Following a letter from my apartment complex management about the fact that I had my DishNetwork satellite dish mounted on my balcony railing (though not screwed to it so as not to damage it), I was forced to re-mount the dish.
The solution, after much web searching, was to create myself a base with a 1 5/8th inch metal pole sticking out of it. I also took the opportunity to buy some flat RG-6 cables in the hope that I could close the balcony door completely.
Here’s what I did:
- Obtain the parts. Here’s what I got:
- 6 foot long, 1 5/8 inch diameter metal fence pole
- 5 gallon plastic bucket
- 80 lbs of concrete mix
- Cut the pole to the desired length (in my case I took off about 13 inches). Getting a shorter pole would be good if you can find one, but the shortest one at the Lowes store I went to was the 6′).
- Mount the pole vertically in the bucket (check that it is vertical using a level, and make sure the thing is in the location you’re finally going to place it – my balcony slopes slightly down).
- Mix the concrete and pour in. I cheated a little here and mixed it in the bucket as I went. Read the instructions on the concrete bag for information about the amount of water you should add – in particular notice the maximum amount).
- Once set (I left it for the full 48 hours recommended on the bag, which was probably not necessary given that it has been hot here all week), mount the dish on top and repeat the alignment process. You should then have working satellite TV again.
Here are some photos of the dish support:
Finally, a short note on the flat cables. These are about 8″ long cables with female connectors on both ends so they neatly fit between the two cables that make up each feed. Unfortunately, in my case the sliding balcony door has a built in draft excluding system that prevents it from passing over these cables so they are only marginally better than my previous solution of simply running the the standard round cables through the doorway. Moral, check for spaces around the doorway you’ll be using.
Here’s a photo of the cables so you can see what they look like: