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Devorah

join:2007-09-16
Bolivar, MO

Safe way of cleaning ice from satellite dish?

Hi. The whether forecast is predicting a possible ice storm in a few days and I was wondering what is the safest way of getting ice off of my WB satellite dish?

Devorah


peve
Premium
join:2003-05-13
Edmonton, AB
Fill a spray bottle or super soaker with windshield wiper fluid and soak the ice off the dish

PV

stt3605

join:2007-11-02
I've heard of installers using PAM or other cooking grease and very lightly spraying the dish. This could potentially cause another problem though, the PAM could actually deflect the signal -- not sure on that

The windshield washer fluid sounds like probably the best idea.

UNPLUG YOUR MODEM BEFORE YOU PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE EYE!


grohgreg
Dunno. Ask The Chief

join:2001-07-05
Dawson Springs, KY
reply to Devorah
How/where is your dish mounted? Roof? Eave? Side of house? In the yard on a pole?

//greg//

alhanson

join:2006-01-29
Barneveld, WI
reply to Devorah
Maybe the safe way is just to let the sun melt it off. I have been through three snow falls, one with ice - so far this winter and the satellite did not loose connection once. I would want to spray any thing on the dish that would effect the seals on the TRIA

al


EarthSignal
Earthsignal
Premium
join:2002-10-03
Burlington, IA
reply to Devorah
Where is your dish and how easy is it to get to? Twice this year I had to clean off my pole mounted dish. First time it was a layer of wavy ice so I poured warm tap water over it and got rid of the ice. You can also spray something such as Rain -X to clear the ice and help prevent further build up. The second time I had sticky snow covering the dish, simply took a broom and swept it off. Pam is not a problem but when it comes spring you need to get it cleaned off to prevent mold from forming. There is no reason to spray the TRIA with anything so that is not a problem. Both times I didn't loose my connection and could download but could not upload without clearing the dish.
--
Ron~ Wildblue Select Pak, Beam 26, Dell XPS600 Pentium D~dc 3.0GHz, 2Gig Ram, dual 160Ghd, XP pro, Linksys WRT54G router, client is Laptop, XP home

Devorah

join:2007-09-16
Bolivar, MO
reply to Devorah
Hi and thanks for the replies.

The dish is located on the roof.

Last year during an ice storm it took days before the ice melted. Didn't really matter, I was without electricity for 13 days, but I didn't have satellite internet at that time either and was able to hook up periodically with dial up by using a generator for electric.

I have a home based business and I was hoping to prevent a very long outage in case the dish gets covered with very much ice...we may not have sunshine to melt ice for several days.

Devorah


EarthSignal
Earthsignal
Premium
join:2002-10-03
Burlington, IA
Devorah you might try the super soaker idea since that is quite popular with satellite people over several years.

Last year I was without power for a week during the ice storm. I was powering everything with a portable generator including my WildBlue.
--
Ron~ Wildblue Select Pak, Beam 26, Dell XPS600 Pentium D~dc 3.0GHz, 2Gig Ram, dual 160Ghd, XP pro, Linksys WRT54G router, client is Laptop, XP home

Devorah

join:2007-09-16
Bolivar, MO
I will try this as it sounds the safest.

It was suggested to me by a friend to climb up to the dish and secure a trash bag around it, then remove it after the ice storm is over....do you think this would work?

I was hoping the ice would pass over this area after experiencing last year's accumulation! Not fun trying to keep warm with candles! We finally were able to get out and pick up a generator which made the wait for the electricity to come back on a bit more bearable.

Devorah


grohgreg
Dunno. Ask The Chief

join:2001-07-05
Dawson Springs, KY

1 edit
reply to Devorah
said by Devorah:

The dish is located on the roof.
As suggested, the super-soaker may be your solution. I was just in WalMart the other day, and saw a couple of different gallon jugs of windshield washer fluids that claimed ice removal and prevention capability. I didn't take time to read the labels though. If there are no warnings against using on paint/rubber/plastic/plexiglass/etc, sounds like a potentially good fluid for a super-soaker.

