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Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/24/2010 12:28 PM

Hello there Guys & Gals!

I was wondering if any of you have encountered this situation before with your satellite dishes.

It seems like every time we get clobbered with wet slushy snow I loose my satellite signal due to an accumulation of snow on the dish. When I had Cable TV I never had to deal with this problem before, so this sort of thing happening is very maddening, especially when I couldn't watch "Lost" and the Olympics last night or the morning news today.

I have a standard DISH Network satellite dish mounted way up on the chimney. It's made-up of some sort of plastic.....almost like ABS, maybe? Beats me what it is!

It's totally out of my reach from the ground, even with the roof snow brush, unless I go down to the garage and grab the 38-foot aluminum extension ladder and drag it to the other end of house through all of the snow banks and then set it up! Obviously, there has to be a better way than grabbing the ladder and broom route (a hugh hassle), so I was thinking up a solution to pass by y'all first before I really screw things up!!!!

My question to you folks is:

Is it possible to spray a Silicone sealant onto the surface of the plastic satellite dish so the snow just sloughs off. I'm afraid of destroying the plastic surface of the dish. I don't physically "own" the dish and hardware....it's part of the monthly rent.

Also, if I did spray a silicone sealant of some sort, say 2 or 3 light coatings, will I be degrading the dish signal reception any?

Does anyone have a favorite silicone spray they've successfully used in the past? Manufacturer? Brand?

Can anyone recommend another type of spray-on coating that won't effect the plastic or signal reception?

I'm assuming that this question can be answer most likely by the "Materials" Gurus and the "electronics/signals/communications" Gurus out there......

TIA, and please have a great sunny day!!! So far, we've gotten roughly slightly more than a foot of the White Stuff overnight.....with a possibility on another 12 to 24 inches in the next 36 hours. WHERE'S SPRING MR. PHIL THE GROUND HOG?????

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#1

Re: IS THERE AN EFFECTIVE WAY TO KEEP SNOW OFF THE SATELLITE DISH

02/24/2010 1:28 PM

Hey there, CaptMoosie:

Found this commentary on another forum (http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark,15026866):

[Text from the forum post] "I've had no luck finding Ice-X either. I have been using Rain-X De-Icer with great success. I load it up in a specially labeled Super Soaker (so the kids don't squirt each other with it) and can hit all 3 dishes from the ground. It melts the snow and ice almost instantly, and leaves Rain-X on the dish which does a good job of keeping subsequent snow and ice from sticking. It says nothing on the jug about not using it on plastics. There were 3 or 4 other brands of a similar product on the shelf with it at Walmart, and they all said not to use on plastic. I've hit the feedhorn window, dish, LNB...all of it and so far, so good."

Sounds reasonable... there are many other solutions discussed on the thread there. I use the spray-on cooking oil on mine, but I can get to the dish pretty easily. Good success with that.

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#2

Re: IS THERE AN EFFECTIVE WAY TO KEEP SNOW OFF THE SATELLITE DISH

02/24/2010 3:15 PM

Are you quite sure the dish is made of plastic? A good way to tell is if it has molded-in ribs on the backside. If it does not have ribs, it is almost certain that the dish is made of metal (usually formed and painted sheet steel), in which case you can duct-tape a "heat tape" to its backside.

Heat tapes are normally wrapped around exposed pipes to keep them from freezing and they often sport a built-in thermostat that engages when temps drop sufficiently (I have several tapes that turn on around 7 degrees C).

The "tape" looks more like a thick, flexible lamp cord than it does a flat tape. You can usually find these in the plumbing section of your local hardware store or at a co-op that sells farm products.

Affix the tape to the backside of the dish in a spiral pattern (with the power cord feeding the center) so that the heat is fairly evenly distributed over the dish, anchoring the heat tape as you go with duct tape. Just be careful not to bump the dish out of alignment as you work. As a precaution, mark the antenna support and gimbal (the part with the degree markings on it) across points where the different pieces can move relative to one another. That way if you bump the antenna, you can re-align the marks and bring the antenna back into alignment overall.

Hope you found this to be helpful...

