Snowjob anyone??

Not sure if anyone has ever posted info on this subject but I thought I would share it with the group as now that I have it figured it sure saves a lot of hair-pulling when dealing with outages for customers.

Since winter arrived I have had a couple of customers complain that their service was not running… on the first one I spent considerable time trying to resolve the issue without any success. Then I asked where the dish/SM was located as I was not the one to install it. When the showed me that it was attached to a large tree in the back yard about 4 feet off the ground I started wondering if there could be any type of ground interference so I asked him how hard would it be to plow or snowblow the snow on the ground in front of the dish and explained why I wanted it gone. He said no problem and fired up his farm tractor and in no time there was a path about 6 feet wide and a 100 feet long in the direction of the mountain where we have our AP located.
Sure enough as soon as the snow was gone service was restored. So I asked him if he would be willing to keep track of server vs snow. Seems the three times we have had a signifigant snowfall (15-40cm) service went down until the snow was plowed.
So a couple of days ago a different customer called because they were out of service and after checking the usual stuff I asked if his dish was mounted close to the ground and the answer was yes about 3-4 feet off the ground on a post… I asked him if he had a tractor or snowblower and he did so I asked him to remove the snow by way of a path 6 feet wide by a min of 50 feet… He called me back about an hour later and told me I was a genius as he now has service again…
So like I said at the beginning of the post, hopefully this tip will assist others that may be suffering from the same scenerio.
Vanderhoof, B.C.

Since both of these were low to the ground installs I’d say originally they were low signal level installs and the “ground bounce” was giving acceptable signal levels. I guess snow could give some reflection somewhat like a tin roof would.


Good to know!

First of all, thanks for the info tlsarles.

Second, since we’re on the subject of snow. Has anyone else had snow related problems? If so, would you care to share how you fixed them?

When mounting on the roof with reflectors it can cause problems if they are on the downslope pointed up parrallell to the roof.

Probably multipath etc. enters in when the snow comes and acts as a radio reflector.

So now we make sure to mount on the very edge of the roof if possible overhanging. The more clearance from the ground or roof the better.

I have had the same experience as Sterling - multipath has caused issues before - even tower mounted at 120’. We have found most multipath issues can be solved by moving the antenna/reflector 1-2 feet up or down. With installs that close to the ground, I would say up! :lol: