What if I have trees in the way?

Echostar Knowledge Base
The Dish Network User's Resource


I have in direct line of sight 2 pine trees about 20' apart with semi sparse branching at 150°. They are a good 50-60 yards away. I'm installing Dish 500 next weekend and I'm concerned these trees may be a problem. Can anyone advise?

If they are 50 yards away, and your elevation for the dish is exactly 45 degrees, they'd have to be 50 yards tall to be in the way. If your elevation is other than 45 degrees, you'll need to do a little trig.

Multiply the tangent of the elevation angle by the distance to the trees to get the height that the tree will have to be to get in the way. Of course, trees grow, so take that into account.

You can build a simple clinometer with a protractor and a soda straw. Tape the straw to the protractor at the desired angle, then go to the proposed location of the dish. Hold the base of the protractor level, and look through the straw in the direction of both satellites. If you don't see any tree, you're OK.

For a Dish 500 installation you must have good visibilty for about 8 degrees to the left and right of the suggested aiming point. I find that a good “rule of thumb” is to grip a 6" ruler in the middle, and elevate your arm to the suggested elevation and azimuth. If neither end of the ruler appears to be near a tree branch beyond it, you're OK.

A nearby tree does seem to cast a shadow on part of the DISH. It was just installed by the DISH people (through COSTCO) about 3 weeks ago. Do you think they will fix it for free?

My picture is a bit pixilated and distorted when I look up close. I am using the S-video output.

Shadows don't count, unless caused by a solar outage. Stand behind the dish, and look in the direction that the dish is pointing. The satellite is on a line about 25 degrees above where the dish “seems” to be pointing. (because of the off center mounting of the LNB)

Does that line pass through a tree?

If it does, your signal strength will get even worse in the spring when the leaves come out. You'll have to move your dish.