My DTV setup was working perfectly, but the condo association decided to do concrete repairs and re-painting, so everything had to be removed from my balcony. I am in a ten-story condo, on the 9th floor, overlooking Biscayne Bay in Miami Beach, Florida. In the past, DTV mounted my dish, and despite several hurricanes, I never have had any problems.
When I asked when I could re-attach my dish, I was first told that it wouldn’t be fair for me to have DTV, as people on the other side of the building facing the wrong way couldn’t do so. They told me to go with ATT Uverse. When I printed out the FCC rules, stating that a condo can’t prevent someone from having DTV installed, they held a meeting, and now insist that while I can have DTV, it has to be mounted on a “tail-gate tripod” attached to some kind of base. I will copy their email and their suggested mount; I think this would be much better if the date of their email was April 1, as the concept seems ridiculous to me:
Satellite Dish Installation Policy
November 30th, 2012
Dear Unit Owners:
At a board meeting on November 29th, 2012, the LBTA Board of Directors voted in the majority for the below Satellite Dish Installation Policy.
Satellite Dish Installation Policy
All satellite dishes installed after November 30, 2012, must be mounted to a tripod and attached to a free standing concrete pad. The mounting screws must not enter the concrete deck of the balcony and the satellite dish cannot extend beyond the perimeter of the balcony railing. The ONLY hole that may be drilled into the building will be that for cable to enter your apartment. This hole must be sealed and capped and cannot be outside the perimeter of your balcony railing. All installations must be monitored and approved by the association. Please see a sample of what your dish should look like attached.
Should you fail to comply with the above mentioned policy, you will be fined $100 per day for as long as the dish is improperly installed. In addition, you will be billed for any repairs required from an improper installation. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions and or concerns in regards to this matter.
I will also copy a letter I wrote to the sales guys at sadoun.com – I fully expect them to write back that this is not acceptable. I did describe many of the reasons why I think the condo's suggestion is not reasonable, or realistic:
I have a large DirecTV antenna (the largest size) which weighs more than I can pick up without assistance. I want to hook up DirecTV on the balcony of a 10-story hi-rise condo on Miami Beach – I am on the 9th floor, facing the water.
It was recommended that I consider your tripod dish mount. I have two concerns, as I very much doubt the capability of this dish to withstand a hurricane (which Miami experiences far more often than I wish). I just spent a large amount of money to install hurricane windows for that same reason.
• First question – is your tripod certified to withstand a hurricane, with the large and heavy DirecTV dish mounted to it? That is essential – and is part of the reason why I used to have the DirecTV people install their satellite dishes. I should also ask if your tripod is designed to withstand years of outdoor weather, without corrosion or other problems that may weaken it?
• Second question – I have reviewed the specifications for mounting a satellite dish many times. As ‘dbsinstall.com’ shows on their website, the mounting screws need to be 5/16” – there are four screws on the main mounting plate, and an additional set of screws on the side brace. There is a full page on the DirecTV website that shows this in more detail. Is your tripod equally as strong as all these 5/16” screws? Even a small 18” dish can exert a lot of force from strong winds, let alone a hurricane. The assembly must be secured to withstand years of wind loading. (And as a side-question, I’m sure you know the rigidity requirements for the newest DTV dishes – they can’t move at all. Is your device equally rigid? How does one mount the “side brace” that I was told is essential to keep the dish oriented perfectly?
• Final question – DirecTV will only be responsible for the satellite mounting if they do the work themselves, using their standard ways of securing the dish. Do you offer a service to do the same thing, and once this is done, will you be responsible for the safety and durability of the dish, for as long as it is in place? I am *very* concerned about the mounting failing at some point, leaving the dish free to be blown off the balcony causing damage or worse. That is the reason why I have always gone with DTV, and their very substantial mounting system.
It has always been my understanding that these tripod mounts are designed for temporary mounting of a dish in a non-permanent location such as campers, trailers, and truck tailgates. I have friends who own them, and they are great for use when you visit a place for a short time (camping, etc.) and want to have access to satellite reception. My impressions that this use is great, but that they were never designed for permanent installations.
Thank you for your time.
Can any of you offer me any advice, or suggest how I should proceed? I am now in India, and return to the US in mid-February. There is no immediate urgency in having this resolved, but it burns me that a bunch of people who can’t or don’t have DTV are trying to restrict something that I have had for the past 15 years.
Thank you for any assistance you can provide,