On 22nd January 1970 the Mebo II left Slikkerveer, Rotterdam and anchored off the Dutch coast at Noordwijk.
The following day the Mebo I arrived alongside Mebo II and, despite rough sea conditions, transmitter crystals and other vital parts were transferred and finally installed on the radio ship.
On the same evening, test programmes were broadcast on 102 MHz FM (using a transmitter power of 1.2 Kw) and 6210 kHz shortwave (using a transmitter power of 10 KW) .
The station's theme tune "Man of Action" by the Les Reed Orchestra (which had been retained from the days of the Radio Gloria/Nordsee Project) was played constantly between announcements in English (by Roger Day) and German (by Horst Reiner).
On 11th February 1970 the test broadcasts were extended to include the powerful medium wave transmitter using a frequency of 1610kHz, (186m).
Finally on 28th February 1970, at 6.00pm the official broadcasts of RNI began in German and English. The opening broadcast was hosted live by Roger 'Twiggy' Day (English) and Horst Reiner (German).
The German Service programmes were broadcast from 6:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. and from 6.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.
The English Service operated from 8.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. and 8.00 p.m. - 12 midnight.
Within a week, however, the German Service was extended to 9.00 p.m. in the evening and the English Service continued until 2.00am.
Early ‘advertisers’ were Bulova Watches, World Wildlife Fund, Iberian Airlines and Toshiba - although not all were necessarily paid-for announcements!
Within a week of the official launch the station’s Zurich headquarters had received about 50,000 letters from enthusiastic listeners.
RNI went on to have a very eventful and colourful history and became one of the most popular offshore stations of the 1970s.
Do you have any other memorabilia about RNI which we could add to this Special Exhibition?
If you do, and you are willing to allow the Museum to use it, please contact