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    General Lighting

    shame they don’t do 192k ; I’ve been asked this weekend to help out some friends in North Essex who want to set up a online station for Europop / folk music (!) which may even include some piratenhits and maybe a bit of 1960s/80s soul music (they are about 45-50 age group and grew up with that stuff)

    its not my usual genre to play and there are kilos of cheese but I admit to having a soft spot for it myself, as I can remember when being able to even hear the radio from a foreign country was a new thing…


    I just loved that tune, have heard it a million times I think :love:

    General Lighting

    I always used to hear it on the French radio stations on the low frequencies (long wave) between the news/documentaries even in the late 80s (I think they are very proud of him, he was in many ways the forerunner to David Guetta).

    Not sure how things were in Denmark but in England there was a official restriction on how much “pop music” and “disco music” could be played on the radio – and worse, pop stations were relegated to the AM bands which are not good for music quality (as the VHF was still part allocated to communications radios for the emergency and public services) – ..and at night foreign broadcasters cut across the signal on most small transistor radios within the price range of a youngster (which is probably why I became interested in other languages, and also realised that these stations played more music than us and had younger presenters)

    This didn’t change until the late 90s/early 2000s! Now we finally have community radio in England but the FM radio is noisy compared to internet broadcasting when done correctly, however 128k (although popular and with AAC is OK for mobile device listening) isn’t that good on decent equipment


    I’m not sure how the radio worked then but,

    We had this guy


    He started out in the radio from 1982-1990, he was one of the people who got techno, RnB, pop and dance to Denmark.

    From about 1990 he started out making music programs for tv, and it was those tv shows we recorded on VHS and played them again and again.

    Was just looking at FR David again and saw some of the other music videos from then. Limahl, Boy George, AHA and it really takes you back

    Gonna buy a zimmer frame soon :biggreen:

    General Lighting

    I think you must have had VHF / FM as those genres of music would not sound good on AM, and Denmark was way ahead of many countries in encouraging VHF broadcasting.

    Until 1981/1982 Britain and France used a large chunk of the VHF Band II (87,5 to 108 MHz) for public service authority communications radios (97,5 to 103 MHz for emergency services, and 105-108 Mhz for the electric, gas, water and public transport authorities). What little remained of it was mostly allocated to the BBC (who had 2 allocations of 3 frequencies) and a single commercial station for each area.

    The use of the radio frequencies in this manner was actually against international agreements (and of course made the systems very insecure). The UK and FR got a bollocking for it from the UN in 1979 and were made to start with moving the emergency services off those frequencies. They were given a few years to do it as replacing every communications radio in every emergency service vehicle of each country isn’t a cheap or easy task, especially as neither country wanted to buy the radios from the Germans, nor the Japanese (even though WW II was supposed to have ended)!

    This also meant any country nearby with a coastal border could not use a strong transmitter on the higher Band II frequencies – in some weather conditions that signal would go straight over the North Sea and would have caused problems to communications for Emergency Services.

    France managed to shift the non broadcast services fairly quickly (it may only have been the gendarmerie using Band II, with military radios that could be more easily retuned). Britain did this far slower, taking most of the 1980s. They started with the areas near the coast, then London and affluent areas of SE England, Scotland was last of all (possibly as recently as the mid 1990s).

    According to Wikipedia Denmark had stereo FM broadcasting since the 1950s – indeed a lot English electronics enthusiasts would buy the “front end” part of the VHF receiver from a company in Denmark and build their own receiver for their hi fi system. Also many of the new Emergency Service radios for Britain were to be supplied by Storno – so it made sense for Copenhagen to wait until the UK had reduced the interference risks, but by 1982 it would have been possible for Tele Danmark and Danmarks Radio to work together on putting up a relatively low power transmitter on the higher band II frequencies, and use it for a “youth station” with young presenters and pop music.

    We had to wait until 1988 until Radio 1 got its own frequency on Band II and even then it was mostly middle aged men (many of whom are now in Court or prison!) acting like idiots trying to be fun and cool.

    However the frequency changes meant that especially around London, SE and East England there was now a lot of surplus radio transmitter equipment being sold of for scrap/components value. Often it was the part of a Police or Fire Brigade radio that is in the boot near the antenna (the other bit in the dashboard with the control panel was usually kept, as they were deliberately made as two separate units as that way the same equipment could be sold in modular form to many different countries which all used different frequencies).

