NEWS AND VIEWS
          February 13, 2013 

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



February 13, 2013               
C-Band Antennas Almost Here!

Are you ready for Spring yet?  This winter started late, but it's been a wild ride in many places already. 
We're getting our share of snow, and more than our normal quota for ice.  A little known weather pattern called a Flash Freeze has repeated itself twice already, where the temperature goes to balmy winter temperatures in the 40s or more, with rain.  Then it turns cold very fast, with ice coating everything, and sometimes dusted with some snow before the thermometer drops below Zero F.  Not good for anyone working or traveling outdoors.  I just hand-spread eight 70-pound bags of sand, in order to be able to use my driveway and get the car indoors before it snows again.  When it snows tonight, at least there will be a rough base to work with, instead of wet glare ice.  My new antenna creation from last month, with 13 Ku-band LNBFs covered by a sub-reflector put into service as a snow shield, is working out well.  At least I avoided having to remove ice from the LNBFs!

Once winter has set in, I have found time to do some badly needed updates to our website.  Go to the Off-Air antenna section and look at the new state-by-state TV station listings.  We have done the entire country, now adding low power TV and translator stations to the existing full power TV channel listings, and shown what channels can be received in each community.  Months of work went into this project, and there is still a bit of reformatting left on a few states, but you should now have a much better idea about what local signals are available in your location.

Our ace software programmer has delivered a new firmware update (version 4.4) for the Manhattan RS1933 receiver.  It can be downloaded at in basic form (satellites and transponders with embedded version 4.4 firmware).  The major update is that C and Ku-band switching is finally possible during motorized operation.  Many lines of computer code needed to be searched to find a solution, and we sincerely thank our software guru.  The receiver is also now capable of tuning symbol rates as low as 500 (previous lower limit was 1000), allowing a few exotic radio feeds to now be available.  Please be warned that these channels must be entered with a channel editor and then the entire file (Preload) put into the receiver with a USB memory stick.  The receiver itself will not complete a scan on something this narrow, but if the information is already in memory, it will play those channels.  Another caution is that one needs to get a Phase Locked Loop (PLL) C-band LNB for such channels to stay locked, and it should have a local oscillator stability of 25 KHz or better.  Global Communications has a new Preload that includes all of this, and can customize with some sample audio channels upon request.  Price is 25.00 by itself, or 20.00 when purchasing a receiver (or to my existing receiver customers), and free with the purchase of a preloaded receiver and Ku-band antenna system (still 199.00 plus shipping, but hurry while these antennas are still available).

Shaw Direct enthusiasts:  if you are getting ready for an MPEG-4 receiver such as the DSR-600, you will need to think about the Anik G1 satellite (assuming that you are within its coverage area).  We now have a separate special Ku-band LNBF that will work on an existing single satellite Ku-band antenna now parked on 107.3 West.  Uses the same conventional 40 mm neck as previous LNBFs from Pansat and DMS, but has an unusual Ku-band conversion that gets both Anik G1 and Anik F1R from the 107.3 satellite position, when the receiver is mapped with the configuration for the new Xtended Quad Ku-band LNBF.  Add a second dish for 111.1, connect a 22 KHz switch and you are ready for HD from all of their satellites.  Please contact us if you are in the market for an upgrade, or considering getting into the Shaw Direct community.

Have a Happy Valentine's Day, and stay warm!

Until next time,