Radio Caroline News
Radio Caroline Southampton Support Group Meeting
The latest meeting of the Radio Caroline Southampton Support Group took place on Wednesday 6 December. Alan Beech gave a station engineering update and Chris Cooper talked about his experience on board Ross Revenge over Christmas and New Year 1989.
There was merchandise on sale, a bar and the chance to catch up with Caroline presenters. All this took place at the Hamble Club, Beaulieu Road, Hamble-le-Rice, SO31 4JL.
More details later.
Radio Caroline North December
Another Radio Caroline North broadcast will take place this weekend the 9th and 10th of December.
It will be live from the radio ship the Ross Revenge, playing some great music from the 60s to early 90s – plus a chance to win a Thornton & France Luxury Christmas hamper with wine and snacks, courtesy of Addo Addison from Royston, Herts.
It will broadcast on 648 AM across England, The Netherlands, Belgium and beyond, on 1368 AM in the North/North-West courtesy of Manx Radio, worldwide online here via the Caroline North Player, on smart speakers and the Radio Caroline app.
Presenters onboard will include, Johnny Lewis, Barry James, Andrew Austin, Keith Rogers, Ray Clark and Dave Foster
As always they'd love to hear from you during the broadcast via firstname.lastname@example.org and remember, it's the only email address that gets you straight through to the 'North' broadcasters.
New Ray Clark Show On Caroline
Former BBC Essex presenter Ray Clark is joining Radio Caroline, where he started his career, following a year of uncertainty over the changes to BBC local radio.
Ray’s BBC show was broadcast across East Anglia and the South-East on Sunday evenings, and his new programme on Caroline will air at the same time starting October 22nd..
Ray says: “Since the BBC has decided it no longer wants many highly experienced and long serving presenters, then it’s reasonable to assume that they’re not really worried about the people that listened to the shows they presented. But at Radio Caroline we’ve been making listeners welcome for nearly 60 years.
“My new Sunday early evening show on Caroline will be in the same style as my former BBC show and I’ll be playing the best songs, Caroline Classics, with, perhaps an occasional witty comment – it’s what I do!”
Source:- Radio Today
Rick Wakeman unveils Radio Caroline train
Hundreds of people turned out to see the former Yes keyboardist and composer pull a red curtain back to reveal special Radio Caroline and Caroline bell nameplates.
After the ceremony, Rick drove the 126-ton Class 31 mainline train in original British Rail colours down the track, pulling coaches full of visitors.
Speaking at the event, Rick talked about his love for Radio Caroline and of the importance of the social and musical revolution that it caused. He was also critical of the current state of radio in the UK, saying that maybe many regional Radio Caroline's ought to be established to compliment the national service that the station currently provides!
Source "Radio Today"
Barry James Country Show
Barry James will be starting a Country Music show on Caroline Flashback this Sunday the 8th of October. This seems to be replacing his Forgotten Vinyl show for now. It will be at 22:00 hours.
Emma Jane's show will move forward one hour to 21:00 hrs. Billy Jason formerly at this time is taking a break for a while.
Roland Beaney Memorial
On Wednesday evening the 27th of September there was a get together at the Hamble Club, Southampton. This was a memorial for the late Roland Beaney, organised by Alan Beech, Derek May and others.The presenters that attended were Martin Fisher, Andrew Austin, Dave Foster, Ray Copeland, André van Os, Alan Watts, Barry James, Steve Dack, Steve Bishop, Clive Garrard, Tony Kirk, Mike Brill, Phil Meek, and some from The Flash Radio station.
Roland has been involved with Radio Caroline since the 90s.
During that time he organised our popular Southampton Support Group Meetings on a three monthly basis. which raised many thousands of pounds for the Caroline ship he loved so much.
The Venue was at the Hamble Club, Beaulieu Rd, Hamble-le-Rice Southampton SO31 4JL at 7pm
Phone: 02380 452213
Radio Caroline August Fundraiser
Message from Peter Moore
"We are now able to give you the outcome of our August weekend fundraising appeal. This totalled approx £70,000 and while most were one-off donations, regular new supporters will give us additional spending power of £1,000 per month.
