second floor and we all were very curious. A few minutes later we caught sight of a large brown trunk. It really seemed nothing had changed since 1983. Inside the trunk, two complete built-in 10W transmitters each one having 3 valves: an ECC82, an 807 and an 6L6. Even the X-tals, modulation wire and SWR metre were inside. Strange to face a piece of FRS nostalgia- no doubt THE piece of FRS nostalgia!- after a period of 11 years. Once this wooden trunk belonged to FRS-Holland- it wás FRS-Holland- because it were the transmitters inside giving us the success in our early years. 'With a power of only 10,000 milliwatts' ...remember that 1980 jingle. Of course there was much more stuff to be looked at. We discovered that pirates can be very inventive people when looking how some transmitters were hidden (for instance in a vacuum cleaner or a cookie tin). July 23rd 1994: it appeared to be a very special day, a remembrance which won’t fade out. In the mean time all the equipment is once again in Nederhorst den Berg. By the way: a building which is not accesible for public purposes. We still think the trunk is there. 

16th Anniversary vicissitudes
In the ‘FRS Newscorner’ column in the July/August edition #130 of FRS Goes DX Peter Verbruggen was looking forward to the upcoming anniversary broadcast and promised its readership “an old-fashioned FRS-Holland Sunday full of entertainment you may NOT miss”.
Indeed it was Sunday October 16th when the 14th anniversary was going to be celebrated. A number of relays were approached but either they didn’t respond or they refused for various reasons. In the end UK station WNKR offered a 24 hour relay commencing Saturday evening and closing down early Sunday evening. In addition 4 hours on 41 metres would be aired from two different Dutch sites: one was an FRS location and the other one belonged to a familiar relay station. ‘FRS Goes DX’ edition #131 reported in detail about that memorable weekend in October 1994.... We quote:

"Sunday October 10.02 CET Peter Verbruggen kicked off and played the first record on 41 metres: 'The Spirit of Radio'. Could it be more appropriate?? At the same time the anniversary programming was already for a long time running on 48 metres. Before 48 metres was switched on from the UK, a number of problems had to be solved. It seems like reading an...adventure book.... The responsible persons turned up at the site (late Saturday afternoon October 15th) to find the aerial had fallen down at one end. So they had to fire a new line over the tree. The down heads had to be re-strung and the aerial was pulled up again. After turning on the transmitter, there was no HT (voltage): the choke had blown! In a hurry they raced to a second transmitter site where another one was put on the air (with their own programming). Then they had to look after another transmitter to replace the FRSH one on the first location. In the mean time it was starting to get dark and fog was coming down. On top of all the actual x-tal was lost. Darkness was almost upon them as they returned to the FRSH site with a back up 40W transmitter. Without a flash lamp the lost x-tal was found on the ground and within 5 minutes FRSH was on the air. It was intended to use 6280 but due to interference 6283 was chosen. It appeared to be a perfect choice! Programmes were running all Saturday night until the late Sunday afternoon when it was already dark. At 17.30 CET FRSH was still on. Almost 24 hours non-stop on 6283 with a perfect signal. That means our full programming was aired at least five times. Because of the time of the year it was not possible to hear anything during the night but just after 08.00 CET the first 6283 sounds were noted in Germany and Holland and as the morning progressed the signal got stronger and stronger. The second outlet on 7419 kHz/41 metres was put on the air from a location on the continent and would be running between 09.54 and 14.00 CET. We were convinced 41 metres would be an ideal supplement to 48 metres covering countries like Austria, Italy, Spain, Finland etc. QSL Series13-Oct1994-14thAnn_front_500QSL Series13-Oct1994-14thAnn_back_500Unfortunately at 12.00 hours a special message replaced the usual programming- it was in the middle of the DX-Show- announcing the unexpected close down for reasons beyond our control. Mind you: it was not the transmitter forcing us to go off air but security reasons. That same morning we had already received telephone calls from Germany assuring us that the 41 mb signal was very powerful. In particular at the beginning there was skip because at some locations the signal was being received with less strength compared with areas much further away. We learnt that at 11.00 CET the dead zone was much smaller although in certain areas still nothing, hardly nothing or only a modest signal was to be received. By the way: FRSH started on 7417.5 kHz and because the VFO-controlled transmitter had to warm up (this took nearly an hour), the transmitter drifted to 7419 kHz. But if using a wide filter on the receiver one could hardly have any troubles having no need to retune every now and then: the signal was very powerful. October once again offered excellent propagation conditions and these were greatly adding to the success of the 14th birthday programming. FRS-Holland was lucky.” End quote.
For the first time in 1994, FRS could be more than happy with the results: 65 letters. A special QSL was issued and the Birthday Listeners Competition’s solution was Magic Forest referring at the site once used in the first 2½ years.

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The X-Mas broadcast December 18th on 6284 was a success, at least: when looking at the number of reports. A part of that broadcast was ruled by long skip conditions. And because the Tony Mitchell tape didn’t arrive in time -although already 10 days underway! - the broadcast lasted 3 hours and 15 minutes from 10:00-13:15 CET. Programmes were aired with 120W via the same Dutch station whose relay had to be cancelled back in October.

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FRS on YouTube

FRS-Holland on Sunday June 19th 2011 (evening broadcast) on 7685 kHz {youtube}9n-UI8ERJZM{/youtube}.
For more FRS YouTube clips go to FRS on YouTube.