Stefan Printz- Sweden
Wow! Congratulations from an old fan of Free Radio...Stefan Printz. What an achievement that you’re still around after all those years. I still remember the first time I heard your sound on shortwave in August 1984. I was just 15 years of age and I was impressed by your sound and many of the other stations that were around at that time. Especially I remember the music of Jean Michel Jarre’s Oxygen and the always exciting voice by Peter. My Free Radio magazine Pirate Connection was closed over 10 years ago but I still try to keep an eye open to what’s going on in the Free Radio world. Let me know if there’s a possible to listen to your show over the Internet (well I still have an Icom IC R71, but I guess I’m too lazy to set it up). Once again all the best and a prosperous future for FRS Holland!
Thomas Kircher/ Germany
Hi FRSH-Team, erstmal ein gaaaanz dickes Lob an Euer Team und den FRSH ! In den 80iger Jahren war ich faszinierter Kurzwellen-DXer. Speziell die FR Stationen hatten es mir angetan. Leider gibt es heutzutage kaum hörenswertes auf der Kurzwelle. Eine ganz grosse Ausnahme ist der FRSH. Doch leider versääume ich wahrscheinlich die meisten Eurer Sendungen. Über welche Quelle/Webseite erfährt man Eure Sendezeiten und Frequenzen ? Herzlichen Dank für Eure Mühen.
Neal West/ UK
I think the first time I heard FRSH was 31 August 1980 ... was this one of your very early broadcasts ??? (It was our very start-PV). These days I only have the QSL cards to go on ….when I moved home some years back I had to dispose of all my written logs due to lack of storage space. I always thought that FRSH was one of the best and most interesting SW broadcasters. Other good professional SW stations were ... European Music Radio, Radio Krypton, Britain Radio International, Radio Gemini, Atlanta Radio, WNKR and Radio East Coast Commercial. Since the death of *Norman Nelson who was my NUMBER ONE mate .. my interest in the free radio stations ceased. Around the same time there was a growing problem with QSO stations and I just could not relate to what they were trying to do or prove. So my interest in SW Free Radio dropped right off. In the 1980s. The real exponents of the free radio spirit undertook to do RADIO properly. Radio is what comes out of the speakers. At Radio East Coast Commercial we tried to promote the good stations: we made some enemies, mainly those stations who were just relays or QSO stations. At Radio East Coast Commercial we believed that by a process of information, news and education radio enthusiasts could learn that there was something else besides the bland UK ILR stations or BBC Radio 1 or Continental European equivalents. FRSH was always one of the stations right at the top of the Free Radio scene. I have no idea what goes on in the 48 or 41 metre free radio bands these days …maybe I should check it out. However, I feel I might be disappointed. I like to remember the good days when the best Free Radio stations tried to do their broadcats professionally and as best as they could in very difficult circumstances. Raids ... fines ... and even prison for some. Anyway ..... Congratulations on achieving more than 30 years in Free Radio and still airing quality material (*see also in FRS' 1995 History (bottom) a FRS goes DX sound clip about Norman Nelson's sudden death, dating back to December 24th 1995-PV).
Thorsten Brandenburg/ Germany
Dear Peter… It was a great time to follow you all through the years from 1981 (when I received the FRSH for the very first time!) until today. I remember all the great program hours with you and all the others (especially Joop ter Zee, who died much too early!). I hope there will be many more years with the FRSH and the professional programs! Have a good time, stay healthy and keep on FFFR! Your listener from Munich,Thorsten Brandenburg.
Oscar Schmitt/ Germany
May I express my gratitude to all of the staff of FRSH for 30 years SW radio. Happy Birthday! Indeed I can hardly find words to tell you how I feel about FRS. Warm & cold...May 19th 1991 I heard FRS for the first time and in the mean time I have collected several QSLs. While I am writing these words I have all QSLs in fron t of me together with the FRS Newsletter edition 27 from September 2000. In Memory of Joop ter Zee. I have not forgotten him. I like your station very much. The Free Radio Service Holland is my station and one of the best free radio services I know. Let me once again say Happy, happy Birthday.
