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Freezing Rain With Directv

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Programming' started by jcmwwe, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. Dec 9, 2009 #1 of 44

    jcmwwe Mentor

    Jul 29, 2009
    Hi, I was just wondering if freezing rain effects directv a lot. I got directv back a few months ago, well last night we had some freezing rain for a few hours, and it made the signal go out, and it was out for awhile. Is this normal? Thanks for any responses.
  2. Dec 9, 2009 #2 of 44

    bonscott87 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07

    Jan 21, 2003
    If enough ice gets on the LNB or on the dish itself it can block the signal. Supersoaker and warm water will take care of that pretty quickly.
  3. Dec 9, 2009 #3 of 44

    jcmwwe Mentor

    Jul 29, 2009
    What is the best way to keep the dish clean, is there anyway? So this is normal with directv?
  4. Dec 9, 2009 #4 of 44

    RACJ2 Hall Of Fame

    Aug 2, 2008
    I was originally from WNY, so I can understand your concern. They make dish heaters that might help, but I have no experience with them. Here is one that Solid Signal sells: [Link] and some additional pctures at this [Link]. Maybe someone has one and can provide some feedback?
  5. Dec 9, 2009 #5 of 44

    erosroadie Godfather

    Jan 9, 2007
    I have heard that PAM works well on the dish (NOT on the LNB). Should have used it this weekend, as I had to scrap ~2 inches of wet snow off the dish this morning before it drops to ~0°F tonight...:eek2:
  6. Dec 9, 2009 #6 of 44

    bonscott87 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07

    Jan 21, 2003
    Any satellite delivered service will have issues with ice and snow, DirecTV is no exception. If you live in an area that gets frequent winter weather then I'd suggest your dish be on a pole in the backyard where you can get to it. Other then that, like I said, a $20 Supersoaker and warm water will clear anything off your dish on the roof.

    Having said that, I live in Michigan (blizzard going on right now thru Friday) and I haven't lost signal yet. In all the years I've lived here with DirecTV (13+) I've only lost signal twice to ice, we're talking half inch plus ice storm. Glass of water and warm water takes care of that quickly. I only lose signal with snow if it's the heavy wet stuff. Had a storm last year were we got over 2 feet of snow and never lost any signal.

    Also helps if your dish is properly aligned to start out with. It will take a lot more before going out.
  7. Dec 9, 2009 #7 of 44

    jcmwwe Mentor

    Jul 29, 2009
    directv is back in now, but the signal is not as high as it was before? Also do you think my dish is not properly aligned or just the weather effecting, it has worked good up until this freezing rain.
  8. Dec 9, 2009 #8 of 44

    SPACEMAKER Freethinker

    Dec 11, 2007
    Mason, MI
    Does Rain-X work as far as keeping the dishes ice and snow free?
  9. Dec 9, 2009 #9 of 44

    rotohead Legend

    Nov 28, 2007
    Reno, NV
    I've been using a heater on the back side of my 5lnb dish with a heat strip also on the lnb arm for a couple years now. I get lots of snow in the Lake Tahoe area. They work OK for light snow falls but if it's snowing more than 1" a hour the heater can't keep up and will acumulate snow until it stops snowing. I'm in a wheelchair so it's a pain to deal with this in the winter. The next time I have D* service my dish for any reason I'm going to add another heating element to the face of the dish (this one will be a larger 24" element. The one on the back is only 18").
  10. hilmar2k

    hilmar2k Hall Of Fame

    Mar 18, 2007
    So much depends on the individual install location. I live 75 miles north of NYC, and get lots of snow, sleet, freezing rain, etc. Other than the very occasional outage from severe snowfall (lasting only a few minutes), I never have any issues with snow building up on my dish (knocking on wood with all available appendages). The way my house faces and where the dish is on my house must create some sort of wind tunnel that keeps my dish clear from snow, as not once have I ever had to clean it off.
  11. dhkinil

    dhkinil Icon

    Dec 17, 2006
    I have my dish mounted under an upstairs bedroom window. I remove the screen every fall and when snow build up causes picture loss I use a 5 gallon bucket of warm water and pour it on the dish, never the lnb. The "hood" over the lnb should prevent ice buildup.
  12. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    Nov 13, 2007
    As others have suggested, every install is different, but if you find that your install ends up with snow or ice build up on the dish on any kind of a regular basis, then a dish heater is the only real answer.

