How far can I mount the dish be from the receiver?

Discussion in 'Free To Air (FTA) Discussion' started by valdelocc, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. valdelocc

    valdelocc Thread Starter Member

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    I’m new to FTA and was wondering if I could mount my motorized 36” dish on a barn about 110 feet from the house? I was told that it could be mounted within 200 feet but that number seems a bit excessive; I don’t want the signal to suffer. Thanks for your help.
     
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  2. Morbius

    Morbius Active SatelliteGuys Member

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    I've never had a problem with mine and its 200-250' away. Just buy good coax.
     
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  3. valdelocc

    valdelocc Thread Starter Member

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    thanks!! that would make my wife happy:) I was planning on using a 500 feet roll of RG-6 coax made by CCI I bought from Home depot , is that any good?
     
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  4. Morbius

    Morbius Active SatelliteGuys Member

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    I have RG 6 on mine and not had a problem. As far as Home Depot's stuff I couldn't tell you I bought 1000' from ebay for something like 60 dollars and its worked good except for the 2 times I cut it by mistake. Anyway its been out there for a few year and no problems.
     
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  5. Iceberg

    Iceberg We're here....RUN!!!!
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    agreed on the distance...one of my setups is about 125 feet away and works great.

    I bought a 500' roll from Lowes and its worked great. Just make sure its RG6
     
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  6. AcWxRadar

    AcWxRadar SatelliteGuys Family
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    Valdelocc,

    Research the actual specs for the cable from the manufacturer. I was able to control a PowerTech DG-280B motor, an Invacom QPH-031 LNBF and SW21 switch with approximately 200-210 feet of Commscope Brightwire RG6U QUAD shield cable.

    The signal quality was NOT affected, but the signal level was reduced by approximately 8% according to my signal meter. This loss varied depending upon the specific satellite and the transponder polarity selected.

    The signal level reading is more of a measure of the electrical current within the circuit. The longer the cable run, the more current losses you will experience and the lower the reading on the signal level bar.

    You need a sufficient current supply or power capacity (from the receiver) to drive the motor and the LNBF and any switches that you install. If you have too long of a cable run and too great of line loss for the DC current or overall RMS current and signal level, then the LNBF may not switch polarities readily or the motor may not move at full rated speed or maybe not at all.

    You need to include all cable length from the receiver to the dish and be liberal about the total length, but at 110 feet as you mentioned, you shouldn't have any problems if the cable is at least fair or good. Look at the resistance/impedance per foot specification and compare that to the Commscope wire that I used (mentioned above).

    If you have any doubts or questions of the CCI cable, don't unspool the cable. Simply attach a connector at each end and test the entire length on the spool. That is 500 feet, if it appears to work, you won't have any problems at all with anything less than that. Hopefully they wrapped the cable on the spool so that you can access both ends or enough of it to attach a connector to it.

    I think that the 200 feet measurement that you were told or that you read about refers to a DISH NETWORK installation. DISH NETWORK installations usually incorporate DP or DPP devices (LNBFs and switches) which demand a great deal of power.

    Most FTA devices require much less power. An Invacom QPH-031 draws approximately 61 mA. I was testing the current draw of the motor to set the backlash adjustment when I discovered this.

    That made me curious, so I disconnected my DN receiver and inserted my Coolsat in its place and measured the current demand that was required for a DN DISH 1000 (this dish had a DP Plus TWIN LNBF for 110W and 119W and a DP DUAL LNBF connected to the LNBF IN port for sat 129 ES 5). It showed 563 mA.

    If I disconnected the DP DUAL LNBF, the DP Plus TWIN alone required 405 mA . If I connected to the DP DUAL LNBF alone, the current draw was 160 mA.

    I thought that this was an interesting endeavor, so I found an old DN DISH 300 with a Legacy LNBF and hooked it up (without aiming at anything - just powering the LNBF) and it drew 153 mA.

    DP PLUS TWIN + DP DUAL = 563 mA
    DP PLUS TWIN = = = = = = 405 mA
    DP DUAL = = = = = = = = = 160 mA
    DP Legacy DUAL = = = = = =153 mA
    Invacom = = = = = = = = = 61 mA

    The specifications for the Coolsat 5000 is 500 mA maximum, so I didn't leave this connected for too long on the top two setups.