    It was fairly easy for an electronics engineer to use the “end stage” from this (which could transmit 25 – 100 watts of radio power, enough to cover a whole city) and remove the voice communication circuit, replacing this with a wide band FM stereo exciter (a smaller transmitter, that feeds an amplifier). So suddenly a lot of pirates in England started up in gaps left between the end of broadcast bands and the start of the remaining public service frequencies 😉

    General Lighting

    @Angel 560965 wrote:

    I’m not sure how the radio worked then but,

    We had this guy


    Also this presenters fashion choices (though not unusual for the mid to late 80s including the use of Soviet imagery) and other things going on in DK, NO and SE would have scared the shit out of Thatcho to the point that every broadcast of his would most likely have been recorded by a special unit of the BBC who monitored Western European stations (I then lived in Reading, SE England and for a lot of this time in Caversham where the main bit of it was situated). In this case they would most likely have used a receiving antenna on the big British Telecom tower near where I currently live and sent the audio to SE England via the telephone network to be recorded at Caversham (the Telephone Exchange in this suburb was bigger than the main city one and had much more advanced equipment, and capacity for way more circuits than the population of the area) This was all explained away as “helping Danmarks Radio and Tele Danmark with their technical stuff” and to be fair there was a genuine element of that but it was also a way of checking out what the more rebellious bits of European broacasters may have been saying….


    It’s funny with that presenter. His name’s Kim Schumacher, he was gay and everybody knew it, it was never a secret but still he worked with entertaining young people, I wonder if that would have been possible in UK.

    He died in 1990 of AIDS, I think he brought the awarenes of AIDS into Denmark. It was a big loss for intertainment in Denmark for young people.
    But we also had MTV. It was when MTV was about music and not about pregnant teenagers or silly people stuck in houses badmouthing each hardly ever see music there anymore.

    General Lighting

    @Angel 561038 wrote:

    It’s funny with that presenter. His name’s Kim Schumacher, he was gay and everybody knew it, it was never a secret but still he worked with entertaining young people, I wonder if that would have been possible in UK.

    it was , even since the 1970, and with older presenters (such as Larry Grayson, who would say in a camp voice “Shut that Door!”).

    by the late 1980s many radio and TV presenters had come out and TBH by the 1990s it was easier to get a job in production or presenting if you were a gay male than a straight one. BTW the Blue Peter theme can be sung to alternative rude lyrics which start “do your balls hang low” and one version of the chorus is

    “ting a ling old man”
    find a woman if you can
    if you can’t find a woman
    find a clean young man”

    which ties in with how they get their presenters :laugh_at:

    One of my friends who built our pirate radio transmitter in our teens came out in the 1980s, and also turned out some of the BBC / Communications Ministry / GCHQ chaps who did all the monitoring (they warned us that one frequency we picked had cut across the buses) were also gay. They could not get their “Gay Times” magazine at the main street bookshop because it was censored, so they also went to the anarchist bookshop (and knew where we got the circuit diagram for that transmitter and why we might have made the mistake of picking that frequency as it was clear in London and we lived near London). They were actually friendly and helpful and agreed we were not deliberately endangering the buses and it was silly to put their communications radios on the broacast frequency.

    So they did not report us to the main government for the illegal transmitter (who could have had the Police put us before youth Court), and over the years ensured the government upgraded the communications radios in the buses and that community radio stations could use those frequencies. Also they told my friend and his partner to “be careful”. As in the 80s and today in leftwing/anarchist groups of friends even if you are straight it is perfectly normal to have gay friends, I only realised why – both were still in their teens and in those years their relationship might have got them in trouble.

    There was a bad law in the UK preventing promotion of LGBT activity which delayed advice against AIDS (which is similar to what Russia is now implementing) but that was taken away in the 1990s and even with Thatcho she realised she had to accept that people would be LGBT and that AIDS was dangerous – but until the 1990s the age of consent was split – 16 for straight people and 21 for gay people; so any gay couple below that age making love if observed could be nicked and the charge could be sodomy, buggery, outraging public decent or even child sex abuse depending on the ages of those involved. But if this went on behind a closed door and no one could notice/complain, no offence was committed. Which was why Larry Grayson would say “shut that door”.

    I used to repair some of MTVs equipment when the playout and studios were still in London. (from what I remember it was rather old and the USA owners didn’t want to upgrade it). They used to be in the old TV-AM breakfast TV studios which were a 1980s special design,

    many British people had a boiled egg for breakfast usually a hen egg but sometimes a goose egg (especially such folk as professors and other scientists/brainy people who might spend so much of the morning in their lab or looking at the sky or doing maths they might skip lunch altogether and eat at teatime, then go back to their lab until late night.

    So at the top of these studios were status of boiled eggs :laugh_at: (Unfortunately the whole lot is knocked down now and MTV playout is gone to Poland and the shows made by groups of youths in Europe who barely get paid if at all, hence the crap on that channel).

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