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#3

Re: IS THERE AN EFFECTIVE WAY TO KEEP SNOW OFF THE SATELLITE DISH

02/24/2010 3:43 PM

Silicone sealer works pretty good but next year I aim to use I put one on the oil pan of the old beater this past fall and no cold start worries. These are used on some highway signs too.

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#4

Re: IS THERE AN EFFECTIVE WAY TO KEEP SNOW OFF THE SATELLITE DISH

02/24/2010 4:14 PM

Hey Guys!

Many thanks for the very quick responses to my query! All very good answers!

After reading the postings I'm not sure if the dish is made of either metal or plastic! It's been a long time summertime since I was last up on the roof. I guess I'll have to go dig out the extension ladder (once this White Crap melts) and take a good look-see at the back of the disc to verify if there are ribs there or not.

Never thought of using Rain-X on the dish and horn.....guess i wasn't thinking outside of the box again!

Ditto in regard to heater cables and engine warmers, although I do use a magnetized engine block heater on my car. Gosh, the dang thing must be at least 30 years old by now and it still works great! the one problem I will have is plugging in a heater of any type is that I have no outdoor rated electrical outlet along that wall. I would have to install BMX conduit, and outlet box and new wiring......it'd be a special pain-in-the-arse because the house is a modular.....hence it's not easy to fish anything type a wiring up through the wall.........and then there's problems getting near the dish because of the newly installed Solar PV modules on the roof. They're in the way and close to the edge of the roof. I don't want to bang any of them or crack the glass with my clumsy attempts to get the ladder situated against the roof or the chimney, especially with all the ice and snow present up there. Hmmmm......

Maybe I could use a SUPER SOAKER GUN loaded-up with Rain-X?????? Steal it away from the kids!!! Just hope it isn't broken, ya know.....teenagers break everything around here it's not funny!! Okay, it's reach out and touch the dish the lazy way!!! I sure hope it has a 30 foot range, or otherwise I could employ my pressure washer with a jury-rigged wand extension???!!!! *LMAO* Might also work for the Solar PV panels as well....super soak 'em with Rain-X!!!!!! hehehehehehhe

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#5

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/24/2010 6:39 PM

Here's a radical concept.

Take it off the roof. It's already 23,000 miles to the satellite, it won't matter if it's 23,000 miles and 10 feet.

Put it where you can get to it.

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#21
In reply to #5

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/25/2010 9:48 AM

GA

I wanted to say that!!

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#31
In reply to #21

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/25/2010 4:07 PM

Thanks.

Mine's on the roof, too. But it never snows here and hardly ever rains, except for the weekends that Nascar has their Sprint Cup races here and the weekend of the Phoenix Open.

That's the easiest place for the tech to mount it and makes sense if you have kids....

Cheers.

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#29
In reply to #5

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/25/2010 3:14 PM

"... and 10 feet." That all depends. What sorts of things might those ten feet pass through? Reinforced concrete? Sheet steel? The neighbor's shower? Not everybody lives in a house or has the right kind of space to put these things up. Lots of people live in apartments and some of these don't face the right way.

Even so, there's nothing in the world quite like an elegant solution.

"Just hope it isn't broken, ya know.....teenagers break everything around here it's not funny!"

This would be my main worry as well: people bumping it.

I'd give your solution an 'attaboy,' Sir, but I reckon they don't let teenagersguests do that here.

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#30
In reply to #29

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/25/2010 3:52 PM

There are some tricks worth knowing with regard to sat TV receiving:-

1) If you have an apartment that at least faces approximately south, but are not allowed to hang an offset sat dish out, turn the dish through 180° (upside down) and put it on the floor, it can be effectively stabilized with a few objects and will work fine, upside down on the floor of the balcony, hidden behind the balustrade.

2) It does not need to be either on the roof or on the ground, usually 6ft up a wall, a few yards from any pathway and say at least 10 yards from any road, is the perfect place, easily reached with a pair of steps, but seldom obscured by passers by.....

3) Elsewhere in this blog I wrote how to align a dish perfectly without the right meter....

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#47
In reply to #30

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

03/06/2010 11:14 AM

Hi Andy.