Klaus Fuehrlich/ Germany (RIP)
I listened in 1981 for the first time and I was glad, that an answer from your side arrived all the times. In the former GDR it was not so easy to have contacts over a long period to "radio stations" outside in Western Europe. In the politics of East and West, of Cold War every Western station was an agent against socialism and a listener was against the state. I`m lucky, that today I have all possiblities to go outside and to listen radio stations all over the world. A pity only, that I never have seen an offshore radio station in action. We loved the programmes from RNI, Caroline and Veronica and listened whenever we had time for it. By the way: I remember that FRSH was simultaneously broadcasting on two different frequencies and so I used two radios. In Summer I even listened while I had my recreation in a swimming pool. I used the nearby bushes and to install my long wire antenna leaving some fellow swimmers in a state of confusion and azement. On my first QSL Peter Verbruggen wrote: “Keep on writing Klaus” and that’s what I have done eversince. I made a look in my "DX_archiv" and I found a handwritten letter from Peter dated September 3th 1980. It was a contact with the FRS-Holland, which I can now say : long time ago. In the 1980s the FRSH was on every 4th and later 3rd Sunday on the month on 6250 kHz & a second QRG in the 41 mb being 7315. I listened as much as possible whenever I had time
to tune in. Most of my reception reports I sent in with the help of a Dutch friend: I sent my letters to him and he forwarded it to you. But not every reply from your side reached me here in the former GDR. I very much disliked that situation. I never saw a radio ship, an offshore station in action. All the years we were uning to the pxs of RNI, Caroline and Veronica. Since 1990 I stayed often in the Netherlands, at the location of the old Dutch friend, or at the "Borderhunter summermeeting".All the best, Peter and good luck for the next years of FRSH, best 73, fffr, Klaus.
Fritz-Walter Adam/ Germany
I have looked in my QSL collection trying to figure out when I received my first QSL verification. That was for the 24th May 1981 transmission on 7315 kHz. Can’t believe how fast time flies...
Tristan Nolle/ UK
The CDs “10 Years in the life of the FRSH”was a very good story, both interesting & informative. I think FRS has the best format with that mix of radio news and music. For me, only music on SW is just not enough.Thanks a lot and till we meet again it’s goodbye.
Henk/ The Netherlands
Vooral FRS goes DX, daar zat ik vaak met veel belangstelling naar te luisteren. Wat ik ook nog heel goed weet, is dat het plaatje van The Fixx / Stand or fall door jullie als een van de eerste gedraaid werd. O.a. door jullie collega die niet meer leeft....! En bij Joop hoorde ik deze ook voorbij komen: Bittersweet symphony van The Verve. Dat vergeet ik niet snel Peter, misschien wel nooit, dat heeft me toen enorm geraakt... En geloof me of niet, maar telkens als ik die plaat hoor, moet ik aan hem denken! Vreemd genoeg vind ik het nog steeds een mooie plaat van The Fixx..... Dus m.a.w.: deze plaat doet me aan hem denken en aan FRSH. Wat ik toen wel leuk vond, dat ik contact met jullie kreeg. En zoals wij Peter samen over de radio konden mailen, vond ik TOP!!! Ik weet bijna zeker Peter dat wij samen wel een dag over radio kunnen praten. Heel, heel veel succes met jullie uitzending Peter!
Kees Swaagman/ The Netherlands
Dan moet ik wel heel ver terug in het verleden gaan. Ik ben begonnen met het luisteren (DXen) op FM.Toen dat minder werd omdat Belgische zenders, zoals radio Contact en Maeva uit Brussel tijdens zogenaamde 'condities' de FM platdrukten ben ik overgestapt naar de middengolf. Bekende namen uit die tijd (begin jaren 80) zijn Koraalvisser, Orang Utan, Spanningzoeker en Hawai.