    Do NOT apply ANY chemicals to the dish. Any affect against snow and ice will be limited at best, but those chemicals can cause other problems. Please, don't do it. If warm water isn't enough, or you can't get to your dish, you need a dish heater

    They come with a thermostat so they can be connected continuously, and will only run when needed. Get the right size for your dish and you'll minimize or eliminate outages.
  13. ThomasM

    ThomasM RF Engineer

    Jul 20, 2007
    Milwaukee, WI
    After subscribing to DirecTV in Wisconsin for nine years now, I've seen the effect of just about any type of weather! ;)

    Snow as a rule doesn't cause the signal to drop to the point of the "searching for signal" message but ice & heavy rain sure do. In the case of heavy rain, I mean HEAVY rain-the type where you get soaked if you are out in it for 30 seconds. Ice needs to build up quite a bit.

    Remember, of course, I only have SD service which means my experiences have been with the Ku band (12Ghz) satellite signals. The Ka band satellites used for HD programming are much more susceptible to rain/ice/snow problems.
  14. jdspencer

    jdspencer Hall Of Fame

    Nov 7, 2003
    I lost signal for almost 30 minutes this morning. Not because of snow on the dish, but because of the size of the storm that came through the NE.
  15. BWELL316

    BWELL316 Legend

    Jun 2, 2007
    About 2 weeks ago I finally called D*TV to have someone realign my dish, knowing winter was on it's way. The installer was excellent, replaced the multi-switch, all of the connectors, attached a placeholder to the dish so it wouldn't move, reinstalled a a different line to my DVR, and re-pointed my dish. HD Signals went from 40's-low 60''s to 80's-90's. With all of the snow and freezing rain we had today, I did not lose signal once. I also have a stick to knock off heavy wet snow that I made from a swim noodle attached to a broom handle, and it manages to get most of the snow off. (I should mention I had the protection plan)
  16. Grentz

    Grentz New Member

    Jan 10, 2007
    I usually don't have too much issue in the winter, and I live in MN.

    We get plenty of snow, but it never accumulates much on the dish. Snow storms also don't seem to effect the signal too much unless they are VERY large. We just had this blizzard come through yesterday and I didn't see it search for signal once.

    Now heavy rain definitely can cut out the signal, but still it usually is very short lived for me. I have never had issues with ice on the dish in almost 14yrs of living here. But we don't get a ton of freezing rain.
  17. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    Nov 13, 2007
    Remember that there are lots of factors that determine if your dish is likely to be affected. Example: if your roof line blocks your dish from the wind, it might reduce the buildup of snow. On the other hand, it might also prevent the wind from blowing the built-up snow off the dish. Different wind patterns and dish locations can cause two houses right next to each other to have very different experiences with signal.

    One of the worst dish icing problems I've ever seen was a dish mounted on a wall right below the corner of a rain gutter. The gutter had a leak, and freezing cold water dripped right down off the gutter onto the dish and froze almost instantly. There was several inches of solid, clear ice on the dish, and zero signal. Ultimately, the dish had to be moved a couple of feet to the left, and icing was virtually eliminated.
  18. Talos4

    Talos4 Legend

    Jun 21, 2007
    Well, there's always this!

  19. BubblePuppy

    BubblePuppy Good night dear Smoke... love you & "got your butt

    Nov 3, 2006
    While I was living in Portland OR, my dish got covered with ice and snow...didn't affect (not effect) the signal one bit.
  20. hasan

    hasan Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2006
    Ogden, IA
    Do NOT put a heat strip on the FRONT of the dish. It will (essentially) deform the dish and reduce its gain dramatically. For a dish to function properly (maintain its gain and sidelobe minimums) it must be true within .01 to .1 wavelength. Nothing that disturbs the "trueness" of the dish (front) should ever be put on that dish. The wires in the heating element are problematic. The dielectric constant of dry snow is usually not too much of a problem (except in really large accumulations that are wet).

    In your case, just add a couple more heating elements to the back of the dish. There's not much you can do about accumulation on the feedhorns (LNBs) themselves. I have snow on both my dishes at the moment and there is no signal problem at all. When it gets to be several inches, I take out the broom and brush them off. (I realize this isn't an option for you).

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