PERSPECTIVE TWO: (Updated November 2010)The FCC initially required satellite (receive!) antennas to be licensed and this would only happen after the applicant submitted engineering data 'proving' various system parameters including the width of the frontal reception lobe and the placement of 'secondary side lobes'. This translated to a minimum parabolic dish size of around 9 meters creating cable (and modest other) 'TeleVision Receive Only' (TVRO) systems in the region of $125,000 equipped with a single polarity feed, one LNA and one receiver. Scientific Atlanta was the primary supplier for the first 18 months.
But the cable operator's major concern was a 'clean picture' from satellite, not the mystifying world of quasi-physics buried in antenna frontal and sidelobe patterns. CATJ magazine, edited by Coop, set out to prove the FCC was in error with their '9 meter minimum' dish size rule. Following FCC procedure, an experimental license was issued to Coop (FCC license WF92; 1977) at CATJ magazine and over the period through 1979 a series of in-depth technical reports systematically tore apart and then buried the FCC '9 meter rule'. From this would come two important FCC rule makings to ultimately remove any barriers of owning your own satellite dish system of any size you wished, without a license.
SPTS or Satellite Private Terminal Seminar(s) began in August 1979 (Oklahoma City) with more than 500 'Satellite Pioneers' attending. By July 1980 in San Jose (California) three SPTS had been held with attendance pushing past 1,500 per event. A SPTS in Miami (February 1980) proved the feasibility of receiving low power Intelsat signals far off beam with dishes in the 4 meter class. Here, at SPTS San Jose (July 1980) International Crystal's Royden Freeland (left) and early pioneer Steve Gibson ("The Satellite Terminal Navigator Manual") after successfully acquiring signals on an ADM 3.7m poolside dish from the highly eccentric Molniya elliptical orbit satellite chain. Oh yes, by San Jose, complete dish system pricing had fallen under $3,000 - a far cry from SA's $125,000 system!
Once again what you should have at this point is your own copy of "Television's Pirates" and "C-Band Remembered" (click on C-Band Remembered file in blue upper left). Royden Freeland's dad created International Crystal following World War Two and both were active licensed hams. ICM offered a variety of HF-VHF-UHF 'modules' for the home builder, pioneered the first mass produced 27 Mc Citizens Band transceivers, and using a design perfected by H. Paul Shuch (N6TX) was one of the first three firms to offer home C-Band TVRO receivers. There is classic-historic 'video' of this sequence in 'TVRO's 5th Birthday' two-hour (HBO transponder) telecast with NBC's Tom Snyder (DVD JV005) ; contact historian Jim Vines as email@example.com.