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Sparks Programme M20 Part 1: The Crossed Field Antenna

Bold items are included in this extract.
* Music from The Police
* The Crossed Field Antenna
* Letter from P. Burnett
* Music: Never Give Up on a Good Thing
* Poland's first independent TV station on a shoestring
* Radio Jackie LP Ad
* Music from Rush (no, not Spirit of Radio, we used to play album tracks too)
* Radio in Italy
* Music from Squeeze
* Improved Solar Cells
* Music from Jon and Vangelis
* No escape from the global telephone (How Iridium works)
* Music from Cock Robin
* In Car Audio Design at Ford in the UK
* Music from Robbie Nevil

Duration: 9m06, Originally Broadcast: 11th November 1991

MP3 file size: 1.5 MB
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Sparks Programme M20 Part 2: Vega Selina Tuning Tips

Bold items are included in this extract.
* Vega Selina Tuning Tips
* DC777 Ad
* Macintosh Computer News
* Music from Cry Sisco!

Duration: 2m31, Originally Broadcast: 11th November 1991

MP3 file size: 0.5 MB
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Sparks Programme M20 Part 3: The Churchill tapes, are they genuine?

* The Churchill Tapes, are they genuine?
* Address & Letters
* The Churchill Tapes, are they genuine? Part 2

Duration: 21m40, Originally Broadcast: 11th November 1991

MP3 file size: 3.6 MB
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Sparks Programme M21: Various

* Bold items are included in this extract.
* AM Stereo in Europe
* Article about Radiofax in Radio Active Magazine
* Mention for Free Radio Quarterly
* Music by Fuzzbox
* Radio Caroline CD Ad
* Poll on Science Research Funding
* Letter from Germany
* Music from U2
* Music from Joan Armatrading
* Address given out
* Music from Chic
* What's in Sparks this week
* Music from Madness
* IEE Report: No grounds for 'Electrophobia'
* Letter about HCJB on 6205
* 48m Band Rundown
* Music from The Damned
* DC777 Ad
* Music from Debbie Harry
* 'The World of Shortwave'
* Music from ? (Small prize for the first to identify them)
* Radio Harmony
* Letter about previous SW pirates from Peter Evans
* Music from Motown Act
* Delay for BBC Plans for News Radio Network
* Music from Pink Floyd

Duration: 39m47, Originally Broadcast: 18th November 1991

MP3 file size: 6.8 MB
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Sparks Programme M22: Various

Bold items are included in this extract.
* Music from Black Sabbath
* Update on Independent Radio in Ireland (licences had only been available for two years)
* UK Consumer Electronics Survey Results for 1992: (60% had a video recorder (woo) and only 4% on satellite and 9% on cable, 20% CD Player, 6% cordless phone, 4% mobile phone)
* Music from Simon and Garfunkel
* Digital Compact Cassette, a 'remarkable innovation', due to be available mid 1992, and the arrival of SCMS copy protection.
* Music from a roots reggae artist
* Radio Jackie LP Ad
* Letter from Washington DC
* Music from Madness
* Power from the Sky (Solar Cells)
* Music from Depeche Mode
* Radio Caroline CD Ad
* UK Evaluates AM Stereo (was going to be C-QAM, quashed by technical niggles from the DTI's Radiocommunications Agency - it never happened of course)
* Music from Hawkwind
* Relaxation of Planning Restrictions on Mobile Telephone Masts
* DC777 Ad
* Music from Ultravox
* Article about Video Telephones from the Financial Times (something else that never caught on)

* Music from Jean Michel Jarre
* A new deal for Jazz on the airwaves in the Sunday Times (criticism of Jazz FM, on only 18 months and already diluting their output)
* Music from the Dream Warriors
* Nuclear Fusion Update
* End Music

Duration: 39m30, Originally Broadcast: 25th November 1991

MP3 file size: 6.8 MB
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Sparks Programme M23: Full Programme

