FRS History 1990-1999
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.
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 listenable 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.
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 heard 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:
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.