Not a contributing member but I peruse here often - an enjoyable education. You wrote about turning a dish upside down. Timely info as we are moving to a condo (apartment) and a dish is not allowed (within sight anyway). Do I understand properly that the concave side of the dish does not have to face the satellite? My balcony is oriented properly and high enough to be above any trees, buildings etc. The cement floor is covered with ceramic tile. Would you mind elaborating a little on what I need, if any, for deflection, floor, everything I might need to know to get good reception. You sound fairly knowledgeable on these things. Also, what do you know about these sites I'm seeing on the net that offer hundreds of tv channels for cheap? I've heard these sites have a lot of foreign content, but it seems you have to buy the package before they tell you exactly which stations you are getting. I'm used to and only want North American, eg- Dish, Starchoice, Direct. I am capable of sending this internet signal wirelessly from my computer to my tv, but would this signal penetrate reinforced cement walls? Ok, any help or advice on these two things would be appreciated.

Thanks..........SS.

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#48
In reply to #47

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

03/06/2010 3:59 PM

This applies to "offset" sat dishes only.

The concave part still has to point to the satellite, but when upside down, the main part can be hidden down behind the balustrade. The orientation does not affect reception....

It has to be far enough back that the balustrade does not interfere with the signal. The width of the balcony becomes important......also the strength of the sat signal, so that you can use a smaller dish.....

The further south you are in the world, the "higher" the sat is.....which is better....do you know your latitude.......?

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#59
In reply to #30

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

03/14/2010 11:27 PM

Andy, the rules may be different in your neck of the woods, but in the states, the law is on the side of the apartment dweller/homeowner, the law (federal, not state/local) says that you can have a dish, even if the landlord or deed restrictions claim to prevent it (with some exceptions). Dish Network used to send out a circular on that point back in the day, don't know if they still do or not. But being in Frankfurt, your mileage may vary.

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#61
In reply to #59

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

03/15/2010 4:49 AM

Here they can actually ban from having one you provided another service is available - communal aerial or cable, both of which may be charged for each month.

The trick with the upside down aerial that I previously mentioned (so that it is not visible from outside) is not new, nor did I think of it either, but it works really well and as you can actually get away with a 35 cm or slightly larger dish here (using the 0.1 db LNBs), its a good way to save money over monthly costs.....

Also, some people who DON'T want a dish to be visible on their house for aesthetic reasons also use the trick.....

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#34
In reply to #29

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/25/2010 6:55 PM

I based my response on this: "unless I go down to the garage and grab the 38-foot aluminum extension ladder and drag it to the other end of house" which was in the original post.

I must admit that I never considered the plight of an apartment dweller. I thought they would not be allowed to mount an antenna anyway. Silly me.

I plead guilty to being one of those people who lives in a house. With a large yard and a pool!

Cheers.

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#6

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/24/2010 7:12 PM

There is a heater you can buy that adheres to the back of your dish, is temp controlled so it only comes on when needed.Costs around $50 search sat dish heater and you'll find plenty of vendors. Install it and never worry about ice or snow fade again!! good luck

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#7

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/24/2010 7:17 PM

Hi Captain,

We don't have that problem with snow on the dish down here; would a solution be to cover the front of the dish with a loose net, stocking, PVC mesh with a string attached reaching down to ground level? When the snow builds up, you give a couple of tugs on the string and the flexible cover breaks the snow buildup.

Cheers, Bob

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#8

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/24/2010 10:46 PM

Put an umbrella over it? Or, a little fancier, a geodesic dome? In either case, use materials transparent to RF.

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#9

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/24/2010 10:56 PM

Radiant heat with low EMF so it does not interfere with the signal.

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#10

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/24/2010 11:06 PM

Move to Jamaica mon, move to Jamaica

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#11

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/24/2010 11:55 PM

Spray on a silicone mold release agent or a food grade silicone spray. There are automotive silicone sprays that I use on the car door weatherstrip seals to keep it from freezing the door shut. I have sprayed directly on to the painted mating surface many times and no paint damage. It should be good on a coated metalized plastic. Try a small area on the edge first if you are concerned.

