Satellite TV is notorious for many things. If you have a Satellite service, you have gone through the problems of poor signals, bad reception, the huge equipment cost, and faulty service. However, most of the other problems can be nullified but the problem of poor reception due to adverse weather gets on our nerves every time. This is the major difference between a cable and satellite service. The cable providers use a special network of coaxial cables. These cables are underground and any change in the weather hardly influences the cable reception. Therefore, providers like Spectrum cable do well in customer retention and service. Conversely, satellite signals are disrupted due to stormy or rainy weather.
In areas that receive heavy rainfall, the signals can sputter in and out leaving you frustrated. This is common for the folks living in areas with heavy rainfall or snow. Snow accumulation on a dish can also affect the reception.
In this article, we will discuss rain fade that is a common phenomenon in satellite TV. How it affects the reception and what are the possible solutions for this problem.
What is rain fade?
Rain fade refers to the interruption in the satellite service as a result of rain, snow, or bad weather in general. The weather is so intense that your dish can’t get the signals in. In technical terms, rain fade applies to the process in which natural phenomenon such as rain, snow, and sleet absorb the microwave-range signals in satellite communication leading to a path loss. This is true for electrical storms and major natural catastrophes like a hurricane causing a significant interference in the delivery of satellite signals. Consequently, the loss of signal quality hinders your service quality or disrupts it entirely.
Rain fade is also called rain attenuation.
How does it affect the satellite signals?
Satellite signals travel wirelessly. The satellite dish is installed on your rooftop. However, it must be directly facing the southern sky and must have a clear view. What happens during a rainstorm is that the raindrops absorb or weaken the signals on their way to your satellite dish. Moreover, there is another phenomenon associated with this distortion. Signal scattering is also very common. In signal scattering, the signals that travel in the form of electromagnetic waves may diffract or refract around the rain droplets.
If you have a mini-dish, these are designed to keep the signal loss due to weather in mind. However, if you live in an area with frequent rainfall, you should get a large dish. They can compensate better for signal strength reduction due to weather. Bear in mind, rain isn’t the only culprit. Even snow, high winds, fog, and ice can affect the satellite signals.
Possible solutions for rain fade and weather-related Satellite problems
There are many things you can do at your end to deal with this situation. However, it is better to wait for the weather to set. Here is what you can do:
- If your satellite is located under trees or under a shed where water droplets fall directly on the dish, relocate it to a place where there are no chances of water falling.
- If your satellite dish is mounted on a wall, you can need something to protect it from the outside. Usually, fiberglass installed in front of the dish is the perfect guard for the satellite. It acts as a shield and water does not affect its ability to capture signals.
- Another great solution to prevent water from clinging to the satellite dish is by spraying it with a non-stick cooking spray. It all depends upon the situation of rain in your area. Therefore, it is better to spray it once every three months.
- If you face some distortion, there are chances that the dish is out of alignment. High winds can change the direction of your dish when it is mounted on a pole. Although this alignment can be done by yourself. However, it is better to call a professional.
If the signal problem persists, then it is better to call the customer service of your satellite provider to fix the issue for you. Before calling, try all the hacks mentioned in the article.