Saturday, April 07, 2007

C for Centraal

Radio Centraal is a very small alternative radiostation in Antwerp. I discovered the station soon after they started broadcasting, so I've been listening ... for 26 years to their wonderful programmes. Here's the reason why:

When I was in my teens, it was my favourite sport to persuade my dad (he's 80 today and still an amateur Einstein) to find one way or another to extend the antenna of my old Tandy radio so I'd be able to listen to as many radiostations as possible. The result was a weird looking construction of plastic ribbons tied to the wall of my room on the second floor of my parent's house. As a result I was able to listen to Radio Centraal, something not many people could do living in the 'distant' district of Wilrijk.

Here are a few reasons why I wanted to capture this particular radiostation: good reggae music, programmes in Spanish and various exotic languages.

A few years later I discovered an ex-classmate of mine, while he was presenting a programme on biology. Well, this was the explanation why he knew everything about stick insects ...strangely as it seems, this was fascinating for me, because at that time we kept stick insects at home, though sometimes, the little creatures escaped and hid in our curtains, when dad (the absent minded professor) had forgotten to close the terrarium properly ...

2007: my car suddenly decides it wants early retirement and I'm forced to buy a new one. Much to my surprise and lots of 'fingerspitzengefuel' (sort of using your fingers to finetune) I'm able to capture Radio Centraal manually .
My boyfriend claims to be able to listen to Radio Centraal in his car as far as Loenhout (which isn't that far from the Dutch border, though I suspect him of wishful thinking) In all honesty I have to add that he, during his student days, has been quite active in the radio amateur business.
At that time he was living in Tilburg, the Netherlands, and anything concerning radio was a hobby to him. He did have very decent receivers and enhancers ... So one day, he discovered Radio Centraal while living in Holland ...while looking for a decent Reggae programme.
Currently we are living in a southern district of Antwerp and we still enjoy Radio Centraal.
Though I remain convinced that without enhancing and tampering with the right equipment, it is virtually impossible to listen to Centraal outside the old city bourders.
To make a long story short, whenever I listen to the radio while driving, it's a challenge for me to keep capturing the signal as long as possible!

To all the volunteers and radiomakers at Centraal, 106,7 FM, loads of succes! Keep up the good work!


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