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Trees in the way.

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by bafuerst, Aug 14, 2007.

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  1. bafuerst

    bafuerst AllStar

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    Feb 18, 2007
    Hello,

    I'm looking for a little advice for a problem I'm having with a couple of trees (I think).

    I've been very busy the past month and a half and have not had time to watch TV at all. Anyways a couple of days ago I sat down to see what my Tivo and HR-20 had recorded for me. To my surprise half of the programs are either blank or very pixilated obviously I have a problem getting strong signal so this morning I checked the signal strength on my HR20 here is what I found.

    Sat 101:

    1-8 62 53 58 77 54 69 58 67
    9-16 55 51 56 81 53 69 56 67
    17-24 54 0 50 79 48 66 51 62
    25-32 49 66 47 0 55 60 48 63

    Sat 110:

    1-8 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 71
    9-16 N/A 73 N/A 71 N/A N/A N/A N/A
    17-24 all N/A
    25-32 all N/A

    Sat 119:

    1-8 All N/A
    9-16 All N/A
    17-24 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 92 0 89
    25-32 89 89 96 90 73 86 99 92

    Sat 99(b):

    1-8 0 0 0 0 0 0 N/A N/A
    9-16 All N/A
    17-24 All N/A
    25-32 All N/A

    Sat 103 (a):

    1-8 0 0 0 0 0 0 N/A N/A
    9-16 All N/A
    17-24 0 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
    25-32 All N/A

    I'm not an sat TV expert by any stretch of the imitation but I remember those numbers being allot higher the last time I looked at them.

    Attached are 2 pictures I just now took. I tried to get right behind the dish or the first one and a little to the side on the second one. Can someone here please tell me if the Trees are blocking my signal. If they are I have no problem cutting the tree on the left down or trimming it, but the one on the right is not mine and the owner will not let me trim it.

    If it's not the trees I have DirecTV's protection plan and can call them to realign the dish I just don't want the waste anyone’s time just to find that the trees are the problem.

    Thanks

    P1000589 (Small).JPG

    P1000590 (Small).JPG
     
  2. Chuck W

    Chuck W Icon

    853
    12
    Mar 26, 2002
    Connecticut
    I had the same issue recently. The middle branch(the less dense one) looks like it could be your problem as your 101 signals don't look that good and 99 and 103 show nothing. If you can clip that middle branch, you should be good.
     
  3. litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

    12,204
    63
    Jun 23, 2004
    Mill Creek, WA
    Those readings are too low - especially the 99, 101 and 103-deg satellites. See the link in my signature .... you can use the moon's position in the sky once or twice each month to help you determine where the satellites are located in the sky. Then you'll know what branch to clip.
     
  4. bafuerst

    bafuerst AllStar

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    Feb 18, 2007
    Wow! Thanks for the link. It looks like I posted just in time. If I did it right I can use the Sun tomorrow.

    I hope I did it right. I live in zip code 45036. According to zipinfo.com I'm at 39.4 n latitude and 84.2 w longitude. I put those values in and got the following times for Aug 15th.


    99 2:22:45PM
    101 2:28:31PM
    103 2:34:09PM
    110 2:54:15PM
    119 3:20:47PM

    Does that look right. I'm never this lucky. I thought I read that using the Sun to line up a sat only happens twice a year.
     
  5. litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

    12,204
    63
    Jun 23, 2004
    Mill Creek, WA
    Read the information carefully. The times indicated for the Sun are probably when it's at the satellite Azimuth, but not the correct elevation. The Sun only sweeps the sky at the correct elevation in early March and October. The moon positions shown should be very close to both the correct azimuth and elevation.
     
  6. bafuerst

    bafuerst AllStar

    91
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    Feb 18, 2007
    Ok, I think I got it. Tommorrow from 4:52pm to 6:19pm I can use the Moon to see where sat location 99 - 119 are. I'm using the data from the satellite position is column that states faint moon is at.

    Thanks again.
     
