Satellite Dish Security

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skiptaylor
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Satellite Dish Security

Postby skiptaylor » Sat Mar 28, 2009 12:42 pm

We've lately had attacks on our Satellite dish. It sits behind an outbuilding in a brick enclosure with an open top. We've already lost the cover for the LNB as well as various holes poke in the dish. Even had someone jump the wall and move the dish away from the satellite.

I'm just wondering what other facilities have done, shy of laser attack weapons, to protect the integrity of their satellite dish. Is there any future thoughts of moving to the smaller dishes like DISH network and DirecTV have? Then we could put them out as needed and bring them in to protect them.

I was thinking that maybe a dish cover the same color as the surrounding walls might be of help as it would (should) deflect some of the missiles thrown at it.
Skip Taylor :eek:
Lancaster CA.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sat Mar 28, 2009 1:05 pm

avskip wrote:I'm just wondering what other facilities have done, shy of laser attack weapons, to protect the integrity of their satellite dish. Is there any future thoughts of moving to the smaller dishes like DISH network and DirecTV have?


No problems here (knock on wood).

I haven't heard any thing that suggests the church would be moving to a different satellite system. We're still on the older C-band, so that's why the bigger dishes. I have no idea what the economics would be to change it to the Ku/Ka band. Certainly changing all the existing stations would be costly. No idea if there's a lower operating cost or not.
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lajackson
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Postby lajackson » Sat Mar 28, 2009 3:45 pm

avskip wrote:I'm just wondering what other facilities have done, shy of laser attack weapons, to protect the integrity of their satellite dish.


Wow! I feel for you. What a challenge. I have not heard of this problem before.

If the damage is recurring, the FM group may consider electronic surveillance to find the folks doing it. In the meantime, I would keep a laptop handy that will connect to the Internet and the projector/TV. And if you do not already have it, your stake may be willing to put a DSL line into the building.

So far, you can get almost all of the Church broadcasts, except general priesthood meeting and a few others, via the Internet. And if this vandalism were to become a problem more than just locally, I would not be surprised if other currently restricted broadcasts were made available by special Internet feeds if needed.

The technology is now in place for stake conferences where needed.

Just my personal opinion here. I have no insider information, so don't trade on this one. [grin]

skiptaylor
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Postby skiptaylor » Sun Mar 29, 2009 6:22 am

lajackson wrote:Wow! I feel for you. What a challenge. I have not heard of this problem before.

If the damage is recurring, the FM group may consider electronic surveillance to find the folks doing it. In the meantime, I would keep a laptop handy that will connect to the Internet and the projector/TV. And if you do not already have it, your stake may be willing to put a DSL line into the building.

So far, you can get almost all of the Church broadcasts, except general priesthood meeting and a few others, via the Internet. And if this vandalism were to become a problem more than just locally, I would not be surprised if other currently restricted broadcasts were made available by special Internet feeds if needed.

The technology is now in place for stake conferences where needed.

Just my personal opinion here. I have no insider information, so don't trade on this one. [grin]

I was discussing this with the Stake Presidency last night as all were at the YM broadcast. This vandalism has only been over the last 4 or 5 months. We talked about the dish cover and may try that if we can get a cover for the LNB as it's a fairly low cost option.

There are houses right next to the dish area and a lot of school kids that walk through the parking lots to go home. So who knows. You can plainly see large dents on the dish as you approach it.

Our hope with a dish cover is that it will take the brunt of the blow from whatever the missles are or hide it from whoever is upset with it if that's the problem.

We have wireless DSL from our FHC so that may not be a problem. I'm not so sure it's fast enough for an Internet broadcast though. Been thinking about asking to move it to a higher speed if it's available.
Skip Taylor :eek:
Lancaster CA.

rmrichesjr
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Postby rmrichesjr » Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:31 am

avskip wrote:We've lately had attacks on our Satellite dish. It sits behind an outbuilding in a brick enclosure with an open top. We've already lost the cover for the LNB as well as various holes poke in the dish. Even had someone jump the wall and move the dish away from the satellite.

