Monday, January 20, 2014

Our New HD Satellite Dish

A few months ago when we were at friends Bob and Sue's in Redlands, we watched some TV in the evening.  But we watched exactly what they had chosen and even some shows/programs from previous weeks.  They have HD service from DirecTV and a DVR recorder.  So we could go from one program to the next and not have to search hard for an acceptable program.  DVR recording is not new, but it is new to us.

We have had a HD TV in the Roadrunner since day one, but it has never been wired for HD.  In Port Hueneme CA, I even made the mistake of scheduling a DirecTV guy come out to install a HD DVR.  He brought a stand along dish that sits on the ground 'just in case'.  But there was no way we were going to drag around the big dish, much less find a place to store it.

Recently, I was talking to a guy with a Tiffin MH at the campground in Seal Beach and he said he loved his HD through DirecTV with his Winegard Traveler fold-down dish ontop of his MH.  He said he got it installed in Quartzsite, AZ.

Hmm...that got us to thinking.  We were headed to Quartzsite and we had heard about the Winegard Traveler.  I looked it up online, saw some videos and looked at a You-Tube install of one.  I called DirecTV and also the guy who did the install on You-Tube.  He was in Pennsylvania and offered some good information.

We have been saving $$$ for a while, so we called up Satellite Advantage in Quartzsite and talked it over.  We arrived here in Quartzsite on Tuesday and had the install scheduled at their shop on Wednesday.
Everyone we have talked to has good things to say about the Winegard Traveler.  And the reviews online are equally good.

We knew Satellite Advantage in Quartzsite had a couple of installs scheduled for Wednesday but they agreed to work us in.  About 12:30 PM Joe started on ours.
The first thing he did was to take off the Kingdome Satellite.
Joe scraped away the silicone from the four 'feet' so he could get to the three screws in each 'foot'.
And he disconnected the two feeds from the equipment inside.  Then he removed the Kingdome.
Please note the turkey and cheese sandwich on top of the roof.  Pam made Joe a sandwich, complete with some carrots.  Combined with some Gatorade, he had a great lunch.  That's Pam for you.

As with all the screws on top, Joe used a sharp and strong putty knife to remove the old silicone caulk so he could use a socket to remove the screw head.

While Joe was talking down the old equipment and lugging the new up the ladder I scraped the residue off cleanly over all the old screw holes in the roof.  Then I took some cleaner and scrubbed it.  When Joe returned I got offered a job to help Joe as an installer, but I have some online work I need to do this week.
After he penciled around the new foot print of the satellite dish mount, he put down a thin bead of new sealant/caulk.
This stuff is so strong, Joe said he almost didn't need to screw it down.  But he did anyway.

Then he went inside and drilled a hole up through the tuner/receiver/DVR cabinet to finish the connections.
Find all the right wires and connections and deciding the best path forward took a while. After he hooked it all up, Angie and Joe check out the gear in the shop, and then talked with DirecTV to get it on my account. 

I took a look at the finished product and think Joe did a very nice job.  
The stow and setup sequence on the system is impressive.  It goes through all kinds of movements before it finally lays down on top.

Best of all, tech support at DirecTV was very helpful in programming the remote.  And we love the new system.  The pictures are clearer than we have ever seen.  We can even see the golf ball in flight on the Golf Channel.  We are still learning about the DVR Genie recorder but that looks like it has a lot of potential.

So that is our HD TV install.  Another upgrade I think we will really enjoy.

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles! Until next time...


  1. Love my Traveler, Direct TV and DVR. Never watch commercials again :-). Not happy we lost Weather Channel, but maybe we'll get it back one day.

  2. Fantastic new toy..and you get great TV also. Very Nice.

  3. We love our HD Direct TV dish...were having trouble with our antennae..unable to get any local stations, but MacGyver ordered some gizmo online and now it works like a charm..Enjoy that new system.

  4. Thanks for the informative article. Is this the Winegard sk-swm3 unit? Just got a price from camping world for $2075 to remove and install the unit. Is the price competitive? I noted you had two cables going into the rig, the main unit and I am guessing the bedroom or lower storage unit. Thanks.

    1. Our total price was $2500 for everything including Genie and client DVRs.

  5. We have found the Satellite advantage very good to deal with. picked up a few items there couple years ago. And are good to go so don't need anything more this year.
    Loving the Q again.

  6. Looks like he did a very install and was diligent about sealing up any openings for leaks. Great! You might want to post on about his work, as other RV people look there for the "good guys" who do a great job.....

    Karen and Steve
    (Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard