After trying the device at his home and then at his office, Chief Maho – as he is familiarly called by friends – gave me the confirmation by phone that he had found the satellite but was unable to go any further. Our meeting on June 11 was meant to break the invisible barrier preventing us from digging into the Lighthouse device UMCom entrusted me with. In the meantime, I bought a 90cm satellite dish following Martin’s recommendation after trying to set it up at his home and office.
Saturday, June 11, 2016. Martin Luther came over to my place despite the predominantly cloudy weather over Abidjan. Compared to the smaller dish, we raised the new 90 cm dish to be able to have the correct angle of elevation. After searching for less than 10 mn, we found the signal of Intelsat IS-20 (IS 20). Values were fluctuating between 75 and 90%. The signal quality was also very good, fluctuating between 0.45 and 0.95.
We were so happy. However, another challenge came up: We needed to stabilize the base of our antenna. Something we were able to do with pieces of wood and roof tiles available around us.
Attempting to get the best possible signal and quality, we moved the setting three times. Unfortunately, at each move, no data was downloaded.
Finally, we ensured the set up would not be carried away by a strong wind and made final connections for the Lighthouse to operate from within my house.
During this experience we noticed that:
The Lighthouse device is not built for areas with high temperatures. As a matter of fact, each time the clouds gave way to sun rays to shine above us, WiFi connectivity between Lighthouse and our Android devices lagged greatly making search difficult. Perhaps the device’s hardware is not resistant to high temperatures. For this device to have success in tropical areas, the manufacturer should make it resistant in high temperatures.
How did we overcome heat?
We used the smaller dish to protect the Lighthouse from direct sun rays. It worked until the heat was able to cross the thin sheet of aluminum from which the dish is made. When that happened, I stood between the sun light and the inverted dish until we connected to the IS 20. The result of this approach was that I unknowingly nearly got skin burns. See below how dark my skin became.
Now I am connected to IS 20. I have posted in the Outernet forum the issue and waiting to get a reply.
Is there anything else I need to do to start downloading Outernet content?
Is the issue related to my LNB type? Should switch to a C band LNB type? Well, I’m done for today.
Stay tuned as I look forward to share developments setting up Lighthouse.