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Old 30th Mar 2018, 11:05 pm   #1
crackle
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Default Radio Caroline

I went on a visit to The Ross Revenge today to see Radio Caroline in action.
The trip out was fairly pleasant, but coming back it was teaming down and it had become a little choppy.

Caroline are broadcasting from the studios on-board all over the Easter weekend. However they no longer actually transmit from the ship, the program is uploaded to the internet and then it finds its way to the 648kHz transmitter at Orford Ness. This weekend it is also fed to Manx Radio where they have a special agreement to transmit the same program material on 1368kHz as Radio Caroline North.

The tour of the ship was fascinating, and covered nearly all areas, I really recommend it to anyone who has an interest in this historical Radio Station.

I took some photos to share and have uploaded them into a very simple gallery on my website.
Please take a look for your self at the ship and its equipment.
http://www.kbmuseum.org.uk/radio_car...o_caroline.htm

I also have a few short video clips including one taken in the studio at the end of a live broadcast.
Video clips Follow;
The outbound journey - https://youtu.be/Q7n8b9pdNLo

A rather noisy generator room - https://youtu.be/bAH9ZPY92I0

Waving farewell and a damp trip back - https://youtu.be/e9Kkqq-rUxM


Mike
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Old 30th Mar 2018, 11:36 pm   #2
1100 man
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Default Re: Radio Caroline

Hi Mike,
Fascinating; thanks for uploading the pictures.
I listen to Caroline most days and often hear the trips advertised. It's great that the studios on the ship are being used again for the regular monthly link up with Manx radio. There has been a huge amount of work behind the scenes over the last few years to get the station and the Ross to where they are today.
Amazingly, I never listened to Caroline when I was younger! Laser 558, Radio 1 & Luxembourg yes, but I didn't know of Caroline's existence then!!
All the best
Nick

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Old 31st Mar 2018, 1:06 am   #3
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Default Re: Radio Caroline

I am jealous and have promised myself a visit to the ship soon.

There was a Radio Caroline signal covering quite a large area of Italy On 1350kHz today and I had to ask several times what was going on and if the receivers calibration was correct. It turned out that some Kind soul was retransmitting the station. For a short while I actually managed to
Pick the signal up in Wiltshire on 1350kHz.
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Old 31st Mar 2018, 8:13 am   #4
crackle
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Default Re: Radio Caroline

It was interesting to hear that Caroline do not have a fixed permanent studio as such, it seems that they have studios dotted around all over. This could probably be to minimise travelling for their presenters, and with the advent of the internet it would be easy to have an app. on a PC anywhere to control and present the programme going out live.
The radio station is maintained and run by a dedicated team of unpaid volunteers and presenters.
They always welcome donations to help keep it going.

If you cant receive Radio Caroline on Medium Wave you can listen on your phone and online.
There is even a second online radio station "Caroline Flashback" which is dedicated to the pop music of the 60's and 70's.

http://www.radiocaroline.co.uk/#home.html


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Old 31st Mar 2018, 9:01 am   #5
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Default Re: Radio Caroline

Many thanks for the pictures. I'm very surprised that the transmitters are still on board. I wonder why they were never removed - too expensive?

Cheers

Aub
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Old 31st Mar 2018, 9:07 am   #6
crackle
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Default Re: Radio Caroline

There was no need to remove them, the internal parts were just smashed up when the Ross Revenge was boarded and taken to Holland.

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Old 31st Mar 2018, 11:17 am   #7
1100 man
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Default Re: Radio Caroline

Quote:
Originally Posted by crackle View Post
It was interesting to hear that Caroline do not have a fixed permanent studio as such, it seems that they have studios dotted around all over.
Their DJ's (many of whom worked on the ship in the 70's & 80's) are spread out over the country and indeed the world!
Many have small home studios from which they do their programs. A few years ago, the end audio quality was often very poor. I assume music was sourced from MP3 and then ended up being re encoded by another lossy compression method. The end result was often a digital mess!
More recently, they have really improved things and it's now rare that I hear bad audio.
The effort that goes into making the station active 24hrs a day, by a band of dedicated volunteers is truly amazing.

Cheers
Nick
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Old 3rd Apr 2018, 12:26 pm   #8
stevedee
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Default Re: Radio Caroline

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Originally Posted by crackle View Post
I went on a visit to The Ross Revenge today to see Radio Caroline in action...
Me too!

In fact I was the-very-wet-man who's camera bag features at the end of your 3rd video!

I don't normally like being wet & cold, but I was pumped up with '30% proof nostalgia' and I really enjoyed the sprint back to shore in the Razorbill 3, while watching the Ross slowly disappear into the mist.

My photos & comments: https://captainbodgit.blogspot.co.uk...s-revenge.html
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Old 3rd Apr 2018, 1:06 pm   #9
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Default Re: Radio Caroline

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Originally Posted by 1100 man View Post
Their DJ's (many of whom worked on the ship in the 70's & 80's) are spread out over the country and indeed the world!
I asked if there was any chance of getting Johnnie Walker back for a show or three and was told no chance as he is under contract to the BBC
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Old 3rd Apr 2018, 1:22 pm   #10
ted_ntsx
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Default Re: Radio Caroline

This was me on the Ross in the North sea, in much younger days....

Early 1980's
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Old 3rd Apr 2018, 3:14 pm   #11
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Default Re: Radio Caroline

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevedee View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by crackle View Post
I went on a visit to The Ross Revenge today to see Radio Caroline in action...
Me too!

My photos & comments: https://captainbodgit.blogspot.co.uk...s-revenge.html
Oh yes, there I am in the blue fleece. what a coincidence.

Thanks for sharing your photos Steve.

