satellite reception and trees

M

mentsmin

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 10, 2010
70
0
Austin, TX
I was hoping one of experts around here could give me an idea as to what extent tree cover will disrupt the dish's reception.

My reason is this: We just had Dish installed on Monday. The tech briefly noted that the dish could not go on the back of our house (facing south) because of tree cover from neighboring yards. I agreed to let him locate it on the front side of our house, but had no idea that he would place it at the point of our roof at the very front of our house, directly above the garage/attic vent. It's probably the worst location, aesthetically speaking. As far as we could tell, he climbed up the ladder and immediately placed it there (it did not seem as if he checked the signal at other points on the roof, first).

Throughout the week, I've taken a close look at the other houses on our street. Several of them have satellite dishes (none as awkwardly placed as ours), and many appear to point directly 'through' some sort of tree cover. In any event, it looks as if the gap in tree cover that ours is pointed through could just as easily be utilized further towards the top of the roof (where it would still be an eyesore but perhaps only from a distance).

We are having a tech come next week to see if there are other options available. Is this reasonable, or does the dish truly have to be completely unobstructed by any sort of tree branch in order to function correctly?
 
M

mentsmin

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 10, 2010
70
0
Austin, TX
OK, thank you.

Would it be reasonable to suspect that the install tech chose an appropriate location for signal (though probably in the last place you'd want it on your house), but perhaps it was not the only appropriate location? It's my understanding that they have devices that allow them to measure signal; however, this guy did not even get up onto our roof before selecting and installing in the location he did (in his defense, it was raining that day).
 
the mack

the mack

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 10, 2009
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many times they will put it on the edge because policy does not allow then to leave there ladder. that may have been the only spot it would work, but probably not.

they use a incline device they can look through for tree clearance, not check for signal.

a friend of mine had a dish plus dish installed and they put it in the worst location for aesthetics, and anywhere else on the roof would of worked, they put it where it was easiest for them. then he had a tech come out to move it and the gave him a line of b.s. and said it could not be moved because it receives 6 satellites (MORE B.S.), I ended moving it for him to a much better spot.
 
M

mentsmin

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 10, 2010
70
0
Austin, TX
Well, I wouldn't have blamed him for choosing an 'easy' spot, had the easy spot not made the thing look like a frickin' weather vane over our garage.

Do you think this second guy will also be unable/unwilling to place it more to the middle of the roof (requiring him to get off of the ladder)? The customer service person I spoke to said if he had to guess he thought it would also work further back away from the edge of the roof.
 
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bhelms

Retired & lovin' it!
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Feb 26, 2006
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Here's first-hand experience. Last spring (late April) I had a second wing dish installed to allow me to receive the 129 slot where my HD LiLs had just been activated on a spot beam. That dish was nearly vertical with respect to the ground and looking into some trees. From my location the only way to avoid them completely would have been to elevate the dish so the LoS angle was above the trees, physically about 50' above the ground. Not gonna happen. There were no leaves at the time. We had enough signal strength to lock the channels and optimally align the dish, but no margin to spare. Within a couple of days the leaves came out and I lost the lock completely on all channels. It took about $300 worth of creative, selective tree trimming to open-up a "window" through the trees to allow the dish to again "see" that satellite enough to get the signal back sufficiently. Obviously those trees are all on my property. For the most part that worked with some brief drop-outs especially when the wind was blowing. When the leaves dropped-off in the fall the situation improved. I expect this to be a regular cycle, and some additional expenditures will be needed in the future to maintain an exceptable level of "trim".

My experience tells me that "some" amount of leaves and branches in the path will not completely kill the signal to the point that you can't lock it, but it's all cummulative and eventually you will run out of margin. So in this case less (interference) is definitely more (signal strength and hence satisfaction)!

PS - I was completely "aligned" with what the Dish technician did for me. At first he pronounced it "dead", but I convinced him to at least get his meter out and give it a try, which he did. I think he was surprised that we had any signal at all. The best possible spot was off one end of my garage and away from the other dishes in my system. We proceeded to craft an elevated pole mount to "git 'er done". As soon as we had lock he packed-up and left. I acknowledged the marginal installation on the paperwork as acceptable, and gave him a nice tip. I knew the rest was up to me.

Oh, the pain we suffer to accommodate our HD addictions...!
 
Last edited:
M

mentsmin

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 10, 2010
70
0
Austin, TX
Here's a [perhaps stupid] question: what is the range of view that the dish requires? It's difficult to describe what I'm thinking about, but there is a gap between the trees that are obstructing our view of the southern sky (none of the trees are in our yard). Because the dish is still on our roof (on the northern side) but still facing south, I assume that it's either positioned to receive the signal through that gap (because front or back, the trees are still there and stand well above our house), or it's receiving the signal from above them. In either case, it doesn't seem like moving the dish higher onto the roof (or even to the top of the southern facing side, rather than down around the edge) would be a problem.
 
B

bhelms

Retired & lovin' it!
Lifetime Supporter
Feb 26, 2006
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Central PA
The LNBs are offset from the dish's central axis by -20 degrees. So what the dish is actually seeing is at +20 deg. How much that impacts the vertical look is also affected by the skew angle. So when you're trying to determine what a dish is actually looking at, it's not the central axis of the dish. Even tho' that central axis may be pointing into the trees, what that dish is actually seeing may be well above the treetops...
 

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