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Trees or Rain affecting satellite signal

Discussion in 'Freesat' started by Jimmytheone, Jan 29, 2010.

  1. Jimmytheone

    Jimmytheone Member

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    I've been given conflicting advice by two companies looking to improve my satellite signal and I hope that someone can advise me.

    My satellite dish is quite low - about 15 feet off the ground and has tress about 120 feet away in the direct line it is facing. My dish is, I am told, a very basic zone 1 dish produced on the cheap.
    When we get heavy rain the signal strength and quality deteriorate and when it's really bad we lose the signal completely. I have been using a sky digital box but now use a Freesat TV

    One company is saying that the trees are the problem and they just need to resite the dish higher - I mentioned a larger dish and they are happy to do that but were not going to.

    The second company say that the trees are too far away to matter and the dish needs replacing with a Zone 2 but does not need resisting. They suggested that heavy rain can cause a zone 2 to deteriorate to the level of a zone 1 in good conditions.

    Can anyone advise?
  2. swedish cook

    swedish cook Member

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    120 feet is quite some distance away, what signal do you get in fine weather ?

    I'd be thinking that the alignment may not be 100%. I'm also an advocate of a slightly larger dish, i.e. zone 2.
  3. Jimmytheone

    Jimmytheone Member

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    The height and distance are estimates and I've also very roughly (hand held protractor rather than a theodolite) measured the angle from satellite to the top of the trees at 30 degrees. I am told that the Astra satellite from Southern England is at about 26 degrees so the trees could be a factor.

    Signal in good weather is 90% ish and quality 80% ish. The dish was realigned a year or so ago - last autumn!!
  4. Chris Muriel

    Chris Muriel Active Member

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    You have established already that you don't have sufficient rain fade margin - so more signal needed.
    If your measurements are correct then indeed the proper solution is to resite the dish otherwise they are acting as a partial screen between the dish and the satellite.
    A larger dish might help a little but any gains could be wiped out as the tree grows more or sprouts its leaves in the spring.
  5. MartinPickering

    MartinPickering Active Member

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    Chris is correct but don't ignore the cable type, condition and length, as that can also be a factor.
  6. swedish cook

    swedish cook Member

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    On the basis of 25 degrees and 130 feet away the tree would have to be over 15 feet + 61 feet = 76 feet tall (about 23 metres) - thats quite some tree before you would even start to affect the signal (for scale a two storey house is 8.5 metres to the very top of the ridge).

    Hence my comments, if your 130 feet is even approximately correct the problem is unlikely to be the tree, especially when your dish is so high already.
  7. alan1572

    alan1572 Member

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    i don't think the trees are an issue, if the signal is so good in good weather the trees don't get more tree-ey in bad weather, is the face of the dish rusted/tarnished? maybe a new LNB and alignment may work, a larger ish certainly won't do any harm.
  8. MartinPickering

    MartinPickering Active Member

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    But wet leaves and twigs block the signal more effectively than dry, so you can't discount trees purely on that basis. The main question is whether they are actually in the signal path. It would appear that they probably aren't tall enough, but that remains to be proven.

    However, I'd go along with the advice to put a larger dish higher up.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2010

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