1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

AT-9 - Aimed it myself! (with picture next to Phase-3 Dish)

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by danielb6752, Sep 25, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. danielb6752

    danielb6752 Mentor

    38
    0
    Sep 9, 2006
    Well, everyone's seen the horror stories posted about incompetent installers who didn't aim the AT9 dish very well... I live in a condo building where I have to put it on a non-penetrating roof mount, so I decided to skip the installer and do it myself.

    Everyone keeps saying that you can't aim the AT-9 using the HR20 signal meter, but I managed to get everything in the 90s (except for the spot beams that show very low, or 0). With such a large dish I found it was VERY easy to find the 101 satellite, and then made the subsequent adjustments to the 119 which is supposed to get the dish in alighment for all 5 satellites.

    After the alignment process my 99/103 sats weren't very strong, so i tweaked the elevation a bit and BAM! they're all great now. All in all, about 15 minutes on my cold rainy roof with the instruction book and my GF watching the signal meter.

    In case anyone else was wondering I found the 2" non-penetrating roof mount on Ebay, but it's a Perfect Vision model NPR6A. It seems to be pretty rare in the retail channel, but it does exist. I don't like that it's so high off the ground being on the 11th floor of my building, but I haven't had rain fade yet.

    Also, a 1/2 inch nut driver is an ASBSOLUTE lifesaver, don't waste your time doing this with vice grips or a crescent wrench.

    Daniel

    (click to make larger!)

    AT9 and Phase3.jpg
     
  2. houskamp

    houskamp Active Member

    8,636
    3
    Sep 14, 2006
    nice picture, also shows the size difference for people that were wondering
     
  3. PoitNarf

    PoitNarf New Member

    4,880
    0
    Aug 19, 2006
    Nice job, worthy of celebrating my 500th post :D
     
  4. CharlesSchwab

    CharlesSchwab Cool Member

    25
    0
    Sep 25, 2006
    Daniel, very good job. May a general contractor with over 25 years construction experience make a suggestion? Put some more weight on those skids, especially the smaller dish. You would be suprised what a gust of wind or thunderstorm could do to your set up. I would recommend that you add at at least four more CMUs (concrete masonry units) at each. They make solid grouted CMU that will add the weight without being bigger. Just my thoughts.
     
  5. glennb

    glennb Hall Of Fame

    1,614
    0
    Sep 21, 2006
    Great pictures for comparison of the 2 dishes.

    By any chance do you have a picture you could post with you or someone else standing next to the dishes for comparison ?

    Your success story will help get up my courage to attempt the AT9 self install myself. I'm considering where the best place to mount it will be.
     
  6. price3

    price3 Mentor

    38
    0
    Aug 24, 2006
    Wow that at9 is bigger than i thought. Thanks!
     
  7. danielb6752

    danielb6752 Mentor

    38
    0
    Sep 9, 2006
    Charles,

    Thanks for the suggestion. I actually pulled the small dish down right after I took this picture, and put those last 2 blocks on the AT9. I was just sharing the blocks while I had both dishes up there until I was sure the AT9 was up and had good signal.

    I did use the 4x8x16 solid CMU's, I thought they would be a little more convenient and easy to transport than the big ones. It is NO fun carrying those blocks to the roof, the elevator only goes to 9, and the roof is level 11. :)

    Daniel
     
  8. TheRatPatrol

    TheRatPatrol Hall Of Fame

    7,280
    209
    Oct 1, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ
    WOW! Very cool that you were able to aim it using the HR20 as a meter. It says in the instructions that the HR20/H20 should not be used to aim the dish yourself. :D

    My only question is, where did you get the dish at, I guess your bought it? Obviously D* didn't bring out to you.
     
  9. cw18306

    cw18306 AllStar

    87
    0
    Sep 23, 2006
    I got my HR20 from minidishesdottv on Ebay for $320.00. He sold the AT9 with an HR20 for like $70 more, but I still had the 3LNB dish hooked up. When I called D* to have it activated. They said they would send an installer out to hook up a AT9 for free.
     
  10. cookpr

    cookpr Godfather

    262
    0
    Aug 24, 2006
    Man, how long of a wire run did you have to put in??