Forget the trash bag idea

//greg//
--
HN7000S/74cm/1w - G16/1230V - NAT 67.44.231.131/Gateway 66.82.156.180/DNS 66.82.4.12 plus rollovers - Firefox - SSL proxy switch - AVG+Firewall v7.5


Nicknotworking

@wildblue.net
reply to Devorah
You could get one of those magnetic block warmers (available at Automotive supply stores) and stick it to the back of the dish. Only turn it on when Dish is Ice covered and other electronics are off. Thus you would plug it in from the ground and be safe against climbing a ladder all the time.

stt3605

join:2007-11-02
reply to Devorah
said by Devorah:

I will try this as it sounds the safest.

It was suggested to me by a friend to climb up to the dish and secure a trash bag around it, then remove it after the ice storm is over....do you think this would work?
Devorah
Just be careful... the internets isn't worth your getting hurt.


grohgreg
Dunno. Ask The Chief

join:2001-07-05
Dawson Springs, KY

2 edits
reply to Nicknotworking
said by Nicknotworking :

You could get one of those magnetic block warmers (available at Automotive supply stores)
You first Nick - let us know how that works for ya.

//greg//
--
HN7000S/74cm/1w - G16/1230V - NAT 67.44.231.131/Gateway 66.82.156.180/DNS 66.82.4.12 plus rollovers - Firefox - SSL proxy switch - AVG+Firewall v7.5

Devorah

join:2007-09-16
Bolivar, MO
reply to Devorah
I thought the trash bag idea was probably not a good one.

I doubt that I can find a super soaker here during this time of year but I do have a spray bottle that shoots up to 16 ft.

I think I will be able to reach the dish fine without climbing a ladder as I have two level deck of which the top level is approx. 6 ft from the dish. If I had to use a ladder I wouldn't have to climb far.

I found that I have 3 gallons of windshield fluid on hand "Peak Windshield Wash and Deicer." It doesn't state any warnings against using it on any specific surface, so I guess this will be ok to use?

Hopefully all this worry is for nothing. Everyone here in my area is on edge and scrambling to prepare for what may in store for us this time, due to last year's ice storm experience.

Thanks everyone for your help, appreciate!

Devorah


grohgreg
Dunno. Ask The Chief

join:2001-07-05
Dawson Springs, KY
Wet snow and ice is one of the reasons I went for a polemount. I just walk up to the dish and toss on hot water from a bucket. But - it's important to note that mine is Hughes equipment. With all the water that's being found inside WildBlue transceivers, a bucket of hot water might not be the best of solutions.

//greg//
--
HN7000S/74cm/1w - G16/1230V - NAT 67.44.231.131/Gateway 66.82.156.180/DNS 66.82.4.12 plus rollovers - Firefox - SSL proxy switch - AVG+Firewall v7.5

Devorah

join:2007-09-16
Bolivar, MO
Thanks greg.

When I had my WB dish installed I didn't know I had a choice of mounting. The installer just asked me what area at the south end of the roof did I want the dish mounted.

I don't believe I can change my mind now, especially since WB charges $95 for each service call. I did not know this until I received a bill after they sent an installer back out to re point my dish that was not working properly since installment.

Devorah


Nicknotworking

@wildblue.net
reply to grohgreg
I do not have a block heater for in the South we rarely get ice.(Used to have one when I lived in Montana and it was handy to dethaw things or to warm the oil in the oilpan so the car would start). However when we do, I guarantee windshield washer de-icer does not touch it. Freezing rain sticks with a tenacity that is unbelievable. I did attach a magnet I have to the backside of the dish and it did not seem to affect anything, posting with it on right now (BTW I also have a pole mount with the dish about 6ft off ground), though as I mentioned I would turn of the Modem before energizing the heater as that would put a AC signal that could affect reception. I am assuming your dish is well grounded.

If the magnet affects your reception, of course remove it.


grohgreg
Dunno. Ask The Chief

join:2001-07-05
Dawson Springs, KY

2 edits
I'm going to take the time to try and talk you out of using that Nick, because it really is a bad BAD idea. It's clear you don't understand the ramifications to the RF signal, so I'll address it in terms of money out of your pocket. Don't ever EVER tell tech support that you put a magnetic heater on your dish. From that point on, the warranty is null and void. Every single thing that goes wrong with your system from that point, will be on your nickel.

Next - assuming it's as warm where you live right now as it is here in Kentucky - that thing won't even turn itself on till the air temp starts getting down near freezing. I've got thermostatically controlled heaters for livestock water, tractor engines, and my Mercedes. They typically energize anywhere in the 30-40F window. I used one of those magnetic heaters you describe on a starter motor.

