Can anyone offer an explanation as to the pole requirements?

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 7 months ago
Photo of Langley

Langley

  • 14 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes

Posted 9 months ago

  • 1
Photo of Voyager

Voyager

  • 425 Posts
  • 115 Reply Likes
Maybe if we knew what pole requirements you didn’t understand.
Photo of Langley

Langley

  • 14 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Thr first tech showed up and saw the 8’ x 10” Pressure Treated post that I wanted to put in the ground. He pointed out the location, and shared the desired run, of no longer than 100’. All is good, post is in the ground, conduit is run, access to Intersystem Grounding Terminal, at the service panel... Second installer showed up today, and said that it can’t be put on my post. I aske “why?” ...”against policy”.... So, I’m just trying to understand the policy. I understand the need for a ‘minimum’ requirement, but I’m confused with the denial of exceeding the requirement. What determines the need for a 2” pole vs 10” pole? Metal vs wood? What are the requirements based on?
(Edited)
Photo of VeteranSatUser

VeteranSatUser, Champion

  • 5133 Posts
  • 3175 Reply Likes
Metal as a start is required.
(Edited)
Photo of Langley

Langley

  • 14 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
I having difficulty expressing my question.... I am aware that “metal” (actually galvanized) is “policy.” My question is “why” is metal chosen as the only material for a pole mount? Clearly, the installation can be mounted on a wooden structure. Also, the installation requires a grounding point. So, “what is the basis for a metal post?”
Photo of Langley

Langley

  • 14 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
I’m not tying to be a jerk, I’m just curious to the why the policy was written, to ONLY use a metal pole. I realize that it’s not feasible for an installer to run around with a 12” post hole digger in their truck, but if I have acces to equipment, that clearly improves the structural integrity of the “policy” requirements, why is that not looked as an asset to the installer?
Photo of Voyager

Voyager

  • 418 Posts
  • 114 Reply Likes
I suspect it is to ensure uniformity and consistency of the installation. If you specify a configuration that you know works and everyone follows it, there are fewer problems. If you allow each installer to decide what is a proper installation, then you will get good installs and bad installs and customer complaints. It isn’t that other configurations won’t work, it is just that you can’t depend on each installer to properly assess every nonstandard configuration.

You really should ask the installer why and see what they say. I suspect that there may be an issue for the installer if they allow a deviation and then things don’t work and Viasat gets a lot of calls and later finds out this was due to an “ad hoc” installation.
Photo of Langley

Langley

  • 14 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
There seems to be some variance to the post requirements, but the most consistent responses, state that it must be a “2in, galenized post, 9’ long. It must be driven, (once again there are some differences in response), 3’-4’ in the ground, with variety of amounts of concrete. So based on that, if I put a 12’ galenized post, 6’ in the ground, and use twice as much concrete, it would be considered an ‘unacceptable’ installation...simply because it exceeds the policy requirements, right?
Photo of VeteranSatUser

VeteranSatUser, Champion

  • 5133 Posts
  • 3175 Reply Likes
Wood expands, rots, bends when on a post.
Photo of Langley

Langley

  • 14 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
“Consistency and Uniformity”....great answer. Thank you Voyager. That does seem to be right in line with any other Code or Specification, the only difference is any code or spec that I’m familiar with, states that it “must meet the minimum,” or “equal to, or greater than.” I’m just drawing ‘blanks’ while trying to understand the engineering logic, to the policy.
Photo of Langley

Langley

  • 14 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
While there is some theory to support “rot and expansion,” I would expect that telephone poles would no longer be used for infrastructure. I personally have hit a (unnamed) satellite provider’s pole, with a push lawn mower, which required them to come out and re-align the Dish (oops). I also have hit a telephone pole with a pick-up. Any guess on how that turned out?
Photo of Voyager

Voyager

  • 418 Posts
  • 114 Reply Likes
VeteranSatUser also raises a great point. I live in a log house and specialized in wood during my structural engineering masters degree. I can confirm first-hand that even kiln dried timber changes dimension with the seasons due to temperature and humidity changes. Many wood posts will warp, twist, split, etc. and these all could affect the alignment of the dish. A heavy gauge steel post will expand and contract with temperature changes, but in a very consistent manner that is unlikely to change the aiming of the dish.
(Edited)
Photo of Voyager

Voyager

  • 418 Posts
  • 114 Reply Likes
If you moved a pole enough with a push mower to misalign it, the pole was not installed properly. And utility poles have no need for constancy of position over time. They simply need not break. Go sight down a line of 30 year old utility poles and see if they are still perfectly aligned. Odds are you will see several out of plumb, but trust me, they were pretty plumb the day the lineman installed them. You are comparing apples to oranges with utility poles compared to a satellite dish pole.

