Saturday, January 13, 2007

Radio Nordsee

Do you remember the Pirate Radio Stations?

Back in 1965/6 I was listening to Radio Caroline during the day and Radio Luxemburg at night. Radio Caroline on 199 metres could be picked up clearly with a good transistor radio but not very strong. My Dad used to listen to Radio Caroline in the kitchen by placing our (GEC) Transistor Radio on top of the electric cooker power switch, this acted as a super aerial when picked up by the ferrite rod in the radio. Pop music during the day? unheard of if you listened to the BBC Light Programme or Home Service! When it went dark the reception of Radio Caroline went very noisy as QRM swamped the station from other continentals. (Remember Radio Prague and Radio Moscow?) Radio Luxemburg with it's powerful transmitters and huge aerials was the best station to listen to at night if you wanted pop.

1967 and along came Radio 1!

The Postmaster General's tried to make way for the BBC's answer to Pop music by shutting down the Pirate Stations. Radio Caroline moved to international waters in an attempt to keep on the air.

"Too many stations! "
Was the excuse for trying to close the Pirates.

See the story of Radio Caroline

I remember the day when Radio 1 came on the air, got up early to listen to Tony Blackburn and the first ever Radio Broadcast before going to school. At school everyone was talking about it...pop music at 7.00 in the morning before school...Brill!!
I loved to listen to the breakfast show on Radio 1 in those days, Tony Blackburn would always play a great record just after the news at 7.30am.

I still listened to Radio Caroline, although there later became two Radio Carolines (North and South) Later however in 1971, another station excellent station that could be picked up clearly and played not just pop music...but ROCK MUSIC!

This was Radio Nordsee International RNI which broadcast some super stuff! RNI was a Pirate Station from the Radio ship MEBO 2 located in International waters off the coast of Holland. When the station first came on the air reception reports were requested, so I sent them a full report of my reception of the station over space of a couple of hours. In return the station sent me a QSL card!

My best memories of RNI was listening to songs like Silvia and Hocus Pocus by the group Focus along with The Who and even Led Zeppelin! I could easily pick up the station from my own Communication Receiver (Hallicrafters SX24) or my 'other' broadcast receiver which was a wonderful old valve receiver with a half moon dial that sat in the cabinet that held up the bench in my shack! (The speaker was huge and you could really blast out the music from RNI!)

On the back of my QSL card details of the station are listed:

MW Transmitter: RCA 105 KW
Frequency: 1232 kHz - 244 metres, 1367 kHz - 220 metres.
MW antenna: Vertical Marconi

SW Transmitter 1: BBC 10 kW
Frequency: 6205 kHz - 48.3 metres
SW antenna: Inverted V

SW Transmitter II: RCA 10 kW
Frequency: 9935kHz - 30.18 metres
SW antenna: Inverted V

FM Transmitter: R&S 1 kW
Frequency: 100mHz

Generators: 2 x 250kVA Struver Diesel

Length: 60 metres
Width 9 metres
Displacement: 570 BRT
Aerial Mast: 52 metres

Who would have thought...

Today we have thousands of Radio seems that anyone who wants one can have a licence for one! 24 hours of commercial crap! Play one record then ten minutes of ads, follow it with a phone-in, a wind-up and a competition. Garbage!!!

Bring back the Pirates!

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