Bouncing off Satellites - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-16-2005, 10:53 PM   #1
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OK, so I got that nifty dish in a case. It is small, weighs a whopping 14 lbs and is easy to set up and to store.

Now, It was easy to test, since my home dish is at street level.. I plopped it next to my already set up one, guestimated position, and walla.. picture on my TV.

Now, what happens when I don't have my dish as a pattern?

The "finder" dubiculous that came with the dish requires a PHD to use, I haven't a clue what my Azmuth is and I was only smart enough to find South with it. It has a goofy wheel that picks out cities and I line up markers, from there.. I haven't a clue!

One can get meters off ebay all day for 10 bucks, but.. how do I know if I have the right satelite? Is there a Formula for Dummies for this?

Does it really need to be as precise as what I find on the net? My current home dish has been hit by so many snow plows that when it gets out of whack, I simply go up to the street and turn the dish until I can see a pic on my TV down below. I have never "Fine tuned" it, and I also don't seem to have a grey area of reception. It's either all good, or no reception at all.

How do I know which satelite is Direct TVs? All I know is it's named DSS. Do they wave and say "Over here! I am DSS!"

Any info is appreciated, but is there a generic formula to use? Or should I just use the meter I will be getting, point in the general direction and adjust to taste?
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Old 11-17-2005, 05:10 PM   #2
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Oh, Come on now..

I can't believe not ONE of you gadget heads out there have some helpful hints about setting up your dish.

I will tell you what I DO know..

Dust Ruffles around the dish make for poor signal quality.

And what about all these FREE stations I can get? Do I just take my card out of my box and search? Arabic is not a second language, but I understand the UK and Canada have quite a few.

None of the info I have found so far tells me about my box set up.
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Old 11-17-2005, 06:29 PM   #3
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(I can't believe not ONE of you gadget heads out there have some helpful hints about setting up your dish.)

Seeing as how you asked.I only set mine up after walking around campground.What I am doing is looking at how others have done it.Like what direction and so on.If I am really lucky the owners will be sitting outside and I say hello and get into a satelight conversation.
Now I go and set mine up.SEE easy
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Old 11-17-2005, 06:40 PM   #4
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I think the problem with response here may be too much information - and thus time needed to find and assemble it - rather than a lack of information.

I would not worry about getting the wrong satellite, as the receiver is programmed only to use the signal from the right one, so you'll know the right one when you get it. Also, the DBS (Direct Broadcast Satellite) transmitters are much more powerful than most, so our little dishes and cheap amplifiers don't really notice the other types of service.

I think DSS is just a generic term for Digital Satellite System. Direct TV's Technology page describes how the system works and lists the satellites which they use, which are apparently groups in three postions in orbit - I'm guessing that you are told with your service arrangements which satellite(s) you should point at.

You do need a place to start looking, and as I think Gina has already found there are websites which will tell you what elevation (angle above the horizon) and azimuth (compass angle) to look - it depends, of course, on both where you are and which satellite you need. For times one is not on-line, printed tables by city or by latitude and longitude are available for specific satellites - one is printed in the manual which comes with every Bell ExpressVu system (one of the two Canadian services). I found that I didn't have to be unreasonably precise to get some indication, and just tuned for best signal from there. It is a lot easier if the vertical post of the mount is actually vertical, because otherwise turning it in azimuth will mess up the elevation, and vice versa. A friend of mine just set the mount at the right elevation angle before he took the whole assembly up to the roof, and didn't need to adjust it at all for a good signal.

I have only aimed my dish on the roof at home, and used nothing but the display available from the setup menu of the satellite receiver. It was a pain to arrange to have a TV in sight from the roof, but that part should be easy at the campsite.

