And on that farm they had sixteen satellite dishes and over 128 receivers. E-I-E-I-O
Children’s songs aside, VITAC’s Satellite Farm is the best in the business. VITAC’s sixteen dishes can pick up hundreds of feeds and receive signals from every satellite in the U.S. Television Broadcast Arch — not to mention international ones. Tim Taylor, VP, Engineering and Facility Operations and Tim Born, Engineering Supervisor are VITAC’s main “farmers” and handle a range of satellite-related duties.
With each new client, Taylor and Born prep each dish in three ways to make sure it recieves the correct feed. Each dish must have the right elevation, azimuth (left and right) and polarity (twist) to “see” a specific satellite. Lucky for us, this process is second nature to Taylor and Born; they have over 27 years of experience combined.
The VITAC Dish Farm boasts a variety of equipment: Ku and C band satellites, fixed and movable dishes, and a state-of-the-art 100,000 watt generator (left). Taylor and Born ingeniously hooked this network of gear together using an intricate system of cables and organizers. They estimate that there are over 15 miles of cable between the dish farm and the tech center — which are only 300 feet apart!
Tending to the dishes is a year-round job. In the winter, Taylor and Born fit some of the satellites with a black cover to protect them from snow. In the warmer months, it’s a never ending battle against encroaching weeds, bugs and vermin.
With how much time they spend on the dish farm, it’s no surprise the Tims have their favroites. Taylor favors one of the movable dishes and the newest edition, while Born prefers the Simulsat (pictured right) because it’s easy to work with and has the biggest range.
Here’s to our satellite receivers and dishes and the Tims that keep them running. While the dish farm is worth half a million dollars, the work that Taylor and Born put into it is priceless.