I do like the nylon stocking idea though except in ice storms.

How about building an enclosure with a nylon covered window just big enough for the dish to "see" and keep birds out? Just throwing ideas up on the blackboard.

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#12

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/25/2010 1:28 AM

I have some large round heating elements that were made for this situation.

Let me know if you want one.

I believe they are called "Hot Shot"

they have a thermostat, low voltage cable and a transformer

$50? sure

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#13

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/25/2010 6:44 AM

I have another problem with Dish, when it rains heavily it does not get signal from satellite. Any solution for this problem?.

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#15
In reply to #13

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/25/2010 7:42 AM

The only solution here is to increase the signal strength from the transmitter.

Or, maybe get a dish that's much larger to catch more of the weak signal.

Read a book when it rains.

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#22
In reply to #13

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/25/2010 10:00 AM

Two possible fixes, I have used both, but in a really heavy rainstorm, neither will help much.....unless you get a 2 meter dish!!

1) Align dish exactly, use a signal meter for the best output.

Many years ago I used to use the "blanket & Coat" method....what is that? You ask.....

Well, you align the dish as best you can and look at the picture on the TV. You then place blankets or coats over the dish untill you start getting indication that the signal level has dropped, usually white or black spots on the picture.

Realign again to get as few spots as possible.

if you get to a good picture again, add more blankets and align again......repeat till you cannot get a better picture.

It is surprising just how many blankets you need to use!!!

2) Buy a bigger dish, as big as you can afford.

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#14

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/25/2010 7:21 AM
  • maxiglide.com has a series of ice-phobic coatings that can be easily applied to any plastic surface at any time. one application will last all winter, cheap too!
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#18
In reply to #14

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/25/2010 8:27 AM

Hello Guest,

Who makes the Maxiglide coating or is that the company name? Any idea if it's safe to use on a metalized plastic DISH???-------I understand from other forums that I've visited that's what I have.

Thanks!!!!

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#19
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Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/25/2010 8:39 AM
  • the company name is Maxiglide Products Inc. found at www.maxiglide.com
  • all the ice phobic coatings are perfectly safe for all surfaces, i.e. no solvents
  • products originally developed for the ski industry, which as we know the ski bases are a type of plastic, P-Tex.
  • products used by the Alaskan fishing industry to prevent deadly top-side icing.
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#24
In reply to #19

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/25/2010 10:20 AM

Hello and Many Thanks Maxig!

I just visited the Maxiglide Products website! I see that they're located across the NY/MA border from me in Stowe!!!!!

I will definitely be placing an order today for several of their products. One of their products will really help with the built-up snow issue on the Dish antenna!!!! Thank God!!!

Now, if only they could make some sort of liquid waxx to apply to the Solar PV module glass I'll be all set!!!! Ummmm Maxiglide folks possibly reading this, can you PLEASE make me some specialized spray-on water and snow wax/repellant for my panels that doesn't cost and arm & a leg????!!!!!

Thanks everyone!!!!

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#16

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/25/2010 8:09 AM

There is a sailboat bottom paint called VC-17m that has teflon in a polymer coat. You can use this without adding the copper from the plastic pouch. If you sand with wet 600 grit paper and then burnish with cheesecloth the surface will be smooth and VERY slippery.

Here is a link to the MSDS, be careful the solvents are compatible with the surface:

http://www.jamestowndistributors.com/userportal/pdfs/MSDS/Interlux/vc17m_blue.pdf

I like the deicer spray too but I don't think getting the boots on at 9:30pm because you lost the signal is the best solution. Of course you could rig a dedicated sprayer but that's probably overkill.

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#20
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Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/25/2010 8:39 AM

Hello Ca1ic0cat!

Thanks for the painting idea! If I actually owned the Dish rather than "rent" it I would certainly do what you suggested!

I see you're at RIT???? That's my Alma Mater!!! Class of '83, Civil Eng.. Only a very few of my old Professors are still there the last I knew! Hard to believe it's been this long since I've been there! I really miss the Rochester area and used to visit every year when the National Warplane Museum was located in Geneseo, but after the their move to Elmira in the early 90's I haven't been back to Rochacha except once and that was the summer of '98 while on vacation out to Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Toronto with my 3 kids. Time flies!