Mijn oudste QSL kaart is van EMR gedateerd 17 december 1978. Andere bekende namen van kortegolf zenders uit die tijd zijn Empire, Gemini, Zodiak, Viking. Vanuit Nederland had je toen Nolan, Rastafari en Victoria. De oudste kaart van de vier kaarten van jullie station is gedateerd 31 augustus 1980. Het meest door mij gewaardeerde programma was FRS goes DX. In die tijd luisterde ik ook vaak naar zeezenders zoals Mi Amigo, Delmare, Paradijs en Laser. Caroline hoort natuurlijk ook in die rij thuis. Toen ik op mijzelf ging wonen in een flat heb ik jaren niet geluisterd. Later in een rijtjeshuis heb ik mijn hobby weer opgepakt maar ben een paar jaar later weer gestopt. De antenne op zolder loopt langs een verwarming die veel storing geeft als die aanslaat. Dat gebeurt tijdens winters veelvuldig. De beste DX catches heb ik gehoord toen ik nog bij mijn ouders woonde in Noordwijk aan zee. Ik had toen 10 meter koperdraad buiten de deur hangen. Met name de middelgolfstations Caribian Beacon op 1610 khz vanaf het caribisch eiland Anguila, WCAU op 1210 khz uit Philadelphia en CJYQ 930 khz vanaf New Foundland. Op de kortegolf is radio Grenada met 5 KW vanuit de caribische zee een mooie vangst, voordat de amerikanen er met een invasie de macht overnamen.
TV piraten heb ik ook een tijdje gevolgd. Noordwijk werd aangesloten op de centale antenne in Leiden en die werd de eerste tijd niet afgesloten, wanneer de uitzendingen vanuit Hilversum stopten. Ik heb toen een life muziekprogramma vanuit het Holiday inn gezien op TV Leiden. Zelfs 1 keer tijdens 'condities' TV Keizerstad, volgens mij uit Nijmegen. TV piraten met zogenaamde 'adult television' kwam je toen ook wekelijks tegen. Tegenwoor-dig zie je het aantal zenders afnemen, maar er blijft als DX liefhebber genoeg interessants te horen, zoals de engelse jubileum (RSL) uitzendingen op laag vermogen, vanaf het Red Sands Fort in de Theems monding, Radio Caroline, Pirate BBC Essex en Big L (Radio London). Big L is momenteel te horen via een nederlandse zender op 1395 kHz. Er komt wel wat boven borrelen wanneer je de mappen met krantenartikelen en QSL kaarten over de laatste 30 jaren openslaat. Ik hoop nog jaren naar radio stations op korte en middengolf banden te kunnen luisteren. Het blijft een facinerende hobby ondanks storing, inteferentie van andere stations en fading. Peter, toen ik de mail stuurde wist ik al dat die vraag zou komen en terecht. Alleen kan ik die niet beantwoorden. Toen ik nog bij mijn ouders woonde, tot 1986, verdeelde ik de tijd dat ik luisterde over meerdere stations. Daarna heb ik een jaar of vijf in een flat gewoond waar geen ontvangst mogelijk was. Vervolgens heb ik de hobby weer opgepakt tot een jaar of vier geleden, toen ik een nieuwe verwarmingsinstallatie kreeg die dermate veel storing veroorzaakt dat ik jarenlang niet meer naar de radio geluisterd heb. Ik ben daar recent weer mee begonnen, zij het dat ik maar zeer korte perioden luister, omdat de verwarming ‘s ochtends bijna continue aansluit om het huis weer op te warmen. Ik moet ook eerlijk zeggen, dat ik meer belangstelling heb voor informatie dan voor muziek. Ik heb thuis eigenlijk nooit de radio aanstaan. Vandaar dat FRS DX het programma is dat mij het meest aanspreekt. Met vriendelijke groeten, Kees Swaagman.
Claess Olsson/ Sweden
Hi FRSH, looking through my QSLs, I can see my first contact with your station and the first time I heard you, I believe, is July 20th1986 and that is nearly as long as you have been on the air. During the years that has passed by, I have written a report now and then and always received a kind answer and a lot a FR_news. I’m the editor of a column for news in a Swedish Magazine, (the only) EterAktuellt for DXers here in Sweden so all news I receive is good news for me. My problem now is, and has been for the latest 20 years or so that I only can listen in the summertime, out at my summerhouse. Here in my flat in the city, there is nowadays to much interference from all electronic equipments in my in my neighbours flats.. I live there for 3 month every year, and I have tried to hear you from there, but no luck so far. Every winter I give it another serious try and I also promise that I will let you know if I hear you. Please say “Hello” to all my DXing friends in Sweden and all over Europe and good luck with your station for the next years to come. Claes Olsson/ Sweden.
