Originally Posted by Primestar31
Satellite receiving where the beam is the size of a pencil width ...
I don't mean to pick on you
, but that
isn't quite accurate, either.
The signal from satellites is a lot
wider than a pencil width, or nobody save the one person on the planet toward which it was aimed would be able to receive it at all. What's happening is the signal is very, very weak, as compared to a terrestrial signal, so very directional, very high-gain, very low-noise hardware has to be used. For any receiving site on the planet, the strongest signal will be "seen" when the antenna is pointed directly at the transmission source, but that's an aspect of how the antenna behaves in "gathering" signal.
The balloon analogy wasn't quite accurate, but it was close enough to get the general idea across. So, too, will be this one.
Imagine a garden hose with a nozzle set to a spray and you're attempting to gather as much water as possible in a bucket. That would happen with the opening of the bucket pointed as closely as possible to the direction from which the water's coming, rather than it being pointed off on an angle to it.