What Is The Best Way To Stop, or Cut Down On Rain Fade On Satellite?
The cable companies have made sure that everyone knows that rain can affect the signal quality on a Satellite TV system. Rain fade can also affect the quality of signal that you receive with a Broadband Satellite Internet system. But what is the best way to lessen or eliminate it?
Why does rain affect a satellite signal?
Rain Fade refers to the absorption of a microwave radio frequency (RF) signals by precipitation in the form of rain, snow or ice. It also refers to the loss of a signal caused by the electromagnetic interference of the leading edge of a storm front. Satellite TV and Satellite Internet can be affected by weather conditions at two locations: The uplink, or facility that sends the signal up to the satellite, and the ground earth terminal, or in other words, the dish on your roof!
Today’s satellites are much more advanced than their predecessors. Satellite TV and Satellite Broadband providers have the ability to increase the output power into areas experiencing inclement weather. The size of the consumer reflector has also been increased to capture more signals.
To lessen the effect of rain fade at the uplink, providers have installed heaters on their transmitters to keep the ice from building up during inclement weather.
Many consumers living in the northern climates have had success keeping snow and ice buildup on their dishes by purchasing an aftermarket product call the Hotshot heater for their dish. You will find this product available on line for under $100. The Hotshot heating element is powered by a 24 volt transformer and has an automatic thermostat that turns on just above freezing temperatures and off when the dish surface heats up. The HotShot heating element is an exclusive patented invention, has been offered for over 13 years and is used by thousands of dish owners in snowy climates to aid reception when the weather gets testy.
I had one installer that would put Rainex on every dish he installed. Personally I can’t say that this would help much, but he insisted that it made the rain run off the reflector quicker and gave his customers better performance in the rainy weather. Putting an umbrella over the dish, as I referred to in my picture will do nothing to help your signal, but you may have some fun seeing if your neighbors follow suit!
But what is the best thing you can do to cut down on rain fade?
Be sure that your dish is properly aligned!
A poorly aligned dish will be the first system to lose a lock on the satellite signal. If you have had your system for a few years, and are experiencing frequent signal interruption during light to moderate rain or snow storms, call your provider and ask to have a technician come out and check your alignment.