Yay, I'm blogging from home this morning, and over my satellite broadband connection via my Wild Blue satellite system. So far so good, though I haven't yet had a chance to doing any kind of speed testing.
I was worried that a pole mount for this satellite dish was necessary. In fact I was sure it was going to be a requirement because of all the trees nearby. So a good friend of mine helped me find a spot on the ground, within the 100 feet total cable run, that had a clear shot of the satellite.
I used Wild Blue's on-line chat feature to request the azimuth and elevation for my area but my chat-partner and service technician "Mike" they said they couldn't give that to me. I tried reasoning with "Mike" and explaining that I needed the information to make my installation easier on the installer. He refused, so I called the local installer instead.
The local installer was happy to give me the azimuth and elevation for my location. I showed them how to use Google Maps over the phone so they could see an aerial view of all the trees at our place. They decided Google Maps was going to be a great tool for their business, and they were happy to have me try to find a spot to mount the dish before they arrived.
Having the azimuth and the elevation we used a surveying compass to look through and find a visual reference point on the ground. Then we mounted my camera on the tripod and placed it over the spot we were standing, leveled it, and aimed it at our reference point.
To get the elevation we made a homemade sextant with a speed square and a torpedo level. Placing the level straight up and down through the origin and the degree mark we were interested in gave us a plane to butt the camera lens up against. We adjusted the camera's tilt on the tripod until it matched the plane of the speed square, which gave us the correct elevation. Then we just looked through the camera and if dead center was clear sky, we were good.
We found a spot in the yard to mount a pole that could accommodate both the Wild Blue dish as well as the two dishes necessary for DirecTV. I decided I was going to let the installer dig the trench, as my weekends and evenings so far haven't proved to have enough time for me to make renting a trencher and getting several future trenches built possible (at least for now), despite my best intentions.
It turned out, however, that he Wild Blue installer was able to get line of sight on the roof for his dish. The DirecTV installer had already been here and informed us that we would need to cut trees down to get both dishes to have line of sight... Jennifer didn't like that one bit.
One dish for DirecTV shares the same azimuth and elevation as the Wild Blue dish, 220 degrees on the compass and 41.5ish degrees elevation, but the second DirecTV dish needs line of sight at the 146 degree mark on the compass. That's a pretty wide range and we've got tons of trees near the house. The location of the Wild Blue dish on the roof can't get a clear line of sight to that 146 satellite, there's an Oak tree in the way. So a-pole-mounting I must go for the two remaining dishes.
Technorati tags: Geek Acres, farm, Satellite Internet