on December 1, 2010
Every winter for the past 7 years (as long as I've been a Directv customer) after the first snow fell I would say: "This year I'm putting up a dish heater". Well I finally did it and I can't believe a) how easy it was and b) how well it works!
You can check out the images I added to see the different stages of the install. But basically I was surprised how well and thorough the instructions were put together. Sometimes for niche items like this the manuals are lacking and even though the install directions were only 2 pages, they answered all your questions.
First, if you're installing this after winter has begun - be aware that you have to apply the adhesive-backed element onto the dish in at least a temperature environment of 50 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. So I realized that since I was going to install my heater on the back of the dish (instead of the front - the instructions say you can do either) and since it was 35 degrees out - it would be easiest to remove the dish and bring it in the house.
If you're installing on a slimline like mine - it's just 4 easy bolts to remove and the dish is off! And it absolutely does not mess with your alignment.
So I removed the 4 bolts, brought it in the house - cleaned it - and let it warm up.
Then I began the applying the element to the back of the dish per instructions - starting in the middle and then peeling the backing off each "wing" one at a time.
I put the dish back up and viola! Picture was still there perfectly.
I then ran the included wire to the power transformer inside my house. I didn't need even half of the 100 feet that they give you and shortening it was a cinch.
The power transformer is big and heavy. The manual says that the element has a thermostat and only turns on when the temperature falls to or below freezing. So technically you could leave it on all the time and it would only heat up when it's cold enough. However, I'm switching mine off at the transformer when it's not snowing because really that's the only time you need it. Rain or just cold doesn't seem to affect the signal (at least in Utah).
And I figure it saves power to not have the transformer on all the time.
Oddly enough it snowed 6 inches the same night of the day I installed it - so I got to see how well it worked quickly. It is awesome! Not a stitch of snow on my dish at all! When the snow was finished I just turned it off.
If your dish is on the roof or even if you're just tired of brushing it off. You owe it to yourself to do this!
Hands down - the best $130 bucks I ever spent!
on December 15, 2011
I purchased the hot shot dish heater based on the other review and I couldn't agree more. Definitely worth the money. I have been risking life and limb for 2 years climbing on my roof during blizzards to get the dish cleaned off. Depending on the type of snow, the trip to the top of the roof was like an adventure sport. So when I read the other review, I definitely could relate to his scenario. The Hot shot was easy to put on, again I took his advice and removed the dish and brought it inside to attach the adhesive heater to the back of the dish. Very easy to take the dish down (4 bolts) and put back up. The directions were simple and the hardest part was making sure to get it on without bubbles. Once that was done, the connections were simple and I put the transformer under my eave next to a plug in. THe next day we had a hugh storm, 2 feet of snow and the dish heater worked like a champ. 2nd best money I ever spent behind my snow blower.
on November 26, 2014
So far, this heater is the solution to a problem that had been vexing me for years: when it snows heavily, our dish gets covered in snow. Eventually, the signal is lost and our DirecTV stops working. We've been a subscriber for 15 years and every winter, I've had to "solve" the snowy dish problem by standing in my front yard and throwing snowballs at the thing until I knocked enough snow off. Given that it's often windy and the dish is quite high up, it's not a trivial shot.
Last winter, I did some research and discovered this product. I bought it and waited until the warm weather months this year to finally climb up on the roof and install it. As many have mentioned, removing the 4 bolts holding the dish in place is easy. I brought the dish down off the roof to work on it. The heating element is packed up in its box such that it's folded over a couple of times. I found that leaving it in the sun for a while made the project much easier because the heating element was much more pliable when nice and warm. I chose to put the heating element on the back of the dish. I figure this keeps it out of the sun and less exposed to the elements. My dish points southwest and this is the direction most of our weather comes from. I was extremely careful and methodical and got excellent results. I ran the power cable from the dish and into the attic of my house where the other satellite cables enter. I also installed an A/C outlet in the attic near the dish to supply power.
As many have noted, running the heater all winter seems a waste given that it turns on when the temperature is below 32F. Since that's almost all the time in winter where I live (Michigan), but it's only snowing a small percentage of that time, I wanted to be able to switch the element on when I actually needed it. However the switch for the heater is on the transformer, which is in the attic of my house and is only accessible via a ceiling access panel and a ladder--not very easy to do.
I chose to solve this problem with a Belkin "WeMo" WiFi switch. I connected the heater's transformer to the outlet via one of these switches, and programmed it for my WiFi. Now I can turn the heater on and off from my smart phone (if I'm connected to my home WiFi). This works great and completely solved my problem.
