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I had a DirecTV install the weekend before last. I had U-Verse at the time, but my promo offer recently expired and I was dissatisfied by the HD quality as well as the quirkiness of the still immature service. I decided to take advantage of the NFL Sunday Ticket promo.

The install was scheduled for Saturday, between 12 and 4. The tech arrived around 1:30 and I walk him around the house and show him where the receivers need to go. I live in a two story condo and wanted an HD DVR downstairs, an HD receiver upstairs in the master bedroom and an SD receiver in the guest room, also upstairs. Another tech shows up shortly thereafter. The first tech explains to the second tech what he wants to do. One of the things he wanted to do was tap into my neighbor's SWM (remember, we're in a condo). The second tech shot down that idea and left shortly thereafter. He went out to his truck and looked around in his rather messy van (boxes were not stacked neatly and he wasn't even sure he had an SD receiver). He was working rather slowly and eventually came to the conclusion that he didn't have the correct mount for the dish he was going to install (a slimline). After sitting out in his truck for a while and, I'm assuming, calling to see if someone could deliver the new mount, he tells me he needs to go back to his shop to get the proper mount. I guess he had never worked with this dish before. I don't think that's a good sign.

He arrives back at my house around 4pm and tells me that he picked up the mount, but had to get someone to deliver him a metal drill bit. This sounds to me like he didn't get the correct mount, but I could be wrong. Maybe an hour later and another tech comes out and delivers the drill bit. They sit outside and chit chat for half an hour before I finally go out and ask him how things are going and he finally says goodbye to the other tech. Oh, I ended up lending him my hammer because he didn't have one on him. The end result was a messy install and a the TV the SD receiver was hooked up to displaying an unviewable image due to horizontal lines distorting the screen. The tech left around 8:30pm. I probably should've complained then, but I think I wanted him to leave about as much as he wanted to leave, himself. Attached are some pictures of the install.

I ended up calling DirecTV, explained the issues I had and thought that the install wasn't up to their standards. The local install company called and said they'd send out a supervisor. The supervisor came out this weekend and I walked him through what the installer did. He agreed with me that the install was sub-standard. After walking through the install and taking some pictures (I lent him my camera), he went through a checklist of items for the install. He said the majority of the items failed, including too many barrel connectors, not cleaning up after the install (there were several cable tacks lying around, debris from drilling into the walls, the mat that he should've placed under the mount for the dish was not used and left in my backyard, etc), not using monopoles with the mount (we're experiencing some hefty Santa Ana winds upwards up 60-70mph this week), improper ground and a few other things that I don't recall. He said he'd schedule someone to come out and fix the install, including re-running the cables to help conceal them a little better.

I called DirecTV yesterday and they didn't have any notes in their system about the supervisor visit and suggested I wait at least 48 hours after the visit. It's now Tuesday night and I haven't received a call yet, so I'll give them a call tomorrow or Thursday to make sure there's a followup. What do you guys think of the install pics? Am I nitpicking?
 

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Won't you need more cinder blocks than that if you're experiencing 70 mph winds?
 

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you know, it almost looks like ( img_4520a, 4522a and 4523a ) there is a piece of white coax being used as ground cable and tied to pained water pipe.
how much electrical tape is used there?
wonder how many of those installs are never reported and lead to signal issues later.

edit: ok, I see 4522 and 4523 are actually just coax sitting there not connected to anything.
 

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I have seen many dishes at radio stations and commercial establishments held in place by cinder blocks on rooftops, so I'm not sure that's bad, except that he does probably need a couple more.
 

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That is one rats nest of wires by the dish. Honestly, what are some installers thinking?

He was also too lazy to run the coax direct to the LNB and instead used barrel connectors...just adds another potential point of failure.
 

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Teronzhul said:
A non penetrating roof mount using concrete blocks as weight is perfectly acceptable. Using only 2 of them however, is not.
Besides the weight of the blocks, what is used to adhere the mount to the roof? I could see this setup as shown in the pics blown off the roof in the first S. Florida afternoon storm.
 

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capegator said:
Besides the weight of the blocks, what is used to adhere the mount to the roof? I could see this setup as shown in the pics blown off the roof in the first S. Florida afternoon storm.
They are perfectly acceptable, as said it needs more weight though.

Look on your nearest gas station roof, almost all gas stations use VSAT terminals with non-penetrating mounts, even down in Florida. They are VERY sturdy when weighted down properly.

Its one of those cases of people underestimating the physics involved, sorta like with TV wall mounts. As a test we once mounted a 2 bolt style wall mount that did not even look that strong, then fully extended it and hung on it. Easily held a 180lb person hanging on it fully extended.
 

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You need at least two more blocks in that roof mount, with a slimline dish I would have used six.

I would connect all four white coax cables directly to the head on the dish,This would prevent rain water from messing with all those exposed connectors at the dish.


With a bit of work you could take some of the twist and turns out of that cabling.

:nono2:
 

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Grentz said:
He was also too lazy to run the coax direct to the LNB and instead used barrel connectors...just adds another potential point of failure.
That one isn't his fault; some of the LNBs come with permanently-attached cables like that. IMO it's colossally stupid, but I didn't design the thing.

Issues just off the top of my head:

- Not enough ballast.
- No support arms (the non-pen used was designed for basic dishes; there is a specific non-pen for Ka/Ku dishes that has proper support. It is also triple the price, and not a standard item (i.e., it's a custom part that's chargable to the customer).
- Not properly grounded. No ground block, and 17 ga "messenger" is only to spec from dish to the ground block, not to the ground source. And the ground source is questionable at best.
- Sloppy cabling; cables don't have enough cable clips to hold them properly.

I don't doubt there are more issues...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
HDTVsportsfan said:
Is that grounded to a water line or the gas meter. I do see what looks like water valves/cut offs.
It's grounded to a water line, but he ran it all the way over to my neighbor's side of the building. As you can see, he didn't make any attempts to conceal the routing of the wires here, either.
 

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Grentz said:
That is one rats nest of wires by the dish. Honestly, what are some installers thinking?

He was also too lazy to run the coax direct to the LNB and instead used barrel connectors...just adds another potential point of failure.
actually those lnb come with preattached pigtails and barrels now that is standard issue.
 
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