WHO WE ARE......WHAT WE DO
(Along with a History of our Experiences)
|60 x 270-foot antenna near Bakersfield, Calif. being resurfaced for direct reception of Los Angeles VHF channels (1987)|
16-foot Orbitron H-to-H system mounted on top of an elevator shaft
4 stories above the ground, Kiev - Ukraine (1993)
18-foot Spherical Antenna receiving C-band signals from 109, 131 and 143 West Seward, Alaska (1985)
Reinstalling a Simulsat antenna at UCLA in Los Angeles, after first disassembling and transporting from the Commerce Casino.
Multiple low-cost Ku-band reception on tractor rim mounts
Newfolden, Minnesota (2004)
Kupol Mine test installation Chukotka, Russia
Sub 40 below F weather (2006)
Completed 3.8m True Focus antenna at Kupol,
for Alaskan reception from 139 West (2008)
12 LNBFs on one 180 cm Prodelin Offset Dish. Skyvision Fergus Falls, Minnesota (2009)
1998 View of Our Driveway
1999 View of Our Antenna Farm
S-9141 STATE ROAD 23
PLAIN, WISCONSIN 53577
Summer 2003 View Of Our Antenna Farm
December 2005 View of our antenna "farm"
GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS was the husband and wife team of MIKE and LAUREL KOHL, who started a mail order business in 1994, selling satellite reception equipment from their home in southern Wisconsin. Laurel passed away on January 22, 2014, after a four year struggle with advanced breast cancer metasticised to the bones, and Mike continues the journey without her.
Global Communications will now concentrate on a mix of satellite reception, local digital off-air TV, and IP or Internet television. We are working with Manhattan-Digital in nearby Madison, Wisconsin, to provide solutions for all of these reception modes, and will continue to innovate.
Mike has over 40 years experience in the satellite
industry. From multimillion dollar transmit and receive systems used by
the military in the 1970s, to tomorrow's computer connection delivered via
satellite, he has seen it all. Mike built 18 and 20-foot spherical
antennas from angle iron, redwood strips and aluminum screen way back at the
start of the 1980s, in Alaska. You needed a lot of signal to make up for
the lousy electronics (by today's standards) and it was an even greater
challenge making things work in an area as isolated from
"civilization" as rural Alaska. This was the best school in the
world; the school of hard knocks, and your mistakes were your teacher.
There weren't too many people nearby to ask questions, so you learned by trial
and error; sometimes the hard way. Add nearly five years in the high
tech commercial environment of Southern California, and 7 years with a major
antenna manufacturer; the total is quite a bit of experience from which to
draw upon. Much of Mike's 1990s work was in Export sales and installation
of satellite hardware, so there are few areas about satellite reception in which
he cannot knowledgably converse. Following the sale of Orbitron in April
1999, Global Communications became a full-time venture, specializing in
satellite reception techniques not-so-common to everyday users, and a source of
equipment and advice in a sea of dwindling vendors and few knowledgeable
Mike and Laurel started Global Communications as a small mail order business
soon after they were married in 1994. Mike was Technical Director in
the International Sales Department at Orbitron Antenna by day, and a seller of
unique and sometimes unusual satellite equipment and widgets by night.
This dual role was extended further by connection with the Internet, and a once-a-week
technical talk hour on a show called Friday Night Live, with Gary
Bourgois from Marquette, Michigan. The signal was available to anyone with
a big dish system on an audio channel, and later streamed on the Internet.
Mike had a regular show for eight or nine years (hard to keep exact track of
time with these things), and at one time was also doing a second show for 35
minutes on Thursday nights with Dean Spratt from Minneapolis. Friday
Night Live is now part of history, and Gary Bourgois has passed away
(11-15-2005) from health problems. Unfortunately, Dean Spratt also passed
away unexpectedly in early January 2007.
The closing of Orbitron in April 1999 more or less put Mike out in the street for a day job, so the business was ramped up to fulltime, as a service to hobbyists and those wanting unusual satellite-related hardware and services. After the collapse of the economy in 2008, we divided our attentions between contract arrangements with Skyvision and our own business, later working into Mike becoming a Minnesota resident and a fulltime employee of Skyvision from May 2009 to May 2011.
We have been doing a 2-hour weekly show through the facilities of Access America in New Orleans, operated by Ralf Black, since late 2008. At the present time, live shows are done on Wednesday evenings from 8pm to 10pm Central time, repeated several times through the week on the Access America network, transmitted on the Internet and available (soon to be video) on platforms such as Roku.
A layoff from Skyvision in May 2011, and the need to be with his wife Laurel on a fulltime basis as a care giver while she fought a valiant battle with cancer until succumbing to pneumonia on January 22, 2014, forced Mike to scale back operations of Global Communications. It will be hard to always be in touch with the loss of Laurel, but Mike is now ready and determined to get back to work and revive the satellite business and whatever else it may be evolving towards.
Our first satellite receiver was the popular Manhattan RS-1933, named for the birth year of Jeff Schumann's father. Jeff and Mike are at the core of a small group spearheaded under the Manhattan umbrella to do a number of things. Depending upon circumstances, we would like to soon offer a pair of receivers: one that combines IP reception from the Internet with local off-air digital TV reception, and another that adds local off-air digital TV reception to a satellite receiver with similar characteristics to the Manhattan RS-1933.
A failed attempt to reach a manufacturing venture to
revive mesh antennas has resulted in a change in direction. We will now
concentrate on solid multi-panel prime focus antennas made in Michigan with
another partner. A line of various offset Ku-band antennas will also be
To reach Mike during normal weekday business hours (9am to 5pm) call 608-546-2523 and leave a message if call is not answered. We will telephone back as soon as possible. Otherwise please send EMail to firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you.
Please consider Global Communications for your retail satellite needs, so that we can return fulltime to the hardware sales business. Mike will also be supporting Manhattan-Digital in a technical and sales capacity, providing manufacturing and wholesaling expertise to dealers and distributors in the satellite industry, which we believe is headed for a revival in a big way. There are too many diverse media choices to ignore satellite technology, and the transfer to digital is making it cheaper to establish new channels. History repeats itself again and again, and since we were here the first time, our presence in this industry could point it in new directions. We would like to be here for you.
Christmas Week 2004