Now, if you want a more accurate comparison, compare to a tower that supports a microwave transmission dish. Tell me how many wood towers you see holding up any directional antenna such as a microwave link. And take a look at the foundations they set for those towers. That is the only reasonable comparison you can make.
Photo of Langley

Langley

  • 14 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Very good point. But you’d have to agree that the very soil that either post is installed in, is going to swell and shrink with moisture content. So, I think we’re splitting hairs for the sake of comparing resumès. I just feel that there has to be something greater at work here. I mean, we’re not aiming lasers, we’re just trying to pick up a transmitted beam, and return a wide range signal. If aiming was that critical, the available service area would be severely reduced. Heck, the first installer said he had to be within 10°, although I think he may have meant minutes.
Photo of Dio Brando

Dio Brando

  • 84 Posts
  • 28 Reply Likes
I don't understand what you expect to change here

please refer to my post.

Viasat makes their rules based off of years of engineering and figuring out what does and doesnt work. It's not like they came up with these standards overnight.

viasat refuses to even let techs mount to the roofs of porches. Needs to be supported by 2+ walls and the building foundation.

doesn't matter how the system works or what resume you have. Rules are rules. /end

the line of site needs 10 DEGREES of clearance to pass. there are large beams, and small beams.
Photo of Voyager

Voyager

  • 418 Posts
  • 114 Reply Likes
Sure, if you have very poor soil and are on a side hill prone to landslides, you might have problems. However, for most soil types you are not going to get any measureable movement once you get a foot below the surface particularly when you have the area of a column of concrete against the soil.

I have no idea where the 10 degrees came from, but I don’t think you can be off anywhere near that much, particularly with the signal from the dish back to the satellite. I don’t think the installer moved my dish more than a few degrees off alignment before the tone started to protest.

Not sure why this is such a burr under your saddle unless you are embarrassed that you did an installation without first doing your homework as to the requirements.
Photo of VeteranSatUser

VeteranSatUser, Champion

  • 5133 Posts
  • 3175 Reply Likes
Aiming is VERY critical.  Try tuning into a Directv HD satellite.  The tolerances for a satellite internet dish in 2018 are very tight. 
Photo of Voyager

Voyager

  • 418 Posts
  • 114 Reply Likes
Interesting. I got an email notification of a comment here by “Old Labs”, but when I came here to read it I found nothing. Do certain posts get hidden? I am new here and don’t yet have this blog system completely figured out. It is quite unlike most other forums I use.
Photo of Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

  • 4281 Posts
  • 4366 Reply Likes
No I removed it - this isn't a battle I want to engage in. But basically it said Langley was just asking for the rationale behind the policy and process. Some of us are naturally inclined to not accept policy and process without the rationale behind that policy and process.

More importantly, it's too bad (as I just found out by searching for them) that the official Viasat Service and Installation Standards are no where to be found or unavailable to the public anymore. Even the approved materials list used to be available. I wanted to review them to see if there were some hints as to the rationale myself rather than guessing blindly. We often tell folks to ensure they get a good install - how can they do that if they don't know what constitutes a good install??? I've got a copy that I was able to download in September - it's a 20 page document and there's much more to the standards than meets the eye. But there's nothing in there that would prevent customers from engaging in some sweat equity later approved by the installer. At least I wouldn't place a pole mount two feet from the road as an apparently certified installer recently did.  
(Edited)
Photo of Voyager

Voyager

  • 418 Posts
  • 114 Reply Likes
I think Langley asked a question here that is not answerable in full by anyone here. Most of us have no access to that information and those who do have access, probably a handful of Viasat employees, are likely not at liberty to discuss it.

I know of very few companies that disclose such rationale or, as we used to call it, design intent. Does Ford tell you why they selected every component they selected for your car? Do they tell you how their engine computer decides when to next light the oil change light? This information is seldom readily available. Do they publish their algorithms for engine control?

