Installation at an Apartment Issue

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cgraigy11

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Jul 20, 2004
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I have an issue that I was hoping you guys could help me with. I want to switch to DirecTV however, my apt complex will not allow me to have the installation guy/girl drill a hole in any walls to bring the feed in. Will the installer have to drill a hole? Isn't there some central box outside that he can have the feed go through? I hope this is not a show stopper for me. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
 

Neutron

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If your cable junction isn't near your apartment you can always use flat coax to bring it inside.
 

cgraigy11

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Jul 20, 2004
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Flat coax, is that something my installer will provide for me? If so would I need to let him/her know that ahead of time? Thanks for the quick reply.
 

walkerjs

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Jul 20, 2004
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He'll probably charge you a lotta money for each piece of flat coax, or at least the guy who came to do my install pretty much said he would. $25 each. I decided to go it myself, and looked far and wide for the flat coax joiners, but to no avail. Radio Shack no longer carries it ("nobody was buying it" the guy there said), and no amount of searching yielded any convenient source. I probably could have ordered it over the internet for about $5 each, but it wouldn't have arrived in a reasonable amount of time. My wife was starting to call this whole Satellite thing "Walker's Folly", and if I had waited for flat coax to be delivered she would have been on the phone to Comcast. That Was Not An Option.

I ended up running regular coax through a bedroom window by getting an appropriate size piece of wood which would fit in the window jamb and act as the 'new window jamb', drilled a hole in that to run the coax through, and caulked it up. Provides a good enough seal, I didn't drill a hole in the apartment anywhere, and when we move I'll just take the wood/cables out, and close the window like nothing was ever there.
 

ckudrna

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Jul 28, 2004
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Tempe, AZ
I live in an apartment, got directv about 3 days ago.

I did a self install, mounted the dish to a piece of 2x10 and used U bolts to secure it to the concrete balconoy railing. My junction box is in the utility closet which is outside on the balcony. In there lies the RG6 (impressed they used 6 for apartment construction) lines to all the rooms, as well as the CAT5e and phone to all rooms.

My complex also does not want holes drilled. Your installed, if you use an installer, will want a signed letter from the complex saying it is OK to install. A firend of mine had some installer come by (in the same apt complex) and just said you need a letter and left and never came back. I was not about to deal with sat installers so i installed myself.
 

Bizzach

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Mar 9, 2004
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When I got mine installed, the guy went ahead and drilled 3 holes in the wooden part of the balcony. His exact words were, "well, this isn't part of the building, is it?" lol!
But he ran the coax inside using a flat piece. I thought it was cool - I'd never seen one before. After the install, he said, "these go out pretty often, so you might need another one" and he gave me one! I didn't know they're that expensive though...
I tipped him and gave him a beer, but after reading this thread, I hope his company paid for the equipment!
 

Bizzach

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Mar 9, 2004
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...And after reading Dealer's post (posted while I was writing!), I don't feel so bad now! :)
 

Neutron

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Usually if you have a letter from your apartment stating their policy of no holes drilled an install company will give you the flat cable free.
 

walkerjs

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Jul 20, 2004
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Bizzach said:
I didn't know they're that expensive though...
They aren't (well, $5 each direct from a supplier) but the guy who came to do mine was pretty honest as far as what he would charge me for, like $100 to do the pole-in-a-bucket, $25 each for the flat coax assuming he couldn't find a junction box or the cable inside wasn't RG6. When I was talking with a co-worker who had DirecTV installed he had told me "Don't let him charge you for anything", so while I was talking with the installer guy I got the idea that he would rather NOT do my apartment install and go on to an install at a house or something.

So I did it all myself and am glad I did. As it turns out, I didn't need to do the pole-in-a-bucket because the dish didn't need to go where he said it would have needed to go, since the satellites were in a completely different place from where he said they were. I could have u-bolted the pole to the railing, but since I already poured the concrete and leveled the pole I just went with that. If I get problems with tree-growth later I know that I can u-bolt a taller pole to the railing to get elevation.
 

