Quick install help - please before I order!

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agh98

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Jun 1, 2008
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Hi folks,
I'm about to place an order from solidsignal for a new HR21 DirecTV HD PVR, and want to get a 5-LNB slimline dish for my apartment's balcony. I want to make sure I'm ordering everything I need. Along with the above to parts ($99.99 and $199.99), and 50' of RG6 F Type Quad Shielded Coax from monoprice.com, I need a mount and - ANYTHING ELSE? (this will be my first install ever)

My balcony is about 6' x 4' (and does face south)...I'm worried about the footprint of the oft-recommended VMP FRM-200 Non-Penetrating Roof Mount - but can't seem to find good specs for the size of it. I'd LIKE to be able to still sit on my balcony in one of the chairs (but need to keep all parts within 'my space' to comply with the apartment's and FCC rules). Any other ideas? concrete bucket (if so, not sure how to do that / what I need), or OTHER smaller, yet sturdy enough, mounts? [PIC OF BALCONY ATTACHED]

I greatly appreciate the help. It'll be enough of a pain getting the Coax inside my apartment - I'd like to avoid the frustration of getting the wrong mounting supplies from the onset! Also, rather than the monoprice round cable I selected, is there any high-quality but easier to run (but not flat, which I read cannot carry HD) wire I can use?

Thanks so much,

Adam
 

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raoul5788

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Hi folks,
I'm about to place an order from solidsignal for a new HR21 DirecTV HD PVR, and want to get a 5-LNB slimline dish for my apartment's balcony. I want to make sure I'm ordering everything I need. Along with the above to parts ($99.99 and $199.99), and 50' of RG6 F Type Quad Shielded Coax from monoprice.com, I need a mount and - ANYTHING ELSE? (this will be my first install ever)

My balcony is about 6' x 4' (and does face south)...I'm worried about the footprint of the oft-recommended VMP FRM-200 Non-Penetrating Roof Mount - but can't seem to find good specs for the size of it. I'd LIKE to be able to still sit on my balcony in one of the chairs (but need to keep all parts within 'my space' to comply with the apartment's and FCC rules). Any other ideas? concrete bucket (if so, not sure how to do that / what I need), or OTHER smaller, yet sturdy enough, mounts? [PIC OF BALCONY ATTACHED]

I greatly appreciate the help. It'll be enough of a pain getting the Coax inside my apartment - I'd like to avoid the frustration of getting the wrong mounting supplies from the onset! Also, rather than the monoprice round cable I selected, is there any high-quality but easier to run (but not flat, which I read cannot carry HD) wire I can use?

Thanks so much,

Adam

A couple of notes to consider: Do you have enough clearance above the balcony? You didn't post where you are, but the farther south, the higher the elevation and the more likely you could have interference from an overhang. Also, have you considered calling Directv first and seeing what kind of deal you can get as a new customer? I'll bet you would do much better than what you are already willing to spend. Since you haven't done an install before, you might want to have Directv do it. It's not that simple for the first timer.
 
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agh98

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Jun 1, 2008
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Thank you for the reply... I am located in South Orange, NJ - this is the 3rd floor of the 4 story building and, given that a neighbor on the first floor (with the same exact exposure) has it working, I'm assuming that I shouldn't have a problem there.

I'm also not a new customer. I live in an MDU and they provide us with a free basic package, and I pay for DVR+local channels. I also have a free HD promotion on my account, so I don't want to go and start a new individual account (if I even could) as I'm only paying $13 or so a month right now.

I've read lots of instructions on aiming dishes, so I'm not too concerned there either. Mainly, I'm just worried about my choice of base - be it the FRM-200 (I can't believe I can't find dimensions for this!) or a bucket of cement (not my first choice, and I see not the first choice of many). Hence, I assume I want to use a tripod type mount, but do want to know that it first first on my balcony and b) that I won't need to order anything else besides that and the antenna package.

Thanks again.

Adam


A couple of notes to consider: Do you have enough clearance above the balcony? You didn't post where you are, but the farther south, the higher the elevation and the more likely you could have interference from an overhang. Also, have you considered calling Directv first and seeing what kind of deal you can get as a new customer? I'll bet you would do much better than what you are already willing to spend. Since you haven't done an install before, you might want to have Directv do it. It's not that simple for the first timer.
 
iwc5893

iwc5893

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Feb 1, 2007
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Depending upon the stability of the railing, and assuming the landlord will allow you to do it, you could try a mount directly to the railing. The easiest way to do this would be to get a second foot plate and sandwich the railing between both foot plates with bolts.

I would recommend that you rethink doing this yourself though. Like Raoul said, peaking the 5 LNB dish is not the easiest thing to do, especially if you don't have a digital signal meter that will read 13/18VDC and 22kHz tones. You can do it with the receiver, but there is a noticeable time delay with the receiver response.
 
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spaceghost

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 21, 2008
515
2
Thank you for the reply... I am located in South Orange, NJ - this is the 3rd floor of the 4 story building and, given that a neighbor on the first floor (with the same exact exposure) has it working, I'm assuming that I shouldn't have a problem there.


Adam

Make sure your neighbor is hitting the 119. That is a tight space to put a slimline. I'd consider bribing the neighbor to see if he will allow you to run a cable off his antenna.
 
