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Old 11-19-2019, 09:23 AM   #1
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DirecTV Reflector dish screw hole failure - New

About a year or two ago, an owner published a new thread showing that his reflector dish for his WINEGARD Trav'ler Sat installation had mysteriously blown off his coach. Frankly, I think some of us thought that maybe someething else had caused the problem (a limb or something), and my memory is that he replaced the reflector dish and it happened again. Memories are vague.

Well, I now know that he was spot on with his concern.

I recently completed a transfer from DirecTV which I could no longer live with due to their completely incapable customer service for a motorcoach and switch to Dish Network in hopes that they are a much more customer service company than DirecTV. So needed to replace the whole LMB and arm to Dish's version of those items, in addition to DishNetworks version of the reflector. Its an easy conversion if you get the complete written manual on how to do this from Winegard.

However, when I headed to the roof to make this swap of equipment, I discovered that one of the only 2 screws that hold the reflector had completely severed from the the steel reflector. The picture at the bottom of this post will show this clearly. One of the screw holes had broken away from the rest of the dish material about a half inch circular section of steel. In fact, if you look closely, the steel had broken free long enough ago that the metal edge had started to rust.

Now, a DirecTV reflector is really held on by only 2 screws (not 4) There are two anchor screws in the top of the anchor plate for the reflector and instead of screws at the bottom 2 positions, there are metal tabs punched out of the reflector that go into 2 slots at the bottom of the mount. Now, if both top screws are firmly in place and the metal has not separated, there would still be significant ability of the reflector to vibrate a small amount from the onrush of air when collapsed and moving down the highway. One of my screws held the hole thing in place and its clear that it would eventually fail just like it's twin. I called Winegard about this while I got instructions for the conversion and was told "Well, that is a known issue with reflectors that we get from DirecTV.... we have had no similar problems with the reflectors that we buy from Dish Network..... Great, right?

The Dish Network reflector in contrast bolts firmly to the support bracket with 4 larger screws through 4 identical depressions in the reflector. The bolts have black flat heads and square top areas on the bolt threads so the bolts will seat in only one way. Tighten everything down tight. There is also a pix of the 4 bolt Dish reflector mounted

So, I am publicly apologizing to the owner who posted about his two reflectors mysteriously flying away while going down the road.... I now understand that you were simply dealing with a known defect in the DirecTV reflectors. And anyone who has a factory installed OEM DirecTV Trav'ler on their roof needs to check their reflector several times a year as failures appear to be common. You too may find your reflector mysteriously missing from your turret.

Gary
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Old 11-19-2019, 10:52 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary.Jones View Post
About a year or two ago, an owner published a new thread showing that his reflector dish for his WINEGARD Trav'ler Sat installation had mysteriously blown off his coach. Frankly, I think some of us thought that maybe someething else had caused the problem (a limb or something), and my memory is that he replaced the reflector dish and it happened again. Memories are vague.

Well, I now know that he was spot on with his concern.

I recently completed a transfer from DirecTV which I could no longer live with due to their completely incapable customer service for a motorcoach and switch to Dish Network in hopes that they are a much more customer service company than DirecTV. So needed to replace the whole LMB and arm to Dish's version of those items, in addition to DishNetworks version of the reflector. Its an easy conversion if you get the complete written manual on how to do this from Winegard.

However, when I headed to the roof to make this swap of equipment, I discovered that one of the only 2 screws that hold the reflector had completely severed from the the steel reflector. The picture at the bottom of this post will show this clearly. One of the screw holes had broken away from the rest of the dish material about a half inch circular section of steel. In fact, if you look closely, the steel had broken free long enough ago that the metal edge had started to rust.

Now, a DirecTV reflector is really held on by only 2 screws (not 4) There are two anchor screws in the top of the anchor plate for the reflector and instead of screws at the bottom 2 positions, there are metal tabs punched out of the reflector that go into 2 slots at the bottom of the mount. Now, if both top screws are firmly in place and the metal has not separated, there would still be significant ability of the reflector to vibrate a small amount from the onrush of air when collapsed and moving down the highway. One of my screws held the hole thing in place and its clear that it would eventually fail just like it's twin. I called Winegard about this while I got instructions for the conversion and was told "Well, that is a known issue with reflectors that we get from DirecTV.... we have had no similar problems with the reflectors that we buy from Dish Network..... Great, right?

The Dish Network reflector in contrast bolts firmly to the support bracket with 4 larger screws through 4 identical depressions in the reflector. The bolts have black flat heads and square top areas on the bolt threads so the bolts will seat in only one way. Tighten everything down tight. There is also a pix of the 4 bolt Dish reflector mounted

So, I am publicly apologizing to the owner who posted about his two reflectors mysteriously flying away while going down the road.... I now understand that you were simply dealing with a known defect in the DirecTV reflectors. And anyone who has a factory installed OEM DirecTV Trav'ler on their roof needs to check their reflector several times a year as failures appear to be common. You too may find your reflector mysteriously missing from your turret.

