Ingenuity Keeps Station on Air During Snowstorms

While it’s not a common problem, if you maintain a satellite dish, snow and water can become an issue. For anyone using a satellite dish in cold climates, it’s a good idea to prepare while the weather is warmer.

You can apply wax to the surface of the dish to make it easier to remove snow and ice later on, and applying a waterproofing compound if your dish has a cover is good as well. The compound will help prevent the cover from freezing.

Or, you could try building a solution of your own. In a recent Radioworld article, John Bisset described a problem that public radio technician Aaron Read was having with snow and the ingenious way he overcame it to keep his station on air.

Rhode Island Public Radio has a dish that is located 5 km from their studios on the side of a hill, so it’s not exactly practical for a staff member to just duck outside and sweep the snow off it in winter.

As luck would have it, there was a transmitter building just 3 metres away from the dish that used fan-forced air from a furnace to heat the building. Read decided he could harness this hot air to melt the snow on his dish and after several weeks of experimentation, came up with an ingenious system.

He built a system that routed the hot air from the furnace out to the dish, where it circulated in the space between the dish and its cover, melting the snow in the process, and then returned back into the building again in a closed loop.