I think many here provided pretty good rationale from their experiences and knowledge of materials. Langley didn’t get what he wanted because what he wanted was a rationale that allowed him to mount his antenna on a wood pole that he apparently installed before knowing what the installation requirements were. That is unfortunate, but, hey, stuff happens.

Often rationale in situations like this really is as simple as “years of experience have taught us that this configuration works reliabiy and consistently and other configurations don’t.” I suspect in the case of Viasat, that is a big part of it. I suspect they have seen installers try everything under the sun and they got to field the customer calls about unreliable reception. They then looked into the issue and found a satellite dish swaying in the wind on a tree. Or a 6”x6” post that twisted 5 degrees as it dried turning the dish away from the satellite. And they likely have found that their mounts placed on roof, solidly constructed building or heavy metal pole driven deep and encased in concrete perform reliably over time. There often isn’t some deep scientific theory or engineering analysis behind such things. Just simple experience summarized in a “here’s how to do it” document.
Photo of Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

  • 4281 Posts
  • 4366 Reply Likes
Just because a question cannot be answered isn't a reason to discourage it from being asked (as some replies here have). Even indirect answers provide insight and going back and reviewing his original post (actually reply to you) he was just seek clarification and rationale - others over-reacted. I viewed it as simple curiosity not questioning Viasat's infinite wisdom and in this case we had two installers who disagreed on whether the post was suitable. Yeah the first one was wrong but why would Langley question a "certified" installer? Apparently he should have and he was lucky the same guy didn;t show for the actual install  ;)
(Edited)
Photo of Robby Voigt

Robby Voigt

  • 2 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
We never mount to wood posts because a wood post will dry in the sun and twist causing the dish to come out of alignment.
Photo of Dio Brando

Dio Brando

  • 84 Posts
  • 28 Reply Likes
Sigh.

Do you complain to cops when they pull you over? Do you tell chefs to cook with ingredients you bring? I never understand customers complaining about how other people's jobs need to be done.

Viasat has extremely stringent rules to maintain a quality installation every time. Bad jobs result in techs losing their certs and needing to be retrained. A bad job not only affects the customer, it effects the -entire system- because the dish and satellite need to work harder to deliver the service.

Dish/DirecTV/whoever else are 1 way. if your dish is misaligned it sucks but stops at your house.

"1 degree off on the ground is 400 miles by the time it hits the satellite in space"

Viasat is a 2 way communication. Their quality standards state an 8ft hexpole or 7ft hexpole MUST be buried 3 feet down with 4/5 feet of pole out of the ground with 3 bags of concrete (150 lbs) The height is mainly a factor of getting hit with radiation if you walk in front of it.

Viasat demands pictures of the pole showing how deep it is prior to the pole being installed and the concrete filling the hole. Right there your wood post is ruled out.

If a round pole is used, anti-spin of some sort must be used as well such as a pinch in the pole or a rod going through it, or something welded/attached to it so when the concrete sets it does not move.

Rules are rules. It's not "metal or wood" being the issue. It's viasat's way or the highway.
it doesn't matter if you use 30 bags of concrete on a perfect pole. Without pictures beforehand, it's an immediate QA failure.

Bam.

ZA WARUDO
(Edited)
Photo of Ronald Stricklin

Ronald Stricklin

  • 325 Posts
  • 125 Reply Likes
Do complain when a cop pulls you over? Hmm.... That's spin doctoring. Depending on the situation I do in fact complain when a cop pulls me over. However the case here your question doesn't apply. By not applying, I mean in no way what so ever. This is like asking a cop why they pulled you over because they were asking a question. I know that goes against the uber viasat fanboy code but they were asking a question.  It's actually a great question if you consider the fact that one tech approved it and the second tech denied it. Imagine that, one tech goes this way, the other tech goes that way and a customer wants to understand what the heck is going on. But how dare they question the policy of a company who's representatives don't even understand it. Praise thee oh viasat. Bam.
Photo of Robby Voigt

Robby Voigt

  • 2 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
I'm a DirecTV/ViaSat installer. Actually it is an issue of "metal or wood". A wood post will dry in the sun and twist causing the dish to come out of alignment. The same reason behind needing some type of anti-spin on the metal pole. All of our metal poles come from the supplier with a crimped end for that reason.
Photo of Dio Brando