I have not heard of any free services for this band of satellite TV system, only for the old analog services which require the big dishes - but then, there's lots of stuff out there I've never heard of!
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Old 11-17-2005, 06:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chester Taje@Nov 17 2005, 05:29 PM
...I only set mine up after walking around campground...
I'm all for finding excuses to meet the interesting people in the other campsites, but as a satellite TV aiming reference they are a bit lacking - they need to be using the same satellite. For instance, where I live the azimuth for ExpressVu and StarChoice are very different, and I saw one house which had both, plus some other strange service, and the dishes looked like they were randomly pointed, they were so differently aimed.
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Old 11-17-2005, 06:44 PM   #6
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I set mine up and point it in the general direction it needs to be. Then fine tune it with a "satellite finder" model SF-95. Their web site www.sadoun.com
I bought it on e-bay $3.95+shipping Mike B
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Old 11-17-2005, 06:48 PM   #7
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Hi Gina,
Is this unit for your trailer? Does it have a cheesy little asimuth indicator built into the mount. I have used just that and a compass to get into the "ball park". When it's close, the signal meter and audible tone on the TV kicks in and I can adjust to peak signal strength using that.
DG
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Old 11-17-2005, 07:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Don Gowan@Nov 17 2005, 05:48 PM
..Does it have a cheesy little asimuth indicator built into the mount.* I have used just that and a compass...
Azimuth is the horizontal angle (compass heading) while elevation is the vertical angle. Usually the mounts have elevation markings, since the base could be mounted in any direction.

The Microroyal MR-037X (which is I assume what Gina has) is supposed to have a "Comp-U-Map locator" but I can't see in the images on their website what this widget might be, so I'm not sure if it's a compass or what...

Quote:
Originally posted by Don Gowan@Nov 17 2005, 05:48 PM
...When it's close, the signal meter and audible tone on the TV kicks in and I can adjust to peak signal strength using that...
I think Don and I are talking about the same thing: no separate meter, just the receiver's built-in aiming function. Many of my co-workers have satellite TV, and I don't think any of them needed a meter to set up their dishes.
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Old 11-17-2005, 10:18 PM   #9
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That is indeed the dish system I have Brian.

The "thing" that came with it is a combo compass and elevation "meter" of sorts. It has the standard floating ball arrangement, but the marker actually indicates south (Reversed graphics.. kind of makes sense) and there are elevation marks on it as well. You set the elevation, then adjust the azimuth. The wheel in the middle that has cities listed seem absolutely odd. I guess by staring at it, I will figure out the logic, but I bought the same meter listed above. 10 bucks, ebay, free shipping.

Chester has a very decent suggestion. Let others experience guide you! I rarely see dishes tho, so a back up plan is needed.

The free stuff is something I read in passing while doing other looking.

I tired looking at the set up on my box, there is a spot where I can input the zipcoe, but it says "Locked" for some reason, and won't let me input anything. Guess I will call DTV.

I am suprised this is something I never messed with.
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Old 11-18-2005, 02:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gina D.@Nov 17 2005, 09:18 PM
...The "thing" that came with it is a combo compass and elevation "meter" of sorts. It has the standard floating ball arrangement, but the marker actually indicates south (Reversed graphics.. kind of makes sense) and there are elevation marks on it as well. You set the elevation, then adjust the azimuth. The wheel in the middle that has cities listed seem absolutely odd....
It seems the gadget is just more convenient than a separate compass, and incorporates a bubble level (for which you could just use one of the ones intended to stick on the tongue of your trailer) and the elevation gauge (just a protractor built into the bracket). The marking for a city would have to indicate both the azimuth and elevation settings, and would make sense only for a specific satellite location - you would have to have the right markings for the satellite used by your service

Quote:
Originally posted by Gina D.@Nov 17 2005, 09:18 PM
...I tired looking at the set up on my box, there is a spot where I can input the zipcoe, but it says "Locked" for some reason, and won't let me input anything...
The zipcode indicates a location with more than sufficient precision to detemine the aiming angles (and would be easier to enter and less ambiguous than a city name), but I agree a call to the DSS service provider is in order to get the feature working.
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