Iridium operates in the microwave L-band and therefore requires line-of-sight communication between RockBLOCK and the satellites.
Don't install RockBLOCK inside a building.
Unlike GSM networks, the microwave L-band can't penetrate solid objects.
Operating RockBLOCK through windows not recommended.
Apart from causing long session timeouts, windows with UV protection films will also block the signal.
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 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.
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
RockBLOCK won't work under water.
Updated over 4 years ago