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Thread: Can I reuse DirecTV equipments for FTA?

  1. #1
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    Can I reuse DirecTV equipments for FTA?

    Hello Gurus,

    Well, I am a newbie in the FTA community but I am not shy to ask dumb questions: I am doing some research to set up my first FTA set and I am lucky enough to get an abandoned 36" DirecTV international dish (with two LNBs removed) and an old DirecTV receiver for free from one of my friends. I am yet to connect and turn on the receiver but I would like to know if these two items can be reused for my FTA setup? -- I have done some research in various forums and my best guess is that I can probably use the dish but I am not sure about the receiver. Any information/instructions would be appreciated.



    In addition, I would like to learn how I could know what satellites the old DirecTV dish was intent for? Can I judge it by anything possibly found on the dish (e.g. model number / SN)?

    The third question is, once I know this old dish's specifications, for example, originally for 95W and 101W, can I use it for other satellites, e.g. 97W and 103W?

    Thanks a lot and have a wonderful weekend!

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  3. #2
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    You can use the dish but won't be able to use the receiver unless you sign up again... and will need a new lnb... I have an old direct tv reciever that came with the house when I moved in - was just collecting dust in basement... one time was able to find 101 with it before going hardcore in to real fta... you can do that too, but don't expect to see anything without an actual subscription... may possibly be able to see the channel logos and some of the info on what channel is what, etc., but within 30 seconds or so it'll probably go black on you and give a big notification thingy that says you need a subscription... this sort of experiementing might give you an idea on how to set up a dish, etc. and look for signals before you go in to real stuff... That dish should be able to pick up lots of stuff once you have a new lnb on it and a real fta receiver... the lnb needs to probably be changed unless you are just going to aim at dbs satellites to get stuff like the fta NASA channel on 119w.

    Direct TV and Dish Network lnbs use 11250 (i.e. DBS) and other linear satellites use another type of lnb - either "standard" or "universal"... if you get an invacom quad, like I ended up getting, it can do both dbs and linear... so you can see stuff on both the dish network if channels are fta and the other fta satellites as well... going with a plain ol universal or standard without the extra dbs lnb parts on the invacom quad will just get you the ability to see fta on non-dbs birds.

  4. #3
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    Thanks a lot mesh. Yes I do plan to purchase two universal linear LNBs for the dish. But I am not pretty sure how two LNBs work with the same dish -- my best guess is that the dish may not be in perfect circle shape (which has just one focus) but instead is a combination of two arcs (focused to the places where two difference LNBs sit), am I right?

    Thanks for your information! -- Too bad that the old receiver won't work.

  5. #4
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    Here is a
    nice list of DirecTV dishes


    .
    Yours sounds like the one to the far right.
    You can click on it for a
    bigger picture and more info


    .

    The juice-can LNB to the left was linear, and "L" shaped LNB to the right of the picture was circular.
    If you have any of the mounting brackets, then installing your own LNB will be easier.

    There are a number of recent threads around on mounting LNBs (even two LNBs) onto dishes which are missing their LNB mounts.
    We can direct you to those threads (with pictures), if that turns out to be what you want.

    I'll have to agree with MasterMesh that the receiver you have is useless.
    Further, even trying to use it to aim a dish would be just a distraction.
    You'd be better off focusing on what you really want to achieve.

    You mention wanting to have two LNBs.
    Did you have two particular birds picked out?
    I'll assume you've read enough of the threads here to have run across this
    list of FTA satellites


    , their programming and languages.






  6. #5
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    Thank you Anole. Well I am just playing this and that things for fun and I think it will be cool to have a simple yet working FTA setup. As long as I can pick up some free channels to show off to my neighbor, any bird would be fine

    Yes, my old dish is exactly the one on the far right. So I think I can start with 95W and 101W birds as a safe start? I also checked lyngsat and learnt that the free Ku channels of these two birds are from China and US respectively, which is a good combination for showing off

    The only worry is on the skew setting as I also read from some other posts (URL forgotten) that it is nearly impossible to change skew with this dish. I am in central US and my satfinder program tells me skew values of only -3.2 for Galaxy 3C and 5.6 for AMC 4, I guess the signal lose might not be a big problem if I just keep my LNBs un-tilted?

    BTW any good suggestions on a basic sub-$100 FTA receiver?

    Thanks again -- and sorry for more dumb questions

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mozillafilefix View Post
    Thank you Anole. Well I am just playing this and that things for fun and I think it will be cool to have a simple yet working FTA setup. As long as I can pick up some free channels to show off to my neighbor, any bird would be fine

    Yes, my old dish is exactly the one on the far right. So I think I can start with 95W and 101W birds as a safe start? I also checked lyngsat and learnt that the free Ku channels of these two birds are from China and US respectively, which is a good combination for showing off

    The only worry is on the skew setting as I also read from some other posts (URL forgotten) that it is nearly impossible to change skew with this dish. I am in central US and my satfinder program tells me skew values of only -3.2 for Galaxy 3C and 5.6 for AMC 4, I guess the signal lose might not be a big problem if I just keep my LNBs un-tilted?

    BTW any good suggestions on a basic sub-$100 FTA receiver?

    Thanks again -- and sorry for more dumb questions
    Make sure you get one with blind scan. Makes things a lot easier. Sadoun had some deals on demo models. Take a look at their site.

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