Gary
Gary, that was Dave “hogdriver” on iRV2.
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Old 11-19-2019, 12:50 PM   #3
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X2 on what Gary said. When I switched to DishI found the DirecTV reflector bolt holes misshapen and just waiting for failure. Camper was just over one year old.
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Old 11-19-2019, 02:26 PM   #4
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We were on our 3rd for the same reason when we switched last week. It's always amazing to me when someone questions a posters issue ( no offense intended Gary ) until they have it happen to them ! Usually when I read a post such as that I always try to remember to check on my coach just for peace of mind.
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Old 11-19-2019, 08:59 PM   #5
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I had the same problem on my Dish reflector. They changed it out when I upgraded my system, and the signal strength nearly doubled.
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Old 11-20-2019, 09:52 AM   #6
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Jim

You might want to forward that same information to Winegard as when I talked to them last week, the customer service person indicated that they were aware of this problem with DirecTV sat reflectors on their Winegard mounts, but had heard no similar concerns in reference to the Dish reflectors.

You pix and data clearly show that even with Dish supplied reflectors, this probably may occur with their product also.

This suggests that both manufacturers (DirecTV and Dish) probably are designing reflectors for stationary antenna installations and that both of them are probably not appropriate for mobile installations.... Maybe Winegard needs to spec reflectors that will handle their primary installation expectations.

Gary
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Old 11-21-2019, 12:24 AM   #7
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I had to service my DTV system a while back and I too noticed the mounting points were stressed and cracked. Since the coach was less that a year old I called wineguard to get a replacement only to be told no. They said "the bolts were over tightened" causing the cracks. I asked what the torque spec was. They stated there was no spec. So how did they know it was over tightened? Rather than argue with them, I just called Joyce who cheerfully sent me a new one. I have yet to replace it, but after reading this post I most certainly will.

Thanks for the post
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Old 11-21-2019, 05:58 AM   #8
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The DISH reflectors have the same issue. Cracks will develop over time. I had them on my 2 year old DISH reflector.

Here's hogdrivers fix for the DISH reflector. New bolts and some fender washers:

Dish at Home, DirectTV In Motor Home?
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Old 11-21-2019, 07:07 AM   #9
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The DISH reflectors have the same issue. Cracks will develop over time. I had them on my 2 year old DISH reflector.

Here's hogdrivers fix for the DISH reflector. New bolts and some fender washers:

Dish at Home, DirectTV In Motor Home?
I was thinking of doing just that, but worried it might affect reception
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Old 11-21-2019, 07:15 AM   #10
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I was thinking of doing just that, but worried it might affect reception
He said it did not, I'll be doing mine soon as well. Doubt it would have a noticeable impact but will let you know...
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Old 11-21-2019, 08:59 AM   #11
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He said it did not, I'll be doing mine soon as well. Doubt it would have a noticeable impact but will let you know...
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Old 11-21-2019, 10:24 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Gary.Jones View Post
Jim

You might want to forward that same information to Winegard as when I talked to them last week, the customer service person indicated that they were aware of this problem with DirecTV sat reflectors on their Winegard mounts, but had heard no similar concerns in reference to the Dish reflectors.

You pix and data clearly show that even with Dish supplied reflectors, this probably may occur with their product also.

This suggests that both manufacturers (DirecTV and Dish) probably are designing reflectors for stationary antenna installations and that both of them are probably not appropriate for mobile installations.... Maybe Winegard needs to spec reflectors that will handle their primary installation expectations.

Gary
Thanks Gary. I'll give them a call, and get back with you.
Jim
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Old 11-22-2019, 07:41 AM   #13
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Are there torque specs on those bolts in the directions?
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Old 11-22-2019, 08:51 AM   #14
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Smitty

I dont think it is a torquing issue with those screws at all. No, there were no torque specs, but if you look at the pix that people are providing, it appears to me to simply be a metal fatigue problem of the steel in the satellite reflector itself.... these things are just not made sufficiently strong by the OEMs. Then they are used in a non-standard fashion on our coaches. These are designed to be house mounted and probably subjected to 70+ mph winds once or twice in their entire lifetime.... our dish reflectors on our roofs are subjects to 65+ mph winds every time we are on interstates. Its pretty clear to me that these reflectors are simply not sturdy enough for the use that we put them through. Unless someone starts marketing reflectors designed specifically for our use on motorcoaches (double or triple thick stamped steel), then our reflectors will need to become part of our annual or biennial maintenance checks. If an owner only drives their coach from Michigan to Florida and back once a year, probably not a problem. Someone like me who is still trying to see the entire country, this is probably a recurring expense.

Gary
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