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Magnaphone portable satellite telephone, 1990
This image is not currently available as a higher resolution full colour zoom. This may be because this object has not been moved from storage and re-photographed in recent times.

Object statement
Radio transceiver, Magnaphone Portable Satellite Telephone model MX2020, metal / fabric / plastic / electronic components, used by Goldsearch Ltd., Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, designed and manufactured by Magnavox, Deer Park, USA, 1990
The Magnaphone portable satellite telephone (model MX2020) allows people to venture into remote locations with the security of being able to call for help if necessary. It can provide telephone, fax, telex and data communications from anywhere in the world. The unit can be used to receive and transmit slow scan video, it can be connected to a computer, modems, remote radio repeaters, encryption devices, operates in extreme temperatures ranging from -40 C to +60 C and can handle wind-driven rain, snow and sand.

Satellite phones are used widely by people who travel through outback Australia where other telecommunication services are not available.
The Magnaphone portable satellite telephone was designed and manufactured in the USA around 1990.
This Magnaphone portable satellite telephone (model MX2020) was used in outback Australia during the early to mid 1990s. Members of the Goldsearch Limited exploration team used it to maintain communications with head office from remote locations in the Gibson Desert near Mt. Destruction during expeditions to locate the legendary Lasseter's reef. Lasseter's reef is a purportedly a large gold deposit stumbled upon by Harold Lasseter in the late 19th century.

The primary justification for its purchase (AU$68,000 in 1993) was to ensure the health and safety of the exploration team in case of snake bite or other injury. The drilling team was 3 hours from the nearest communications point (another satellite phone) and in emergencies valuable time would be lost in transit. Satellite phones continue to be used in these circumstances by remote Goldsearch personnel.

Goldsearch subscribed through the INMARSAT (International Maritime Satellite Organisation, est. 1979) system. Ongoing costs were very high. Within a couple of years a nearby (1/2 hour drive distant) Flying Doctor Service radio telephone system became available and the INMARSAT service was dropped.

Satellite communications became commercial around the mid 1960s and progressed rapidly after the formation of INTELSAT (International Telecommunications Satellite Organisation) in 1964. Prior to this the use of satellites as communications devices was the sole domain of the military. Communications satellites found major users in maritime customers, media organisations content distribution and overseas telephone communications.

 This text content licensed under CC BY-NC.

Description
Radio transceiver, Magnaphone Portable Satellite Telephone model MX2020, metal / fabric / plastic / electronic components, used by Goldsearch Ltd., Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, designed and manufactured by Magnavox, Deer Park, USA, 1990

The satellite telephone comes in a road case measuring 60 x 60 x 30 cm. When unpacked and assembled the phone stands on four legs and an umbrella antenna is deployed.

The MX2020 was readily assembled with these easy to follow instructions - 'remove from case, unfold legs, swing umbrella antenna into place. Turn it on, aim' at the Inmarsat-A, Class 1 Satellite Communication System (SATCOM).
Made: 1990
2005/26/1
Production date
1990
Height
600 mm
Width
600 mm
Depth
300 mm

 This text content licensed under CC BY-SA.
Acquisition credit line
Gift of Goldsearch Limited
Subjects
+ Communications equipment
+ Fossicking
Short persistent URL
Concise link back to this object: http://from.ph/347750
Cite this object in Wikipedia
Copy and paste this wiki-markup:

{{cite web |url=http://from.ph/347750 |title=Magnaphone portable satellite telephone |author=Powerhouse Museum |accessdate=27 November 2014 |publisher=Powerhouse Museum, Australia}}


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