Are you a Prof. or a student there?

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#17

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/25/2010 8:20 AM

Wow, many thanks Guys and Gals!

Too many options to make up my mind about! *LOL*

One thing I can't do is plug-in a electrical heating element right now, as I currently have no exterior electrical outlet box installed on that side of the house and that high up.....and it's way up there mounted on the chimney! Even if the roof was clear of ice and snow (which it isn't right now...and we're getting another storm today through tomorrow evening), I'd have a difficult time getting to the Dish and Horn.

Installing a new electrical outlet box will have to wait until springtime.....adding it to my Honey Do List! *LOL*

Also, I'm afraid of hitting any of the BRAND NEW Solar PV panels that are mounted on the roof with my aluminum extension ladder........come spring and when the roof is finally clear of the White Chit, that's another option because the northern half of the roof will also be clear then and i can reach both the chimney and dish!

I was looking for a few spray bottles of Spray Nine Corp.'s "Snow Shooter" that's made in Johnston NY (about 120 miles from here...know where it is because my X-wife is from there), but it seems that the company has discontinued the product. WHAT?????? All of the reviews I read stated that this stuff was like Gold and the best thing since sliced bread.....why get rid of it then??? GEEEZZZZ!!! Anyhow, it was used for coating snow plow blades and snowblower/thrower augers and chutes.

I did manage to find a few companies that still had some in stock online, but they'll only sell it by the case (12 bottles) for slightly over $100! NO WAY I need that much!!!

Other than the nylon net & string trick and silicone-based food spray, is there any other spray-on products out there like the Snow Shooter product that you can use of snowblowers, plastic, metal, ski blades, snowboards, what have you??????

TIA!!!

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#25
In reply to #17

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/25/2010 10:39 AM

How about good old WD-40. If it was bad on paint, that would be well known and we'd all be using it for that purpose. Test first, of course.

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#32
In reply to #17

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/25/2010 6:19 PM

To my knowledge only silicone is approved by Dish and silicone actually enhances reception too.

What do you think of assembling a looong handled spray can holder with trigger?

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#23

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/25/2010 10:15 AM

If you have cling wrap, first clean the edges of the dish with alcohol, then cling wrap over the dish (vertically), the tiny amount of signal lost will not be noticed if the dish is correctly aligned in the first place....

UV will damage the wrap in a month or so, but you should get out of the winter period with a bit of luck by then. Its a test of the method only.....

Plastic that will stand up to UV over a long period may affect the signal more, but it would still be worth trying if the cling wrap helps.....as I am certain it will!!

An offset dish will usually gather less snow (without the cling wrap) than the older "not" offset type.....as the offset type sits almost vertically (depending on where you are latitude wise of course......I am at 50.4 ° Latitude and snow does not affect our signal, but we have a Toroidal Dish anyway, but they are also almost vertical!!)

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#26

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/25/2010 11:19 AM

Try a water proof paint on a partial area basis and check for signal non intreference as well as non deposition possibility on Dish surface.

Based on the results proceed further.

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#27

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/25/2010 11:23 AM

Most of the other suggestions are good but one that wasn't included is a cover (although Andy Germany came close with the cling wrap). I'm sure there are companies that still make dish covers for this purpose but years ago, I had a spare outboard motor cover that was separate from the boat cover and used it. Worked very well, stretched tightly over the dish and LNB and secured behind the dish. Prevent snow buildup and did not interfere with satellite signal.

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#28

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/25/2010 2:58 PM

I can make one suggestion to fix both problems.

Commercial satellite dishes and "point to point" microwave dishes use a Teflon coated fiberglass fabric to cover the dish. It is stretched over the rim of the dish and looks like a flat "drumhead".

This does three things.

