Read this prior to satellite internet installation at your home

If you are a brand new subscriber to satellite internet of any provider - you must read this first!
Learn installation basics to ensure that your system will work properly and last long after the activation day.

Congratulations!

So, you have chosen satellite internet service provider and waiting for the installation day. Great!
Very soon you should be getting fast and reliable internet at your rural home...or not?
Installation of satellite internet requires professional installation. Every Wildblue technician has proper training and certification.
But because of the human nature, some things can go wrong. This article should give you some information on what to expect out of installation.
I just want to make sure you will get the best service you signed up for and not the long term frustration.

Before installer comes to your home.

Do a small homework and check on some of the requirements for the satellite install. At this point you were asked if you have clear view of southern skies. If you live out in the open field LOS should not be an issue. If you reside in cabin, in woods and surrounded by trees, your options may be limited or none.

Think of your desired dish mounting location.
Now, that's an important Decision.
Dish antenna, outdoor unit or ODU can be properly mounted only on structurally sound surface.
In case of a roof mounting, ODU must be attached to a rafter.
In case of a wall mounting, base must be attached to a stud, both support arm must be attached in both cases.

There are a couple non-standard installation options available also.
First will be a non-penetrating flat surface mount. These are great for flat roofs of the commercial buildings.
Second will be a pole mount. Both options will cost you extra. Obvious reason for the pole mount option would be the line of sight issue.
But you can choose pole even if there's no problem with LOS from the house. You may not want any penetrations done to your home.

Pole mounts have been a reason for so many systems to fail, so i'll focus your attention on this.
If you are going to have a pole mount to be installed, you need to know and verify a few things.
First, it is the pole itself. Ground mount poles must be 8 feet long, schedule 40 pole (thick pipe). Exactly 2” on outer diameter. Antispin fin should be there as well.

Pole mount must go down a minimum 3 feet (or 6” below the frost line) in the ground using a minimum of 120# of concrete.
Important: 4x4's, Fence post, muffler pipe, or other thin wall pipe CANNOT be used when installing WB equipment.
So, before your installer begins to dig a hole, verify that the pole is the one that will comply with WB requirements and common sense.

Pole mount you don't want

  • 4X4

    4X4

    This system has suffered from intermittent connectivity and slow page loading speeds. Half the time system was offline.
  • FENCE POLE

    FENCE POLE

    This pole ended up broken at the base ground level after moderate wind.
  • THIN WALL POLE

    THIN WALL POLE

    Another pole went down. Being a thin wall fence pole it was modified to match the dish 2" inner diameter. While barely a foot into the ground it really had no chance to survive.

    If for some reason installer is talking you in to non-approved ODU installation, you should point that out to him.
    Such locations could be wooden decks, 4x4, vinyl siding, mobile home roof or wall.
    There is just no reason for you to agree to such an install. Your system's performance will degrade and/or fail in a fairly short period of time.

    Unapproved satellite antenna mounting locations

    Wooden fence mounting
    Off-air towers
    Mobile home deck used as a location for satellite internet antenna
    Dish mounted to the deck of the mobile home
    Dish mounted to the side of the deck

    Wooden deck satellite internet installation

    Regarding attached wooden decks install. This type of install is NOT approved, but it is in fact the easiest for the lazy installer to do.
    They know that ODU can't be mounted to deck but the temptation to do it anyways can overcome common sense.

    Why not? Main reason Wildblue does not approve exposed wood structures to be mounted to is because they all cause problems. Small changes in the humidity and temperature will affect natural material such as wood. Wildblue antenna will not stay perfectly aligned all the time of the day and season.

    SOLID COPPER CENTER CONDUCTOR COAX IS A MUST!

    CCS (copper clad steel)
    should never be used with satellite internet

    Next thing to be aware of is the cable.

    Only certain type of solid copper center conductor RG6 cable are allowed to be used.

    If installer is going to use cable where it says CCS on it, beware that this is cheap copper clad steel cable that will affect your system's performance big time.

    PROPERLY GROUNDED SATELLITE SYSTEM WILL PROTECT YOU AND THE EQUIPMENT

    Last thing you need to know and understand is the proper system grounding requirements.
    I'm not going to dig deep on the subject but I’ll give you the basics.

    Wildblue and Exede system must have grounding, even the pole mounts. All RG6 coax cables must be bond to house electrical system.

    Installers often use a 3" long grounding rod and clamp to it.
    This is NOT considered grounding. In fact using self-made grounding rod may cause electrical failures and may harm you or equipment.

    GET IT DONE!

    Keep this information in mind, check with your installer and you will enjoy properly installed Wildblue satellite internet system in the long term.

    Suggested reading

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