NEWS AND VIEWS
          December 10, 2007

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



December 10, 2007

It's finally winter around here, and on the way to deep snow!  At least 15 inches on the ground already in four snow events since a week after Thanksgiving, and we're getting tired of it already!  At least we had a fairly long autumn that gave us ample opportunity to do some tuning up before the white claws of winter arrived.

In today's MPEG-2 channel chart updates, a lot of more specific identification has been made about the country in which some channels originate, to provide more perspective on their origins.  While doing the updates, we found that a channel recently moved from 101 West to 97 West Ku-band was NOT from the country that has been listed (and copied by others) on our charts.  SUROYO TV is from Sweden, not Turkey!  Now we can officially say that there is a Scandinavian TV channel available free of charge on Galaxy 25, at 97 West.  Enjoy their holiday programming, and I hope my ancient Norwegian relatives aren't laughing too hard at my stupid mistake about identifying a channel from neighboring Sweden as Turkish.  Might cause an international incident! 

Now that winter has got us indoors and not removing shingles from the roof, we can start being creative again.  DMS International has just released an excellent piece of mid-priced test equipment for professional satellite installers, and those who would like to be.  The SM-2200 incorporates a digital satellite tuning computer into a battery operated device that looks like a futuristic Game-Boy.  You can actually view digital satellite signals on the TV screen as they are processed by this fancy satellite receiver and computer combo.  Less than a quarter of the cost of a good spectrum analyzer, it deserves a look by another serious about keeping their satellite antennas aligned properly.  And it will pay for itself in four or five service calls that you will no longer have to make.  We have the SM-2200 available for 469.00 plus shipping.

Another development is further refining of our database on the Traxis DBS-3500 receiver, which can be shipped custom preprogrammed as an option.  The metering circuits continue to amaze, with their almost perfectly damped characteristics that allow instant reaction and accurate signal data on a real-time basis.  We add to this machine a couple of jumper cables and an in-line satellite tuning meter.  Add some instructions on how to work with the two devices in tandem, and you have a poor man's solution to digital satellite reception and alignment.  Just add a TV and you're in business.  129.00 plus 13.00 shipping is the cost of the receiver/meter combination, and the Traxis DBS-3500 can be used afterwards for some actual TV viewing---just get a 30 to 36 inch dish and point it to one of those preprogrammed satellites like Galaxy 25 at 97 West, or Galaxy 10R at 123 West.  Justify it that way, and it's an insignificant cost!

Christmas is coming and we're trying to clean out the garage, basement, as well as our antenna storage building.  Too many things sitting around for too long.  Those adventurous enough to drive to our Plain, WI location (please make an appointment in advance) can grab some closeout bargains as well as a few freebies if they wish.  Check our BARGAINS section for a hint of what is available.  The freebies include at least two dozen C-band IRD receivers, which could be an excellent source of parts in the future (they're not makin' 'em like that anymore, or at all).  No remote controls, but some excellent equipment that typically only had moderate use prior to being put in storage.  If too much of it does not disappear before long, it will be taking a one way trip to the dump / waste transfer facility.  Make our loss your gain!   A number of Prodelin 36 inch / 90 cm antennas are sitting here awaiting a home, and they are free if you can drive here and pick them up.  Please note that they do not include any mounts or feedhorn brackets, but if you are creating with the bending of metal tubing, these are excellent antennas and full of potential.  Prices have been dropped on a number of BARGAINS items, including our VOOM remote controls.  10 dollars for one, 3 for 25 dollars, or 7 for 49 dollars.  Once they are gone, you'll need to pay retail for an infrared Star Choice receiver.  Other odds and ends are also discounted, including some 15.00 Drake power supplies, ten dollar weatherproof outdoor interconnect boxes, 220 volt equipment for export use, and other surprises.  VOOM antennas have been cut to 50.00 each, including Stacked Ku LNBF and Universal Mounting Bracket.  Hurry, there aren't a huge number of them left.

Pace Electronics has created its own private label electronics, and now undercuts Pico on some headend items, such as stereo FM modulators.  If you are interested in one, please let us know.

Skyvision is drop shipping a number of items for us, in which their ability to purchase in volume lowers your cost on some items.  In addition to the DSR-410 receiver for X4 subscription programming, we are now offering the 8.5, 10 and 12 foot mesh antennas produced by SAMI, at lower prices than before.  IF you need a knockdown type mesh antenna, they are not going to be any less costly than they are right now.

Pansat continues to ship their 9200-HD MPEG-2 receiver, which includes an ATSC off air tuner for local digital signals.  More and more new channels are turning on across this country, expanding the phenomenon known as Multicasting.  Coming to a TV station near you.

The WOKIE satellite network has lost their C-band home on Galaxy 26 (93 West) permanently.  It is hoped that a new place will be found on Ku-band, which could allow all of us geeks to use their MPEG-2 free to air boxes and point at 97 West.  In the meantime, listen on the Internet at

We hope your Christmas is a good one, and thank our many customers for their support in times past.  You are strongly encouraged to peek at our latest offerings, especially some of the closeout items.  Buying them would provide you with a needed bargain, and us with some spare storage space.

UNTIL 2008,