Joachim Trosch/ Germany
What were my "special moments" with FRSH? I think the more I think about this, the answer is in the early days and years and my admiration for the continuity of FRSH in the free radio scene on short wave. I am now 60+ and knowing FRSH has already completed 36+ years, it is a simple calculation that FRSH existed for more than half of my life span! The 70s, with offshore radio in Holland and such short wave radio pioneers as World Music Radio, ABC Europe or Radio Gemini, only to mention a few from my memory, were a fascinating time as were the 80s when FRSH could be heard regularly and when I did not miss any Sunday to tune in to the 48 meter band which in those days was the main source to receive landbased free radio.
Only later did the 41 & 31 mb come up. In those days I listened each and every Sunday with my legendary Braun T1000CD and I had an enormous pleasure to write reception reports to various stations, including FRSH. I was even able to receive medium wave stations from the USA & Canada. I honestly do not remember when I received my first ever QSL card from FRSH but what I certainly remember is the pleasure I had not only writing reception reports but really enjoying the high standard of the programmes which right from the start of FRSH had a good balance between information for radio enthusiasts and quality music. I remember that in those days in the 80s, 'FRS goes DX' challenged me to try to receive many of the stations which were mentioned. Oh yes, now that I think about it, one ‘special moment’with FRSH comes to my mind though it was a sad one for all of us: the time when Joop ter Zee so suddenly passed away and left behind me and thousands of other sad listeners within the FRSH audience. The high quality show which was made in memory of Joop ter Zee comes to my mind as I remember him. Happy memories!
Radio Borderhunter/ The Netherlands
Omdat ik zelf ook al jarenlang met het maken van radio bezig ben, is het mij bekend hoeveel tijd het kost om een programma zoals FRSH brengt te maken. Ontzettend veel "onzichtbare" uren zitten in dergelijke programma's. Ups and downs zullen er zeker geweest zijn in de afgelopen meer dan 30 jaar. In diei periode zijn vele collega free radio stations ook begonnen met het uitzenden van programma's. De meeste stations zijn inmiddels slechts verleden tijd. FRSH heeft de kracht gehad om jaar in jaar uit diverse programma's te maken. Dat is dan ook zeker een felicitatie en hulde waard. En wat zeker het vermelden waard is, er zijn ook luisteraars die de afgelopen 30+ jaar jullie beluisterd hebben! Ik wens jullie nog veel plezier toe met de uitzendingen in de toekomst!
Nicholas Sharpe/ UK
My interest in short wave communications goes all the way back to December 1976 when I bought my first short wave communications receiver being a Yaesu FRG7 and it wasn't long after I got the hang of it that I came across the Sunday morning pirates such as the famous European Music Radio on the good old 6235 kHz network. A couple of years later the network was expanding further with another network forming on the forty one meter band. I recall Barry Stephens as he was then on European Music Radio announcing that a new Dutch station would soon be testing on the 48 meter band and would be a sister station to his.
I am now looking at my vast collection of QSL Cards beautifully contained within many first day cover albums. My first ever attempt to hear the FRS-Holland test is going back to 27th July 1980 when I heard the old ten watt rig on 6250 kHz between 09:15 and 09:45 GMT with a SIO rating of 444. I think the station used the old PO Box 41 , NL_7700AA Dedemsvaart , The Netherlands at the time or maybe it was Kent Place , Norwell , Newark , UK (it was Kent Pace- PV) but I was very excited to receive the reply as I had already been to The Netherlands back in November 1978 to attend the 50th anniversary of the Happy Station show on Radio Nederland as it was then in Hilversum. Going back to FRS-Holland at that time I recall Barry on EMR stating that the operator Peter was delighted with the response and an exchange programme was introduced with a Dutch service with Peter on EMR and Barry Stephens show on FRS Holland. My next QSL card from the station is dated 23rd November 1980 on 6250 kHz between 11:15 and 11:45 GMT. Sadly at this time I recall that both EMR was raided and some years later FRS-Holland suffered the same fate. Thankfully FRS-Holland had more station members and determination than EMR and was able to return , first from its own transmitter and then later was able to negotiate relay facilities with the Belgium station Radio Delmare and later on the Dutch station Radio Oran Utan until sadly both stations were raided.
I can honestly tell the listeners that I have been a regular listener and contributor to FRS Goes DX over the past thirty years. I have managed to visit the station twice with my first visit back in 1983 and a further one some six or more years later. I met Peter on both occasions and had hope to have met his very close and late friend Joop Ter Zee who was producing a radio show for a Dutch hospital radio station but sadly it was too late in the evening to meet Joop before catching a train back to Arnhem in 1983. I did manage to see two very impressive studios of the station complete with mixers, cassette recorders/players as well as the original 10 watt transmitter. It is truly amazing what this station has managed to do over the years and what is seldom reported is the fact that with the German service of FRS-Holland was being heard well into the former German Democratic Republic commonly known as East Germany. Strange as it may seem the citizens of East Germany were allowed to listen to European Free Radio stations which were not jammed unlike near all West German and BBC World Service stations. I have seen various letters written by listeners behind the Iron Curtain in East Germany and recall that whilst the success rate of communications was one in five letters it did stop such listeners as Uwe and Gerald from being in contact with the station. You can see that FRS-Holland isn't really as the jingles says a balance of music and information but also was a balance of non political communication across the Iron Curtain. I for myself through the station and other stations was able in the 1980s to build up penfriends in both East and West Germany allowing the possibility to exchange cassette recordings and other communications as well as an XMas cake!
I have already mentioned so far some of the early history of the station, German listeners on both sides of the Iron Curtain without hardly mentioning the various newsletters I have received from the station over the years like FRS News and FRS Goes DX which were great at the time before the internet as a source of free and international radio news hard to find elsewhere. I do recall that the newsletters were by subscription and for a short period of time I helped the station by setting up a bank account here for British members to send in sterling cheques to cover subscriptions for a year at a time. The newsletters also gave a history of what was happening on the station with several DJs coming and going with a wide variety of name Fred van Es and , Frankie Fanatic was well as the engineer Bobby Speed if I recall correctly. The newsletters also introduce the listeners to the merchandise which was available from the station and I always regret the first T-shirt I received had a post office staple right through it as it had a map of Europe on it. The station was the first I recall to produce a documentary on cassette followed by the complete history of the first ten years on CD or cassette and later on From Pro7 to MD also on CD.
It would be impossible to leave the contribution incomplete at this stage without mentioning the most important part of the station is the production and transmission of the shows. Already has been mentioned the transmitter side of the station but not where the station has been heard as I recall as far away as Argentina and also New Zealand. As they say short wave can go a long way on a long wire with just a low power but much of this has to do with the propagational conditions as anything. The station has had many ups and downs over the years receptionwise which is not due to transmission problems or human error but due to Sunspot cycles. Obviously with poor sunspot numbers reception doesn't travel too far and the same can be said with high numbers as there tends to be dead zone of several hundreds of kilometers around the transmitter site so it takes great planning and luck to get the show out to so many people scattered around Europe and beyond. Lastly one mustn't forget about production and a big thank you goes out to Peter and the late Joop Ter Zee for those wonderful jingles produced over the years. The one that still sticks in my mind is that "This is the Free Radio Service....Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall, FRS beats them all."A big thank you to all the presenters over the years from The Netherlands, Germany , England and US for such wonderful shows like FRS Goes DX which never want to miss. I also very much like to hear the mailbag show even due to the vast number of letters almost to 100 being split into two parts. There has been so many positive things which have happened to FRS-Holland over the past thirty years which are unlikely ever to be repeated but maybe as I started off with this contribution we all need to welcome the new technology out there and use the internet more. I strongly suspect that the station will hold its own again soon once the website is up and running and regular e-mail newsletters are sent out. Sadly gone has the day of letter writing by post as we are all very guilty of either using e-mail or texting. Well done FRS_Holland its been great knowing you for the past thirty years+ and you have been a part of my life too, not just on a Sunday morning but when ever your've been able to transmit even on a Saturday night via Mystery Radio. However FRS-Holland is no mystery its a way of life for a chosen few who have gained so much enjoyment, friendship and pleasure over the years.
