Top 10 Winterizing Tips


1. Check the cables

Years of sun, pets or gardening mishaps can crack or slice cable. Replace damaged cables.

2. Grease the actuator arm

A rough-moving actuator arm can make the motor work harder and lead to stripped motor gears or a burnt-out motor. Actuator arms that are designed to be greased will have zerk fittings, carefully disassemble and grease it. If it's ruined while trying to grease it, get a replacement actuator arm.

3. Check the gasket on the actuator arm motor gasket

If the gasket that keeps water out of the motor is missing or cracked, find a new gasket or wrap waterproof tape around the motor where the gasket would be to keep moisture out.

4. Tighten all bolts on the dish

Depending on which bolts are loose, dish-pointing problems can occur due to a loose dish on a dish mount, a loose actuator, or premature dish warpage.

5. Check and seal connections

Examine those connections to the LNBs and the feedhorn servo motor thoroughly. Water can seep into the connections and result in electrical problems. Seal the connections with Scotch Lock connectors or wrap rubber tape around the connection and cover that with a layer of waterproof tape to keep the sun from deteriorating the rubber tape rapidly.

6. Clean out the feedhorn

This step is important if the plastic cover that goes over the part of the feedhorn facing into the dish is missing. Animal nests and dirt can collect inside the feedhorn near the microwave signal pickup probes and some signal loss could occur.

7. Make sure the feedhorn is properly centered

If the feedhorn is not centered in the dish and at the focal point of the dish, maximum signal reception will not occur.

8. Check the dish mount pole

Make sure the pole is plumb. A plumb pole allows for a accurate dish tracking, while a slightly out-of-plumb pole assures only reasonable dish tracking. If the pole is extremely out-of-plumb, consider digging it up and reinstalling it.

9. Clean off the dish surface

In extreme cases, debris will prevent microwaves from being reflected properly. More than anything, a clean dish surface is pleasant to look at and will not attract neighbor complaints.

10. Re-aim the dish

Use a signal meter, a spectrum analyzer, or a television monitor hooked up to a receiver.


Source: Satellite Entertainment Guide Oct. 1998 By Robert Smathers