1) it provides a slippery Teflon flat surface that sheds ice and snow much better than the dish

2) Teflon causes water to bead up much like Rain-ex does on your car windshield. So even during a heavy rain, there are dry areas between the beads of water. ater absorbs the microwave signal, so an unbroken sheet of water on the antenna will absorb most of the signal

3) The dish stays cleaner and the receiver in the center is protected from the elements

One thing I am not sure of...I know this works well for commercial satellite dishes...I am not sure how well it works for low power home type dishes

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#33

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/25/2010 6:38 PM

Sounds like this is another reason to get cable. It never has this problem

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#38
In reply to #33

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/26/2010 3:36 AM

I don't know what you pay for cable, or how many channels it has (that you want to see!!), but here in Germany, a years cable will completely pay for a good digital Sat dish, receiver (HD) and all the cables etc. (provided you do the physical install yourself!).

Two years cable and the installer is also paid for!!!

There is simply no comparison with costs, AND the German cable has no British or US stations, which of course I DO have from my Satellite dish!!!!

For anyone that wants to simultaneous receive many Satellites, buy one of these dishes for all your needs for up to 40° of heavenly arc:-

http://www.wavefrontier.us/

It took me a bit of time to understand the install procedure with regards to the graph paper, but its really simple once you know how!!! The install procedure is simply badly written!!! In both German and English.....

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#39
In reply to #38

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/26/2010 11:17 AM

Hello Andy,

Many thanks for the link regarding the dish & equipment. Say, how much would something like that cost me in USD (all of the required equipment)???? Just curious. Can't do here until my current DISH contract expires in 7 months....

Also, is there a fee involved to be able to receive the satellite signals/programming.....like an "unlock key" or "code"??? or is it all free. I'm assuming there's a cost involved receiving the "Premium" channels like HBO, etc?

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#40
In reply to #39

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/27/2010 4:14 PM

Hi,

a few facts:-

1) I am in Europe, so you need contact with someone in the USA for the "fine" details!

2)The special sat dish is made in the USA I believe, so look for it there for a price.

3) There is so much free stuff here, you don't need to pay anyone for service/channels, but you can if you wish.....

4) Installing of the "Wave Frontier" dish is easy, once you know how, I can help a little if needed. Its biggest problem for me was that the mast needed is 60mm, not really standard here, but needed because of "storm proofing".....40mm is standard here!!

But that was the only real problem once I understood the graphics paper bit where you plot each satelite seperately......

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#35

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/25/2010 9:17 PM
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#36
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Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/25/2010 11:35 PM

Yup, we're getting hammered by the "Snowicane" right now....it's been snowing here the past 2 days I believe.

See that little RED splotch in eastern upstate New York State, oooh about 60 miles south of where Albany should be....yeahhh that's it...it's sitting along the NY and MA/CT border??? Well, that's where I am, and there's been nothing but the "White Chit", freezing rain and sleet here tonight.....so far we've gotten roughtly 16 -18 inches and expecting another 18-24 inches in the next 36 hours!!!!! Expecting 55-65 MPH winds tonight and white out! I'm wondering how much longer the electric power is going to last.....ditto with the satellite signal.

Can always fire up the standby gen-set for a few days.....just hope I have enough gas in the Jerry Cans to keep the baby humming along!!!

Gotta love that Doppler Radar with it's on the Johnnie imagery!

Thanks b-wire for reporting that DISH NETWORK only allows silicon spray on their dishes....GA for ya!

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#37
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Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/26/2010 2:27 AM

We should expect about ten or eleven years of heavy precipitation years as the weather swings back towards harsher winters etc.. I'm putting in a 1000 gallon propane tank, going to bury it in the yard and I'll pick up a salvaged 45-60 HP engine w/PTO out-drive so I can switch it from the gen to the auger for pushing shelled corn to my heaters.

I think you'd be better off using some PEX an route it under the PV panels, connect to 12V pump and 110V micro-boiler/anti-freeze water mix to heat the PV panels to about 45°F occasionally or when snow/ice happens.

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#41

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

02/28/2010 6:09 PM

You can buy dish covers made for this purpose.

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#42
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Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

03/01/2010 5:06 AM

Well found, but over $40?

Surely it would be dead easy to stretch some plastic over the dish, secure it with Duct Tape.......there is even plastic around that UV light does not affect......would last years....

