Homemade Satellite Mount
Satellite television is the best way to receive programming in rural areas. It is also ideal for mobile homes and RVs that lack a proper cable hook-up. In order to receive a crisp, clear signal, mount the satellite dish properly outside your home. A homemade mount holds the satellite dish in place while you customize its positioning for optimal reception.
Permanent mounts are the best choice for houses, apartment complexes and condominium developments. Choose a location on the side of your home onto which you can mount the dish supports. Protect the dish from most wind, yet ensure that it will still receive signals, from the side of the building least obstructed by trees or other structures.
Drill into the outer brick, concrete, wood or siding in the desired mounting location. Predrill all holes to avoid cracking, and do not over-tighten screws in wooden and siding surfaces. These materials can crack and strip if the hardware is too tight. The ideal place to install the dish is on the corner of a home where the support beams are strongest.
If you prefer, mount your satellite dish to pipes with diameters greater than two inches using car exhaust pipe clamps. For a free-standing permanent mount, lay a brick or concrete foundation in the area where the satellite dish will be mounted. Place a pipe in the wet concrete or in a space between the bricks to hold the satellite dish stand. Use eight two-by-four beams to construct a four-beam mount on the ground with four diagonal braces connecting to the satellite dish stand. Adjust the stand before tightening the wooden pieces together. Finally, anchor the wood using sturdy metal pipes pounded into the ground.
Portable tripod mounts are best for mobile homes and RVs as you can easily set up and dismantle them on short notice. Buy a rooftop antenna tripod at your local hardware store. You will also need a four-foot length of 1-¼ inch PVC pipe. Open the tripod and fit the PVC pipe inside. Tighten the tripod around the pipe and drill holes to hold it steady. To prevent the dish from falling over, add detachable weights to the tripod legs or attach the tripod to a sturdy wooden board when used for more than two to three days. For camping, use tent stakes to hold the satellite dish in place in the ground. Keep in mind that these mounts are very easy to steal and should not be left outside overnight for long periods of time.
Positioning the Mount
Regardless of which type of mount you use, the key to receiving a clear signal is to position the satellite correctly. Design your mount so that you can easily adjust the satellite dish’s position, and make sure it fits tightly enough to hold the dish’s position during windy weather. Avoid mounting the satellite dish to the roof of a home or RV, as it is most exposed to the weather. Instead, select an area where the wind will be buffeted away from the dish. Before tightening your mount, check your picture quality using a television set. Try multiple configurations to find the best position before settling on a final position.
Lauren Treadwell studied finance at Western Governors University and is an associate of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. Treadwell provides content to a number of prominent organizations, including Wise Bread, FindLaw and Discover Financial. As a high school student, she offered financial literacy lessons to fellow students.
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