Internet, Satellite Dishes, and Trees

I have a love/hate relationship with trees.  I love the beauty, the shade, and the ambiance they provide.  I hate that they block our satellite dish from connecting us to Internet.  It took me a while before I had the nerve to ask a park for a site without trees.  That was sacrilege!  But, I got over it.  We have plenty of opportunity to enjoy trees on walks and driving around.  When I’m ‘home’ I want my Internet!  I’ve learned to simply ask if there are any ‘satellite friendly’ sites.  Even though relatively few people have the Internet satellite that we do, the TV satellites have the same issue with trees, and park personnel are accustomed to dealing with the issue.

The following pictures are from Oregon and California.  Our dish did get connected here, even with all the trees.  It doesn’t need a wide open area, just a hole thru the branches (in the exact right spot) will do.

Satellite dish connected thru an Oregon forest Satellite connected thru the trees in California

In the 5 years that we’ve been traveling and using our Datastorm Internet Satellite dish, trees have not bothered us.  We were always able to find a hole thru the trees big enough for our dish to find its satellite and connect.

Until now.

We are in New England and I’ve never seen so many trees!  As I mentioned in last week’s article, we had no connection (Satellite, Wi-Fi, or Cellular) in Acadia National park.  The picture below is from a commercial park in central Maine.  We didn’t even try to raise the dish here.  Luckily, this park had good free Wi-Fi, so we got online all we wanted. 

No satellite connection here!

This next photo is from Burlingame State Park in Rhode Island.  No satellite connection available here!  And no Wi-Fi.  Luckily the Verizon signal was good enough to use the Broadband Connect feature of our phone.

Burlingame State Park in Rhode Island

The angle of your dish makes a difference
Another thing that makes it more difficult to connect here in New England is that we are so far north and east.  The satellite is in geosynchronous orbit over the equator somewhere in the Pacific.  That means that it appears to stay in the exact same place … it is orbiting at the same rate the earth is spinning.  For more info see this NASA site.

Think about it, if we were parked near the equator, our satellite dish would be pointing straight up.  If the photo above was taken in Southern California, we may have been able to connect because the dish would be aimed higher and may be shooting over the trees.  Here in New England, the dish is pointing much closer to the horizon, and even short trees get in the way.

Just another example that, if you need the Internet as you travel, you need to use all three methods to connect.

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