Generous recent contributions to the ship charity mean that 2023 was more successful than last year.
We will now print 1700 limited edition t-shirts as promised and these will be sent out on or around 1 September. The t-shirts and postage will cost about £14,200. This leaves a balance of £55,800, to be allocated as promised to broadcast costs and to swell the funds of the ship charity MV Ross Revenge (Home of Radio Caroline), which aims to raise money to get the ship into dry dock for essential works.
Nothing we can do will achieve success without your support, which is always very much appreciated. So we thank you again, while saying as ever that we will use the money wisely and only in the areas we have highlighted.
Peter Moore, Station Manager"
Radio Caroline now available on Freeview TV
Radio Caroline is now available on Freeview compatible TVs, via the UK Radio Portal on Freeview Channel 277.
UK Radio Portal is an interactive TV service designed to deliver radio channels to the UK Digital Terrestrial TV Freeview network via an easy-to-use interface accessible from channel 277 on the Freeview Programme Guide. Radio Caroline currently covers only England.
The service works on compatible internet connected smart TVs, (such as Freeview Play), allowing listeners to access radio services without forcing them to leave the familiar surroundings of their main TV screen and Freeview menu. Freeview Play is built in to the majority of new TVs and available to viewers for free, with no monthly fees or joining costs.
To access Radio Caroline on Freeview Channel 277
Please ensure that you have the following:
A compatible Freeview TV or set-top-box
A broadband Internet connection
A TV or set-top-box that is connected to the Internet
A TV or set-top-box that is connected to a UK Freeview/DTT (Digital Terrestrial TV) aerial
NOT AVAILABLE IN THE HAMPSHIRE AREA VIA THE ROWBRIDGE TRANSMITTER
Ross Revenge on "Yesterday" TV
Studio equipment from Radio Caroline’s former pirate radio ship Ross Revenge featured in an episode of a new TV show called Retro Electro Workshop on the Yesterday channel this week.
In the show he and his team find, fix, restore and revive ‘anything old with a plug on it’.
Report from Brian Bailey
Anyone tuning in the UK TV Play to the Yesterday channel, and viewing the new "Retro Electro Workshop" series, would be transported back to those various past decades. When various items of household electronic gadgets were used daily, until they could no longer be repaired, or were thrown out to make way for all the modern gadgets. The second program shows Rob taking a trip out to the Radio Caroline's ship "Ross Revenge" to fix a few studio Items in the old studio. The first item was one of the turntables, which needed some general maintenance work, with the cleaning of the major mechanical parts. The idler wheel had built up a deposit of rubber and dirt after years of use. Like a magician, Rob pulled out from his "retro tool box" some cotton wool buds and a bottle of isopropyl alcohol to clean various mechanical parts, thus restoring the turntable back to its fully working state.
The next item was a faulty "spot master" jingle machine, that had no audio output. This needed to be taken back to Rob's workshop as the fault was more involved, before leaving the Ross, Rob looked around in the transmitter room to see if there was another faulty "spot master" to use for spare parts. Rob was in luck, he found two faulty machines, so selecting the better one, Rob then headed back on the tender with the spot master machines. Back in the workshop, Rob started to dismantle the spot masters (which were built to a very high standard, typical of equipment made in the USA), after removing a shielding screen, the electronic printed circuit panels could be accessed. Each of the PCB's could be identified by the labels indicating what function they preformed. The audio PCB was swapped from the other spot master machine, which identified where the fault was located. Rob then went about locating which electronic component had failed by swapping over the various Integrated Circuits “Chips” that plugged into their respected sockets! After a short while, the faulty chip was located! Which no doubt could be still obtained from companies that specialized in retro components. Then another trip back out to the Ross with the repaired spot master jingle machine, helped by Dave Foster the machine was re-installed back into the retro studio and back in action!