Artiom Prokhorov/ Russia
While I take my receiver in all trips I have had during some the latest years. I continue to work for Moscow_based leading news agency called “Interfax” as interpreter in the international news department, even can take with me something from my huge archives of traditional music of the Andes and Africa for live shows … I am starting to dream … But really sometimes I miss radio a lot. For the first time I switched my receiver on in 1986, then in 1989 I took mike for the very first time and was connected firstly with pirates then with official station up till 1998 … By the way those articles for FRS Goes DX were my first experience as a writing journalist. As for me, I continue to listen to short waves, but this task becomes harder and harder, because I live in the urban part of Moscow with a huge level of industrial interferences and even have no possibility to stretch a good long wire. I even don’t dream about something more serious. I use a Sony 7600G, which is quite good in Moscow suburb, where my aunt has a small summerhouse. Some past years I often went there to listen to the radio. Only with Sony’s telescopic antenna I even had a chance to listen to Australia on 120 m with a rather good audio. But this year I haven’t gone there, so I can say this summer radio season is lost for me.I even can take with me something from my huge archives of traditional music of the Andes and Africa for live shows … I am starting to dream … But really sometimes I miss radio a lot. For the first time I switched my receiver on in 1986, then in 1989 I took mike for the very first time and was connected firstly with pirates then with official station up till 1998 … By the way those articles for FRS Goes DX were my first experience as a writing journalist.
Thomas Drescher/ Germany
Thanks a lot for your email reminding me to do a contibution. Well, doing so is a bit difficult to me, for I am not the kind of person that likes holding speeches, writing articles, doing recordings or so. But anyway, FRSH surely is the SW-station that accompanied me through a long period in my life and my professional career. For on October 1, 1980 I started working at the department of administration at WDR Cologne, I took over the position of Head of Administration at the cable pilot project in Dortmund in autumn 1984, got married in 1987, moved back to Cologne the same year- since the project had come to an end- took over the department for licence fees, and finally got appointed to the Data Protection Commissioner of WDR Cologne. I retired in June 2012. And during the whole period I was accompanied by FRSH, at times on a regular basis, then there were longer or shorter breaks, but once in a time you could always get in touch with the station again.I remember lots of good music, programmes in different languages, and especially in-depth information on DXing particularly about the "pirate"-scene. Times have changed by now, and nowadays as a DXer you do not have to wait for FRS Goes DX to clear up a station you could not identify. Today this kind of info is available via internet at once. But what you cannot get there is the in-depth and background information. Here FRSH still plays a tremendous role, and I won't miss it in the future. Programmes are always great from the people at FRSH I can really regard as friends, even though SW-propagation is at many times affected by difficulties. So what I want to say is thank you so much for accompanying me through a long, long time, all the best to all of you for the future, and many happy returns. And I'll watch out for you for the next ???? years! Sincerely Yours, Thomas Drescher, Germany.
Michel Morisse/ France
I am listening to free radio stations on SW since 1977. I received the Free Radio Service Holland for the first time on the 21st of June 1981, on 7316 kHz. I was impressed by the very professionnal sound, compared to other Dutch stations. In January 1983 I was very sad to know that the Free Radio Service Holland was raided. In 2004, I was a great pleasure to listen to the station on 9290, transmitting with 100 kW from Latvia. And nowadays the Free Radio Service Holland is still on the air, for the pleasure of all listeners. Many thanks Peter, and all at the FRSH. Long life to the Free Radio Service Holland. Michel Morisse from the south west of France.
Gianluigi Nadali/ Italy
Hi friends of FRS, I think to have listened to FRS-Holland for the first time during the month of November 2007. My first FRS QSL is from 27th December 2009. I like the programmes: 'FRS goes DX' and of course the great" music of FRS. My best wishes for FRS and congratulations for all those many, many years on SW, not many free radio have reached this target. Gianluigi from Italy.