A full programme to listen to, lots of interesting stuff in this one:
* Introduction
* Music from The Cure
* A More Attractive Dish- BSkyB slowly taking off in popularity. (This was one year after the merger)
* Radio Jackie LP Ad
* Letter from Derby- What tape decks do we use, and Andy's tape door falls off!
* Music from ELO
* Analogue Watch IC manufacturing for Swatch and Omega (100nA current draw)
* Music from Kate Bush
* Are they all Barking Mad at the DTI? Failure of Telepoint and PCN Operators. Overhaul of the Radio Spectrum Allocations and criticism of John Redwood
* Music from Timbuk 3
* Fem FM, Atlantic 252 Jocksearch '91 and women in Radio from Radio 4 'The Radio Programme'
* Another Letter from Derby
* Music from Davie Bowie
* 20 bit recording technology for classical music, is it just marketing hype?
* Introduction
* Music from The Sisters of Mercy
* Radio Caroline CD Ad
* Shortwave Report from Alan Dean
* Music from The Temptations
* Radio 3 Programming 'Secrets'
* DC777 Ad
* Hi Fi nonsense
* Music from ?
* Microscopic Electric Motors
* Thoughts on Hi-Fi Pseudoscience from Skeptical Inquirer
* Music from The Housemartins

Duration: 1h34m08, Originally Broadcast: 2nd December 1991

MP3 file size: 16.1 MB
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Sparks Programme M24 Part 1: The Early Years of Capital Radio

Bold items are included in this extract.
* Music from the LAs
* Short hello to a listener
* The Early Years of Capital Radio on 557kHz
* Music from Visage
* The Early Years of Capital Radio on 557kHz pt 2
* Music from the Mamas & Papas
* Sound Engineers who are Sampling Mad

* Music from Genesis
* DC777 Ad
* Difficulty Programming your Video (pre VideoPlus)
* Letter from Roland of Sweden
* Music from the Pet Shop Boys
* The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
* Music from Kate Bush
* Womens' Wireless (Fem FM Bristol)
* Petal Radar Dishes
* Music from Depeche Mode

Duration: 33m59, Originally Broadcast: 9th December 1991

MP3 file size: 5.8 MB
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Sparks Programme M24 Part 2: What next for Radio Caroline?

* What next for Radio Caroline? A personal view from Sparks presenter Andy Burnham on hearing that the Ross Revenge radio ship had run aground, an event that proved to be the end of true offshore radio in the UK.
* Report on Pirate Radio in Nottingham & Derby from Arnold Gibbon (James Barclay)
* Good chunk of our end title music, Tender Force by the band Space, better known for their one hit wonder 'Magic Fly'.

Duration: 7m35, Originally Broadcast: 9th December 1991

MP3 file size: 1.3 MB
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Sparks Programme M25

I think we'll give this one a miss. Anything of interest from this show- requests please?
* Music from Faith No More
* Letter from an MP responding to question posed about licencing for Radiofax (no SW frequencies available)
* Music from Laid Back
* Prospects for the Electric Car
* Letter from Austria
* Music from ?
* The collapse of Century FM (Irish national commercial station)
* Apple Computers vs Apple Corp (Beatles)
* DC777 Ad
* Music from The Charlatans
* How the DMAC chip and Squarial delayed the launch of BSB (read by David Johns)
* Mention for Radiofax in Shortwave Magazine and a letter from the Phillipines
* Music from The Velvettes
* Military Imaging Technology to avoid Riverboat Accidents
* Music from Marillion
* Radio Caroline Album Ad
* Letter from Ireland
* National Commercial Radio in the UK (Classic FM to be)
* Music from Jimi Hendrix
* How DCC works (PASC and how perceptual coding in general like MP3 works)
* Music from The Sisters of Mercy

Duration: , Originally Broadcast: 16th December 1991

MP3 file size:
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Sparks Programme M26: SW in the USA, Queen Victoria's Voice, Fixing Washing Machines

Bold items are included in this extract.
* Introduction
* Music from Living Color
* Letter from John Bredon, Germany
* Fixing your Washing Machine. Source: The Guardian
* Asteroids (Short). Source: Radio 5
* Music from Bomb the Bass
* TVAM Foldback Audio in NICAM carrier. Source: Pro Sound News
* Letter from John Thorpe, Lowe Ltd
* Shortwave Commercial Broadcasting in the United States (not commercially viable at the time). Source: Media Network
* Music from the Beatles
* Consulting the Oracle (Teletext Licenses up for Auction) Source: Guardian
* Music from Midnight Oil
* Letter from Raymondi Daniel, Italy
* Music from Bruce Hornsby
* Recording of Queen Victoria's Voice, Source: Radio 4
* Radio Jackie Advert
* Letter from Simon Mason

* Music from The Clash
* Collapse of Century (Ex Irish National Commercial station)
* Music from Kaoma
* Letter against the then proposal for Radio 4 FM to become a rolling news station (horrific thought)
* Music from Deep Purple

