Tripod Antenna Dish - Travel Storage & Protection?? - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 11-16-2015, 08:18 PM   #1
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Tripod Antenna Dish - Travel Storage & Protection??



Ok, even though I now have my rooftop antenna mounted, I'm turning my attention to the dish that the folks at DirecTV left for me during initial installation. While I don't intend on keeping the large ground plate I had... I do plan on buying a tripod sometime during the next few weeks to use with the antenna dish for those times I may setup in a wooded area... and the rooftop unit can't lock on.

My question is... for those of you who use tripod setups... how do you store & protect your dish while in transport?

It's my understanding that the slightest little crease or dimple in the dish itself is enough to keep the thing from working properly. As such, I don't think I can simply chuck it against the wall in the garage when I travel. But since I'm hoping to rarely use it, I've gotta find something to wrap it in... preferably waterproof... when I travel.

I'm thinking a good, out-of-the-way spot to keep it would be under the cross-over toolbox in the bed of my truck... but am curious what the rest of you do with yours?
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Old 11-16-2015, 08:29 PM   #2
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I keep mine up side down on a storage box in the basement. I take the LNB off and just throw it in there somewhere with the coax.
I'm using one now that has dings all over the outside edge, doesn't bother it a bit but if you distort the parabolic proper you'll have problems.
I wonder though, if the roof top won't get a signal won't the tripod have the same problem or will you walk around the campsite with the antenna in your hand while listening for the signal to sound.
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Old 11-16-2015, 08:36 PM   #3
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I have to admit that I don't take any special care of my round dish. I keep it in the garage with the folding chairs. I haven't had any issues with it not doing its job even when a little banged up.
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Old 11-16-2015, 08:54 PM   #4
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I have a nice big void under the bedroom closet for the delicate stuff, of course ours is a TT.

I'm just about to wave the white flag ATCguy.

We got a foot of snow over night on Saturday, I spent half the day on Sunday clearing my neighbors driveways and half of mine. Today I finished off my driveway, took about an hour.

Very unusual for us to get that big of a dump on the first snowfall of the year. Usually we manage to avoid the big ones, they tend to follow the valleys north and south of us and we get the outer edges of the fronts. This one was just to big.

Bullhead City is beginning to look an awfull lot better
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Old 11-17-2015, 09:35 AM   #5
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We use a tripod... I don't really take any care in packing it in the garage, I just don't let the arm get beat on. The dish itself is not so much a problem getting beat up, but the arm alignment is key...if it gets skewed in any direction other than stock, then setting tilt, azimuth, and elevation will be more difficult...the stock scale on the dish would be worthless.

We have been carting ours around for three years now, I know that my elevation needs to be set 3 degrees higher than what the dish scale shows (i.e. I have to set at 45 degrees when 42 degrees required). I only found this out after a DirecTV installer aimed for me at an RV park in CA once. He had finished up someone else's install and was watching us setup and came over to chat about RVs and he aimed the dish for me. After he left I checked the numbers on the dish against what he setup and noted the difference and now my dish has "calibration" numbers...

If we go somewhere we do not desire to setup the dish, for just a couple of days, the LNB comes off and is stored under the trailer while we are at said destination.

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Old 11-17-2015, 01:42 PM   #6
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Those calibration marks are close but not close enough to keep the installer from putting his sat meter in the line. With the new HD Slimline SWM reflector (the dish or antenna is actually the reflector), they added dither knobs to finely tune in the satellite. The trained process is to set the dish by the calibration marks, bring the sat in with the sat finder and then dither the reflector with the dither knobs.
Apparently by dithering the reflector in, a service call will never be needed because of pixilation or weak signal.
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Old 11-17-2015, 03:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sundancer 87 View Post
I wonder though, if the roof top won't get a signal won't the tripod have the same problem or will you walk around the campsite with the antenna in your hand while listening for the signal to sound.
Well, Winegard & DirecTV market their newest incarnation of the SWM-3 antenna that I got as being able to pickup a signal through all but the thickest of forest canopies. That said, I've been told that I should keep the antenna that DirecTV gave me in case it doesn't. As such, I could set it out by the road like any other 'tailgater' type antenna where it would get a clear shot of the sky.

