Site Selection

The first thing you will need to do is a site study to determine that a satellite dish will work at your proposed location. You can either do the study yourself, or hire someone to do it for you. If you “do it yourself” you need to do the following:

Check the arc clearance by using a compass and an inclinometer. You need to check whether all the desired satellites can be seen from the proposed site. Don’t check for only one satellite; the service could move to another satellite. Inclinometers are available at architect’s or surveyor’s supply houses. Hardware stores also have devices to measure elevation.

Check the local zoning laws to see if there are any regulations regarding land use. Are there any limits on dish visibility from the street? Are you in a historic district or on landmark property?

Check the property you want to use. The dish and the cable routing should be entirely on your owned or leased property.

Locate all terrestrial interference. Some areas to check for interference include telephone company microwave links. These terrestrial microwave links use the same C-Band frequencies used by your satellite equipment. Mobile cellular phones operating between 806 and 890 Mhz can generate harmonics that can be a problem. The second harmonic of a microwave oven is near the satellite band. Radio altimeters and airport radars operating just outside the satellite band have also caused problems.

Following are some suggestions to minimize interference: Since C-band downlinks are not required to be licensed, you can frequency coordinate and license the site; this will force new microwave users to not interfere with you. Walls, fences or buildings can be used to block interference from specific directions. You could also use filters between the feed element and the LNB. These filters can eliminate some of the interference but at the same time may also hurt the desired signal.

Advantages/Disadvantages of a roof location

Advantage:

  • May be at the studio location

Disadvantages:

  • Terrestrial interference is greater and harder to avoid on roofs
  • May have difficulty getting roof rights from landlord
  • May have difficulty securely anchoring the dish
  • Roof mounting jobs often cost more than the dish and receiver themselves
  • Other buildings may obstruct the view of the satellite arc

Advantages/Disadvantages of a ground location

Advantages:

  • May be at the transmitter site, which you may own
  • If at the transmitter site, may be away from terrestrial interference
  • Can pour a concrete slab and have a sturdy installation

Disadvantage:

  • Iif not at the studio, getting audio and cueing contact closures back to the studio adds expense and unreliability.