    Also, gotta imagine it gets pretty windy way up there...hopefully you wont have problems...
     
  11. bootylactin

    bootylactin Cool Member

    21
    0
    Aug 27, 2006
    Where are these "instructions" for aiming the AT9? Are they online somewhere? My signal strength is pretty good but I wouldn't mind trying to dial it in even higher. I just don't want to screw up something in the process!
     
  12. TomF

    TomF Icon

    744
    0
    Sep 20, 2006
    solidsignal.com has the AT9 installation manual as well as DirecTV installation videos here: AT9 installation info. The AT9 setup appears to be way more complex and tedious than previous dishes.
     
  13. bootylactin

    bootylactin Cool Member

    21
    0
    Aug 27, 2006
    Awesome, thanks for this.
     
  14. raggededge

    raggededge Cool Member

    16
    0
    Aug 24, 2006
    How did you ground it?
     
  15. danielb6752

    danielb6752 Mentor

    38
    0
    Sep 9, 2006
    I ran 14-gauge wire from the dish mast, and attached it to the conduit that my AC unit is powered from. I also have the multiswitch grounded to the copper cold water pipe in my utility closet.

    Re: run length - it's actually only about 50-60 feet to my multiswitch (20 ft on roof, 20 ft vertical, then 10-20 ft to get to the multiswitch). Yes it was quite a task to fish it through the existing pipe curb in the roof and down the wall, but somehow I made it! I ran 6 RG6 plus a CAT5e cable for good luck and futureproofing!

    I bought my AT9 on ebay, and the HR20 at bestbuy.com during the early release period. I also got the WB68 multiswitch on ebay.

    I really did not want an installer near anything in my condo, and don't want to deal with the Certificate of Insurance that my building requires for any worker. Sure it cost me a few bucks to do myself, but it would have taken much longer getting Apex Digital to cough up a cert of insurance for my condo association!

    Daniel
     
  16. redrover

    redrover Cool Member

    30
    0
    Sep 26, 2006
    Can one install the dish without a signal meter? Can you use the ird meter???
     
  17. PoitNarf

    PoitNarf New Member

    4,880
    0
    Aug 19, 2006
    Yes, but it's a pain in the ass without a meter. Have a friend shout back at you when the signal meter on the screen goes up or down.
     
  18. DruTheFu

    DruTheFu Mentor

    39
    0
    Apr 19, 2006
    Thinking of installing mine this weekend once I get the monopoles. Glad to hear your success....means that it can be done. When there is a will, there better be a way.
     
  19. danielb6752

    danielb6752 Mentor

    38
    0
    Sep 9, 2006
    Yes, that's how I did it. I'm very surprised nobody's chimed in and told me "your installation may not support future satellites that DirecTV puts in the sky" but all 5 seem to come in well.

    The installation instructions pretty much make it seem like you use the 101 and 119 satellites to aim the dish, and the rest should "just work". But they use some mathematics, you don't just put up the dish and peak it (although once I had it very close, i just turned the fine adjustments until everything was at maximum). With just the AT9 instructions alone my 99/103 signals weren't that great.

    Also keep in mind that many transponders are spot beams and won't come in your area, so don't freak out if you get 90, 0, 90, 0, 90, 0. (on the 103 I think).
     
  20. shendley

    shendley Hall Of Fame

    1,798
    10
    Nov 27, 2005
    I was curious about the "fine tuning" on this dish. There's something in the installation instructions that says that getting 101 to peak won't necessarily bring the other satellites in very well and so you had to do the fine tuning (where I assumed you would be compromising on the 101 peak in order to get the others as high as one could). Are you saying that you had better success just getting a peak signal on 101 and 119 and then just fine tuning to get those two sats as maxed out as you could or that you peaked 101 and 119 and then fine tuned for the other three sats, though without following the rather cumbersome instructions the manual describes.

    I'm really curious about this as I've got my HR 20 being installed Monday. I already had an AT9 dish installed a couple of months ago with my HR 10 but noticed that the dish was not aligned as well as it could be for 101, 119 and whatever that other third one is that HR 10 gets. So I'm fully expecting to need to get out there after the installers leave Monday and tweaking it again for the HR20.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page