I'm just wondering what other facilities have done, shy of laser attack weapons, to protect the integrity of their satellite dish. Is there any future thoughts of moving to the smaller dishes like DISH network and DirecTV have? Then we could put them out as needed and bring them in to protect them.

I was thinking that maybe a dish cover the same color as the surrounding walls might be of help as it would (should) deflect some of the missiles thrown at it.


As RussellHltn stated, a smaller dish won't work with the band the Church uses. Also, aiming a dish is not a trivial operation. Nowdays, aiming of a dish is normally done by a contractor or the FM group. (Last I heard, Church headquarters said to make sure to tell the FM group to aim by Eb/No, _NOT_ signal strength.)

As a backup for the priesthood session, you can get an audio-only feed by telephone. A few years ago, I had to use that, because the satellite receiver had died. At that time, I called SLC for each session and asked for an audio feed. I gave the number of the phone that was connected through the crab box to the PA system. SLC called back to that phone with the feed. I was glad I had a cell phone to talk with the person in SLC while listening for the audio feed on the land-line phone.

michaelbuhrley
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Postby michaelbuhrley » Sun Mar 29, 2009 11:07 am

rmrichesjr wrote:(Last I heard, Church headquarters said to make sure to tell the FM group to aim by Eb/No, _NOT_ signal strength.)


I was told that the reason for this is that there is an ajacent satellite which is only transmitting occasionally, and a satellite on the opposite side which is always on... If the person aiming the dish just goes by signal strength they will go too far to the occasional side to avoid interference from the bird which is always on. The problem is then in the middle of a church broadcast, if the occasional bird comes on it wipes out the church signal. Had this happen about 6 months ago.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:31 pm

avskip wrote:You can plainly see large dents on the dish as you approach it.


Dents??? :eek: I can only hope that your disk is the mesh type. If they're nasty enough to put dents in the heaver dishes I've seen, I don't think any cover will survive. If it is the mesh type, there's another problem - adding a cover will increase the wind load. Perhaps more then the mount is designed to withstand. Also those dents aren't doing your signal strength any good.

It might be wise to set up a fence to discourage the kids from cutting though the lot. It would have to be tall and I'd try to keep is a "see though" type of thing so as not to provide a hiding place. In fact maybe changing the fence around the dish might do the job. I'm thinking about the kind that looks like spears set into the ground with the pointy end up. The cross pieces are at the top and the bottom - too far apart to get a foothold. More decorative than the chain link fence.

A quick Google turned up this:
Image
(Disclaimer: vendor picked at random - no endorsement suggested.)
Notice how hard it would be to get a foothold.


avskip wrote:We have wireless DSL from our FHC so that may not be a problem. I'm not so sure it's fast enough for an Internet broadcast though. Been thinking about asking to move it to a higher speed if it's available.


While you might get the broadcast that way, I doubt if it's high quality.



michaelbuhrley wrote:I was told that the reason for this is that there is an adjacent satellite which is only transmitting occasionally, and a satellite on the opposite side which is always on... If the person aiming the dish just goes by signal strength they will go too far to the occasional side to avoid interference from the bird which is always on. The problem is then in the middle of a church broadcast, if the occasional bird comes on it wipes out the church signal. Had this happen about 6 months ago.


Ohhhh, is that's whats happening. I've had that happen to me. I was told that part of it is we still have the 20 some odd year old Scientific Atlanta dish which was designed for 6° satellite separation and we're now at 3°. (Or something like that. My numbers may be off.) The problem hasn't happened in a few years, so maybe it's been fixed.
Have you searched the Wiki?

Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

lajackson
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Postby lajackson » Sun Mar 29, 2009 1:13 pm

RussellHltn wrote:Ohhhh, is that's whats happening. I've had that happen to me. I was told that part of it is we still have the 20 some odd year old Scientific Atlanta dish which was designed for 6° satellite separation and we're now at 3°. (Or something like that. My numbers may be off.)