Achim Brückner/ Germany
I first came accross FRSH somewhere in 1988 and remember the long and well edited programmes. Remember well the 10 years Anniversary in 1990 which gave a review of 10 years FRSH with special productions of old tapes. Enjoyed all these DJs with the nice jingles and real programmes not only playing music on and on. Music on and on became more usual in the years 2000 beyond in pirate radio world. Thanks for making it possible for me taking part in your FRS Memorie
Gernot Kramer/ Germany
I started listening to shortwave in the end of the 1970s. Around 1978 or so. First I was listening to the international services. By accident I discovered the 48m-pirate-band on a Sunday morning (I guess it was a show of Radio Nolan International). I was fascinated that there were people doing their own programme in a way, different from the "offical" radio stations. OK, I was living in a part of Germany where AFN made a strong signal on FM and we also were in the target area of SWF 3 at that time probably the most progressive official station within Germany with some really good programmes. The music was always secondary to me. Even at that time I could get it in a better quality on FM. I was fascinated by the close link between the listeners and the station operators of the free radio stations. That was something really new. I was listening to FRSH from the very beginning. In my logbook is an entry for the transmission in August 1980 on 6250 kc/s (SINPO 32322). Couldn't clearly identify the station at that transmission. Conditions were better in September 1980 and I got my first QSL from FRSH for the September transmission. The station soon became my favourite (others were European Music Radio, Radio East Coast Commercial and Britain Radio International) and the third Sunday in the month was a fixed date in my schedule for the next years. FRS goes DX and the International Listeners Letters Show were my favourite shows these days.
I kept on listening to pirate stations up until the mid 1990s. For a period of time in the early 90s I run a free radio column in the magazine of a major shortwave club in Germany. Listening to free radio stations over the years became more and more uninteresting to me because less stations operated on a regular basis and the overwhelming number of stations reduced its format to non-stop music interrupted by identifications. Also QSO-stations became more and more poplular. Around that time I also got a hamradio license and concentrated on VHF and UHF hamradio activities.
Independent Radio got my attention again when the webradio-stations became popular after 2000. I guess radio (official and non-official) via the airwaves has had its best days. The people nowadays want to listen independent from transmitting times. In this I am not different. I look for interesting programmes among the webstations (official and independent), record them (or use podcasts) with special software and transfer them to the smartphone to listen to them whenever I like (f.e. in the train when I am on the way to my workplace).
The thrill of my early days on shortwave are gone but I got a feeling of how it was, when I went through my files to pull out all the stuff I got from FRSH over the years. Today I sometimes do hamradio experiments with very low power in digital modes on SW and very occassionally I dial through the pirate bands. Like during Christmas, New Year or Easter. Probably I have been listening to parts of most of your transmissions at these festives in the past decades (but didn't sent a report or letter, a shame I know ). I don't ask for paper QSL-cards anymore. Even on hamradio I just sent e-QSLs.
Good programmes are rare on radio nowadays. Not only the free radios are declining. The quality of the official stations has gone down as well. Just mainstream everywhere. FRSH on a regular basis (every third Sunday perhaps) as a webradio? I will listen!
Well this is more an overlook about development of radio as a media (and my personal media history) and my early FRSH memories. If you want you can just use parts of it for your homepage ( by the way: a really interesting one). All the best to you and yours - keep on doing real free radio!
Ralph W. Perry/ USA
I first heard FRSH back in about 1980 or 1981, while I was in graduate school and living on the USA East Coast, in Philadelphia. During those days, I often listened for free radio stations from Europe late on Saturday nights, early your Sunday mornings. One of the most enjoyable receptions I had, back then, was FRSH! I may have had one of the first receptions in the USA, in fact.
Anyway, it is now 40 years later, and I am a recent retiree and living in the Chicago area. I pursued an international career and lived in many countries in Asia, from the 1980s till 2010, and did very little shortwave radio hobby activity then, as I was very busy with my career. But now that I have retired, I have resumed DXing on shortwave! So, imagine the thrill it was for me to hear your station once again, four decades later (November 2nd 2014). I no longer have my FRSH QSL card from the 1980s, so I hope you will be able to send me a new one, by airmail or email.
I now reside in Wheaton, Illinois, a village in the Central USA that is near the major metropolitan area of Chicago, Illinois. Being so far inland in the USA, it is quite rare that I get reception of low-powered free radio stations from Europe, so this was a most enjoyable reception for me!
Friends, I just happened to be sleepless that night and so was up at 02:00 in the morning, and tuned around a bit. I was quite surprised to hear a decent signal on a frequency, 7700 kHz, that is usually empty. I stopped to listen to this unidentified station and did some quick research and realized I was hearing FRSH, once again, forty years later than my first receptions! Although your signal never became very strong at all, it was still fairly decent reception -- especially when considering that it is very rare, indeed, for European free radio stations to propagate all the way here to the Central USA. I hear only a handful of Europirate stations each year . . . so this was a thrilling reception for me! Congratulations for your success in this transAtlantic transmission!!!