Dio Brando

  • 84 Posts
  • 28 Reply Likes

behold
Photo of Dio Brando

Dio Brando

  • 84 Posts
  • 28 Reply Likes

This was a SERVICE CALL because someone mounted to a wooden post...
Photo of Langley

Langley

  • 14 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Dio, I think you took a turn I was hoping to avoid. My desire is NOT to challenge what you do, or how you do it. And, I cant agree more, as to Viasat’s position on “their way.” No argument here. I was simply asking the forum if anyone had an explanation as to “why,” which both Voyager and Sat-Vet have answered. I don’t necessarliy agree, but I respect their input....and yours, as well.
Photo of Dio Brando

Dio Brando

  • 84 Posts
  • 28 Reply Likes
Didn't mean to come off negatively. I just get this quite a lot in the day so i may have came off a little harsher than intended.


Photo of Langley

Langley

  • 14 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Dio, I can imagine. It’s just after dark, you’ve put in a long day, and quite frankly, you may have been at my house earlier today and I blew up at you. My apologies. I just invested a lot of my own time, and money, cutting trees, digging posts , running conduit and correcting inadequate grounding rods, only for the installer to tell me I didn’t know what I was doing. Your not the first to over react today, I promise.
Photo of Voyager

Voyager

  • 418 Posts
  • 114 Reply Likes
Did you read the Viasat requirements for the pole installation before you started your work? If you didn’t, then you in fact did not know what you were doing. No need to make a big stink about it, just learn from your mistake, correct it and move on.
Photo of Jim16

Jim16

  • 2453 Posts
  • 2180 Reply Likes
Ah-men, brother.  Just because he did it doesn't mean it was done right. This guy will have an "issue" with everything Viasat does.
(Edited)
Photo of Langley

Langley

  • 14 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Thank you gentlemen, for allowing me to pick-your-brains. I’m not sure I obtained what I was hoping to acquire, but definitely am moving forward with more info than I showed up with. Have a great evening.
Photo of Voyager

Voyager

  • 418 Posts
  • 114 Reply Likes
I know you were hoping we could tell you that you were right and the installer was wrong and give you ammunition to use to make your case with him. And I realize you had a lot of work invested that you wanted to salvage. I get it. I wanted to use my existing RG-11 spare cable for my installation, but it did not meet the written requirements of Viasat for “solid copper core” cable. However, I also had decided what my fall-back position was if the cable did not pass muster so that the installer could do the install strictly per the Viasat requirements.

Even though the installer said the cable did not strictly meet the requirements, the real issue was the actual performance of the dish once installed and he was willing to do a temporary install to test the cable. He did that and the cable passed all of the tests required by Viasat so he pronounced it OK and did the permanent mount of the antenna using my existing cable.

However, had the cable not passed muster, I would not have argued with him that he should use it for the installation anyway. I would have moved to my plan B location which would have had the dish mounted on a pole in my yard with the RG-6 solid copper cable that Viasat specifies. Since I have a log house that needs to be stained every few years, I did not want to have to have a dish removed and realigned every 4-6 years when I stain my house. So, the yard pole was my plan B rather than the side of my house. I don’t ever mount things on my roof ... period.
Photo of Langley

Langley

  • 14 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Well, for clarification purposes, I wasn’t looking for ammunition against the installer, or Viasat. I wasn’t even hoping to recoup any investment, monetarily or otherwise. I’m not so bold to say that I don’t make mistakes, or don’t understand something. I do standby my original post, hoping someone could explain “why” things are the way they are. I’d be lying if I said that I understand why the installers that I have experience with, seem to think that the rest of the world are dumbasses. I know there are rules, I respect those that follow them, but I admire those that question them. I have to believe that’s why we have satellites, to begin with. But, I am not of the character to accept “because” as a blind explanation, simply because you don’t share my inquisitive nature. You provided a solid argument, prior to your false assumptions. My intent to help reduce the aggravation of the installer, having to fight the roots and the 96’ run, simply bit me in the ass. No major harm. Someday I hope to aspire to such heights.
Photo of Langley

Langley

  • 14 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
...as to not upset those that may know more than myself.
Photo of Voyager

Voyager

  • 418 Posts
  • 114 Reply Likes
Can’t you simply replace the wood post with a metal pole and salvage the rest of the work?
Photo of Langley