Duration: 60m42, Originally Broadcast: 23rd December 1991

MP3 file size: 10.4 MB
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Sparks Programme M27: Test Card Music, Robot TV Cameras, Ambisonics

Bold items are included in this extract.
* Music from a Heavy Rock band
* Interview with Alan Hocking from Radio Cracker in Dudley (produced by Martin Deeley)
* Andy describing a few of the other Radio Cracker stations
* Electricity from Rubbish becoming viable
* Recycling elderly BMWs
* Music from The Smiths (Shoplifters of the World...)
* DC777 Ad
* 49 metre band rundown- Media Network
* Background Radiation concern in France
* SW Report from Alan Dean
* World DX club mention
* Music from The Blues Brothers
* Robot cameras in the TV studio (this is now commonplace of course)
* Radio Jackie Story Ad
* Music from Rod Stewart
* Test card music you love to hate
* Russian Holographic HDTV Video Disc (!)
* Music from The Pet Shop Boys
* Whatever happened to Ambisonics?

* Music from Elvis Costello
* Frequency problems with Britain's Fifth TV Channel (Channel 5)

Duration: 49m48, Originally Broadcast: 30th December 1991

MP3 file size: 8.6 MB
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Sparks Programme M28: a classic programme, one of the best, in full

* Introduction
* Music from Roger Waters
* DC777 Ad
* Back to the golden sound of vintage transistors (review of an Equaliser from the Professional Audio Systems Technology)
* Letter from Romantic Space Radio- A pirate radio station in Moscow
* Music from Tangerine Dream
* The collapse of Century, the national commercial radio station in Ireland- also features (WLR) Waterford Local Radio and Radio Kilkenny grovelling for a cut of money from the Irish Licence Fee!
* Music from Billy Bragg
* Cobalt tape for cassettes (something that never really caught on)
* Review of the 1992 Radio Listeners Guide by Andy
* Letter from Martin in Scotland
* Music from Go West
* The amusing story of the making of a 1976 TV film about Radio Caroline
* Music from The Spinners
* The Radio Caroline story continues
* Digitally compressed films in Japan (never got off the ground)
* Thanks for various letters
* Music from The Cardiacs, Big Ship (this is now a very valuable vinyl record- offers please!)
* Charity project Radio Cracker featured on Radio 4, and comment from Radio Orion
* London Pirates report
* A moan about American Television
* Music from Meatloaf
* Mirror Group Newspapers accused of PC software piracy, read by Martin Deely
* Music from Johnny Kemp
* Radio Caroline CD Ad
* 'Multiple D' Microphones
* The D2MAC European Directive
* Book Review of the classic 'Troubleshooting Analogue Circuits' by Bob Pease
* Letters from Canterbury and Germany

Duration: 1h32m7, Originally Broadcast: 6th January 1992

MP3 file size: 15.8 MB
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What Listeners thought of Radiofax

Edited highlights from our listener comment line. As sent to Members of Parliament and the government, in better quality.

Duration 16 minutes, MP4 AAC format, may not work in all browsers, 2.8MB

MP4 file size: 2.8 MB
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Music Programme from Andy Bradgate

Radiofax helped Radio Caroline get out on shortwave in the early 1990s, when outlets were few and far between. They used to provide weekly music programmes to us for transmission. The legendary Andy Bradgate also recorded this one-off Radiofax programme that has not been heard since 1992. He later restyled himself as Steve Satan, Head of Rock at the Caroline Rocks occasional FM station in Bristol. He commented: "It's very nice to play some of your favourite music once in a while".

Duration: 90 minutes, presented in full - enjoy!

MP3 file size: 54 MB
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Back to Radiofax Main Page

Sparks Technical and Media News - listen to the some of the very first editions.

Technical information:
From the original cassettes, programmes have been:

  • Processed through a Surrey Electronics Variable Emphasis Limiter 3
  • Digitised using an external 48kHz codec and transferred to PC over a digital optical link.
  • Edited in Audacity on Suse Linux
  • Converted to MP3 using Lame on a dual 2.8GHz Xeon CPU system

Page produced by Andy Burnham and Trevor Brook
Published: January- March 2006


Recommended Links

Media Network Vintage Vault

Digital Spy Radio Forum

British DX Club

Radio Caroline

The Ross Revenge

Radio Jackie

Media UK

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