In re protecting the dish... I've also been told by the DirecTV technician, and confirmed by a neighbor here at the park, that these new dishes are so sensative that almost any defect will cause total loss of signal. The neighbor said he'd set his on a box one time, with something else set on top of it during travel. On arrival, he noticed a very slight 4-inch straight line crease from the box edge on the dish, but nothing major. When he set it up, he got no signal. Called customer support, tech came out, replaced the dish and he was back in business. He now packs his between pillows on the bed each trip... which is fine because he actually uses it each trip. But since I'm looking for long term storage, that won't work for me.

Yeah, I'm probably overthinking it... just thought I'd throw it out there.
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Old 11-17-2015, 03:15 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by hddecker View Post
...I'm just about to wave the white flag ATCguy.

We got a foot of snow over night on Saturday, I spent half the day on Sunday clearing my neighbors driveways and half of mine. Today I finished off my driveway, took about an hour... Bullhead City is beginning to look an awfull lot better
Yeah, my theory is that snow is something one visits and/or goes to play in... not what one should live in.

Had a cool front move into the area here over the weekend... actually had to burn the furnace the last 2mornings to take the chill off. But we're forecast to be back in the 70s again tomorrow, and thru the rest of the week.

If you're seriously thinking of coming down here, you might wanna call ahead to find a place to stay. Boondocking or dry camping is easy to find, and in most cases "free"... but finding sites with full hookups will be difficult, as most of the RV parks in the area are sold out for the winter. At least 2 or 3 rigs a day pull in here looking for vacancy, only to be told the place is full.
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Old 11-17-2015, 06:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ATCguy View Post
Well, Winegard & DirecTV market their newest incarnation of the SWM-3 antenna that I got as being able to pickup a signal through all but the thickest of forest canopies. That said, I've been told that I should keep the antenna that DirecTV gave me in case it doesn't. As such, I could set it out by the road like any other 'tailgater' type antenna where it would get a clear shot of the sky.

In re protecting the dish... I've also been told by the DirecTV technician, and confirmed by a neighbor here at the park, that these new dishes are so sensative that almost any defect will cause total loss of signal. The neighbor said he'd set his on a box one time, with something else set on top of it during travel. On arrival, he noticed a very slight 4-inch straight line crease from the box edge on the dish, but nothing major. When he set it up, he got no signal. Called customer support, tech came out, replaced the dish and he was back in business. He now packs his between pillows on the bed each trip... which is fine because he actually uses it each trip. But since I'm looking for long term storage, that won't work for me.

Yeah, I'm probably overthinking it... just thought I'd throw it out there.
My slimline is on the roof of the house and the beat up multi-sat is in the basement. I'm just now getting into HD from DirecTV but when I travel plain ole SD will work for a night if I decide to set out the multi-sat system.
Can't you just throw the SWM on the bed while you change locations?
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Old 11-17-2015, 06:37 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by sundancer 87 View Post
...Can't you just throw the SWM on the bed while you change locations?
Yeah, sure... I can. But again, since I have the one on the roof now, I don't plan on using the other dish often. Twice a year at most? So I don't wanna have to move it on & off the bed each & every time I go someplace. (yeah, I'm lazy like that)

Like I said in the first post... it's no big deal. I'll figure it out. I'll probably just bubble-wrap it, and stow it under the toolbox in the back of the pickup. I was just curious if anyone else had a better solution.
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Old 11-17-2015, 10:37 PM   #11
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You can store it in my 3950, since it never leaves the service department, your dish will stay in like new condition when ever I need to oooopppps I mean you need to use it.....
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