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Dish antenna behind glass

Discussion in 'General DISH™ Discussion' started by Somewhat, May 12, 2014.

  1. Somewhat

    Somewhat New Member

    8
    0
    Jul 30, 2013
    Virginia
    Hello everyone--
    Still deliberating/procrastinating on my upgrade/dish relocating project. Really want to relocate the (1000.2 western arc upgrade) dish to the attic and "shoot the birds" through a west-facing attic window. Had read somewhere a while back some discussion about relative transparency of different materials (or lack of) to sat signal, and seems like clear plastic "plexiglass" type was mentioned as a better, or at least acceptable, material to gather signal through.

    Since that attic window could use some rehab anyway, I'm considering rebuilding it using clear acrylic plexiglass to accommodate the dish. To that end I did a little experiment------- pulled up the signal strength graphic on the kitchen tv, dragged a ladder to the present 500 mounting site, and went up and put a piece of the aforementioned plexiglass in front of the dish (while the wife monitored the signal strength). With a very clear early afternoon sky the signal strength on 119 hovered at 80-81 until I put the plastic in front of it, at which time it dropped to a solid 70, a ten point or more drop in strength.

    Was wondering if anyone might have a sense of whether or not starting out with a ss of 70 on 119 under essentially ideal conditions would be enough to expect reasonable pq for the western arc array. Would also appreciate any other suggestions as to any better window glazing material for my purpose.

    It can be assumed that the dish will get a full view of the sky, I will see to that. I am located in the mid-Atlantic region about as as far east as one can get, but due to large trees the eastern arc is not feasible.

    All input is greatly appreciated.

    Richard
     
  2. RBA

    RBA Active Member

    928
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    Apr 14, 2013
    TEXAS
    129 is going to be lower than 119 in signal strength and most of your HD is off 129. If you must mount indoors remember everything needs to be maxed out just to get a signal and any storms/cloud cover is going to reduce your SS.
     
  3. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Gold Club

    21,810
    180
    Apr 23, 2002
    The...
    Most window glass contains lead which will attenuate the signal as it
    passes through the glass. If you need to, replace the glass pane(s)
    with plexiglass.
     
  4. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

    21,317
    127
    Jul 25, 2002
    Mediterranea...
    get thinner plexiglass or use polyethylene film instead of the glass
    check LOS here www.dishpointer.com or install SatelliteAR apps to your tablet/smartphone
     
  5. SeaBeagle

    SeaBeagle Legend

    1,222
    22
    May 7, 2006
    Why not just install outdoors? There you will not have any problems.


    Sent from my iPad 4 128GB using DBSTalk mobile app
     
  6. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    21,192
    182
    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    Norfolk and Richmond are EA markets so I'm not sure going to a great deal of trouble with a WA installation is in your best long-term interest.

    Are you getting Roanoke channels now or something originated in another state?

    I like your approach to finding what the loss is going to be, but you really need to do your testing under more nasty conditions where the sky between you and the satellites is very dark with clouds and water is beading on the Plexiglas (as it is given to doing if you don't treat it with something).
     
  7. FarmerBob

    FarmerBob Godfather

    670
    10
    Nov 27, 2002
    Yes, thank you for your real-life experimentation.

    While I was getting my HwS install last Fall and with it eventually having to have a 1k2 dish to replace two 500's (well the DPP44 switch mostly), I asked the FS that was on site about how I wanted to design heated protected alcoves into the eves on our new house and put glass or something to close off the alcoves to keep them heated, snow free and the dishes hidden somewhat. I asked about glass or something. He said that there was really nothing that could be used.

    Just had a thought, what about Tyvek? That shouldn't be much of a problem, since I have seen covers made from Vinyl. I could have the texture of the house printed on it and no one would ever know there was anything there. Hmmm. There have to be some advanced or even common materials that will fit the bill?!

    Since we got the 1k2 (Had one when they first came out and hated it, nothing but snow and rain problems no matter how well "tuned" they were/are. Sad to see the 1k4's go. Still have my 129 Wing Dish though. . . ) to replace the two 500 dishes and DPP44 switch (which looked to be eating Duo Nodes, otherwise, I'd still have two 500's.), we have had snow outages every time it has snowed since. Where with the two dishes, we never really had a problem. Even with a fair amount of snow on the dish. So I understand why some would want provide some sort of advanced installation since the 1k2 is so "lacking". If not not just to hide them. I haven't had to deal with snow on dishes in years, now with the 1k2 I have had to every time it has snowed here. Bessie gets pissy when she misses her soaps.
     
