Robert Brand and Jamesburg Earth Station.
It was about when I was 17 years old that I (Robert Brand) first heard of Jamesburg Earth Station. I was a second year trainee at the Dept of Civil Aviation Regional Training School at Waverton and assigned to the International Maintenance Centre (IMC) at Paddington for field training. I was asked to wiring up some Apollo 11 jumpering for Wayne Ozarko and I learned of this site as the received dish for the transmissions from Moree for the Apollo 11 moon landing.
I ended up doing most of the TV broadcasts each morning when I was on duty and was talking with Jamesburg staff each and every day. The location and history of the site was of little interest in those days and the Internet was not invented for the public so data, photos and everything else we take for granted was just not there to be able to find anything out at all. That has changed and I now know Jamesburg inside out.
The site was basically abandoned by ATT in 2002 and sold as a farm with a unique set of buildings. It has sort of been a holiday home in a valley mainly producing wine and way of the beaten track.
So what is different? “Jamesburg for sale” is now on a sign at the front gate. Today, my small company, PlusComms, is considering buying the Earth Station!
Whether this eventuates or not is still in the hands of the owner. He may have other offers or waiting for a better offer. Although I would like to buy a dish in the US, this one is no where near perfect for the job I would like it to do and to that end I am actually only after the 2,000 square metre building that is part of the site. Simply it will make a great boutique Data Centre.
Much of the old building will need clearing of all the old office partitions and such, but the data centre is a valuable commodity. It is worth far more than the very badly damaged dish. The feed window was broken at some stage and the whole assembly was filled with water for many years. When the dish was moved from stow a few years ago, it was evidently like waterfall.
If any exOTC people are interested in this project and feel that they can contribute, please contact me ASAP on 02 9559 6879 or email@example.com
I will post more on Jamesburg in the next few weeks after I return from a site inspection. In the meantime here are a few historic videos:
Above: Jamesburg Earth Station Part 1 of 3 (no audio – slideshow only)
Above: Jamesburg Earth Station Part 2 of 3 (no audio – slideshow only)
Above: Jamesburg Earth Station Part 3 of 3 (no audio – slideshow only)