Mike
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Old 3rd Apr 2018, 5:59 pm   #12
tealandsilver
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Default Re: Radio Caroline

Excellent posts, thank you for sharing!
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Old 4th Apr 2018, 9:49 am   #13
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Default Re: Radio Caroline

A most interesting report so many thanks. I did not realise that the 648kHz transmitter was the one still used on the uninhabited Orford Ness. I must assume maintenance is carried out on an as-and-when basis, but the generators will surely need regular daily attendance?
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Old 4th Apr 2018, 11:53 am   #14
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Default Re: Radio Caroline

I too am enjoying Radio Caroline on 648 here in Harrow. The high level of interest for visits to the ship is both a good marketing tool and a gauge to the nostalgic support for the station from which I imagine fund raising is sourced. But having to fund raise illustrates the difficulty in another music station on air and the competition

It is though the new online and mobile market which must be the station's future, which radio and television broadcasters world wide are having to address and this could be the hardest nut to crack. From their website, markerting the station is very professional. Social media no doubt will be used although hopefully, tongue in cheek, not using Cambridge Analytica!!

From my own experience, the advantage Caroline has over the "Gold" and "Easy listening" stations is the choice of music. This seems to be down to the DJ's rather than a play list and much of the music which, when I've listened, is certainly eclectic. The hardest part is getting listeners to move the station dial of "Elevator Muzak" it is tuned to.

Looking at the number of platforms Radio Caroline now broadcast on, the business plan is up with the best although I did wonder why the station is promoting DAB+ for London listeners which my radio is deaf to and, most likely, quite a few others. Hang on, DAB+? Hmmm

Chris
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Old 4th Apr 2018, 4:33 pm   #15
stevedee
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Default Re: Radio Caroline

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Originally Posted by simpsons View Post
... The high level of interest for visits to the ship is both a good marketing tool and a gauge to the nostalgic support for the station from which I imagine fund raising is sourced....
Caroline has some kind of not-for-profit status, and its main source of income is from the Radio Caroline Support Group subs & donations. They also generate some income from product sales (e.g. Tee shirts), sponsorship (the Easter weekend was sponsored by "Plastic Building Suppliers"), commercial advertising and boat trips.

Volunteers give their time for free, including the 6 DJs and Paula-the-admin that were on the ship on Good Friday. So the Caroline team have certainly achieved a lot on a tight budget.

I think the main Caroline station is different to other radio stations in its choice of playing only album tracks, and its relatively high music content per hour (i.e. there are not many adverts and not so much DJ chat as other radio stations).

I don't think Caroline is out to take over the world of radio, and maybe in 20 or 30 years there will be no one left that cares enough about our offshore radio history to either listen, donate or give their time to run it!
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Old 4th Apr 2018, 7:17 pm   #16
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Default Re: Radio Caroline

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Originally Posted by Edward Huggins View Post
A most interesting report so many thanks. I did not realise that the 648kHz transmitter was the one still used on the uninhabited Orford Ness.
It isn't the same 648kHz transmitter that was actually in use by the BBC WS, but is a Nautel TX that has been grafted on to the λ/4 top-fed reserve 648kHz aerial. I don't know where the Caroline TX is located WRT the Orfordness building (there's loads of empty space inside).

The aerial is the one in the foreground, here.
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Old 4th Apr 2018, 10:50 pm   #17
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Default Re: Radio Caroline

Whilst browsing on the radio garden website today I found Radio Caroline from Frinton and I think also Clacton On Sea. Not sure of the DJs Name . just click on the green dots near the
When I lived in Liverpool in the 60s I often listened to Radio Caroline North. I think it was anchored just outside the Mersey Bar { Not a Pub ! } although my memory may be playing tricks. I was also able to listen to the Southern ship also. Different DJs and advertisers.
I think I might have an old reel tape recording of one of the programmes from those days .But it would take some finding .
Peter W.... Reelguy
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Old 5th Apr 2018, 9:21 am   #18
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Default Re: Radio Caroline

Unless I'm mistaken, Caroline North's ship was anchored in Ramsay Bay, off the coast of the Isle of Man, from 1964 until 1968, when, along with the Caroline South Ship, they were put off the air by a Dutch company to whom money was owed. I believe both vessels were towed to the Netherlasnds by said company, but am prepared to be corrected about any or all of the above!
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Old 5th Apr 2018, 4:54 pm   #19
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Default Re: Radio Caroline

Hi. I will have to visit the Ross Revenge sometime in the future when on holiday in East Anglia. There are many memories of these radio stations for me when living in Suffolk in the 1960's.
It is really great to hear it again on 648 K Hz medium wave on my Bush VHF61 valve radio in Leeds, Yorkshire. I like the variety of the album tracks that the station plays, including some Dutch bands like Earth & Fire, Shocking Blue and others. It is a shame that the station are not aware of the many other bands that Holland produced as well, which listeners may enjoy hearing. I always enjoy listening to rare tracks and singles by groups that never got anywhere in years gone by due to lack of promotion.
It is a shame that night time reception is marred by interference by neighboring foreign stations. Del Richardson has a good programme based on rock and roll music from 1950's & 1960'S (music which I also enjoy) on Tuesday evenings. Some of my favorites include those great instrumental tracks by various groups that should have achieved greater fame (including the Joe Meek productions).
Cheers
Mike
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Old 5th Apr 2018, 6:15 pm   #20
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Default Re: Radio Caroline

I only really remember listening to them back in 1964 -67.
If they are playing Earth and Fire, I only hope they are covered for Storm and Thunder! Brilliant symphonic rock music.
Seriously, I must get around to having a listen soon.
Rob
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