Dish heaters (1 Viewer)

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navychop

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In one of the threads, someone asked about dish heaters. I can't find that particular comment to quote and reply to it, so I thought I'd put it here - and ask for others to input what has and hasn't worked for them. Dish heaters are used to minimize satellite signal reception outages due to ice or snow buildup. Not likely to be of any help with heavy rain.

First, you could put one or two of something like [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Kats-24025-Watt-Universal-Heater/dp/B000I8XDBM/ref=wl_it_dp_o?ie=UTF8&coliid=I3O9QFPQ63XU4Z&colid=3BA2TUSO78Z3G"]Amazon.com: Kat's 24025 25 Watt 1"x 5" Universal Hot Pad Heater: Automotive@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41JcQUaA0lL.@@AMEPARAM@@41JcQUaA0lL[/ame]
41JcQUaA0lL._SL500_AA280_.jpg

on the lower part of your dish (heat will rise to clear more). You could control it with a manual switch or some sort of thermostatic control such as [ame]this[/ame]

or [ame][URL="http://www.amazon.com/Easy-Heat-Heating-Cable-Thermostat/dp/B0000DGA8P/ref=pd_sim_auto_6"]this.[/ame]

I'm inclined to try [ame][URL="http://www.amazon.com/Northern-Tool-Equipment-Portable-Thermostat/dp/B0000AXCZJ/ref=pd_sbs_ol_23"]this[/ame]

so that the control is outside.

The LNB could also be wrapped with something like[ame][URL="http://www.amazon.com/M-D-Building-Products-4325-Thermostat/dp/B0006VAMTW/ref=pd_cp_hi_2"] this[/ame]

or [ame][URL="http://www.amazon.com/Easy-Heat-AHB-019-9-Foot-Easyheat/dp/B00002N6MB/ref=pd_sbs_ol_48"]this.[/ame]


The question is: Is it more important to heat the LNB or the dish itself?

And would a cover be a good idea, for a dish mounted on a roof?

I guess it all depends upon where you're located, and what kind of storm. I am about to give up my 110/119 dish 500 to go to a pure EA setup. I expect more outages, as my 61.5 dish went out in the snow, but the 110/119 didn't.

But any of these might require more of a roof opening than I am prepared to put up with. My coax runs thru the ridge vent.

So, folks that have tried this: What are your recommendations?
 
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Hemi 6.1

On Vacation
May 3, 2007
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Wayne County,Pa
The dish is what you want to heat.
Anything that produces Heat will work. Just remember to put it on the back of the Dish.

I have 2- 100 watt Flood Lights that I put behind my dish in the winter. I plug them in whan needed, and unplug them when I don't need them.
It works fine., and cost me all of about $20.
 

navychop

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Good. And I've heard of others using hair dryers on a stick. My dishes are no where near accessible in bad weather. I'd use a manual switch, but I may have to put that in the attic, or make it a big project, fishing power lines. I may decide that if I do anything, maybe I'll go over the edge of the roof into the gable or drill into the attic under the gable. I just hate the looks of that. Kinda like the houses you see with coax hanging off the roof and going in a window.

In that other thread, someone posted about using the heat tape on their LNBs, which I presume had frozen over.
 

navychop

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Now that's a smart idea. Thanks.

Now I just need to get past the running of 120v cables onto the roof.
 

Jonhern

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Dec 23, 2009
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Rhode Island
I use the ice zapper, which is the like first product picture you posted, two strips. It has worked very well, I got the non thermostat one and hooked it up to an outlet with a switch inside and just turn it on when it snows. And I only have it on the EA dish, have never had a problem with the 110 sat. Now have 110/119 so don't know if that will make a difference since we have not had any snow since install, but it sounds like you have had no issues with that as well.
 
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ERSanders

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 3, 2004
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Fairport, NY
I got the stick-on type heater originally made for the DirecTV dish. Due to the difference in the mounting holes I had to place it on the front of the dish (you cannot pinch the flexible membrane at the mounting holes without fear of shorting or opening the circuit). Since it is significantly smaller than the 1000.4 dish (side to side) there is a considerable area not heated.

Also, as the OP said, the heater (whatever type) must be placed low on the dish. This is for two reasons; 1. as the OP said, heat rises and 2. when snow/ice melts it runs downhill and can refreeze. If the bottom of the dish is not heated there can be a significant ice buildup from the melted snow/ice above it.

The bottom line is that I would NOT recemmend this heater for the larger 1000.4 dish. I have used it on the D500 and D300 with success.
 

bebop

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 5, 2008
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Idaho
The dish is what you want to heat.
Anything that produces Heat will work. Just remember to put it on the back of the Dish.
The ViP receivers produce a lot of heat, maybe Dish or someone can find a way to funnel all that heat to the dish...:D
 

JWKessler

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 8, 2010
154
6
Nineveh Junction, NY
"And would a cover be a good idea, for a dish mounted on a roof?"

I put a cover on one of my dishes a few years ago. It kept the snow off the dish, but you still get snow building up on the cover. It makes it easier to clean off without disturbing the dish itself I suppose, but won't help much if the dish isn't accessible. I also found wasps and hornets loved to build their nests under the cover during the summer. I ended up removing the cover in the summer and reinstalling it in the winter - a bit of a pain and likely not worth all the bother.
 

barfo

SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 18, 2006
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First, although snow and ice on the dish are the usual culprits for signal loss, heavy ice on the LNB whcih often results from freezing rain can kill the signal. One thing that might work, is to mount an infrared heat source like a heat lamp or a radiant heater on the roof. If judiciously mounted outside the LOS of the dish and directed towards the LNB and dish surface it seems to me that it might work. Haven't actually tried it, however.
 

Tech#344

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Jan 23, 2008
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Pardeeville W.I.
The dish is what you want to heat.
Anything that produces Heat will work. Just remember to put it on the back of the Dish.

You may want to heat the arm also. Our first snowfall this season was wet, sticky, and there was no wind. I had to knock 10" of snow off the arm after it knocked out my dish. I got a lot of service calls over the following two days from people who could not reach their dishes.
 

TheForce

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Oct 13, 2003
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If you're going to experiment with the IR lamp idea, increase the efficiency of your heat by painting the back side of the LNB ( not the plastic RF eye ), arm, and dish black to increase IR heat absorption.

Really, if I still lived in upstate NY and had a dish, I would use the contact conductivity heaters (Maybe more than one on the bigger dishes) and control them with a remote switch, simple and the most efficient. You could set up a timer to only heat for 10-30 minutes an hour to cut electricity costs. As for the arm and LNB, I would use a tape strip heater and wrap it carefully to prevent signal blockage.
 

kstuart

SatelliteGuys Master
Nov 5, 2006
5,206
0
Northern California
I have lived in an area with wet, heavy snow and grew very tired of clearing the dish while standing out in the mucky snow. :(

I use the following type of Dish heater successfully on both my dishes for all but the most epic storms:

HotShot_HSSLNGRFKIT_1.jpg
 
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