Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by WebTraveler, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. WebTraveler

    WebTraveler Icon

    Apr 9, 2006
    Whenever we get wet snow here (which honestly is rare), it packs on the dish if it comes down at the correct angle. The HD channels cut out and fail. The SD channels are always fine. It's the same dish. Why is that?
  2. Scott in FL

    Scott in FL Godfather

    Mar 18, 2008
    HD signals use the higher Ka-band frequencies, which are more susceptible to fading and dish imperfections (such as snow on the reflector). The SD channels use the lower Ku-band frequencies, which will also fade if there's enough snow, rain, or moisture content in the air or on the reflector.

    In your case, there's enough snow to drop the Ka-band signals below the receiver's threshold, but the Ku-band signals do not drop below threshold.

    By the way, you live in a great city! I love visiting there (and having a beer, or two...). :)
  3. WebTraveler

    WebTraveler Icon

    Apr 9, 2006
    So how do people deal w/snow in places where it really snows? I can't accept the fact that Directv (and Dish did this too!) in places like Minneapolis can't do HD dish in the winter.
  4. Scott in FL

    Scott in FL Godfather

    Mar 18, 2008
    I can't answer that, although many on this forum have dealt with snow on their reflectors and I'm sure you'll get some good advice.

    We just don't get that much snow in SW Florida. :nono:
  5. Go Beavs

    Go Beavs Hall Of Fame

    Nov 18, 2008
    Wetter snow contains more water which is what absorbs/reflects the signal. In colder climates, the snow is drier/fluffier and contains less water. Some people in those climates use heaters on their reflectors to melt the stuff before it knocks the signal out.

    BTW, I had snow on my dish this morning and it must have been at just the right spot as my HD channels were fine but the sd were SFS. :lol:
  6. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    Exactly. It is rare I get snow in Seattle, but when I do it is very wet, heavy snow and takes very little sticking on the dish to cause problems. Typically, when we get snow the temperature is around 32 to 35 degrees. Head east a few hundred miles and you're at 10 degrees. Totally different snow.
  7. WebTraveler

    WebTraveler Icon

    Apr 9, 2006
    They are back on now....want to get out of here and off to work, but the schools are now on a 2 hr delay, ugh.
  8. CurtP

    CurtP AllStar

    Jan 8, 2008
    When I lived in Chicago, I mounted my dish to a pole on the ground so I could easily wipe it off. When it got really bad out, I'd put a plastic bag over it. I've also seen people use dish heaters, and those seemed to work well too. The dry, fluffy stuff wasn't a problem - it was the wet pack that would cause outages.
  9. azarby

    azarby Hall Of Fame

    Dec 15, 2006
    One of the things you can do is what skiers and snowboarders do, apply a wax to the surface of the dish. The snow should slide right off
  10. RAD

    RAD Well-Known Member

    Aug 5, 2002
    When I was in Chicago area that's what I did.
  11. sonofcool

    sonofcool Legend

    Dec 23, 2007
    Although my dish is on the roof it's close to the edge and i keep a telescoping pole (normally used to clean high chandeliers, etc.) with a relatively stiff plastic brush handy, and I wipe it off.

    Since I live in the mountains, the dish has to be mounted pretty high to see the birds.

    This is only a minor issue when I'm home, when I'm away and this happens I might miss a recording, so it's not fully solving the problem.
  12. litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2004
    Mill Creek, WA
    "Sooper Soaker" style squirt gun filled with warm water works great.
  13. TBlazer07

    TBlazer07 Large Member

    Feb 5, 2009
  14. Jodean

    Jodean Icon

    Jul 17, 2010
    I have NEVER had snow build up on either a dishnetwork dish or directv dish. Have had one or the other for 12 years.

    We are basically straight south for directv up here, and the wind seems to keep it off. Also the elevation of only 38 helps. Sun also would melt it off quick being straight south. winds of up to 60 mph here kinda take care of any build up, and usually create a large drift south of the dish and way below LOS.

    Mounting location has some to do with it, like just under an eave on the south side where the wind is always coming from NW could be an issue.
  15. Phil T

    Phil T Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    Mar 25, 2002
    I have the HotShot Dish Heater and we have had a lot of snow in the Denver area this year. I have not lost signal at all this year even after a 14 inch dump last month. Best satellite related purchase I have ever made!
  16. TBlazer07

    TBlazer07 Large Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    +1 on the Hot Shot but -10 on a 14" dump! :grin:
  17. WebTraveler

    WebTraveler Icon

    Apr 9, 2006
    Thanks to all.

    My dish is way up on the top of the 2nd story of the home. For the rare event that it snows here and sticks to the dish I can deal with the SD version of the channels for the small amount of time. If I was ever going to re-install I might consider it in a more accessible location where I didn't need a 28 ladder to reach. Oh well. Thanks
  18. SA Holly Springs GA

    SA Holly Springs GA Cool Member

    Oct 23, 2010
    RainX Ice for windshields works like a charm
  19. makaiguy

    makaiguy Icon

    Sep 24, 2007
    Aiken, SC
    The further north you are, the lower the satellites are in the sky, so the closer to vertical the dish surface gets, making it harder for snow to stick. Add in that colder temperatures make for drier, less sticky snow, and the lower water content of light fluffy snow makes it less problematical even when it does stick, and it all combines for fewer snow-fade problems.

    In seven years in Michigan I never had disruption caused by snow on the dish even once. But then, I mounted it on the side of the house, directly under the eave overhang, and there was no ka band then.
  20. MysteryMan

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    May 17, 2010
    The direction of the approaching storm will also effect signal reception. Changing weather patterns where I live have produced increased rain fade during the summer and loss of signal in winter snow storms without snow accumulation on the dish.

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