  8. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    Jul 25, 2002
    Mediterranea...
    so much troubles but install one. two or three 1m [39"] dishes .. I would to that instead of posting here ;)
     
  9. Somewhat

    Somewhat New Member

    8
    0
    Jul 30, 2013
    Virginia
    Apologies for taking so long to acknowledge your responses, I thank you all for them.

    I'm going to address issues in the order they were presented:

    -----RBA, can you explain why a lower ss from 129 should be expected?

    -----PSmith, for my test I used the thinnest plexiglass I would dare to, considering the very windy conditions here and that it would be the only weather barrier for my attic space

    -----Beagle, the main objection to outdoor installation is that any workable mounting site would be aesthetically very, uh, objectionable; the benefits of being sheltered from the elements is bonus

    -----Harsh, I'm getting my locals as the Norfolk set, I'm about 50 miles N of the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area; I did my test with the plexiglass wet & beady having just rinsed the dust and cobwebs off. The prospect of having to do some sort of exterior surface treatment routinely is not a happy one as the attic is third floor. I'm assuming similar storm related signal degradation as we have typically experienced, which has been negligible.

    -----FarmerBob, unless I miss my guess our minds seem to work along the same lines (damn the "easy way" torpedoes!) I didn't think to try vinyl siding in my test but it would be easy enough to put together and try, just to know. Again, this would be replacing the window glass, so rigid and durable are firm requirements.

    -----Mr. Smith, I'm thinking you're on the right tack, especially after reading FarmerBob's response (the multi-antenna approach).
    I've been getting my SD package since '03 with a 500 dish mounted behind the house on a garage near-corner fascia, with essentially no problems, even with the occasional heavy snowfall. However, that site cannot see 129 as line-of-site shoots across the next door neighbor's two-story. So....., what if.....another 500 dish was added (in the attic) to the existing config, dedicated to receiving just 129, could that work? Seems that being able to peak the dish on that one specific bird might at least partially offset other factors causing lower ss. Bob, is that how you'd config two 500's if you could?

    Again, thanks to all of you for your interest and efforts. Still on the steep ascending part of the learning curve.
     
  10. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

    21,317
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    Jul 25, 2002
    Mediterranea...
    you could combine any set of dishes, just be sure you don't have cascaded switches in each path from sat[LNBF] to IRD
     
  11. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    21,192
    182
    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    Then you're surely barking up the wrong tree in the long term. Since Norfolk is a EA market for HD, it isn't going to pay dividends to invest so much time and effort on a WA look. It may also relieve you from the problem with the neighbor's house getting in the way of a more conventional mounting.
     
  12. SeaBeagle

    SeaBeagle Legend

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    May 7, 2006
    "objectionable; the benefits of being sheltered from the elements is bonus".

    I thought DISH and Direct TV dishes are designed to be installed outside. See one learns something new every day.


    Sent from my iPad 4 128GB using DBSTalk mobile app
     
  13. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

    21,317
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    Jul 25, 2002
    Mediterranea...
    for last 8 years (how long you are here ? ;) ) the placement of dish behind glass or under roof (!) been discussed a few times ... actually nothing added new last time
     
  14. SeaBeagle

    SeaBeagle Legend

    1,222
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    May 7, 2006
    I will still keep mine outside. Been working fine there. I do not know if my previous dish was hooked up for 8 years.


    Sent from my iPad 4 128GB using DBSTalk mobile app
     
  15. Somewhat

    Somewhat New Member

    8
    0
    Jul 30, 2013
    Virginia
    This thread seems to be winding down and has probably run its course. Thanks to all for taking the time to respond.

    I'm going to try a 500 dish set up with a single lnb to see if it can soak up enough signal from 129 through the attic window. If so I'll relocate the existing 110/119 500 to the attic and pair the two dishes in a stack------the window is much taller than it is wide, so I think that might work and I won't have to widen the window. The service panel and ground are almost directly below that spot so that works out pretty well. I'll have to recruit/bribe a couple of the local installers for some technical support. If and when I get all that done I'll post the results of this experiment.
     

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