Selecting a mounting location

Iridium operates in the microwave L-band and therefore requires line-of-sight communication between RockBLOCK and the satellites.

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Don't install RockBLOCK inside a building.

Unlike GSM networks, the microwave L-band can't penetrate solid objects.

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Operating RockBLOCK through windows not recommended.

Apart from causing long session timeouts, windows with UV protection films will also block the signal.

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Comply with RF exposure limits.

We don't recommend installing RockBLOCK within 20 cm of a person.

Typically, the best installation location will be on top of an asset, with a 360 degree view of the sky. Because Iridium satellites are always moving, with a sensible retry strategy it is possible to achieve good performance even with quite a restricted view of the sky.

RockBLOCK Plus

RockBLOCK Plus has 4 threaded inserts on the base, which can be used for mounting. The inserts are M5. You should use a nylon washer. Do not overtighten.

Rock 7 supply a 'deck mount' which can optionally be used.

Rock 7 Deck MountRock 7 Deck Mount

Rock 7 Deck Mount

RockBLOCK Plus is also compatible with the ROKK Midi RL-503 top plate, available from Rock Seven with rail mount.

Inside other enclosures

You can place RockBLOCK inside an RF-transparent enclosure (e.g. most plastics), but you should take care to ensure that:

  • The enclosure is as thin as possible, to reduce signal attenuation.
  • You leave an air-gap of at least 5mm between your enclosure and the patch antenna on RockBLOCK, to reduce de-tuning effects.

Factors known to affect signal quality include:

  • Materials containing a high degree of moisture
  • Materials containing carbon (some black paint products include carbon)
  • Metallic materials

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Note

RockBLOCK won't work under water.