Trees - How far away for a clear LOS?

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Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 14, 2005
My buddy at work was talking about switching over to D*. I saw pictures of his yard and he has a ton of tall trees 30-50 ft behind the house that are taller than the roof of his house.

How far back do leaves (trees) need to be from the dish in order to get a clear line of sight?


Bourbon Tester
Supporting Founder
May 18, 2004
I'm Nationwide
That is a "your site" only specific question. You need to get these tools and perform a site survey. Remember the dish is offset so the signals come in a bit higher than the "eyeball" like a prime focus dish.

#6 COMBINE & SAVE: SF95 Finder + Johnson Angle Finder + Plastic Compass $24

Can get it cheaper if you already have a heading compass and no real need for the sat meter; so get #5. $10
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SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 10, 2005
ditto on the unique aspect of it. Perhaps if you both had trees facing the same way, and had the same elevations (or not) around the house, you would be able to get an idea.

I'm slightly below my neighbors yard, and they have a huge 100+ ft tall and very wide tree. I can get the 101 and 110 just fine...but not the 119 here in my SE PA location. I can't even get it in winter when there are no leaves. So it must be a big ole branch in my way :) The DTV installer wouldn't even install the dish and said i'd need a 6ft tripod at least and he couldn't even do that for me. I just mounted the triple dish in my original 101 location and am happy with 2 birds for now. 2 full tivos and i cant imagine more to watch!

The reality is, unless you are totally surrounded by huge objects, as long as you are flexible with mounting locations, you stand a high liklihood of getting at least the 101.


SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 28, 2006
Poor man's angle finder. Install dish, set elevation, and site down the feed tube. If the trees extend up past the feed tube higher than about half as tall as the LNB is, then you got potential problems, although the LOS of the dish is higher than the top of the LNB if you are looking down the feed tube. As the man said, the arm is off set, so it will always point lower than the actual LOS.


SatelliteGuys Guru
Oct 17, 2004
Northern NJ
I used triginometry to figure this out at my old house. I knew roughly how tall the tree was. I knew the angle of elevation needed by the dish. I knew where I wanted to place the dish (how far away from the tree and at what height in relation to the tree). As long as you're pretty sure as to how tall the tree is you should be able to figure this out with just 2 minutes, a calculator, and the tangent function. Math is your friend!
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