As a custom installation company, we always  install equipment in a location which provides the best possible vantage point and  data feedback.  This doesn’t necessarilly  make for the easiest service access.

A couple years ago, we installed a complete automation system in a home in New Hampshire. This included DirecTV, security cameras, and a weather station by Weatherhawk.  The DirecTV dish was installed on the roof, and the  camera and weather station were installed on an abandoned telephone pole, about 25′ off the ground. This height allowed for the best camera angle and most accurate weather feedback. The DirecTV and weather station were acting up recently and needed some TLC. To troubleshoot and fix the issue we rented an excellent 25′ trailered man-lift. It hitches to any vehicle with a 2″ ball hitch for easy towing.

It has outriggers and a 500 lb capacity. It’s also light enough to be pushed or pulled around by a couple people.
Within a couple hours we were able to swap out the weather station and the satellite dish without endangering ourselves or damaging the property.  It was also a lot of fun to get a magic carpet ride up to the equipment. Since we had the rental until the following morning, I was trying to think of projects at my house requiring a lift so I could play with it a little more. 

I find that walking through rental shops or home improvement stores are the best inspiration for new projects. Sometimes I’ll take on a home project simply to justify purchasing a new power tool…I’m sure I’m not alone in this.  Just remember,  after buying the tool, you still have to finish the project!