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Surfin’: Radio History For Sale

03/30/2012

By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor

This week, Surfin’ explores a real estate listing with a historic radio connection.

In the late 1970s, I knew hams who worked at the Comsat Southbury (Connecticut) Land Earth Station (LES), which was located about 15 miles from my home in Waterbury. Occasionally, I would hang out at the Earth station with my friends and marvel at the amazing hardware they got to play with on the job.

Back then, satellite dishes were a rare sight and just pulling into the Earth station's parking lot surrounded by the huge dishes was a thrill. Today, satellite dishes are everywhere and the thrill of 30 years ago now results in a yawn.

Today, Earth stations change hands like used cars and if you are interested, you can buy one for a cool $3 million. The Jamesburg Earth Station in Carmel Valley, California, has a long history; it received and distributed the video images of the first manned moon landing in 1969, President Nixon’s trip to China in 1972, the Tiananmen Square protest of 1989 -- and hams used the station in the EME contest of 2007.

The real estate listing for the Jamesburg dish includes links to a number of interesting stories about the station including ones from The Atlantic, CNN and The New York Times.

Thanks to Zack Schindler, N8FNR, for the heads-up about the Jamesburg sale.

Until next time, keep on surfin’!

Editor’s note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, seeks the unusual in radio. To contact Stan, send e-mail or add comments to the WA1LOU blog.



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