It was interesting to contrast the technology in for repair at Robs workshop, from a 1930s/40's Defiant Valve Radio, to the 1980s Radio Caroline "Spot Master" jingle machine to the Sinclair C5. The series is well worth watching. Regards,
The episode featuring Radio Caroline is now available here on demand via "UK TV Play".
Ross Revenge live on ITV News
To help raise awareness of their Crowdfunder appeal to save the Ross Revenge, Russell Hookey came out to the former pirate radio ship for a feature on ITV News Anglia.
Ray Clark and Josh Holmes-Bright helped him to understand the history of the ship and why it’s so crucial that the legend is kept alive - which can only be done through saving it!
Visit www.rossrevenge.com to donate now and save the last true offshore radio ship.
Radio Caroline has arrived on YouTube!
The official Radio Caroline YouTube channel is now up and running, giving you the opportunity to watch exclusive content including behind-the-scenes action from weekends on board the Ross Revenge, interviews with musical guests and members of the team, and much more! Check out the first video where Josh Holmes-Bright welcomes you to the channel and with the help of this months crew, shows you how they set up for North weekends. Don't forget to ‘Like, Subscribe and Share’ now!
Radio Caroline 648 Solar Panels doing well
Message from Caroline's Peter Moore
"We have been concentrating rather on the Ship Charity and will update on that soon, but now it is time to announce the solar project.
The solar panels and associated items were installed at our transmitter site in mid March and started making power, but it took a while to devise a means to display this on our website, however we now have a power meter that can be viewed above. (Live reading HERE)
Don't expect too much, obviously at night and maybe when there is a rain storm or thick cloud, but as soon as the needle reads more than zero the Orford AM transmitter is being part fed with free electricity. When the needle gets to the amber we are running fully on Solar and our mains meter stops rotating. When it goes into the green we have surplus capacity.
Since our Landlords Cobra Mist have been so very good to us and have already waived the 10% mark up that they used to add to our bills, we are gifting them our surplus to the extent that they require it. If any power remains is goes back in to the grid 'somehow'.
Not now but maybe in future we can add 20% extra potential capacity and we are asking about battery storage.
After congratulating ourselves about how clever we are, it needs to be said that this project was funded by your donations. Thank you, we are very grateful and hope that you think this has been worthwhile.
Radio Caroline have applied to Ofcom
for a power increase on 648kHz
Radio Caroline have applied to Ofcom for a power increase on 648kHz from 4kw to 16kw and possibly 27kw at a later date.
Ross Revenge Dry Docking Appeal
Ross Revenge presently moored on the River Blackwater. You can help Radio Caroline secure the future of their much-loved radio ship for years to come by donating to the Ross Revenge dry docking appeal via their charity website rossrevenge.com Just hit the 'Donate' button. Donations of any amount are gratefully received and all money goes towards getting the Ross into dry dock for essential work
Emperor Rosko returns to Radio Caroline
Legendary DJ Emperor Rosko is now presenting a series of early Saturday morning breakfast shows during the monthly RADIO CAROLINE NORTH broadcasts.
Rosko joined Radio Caroline as a pirate radio DJ in 1964 and his pacey American style soon made him a listener favourite. He last presented a regular show on Radio Caroline in 1966 when he was part of the broadcast team on the Mi Amigo, along with Tony Blackburn, Tom Lodge and Tony Prince. Rosko joined Radio 1 as one of their original presenters in 1967 and is also a former Top Of The Pops presenter.
Now he returns to the airwaves in special shows during the monthly Radio Caroline North broadcasts at 6 am the second one on Saturday 11th February
Woodley Net presents the Anorak Jukebox..
You can listen to all your favourite anorak songs and jingles on Woodley Nets Anorak Jukebox.
Songs include Caroline - The Fortunes, Man of Action, Because They're Young (Johnnie Walker theme), Peace - Peter. Also Caroline and Mi-Amigo jingles. Just added is a recording of the Caroline DJ's Xmas song from 1944 featuring Tony Allan.
Also features the 1972 Radio Luxemburg broadcast of an Elvis Presley special. It was called "The Elvis Presley Gramarathon". It was presented by Tony Prince and Mark Wesley and includes a rare interview with Elvis and also quite a few words with a young Todd Slaughter.