Another important factor is to align the dish when the satellite is in the "center of the box". Satellites drift within a small area, then are sent back to the center of their assigned "box" in space. The satellite operator knows when the satellite will be in the center of the box, and anyone who comes to align your dish should have called and gotten that information, as well. In fact, that is when they should be there to align the dish.

And it is important, because there is a powerful satellite right next to the one the Church uses. I asked satellite support how much to move the Scientific Atlanta (10- or 12-foot) dish to avoid the conflict. They said the edge would only need to move about 1/8 or 3/16 of an inch.

Satellite support said to ask the FM group to get someone who knows what they are doing, knows when the satellite is in the center of the box, knows about the higher power satellite next to it, and has a meter.

So we did.

skiptaylor
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Postby skiptaylor » Sun Mar 29, 2009 9:34 pm

RussellHltn wrote:Dents??? :eek: I can only hope that your disk is the mesh type. If they're nasty enough to put dents in the heaver dishes I've seen, I don't think any cover will survive. If it is the mesh type, there's another problem - adding a cover will increase the wind load. Perhaps more then the mount is designed to withstand. Also those dents aren't doing your signal strength any good.

It might be wise to set up a fence to discourage the kids from cutting though the lot. It would have to be tall and I'd try to keep is a "see though" type of thing so as not to provide a hiding place. In fact maybe changing the fence around the dish might do the job. I'm thinking about the kind that looks like spears set into the ground with the pointy end up. The cross pieces are at the top and the bottom - too far apart to get a foothold. More decorative than the chain link fence.

A quick Google turned up this:
Image
(Disclaimer: vendor picked at random - no endorsement suggested.)
Notice how hard it would be to get a foothold.




While you might get the broadcast that way, I doubt if it's high quality.





Ohhhh, is that's whats happening. I've had that happen to me. I was told that part of it is we still have the 20 some odd year old Scientific Atlanta dish which was designed for 6° satellite separation and we're now at 3°. (Or something like that. My numbers may be off.) The problem hasn't happened in a few years, so maybe it's been fixed.


It's a solid dish. Looks pretty heavy to me. Some of the dents are about the size of a softball. The holes that have been placed there are probably 1/2" diameter rips. It's been there since the building was built over 20 years ago. No idea who made the dish either.

I don't know how they aligned the dish, just that it was done. They didn't give me any tech info unfortunately.

I do know that the picture last night on the YM broadcast was fuzzy and way too much color. Something is NOT setup right in the closet or SLC has trouble or the dish is still off. The 7" flat screen also has a lot of interference lines as well. Not a pretty sight.
Skip Taylor :eek:
Lancaster CA.

rmrichesjr
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Postby rmrichesjr » Sun Mar 29, 2009 9:47 pm

avskip wrote:It's a solid dish. Looks pretty heavy to me. Some of the dents are about the size of a softball. The holes that have been placed there are probably 1/2" diameter rips. It's been there since the building was built over 20 years ago. No idea who made the dish either.

I don't know how they aligned the dish, just that it was done. They didn't give me any tech info unfortunately.

I do know that the picture last night on the YM broadcast was fuzzy and way too much color. Something is NOT setup right in the closet or SLC has trouble or the dish is still off. The 7" flat screen also has a lot of interference lines as well. Not a pretty sight.


What was the status LED on the receiver doing? What kind of Eb/No stats are you getting?
The translation table for the status LED blink codes is available at Wegener's website. The URL has probably been posted to the forum, but search isn't working for me today.

My experience with digital satellite broadcast (and digital TV) is that when the signal gets poor, it will drop out and hang sporadically. Fuzziness, too much color, and interference lines may indicate other problems that could be fixed inside the building. I'd give the STS a call--or Church headquarters if you are the STS.


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