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#43
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Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

03/01/2010 5:17 AM

I expect you are right. The item I was looking for when I found those was a satellite dish sock which encloses the dish & LNB, I saw some a while back but not available in the UK. The problem I have is not with snow but losing signal in heavy rain.

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#44
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Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

03/01/2010 6:21 AM

There is only a few ways to fix that:-

1) Larger dish, go for at least twice the size, less will not help much.... 4 x the size will be even better!

2) More sensitive LNB. Check the db level that your's receives at first. If yours is only 1db or even 0.5db, you can get better ones nowadays.....as there are ones down to 0.1 db or better (the smaller the number the better it is), see here for example:-

http://www.satellitesuperstore.com/quadlnb.htm

3) A more exact alignment, need a meter or the coat method I described earlier.....some receivers have an OSD of the signal strength and quality, go for quality, signal strength is of only secondary importance.....you will need the receiver and a small TV beside the dish, wherever that is!!!

4) If you have VERY long cable runs, a signal booster may be needed.....for each TV....this is rarely the problem though......I would expect "quality" cable to easily send 20-30 meters with little loss.....if not more.

You will probably still lose signal level in really heavy torrential rain(digital is far more sensitive than an old analog receiver in this manner by the way) even if you did everything I mentioned, but the time for which the signal is lost for will be severely reduced. Light to medium rain will go completely unnoticed....as will heavy snow.

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#45
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Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

03/01/2010 7:04 AM

A larger dish means getting planning permission from the local authority!!

I have a 4 way LNB, 2 feeds to the Sky+ box & 2 to bedrooms Although only 1 is used at present.

The cable runs are not long, maybe 5m max.

This is the spec for the LNB, I can't see a small db number apart from the noise.

Specification
Value
Low BandHigh Band
Input frequency range:10.7 ~ 11.7 GHz11.7 ~ 12.75 GHz
Output frequency range:950 ~ 1950 MHz1100 ~ 2150 MHz
LO frequency:9.75 GHz10.6GHz
Conversion gain:56 dB (Min.)56 dB (Max.)
Cross pol. isolation:22 dB (Min.)28 dB (Max.)
Noise figure:0.3 dB (Typ.)
F/D ratio:0.6
Input reflector type:Offset
Gain flatness:+/- 0.5 dB / 26 MHz
L.O. frequency stability:
(+25 C)+/- 1 MHz
(-40 C ~ +60 C)+/- 2 MHz
L.O. phase noise:
(1 kHz offset):-50 dBc/Hz
(10 kHz offset):-75 dBc/Hz
(100 kHz offset):-95 dBc/Hz
Image rejection:40 dB (min.)
Output Vswr:2.0 : 1 (max)
Output connector:75Ohm F-type female
D.C. power supply:10.5 19.0 V
D.C. power consumption:160 mA (Max.)
Polar switching voltage:Vertical: 10.5 ~ 14.0 V
Horizontal: 16.0 ~ 19.0 V
Band switching:Low Band: 0kHz
High Band: 22kHz+/-4kHz
Continuous tone signal
Operating temperature:-40 C ~ +60 C

I think the Sky box gives signal strength etc. I'll have a look at that.

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#46
In reply to #45

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

03/01/2010 8:06 AM

It appears to be a 0.3 db type, therefore a 0.1 db type would give significantly better signal under adverse onditions for you.

Make sure that you buy otherwise the same type of LNB as there are two main types (different!) with 4 connections......

One all four basically give the same signal out of each connection. This is what I believe you have at this time....,

The other type give 4 different signals, one for each connection!!

Take a copy of your post and log onto ebay, they are far cheaper to buy there I find, at least here in Germany.....

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#49

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

03/06/2010 9:39 PM

My heating element solution is still one of most simple and 'effective' answers.

I used to use these heating elements in fully hidden and out of the way 'custom' installations where snow would have cut out the signal.

Iwould have gotten the phone call, and I would have had to have it dug out at my expense.

That never happened.

you can't run a low voltage power cable?

ok.... sorry?!.. saying that would have put me out of business.. and many others as well.

it's obvious that 'GA's' mean nothing!

if they did.. You couldn't get them in the OT 'caption this' discussions..

instead... it's inexplicably encourage?!?!

