I thought I'd give you an update while I'm still here at the Cabin (We go home tomorrow.) I'm on dial up so I can't post photos until I get home.
My Brother in Law did mount the dish and we extended the mast about 3 feet. After trying to "find" the Birds for hours I gave up for the day.
The next morning I went to a neighbors (far left in the photo - the Tan House with the motorhome in front) who too wants Sattleitte TV. He's got an old (but workable) Transit, so I asked him to help check out where the Sats were hiding. We "shot" the Bird in front of his house by the lake (no luck => just trees), in front of our place (ditto) and my Brother in laws (ditto!!). It seems my brother in law did not hold the sextant I made level => even though I had him confirm it twice when we checked it out on my last trip.
We went across the road and shot from there but still were 2.5 degrees low. Shaw (and Dishpointer) state elevation at 31 degrees. We needed 33.5 instead of 31 degrees to clear the Ridge above us on Mount Harper. My neighbor and Brother in law both wanted me to calculate how high the pole would have to be on the dock, or on the roof, to catch the Sats. I spent hours figuring out some logical way to estimate it and took some reference measurements (angles, elevations, and distances). My conclusions are the pole heights are rediculous in either case (about 75 feet). Does this sound accurate?
My neighbor wants to take a chain saw and cut down 3 dead trees that are blocking the Sats (Pine Beetles have killed lots of forest areas out west ) even though I figure (from Dishpointer) they are about 450 Meters away, and look to be 60 feet tall!!!
Instead I went to talk to the neighbor four doors west of us who has a Starchoice Dish (see previous photos) with a sinlge LNB. He was very cordial and said we could share his dish, or his pole, or mount his new dish and share it. He's got a 60e and an HD contract with a new LCD TV but has been too busy to install it. He's a mechanic and not into electrical much it seems. He said his dad (who owned the House before he bought it) put in the Pole and Dish about ten years ago. He said he only gets about 60 signal strenth because he thinks some trees have grown in the way. As we were there I decided we'd shoot his installation just for reference. I noticed before his pole was tilting back and off to the side about 1/4 inch at the top of the pole. So his dish seemed a bit skewed. Looking at 149 (Magnetic) the Dish was focused on some tall trees just behind his neighbor's house by the property line. He said he thought that was the case, and he'd already asked permission from the owner to top the trees, but was declined. He's also worried they might come down on his house in a wind storm.
We set up a very temporary Dish 5 feet away fro his and got a signal with not too much fussing about. (I'll post a photo) The best signal we got was 70 but only for a moment. Typically it would hold at 63 to 68 - depending on the wind. Channels 299, 284, 351, 354, etc. all worked. But I couldn't tweak the dish to get anything above this level. Are any of these channels on Anik F2, or are all of them on F1R? Is there a listing of what channel is on what Bird? All the passer's by wanted to know what we were doing so we started telling them we were surveying for a Skytrain line or a new Freeway...
One of the folks, who was walking his dog, said he too was on Shaw Direct (in the Condo's further west), but he couldn't get HD even though his signal strength was in the 90's. Is that possible? He said he had an installer come in (they will come to the Condos for installs - just not any further down our side of the lake), tweaked his dish, put on a new LNB, and say he was hitting trees and couldn't hit the HD Bird. So they took back his HD Receiver. This seemed very strange to me. Are all HD Channels on a different Bird than standard definition channels?
Anyway, I spent 3 afternoons trying to get this to work. We went back across from my brother in laws near his dock and tried the set-up that worked just 3 houses away. Those dam trees are still there...
Today it rainded most of the day, and frankly I was tired of trying to get the system to work when the geography is not cooperating. My perception is if you can't "see" the location for the Sats unobstructed, then there is no pole that can help you unless the foliage is a couple feet high.
I'd appreciate any and all comments and tips. Thanks.