How's Your Line of Sight?

Oh My Goodness -- I thought winter would never leave!  Spring has finally sprung -- the grass is green again, the flowers are in bloom, and my allergies are running full throttle -- okay, that part is not so good, but I do love Spring and Summer in Evanston, Wyoming.  Unfortunately, this time of year can also impact your internet service by obstructing the wireless signal at your home.  

Installers generally refer to the path from your antenna to the tower as “The Line of Sight”. This pathway must be unobstructed for wireless signals to be transmitted from one device to the other.  It pretty much works along the same lines as when you point  a remote control directly at your television to change the channels.   There is also a  “Fresnel Zone” which can impact the internet signal, as well.  Think of this as the area directly above and below the line of sight.  Reflections from objects within this area can also decrease signal power.

Let’s look at a few scenarios.

Scenario #1:  Your internet service in the late Fall and Winter is pretty decent (except when there is an ice or wind storm), but every Spring and Summer, your service is “hit and miss”.  It could be due to the leaves (which are full of water) that are now on the trees.  This can cause interference with the line of sight from the tower to your antenna.  And then, if the wind blows, even if the trees are not in the line of sight, they could be blowing in and out of the fresnel zone which can impact your internet signal.

Scenario #2:  My service is fine until I have friends and family come visit for an extended period of time.  If they are coming from afar, are they arriving in a large RV which they park in an area that blocks your antenna?  This creates an obstruction between your antenna and the tower and you may need to move the RV to another area.  (And, as mentioned in a previous blog, if all those friends and family are connecting up to your wi-fi while visiting, that may also slow the internet speed at your house due to the number of devices.)

Scenario #3:  I used to have great internet service, but lately it doesn’t seem to connect as well.  If you live in an area where the wind continually blows, your antenna may have moved and is no longer pointing toward the tower.  If you think that this might be the case, give us a call.  One of our techs can do some troubleshooting, and if need be, have an installer come out to re -aim the antenna for you.

Now that I have pretty much exhausted my wealth of knowledge, my parting words of wisdom: When you get the urge to plant some trees this summer, be cautious where you dig the hole -- those trees are going to grow up one of these days!  If you have additional questions and/or concerns, please give us a call at 307-288-5491.