..bunch of jokers

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#50
In reply to #49

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

03/07/2010 10:33 AM

The simplest method is a piece of UV resistant plastic stretched across the dish.

No power to supply.

No running costs.

Its the cheapest solution of all.....and the best for the environment as the CO2 by production, only happens once, not continually though a cold winter.

Also, the CO2 produced by the production of the power cables, the heating element and the transformer is alone probabl 1000s of times more than for a square meter of thin plastic sheet....

The installation of the heating element - power on the roof or wherever, is also a huge cost in comparison......

In fact, there is no comparison......sorry......if anyone deserves a GA for a proven, simple cost effective answer, it must be me!!

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#51
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Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

03/07/2010 2:42 PM

maybe you need to go crunch some crystals in a hot tent and ditch the system all together if that's your logic?

Maybe power could applied when snowing and removed when it's not?

..I've seen dishes buried under feet of snow..

sheet ... ...yeah.. snow never sticks to flat surfaces.. it's a physical impossibility

..Hey.. don't listen to me.. I only speak about the subject from years of actual experience

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#52
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Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

03/07/2010 4:44 PM

No, you are trying to sell/advertise a product/service on CR4......

Thin smooth plastic sheet that I recommend will hold basically no snow as its far more "vertical" than the dish is......and its far smoother......

The "bottom" of a dish is almost horizontal, it gets worse the farther south you live, thats why snow builds up and distorts the signal.

Another fix is for example a Wave frontier dish, (toroidal not the usual shape of parabolic), at least at my latitude and higher, collect almost no snow (without any outside help) as they are as good as vertical....

Plus you can pick up up to 16 statelites "simultaneously" without having to move the dish with motors.....I pick up 3 sats perfectly and plan on another one once the weather improves......though there is no rush....

By the way, I do not sell them or have any connection with them, I only use one (8 years or so now)......and with the amount of snow and low temperatures we have had in the last month (plus all the other winters), we have had zero problems......it just simply works.

There is no need to increase your carbon footprint with electrical heating, no need at all.......plastic or change the dish!! Simple really.......

Here is a weblink for anyone interested, you can see how vertical it sits:-

http://www.wavefrontier.us/Gallery.htm

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#53
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Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

03/07/2010 11:52 PM

JE has a good point and I've chosen the heating pad solution prior to this thread.

Another consideration of the geographical area in question is freezing is often a threat and it'll stick to anything but not to a heated dish...

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#54
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Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

03/08/2010 10:19 AM

no.. I'm not. advertising.. pushing sales.

I just have these units

$50 is less than I paid

trying to help a brother out

peace

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#55
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Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

03/08/2010 11:00 AM

Its still frowned upon on CR4 as far as I am aware......

Pax.

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#56
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Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

03/08/2010 12:56 PM

As far as you are aware?

What a bunch of nonsense

Why would you even say that? There are plenty of people here who have mentioned products, services, and companies that are in an actual position to benefit.

do you honestly think I'm using CR4 to sell my products?

The only thing I would get out of this is a good feeling for having helped out, along with a trip to my storage space, and a trip to the post office

If providing obvious solutions to obvious problems is frowned upon!?

I'm 100% out of here

$89.95 + shipping is the lowest price on the web that I could find... retail is $139.95

...I was going to throw in a heated LNB at no cost as a surprise.. all NIB

It's tough being a nice guy

Just consider the offer retracted so that everyone on CR4 can stop frowning

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#57
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Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

03/08/2010 1:54 PM

Good, well done and fully correct.....

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#58
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Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

03/08/2010 7:08 PM

Got my pad at northerntool.com for $24.99 and free shipping and I stand to gain zero...

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#60
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Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

03/14/2010 11:30 PM

Ah but CO2 will help prevent that nasty snow to begin with! Global warming is your friend!

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#62

Re: Is There an Effective Way to Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

03/01/2011 4:20 PM

we used to make some units for satellite dishes and could do it again if needed

http://www.facebook.com/UHIWorldwide

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