Third - when a magnetic heater DOES energize, the 300 to 400 degree contact temperature is almost certainly guaranteed to damage the paint. I'd expect eventual damage paint on both sides of your dish.

But let's just briefly visit the effect of electrical fields and magnets on the satellite signal. If you've got one of the older color TVs that uses a cathode ray picture tube, I'm gonna suggest a little self-demo. Bring the magnetic heater into the house. Don't even bother to plug it in, just slowly bring it up close to the TV screen. I don't think it will take long for you to have second thoughts about recommending engine heaters on satellite dishes.

//greg//
--
HN7000S/74cm/1w - G16/1230V - NAT 67.44.231.131/Gateway 66.82.156.180/DNS 66.82.4.12 plus rollovers - Firefox - SSL proxy switch - AVG+Firewall v7.5


Nicknotworking

@wildblue.net
Since you entirely failed to understand my point and you do not understand that there is no Warranty with Wild Blue after 3 months and that I did not suggest leaving the heater on beyond melting the ice and your information on Radio frequency is that of a beginner, of course a magnet against a cathode ray tube would introduce distortion, sheesh what does that have to do with it. The distortion in your T/V is not due to signal from the antenna, but due to bending the electric field as displayed on the phosphere dots on the tube. I will suggest you go back to your super soaker, good luck with that.


grohgreg
Dunno. Ask The Chief

join:2001-07-05
Dawson Springs, KY

4 edits
Well, I'm only taking the time to address such an absurd (and anonymous) notion - only to make it clear to others how foolish it would be to follow your suggestion.

During my whole 37 years of Radio Frequency experience, you're sole individual who's ever tried to tell me that a satellite signal doesn't represent an " electric field ".

It's probably a further waste of time, but perhaps the picture will come better into focus, if you'd read up a little on ionization.

//greg//
--
HN7000S/74cm/1w - G16/1230V - NAT 67.44.231.131/Gateway 66.82.156.180/DNS 66.82.4.12 plus rollovers - Firefox - SSL proxy switch - AVG+Firewall v7.5


Nicknotworking

@wildblue.net
Reading comprehension is lacking once again. As for claimed background my name is Marconi, My father was Tesla and my brother was Westinghouse. I absolutely hate fake background claims. Since it becomes moot, believe what you will.Do not forget to feed the Animals.


EarthSignal
Earthsignal
Premium
join:2002-10-03
Burlington, IA
reply to Devorah
The safest and most economical way of clearing your dish seems to be using warm water or a product such as Rain X. Most all of the windshield products are safe to use since they don't harm the rubber, paint or plastic parts on automobiles. The Rain X windshield washer fluid can be purchased in gallon jugs quite reasonable. I only have to clear my dish a few times a years so it is not a big deal.
--
Ron~ Wildblue Select Pak, Beam 26, Dell XPS600 Pentium D~dc 3.0GHz, 2Gig Ram, dual 160Ghd, XP pro, Linksys WRT54G router, client is Laptop, XP home

Devorah

join:2007-09-16
Bolivar, MO
reply to Devorah
Hi. Just wanted to let everyone know that so far the spray bottle with windshield wiper fluid is working great!

Yesterday evening the ice started forming so I stood on my top level deck and started spraying. With using about half of a 32oz. spray bottle the modem came back on and it worked great with good speed. I warmed the solution slightly in the microwave before filling the spray bottle.

This morning the modem was off and I sprayed the rest of the solution on the dish and the modem again came back on and is still working.

We are suppose to get more freezing rain throughout today and tonight but I don't feel so stressed knowing that the fluid is working. The only down fall is how tired my hand gets but it is worth it to have connection. (I will be picking up a super soaker in the spring!)

Thank you all so much!