I am a recent retiree, after a career which led me to reside in various countries in Asia for the past 25 years: Malaysia, Hong Kong, Philippines, Korea and Thailand. It would be an honor to receive your QSL card along with any further information about FRSH . . . to add to my collection! Please accept my fond wishes for your station future success! With kind regards, Ralph W. Perry, Wheaton, Illinois/ United States of America.
Norbert Scheel/ Germany
"My first FRS QSL card dates back to February 21st 1982. I think this one is my first one although I'm not 100% certain. Fact is all other QSLs are from later dates (May & Nov. 1982 etc.). Strange to me is that this February 82 QSL only shows a 10 minute reception (12:30-12:40 GMT). It handles the original FRS 10W 7315 tx in that wooden trunk. I remember at that time I used to tune in with a Grundig Satellit 210 receiver with an inbuilt long telescopic aerial. That one served me till late 1983. My next receiver was a Grundig Satellite 2100. Nowadays it wouldn't be possible to receive a 10W tx at my QTH with a sinpo of 34333 (like it was in Febr. 82). My 2nd QSL shows I heard the entire May 1982 broadcast (08:03-12:04 GMT) on 7325 kHz.The raid in January 1983 was a big shock. I can recall a lengthy article in the Dutch Free Radio magazine prior to the raid and have also asked myself whether there was somehow a connection...I was happy knowing FRS found a way to move on via relays referring at my QSL from July 24th 1983 via the famous Delmare 6206 QRG (that was FRS' first ever relay via Delmare-PV). And after all those many, many years I'm still tuning in to FRS-Holland!
Albert E. Ford/ UK
My main period of radio-listening after such as Luxy 208, R.N.I., Veronica, Caroline etc. and as a hobby, SWL, DXing, whatever was really from about 1970 through to 1995 with my most serious involvement being from 1983 to 1995 (using a Grundig Satatellite 3400 as my receiver at my then listening-post (QTH) down in Devon, in the SW of England. Music radio, Free Radio and the International SW broadcasters etc., all interested me with a heavy leaning towards the Free Radio scene. It was back somewhere in 1983/1984 that I really started writing/ reporting to stations in earnest. The FRSH being one of many with my first letter (I believe) being dated 18 November 1985.
Unfortunately I have not been able to pursue the radio hobby since early 1995 due to a variety of (personal) reasons and commitments. Indeed, all my radio-related files, cassette tapes and equipment have been like scattered into storage at various locations. However, in recent times I have been accessing some of my old files and tapes and began refreshing my memory. With increasing use of the Internet finding such sites as yours, starting to scan 'items' from files and digitising tapes to computer files I am at least able to regain a little of the hobby.
Looking now to my FRSH file. As I mentioned, my first letter to you appears to be dated 18 November 1985 (I kept handwritten carbon copies back then - no computer or even typewriter!) This included a basic reception report for Sunday 17 November 1985 and I see that I had enjoyed the variety of your programs that day. Laser and other Offshore news in FRS Goes DX, Daniel Kaye German program, mention for RN produced literature etc. Plus I gave my Christmas greetings message. I am pleased to say that in response you kindly sent me a personal letter QSL card, station sticker and info sheets which I received 10 January 1986. This was followed by a copy of FRS Goes DX issue 42 received 22 January 1986. Following my letters during October 1990 (I see that I kept a lot of program content notes in my reception report for 21 October 1990 - 0950 to 1330 UTC approx.) I am pleased to say you kindly sent me a special souvenir package containing the important 10th birthday QSL, long personal letter and copy FRS Goes DX issue 101/102 and info. sheets. I also have a few other QSL's from packages received from you between 1985 and 1990 and would be happy to try sending scans if they would be of interest. My very last letter to you appears to be dated 28 January 1991 but I have no noted response to that. Unfortunately I did not have a reception report to include on that occasion anyway. Between 1991 and 1995 is a mystery at the moment. Will need to research and check my old general log-books when I am able to access. Thank you & 73s, Albert E. Ford.