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RCA's Sick Bird - part 1

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Published on Jun 3, 2013

This is a "big one" for those who "think" they are walking textbooks on the development of television-relaying geostationary satellites. In September 1978 I, as editor-in-chief for CATJ/
Community Antenna Television Journal, had multiple sources "inside RCA" who insisted the F1 satellite had a life-shortening technical problem. Anything I "might say" in CATJ about this topic would start an immediate panic in the rapidly developing cable TV industry. So I explained my situation and wrangled an invitation to visit the RCA Vernon Valley (NJ) uplink for satellites F1 and F2. Moreover, RCA would provide an NBC network cameraman and TK-whatever camera to allow a full tour and recording of anything attracting my interest. Archie T. Miller, the site supervisor, would later (2011) write (in his Amazon.com available "Birds in Hand - RCA and a Communications Revolution") in the dedication, "To Bob Cooper, my sometimes nemesis during our F2 problems in the late 70s'...". Arch was a prince of a fellow, an incredible cutting edge engineer, and his explanation and detail of the RCA "revolution" (the first 24 TV channel satellites - anywhere) you are about to witness was a major step for all that would follow. No historical evaluation of how TV satellites changed the world can be complete without his book; and it will also help you to go to http://theoldcatvequipmentmuseum/coop for CATJ's December 1978 issue report titled "The Sick Bird - Fact or Fiction". Here is a preview; we WERE right but the detail was a surprise even to us! Enjoy all six parts of this report and oh yes - THIS also explains the 'humor' behind the "cake incident" you may have witnessed in 'TVRO Glory Days - part 9'! (Bob Cooper; June 2013)

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