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To celebrate Belgium’s first Maritime Heritage Weekend (March 26–27), Antwerp-based commercial radio station Radio Minerva broadcast live from the mess inside the West-Hinder lightship — a floating museum in Antwerp docks — on Mar. 26 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
For the eight hours, the ship’s crew comprised four of the station’s presenter duets: Danny and Katia, Steven and Cathy, Joe and Pol and Wilfried and Lou. They hosted a combination of talk and classic hits.
“For this special broadcast, we used our mobile radio studio with an Axia IQ console and Axia QOR32 engine,” said Patrick Thijs, Radio Minerva’s studio engineer. “Music and commercials were processed via Axia’s Livewire AoIP, fully digital, with only four microphone inputs and one extra analog input.”
Thijs added that broadcasting from a ship with a metal hull required a 4G router with external antennas to provide the internet connection. “The transmission to our studio on Antwerp’s left bank used a Telos Z/IP ONE Broadcast codec, both for the outgoing signal and the return from the studio,” Thijs continued.
Radio Minerva found itself in choppy water earlier this year when, on Jan. 19, the State Council stopped the station’s broadcast license following a complaint by commercial station Radio FG over Minerva’s use of the 98FM frequency. As a result, on Mar. 29, the official Belgian State Bulletin announced the launch of a new frequency allocation round. Radio Minerva will now apply for the 98 FM frequency and an output power of 1KW serving the greater Antwerp region.