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— Professional: Career —

History and Career

1949 born in Zurich, 1954 - 1966 kindergarten, primary and secondary school in Zurich.

1966 - 1970 trade school in Zurich, apprenticeship as Radio-Electronician. 1966 - 1968 work as prentice with Radio und Television AG, representation of Geloso S.p.A.; carrying out repairs on open reel tape recorders, shortwave transmitters and receivers, amplifiers — installation of public address systems in churches and funfairs. 1968 - 1970 continued apprenticeship with Radio Hess. I carried out repairs on radio and television sets at the shop and at the customers' premises, installation of TV receiving aerials. Graduated with a Federal diploma in April 1970.

1969, during the 4-year apprenticeship, military basic training as Uem Gtm (repairing wireless sets and telephone switch boards — all WW II vintage stuff) in Berne, 1970 earning the degree in Airolo. My military career ended 2001, I ought to have been decruited from service in 1999 already but got forgotten.

1970 - 1971 continued to work as assistant with Radio Hess. I managed the shop and the prentice during the holiday absences of the owner.


Air Traffic Control

1971 - 1974 employed with Radio Schweiz AG, air traffic control Zurich Kloten, (today Skyguide), as Radar Maintenance Engineer. Repair and maintenance of the primary (Raytheon) and secondary (IFF from Whittacker) air traffic control radars (Lägern), approach radar (Cossor, Marconi), runway surveillance radar (Texas Instruments) and the weather radar (Decca; Albis); repair and maintenance on direction finder (Rhode & Schwarz).

Radar

Telecommunications

1974 employed at the satellite earth telecommunications earth station Leuk. First as PTT officer, the name changed to Telecom PTT, than employee with Swisscom until the selling of the facility to Verestar, a subsidiary of American Tower Corp., in 2000: Verestar AG. Verestar Inc. lost a lot of customers with the deflation of the Internet bubble and had to submit to Chapter 11. SES-Americom purchased Verestar Inc. and with it Verestar AG in 2004. My employer changed its name to SES-International Teleport Switzerland AG (SES-ITS AG). SES-ITS AG went over to SES-Astra by the end of 2006 which integrated the company into its subsidiary Satlinx GmbH. All of Satlynx was sold to General Electric in the first quarter of 2007 and the company was renamed to GE-Satcom. GE sold all assets after 5 years, a new owner came and the company got rebranded to Signalhorn AG on 22. February 2012.

My job was operating, maintaining, troublehooting and configuring the satellite telecommunications equipment. In the beginning, there was analogue technology with FDMA. That sort of equipment was repaired, modifications developed and built for it.

With the advent of digital technology in the telecommunications industry, equipment is usually not built to be repaired anymore. SPADE and SCPC were deployed, than single rate IDR, TDMA, SS-TDMA and multi rate IDR (IBS). Those had to be configured. The terrestrial connection is not just G.703 anymore; it may be also V.35 or an RS-variant and is either transmitted within a digital hierarchy or passed along routers as IP packets on copper or fibre. Then, mixed multi channel systems came into being: SCPC/TDMA for star and meshed satellite networks (SkyWAN, Vipersat, iDirect).

These systems are rather elaborate to configure: IF (70/140 MHz) or L-band, RF, router, QoS; the customer wants VoIP, video conferencing, email and surf the Internet on his private network. Usually, the remote stations (on land or water) are set up by contractors. Those need assistance over the telephone to align the dish antenna with the right satellite, polarisation and transmit power have to be adjusted with the satellite services provider. Once a circuit is up, the equipment has to be fine tuned by remote control. Less repairs but a lot of administering closed corporate satellite networks.

Supervising the transmit and receive spectra to and from the different transponders of the satellites and finding the cause of interferences with the satellite services providers Intelsat, Panamsat (meanwhile Intelsat), Loral Skynet, SES (Americom, Astra und New Skies Satellite), Arabsat, Eutelsat and others.


I decided to end my professional career by the end of March 2013 because I think one should leave when everything is at its best. My last function was Incident Manager and I mainly cared about the interests of our international customers. The work was interesting and challenging and was great fun. The working atmosphere with all colleagues was great over the full time span and with the customers there were only nice, partly even personal, contacts. Fully retired since March 2014.

 
  © 2004 - 2017 by Horo Wernli.