My DirecTV install experience

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enricong

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Aug 4, 2008
119
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I thought I'd post about my DirecTV install experience for anyone interested in hearing about it.

Background
I had DirecTV 6mo ago for 3 years. I only got a couple HD channels because I was on MPEG-2 technology and could only see the 101 satellite. I moved for work and was only able to get an apartment on short notice. Unfortunately it faced the wrong way. I had been waiting to get an HDTV for over 3 years and finally decided to switch apartments for the sole purpose of getting a satellite signal.

Pole Install
The installer showed up at 12:45, the scheduled time was 12-4. The guy looked like he was in his late 60's but if he can still go around doing jobs, good for him. My apartment management does not allow drilling or attachment to anything, however I drove around and saw that all the people with satellite had their dishes clamped to their balcony railing so I instructed the installer to do that. He told me the pole would cost $75, that sounded reasonable from what you guys have told me. The pole had two L plates with clamps around the pole. At first he tried the clamp to the top and bottom of the railing. That didnt make much sense to me. I mentioned to him how the other apartments installed, with the pole against the railings and the plate on the other side. Anyways, he tried in vain for about 45, getting all kinds of random bolts and bending them to force fit them. Finally he gave up and attached it the way I suggested. He only put on U clamp on each plate, however I grabbed the pole and it seemed very stable. I noticed there is no locking washer so I hope it holds. So overall this took about an hour.

DVR box install
When he first showed up, he was concerned about how to get the cabling in. He said that usually, flat wire would be used but it can't be used for HD. I asked him where it usually comes in, and he said the window. So I told him to just feed the cable through the window, I'll get some insulation foam and it should be fine. Anyways, he hooked up the box, and I was happy to see I was getting 85-100% signals. Then it got to some "12V/18V" test and failed. He had mentioned he was worried about this. He said that this always happens with DVR boxes and it is due to some sort of software bug when the box is too close to the dish. He said that when the voltage is too high, it cuts it in half, but then it is too low. He told me the directv rep told him to go in his truck and get 75ft of cable, and put it in line inorder to lower the voltage. He tried that, then several different LNB's, then moving the dish slightly out of alignment. Anyways, finally after 2 hours, he got the right cable and LNB combination to get it to pass. I was suspect about this but I am getting a good signal so I was happy.

Later, after he left, I went out and checked the dish to see how sturdy it was. I noticed it was rocking around a bit if I grabbed it. I looked more carefully and he forgot to tighten the bolts for the azimuth and elevation. The threaded adjustment screws were basically all that was holding it in place. I manually tightened them and now my dish is rock solid.


I've posted several photos of the install.
 

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Sadoun

Sadoun

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 27, 2005
2,320
1
Columbus, OHIO
I agree, the staples are not the best to use for this type of installation. I would suggest these type of staples.

T59_5914.jpg


Also, I would use washers on those bolts.

I would have raised the cable and laid it above and around the door frame instead of the way he did it.
 
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enricong

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Aug 4, 2008
119
9
The last time I had direcTV they didnt staple anything and just pushed it under the carpet. Last time I got comcast installed they used those insulated staples, but they seemed to stick out alot.

I took a close look at the staples after the install and they look ok so that is not too much of a concern for me. I was more concerned about the actual dish being properly mounted so it wont lose alignment or fall off.
 
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enricong

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Aug 4, 2008
119
9
Are you familiar with what the "12V 18V" test is that the DVR box does after checking the signal strength?

this is what caused the installer to take an extra 2 hours. He basically added cabling to pass the test, then took it away.
 
RAL686

RAL686

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 16, 2005
34
0
Central Oregon
That deck looks like it's raised above the ground, why didn't he go under the deck and thru the gaps in the wood. Than you wouldn't be triping over that nice white cable. And yes them staples looks bad. I also agree to why he didn't use any washers on the bolts, he did on one of them, I would think that he ran out.. someone should run out and get a couple of washers and put them on... I also think that the bolts need to be cut back, so someone doesn't rip open their ankle on it.. that would hurt... But it does look very nice.
 
mini1

mini1

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 2, 2004
667
2
Should have ran the wire under the deck and then back up by the window.
 
E

enricong

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Aug 4, 2008
119
9
I thought about putting washers in, but since he only put in one U bolt for each plate, I'm afraid that if I take one out, the pole will move. I think the installer was getting frustrated because it took him over 30min to figure out to install it the way he did so he probably got lazy and forgot to put in the washers.

That is not a deck you are looking at, it is my apartment balcony so technically I should not be going below into my downstairs neighbor. The balcony is pretty small so I actually don't plan on ever going out there anyways.
 
vurbano

vurbano

On Double Secret Probation
Supporting Founder
Apr 1, 2004
23,813
104
Newport News, VA
I would have gone under that siding and through that wall before the door. Walls can be patched when you leave. Looks like a tripping hazard the way that it is now. And spray foam to stop the leaking in the window. thats funny
 
E

enricong

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Aug 4, 2008
119
9
I thought about asking the guy to just drill through, but he seemed to already know that the apartment does not allowing drilling through exterior walls.

Anyways, no one will ever go out to that tiny balcony so I am not too concerned about tripping or anything. It is right up against the wall. That door in the photo is to my water heater and furnace unit so I won't be going in there.

I stuck some foam in the gap, hopefully that will work for me.
 
branchbouncer

branchbouncer

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Apr 5, 2004
1,205
4
Massanutten,VA
Shorten those u bolts before someone bumps into them and rips a chunk of flesh out, would have been nice to run the RG6 under deck boards and then up to the window
 
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dave29

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 10, 2007
28
0
indiana
White wire is not approved because it isnt uv resistant, staples are not approved at all. There is new flat wire that is approved but it is expensive about 16 bucks each and you have to pay for it. as far as not getting it to pass verification first time the extra line thing is only for swm installs which you don't have. Signals anywhere near 85% is not good enough everything should be pulling in the high 90's unless you are in a thunderstorm.
 
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