NEWS AND VIEWS                     
July 11, 2006 update

Mike and Laurel Kohl
S-9141 State Highway 23
Plain, Wisconsin   53577-9612




July 11, 2006

We have been talking about it on Dean Spratt's Thursday night show on the WOKIE Satellite Network.  Look above for a dilemma:  Are ripening raspberries more valuable than a few satellite signals?  Tough question for a Dishhead, but a situation has developed that called for drastic measures.  Nope, the berries stay.  See the next picture taken on June 29th, showing a view of things in progress on the "Tower".

Summer's warmth and moisture are taking over the yard, with as lush a crop of berries in general, as well as weeds, that I have seen since moving here 13 summers ago.  

Dish project about to be completed:
Look at the lower right side of the picture.  A 1.8 meter offset antenna (same size as the above) is in the progress of being modified for more multifeed operation.  Since this picture was taken, the wrap-around multifeed support bracket has been reinforced, and we plan on not only duplicating the coverage from previous antenna being attacked by raspberries, but a few more satellites just to see how far we can push the limits of reliable reception.  More pictures as they happen;  probably next issue.

The satellite receiver delivery people have come through.  We hoped against hope, and our prayers were answered with the arrival of a healthy supply of TRAXIS DBS-3500 MPEG-2 free-to-air digital receivers.  When combined with a multifeed antenna or two (or more), via a pair of 4 input DiSEqC switches and a 22 KHz switch, we can automatically yield up to 8 satellite feeds at the push of our remote control button.  It IS a beautiful thing!  If you have been holding off for a cheap yet reliable MPEG-2 receiver that has fast blind scanning capabilities, and the easiest channel editing that I have ever seen, the is no reason to wait any more.  We include a custom download of our master receiver's satellite and channel memory, putting you on the road almost immediately towards enjoyment of new satellite capabilities.

More and more items from the DMS International folks have been added to our selection.  They have allowed us to become more competitive on many items.  The natural inclination might be to stay with old established products that have worked in the past, but the satellite reception market is changing rapidly.  Many companies have either left the business, or severely trimmed their selection.  Closeouts are becoming harder and harder to find, and experienced people that have been burned once or more on an E-Bay purchase that did not work as advertised, may be at least temporarily gun shy about trying anything new.  With our many years in the satellite business, we are probably at least as skeptical as anyone, and have been privileged to be able to evaluate some of the new offerings from DMS.  With very few exceptions, we are extremely pleased by what they have to offer, and a look at our monthly catalog update will show some new names (and lower prices) in many areas.  If you are challenged by the cost and complexity of a C/Ku band feedhorn with servo motor and separate C and Ku-band LNBFs, there is a cost effective C/Ku LNBF now available called the BSC 621-2.  Previous attempts by other major manufacturers to combine both bands into a single LNBF housing have been dismal failures.  While it is not perfect when gauged against a full priced feedhorn with adjustable servo motor and separate LNBFs, 55 dollars plus shipping sure beats spending two to three hundred dollars the "conventional" way.  If you install it on least an 8 foot dish, there should be little reason for complaint.  Those trying smaller dishes will find that it is not a magic bullet that performs miracles on your 36 inch offset dish.  C band reception on such small reflectors violates many rules of physics, and no other components have been able to yet successfully break those laws.  A C-band only LNBF, the model BSC-421, also from DMS, works as well as any other C-band LNBF that we have tested, and the C-band portion of the C/Ku BSC 621-2 performs roughly the same as the BSC-421.  Ku-band is no slouch either, and that was where we would have expected problems.  No complaints from this writer/reviewer.

We have also taken on the INVACOM line of premium Ku-band LNBFs, which are probably the "cleanest" 0.3 db offet LNBFs on the market.  Two models are currently available to ship.  Both use Universal logic, with a 9750 and 10600 MHz local oscillator, for Ku-band.  The SNH-031 single output device is only 49.00, and the deluxe "Quad" QPH-031 allows you to switch from true circular (DBS) as well as Universal Ku-band operation on the same device.  Excellent for motorized multiband (Ku and DBS) operation.  

Other products added include a low cost V-box, which allows MPEG-2 receivers to interface with conventional motor drive systems.  We have several thousand feet of Siamese cable, with an RG-6 as well as motor drive multiconductor wire, which is perfect for such an application.  A Heavy Duty Universal Mounting bracket for antennas requiring a 2-inch mast pipe is now available through PATRIOT ANTENNA.

Panarex has lowered the price of their Pansat 6000 HXC MPEG-2 receiver with built-in PVR.  459.00 now.
If you are looking for a 10-foot mesh antenna, and are hesitant to pay the full price for a new one, we have three PERFECT TEN units available here for pickup, or (watch out for freight costs) via BAX GLOBAL economy air freight.  400.00 each picked up at our Plain, Wisconsin location.

Give us a call and order something!!   Say hello!   A special note mainly to those wanting commercial solid antennas for broadcast, CATV, or export use:  Fuel prices are still escalating and it has been almost a year since Patriot Antenna raised their pricing.  We can almost guarantee that there will be at least a yearly increase in the next few days or weeks...just so they can recover from transportation and metals costs.  Don't wait until after September to order a large antenna;  even if you have to put it into storage until after hurricane season is over, now is the time to consider making an order, unless you want to spend even more money a few months down the road.  We could certainly use the business now, and also provide this advice in an effort to save you money, if you were in the market to buy in the near future.   

One more thing.  Visit Bob Cooper's website at    He has just put the pieces together for a 20-year reunion of Satellite Pioneers at next April's SATELLITE EXPO in Atlanta.  There is a link on his site to a registration for the Satellite Expo show.  If you register before the end of July, the normal registration fee is waived (zero dollars).  But only until the end of July.

Until next month,