Spirit Of The Seventies Weekend
A group of DJs who served on the Mi Amigo in the 1970's reunited for one last broadcast on Radio Caroline recently, live from the studios on board the Caroline radio ship the Ross Revenge.
The theme of the broadcast was ‘The Spirit of the Seventies’. It took place on the weekend of Friday 8th, Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th July 2022
The actual line-up was: Martin Fisher, Nigel Harris (Stuart Russell), Bob Lawrence (Richard Thompson) Mike Stevens, Mark Lawrence, James Ross, Cliff Osbourne, Marc Jacobs, Tom Anderson, Brian Martin, and Roger Mathews
Cotswold Motor Museum
A Radio Caroline Retro studio has been a feature in the Cotswold Motor Museum for seven years now. The studio was built for Caroline's 50th birthday party in Rochester and after the event it was donated to the museum. The display has been added to over the years with a number of iconic items from Ross Revenge and features a background soundtrack of Radio Caroline jingles.
Located in the picturesque village of Bourton-on-the-Water, the Cotswold Motoring Museum is a fascinating journey through the 20th century that the whole family can enjoy. The museum is packed full of great cars, quaint caravans, precarious looking motorcycles, enamel signs and an intriguing collection of motoring curiosities!
For more information visit cotswoldmotoringmuseum.co.uk
The Northern Radio Caroline Support Group
Our Meetings are now back on the first Tuesday in each month. So please turn up and have a good time.
The venue is at the Farsley Working Men,s Club.
Farsley WMC, Back Lane, Farsley, Pudsey, West Yorkshire. LS28 5EU
Any problems ring Colin Liversidge 07814773197, Thanks.
The group have raised money for the up keep of the Restoration work on the Ross Revenge. Sometimes we have former personalities from offshore radio visit, DVD nights, but mostly it's a get together of Radio Caroline Supporters for a social evening of chat and news of the restoration of the Ross Revenge. All are welcome at the meetings which are on the first Tuesday of every month.
Caroline's Rob Ashard is a busy man
Why is Rob Ashard managing 19 mix-minus feeds while taping a British TV show? When COVID keeps the audience out of the studio, Rob and his colleagues must go to them - in their homes and flats.
Rob Ashard is the lead audio mixer for The Graham Norton Show and Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway. Audience interaction is critical, and these shows have found a way to make it happen. We’ll also discuss bringing a 60 year old portable tape deck back to life, plus learn about DE-RIG mixing kits.
View on Video Player 6th on Playlist
Alan Watts support for the RNLI
40 years ago, Radio Caroline broadcast from the Mi Amigo for the last time when a storm sank the pirate radio vessel.
Alan Watts was an avid listener and was so moved by the bravery of the RNLI Sheerness lifeboat crew who rescued his DJ heroes he became a lifelong supporter.
He has since included the RNLI in his Will to support our lifesaving work – find out more about leaving a legacy here: https://rnli.org/support-us
Watch Alan's video HERE Number 8 on playlist
Radio Caroline's successful oil rig lifeboat conversion
aptly named the "Ronan O'Rahilly"
Thanks to the generosity of helper Roland Beaney and his wife Viv from Romsey in Hampshire, Caroline now have their own lifeboat. They purchased an enclosed oil rig lifeboat, which was then brought by road from Aberdeen to Essex and taken to a work shed. Various helpers stripped out the boat and Steve Anthony and Peter Moore removed the top. Assisted in the later stages by Pete Crisp and Howard Beer, and rewired by George Johnson and David Noakes. The boat was then rebuilt as shown below.
In view of the sad passing this year of their founder and figurehead Ronan, the craft was appropriately named Ronan O'Rahilly.
She has now been launched.
Caroline Community Radio
Caroline Community Radio is on 94.7 FM with a power of 200W, and the presenters include Ray Clark, Peter Phillips, Johnny Lewis and Graham Bannerman among others. Radio Caroline owns all the broadcast and other equipment previously owned by Saint FM. This was such an extensive inventory that Pete Crisp and Peter Moore were able to build the studio with plenty of items left over.
