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How to Install a Ground Pole Mount for HughesNet, iDirect, Viasat or even Starlink.

This information works for almost any installation of a ground pole mount, whether you are going to use it for the reason we posted this article (ISPSAT Satellite Internet powered by HughesNet)

NOTE that HughesNet Certified installers on the HughesNet Consumer Platform are typically not allowed to use existing or customer installed ground pole mounts, so unless you are purchasing our self-installable ISPSAT Gen5 equipment and services from us, Montana Satellite, you might want to check with your HughesNet installer to see if he or she is OK with you installing your own ground pole mount since he is going to have to be responsible for it if he or she chooses to use it!

Our ISPSAT / HughesNet Gen5 systems are self-installable and self-maintainable!  While our systems and services are mostly used for portable applications, they are also often used for residential and commercial applications where fixed/permanent mounts are more reliable than our portable mounts!  The most popular mount type for permanent installations at homes and businesses for our most popular systems is a ground pole mount which normally consists of a 8 1/2′ long, 2″ schedule 40 steel, black or galvanized pipe buried, 3 1/2 feet in the ground in 180 – 220lbs. of concrete with 5 feet above ground that the satellite dish antenna can slide down onto for a nice, reliable installation for .74m, .84m, .90m, and 1.0m antennas. These antennas require a 2 3/8″ OD mast, but here’s a guide for others: 

We sell pipe adapters if you want to adapt an existing Ground Pole Mount quickly to get the proper fit that you need also.

Starlink installations require a specific adapter type and size. We offer Pipe Adapters for Starlink  that allow you to mount a round or rectangular Starlink Dish onto any new or existing mount that has a 1 1/2″, 1 5/8″, 2″, 2 38″ OD or 2 7/8″ – 3″ OD.

This page contains our recommended method for installing a ground pole for HughesNet Services on the DW, HN, HT, or HX Platforms using antennas that require 2 3/8″ OD mounts.

Ground Pole Mount Installation for HughesNet

This photo shows a standard Ground Pole mount w/ our .90m metal Gen5 antenna!  Note the conduit running up to a few inches below the az/el cap to keep animals from chewing on it!

Materials for a HughesNet Ground Pole Mount

For a standard ground pole mount in most areas, we recommend the following materials!  We encourage you to run your coaxial cable in conduit to prevent animals from damaging it!  We typically use 3/4″ – 1″ gray PVC schedule 40 conduits. If you use elbows to go up the pole or up the side of your home or business, be sure to use sweeping elbows and not sharp 90’s.  You can choose to glue the conduit together if you wish, but it’s usually not necessary to do so!

pvc-pipe
PVC Elbows used for Satellite System Installations
PVC couplers used for Satellite System Installations

180 – 220# of Premix Concrete Mix  (You can choose to use standard or fast-setting, and they come in several different bag sizes, 50lb., 60lb., 80lb. etc. as well!)

We recommend 180 – 220# of Premix Concrete Mix for or standard Ground Pole Mounts for everything except 1.2m and larger antennas. (You can choose to use standard or fast-setting, and they come in several different bag sizes, 50lb., 60lb., 80lb. etc. as well!) If you’re installing a smaller antenna, I would still recommend 150# or so.

Pre-Mix Concrete provides ballast to hold your ground pole mount into place.
Fast-Setting Concrete can be used to speed up your ground pole mount.

We recommend 1 or 2   3/8″ x 6″ or 3/8″ x 10″ spikes to go through the pipe to prevent it from turning in the concrete once it’s setup. You could also weld something on to the pipe that will accomplish the same task.

Basic Ground Pole Mount Instructions

  1. Drill a 3/8″ hole through the pipe, approx. 6″ from the bottom of one end of the pole and pound a spike through it.  This simply keeps the pipe from turning in the concrete, once the concrete is set up.  Option:  You can drill a second hole through the pipe 6″ or so higher up and add a 2nd spike if you wish as shown in the photo below for additional stability.
Recommended width of a hole for a ground pole mount for HughesNet
Depth for Ground Pole Mounts for HughesNet

Dig a hole in the ground where you have a clear line-of-site to the satellite you will be using.   Make it approximately  3 1/2 feet deep and approx. 14″ diameter.

We usually dig down for a path for the conduit elbow and conduit to come out through the concrete and away from the pole into the ground at whatever conduit depth you are seeking.

run the conduit before you pour concrete for a ground pole mount

Mixing the Cement/Concrete, etc.

First… here are a couple of YouTube videos that show you the correct concrete mix/consistency!  These videos show them mixing it in wheelbarrows, but there are other ways as well (below).

a. Wheelbarrow and shovel or rake, etc. (as shown above):  You can mix the concrete in a wheelbarrow with a  shovel, rake or hoe (as shown in the videos above) and then pour it into the hole.

b. Buckets:  You can use 2 buckets and put some premix concrete in each bucket and then add water slowly to each bucket, pouring the premix back and forth between the buckets to mix it up until you get the concrete to the right consistency!

c. Cement Mixer:  If you own or rent a concrete mixer, you can mix the concrete in the mixer and then pour it into the hole.

d. In-hole mixing:  This is the easiest method by far, but it does not ensure the best consistency or stability as mixing the concrete outside of the hole to ensure a good mix and the proper consistency, but it certainly works if you do it right!  With this method, you just basically just pour the premix into the hole and then add approx. 1 gallon of water per 50 lb. bag of premix. We recommend the 50lb bags of Quikrete for this method!  You can put one bag in add a gallon of water, put another bag in the hole, add another gallon, etc. until the hole is full or within an inch or two of the top if you prefer to put dirt or gravel back over the top once it sets up.

Make sure the pole is level!  You can use a pole level or a torpedo level to check to make sure the pole is level as you are adding the mix to the hole!   If you use a magnetic torpedo level, make sure you check both sides to make sure it’s level in both directions!

A pole or post level makes leveling a post or pole easy!
Torpedo Levels make leveling a pipe, pole, mast or non-pen mount fast and easy.

Allow the pole to set up approx. 24 hours if you used standard concrete or at least 2 – 4 hours if you used fast-setting concrete before installing the satellite dish!

Custom (Larger and/or Taller) Ground Pole Mounts

We recommend that you only go 5′ – 6′ above ground with the standard ground pole mounts in order to prevent signal loss due the antenna and pole swaying in high winds!  Whenever customers request a taller ground pole mount for any reason, we use a larger, longer, heavier pole, such as a 2 1/2″ Schedule 40 steel pole or even a 3″ Schedule 40 steel pole and then adapt it down to the correct 2″ OD size for antenna for the top 8″ or so of the pole!  You can use threaded pipe w/ a bell reducer to adapt it down or you can weld the pipe together or whatever you prefer, but the pole has to be VERY solid in order to provide reliable service.  Any movement can create errors in transmission and/or signal loss.

Attached ground pole mounts:  Sometimes you can run a pole up the side of the building with supports attaching to the building in order to get above a roofline and to ensure that the pole is properly supported!

Grounding a Ground Pole Mount

If you are doing a fixed / permanent ground pole mount installation, make sure to ground your satellite dish according to your local electrical codes!  HughesNet has guidelines for grounding your satellite dish as well, however, local codes supersede HughesNet grounding requirements!  Our systems ship with a coaxial cable ground block that is included in with the modems packaging that is typically used outside of the home to ground/bond the outer metal shielding of the coax to the main building ground!  Be sure to order another piece of cable to go from the other side of the ground block to your modem. You can usually ground the satellite dish antenna to the ground pole mount and meet most electrical codes in many areas!  Contact us if you would like more information on how to properly ground your satellite Internet system!

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