Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler - Winter 2011 travel blog




In this day and age it is impossible to imagine living without internet connectivity. Even when we bought our 5th wheel trailer almost ten years ago, this was already true for Ken. We spent more than I care to remember to have a satellite dish installed on the roof. This dish connects us to the internet and downloads high definition TV signals. When we arrive in a new spot, we push a button and the dish rises from its bed on the roof and points itself to the skies. After it locks on to a satellite signal, it knows where the satellite we are assigned to is and it aims itself accordingly. This is quite an improvement over our first dish which only received TV signals and had to be aimed by hand. Finding the right spot on the x, y, and z axis can be a real challenge. And of course there are always trees and other obstacles to get in the way and make life interesting.

When we bought the motor home, we transferred the dish to this new roof. Over the years new software for the dish had to be downloaded and we even stopped in Salt Lake City where the dish was manufactured, to get a check up. Until the last two years the dish worked flawlessly.

But every so often the signal would suddenly stop. And just as inexplicably it would start again. The TV programming originates on the East Coast, so sometimes we would blame bad weather occurring there. And of course, sometimes we would have bad weather on our end. One time in the Houston area, we had such a long interruptions of service, we called the provider and he blamed our proximity to NASA and the signals it must be sending and receiving on our problems. Sounded fishy...

We left Houston and the problem gradually got worse. When we arrived here in Sarasota, the strength of the signal was so low that the dish could not aim itself. We called a technician who tried a few things and was flummoxed. He recommended that we pull the dish off the roof and mail it to Salt Lake City to be repaired. It is so heavy, the two of us can barely lift it. No easy feat.

A few minutes after he left, the signal came back on. His manipulations gave Ken some glimmers as to where the problem was and he went on the roof with a hammer and gave the LNB a whack. The signal came back on. And then it went off. While this on and off continued, he went online to search for a real solution. It appears that there are a number of other satellite dish users out there who have similar problems, but they are blaming it on the internet provider as we also thought at first. So Ken ordered a replacement LNB and hoped that he could find someone to help him install it. No one knowledgable is in the area, so when the new part arrived, he went up on the roof and plunged in. It only took about an hour to install and it appears that our signal is stable and restored. Hallelujah!

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