Caroline Community Radio serves Maldon and the surrounding towns and villages with a daily mix of music and community programming. Music programs presented by experienced national and local radio broadcasters who also broadcast on Radio Caroline
Since this is not a 100% Caroline project it seemed unreasonable that Radio Caroline should fund all costs. The start-up costs were covered personally by Ray Clark, Peter Phillips, Peter Moore and a range of local firms and individuals. Surplus equipment will be used on the Ross and elsewhere or sold to recoup Caroline's expenditure.
The station self funds from grants and commercial advertising. Radio Caroline's advertisers are carried at no charge on the station.
Diary of Radio Caroline engineer
Radio Caroline on a Regency 1950 pocket radio
Brian Bailey report
For those who may have been following the UK TV Play – Yesterday channel, and for those who have not. On the latest Episode 7 (Pinball Machine). Rob fixes a 1970s Pinball Machine, and attends a Radio Auction where he bids on three items, an early radio that uses a cohere type of crystal detector otherwise known as a cat's whisker. Where you move a wire over the crystal surface to detect a Radio Transmission, the receiver dates back to the early 1920s just before the electronic vacuum tubes (valves) became the norm in modern radio engineering.
The other, item that Rob bid for was a 1950's Regency portable pocket transistor radio. The Regency TR1 redefined the radio receiver engineering & manufacture industry in the US and the rest of the world, the Japanese then developed mass markets for consumer electronics during the 1970/80/90s!
Rob was unsuccessful on the third item, an early 2 valve PYE radio which went for around £275.
Back in Robs workshop, Rob sets about repairing the Pinball Machine which is based upon electromechanical relays, solenoids, and bulbs. Which become more challenging having no circuit diagram.
The next item Rob set about repairing was the Regency 1950's transistor radio, which used a 22.5 volt battery.
Powering up on an external Power Supply, as the volume control was adjusted, all that could be heard was crackling sound from the dirty volume control. The fault was narrowed down to a transistor in the radio frequency section of the radio. Once a correct transistor was sourced and a few electrolytic capacitors were replaced, the radio could receive some AM stations on the MW band. After re-aligning the radio, which improved its sensitivity & selectivity, you can see and hear Rob tuning into Radio Caroline on 648KHz!
Note on viewing UK TV Play – The Yesterday channel
For those who cannot receive UK TV Play on their TV set, you can view all the Electro Workshop Episodes using a web browser like Firefox, Chrome etc… As long as it supports html5, and has been updated.
You just need to create an account with UK TV Play and then sign in, you can view live or on demand.
The Regency 1950 pocket radio
How it works
Brian Bailey report
The Regency TR1 consists of 4 NPN germanium Transistors, the basic design was from Texas Instruments, who were one of the first US companies to manufacture semiconductors and supply the US Military back in the 1950s. The TR1 with its small ferrite rod aerial (bar Antenna), see circuit diagram for the TR1 & Description below: The Regency TR1 was the "world's first all transistor radio", and revolutionized the electronics industry. The TRI was the first all transistor Superhet receiver.
Brief description of above diagram
The first transistors (10) is a Self-Oscillating mixer (Frequency Changer), which converts the incoming RF signals received by the rod Antenna on the MW band – 536KHz through to 1600KHz. Down to a fixed frequency of 262KHz, the signal is then amplified in the two stage Intermediate RF amplifier. Thus providing sufficient amplification (gain), bandwidth & selectivity by the two transistors (12 & 14) & their IF transformers. The output is then detected and converted into the audio signal by a diode envelope detector (Component labeled 50). The detected audio signal is applied to the Volume Control (52). The audio is further amplified by the single stage Class A audio transformer output stage transistor (18). Matching is achieved by the audio output transformer (64) to the 20 Ohm speaker/headphone. Automatic Gain Control AGC is applied from the detector stage back to the 1st IF stage via the 2.7K resistor which, modifies the DC bias conditions on the 1st IF transistor (12) stage, and hence the gain. Increasing the gain on weak received transmissions, and reducing the gain on strong received transmissions. The audio output power probably would have been about 150 to 200 milliwatts (0.15mW – 0.2mW), with about 20% distortion at maximum volume. Powerful enough to drive the small 3-inch loudspeaker.
