Need to re-aim dish but technician isn't allowed on roof!?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by Swamp_Yankee, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. Swamp_Yankee

    Swamp_Yankee New Member

    Jun 10, 2019
    Two years ago we moved into our new home and switched from Dish to DirecTV because we bundle with a local telecom provider (CenturyLink) and they had switched their package to DirecTV. Having had satellite TV for about 10 years with Dish I was pretty familiar with the install process, etc... The tech came out and informed me that technicians are no longer allowed to go on roofs and that he had to work from the ladder. This resulted in the dish being mounted on the lower edge (near the gutter) of the north side roof in order to get the angle toward the southern sky, over the trees to the south. He even mentioned to me at the time that he was getting a decent signal, but that the trees might eventually cause problems in a few years. Now that the trees are fully leafed out this year we are having constant tiling and loss of satellite in all weather conditions.

    I'm going to call DirecTV today to try to get someone out, but if they can't go on the roof, what is the point? Cutting the trees is not an option-first, they are not mine, they are on the neighboring 110 acre property, and though my neighbor might even oblige and let me cut one or two provided I split them up for firewood, I'm not even sure which trees are causing the issue. I'd hate to take one or two down and then realize I'm still having a problem. The irony in all of this is that the previous owner's satellite dish (unsure of the provider-I can only see it from the back) is mounted to the chimney near the peak and I'm sure it has a great signal, but I can't get a guy to go up and aim the damn thing. Is there a way for me to do it myself? I know that some type of meter is needed-can I buy or rent it? How hard is it to use? I need to solve this problem soon as the wife and kids are running out of recorded programs to watch :eek:
  2. trh

    trh This Space for Sale

    Nov 2, 2007
    NE FL
    Call a local Sat TV installer to do the work.

    DIRECTV started complying with OSHA Regs a few years ago which doesn't allow the worker to leave the ladder without following Fall Protection procedures.
  3. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

    Jul 25, 2002
    W.Mdtrn Sea
    Yeah … you are missed a lot of info posted here for last few years … Sometime using "search" could help faster than posters.
  4. Swamp_Yankee

    Swamp_Yankee New Member

    Jun 10, 2019
    So I did some googling and sorted through a bunch of spam results before I finally found a company that does a host of home audio/visual/networking stuff and left a message with what I needed. I got a call back from the guy who said, "Oh sorry, we can't help you with that because we're not authorized to service DirecTV equipment. This is becoming a joke. I oversee a Public Works and Sewer Department with 11 employees. If a resident had a backup due to a blockage at a pump station and I told them "Sorry, my guys aren't confined space trained so they can't go down into the station-we can't fix the problem," do you think I would still have a job?

    I tried searching various combinations of "technician roof" "aim dish," etc...and did not really come up with anything useful. I haven't really been happy with DirecTV in general so I think this is the last straw. I've never been a fan of Comcast in terms of price, etc...but at least we won't have the reception issues anymore.
  5. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2003
    If you sent untrained technicians into a confined space would you still have a job? In this case, DIRECTV and their contractors have decided to follow OSHA regulations. I hope you can find someone willing to do the roof work (either by ignoring OSHA or taking the appropriate precautions - preferably the latter).

    There are cell phone apps that can show "augmented reality" of where the satellites are from the point of view of your dish. The website can also be used to draw a line on an aerial photo, which can help determine which tree is the culprit - and help determine if there is another location on the edge of the roof that would have better visibility.
  6. Michael H..

    Michael H.. Member

    May 31, 2007
    A meter is better than using a receiver, but is not "needed". If you were in the business as an installer doing a number of installations, you wouldn't want to do so without a meter, but if you are just installing your own, it wouldn't justify the cost.
    Actually, what would be better, is a tool to ensure the mast is as perfectly plumb as possible. An improvement to the plastic end cap insert with the air bubble provided. Again, not "needed."

    I made a tool, a plate perpendicularly affixed to one end of a 2" length of pipe, to slip fit into the mast, the pipe O.D. just slightly under the mast I.D. There is a hole through the attached plate, just outside of the O.D. of the pipe ~ 1/32", with a fishing line passed through, knotted on one end, a sinker tied to the other. The tool pipe is inserted down into the mast down with the plate resting on the mast, and incrementally rotated, then I check that the clearance between the line and the outside of the mast is constant along the length of the mast, accounting for the slightly thicker cross-section at the top end of the mast. Repeat-ability is the key.

    I have completely self-installed and aligned every generation of DirecTV system, due to upgrading or moving, since 1994. It is not difficult to do, as long as you diligently follow the steps, in the written or many youtube installation instructions.
    The last installation I did was a 5LNBRB Slimline. The support I used was a Slearo-02 under rafter mount on a second story eave where a 20' ladder allowed me to reach the eave to attach the mount, but required a taller ladder, which I did not have, or to get onto the pitched roof to be able to reach the dish atop the mast to align it.

    I made sure that the mast was absolutely plumb on the sawhorse on the patio I assembled the bracket and dish onto and aligned FIRST, before I assembled the bracket and mast on the roof, ensuring that the mast was also plumb. Repeat-ability! I then merely connected the coax, slipped the dish onto the mast on the roof, rotated / located and peaked the azimuth, verified the signal quality matched the ground patio levels, and tightened the bolts clamping to the mast. I did not have to redo the alignment which was done from the safety of the patio. I did dither the roof alignment just to see if I could squeeze another percent or two, and could not, and ended up resetting the alignment back to the pre-dithered levels.

    I used this simple tool on a pre-aligned tripod mounted dish for tailgating and camping with the 5LB Slimline I replaced.

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