  7. bafuerst

    bafuerst AllStar

    91
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    Feb 18, 2007
    Well I had no luck using the Moon to see if the trees are in the way, to many clouds. The next date I can use the Moon is Aug. 28th but I'm not going to wait around until then. I'm going to call DirecTV and see if they can find another place to locate the dish, or if taking down the tree will help.

    Another quick question, how does a DirecTV installer know where the sat is? Is it just guesswork/experience or do they have some kind of device they use. I ask this because a couple of years ago when I got my HR10-250 the installer was putting up a 3 LNB dish and I saw him use some type of telescope thing about the size of a pen. I didn't quiz him about it because he seemed to be in a hurry, but it seemed to help him point the dish in the right place.
     
  8. litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

    12,204
    63
    Jun 23, 2004
    Mill Creek, WA
    That's the risk when relying on the moon or sun :)

    The DirecTV installer will have a little sighting device that he can look through to help determine where the satellites are located in the sky. Yes, it does look sort of like a little telescope thing.
     
  9. bafuerst

    bafuerst AllStar

    91
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    Feb 18, 2007
    Out of curiosity what does the sighting device do? Does it just show elevation, or does it detect the sat somehow?
     
  10. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    42,679
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    Dec 9, 2006
    The sighting tool is much like a surveyor's tool. It just look at the elevation and azimuth.
    The SATs are way too far to "see". That's what the dish will do, as it will receiver the signal.

    I have a lot of trees and needed to makeup a tool to give me an idea of what trees, where were going to give me a problem.
    I use used two sticks crossed with nails to mark the center and 9-10 degrees on either side of center. Next was a compass to know where to point it and a level to figure out how high it needed to point. With a bit of grade school geometry, you're set.
     
  11. bafuerst

    bafuerst AllStar

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    Feb 18, 2007
    You where reading my mind, I was just thinking how I could create a sighting device using a compass, a protractor, a chop stick, a tripod, and a tripod level, which leads me to another question. Is the elevation (42 degrees according to my HR20) the same as 42 degrees on a protractor?
     
  12. litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

    12,204
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    Jun 23, 2004
    Mill Creek, WA
    Yes. 42-deg above the horizon (0-deg).
     
  13. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Dec 9, 2006
    Now remember that if you are going to use the "crossed stick" method, your center should be on the 110 SAT so east
    will be the 99/101/103 SATs and west
    will be the 119 SAT.​
     
  14. moparman76_69

    moparman76_69 Cool Member

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    Aug 15, 2007
    Trees probably aren't your problem, looks like you don't have monopoles on the dish, with the first-gen KA/KU (A9/AU9) the dish weighs ~35 lbs. Over time the mast will begin to fall and the first thing to go is 99 and 103. Your signal readings are in line with what you'd see if the mast was off level.
     
  15. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Dec 9, 2006
    Maybe, but I don't have monopoles on my AT9 and it hasn't moved in 16 months.
     
  16. raoul5788

    raoul5788 Guest

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    May 13, 2006
    With the extra weight these dishes carry, all you need is a bolt or two that is not properly tightened and your alignment will suffer.
     
  17. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Dec 9, 2006
    Yes, and this is why I had all the hardware tightened [as it should be].
    I have nothing against monopoles, I just wanted to post my situation that works fine without them.
     
  18. mluntz

    mluntz Icon

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    Jul 13, 2006
    I don't think the trees are your problem. It looks like an alignment issue to me. Here is my Slimline line of sight. I have since trimmed some of the branches, but as you can see, you seem to have wide open sky compared to me. I have signal strengths of high 80's, high 90's, and a couple of 100's on all 5 sats.

    http://www.dbstalk.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=8607&d=1182094332
     
  19. bafuerst

    bafuerst AllStar

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    Feb 18, 2007
    So if the mast is off level what can I do to fix it, or should I just call DirecTV.
     
  20. aim2pls

    aim2pls Icon

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    Jun 18, 2007

    if your getting a good signal level .. dont worry about it


    btw .... the mast does NOT have to be plumb/level .. it just makes it easier to point
     
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