Energy 106 was a youth station which broadcast to Northern Ireland from a transmitter site based in the Republic. It was built by Miles Johnston and owned and operated by Lawrence John.
Energy 106 was born in February 1997 as a weekend-only station broadcasting to Belfast from Black Mountain, a site close to the city.
The UK authorities raided the station in May after only a few months of broadcasts, so they moved transmission site across the border to Monaghan.
They were back on air with tests on a makeshift basis by July that year. Work continued over the winter months and an aerial tower was in place by March the following year.
Test transmissions recommenced in May but the signal was not reaching Belfast. Later that month, the station moved to 105.8MHz in an attempt to correct a bad SWR reading at 106.6MHz. However, continual problems led to more adjustments and time off air, but Energy 106.6FM finally launched at 6.30pm on July 4th 1998 with a tape playing music, advertisements and promos.
The following information was sent to Radiowaves by Lawrence John:- Energy 106FM ran from 1997-2005 and was owned and operated by Lawrence John.
It was Northern Ireland’s first dance station and broadcast 24/7 from Co Monaghan across the border into Belfast and most of Northern Ireland.
For 8 years, bar two hours of pre-recorded club music on a Saturday night, the output was a rolling schedule of continuous pop and dance music, chosen and recorded entirely by Lawrence and interspersed with space-age sweeper jingles and space-age adverts.
It had a cult following almost immediately and was popular with all ages. Advertising agencies estimated it had an audience of 250,000.
2000 July – 106.6MHz (Radiowaves News)
The station was originally conceived as a continuation of Kiss FM Monaghan but a claim by Lawrence John that he was abducted by aliens led to a change of name to Energy – “as he experienced an intense energy prior to the abduction, at St Patrick’s Chair and Well.
The station broadcast into Northern Ireland using 16 five-element yagis vertically polarised towards Belfast. An ex Radio Nova transmitter was used rated at 5kW. This provided an ERP of around 800,000 watts. This was upgraded to 10KW in its final years.
All images supplied by kind courtesy of Miles Johnston
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