The above circuit diagram with design refinements and the germanium Transistors replaced by the more reliable Silicon transistors, that could operate over a much higher temperature range, and lower voltages. It became, the basis and the standard design used by most major Radio & TV manufactures. Well into the late 1980s until the individual transistors were replaced by the Integrated Circuit IC or (the silicon Chip), in the design of radio & TV receivers.
The early germanium Transistors, were not that reliable and were affected by temperature, which would cause thermal runaway, if the operating & designed temperature went above the ambient temperature of 25C. This would result in failures of the transistors. An increase in temperature would cause an increase in device current, which in turn would cause a further heating of the junction, which would cause a further increase in current etc, this runaway action continued until the transistor finally failed. The transistors in the TR1 were operated very near to their maximum voltage ratings, in order, to get the performance and maximum gain. Thus making them more prone to the effects of thermal runway. The batteries would only last about 30 to 40 hours, if the battery voltage fell to around 15V the radio would become unstable and potentially burst into oscillation. Improvements in the design and production of the transistors, enabled lower voltage working, down from the 22.5V to 12V and eventually 9V.
In the UK it was not until the early 1960s when the Mullard Valve Company produced a range of transistors that appeared in early transistor radios. The OC44/45, OC70/71/81/82 & AF115,116 & 117 range, that found their way into UK manufactured transistor radios made by Roberts, Hacker, Perdio, Dansett, Bush, GEC, & Philips who eventually acquired Mullard towards the end of the 1960s.
NOTE: The Mullard OC44/45 and the AF115/116 &117 range were, by convention, used for radio frequency applications. The OC70/71/81/82 were for audio. Transistors with the AD designation were used for Power applications. In the USA, all transistors started with the designation 2Nxxxx.
If you do a Google search on the TR1, it originally sold in the USA for around $49 and the earphone cost an extra $7.50 back in the 1950s.
Today collectors (on eBay) would pay up to $1200 + Tax (£992 + Tax) or possibly more.
The TR1 came in a range of different colours, with a leather case as an extra, see pictures
Listen to Radio Caroline on Google Home Mini Device
Caroline are on Google Home and Mini devices, via tune-in. To listen simply say: "OK Google, play Radio Caroline 648" or "OK Google, play Radio Caroline Flashback" or even "OK Google, play Manx Radio" for Manx Radio weekends
A powerful little helper. Google Home Mini keeps you informed and up to date with instant news, weather and commute updates without lifting a finger. Master the kitchen: Google Home Mini helps with timers, step-by-step recipes, and conversions and substitutes. By using your voice, ask for things like translations, calculations, nutrition information and unit conversions, or other information.
All the Mini needs is a mains supply and a Wi-Fi connection. It is a brilliant Internet Radio, just start by saying, "Ok Google, Play (name of station)" No setting up presets. Just say what you want and its there. Control volume with your voice also.
Amazon devices first activate a Radio Caroline skill, say to your Amazon device "Alexa*, enable Radio Caroline skill." Thereafter, you'll be able to say "Alexa*, play Radio Caroline" or "Alexa*, open Radio Caroline" and your device will play Radio Caroline.
Tony Prince and Mark Wesley Podcast
In 1942 Radio Luxemburg broadcast an Elvis Presley special. It was called "The Elvis Presley Gramarathon". It was presented by Tony Prince and Mark Wesley and includes a rare interview with Elvis and also quite a few words with a young Todd Slaughter. I put my Akai reel to reel tape on at the time and left it recording the show and went down the pub for an hour. Luckily Luxemburg reception was pretty good that night and I got a fairly good recording. Its been on Podomatic for quite a few years now, so I thought I'd give it a bit of a plug. Here's the Podomatic Link Or listen on the Woodley Net, Anorak Jukebox