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Plumbing slimline mast......how far do you take it?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by Soulweeper, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. Soulweeper

    Soulweeper Icon

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    Jan 9, 2005
    I'm installing an under eave "J" mount for my slimline, because it has to come off my roof for the new roof I'm putting on.. Anyway, it goes on a rafter tail, and plumbing it east/west is easy, because I can rotate the mount either direction. I have that plumb, with the bubble dead center between the lines(stabila level too, for whatever it's worth), but north/south isn't quite as easy. I did pick a rafter tail that was almost perfectly plumb, and thought it was amazing that I found one that was, and when I dry fit the mount, the level showed perfectly plumb.....bubble dead center, but once I tightened a couple lags down, it's just slightly off center between the lines.......closer to center than to the line it's leaning towards, but not dead center. My question is"am I taking this too far? Can't tell you how many posts I've seen where people say "absolutely, perfectly plumb both directions", especially with the slimline, but maybe I'm just being to anal about this. I tried shimming the top of the mounting plate with what I thought was a very thin piece of aluminum, but it took it too far the other way, so do I call it good or keep tweaking it? Someone here told me that the north/south can be adjusted with the dish if not perfectly plumb, and the guy that I probably will have aim it when I move it sai it should be perfectly plumb both directions, so I'm just not sure if it's worth continuing to mess with it, so thought I'd get a general consensus here. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. RobertE

    RobertE DIRECTV A-Team

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    Jun 9, 2006
    The mast can "twist" to bring it back into level. Just loosen the four bolts on the foot (not the ones that mount the foot to roof, wall, etc) then you just twist it.
     
  3. curt8403

    curt8403 Hall Of Fame

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    Dec 27, 2007

    absolutely plumb all directions makes it much easier to aim or adjust
     
  4. Soulweeper

    Soulweeper Icon

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    Jan 9, 2005
    I'm using this right here(different company, but same mount)
    http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_display.asp?PROD=KAUEM1&xzoom=Large#xview
    and this basically looks the same as mine, with no dish yet
    http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j161/metalliholic06/51e3_3.jpg
    and if this was my house, I'm talking about it being plumb from left to right in the picture, which is north/south in my situation. I just feel like I'm almost splitting hairs with the bubble on the level, and maybe I'm going too far.
     
  5. kevinm34232

    kevinm34232 Legend

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    Apr 29, 2008
    I've never used that solidsignal undereave mount but it doesn't look easy. The one we use looks just like the regular "J" pole mount but bigger. The base is exactly the same as the regular one. It is easy to install, lags into the wall and not a rafter and then swivels and twists just like the regular one. Its just heavier.
     
  6. NYCEGUY01

    NYCEGUY01 AllStar

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    Jun 28, 2008
    Just get it close. You will be fine.
     
  7. joe diamond

    joe diamond Hall Of Fame

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    Feb 28, 2007
    Exactly,

    When you swing the dish to hit the satellites (5) you want to go from east to west..not NE to SW. All the satellites are positioned on the same plane in orbit 23,000 miles out.

    After doing all the adjustments check your work. If it is off just bend it plumb.

    Joe
     
  8. Ext 721

    Ext 721 Icon

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    Feb 26, 2007
    A little extra torque on some bolts, but not others, can work wonders...

    There's tightening to spec, and then there's overdoing it a bit to compensate.

    You can always do the latter to make very small adjustments

    Keep in mind that the weight of the dish will affect the mast anyway.

    In any event, a good dish aligner can use the tilt/skew to adjust for the mast, if it tilts to one side.
     
  9. crashHD

    crashHD Godfather

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    Feb 29, 2008
    I wouldn't take it as far as plumbing...what's a dish need with running water anyway?

    If you must...I'd call a plumber.:D
     
  10. joe diamond

    joe diamond Hall Of Fame

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    Feb 28, 2007
    Crash,
    It's gotta be plumb or nothing will run downhill. Plumbers call me when they have a..........you know what ...picture.

    Joe
     
  11. Soulweeper

    Soulweeper Icon

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    Jan 9, 2005
    Thanks for the opinions! It is very close to perfect both directions at the moment. I was thinking about the weight of the dish today, and that it will have some bearing on this. I'm pretty sure that right now the mast is not absolutely perfectly plumb both directions, and we get great numbers on all satellites........my 103 numbers are high 80's to low/mid 90's. I'm going to put the monopoles on it before the dish gets moved, and hopefully that will keep it right where it's at.
     
  12. joe diamond

    joe diamond Hall Of Fame

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    Feb 28, 2007
    You got it!

    Having gotten this far.......know that the weight of the dish may chenge things a little but mostly elevation. If you have the tilt and az correct you may want to look at peaking h el again after all is in place.

    + Mark where your settings are now so you will be able to reset if the move in wind etc.

