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
MIKE and LAUREL KOHL
S-9141 STATE ROAD 23
PLAIN, WISCONSIN 53577
Summer 2003 View Of Our Antenna Farm
December 2005 View of our antenna "farm"
GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS is a husband and wife team (MIKE and
LAUREL KOHL) that lives in the rolling Wisconsin countryside, about one hour
west of Madison. We specialize in providing equipment and advice for
television and radio reception via satellite. You will not find DirecTV or
DISH Network systems available here . . . with a little bit of effort, one
should be able to find such equipment just about anywhere in the country.
What separates us from the everyday merchants and installers of DBS satellite is
that we literally take over where they leave off. We have the knowledge
and ability to answer your technical questions on how to install and align one
of those old fashioned Big Ugly Dishes (BUD). Need help on building a
distribution system to interconnect multiple TV signals from several satellite
receivers, VCRs, or your local off-air television and radio signals? Don't
have a clue about what will be happening in your area with regard to digital or
high definition (HDTV) broadcasting? Would you like straight answers on MPEG-2
digital reception, how to receive satellite signals in other parts of the
world...or from other parts of the world---here in America? You have come to the right place
for answers to these and other questions.
Mike has over 35 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 us 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.
Fast forward to today (2012). 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 Galaxy 19 Ku-band audio channel of Access America (97 West), and available not only on several live streaming audio services on the Internet, but now as an application on the I-phone.
Mike had also been working fulltime for Skyvision in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, and commuting there since May, 2009. It was our intention to move to Minnesota, but several circumstances have stopped that in its tracks. Laurel is now fighting Stage 4 breast cancer, and is in no position to move anywhere. Skyvision had a downturn in business in mid 2011, and gave Mike a temporary layoff. Circumstances have dictated moving everything back to Wisconsin after a year, and he is now attempting to resurrect Global Communications, and has also become part of a venture with Manhattan-Digital, based near Madison, Wisconsin, with longtime friend Jeff Schumann. This company's first claim to fame is the increasingly popular Manhattan RS-1933 MPEG-4 high definition receiver. We are attempting behind the scenes to develop a broad-based business that resembles a full service hardware distributor, to provide electronic equipment, antennas and other devices for multimedia reception. Plans include a resurrection of the mesh antenna manufacturing business, so that we have a steady supply of American made satellite hardware to support the growing Free To Air business. If all of this works, Mike will be able to stay in Wisconsin so that he can be near Laurel to support her in the fight with cancer.
Telephone business hours are sometimes limited, to meet Laurel's medical needs and appointments. Best to call during normal weekday business hours (9am to 5pm) 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