Devorah

P.S. re the magnet idea...thank you for trying to help, I really do appreciate, but I think I will stay away from anything that could be potentially harmful in inexperienced hands such as mine. I choose the easy button - spraying a spray bottle is right up my alley.


tBd49

join:2007-08-12
Fence Lake, NM
Devorah -

I recently discovered this »www.montanasatellitesupply.com/index1.html dish heater. They have several models. Worth checking in to.


grohgreg
Dunno. Ask The Chief

join:2001-07-05
Dawson Springs, KY

1 edit
said by tBd49:

Devorah -

I recently discovered this »www.montanasatellitesupply.com/index1.html dish heater. They have several models. Worth checking in to.
Again, the satellite signal is an electrical field. Entry level dish heaters were originally designed for receive-only satellite TV dishes. Unfortunately, those that fit the larger TV dishes also fit the two-way internet dishes. That's where the opportunists jumped in, seeing increased sales potential in the two-way satellite internet market.

Don't get me wrong, there are dish heaters designed specifically for TX/RX dishes. But because they're designed around a non-interference principle, they're comparatively expensive. Dishes at remote monitoring stations for example, don't have anybody around to clean wet snow/ice. So they have to arrive at a compromise solution. It's either buy the expensive heaters, or live with temporarily degraded performance while the cheap heaters are energized.

The cheap ones (including ROTV heaters) - when energized - can affect your TX signal. The RX is technically affected as well, but fade margins make it less obvious. I'll go so far as to posit that those with access to SVTs can likely witness less than normal performance figures when heaters are energized.

In short, avoid the cheap/TV dish heaters altogether (on your internet dish). Be prepared to cough up some extra bucks if you want to buy heaters that work at the expense of connection performance.

//greg//

--
HN7000S/74cm/1w - G16/1230V - NAT 67.44.231.131/Gateway 66.82.156.180/DNS 66.82.4.12 plus rollovers - Firefox - SSL proxy switch - AVG+Firewall v7.5


EarthSignal
Earthsignal
Premium
join:2002-10-03
Burlington, IA
reply to Devorah
Click for full size
Think of the problems keeping this ice free.

This nine-meter diameter antenna points nearly horizontally toward the horizon to pick up geosynchronous satellites. Most communication to and from the South Pole travels over satellite.
--
Ron~ Wildblue Select Pak, Beam 26, Dell XPS600 Pentium D~dc 3.0GHz, 2Gig Ram, dual 160Ghd, XP pro, Linksys WRT54G router, client is Laptop, XP home


peve
Premium
join:2003-05-13
Edmonton, AB

1 edit
reply to Devorah
said by Devorah:

Hi. Just wanted to let everyone know that so far the spray bottle with windshield wiper fluid is working great!

Devorah

P.S. re the magnet idea...thank you for trying to help, I really do appreciate, but I think I will stay away from anything that could be potentially harmful in inexperienced hands such as mine. I choose the easy button - spraying a spray bottle is right up my alley.
The simple solution most times can be the best solution, glad to hear it's working for you

PV
--
1.2M HN7000S - G16:99W - SkyData VoiceFlex Plan. 1.2M DW7000 - G11:91W IA300. 1.2M iDirect 3100 G11:91W


Tim_in_IA

@uiowa.edu
reply to Devorah
Devorah I would strongly recommend against putting that solution in the microwave. It could be flammable or worse yet explosive. I think it is usually a methanol mix. Otherwise I think I am spraying some of that stuff on my dish tonight.

Devorah

join:2007-09-16
Bolivar, MO
reply to Devorah
Thanks again everyone.

When I put the solution in the microwave I stop it every few seconds, loosen the lid, re-tighten and put back in for a few more seconds to release anything from building up. I don't really warm it enough to get it hot, just enough to get it slightly warm. I tried just spraying the dish with the solution at room temp and it didn't really work that well.

The ice here is gone. We just got a thin layer in my area but now the forecast is indicating that we may receive up to 12 inches of snow in my area and maybe up to 20 inches north of me.

What's the best way of keeping snow from building up on a dish?

I guess the windshield wiper solution works for snow too?

Devorah


EarthSignal
Earthsignal
Premium
join:2002-10-03
Burlington, IA
said by Devorah:

Thanks again everyone.

What's the best way of keeping snow from building up on a dish?

I guess the windshield wiper solution works for snow too?

Devorah
If it is just snow use a boom if you can reach your dish. No need spray it if a swipe with a broom clears it.
--
Ron~ Wildblue Select Pak, Beam 26, Dell XPS600 Pentium D~dc 3.0GHz, 2Gig Ram, dual 160Ghd, XP pro, Linksys WRT54G router, client is Laptop, XP home