Autumn leaves are turning — get your dish ready for winter

It’s finally the first day of autumn, and it’s no fun to think that snowy days are coming again. Still, it’s the best time to check out all your outdoor technology before it’s too cold to go outside.

This year’s special, but also just the same

Last year, we didn’t really know what the winter would bring. Yet, as we worked from our home offices, we had begun to understand how important our home electronics could be. This year, we don’t know if there will be another crushing surge of sickness, or if we will be able to live fairly normal lives. Still, no matter what, you’re probably going to be spending a bit more time inside. It’s time now to make sure that everything in your home is ready for winter-long use.

Here’s what you have to do

This year, pay close attention to insect damage and oxidation of your cables. Just being out in the sun can make cable sheaths dry and cracked, and expose the delicate wires inside. Remember those drip loops you were going to put in, back in the spring? Chances are you forgot, so take a look at any connectors where water may have gathered to see if they’ve become oxidized.

Insects are a big part of summer and even the harmless ones can do damage to your delicate electronics. Some insects have been known to build nests in the nooks and crannies of a satellite dish, and otherwise harmless ones can secrete acids that can eat through cables if they aren’t tended to.

Where there are insects, there are birds, and the combination of a high perch and those ants marching one by one (hurrah, hurrah) may prove irresistible to feathered flying fowl. Take a look at your antenna for signs that the elements have bent from weight and clean up any droppings that have accumulated on the dish or antenna. It’s no fun but someone has to do it.

If you have a dish heater, now is the time to test it to make sure it’s working. Because of the amount of electricity needed, it’s even more important to inspect the dish heater cable for any signs of wear. The roof is the last place you want to be on an icy winter day.

Of course, you’ll have to plan your maintenance time carefully, with college football on Saturday, NFL on Sunday, postseason baseball, preseason hockey and basketball all floating your way, but a little time spent in October will save you a lot of suffering in February.

Shop for the things you’ll need

When it comes to all the accessories you’ll need to live your best digital life, there’s only one place to look. Solid Signal is your source for all the electronic doodads and doohinkeys you’ll need for winterizing and preparing. If you are having trouble finding everything you need, or need some advice on tasks to take on, call us at 888-233-7563 during East Coast business hours. Our team is happy to help!

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.