Carnarvon Museum Calls for Help

The Carnarvon Space and Technology Museum Needs our Help.

In a recent post about the Opening of Carnarvon’s new Museum dedicated to NASA and OTC work, Graeme Hanigan said:

“It was interesting to see how quickly the history is rewritten.
The event was overrun by ex NASA ‘Trackers’ as they called themselves and there was lots of ill-informed conversation and confusion about the OTC site. At best I could describe ‘the museum’ is a jumbled collection of ‘space junk’. However the committee is well meaning and I hope that somewhere along the line they get the story straight. Continue reading

Life After OTC

Robert Brand Part 2

The Wireless Institute of Australia Magazine Article WMBD

Below is some of the article on the Echoes of Apollo World Moon Bounce Day (WMBD). Much of it was written by the University of Tasmania (UTAS) staff members Rex Moncur VK7MO and Justin Giles-Clark VK7TW for the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA):

27 June 2009 was designated World Moon Bounce Day as an amateur radio contribution to the celebrations of the 40th anniversary of man’s first landing on the moon. The event was organized by Echoes of Apollo – a joint project between Pat Bathelow (US) and Robert Brand (Australia). Key to the success of the event was the contribution of the Overseas Telecommunications Veterans Association. (OTVA) Continue reading

Life After OTC

Robert BrandRobert Brand – Part 1
World Moon Bounce

A lot has happened since my departure from OTC but a quick note to say that I am extremely involved in the space sector these days. I still work in comms for mines, but also satellite and beyond. What is interesting is that 3.5 years ago the OTVA got contacted by a gentleman wanting to do a commemorative HAM radio event between the Jamesburg Earth Station and the Parkes Radio telescope. Basically bouncing signals off the moon and back to earth and using big dishes to do the work. In the week before the Apollo 11 40th Anniversary (July 2009) dishes from all over the world took part in World Moon Bounce Day (WMBD) and it was a great success. Notably Jamesburg and Parkes never took part! Continue reading

The Carnarvon Space And Technology Museum

Buzz in Carnarvon for the Opening

A nice bit of video from Buzz Aldrin’s arrival in Carnarvon for the opening of the new Space and Technology Museum. The site is the old OTC and NASA property at Carnarvon in Western Australia.

Colin Benporath is there and when he returns I hope to post a more detailed story and some of his pictures. Until then here are two videos showing Buzz Aldrin’s arrival and a video showing some background on the moon support Continue reading

Trevor Housley and Seacom Opening

Director General Posts and Telegraphs Congratulates OTC

In what must have been a rather smug message of congratulations, Trevor Housley, sends a congratulations message to OTC in his new role as Director General Posts and Telegraphs. It seems that Trevor of course had had a lot to do with the formation of the Compac and Seacom cables and of course satellite comms Continue reading

$59M Communications Highway

Seacom Opening – The AGE

I am just adding more material from the AGE newspaper published at the time of the Seacom opening in 1967. There are many more pages and I will add them later. It is interesting at the number of pages that the AGE dedicated to Seacom. Many are advertisements paid for by suppliers or parts or services, but there are many pages of stories. Continue reading

Seacom Opening 1967

Age Article by Harold White

I found this article in “The Age” archives from back in 1967. It was part of a large article celebrating the opening on the Seacom cable on this day. Initially only the first supergroup was commissioned on the cable that could eventually hold 2 x 80 channel supergroups.

The supergroups were 3.1kHz bandwidth compared to the 60 channel satellite supergroups that consisted of 3.4kHz bandwidth channels. There were about 6 pages of a broadsheet newspaper dedicated to the opening. Continue reading

Trevor Housley

Housley, Trevor Alfred (1910–1968)

by George F. Maltby

Trevor Alfred Housley (1910-1968), public servant, was born on 31 October 1910 at Gympie, Queensland, fifth child of native-born parents William Frank Frederick Housley, painter, and his wife Eva Alice, née Carroll. Educated at Gympie High School and the University of Queensland (B.Sc., 1941), Trevor joined the Brisbane office of the Postmaster-General’s Department on 15 October 1926 as a junior mechanic (in training). He later worked as a clerk in the personnel and accounts branches.  Continue reading