Zynergi

Zynergi

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Aug 20, 2007
938
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NC
that's really tight, a sled is going to take up most of that room, a Tripod with a cinderblock in the middle is probably the smallest/safest footprint.. but will still have a chance to move in winds. A pole with concrete bucket would have the same issue as a tripod.

They do make a Non penetrating rail mount, but the arm of the dish would be extending past the railing.

You could always make a "wood box" to a size that would work for you, cut a pole down to size and then set the pole in the concrete plumb. this would give you a wider surface than a bucket or tripod and you could make it a size that is not as large as a sled, and give it a dual purpose such as a foot rest/coffee table. But portability would be difficult.

Edit: You may also want to consider finding a local retailer to come out and a shoot a LOS for you, may cost you a few bucks but if it wont work right you wont waste the money buying the equipment.

Also buying the receiver from Solid Signal is still going to make you have an account with DirecTV

As of 3/1/06 DIRECTV® now requires a 24 month commitment and all equipment must be returned to DIRECTV® if customer cancels service with DIRECTV®

Is your Bill through DirecTV or the Property Management or the MDU provider? If its through DirecTV then adding a a HDDVR is just an upgrade (with free install) If its through Bob's Big MDU Corp then going to DirecTV would give you other incentives. The HR21 will still need to be activated ultimately by DirecTV, so in all honesty I would go teh route of calling 1-800 DIRECTV first and see what options you have. I wouldn't mention the MDU, just mention you are in an apartment facing the right direction an dyou need a non-penetrating mount. Might as well let D* split part of the cost.
 
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agh98

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Jun 1, 2008
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Done!

Thanks for the feedback, folks. Well, after a couple of orders from solidsignal and many Home Depot runs for odds and ends, I'm happy to say that my install is complete. Because I improvised many steps, in getting to a working non-permanent mount, I thought I'd share my photos of the build.

Note that I used the NPR6A Mount from Perfect Vision but did not use the mast that comes with it. Rather, I picked up a 6' fence post from Home Depot, cut about 1.5 feet off of it with a large diameter pipe cutter, replicated the original mounting holes with a good drill bit and - hence - got the extra height I needed to clear the balcony railing. I used the infamous 2" mount adapter from eBay to affix the dish on the smaller diameter fence tube. Because of the extra height I wanted to stabilize the structure somewhat, so I rigged up a guy wire from 1/8" steel cord and tensioned it up quite tightly; this also helped in adjusting the pole to get it plumb.

Notably, I had NO problems aiming the dish without an expensive meter. I used a $13 Perfect Vision "Sat Beep" in-line unit (from solidsignal as well) to rough tune the dish (maybe not ideal but it worked for me), then performed the fine tuning per ordinary instructions and using the receiver's signal meter (working off odd transponders on the 101/110 Satellites). My signal levels are very good - most are in the 90s/80s and I believe the lowest is in the high 70s. I get all my channels - HD looks great; finally my LCD is being fed the signal it was designed for. Could it be tuned any closer? Candidly, I think any signal improvement would be marginal at best, and I see no reason as the picture looks great on all channels.

Here is a link to my Flickr set

Adam
 

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afd0

New Member
Jun 8, 2008
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Phoenix, Arizona
Hi folks,
I'm about to place an order from solidsignal for a new HR21 DirecTV HD PVR, and want to get a 5-LNB slimline dish for my apartment's balcony. I want to make sure I'm ordering everything I need. Along with the above to parts ($99.99 and $199.99), and 50' of RG6 F Type Quad Shielded Coax from monoprice.com, I need a mount and - ANYTHING ELSE? (this will be my first install ever)

My balcony is about 6' x 4' (and does face south)...I'm worried about the footprint of the oft-recommended VMP FRM-200 Non-Penetrating Roof Mount - but can't seem to find good specs for the size of it. I'd LIKE to be able to still sit on my balcony in one of the chairs (but need to keep all parts within 'my space' to comply with the apartment's and FCC rules). Any other ideas? concrete bucket (if so, not sure how to do that / what I need), or OTHER smaller, yet sturdy enough, mounts? [PIC OF BALCONY ATTACHED]

I greatly appreciate the help. It'll be enough of a pain getting the Coax inside my apartment - I'd like to avoid the frustration of getting the wrong mounting supplies from the onset! Also, rather than the monoprice round cable I selected, is there any high-quality but easier to run (but not flat, which I read cannot carry HD) wire I can use?

Thanks so much,

Adam
WHY are you installing? Why not D* install?
Jerry - afd0
 
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agh98

Thread Starter
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Jun 1, 2008
4
0
WHY are you installing? Why not D* install?
Jerry - afd0

Because I didn't want an installer hacking up my apartment that I'll be moving out of in the not-so-distant future, and want something portable. I'm sure that I took much more care than someone who comes in for one hour or less would do.

Plus, they pay for my base Total Choice package here and I pay for the extras, so I didn't want to deal with the hassle and confusion of DirecTV account reps getting confused - as usually occurs with my MDU account - and screwing up my particular billing arrangement which saves me about $45 a month.

That's why...people do install their own dishes, for whatever reason makes sense to them.
 
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