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Behind the scenes of EF81C

In 1928, a new law places radio in the statute books.
The state creates its own network of public transmitters, and the private stations are maintained and are authorised by the state.
Until 1929 the government authorizes the transmissions from Fécamp, along with 12 other French radio stations.

The very first 20 w transmitter.

In 1926, the transmitter 8 ICS only functioned for part of the winter using telephony with low power. With telegraphy it is heard in Europe and Washington. 18 November 1926, 8 ICS abandons its station name and becomes "Radio Fécamp". With Club resources, added to money offered by Fernand Le Grand, changes are brought about and the power is increased to 50 watts. Local artists offer their services and broadcast from Radio Fécamp- a great scoop. Amateur technicians, among them René Legros, vice-president and his son Pierre, perfect the modulation and in 1927, the results exceed all expectations. Radio Fécamp is not only received in Fécamp and in the locality but in Le Havre and Dieppe. Broadcasts take place on Saturdays 8.30 to 10pm from February 1928.The broadcasting costs become more and more expensive; and the Radio Club cannot pay with only contributions from its shareholders: An advertisement is placed in a newspaper.

(Newspaper of Fécamp 12/28

 It becomes Radio Normandy, and broadcasts a complete programme every Thursday comprising regional information, concerts, accompanied by some advertisements. Radio becomes commonplace in the family home. In 1931, programmes start with the Benedictine's carillon of bells. There are jazz broadcasts from the Fécamp Casino, live from the Room Pleyel of the Paris theatre, with sports (comprising of boxing in Le Havre, soccer in Rouen).  

The two masts of 30 metres high, with a temporary cabin housing the transmitter are situated on the west cliff in 1929

cabane 1929

alimentation sous sol

The electrical power in
the basement of the villa

"In July 1928, presidents of seven radios clubs (Bolbec, Dieppe, Chilly, Sanvic, Bléville, Le Havre and Fécamp) founded the Federation of Radios-Clubs of High Normandy. Radio Fécamp becomes the spokesman of the Norman WIRELESS societies and takes the name of Radio Normandy. 
In 1929, broadcasts take place three times a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays 8.30pm to 10pm. The aerials are sited on a hilltop, which provides a much better signal. Masts have a height of 28 metres (photo above). Equipment is scattered around the home of F. Le Grand, with the aerials in the middle his grounds. The wavelength is 220 meters, as agreed with the Prague authorities. At the beginning of the broadcast and during pauses, time is taken up by music:  "It is a charming kid... and at the end of the broadcast the "Marseillaise" is replaced by the regional music "My Normandy". For clarification of the modulation, the first broadcasts will be composed solely of recorded music, but soon the Norman listeners will be able to hear their favourite "artists" all over again.

(Newspaper of Fécamp 10/11 August 1929) 

The development
of the station 

* 1923 : foundation of a radio-club of Fecamp

* 1925 : first broadcasts of EF8IC of the RC of Fécamp

* 17 November 1926 : Radio Fécamp, conducts transmission tests with a power of 50 watts. 

* 1927 : First musical broadcasts, singers accompanied by the piano. 

* 1928 : The first advertisement appears. 

* 18 February 1929 : Radio is recognized by statute and takes place during the summer of 1929, with the name of Radio Normandy. 

* March 1930 : Four days of broadcasting per week: Monday Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Authorization to use the PTT lines.

* September 1930 : Opening of an auditorium in Le Havre in the lounge of the Frascati hotel.

mats sur falaise

* June 1931 : Two daily broadcasts: one at noon early by the bells of the Benedictine the factory siren announcing the end of work, the other in the evening from 20.00 hours. 

* 26 June 1931 : Inauguration in Rouen of an auditorium (city hall).

* February 1932 : The height of the masts is increased to 50 metres and on february 2nd, first TV test broadcast (see below) by inventor Henri de France, with the transmitter of Radio Normandy. 

* June 1932 : Agreement with Fécamp newspaper allowing the station to take advertisements on air.

henri de france

The first television pictures broadcast by the Radio Normandy transmitter (the 1st French television station) are received in Le Havre on the 1st February 1932, thanks to Henri de France, the future inventor of the SECAM process of colour television.

Tests take place in rue Georges Cuvier in Fécamp twice a week but there are few viewers.

lecteurs ruban sonore

Heads of the " Resonant Ribbon" (similar to a film soundtrack head), the original tape recorder, for recorded broadcasts, mainly in English. The recording was made on 16 mm cellulose acetate cine film (using only the sound part), playing at constant speed.
The optical engraving was achieved electro mechanically
with a diamond tip.


carte normandie

The ambitions of Fernand Le Grand
are immense

In 1930, he declares: "At Radio Normandy one sees far, and one hopes to see from afar. The animated television exists, I saw it in London. In a few years, next to your loudspeaker, you will have your screen, and Radio Normandy will give the sound and vision"