Early Bird 2, the UK and Global TV

OTC’s Jim Robertson explains

Intelsat I was nicknamed “Early Bird” for the proverb “The early bird catches the worm”. Early Bird 1 was the world’s first commercial communications satellite to be placed in geosynchronous orbit. It was positioned over the Atlantic Ocean and launched on 6 April 1965. The Early Bird series was built by the Space and Communications Group of Hughes Aircraft Company (later Hughes Space and Communications Company, and now Boeing Satellite Systems) for COMSAT. Continue reading

1968 Newspaper Advertisement

The Satellite “AGE”

This advertisement was spotted in The Age newspaper. The Age is one of Melbourne’s Newspapers (Australia). It was dated 14th June 1968 and was soon after the opening of Moree Satellite Station. The article showcases the stations ability to receive (and Transmit) TV programs around the world.

The terms used seem quaint by the general standards of today. Continue reading

Ceduna 1 Synchro Resolver Drama

Tony Fisher Lived to Fight Another Day

After reading about the twin dishes proposed for Jamesburg in an earlier article about Jamesburg Earth Station in the US, Tony Fisher wrote back with this story:

I wonder if the 100ft Ceduna 1 dish was also specified for this capability? It had a tracking speed of an incredible 0.3 degrees per second in both Azimuth and Elevation, although I only ever once saw it run in “full flight”, and then quite by accident. Continue reading

Apollo 11 Paddington Video

ABC coverage showing Paddington during Apollo 11

I just spotted this video with more shots of the Apollo 11 gear at Paddington. It is with credit to ABC TV. Not a lot to say about this, but it was broadcast the day before the Apollo 11 moon landing. The video quality is extremely good for the era but since it was for Australian TV at the time it was all black and white. There are also shots of Honeysuckle Creek. Continue reading

Two Dishes at Jamesburg?

FAX Coversheet Tells of an Unknown Future – by Robert Brand

Look carefully at the facsimile cover sheet below and you will see two dishes at Jamesburg. One is in front of the other slightly obscuring it, but two dishes are certainly shown. There was only one that was ever constructed. Why? An artist’s whim? No!

It goes back to the time that the station was being planned. Pure and simple, they did not know whether a geostationary satellite was going to work and this was the alternative. A series (constellation) of low earth orbit satellites in polar orbit. Continue reading

Apollo 11 Video and Wayne Ozarko

Search For Apollo 11 tapes

As many will know there has been a concerted effort to find the Apollo 11 video data tapes. The NASA files were apparently over-written in an attempt by NASA to save on computer tape. There were other copies made here in Australia but the problem is that no-one has any idea where the digital tapes were stored or even if they were destroyed or not. Continue reading

Buzz Aldrin Headed to Carnarvon

Buzz AldrinScuba Diving is a Buzz at Carnarvon – by Robert Brand

During a Space conference in the US last week, I had the opportunity to talk about the importance of Carnarvon to the Apollo 11 mission and other Apollo missions with Apollo 11 moon-walker Buzz Aldrin.

Buzz was very flattering about the importance of the NASA site at Carnarvon and the world class communications required to keep them in contact with other NASA sites. He said that the team took note of the Carnarvon area as they passed over it, wondering about the remoteness of the region and security of the links. Continue reading

OTVA 56th Annual General Meeting

OTVA 56th Annual General Meeting 2012

Friday 15th June 2012 at 11.00 AM

NSW Bowlers Club

Phillip Room, Level 2,   99 York Street, Sydney NSW

RSVP  to:    Email:

Telephone or SMS:   0411 260542  by Friday 8 June 2012

The meeting is set down to commence at 11.30 AM.  It will be followed by an optional meal in the dining area 1st Floor commencing 12:30PM.  (Payment at the dining area entrance) Continue reading

Visiting Jamesburg Earth Station (USA)

AT&T’s Jamesburg Dish – by Robert brand

In early June 2012 I visited the Jamesburg site with the intention of surveying the site and turning it into a data centre. The site was abandoned by AT&T in 2002 following the attacks on the NY World Trade Center buildings. It was thought by AT&T that Jamesburg was too vulnerable to aircraft attack of a similar nature. I recently set up a company that is now looking to buy the site. The 2 day visit was like a trip back in time as many of the site’s offices and systems were still fully intact.

Continue reading