We got about 6" of snow here recently, and to test my new setup, I waited until there was some accumulation on the dish before turning it on from my phone. Sure enough, after about 30 minutes I could clearly see where the snow was melted, and my dish worked great. All in all, I'm very pleased with the way this all works and would highly recommend it to others.
on April 29, 2014
Currently on my second power supply through only one season. First one overheated and cracked. Second one worked but power supply case cracked and came apart. Probably repairable with some Bondo or fiberglass. Customer service would not answer my emails. Calling directly got the following response. "we'll replace under warranty but you have to pay to send it back". This second one is bigger and heavier so the cost to send it back would have been about $20. I just wanted to know why they keep cracking but no help from them. Cheap China product. I'll try to fix it myself and hope for the best.
on January 24, 2015
I installed mine this past summer, so I couldn't post a review until now. I removed my Dish brand oval dish so I could install the adhesive grid on the back of the dish as recommended. Just 4 bolts and the dish is easily removed. In took extreme care in applying the grid. The applique relies on the the metal dish to draw the heat off the foil grid. Any air bubbles in the applique will cause the grid to be lifted off the metal dish, and this can cause a hot spot in the foil which can burn out. I bolted the dish back in place and connected the wires from the supply. This is a very easy process. From there, it was just a waiting game. The first test of the heater came in early December when we had several inches of snow on a brutally cold day. Despite the fluffy nature of the snow, it caused the signal to drop enough where I lost reception. I went down to the garage where the power supply is located, hit the button, and within 10 minutes had a clear dish and my signal restored. We just had a substantial overnight snowfall of the heavy wet, sticky variety. Again, I hit the switch, and within 5 minutes, the entire covering of snow slid off the dish all at once, hitting the ground from 2 stories up with a muffled thump. I am delighted with the performance. I formerly would have to get extension poles to my snow rake out, and duct tape an SUV washing brush to the end in order to reach the dish. Then I'd have to maintain the dish thoughout the snowfall.
Two recommendations if I may.
1) I only turn it on when needed. There is a thermostat to control it's operation, but I figured why have it on in its not required.
2) If you have a Dish brand oval dish with the words "Turbo HD" stenciled of the face of it, the oval heater will not fit! Satellite Oasis was very accommodating, and let me return the first one for a round heater. It was stressed to me to not touch the release paper on the heater or else it was not returnable. So try the heater on the dish BEFORE you pull the release paper off. The round heater seems to do just as good of a job as the oval one would have done. The heat quickly spreads out to the edges of the dish and cleans everything off.
I'm sold on this, and completely satisfied!
on April 15, 2014
These things work great. I have 2, one for TV and one for Internet. I have had for several years and have not had to go on roof during storm with a broom since. But I will say I just had to replace both power packs at $70 a piece. I will take blame for second power pack, when first one went out, I hooked both heaters to the one working power pack. DONT DO THIS! It got so hot I couldn't touch it, I'm lucky I didn't start a fire, I'm glad I checked it when it did. I am going to start turning the power packs off when it's just cold and not snowing, I think the power packs will last a lot longer if only used 10-20 days a year when it's snowing rather than 100 days a year when it's just cold and wasting electricity.
on December 17, 2012
I have a DirecTV "slimline" style antenna mounted on the roof.
I chose to rate this product with 5 stars because it was easy to install and works as advertised. I needed to install it during a real cold spell, so I removed the antenna dish from the roof mount and took it into the house so the dish could warm up. I elected to install on the back of the dish (the model I purchased was designed for front or rear mount).
With the dish on a table, it was incredibly easy to adhere the "blanket" to the dish. The instructions made it easy. Then I took the dish back to the roof and reattached it to the mount.
Two snow storms later, I can tell you the heater works flawlessly (no snow build up on the dish). One thing to note. The heater blanket cannot control cloud cover or size of snow flakes... so you might still have times of no satellite reception.
on November 26, 2014
Did some research, this is the one I needed for my Slimline dish. Easy Install, took about 2 hours to remove the dish, clean, attach heater film, re-install dish with four bolts (does not change alignment), run the small wire to the transformer, plug in, test.
Just a note, DirecTV recommends NOT installing on the face of the dish. Some people do, and they say it works and doesn't change their signal strength. That may be, if you have a perfect view of the southern sky... I don't, so I installed it on the back. It is now protected from the weather, sun, etc. I figured it would work better and last longer.
on November 21, 2015
I bought this a couple of months ago, with the hope that it would do what the other reviewers said it would do.
We just had our first snow of the year, and I totally forgot to turn the heater on. I sat down to watch a game, and the signal started to break up. As soon as that happened, I went and turned the unit on, not really knowing if the heater was even going to work.
Ten minutes later, my picture returned are sharp as ever! I didn't have to get my extension ladder out, didn't have to climb up the snowy rungs, clutching a broom,and best of all, my wife was thrilled that this old man, never left the ground!
I placed my heater on the back side of my Directv Slimline dish.
Placing the heater mat on the dish is easy, just follow the instructions, and take your time. From start to finish, took about 1 hour.
Great investment, at least it is for me.
on September 20, 2013
Installed fall of 2012, used it 3 or 4 times this past winter. Works better that I expected. I keep it turnd off, which is easy with the power switch on the transformer, and energize it when needed. It is designed to turn the heating element on at close to freezing temp, but there is some current draw when the heater is off.
I took the dish off the roof bracket, brought indoors and applied the heater to the back of the dish. Reinstalled the dish, ran the wires...done.
No more risk of life and limb to clear off snow and ice!