During April 2007 a group approaching 100 gathered during a satellite industry trade meeting in Atlanta, Georgia to "celebrate" the rapidly fading memories of the 1978-1987 period known as "The C-Band Days". The half-dozen (all hams or ex-ham) folk who started in 1978 with perhaps ten private, experimental C-band (4 GHz) hand crafted reception systems had turned into thousands of (largely ham) experimenters by 1986 with more than 3,000,000 consumer "home dish systems" in the ground, spread over six continents ranging in antenna size from 4' to some monsters pushing 40' (such as the system installed by Florida pioneer [and ham] Bob Behar for "The Marcos Family" in the Philippines).
To focus the aging group Coop asked more than 20 'fellow pioneers' to write their own "Best C-Band Story" and these appear in a special limited-edition book properly titled "C-Band Remembered"; 197 pages of totally unique stories. (Click here for content sampler) Well known and respected amateur Bob Heil (K9EID) comments on this book (Heil's firm installed more than 2,000 C-Band systems; see his "Field of Dreams" photo here. YES - the 'same' Heil as creates amateur/ham and professional audio gear including microphone sets):
"There you were - 'Coop'! - on a (NBC) Tom Snyder Show late in December (23rd; 1979 - a copy of this video is available from Jim Vines - see 'Order Form' here as JV005). As soon as I saw that, I just KNEW I had to be a part of this! For me, 'C Band Remembered' is a joy to read. The pictures are terrific and the history is so well defined - and done so by those that actually were there. Many names I remember from those early SPTS/SBCA shows. How many times we were in Nashville and Las Vegas 'teaching' the TV dealers how to find the satellite 22,000 miles away or how to connect the receiver to a Dolby decoder to have some rear channel sound. Fun times, Bob! The book is a delight. I am so happy you put it together. I owe you so much for the guidance and focus you provided for me - and so many other lives."
1,000 copies of CBAND-R were printed, handed out to a select group in Atlanta (2007) and the balance stored - until now. The 'Pioneer Stories' found here will never, ever, again be duplicated. Tim Alderman installed the first Moscow dish system to receive western (CNN) programming and watched in fascination as the TV sets connected provided the only direct, live coverage to Russia's leaders of how Communism was crumbling all around them (1990). George Bell pioneered systems in 5-Star Hollywood hotels and did the first installation for Holiday Inns. Mark Long brought first-ever TV to remote ranches in Bolivia - only to discover the buyer was one of the world's most wanted, notorious 'drug kingpins'. Mike Kohl engaged Ted Turner over a 1986 installation funded by the CIA in Afghanistan. Jim Vines pioneered semi-commercial dishes from Canada's 'far north' throughout Central America and into deepest, darkest Africa. And he lived to tell about it! Bob Behar, using a Luly 12' transportable (umbrella design) system, pushed the limits of North American C-Band reception into the eastern Caribbean - as a warm up for much more dangerous jaunts into Saudi Arabia, Cameroon, and SE Asia. Doug Dehnert was hired to provide American television to more than 3,000 military personnel operating the Pacific Ocean Johnston Island (KH3) 'Agent Orange' disposal site and HE lived to tell about it. AND YES - Long, Behar, Luly and Dehnert were all hams!
These are first person memories, collected by Coop into a book which, as Bob Heil suggests, "(the book) is a delight". There is ONLY one way to get a copy - only one (no, Coop has never offered it before and it sure as heck is not on Amazon unless somebody has made available a second-hand copy). There are steps (call them 'security steps') as follows:
1/ Contact participating author/historian Jim Vines at firstname.lastname@example.org; he will send you an order form (the price is US$20 per copy plus shipping - typically within 48 states under US$4).
2/ Or if you plan to attend Dayton 2011, write and ask Jim where he will be and to bring you a copy for hand delivery.
No, there is no plan nor intention to reprint C-Band Remembered and when the remaining copies from the first (and only) press run are gone - well, perhaps second-hand copies will one day appear on Amazon!
Bob Heil/K9EID says it all: "During my 'High Tech Heil' shows on 50KW clear channel KMOX, listeners in 44 states learned what was going on 'behind the scenes'. I was on the USSB/DirecTV 'Test team' and installed the very first-ever Ku-band system at the office of radio-TV announcer Bob Costas ; but the first day Best Buy introduced the same systems, I said '73' to Ku band!"
The back cover (of "C-band
Remembered" below) is Bob Coleman, K4AWB, who actually hand built 4 GHz low
noise amplifiers on his kitchen table in 1979! (See DVD JV005).