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Site Survey?

1144 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Atomic Buffalo
Back in the day when DirecTV was new and exciting it seemed that self site survey kits were everywhere. Now all I ever find is "you need an unobstructed view of the southern sky." How unobstructed?

A part of the house next to mine (roughly southeast) is two stories; I'd like to know if I need to put the dish on the front of my house or on the roof of the shed out back (or if I'm completely hosed).
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You can put the dish anywhere you want as long as it sees the satellites and you can run RG6 from the dish to where your receivers are. This could be the roof, side of the house, roof of your shed, or even a fence post in the ground with a dish on it.

As for unobstructed - you only need to be unobstructed in the direction of the satellite. A location from you would aid us greatly on telling you WHAT general direction you need to point in. Assuming you are in Buffalo NY, you actually need to point southWEST, not southeast.
Actually, I'm in Oakland, CA (94619).

Funny, I've been researching equipment for a week and was ready to buy when it occurred to me that I better get on the roof and see if I've actually got line-of-sight... I'd hate to mail-order $900 worth of stuff and then have the installer they send tell me it's all gotta go back. I'm just not sure exactly what three points in the sky I need to be able to see. Between the neighbor's house, trees, and the power pole, I've got plenty of objects interrupting the southern horizon.

Is there a web page or a booklet or a download I can get that'll tell me about where in the sky I need to look? I'd feel a lot better if I can get on the roof with a compass or something and eyeball the lack of a building :) At least that way I'll know if I need to order a chainsaw or a rocket-launcher with my pair of SAT-T60s :)

BTW, do electronics retailers really get away with charging $400 a pop to new subscribers for Sony SAT-T60s when Orbitsat.com has a pair of them with a dish for $500? I about passed out last night when Good Guys gave me the price...

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If you post your location, I can look it up on my receiver, or you can go to directv.com and there is an area where you can plug in your zip code and it'll give you the elevation and azimuth for pointing your dish.
If you want an easy-to-use guide for figuring out where to place a satellite dish using the sun, click here -


If you know the latitude and longitude of your location, you can use this link to be more exact in your calculations, again using nothing but the sun -


If you want the latitude and longitude for your zip code, go here -


Using your zip code and the above links, I believe you should check for sunny spots and avoid shady spots around your house on October 7 and 8 at about 11:20 - 11:21 am PDT. Any sunny spots at that time on those days are clear for Directv dish placement :D
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Thank you everyone for responding with such helpful information.

I got the azimuth and elevation from DirecTV, bought a compass (the clerk at Sportmart had to think about what a compass was for a minute before he could direct me to them), hopped the roof, and I've got plenty of unobstructed view. The dish may have to be a couple of feet southwest of where I wanted it to clear the neighbor's two-story but I'm not complaining -- I get DirecTV!

I'm off to order the equipment.

Thanks again for a great introduction to a great user community.

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