Northeast series: FRC show #28 on Radio Rainbow International

Northeast series: FRC show #28 on Radio Rainbow International
Letterhead of Radio Rainbow International (courtesy Eddie Caffrey).

Radio Rainbow International was a high-powered shortwave station broadcasting from Co. Louth between 1985-1988. It was set up by the engineer of Boyneside Radio, Eddie Caffrey and other Boyneside presenters were also involved, including Kieran Murray with the weekly Free Radio Campaign (FRC) show featuring radio news from home and abroad. Initially, Radio Rainbow broadcast every Sunday morning across Europe on 6240 kHz in the 48-metre band. Local transmitters were later added on AM and FM.

In edition #28 of the FRC, Kieran Murray welcomes listeners hearing relays on Radio Veronica in Liverpool and Radio Crystal in Surrey and reminds other free radio stations in Europe that they are welcome to carry the programme. Promos for Anoraks UK are voiced by the late Bob Gallico. Listeners’ letters come from Ireland and the UK and there is the usual 5-minute sweep of jingles. The feature covers a recording of London pirate Thameside Radio from 1980 and is followed by the weekly FRC newsdesk.

Northeast series: FRC show #28 on Radio Rainbow International
Original cassette inlay from Anoraks Ireland Collection.

The recording is from the Anoraks Ireland Collection and was made on Sunday 3rd August 1986 from 1100-1200. This is a studio copy in stereo but there is some wobble of the cassette due to degradation over time.

Northeast series: FRC show #34 on Radio Rainbow International

Northeast series: FRC show #34 on Radio Rainbow International
Radio Rainbow International letterhead (courtesy Kieran Murray).

This is an episode of the weekly Free Radio Campaign (FRC) show on Louth station Radio Rainbow International from autumn 1986. Presented by Kieran Murray, it includes the usual 5-minute sweep of jingles this week featuring British ILR and BBC stations. The featured station is BBC Radio Stoke-on-Trent, which includes an interview with Dave Cash formerly of Radio Caroline and Radio London in the 1960s. The free radio newsdesk includes references to various proposed new stations that did not materialise: a new music station operated by Boyneside Radio covering an area from Dublin to Belfast called Laser FM and three new stations from the stable of Sunshine Radio in Dublin.

The recording of episode #34 of the FRC was made from 1100-1200 on Sunday 5th October 1986. Radio Rainbow International broadcast on 6240 kHz shortwave at this stage, later adding AM and FM. This is a studio copy and is from the Anoraks Ireland Collection.

Northeast series: FRC show #9 on Radio Rainbow International

Northeast series: FRC show #9 on Radio Rainbow International
Radio Rainbow letterhead (courtesy Ian Biggar).

This is edition #9 of the Free Radio Campaign (FRC) show on Co. Louth shortwave station Radio Rainbow International. Presenter Kieran Murray announces that the station was off the air the previous Sunday because of poor conditions on shortwave and work on the transmitter. He says that the FRC is being relayed on stations in the UK and elsewhere in Europe. Listeners’ letters come from the UK and the Netherlands and the weekly 5 minutes of jingles includes pirates and licensed stations. The station feature comprises an interview with Kenny Everett of Capitol Radio and BBC Radio 1 and excerpts from Capitol Radio in London. The FRC newsdesk covers offshore and Irish pirates and includes a reference to the introduction of compact discs on Q102, sponsored by Sony. Radio Nova is reported to be considering a name change in the next fortnight due to a fall in advertising revenue. On March 19th, Radio Nova would close down, to be replaced by Zoom 103.  

This recording is a studio copy and from the Anoraks Ireland Collection. It was made on Sunday 9th March 1986 from 1100-1200. Radio Rainbow International broadcast on 6240 kHz shortwave.

Northeast series: FRC show #7 on Radio Rainbow International

Northeast series: FRC show #7 on Radio Rainbow International
Radio Rainbow’s transmitter in 1986 (courtesy Andy Carter).

Radio Rainbow International (1985-1988) was a high-powered shortwave station broadcasting from Co. Louth. Set up by Eddie Caffrey of Boyneside Radio, it also involved other Boyneside DJs Jim Agnew and Kieran Murray, who presented a weekly Free Radio Campaign (FRC) show. This recording of edition #7 of the FRC features listeners’ letters from the UK, 5 minutes of jingles from offshore stations, a feature on Sussex station Automatic Radio and promos for Anoraks UK.

This studio copy of the show is from the Anoraks Ireland Collection and was made on Sunday 16th February 1986 from 1100-1200. There is some wobble due to cassette degradation and the show is truncated because the cassette jammed and it was not possible to complete digitisation. Radio Rainbow International broadcast initially on 6240 kHz shortwave in the 48-metre band, before adding medium wave and FM transmitters.

Sonic Independent Radio relayed on shortwave

Sonic Independent Radio relayed on shortwave
Bob Nailor in the Sonic Independent Radio studio in 1981 (courtesy DX Archive).

Sonic Independent Radio was one of many short-lived south Dublin stations during the early 1980s. Based in Shankill on the southside, it was first logged in the winter of 1980/1981 on 1314 kHz (announcing 228 metres) and was noted on that frequency several times during 1981. Sonic was run by Joe Jackson, who provided many AM transmitters for pirate radio around that time. According to an entry on DX Archive, the same transmitter was used for later short-term stations such as East Coast Radio, ABC (Dún Laoghaire) and South City Radio. Sonic features in a log of stations received in Lancashire in summer 1981 and was said to have a very good signal at the time. However reception of the station outside Ireland was soon to be hampered by the expansion of Norwegian station NRK of its broadcasts on 1314 kHz.

This recording of Sonic Independent Radio is of the weekly FRC (Free Radio Campaign) Ireland show, presented by Rick Davenport and Steve Johnston. The FRC show covers radio news, both licensed and pirate, and includes listeners’ letters and reception reports. The presenters announce that Sonic is to be relaunched the following day, with a new format and name. This edition of the FRC Ireland show was a relay by Capital Radio International on 6268 kHz. It was made on 8th November 1981 from 1200-1245 and begins with the voice of Capital Radio operator, Aidan Hughes. Capital Radio began broadcasting in 1981 and continued as a regular Sunday morning shortwave pirate throughout the 1980s. It returned in the early 1990s but ceased to broadcast after Aidan Hughes died prematurely.

Audio quality on this recording ranges from fair to poor, reflecting the fact that it is of a shortwave relay of an original medium wave broadcast. There is also some wobble due to degradation of the cassette, which is from the Anoraks Ireland Collection.