Links to stories like the New Zealand Herald's $10 wok keeps TV station on air are a big part of why I love slashdot.org. It seems that rather than by a satellite dish, this TV station just rigged up a reflector using a NZ$10 wok. And, yes, it seems to be wokking perfectly well.
And then there are the Slashdotters' comments. The first three that happened to come up on my screen, for example say:
- “Is a wok parabolic in cross section or is it circular?”
- “The reflector does a couple of thing. The most obvious is that it catches the signal and focuses it on the antenna. The bigger the dish and the closer it is to a parabola, the more signal to the antenna. The other thing it does is to shield the antenna from noise. The antenna in the article seemed to be nested right inside the wok. So, the wok probably improves the signal to noise ratio (SNR) by at least double and maybe by a factor of three or four (or more if it's done right). That's very important. If your signal to noise ratio is good enough, you can use amplification to get the signal you need. If the SNR isn't good enough, then almost nothing helps.
“The wok will give a useful increase in signal strength but a more significant improvement in signal to noise ratio.”
- “More to the point, why pay to watch “45 South” when I can, more cheaply, scoop my eyeballs out with a rusty spoon from Honest Al's Hardware store.”
All very much in the spirit of the place.