NEWS AND VIEWS
          June 7, 2009

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



June 7, 2009

My head is still spinning...not so much from the nearly 1000 miles that I now drive every week, but from the rapid escalation of fuel prices in the past several weeks.  On May 3rd I paid 1.999 per gallon for unleaded regular in a number of Minnesota locations.  This weekend it's up to 2.699 in many of those places, and I saw as much as 2.859 at a pump in a small Wisconsin community.  Quite a racket these people have;  funny coincidence that prices were near the bottom the week that I started my slow moving process.  Of course it also coincides with the annual shakedown of motorists for the Memorial Day and Fourth Of July weekends.  It's always something!

Getting into the swing of things at my Monday to Thursday day job at Skyvision.  Great people to work with!
In addition to telephone duties, I have found some time to upgrade antenna facilities one at a time, getting started with the installation of a 1.8 meter Prodelin offset antenna and Multifeed bracket for Ku-band reception.  Should complete that this week, and hopefully have a separate motorized C-band system working for the eastern part of our satellite arc in a short while.  Since nobody is making Horizon-to-Horizon mounts for big antennas in North America, those that want access to everything usually need to put up multiple antennas, and this will be no exception.  My temporary apartment has same issues with off-air TV reception.  If I was going to install a separate antenna for each area TV stations, it would take at least six TV antennas.  Looks like it will be a rotor with a high band VHF and an 8-element Channel Master UHF antenna in tandem.  Possibly a spare antenna if I can find room or reason to do so.  Three 90 cm antennas plus an off air array are being installed on a 50 x 50 inch metal/wood grid on a rooftop;  similar to that pictured on our main webpage.  

This week also creates a bunch of work for those following the shutdown of analog full power television stations across the United States.  Friday, June 12th is the scheduled date, and hopefully it will go smoother than the February mini-transition that preceded it.  I will attempt to update our channel charts to reflect all new changes in channel facilities, as well as get a handle on any new off air multicasting that goes on the air.  In the middle of this shuffle is the fact that up to 35 full power stations presently transmitting in analog will be forced to turn things off, because they have not yet built a proper digital facility.  The majority of those channels are in the Equity Broadcasting bankruptcy process, which have been granted permission on a station by station basis to complete construction by later in the year.  Analog channels will disappear in the affected communities, but the few satellite feeds that remain will serve cable companies during the transition to new ownership.  In the end, most of these channels will no longer be on satellite...but not to worry;  something new will come up at some point.  It always has in the past...we just cannot predict who it might be yet!

Got to drive in a few minutes, but thought it best to dispatch greetings for the month of June to all of our faithful readers.  Check out our Friday night radio show, which continues from 8 to 10 pm Central with Ralf Black on the Access America radio network, on Galaxy 19 - Ku band.  Coordinates on our main web page.

Until next month,