Radio Seagull’s co-operation with the 1395 licence holders has ended, and Radio Seagull will cease broadcasts on 1395AM at 7pm on April 30th. We have been using the frequency for 13 months, and would like to thank everyone who sent in reception reports etc.
Radio Seagull will continue daily broadcasting via 1602 from 7pm til 7am (CET). Taking into consideration that the Spanish 27KW co-user of 1602, Radio Vittoria, will cease using this frequency by April 30th we hope to increase our coverage.
1395 AM - An unfortunate end to our offshore broadcast
A fierce storm developed very quickly early on Friday morning. At midnight, the wind was only force 2 but by 3am it was north-westerly 9-10. At the same time, there were also a lot of problems onshore mostly caused by the torrential rain.
The Jenni Baynton was in a new position over a sandy seabed and the anchor couldn’t compete with those forces. Very slowly, the ship started to move until finally it touched bottom.
That meant that she couldn’t swing anymore and started taking the huge waves (considering that it is the Waddenzee) sideways. She rolled heavily but there was never any danger and the crew is safe.
A small tug arrived to take the ship back to its anchorage but, by then, the tide was going out and it couldn’t get close enough. On Saturday morning, a larger tug tried, and was able to free the ship.
Because so much sea spray was managing to get into the ship, Walter decided to dismantle our new 10kw transmitter; so that it could be stored in a completely dry area. The plan was to put it back together and on the air once the sea had moderated, and while we were waiting for the tug. That was what happened and, for a time, 1395 was on the air at full power. A number of reception reports came in including one from our very own Roger Davis in Norfolk who mailed that the signal was the strongest he had ever heard it.
There was only another day and a half remaining of the time set aside for this offshore broadcast; so, rather than reposition Jenni Baynton for such a short period, the tug took her back to harbour.
By two o’clock CET, JB was once again safely in Harlingen; and it was time to start sorting out all the loose ends. An unfortunate experience, but all’s well that ends well.
What is it about August 31st and radio ships?
Please let us know how Radio Seagull 1395 was received in your area.
Your e-mail reception reports will be very welcome.
Starting Sunday April 1st 2012 Radio Seagull will be back on 1395AM. In spite of the date, this is not a joke. Every day, from 7 am 'till 7 pm, Radio Seagull programmes will be going out via 1395AM.
From 7 pm until 7 am, Radio Seagull will be on 1602AM as normal. The stereo webcast will also remain unchanged running 24 hours a day.
The transmitter site is the last remaining radioship in the world
the LV Jenni Baynton.
on 1395 AM
1395 Reception Reports
In order to assess our transmission on 1395 AM, along with our web master Paul Stiles, we devised a reception report page to analyse how strong the signal would be, where people were picking us up and how often they listened to us and where the listened to us, for example at home, in the car or at work.
This information would give us an overview of 1395’s transmission area; we had over 600 reports sent from all over the world and for those of you who sent in the reports A BIG THANK YOU from all of us at Radio Seagull. We were overwhelmed by your reports and often kind comments about Radio Seagull and your reports have proved to be invaluable data in assessing the best place for any future transmission on 1395 AM.
In return for the completed reports returned to us, we ran an on air promotion that we would give away a CD to the person who lived the furthest away and could hear us on 1395 and a CD to a lucky winner drawn from the hat from all those that entered. Those lucky winners are: Alan Willie in Canada- as the furthest away listener & Daniel Wächter from Germany - as our lucky dip winner.
As we bow out of 2011 and we look back, it has been a fantastic time for the Jenni Baynton and Radio Seagull, not only did we have the annual Offshore Period, she went to sea again during the 1395 Test Transmission period to prove what we know already, the best programmes and music come from a ship at sea!!!!!!
Radio Seagull on 1395 AM - silent (for now)
The six week test on 1395 has come to an end. From various locations, with a variety of antenna configurations and with output running from less than one to (slightly) over 5 kilowatt have provided us with an abundance of information. The test was a co-operation between the licensee, the Dutch Telecom Agency and Radio Seagull.
We want to thank everyone who sent in reports. Many of you sent in more than once, exactly like we asked. Martin Smith and Paul Stiles are making an inventory of the places where the reports come from and soon you can expect the award winning reporter who received the signal the furthest away, to be announced. We did get hundreds of reports.