    Joe
     
  13. Mike500

    Mike500 Hall Of Fame

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    May 10, 2002
    I can't see what the big deal is.....

    All you need to do to get it to perfect plumb is to install the two monopoles and adjust them until the mast is perfectly plumb.
     
  14. Soulweeper

    Soulweeper Icon

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    Jan 9, 2005
    I thought of that too, and that will work with the north/south adjustment, iF I even have to adjust it at all. The problem I might have(that I just discovered after a couple people brought up the weight of the dish) is that right now my east/west is right on the money, but If I push down slightly on the top of the mast, it wants to lean out to the east, taking it out of plumb very easily. I know the weight of the dish will put more pressure on it than that. Not sure if the monopoles will keep it from moving that direction. This is basically what I will end up with
    http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j161/metalliholic06/51e3_3.jpg
    Left and right, no problem, but the weight making the mast want to lean out may not be stopped by the monopoles. I'll probably have to put them on and just set the dish on it and see what happens. maybe re plumb it after the dish is on it. I'm tring to get this straighened out first, so when the local guy comes out, he can just aim it. Maybe I should try aiming it myself, that way I can spend some time with it, and hopefully not be without tv while waiting for the tech.
     
  15. Mike500

    Mike500 Hall Of Fame

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    May 10, 2002
    Easy..................

    I've installed over 200 of these dishes as a DirecTV subcontractor.


    I always installed ans secured the monopoles, before installing the dish on the pole. If you make sure that the monopoles are secure at plumb for the pole, the pole will not move from plumb.

    Installing the monopoles after installing the dish will be hard to plumb. Just installing the monopoles, after the dish is on the pole will more likely pull it out of plumb.

    If your dish is currently peaked for the best signal and is plumb, just remove the dish, install the monopoles and tighten them at plumb. With the signal meter on the TV on, swing the dish horizontally to peak. When peaked, lock the dish.

    That's all there is to it.
     
  16. Soulweeper

    Soulweeper Icon

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    Jan 9, 2005
    Thanks man! I just posted the very question you just answered......I better go delete it.
     
  17. Soulweeper

    Soulweeper Icon

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    Jan 9, 2005
    O.k. the one question I do have is......will this still work if the dish is moving about 15 feet left, and about 5 or 6 feet lower than it's current location? Here it is now
    http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j161/metalliholic06/DSCF1472.jpg
    and it's going to the lower end of the roof(which you can't see) all the way left, on the rafter tail, and the dish will be about a foot above the top of the fascia.
     
  18. Mike500

    Mike500 Hall Of Fame

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    May 10, 2002
    You got it. Unless you move two hundred miles away, you'll be just fine.

    Get her done....Go for it.............
     
  19. Soulweeper

    Soulweeper Icon

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    Jan 9, 2005
    I think I will. I'm pretty sure the current mast isn't perfectly plumb all directions, but pretty close, so I should at the very least get a picture, but maybe not great numbers, so I could still have the guy come fine tune it with a meter, but at least my tv won't be down in the meantime. My only concern with the weight of the dish issue taking the mast out of plumb to the east is that the monopoles don't go straight back to the roof. It's like this picture
    http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j161/metalliholic06/51e3_3.jpg
    when pressure is put straight down on the top of the mast like the dish will put on it, the mast wants to lean east, or towards you, if you were looking at my mast like you're lookinmg at this picture, but the monopoles go up like an "A" from north/south, and my concern is they won't keep the mast from leaning "out" like it wants to do now. Ideally, a monopole going the opposite direction into the roof would be perfect, but the whole reason for moving the dish is I'm doing a new roof, and it will be spread out over a few weeks of weekends. I guess the worst scenario is I set the dish on there after setting the monopoles, and if it still leans out, keep over compensating the mast adjustment until the dish weight makes it lean out to plumb. Hopefully none of that will happen.
     
  20. Mike500

    Mike500 Hall Of Fame

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    May 10, 2002
    I am not enamoured with the "J" mount that you describe. With the monopoles, the standard "J" pole mount can be configured to form a "tetrahedron" - one of the stroungest rigid structures available. The tetrahedal was much favored by Alexander Graham Bell in his later years and R. Buckminster Fuller in the geodesic dome.

    The "J" pole mount that you describe and show would be inherently unstable since the load is "cantilevered" off of the three mounting points formed by the base of the pole and the three monopoles.

    In a case such as the one you show, with a canted or angled facial, I would have used a bandsaw and made a wooden mounting wedge to compensate for the cant, since the standard pole cannot be adjusted to less than 90 degrees or so to achieve plumb. I would have driven 3 inch lag screws onto the end of the rafter tail through the thin facia board. Then, the monopoles would be anchored to the rafters on the roof. The result is that the monopole would be under tension and the ffot would be under compression.

    The resulting structure would not be a "regular" tetrahedron, but much stronger than the one you are planning.
     

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