Langley

  • 14 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Everything I’ve done thus far, is available to the installer tomorrow. All of it, some of it, none of it, I’m hesitant to have any expectations. I just hate to see a man walk into a struggle, for reasons I don’t understand. I know his work needs to be ‘signed-off on,’ by someone...in order for him to get paid. I get that. But I feel, that that ‘someone’ should be afforded the authority to deviate from the norm, if it benefits Viasat and/or their installers. It won’t be the last time I “over think” things, or get disappointed by the ‘general norm.’ Thanks for your help. You have provided some sound reasoning., for my future expectations.
Photo of Jim16

Jim16

  • 2453 Posts
  • 2180 Reply Likes
God help that poor installer....
Photo of Bev

Bev, Champion

  • 3287 Posts
  • 1462 Reply Likes
Well, one reason would be the mounting options offered. METAL pole brackets for the 2 inch pole or, roof or siding mount, both of which require more than 10 inches width so, I'd say that's one big reason for an approved pole.
Photo of VeteranSatUser

VeteranSatUser, Champion

  • 5133 Posts
  • 3175 Reply Likes
The dish shouldn't be mount on wooden posts or trees, we have first hand knowledge about tree mounts on here.
Photo of GabeU

GabeU, Champion

  • 2041 Posts
  • 1235 Reply Likes
Yep.  A built structure or a metal pole to specs.  Only two acceptable things to mount it to.   

Still love the whole tree mount thing, though.  That's pure comedy.  
Photo of Bev

Bev, Champion

  • 3287 Posts
  • 1462 Reply Likes
It's all been fixed now but, a few years ago (over a decade ago) every DTV, DISH and WildBlue dish were mounted to trees out here, save mine and, I had to pay for poles to get them.

That's what happens in areas where green, untreated bodark is a good fence post, no matter how crooked the tree was and, cutting a big tree down means leaving a six ft tall stump because you're probably using that dead tree for a pole to mount something or other on.

I have one, though the DTV dish is on a metal pole, the cables are attached to a  block on the almost dead tree right behind the pole. I need to cut the tree down but, will have to leave the stump as a pole. I need it to tie off my pulley rope for my game hook when I butcher deer and hogs anyway.

No surprise when installers get hired that grew up in places like this where trees are good poles and stumps are even better ones.
Photo of GabeU

GabeU, Champion

  • 2041 Posts
  • 1235 Reply Likes
Though this is far from related, until 2009 we had well water here.  However, it was a well that was a considerable distance from here (just shy of 1000 feet), on the other side of a field.  The water line was 1.5" polyurethane, which was buried (even under a small creek), but the power line was primarily attached to wooden poles and trees.  I am REALLY surprised that it even stayed up.  And it gets quite windy sometimes with being on the side of a hill at about 500 feet above, and facing, Lake Erie, which is only ten miles from here.  

Amazingly, for the seven years that I lived here with that well water the power line never went down, though we did have issues with the water line developing a leak twice and the pump motor dying once.  

The day we got village water was the best day I've seen on the end of my little road.  No more being without water if the power goes out, and having the pump freeze in the winter if it goes out for too long.  No going back to fix something with the pump and finding two rabbits that had gotten into the well house for warmth and fallen into the water and died, which was revolting in knowing that we had been drinking the same.  No more taking a shower and having one of my folks decide to do so at the same time in their house, dividing the already low flow so it was even lower, as the line fed both of our houses.  Again, village water coming was great.  It felt like we entered civilization.  LOL.    

Sorry for going off on a tangent.   The whole wooden pole and tree discussion reminded me of it.  
Photo of Dio Brando

Dio Brando

  • 84 Posts
  • 28 Reply Likes
Langley, i know i've commented on here prior. But ViaSat values a single flawless 100% perfect job over 100 that "deviate from the norm" 

I've been installing for almost a year now. I've downed many jobs because a cust wanted the dish "on a post like direcTV" or "on the porch so it won't leak" or "on the side of the house (vinyl siding)

It's like having one perfect wife over 10 side girls. The choice is obvious.
Photo of Voyager

Voyager

  • 418 Posts
  • 114 Reply Likes
Yes, one unhappy customer can talk to a lot of people. It is much better to have someone unhappy and decide not to become a customer than to become a customer who gets poor service and tells the entire world.