That is what many people have asked us about. Unfortunately we cannot tell you anything yet because we don't know ourselves. The outcome of the evaluation will be that the licensee, the Telecom Agency and Radio Seagull have a good impression of the potential. That impression will be the guide line for the future. Watch this space.
1395 AM - Update2
2nd part of 1395 test finished
Wednesday October 26th 2011 the LV Jenni Baynton returned to her homeport Harlingen. The second part of the test program has finished and it is time to put all the reports and measurements together to see what the results are. Adjustments to the antenna have given the signal a boost as to how far we get, but unfortunately that lead to reception nearby being less sucessful. However it is like we have stated many times, this is why it is a test.
The ship has now returned to port and preparations are now going on to sort things out for the third and final phase, expected to start first week of November. We have one more " experimental antenna" to test, after which we will return to the basic set up which will probably mean we will be getting into area's we were getting into during the first few days.
The anchoring in the Waddenzee was for testing the new anchor as well. We have finally got our own anchor, a special mushroom anchor designed for stationary ships like lightvessels. The anchor held perfectly and indeed the lifting was a bit of a job for the old windlas, but it did the job well.
So both tests were successful.
Thanks in advance.
1395 AM - Update 1
Tuesday evening at 8pm CET the transmitter was switched off in Harlingen harbour. The first part of our test period has ended. We have learned a great deal, thanks to the numerous reports you sent in. Thank you for that.
We are now preparing for the trip to our next location, about a half a mile out at sea. Because the official storm season has started we need to use extra heavy anchoring gear. Also we need to do adjustments to the antenna and the transmitter. Finally a spare generator will have to be hoisted on board to be on the safe side.
Reports came in from all over Holland, Belgium, Germany and the UK. Places like Liverpool, Braintree, Ipswich and even one from London. We were surprised by reports from Wicklow in Ireland and Furnes in Norway!
We expect to resume broadcasts in a few days once we're safely anchored. Watch this space for news and do listen to 1395 from time to time. Don't hesitate to send in a new report when you hear us, it will be from another location and again we like to know!
Radio Seagull on 1395 AM
For a six week test period, starting October 1st, the Continental Electronics transmitter (see below) on board the lightship Jenni Baynton will be broadcasting on 1395AM. During the test the radiated power will vary and also the ship will try various locations to broadcast from, in order to determine what location generates the best and most economic signal.
The test period starting October 1st does not mean you will be able to hear us straight away. We will adjust the antenna and start with a carrier first. It being a test means we will be varying the radiated power and we will also be moving the ship around.
Radio Seagull 1602 AM and 1395AM - Programmes
Continental Electronics Transmitter on air !
The transmitter we put on the ship lately, the replica of the Mi Amigo Continental Electronics(CE), has run for nearly 40 hours on 30th and 31st of July. A colleague licensee, Radio Marina who hold the 1485 license, had not been able to get their frequency on air due to red tape, bad luck and whatever can go wrong. Radio Marina's ceo, Willem Rense Post accepted the offer to run a two day test from our ship on his frequency.
The CE transmitter happened to be tuned to 1485, so it was only an adjustment of the antenna Walter had to do before being able to run the test. The try out was not only a test for Post, but also for us to see if there were any teething problems that may have developed with the transmitter while it had had been taken apart and rebuilt. Prior to the test weekend Walter Galle, our transmitter engineer, came over from Belgium to finetune "the big one" and Saturday morning at 8 am, with an extremely reduced power of 1 kilowatt, the CE came on
Pictures from Martin van der Ven. More pics on his website - click here
After some teething problems with the shore power supply that couldn't cope with the power demand, the signal went out well and far. As was to be expected the footprint was very similar to the 1602 one, but it has to be said the 1485 goes further to the East. This is most likely because there is a 1485 in Hull, blocking the entrance to the UK.
To us the test was extremely satifactory. We have been able to run the transmitter on an antenna (not a dummy load) for many hours during which the set up proved to be stable and reliable. According to their spokesman, Radio Marina is also very pleased with the reports and press coverage.
For the more technically minded radio enthusiasts, see Steve Conway's Blog on the matter.