TYORK

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Jun 6, 2004
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indy
some installer will charge for the flat cables i charge 10.00 bucks for each but that is the only way around drill holes.
 

cgraigy11

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Jul 20, 2004
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ok cool, thanks for all of your responses. I feel pretty confident that an installer will be able to perform the install without having to drill holes. I will go ahead and order directv, sweet.
 

ckudrna

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 28, 2004
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Tempe, AZ
I would elect to not have the installer come and put the thing in. Do it yourself if you can. I have had an installer out in Montana come and instal DirecPC for me, and he failed at installing it. He flat out did not know what to do. I am not sold on the idea of these installers being "professional" by any stretch of the word. I eneded up installing the direcpc myself no thanks to the "professional" who just wasted my time and tracked dirt through the house.

I recently installed directv at my apartment here in Phoenix with no issues (other than the "PROFESSIONALS" on the phone that told me to point at 159 azimuth when i had to end up pointing it at about 185 azimuth).
 

Tom Cahill

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May 12, 2004
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South Carolina
Listen just because you had a total idiot come to do yours don't judge the rest of us on that.Pick any industry and you are going to have your fair share of MORONS working within it.




ckudrna said:
I would elect to not have the installer come and put the thing in. Do it yourself if you can. I have had an installer out in Montana come and instal DirecPC for me, and he failed at installing it. He flat out did not know what to do. I am not sold on the idea of these installers being "professional" by any stretch of the word. I eneded up installing the direcpc myself no thanks to the "professional" who just wasted my time and tracked dirt through the house.

I recently installed directv at my apartment here in Phoenix with no issues (other than the "PROFESSIONALS" on the phone that told me to point at 159 azimuth when i had to end up pointing it at about 185 azimuth).
 

ckudrna

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Jul 28, 2004
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Tempe, AZ
Very much agreed Tom. Out of two exisiting Directv installs, both had issues. The first (in Chicago), the guy showed up without a dish. Had to come back 3 WEEKS LATER to install. This was after they tore down the Prime Star dish.

Second time, in Montana the installer acted like he has never seen this planet before. Could not get the dish aligned correctly, did not know what a channel master was for and if we needed one with a single LNB and 4 TV's. The same guy tried to install the DirecPC. Tried to hook it up to the computer and did not know what to do. I had to figure it out for myself and get it working no thanks to mr. Brainiac.

So that is 2/2 with shoddy installers who had not a clue what they were doing. For those of us not good at math, that is 100% failure. My most recent DirecTV install a few days back was done by myself and with a friend. I was not about to have an installer take a week to get to me, make me sit at home all day to wiat for him, so i could watch him fubmle around with little knowledge.

Sure their are pleanty of great installers who know what they are doing, and I imagine you are one of them Tom, as you have demonstarted your knowledge here, but I was not about to take a chance on another installer and waste more of my time.

At least talk to some other people who have it around you and see who their installer company was and how good they were.

Listen just because you had a total idiot come to do yours don't judge the rest of us on that.Pick any industry and you are going to have your fair share of MORONS working within it.
 

SkyOnion

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Supporting Founder
Jul 7, 2004
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Hmm

"I eneded up installing the direcpc myself no thanks to the "professional" who just wasted my time and tracked dirt through the house."

Is it the two way?
If so, how did you get the system activated, seeing as how They will not activate a DirecPC/DirecWay 2 way system without a certified installers ID number...
 

ckudrna

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 28, 2004
298
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Tempe, AZ
I had to install the two modems (yes it is a two way) myself onto my computer. The installer had no idea whatsoever how to interface the two USB modems with the computer. One is for up and one is for downstream. While the house was being built I had them put the coax to the office room, so the installer did not have to run anything (thank god who knows how that would have turned out)

The installer sat there watching while I did it myself. Best of all, installation for this was not free, (i think i might have paid $149 for installation? does that sound right?) I am not a Sat. installer, I do other things. I should not have to help the installer, or completly do it myself becuase they know not what they are doing.

If memory serves me i remember the installer called the activation and activited the two modems before they were installed on the computer. I think the activation was complete after the modems were installed and communicating with the sat. I do not remember too well, it was a couple years back. The reason for using sat. internet was that this was in semi rural Montana (what part is not rural, seriously) and no other service (cable, DSL, etc) was around.

Point of the story, a lot of installers, (NO I DID NOT SAY ALL, SOME ARE VERY GOOD AT WHAT THEY DO), have no idea what they are doing. It would be a last resort for me to ever call back any sat. installer to do anything with my equipment or anything to my home.
 
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