European Radio Airchecks

InterNetwork's president is very Dutch and very into radio. So, here is a collection of airchecks he made while vacationing in Holland. The all-time favorite is Radio Luxembourg 208 (1440 AM). At 1,200,000 watts, this hit-music powerhouse could easily fill up aircheck cassettes with very entertaining radio!

August 1983 Airchecks:

This was the first attempt at capturing European "pirate" radio stations on tape. Centrum Radio in Den Haag, Netherlands, had elaborate production elements and a tight format, but Radio Caroline stole the majority of the tape due to it's true off-shore status in the North Sea. Their 50,000 watt signal was heard clearly in Rotterdam both during the day and at night. These recordings were made using a Panasonic RX-1950 portable AM/FM/Cassette player.

Centrum Radio (FM - Den Haag - Dutch) aircheck

Radio Caroline 319 (963 AM)

August 2011 Update: These airchecks were re-digitized off the original tape recordings. At the same time, searches on the internet uncovered an amazing coincidence... that these Radio Caroline recordings were made during the first few days of Caroline's broadcasts on their new radio ship the Ross Revenge a.k.a Imagine!

Saturday 20 Aug, 1983:

Robin Ross

Sunday 21 Aug, 1983:

Tony Gareth

Andy Archer

Tom Anderson

Monday 22 Aug, 1983:

Tony Gareth

Wednesday 24 Aug, 1983:

Tony Gareth

Thursday 25 Aug, 1983:

Dixie Peach w/Sign Off

Take a look at this excellent website illustrating
the story of Radio Caroline with text and pictures

June/July 1987 Airchecks:

This time, there was a firm plan in place for airchecking everything and anything. Radio Luxembourg was great radio to listen to, and very easy to tune in, but only at night. Radio Caroline moved down the dial to 558 kHz (replacing "Laser 558" for which we have no airchecks), and Radio North Sea took its place at 963 kHz. Hilversum 3, the only legitimate station on these airchecks, was interesting for its Americanesque format (and WABC jingle package) and the "live-on-location" remote broadcast.

Radio Luxembourg 208 (1440 AM) jingle
Radio Luxembourg 208 aircheck w/Neil Fox
Atlantic Radio aircheck
Radio Atlantic (103.1 FM - Schiedam - # 010 415 59 76) aircheck
Counterpoint FM (~91.5 FM - Amsterdam) jingle
Quality FM (98.3 FM - Amsterdam) jingle
Radio Monique (963 AM - Dutch) aircheck
Radio Caroline (558 AM) aircheck
Radio 3 (674 AM - Hilversum - Dutch) aircheck (Rob Stenders for VARA and after that Frits Spits starting up De Avondspits at 18:00)
Radio 3 (96.8 FM - Hilversum - Dutch) aircheck (Tom Mulder between 12 and 14 hours for TROS Radio)
Radio 3 (96.8 FM/674 AM - Hilversum - Dutch) jingle
Kingston Radio Rotterdam (FM - Dutch)
BBC World Service 647 Dave Lee Travis "A Jolly Good Show"

September 1990 Airchecks:

If nothing else, there would be extensive Radio Luxembourg airchecking on this trip. Unfortunately, there wasn't much more. Note that in the 1987 Radio Lux aircheck (above), Mike Hollis reported the news on Neil Fox's show. Three years later, he was at the helm.

It was also intriguing to listen to Hot CHR on longwave from Atlantic 252 (252 kHz). While the signal wasn't as strong as Luxembourg's, it was steady both day and night (as you would expect at that frequency. Atlantic 252's format was also 24 hour, compared to Radio Luxembourg 208 which, despite their 1,200,000 watt signal, would program locally during the day and air Top 40 at night to appeal specifically to an audience in Great Britain.

Sadly, the Radio Luxembourg format captured here did not last much longer. In the April 1993 issue of Popular Communications, Scott Hower wrote: "Prior to December of 1991, this signal (known as 208 for its wavelength) could be heard nightly throughout the U.K. As an alternative to the BBC, the station carried English programs and rock music. In recent years, however, competition from commercial stations in Britain as well as a much improved BBC, may have helped Radio Luxembourg decide to end English programming on 1440 kHz. It isn't known if the directional pattern was changed after English was discontinued".

Radio Luxembourg 208 ID
Radio Luxembourg 208 aircheck w/Mike Hollis
Atlantic 252 aircheck