It’s a rather ominous title for a rather serious subject. But, when it comes to site surveys, we’re nothing but serious.
A site survey is the crucial beginning of any plan, quote, or proposal for the installation of a satellite uplink or downlink. Sometimes called an on-site survey, it’s the process of planning and designing an entire network to provide a solution that will deliver the quality of service necessary to successfully deliver your content.
When considering a future location for the installation of an uplink or downlink, many broadcasters are tempted to skip a step – or, skip the site survey. But at LinkUp we firmly believe the process of going from potential site to live broadcast should always include an on-site survey.
Our efforts always include specific elements that our experienced technicians consider essential to gain the most up-to-date, accurate information that applies to your preferred site.
WHY IS A SITE SURVEY IMPORTANT?
Some broadcasters resist the idea of a site survey – for various reasons – but it mostly boils down to time and money. Most broadcasters want to move forward quickly, and scheduling a site survey delays progress. Sometimes it’s even assumed that any clear line of site is adequate. Just stick a pipe in the ground, mount the antenna and the proper hardware, and everything works out.
Does it, though? Sure…sometimes.
But ask any of our techs; there is nothing they value more than seeing an installation site first-hand and conducting a complete evaluation. In fact, we estimate that as many as half of the sites we have attempted over the years without a site survey resulted in costly issues and delays.
Because visiting the site before the actual installation helps foresee possible problems, correctly estimate the scope of the project, and manage costs.
ELEMENTS OF AN ON-SITE SURVEY
To determine possible best locations for your antenna installation, we begin with an analysis of the site. We start by conducting a visual inspection of the facility, then utilize site survey tools to gain the most accurate information possible. Sometimes we may even ask for building floor plans, or interview the site manager or engineer on site regarding solutions for roof mounting of the satellite downlink.
Our evaluation begins at the gate. How do we access the property? Does the transmitter site have a combination lock that we must access, or is there someone we need to coordinate with for entry?
Once on site, we look for at least two locations (a primary and a backup) on the property where it’s possible to see not only the satellite you plan to utilize, but any potential satellite you may use in the future.
For our team, the primary site should be the one that easily supports the install. It should not only have a sustainable line of sight, but it should also be the location with very few “complications”.
The best sites are convenient to the building, near a power source, and easy to access. Our techs may have a preference, but we will mark both primary and secondary sites so that both the property owner and 811 can weigh in on possible underground hazards.
We take the time to perform any necessary tests, and record any potential barriers that may affect the overall success of the project. We take notes, photos, and determine both look angle and line-of-site.
And, since nearly every site these days is affected by some type of terrestrial interference, we don’t leave until we determine what type of filter your new antenna will likely require.
Back at the office, our techs prepare a formal report and include their observations, photos and Google Earth images, to review with our clients and the install team. On average, our techs spend up to four hours on-site.
I can honestly report I have never heard a customer or prospect say they regret agreeing to an on-site survey. You may not offset every stumbling block, but — by conducting a site survey — you will minimize the number of problematic issues and their impact.
Having a site survey takes a lot of the guesswork out the entire process; everything from what heavy equipment needs to be reserved to what specific type of mount needs to be secured and installed.
TRUST THE EXPERTS
At LinkUp, we have an entire division that specializes in installation and integration. Our team of experts have decades of field work under their collective belts. Our ultimate goal is helping you have a well functioning, profitable network by bringing you an innovative design that exceeds expectations, yet keeps a careful eye on the budget.
Bottom line: a site survey saves both time and money, because the installation team you contract with will know as much as they possibly can about your site and it’s unique challenges before work begins.
It’s all about results. Your results. And by taking the time to contract a site survey, you have the assurance of knowing everything possible has been done to ensure your costly installation is completed on time and on budget.