Friday, June 12, 2009

Direct TV

Today, I have a story to tell. The story is about our journey to Direct TV. It is a looooonnnnggggg story---so hang in there.....

My DH had originally called and tried to place an order for Direct TV. He had tried to explain that we were full timers and that the satellite would need to be on a tripod. Long story short----not going to happen! So, now DH decides to purchase his own tripod. Once we have the tripod, DH places the order for Direct Tv via their internet site. In the “installer notes” section, he stipulates that we live in the woods and that the satellite will need to be mounted on our tripod in order to have a clear view of the sky.

Installer arrives (Noon)--right on time I might add. Where is DH ? DH is in town because our cell service here comes and goes and he is certain that the installer will call because he will not be able to find us----here, deep in the woods. WRONG! Al-righty then, I’m in charge. I explain the situation to the installer, show him the tripod, and he begins his installation. Meanwhile, I have discovered that the cell phone gods have decided to allow me a signal---here, deep in the woods---I call DH to tell him to please return home. DH does not answer his phone. DW finds this extremely frustrating because the whole point of DH going to town was to "answer the ding, dang phone"! At this point, the installer is having issues and questions. Questions that DW does not know the answers too! DW is now desperate to speak with DH. Fortunately for DH, he finally answers his phone. DH explains he does not know why, but his phone is not ringing. DW suspects that DH inadvertently has turned off his ringer and does not realize it. DW will deal with that later, she informs DH to come home because installer is here--deep in the woods--and has questions.......

You see, DH had set up the tripod where he felt the installer had the best chance of receiving a signal. Unfortunately, that was not to be the case. Our neighbor has Dish Network and has his satellite mounted on the split-rail fence separating the properties. DH had spoken with him yesterday and had gotten permission to place the tripod on the neighbors property--just across the fence line--if the current location did not work. So, the installer is now on the neighbor’s property, carrying around a satellite trying to locate a signal. He finds one, but it is a good 3 feet past the fence line and into the neighbor’s driveway. DW is concerned about this position, but we decide to go for it.

Finally, DH returns. He and the installer run the cables to our fifth wheel. We had our fifth wheel wired for satellite tv, but that did not include a receiver capable of recording. You see, the recording section of the receiver needs it’s own line. So, you need to ”innies“ on the outside of the rv. Fortunately, DH had put in two ports for our satellite internet. Since we are currently not using those ports, the installer was able to connect there. Whew! Now, we are on the inside of the fifth wheel. The two cables from the outside are now attached to the back of the receiver. Next problem. We cannot connect the direct tv receiver to our tv in the manner we had hoped too. Our tv attaches to the front of a cabinet with about 8 screws and all the wires are run through a small hole and then plugged into their appropriate receptacles inside that cabinet. Of course the ”plug in“ for the direct tv receiver was not accessible. We had to remove the tv from the cabinet, find the right port, plug in , and then re-attach the tv to the cabinet. Now, the cable is hanging down the front of the cabinet, under the tv, and over to the receiver. DW is not happy about this, but that will have to be attended to later.

Ok, so we finally have all our connections made and we are ready to activate the dish. Installer can’t get a signal on his little hand-held thingy which allows him to activate the dish. WHAT--YOU ARE KIDDING? NOPE! OH, but you can use a phone and call the center. Thank goodness the cell phone gods are still cooperating and we do mange to call the center and activate the dish. Guess what, the dish doesn’t pass. It can’t find one of the satellites that it needs---the one that has all the channels! CRAP! Maybe we should all just go jump in the river at this point! AH, the installer has a better option. He changes out the arm and I don’t know why it works, but it does and we lock on to all the satellites we need and PRESTO we have Direct TV!! DW notices that our neighbor has returned home. She sends DH over to confer with neighbor about tripod which now sits on his property. Good news, nifty neighbor has no problems with our tripod.

Oh and by the way, DH’s cell phone was having a problem. DW ended up needing to select a different ring tone to finally get the cell phone to ring---so, all is forgiven...

......and that my friends, is the story of Direct Tv---here, deep in the woods......


  1. wow, that's some story! Thanks for posting. It seems nothing comes easy.

  2. Debbie I'm glad things like that happen to other people since I really thought they only happened to me and Gina. Enjoyed the good story.

    Rollie & Gina

  3. Great story if your not one of the characters! I would have been stressing so much if dh wasnt there... Glad it turned out well for you. What a great neighbor!

  4. The trials and tribulations of an RVer seeking solitude in the woods with the luxuries of TV... thanks for the story!

  5. Wow - I am out of breathe after going through your entertaining recap. Glad it is up and running.

    We had issues with getting our Direct TV set up also..."I have never done an RV before", "I thought I was installing a private residence", I am not certified"...but we eventually go it done :>)


  6. When we decided to use a satellite system for the RV, we already had dish network at home, with two receivers, so we just ordered another dish from e-bay with a rinky-dink tripod and were set to go.

    Right :(

    Virtually every time we went to set it up, I went through some semblance of what you've described. It really got frustrating sometimes and sometimes I just gave up in frustration.

    The problem ended up being the rinky-dink tripod, which was intended for use on a structure, not as a portable support.

    This last 4 week trip we decided to go without the TV dish AND the internet dish. We ended up watching virtually no TV, even when we were in areas with good over-the-air TV signals, and I had no dish setup frustrations.

    It turned out we liked not watching TV and we haven't watched much since we got home.

    Can't say the same about not having internet for half the time we were gone.

    I'm not sure what we'll decide for our next trip, which will likely be 8 weeks.

    Mike Goad
    currently at home in Arkansas
    Haw Creek Out 'n About

  7. That is a classic you should send into Highways...I thought only Sherri and I went through those kind of your journal girl keep it up

  8. That is a classic you should send into Highways...I thought only Sherri and I went through those kind of your journal girl keep it up

  9. That is a classic you should send into Highways...I thought only Sherri and I went through those kind of your journal girl keep it up

  10. Save this story, you will most likely be going through something like it half the time you move. At least we seem too, but we have dish. Loved hearing that even the pros have trouble.
    Hugs, Kathy

  11. Loved your story. I'm sure you weren't loving it at the time. I agree, you should send it to Highways magazine. We may experience the same situation when we get to Seattle for our workamping experience. We'll be parked among "a few trees" according to the park ranger. We'll see if the rooftop satellite antenna works, or if we'll need to use a tripod. If so, I'll be sure to read your post first to remind me of the potential problems.
    Hugs to both of you,

  12. As a 15 year veteran of full timing, I can laugh. But 15 years ago, when we got direct TV I wasn't laughing. I understand, but rest assured it will get easier and easier. I never have a problem now and have the 7 LNB HDTV dish with 3 coax lines for all the different recorders, etc.
    Its just a way of life....nobody said it was simple,,,,,but it really is!!!LOL
    Enjoy your directv!!!

    Mike (&Pat)


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