    Valdelocc, you probably don't need the information that I have given above to compare the current demands for these LNBFs, but I was offering the information as an example as to some of the things you must be aware of before you buy any equipment and install a long cable run.

    I have begun a new dish installation at my house, I want to set up a motorized dish to experiment with some satellites further east and I don't want the trees to interfere. I have a perfect location picked out for a clear view, but it is a long distance from the house (much further than you have to go).

    I have decided to install RG11 cable for this purpose (instead of RG6) to ensure less line losses. I have already tested this on an experimental basis with the RG6 CommScope cable and I know that it can be done. I now plan to install it permanently and since the final installation will require a longer cable run (to trench it in properly) I have opted to use RG11 cable.

    With your cable run, I don't think you will have any problems if you select a quality RG6 cable. If I can do it at 210 feet, you can do it at 110 feet + house wiring length with the proper cable and proper equipment.

    Make sure you use good connectors as well and as few as possible, don't splice if you can avoid it.

    Good luck on the set up. I would like to hear your final results, post or PM me when you get 'er set up and running!

    Radar
     
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  7. valdelocc

    valdelocc Thread Starter Member

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    thank you all for the info, I will post the results as soon as I'm done.
     
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  8. gillham

    gillham Active SatelliteGuys Member

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    I recommend using solid copper core wire. Some of the cable at Lowes and Home Depot is copper clad steel (CCS) and doesn't work as well for longer distances. Solid copper core will have less loss generally, but as AcWxRadar suggested, check the specs on each cable you're considering.
     
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  9. AcWxRadar

    AcWxRadar SatelliteGuys Family
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    Good catch Gillham,

    I agree. I set up Wild Blue internet dishes and the only cable authorized is solid copper core. I have set this up with CCS to test it and found no difference on short cable runs, but I wouldn't recommend it, and especially not for long runs.

    RADAR
     
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  10. valdelocc

    valdelocc Thread Starter Member

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    The wire is solid copper and was wondering if I need conduit to run the coax underground?I’m interested mainly in picking the 30W Hispasat, I’m located upnorth near Buffalo NY. Here is a link to package I bought from one of this site advertisers.
    http://www.incrediblefta.com/item/236/4/2/fortec-star-motorized-system.html

    it seems like a good beginner setup, let me know what you guys think? And once again thank you!!!!
     
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  11. SatPhreak

    SatPhreak Active SatelliteGuys Member

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    You will need to run any cable it in a conduit if it is to buried unless the cable is rated RG-6U. The U stands for underground and it is a direct burial cable.

    The system you ordered will work good for FTA. The 36" dish is a good size, it's better then getting a smaller dish IMO.
     
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  12. valdelocc

    valdelocc Thread Starter Member

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    Sorry about dragging this but every time I think I’m done another question pops and I need some help grounding the dish, my fist question; is grounding really needed? If it is, can I run a ground wire from the dish to a dedicated ground rod like the ones used for electrical grounding? Or do I need to ground the coax cable too?
    I should had done more research before buying the system, I’m a hopeless impulsive buyer, plumber by trade and I really appreciate your help and if any of you have a plumbing, heating/cooling problem I’d be more than happy to help you. :) thanks
     
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  13. AcWxRadar

    AcWxRadar SatelliteGuys Family
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    Valdelocc,

    First off when it comes to grounding, you are protecting the home more that you are protecting the equipment. If you receive a direct lightning stike on your dish, I sincerely doubt that any grounding is going to protect your dish, LNBF and receiver from damage regardless of the grounding method you apply. It will, however, route the energy from that lightning strike to the gound instead of routing it into your home.

    A direct lightning strike will follow the cable and where the cable enters the home, that energy may set fire to the siding or follow the cabel through the house to some point where it ignites combustible material.

    If you ground the system properly, it will divert this energy to the ground, outside of the house first and hopefully protect you.

    Research the NEC codebook and any local electrical codes before you begin. Some local codes may supercede the NEC rules.

    You might experience problems with signals if you install the grounding system improperly or if you have multiple grounds. This may create a ground loop situation.

    Grounding and ground loop problems are of great signifigance and some people make their entire living troubleshooting and repairing grounding problems, so it is not an issue to be taken lightly.

    Research this thoroughly before you begin.

    Radar
     
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  14. pedrogarcia

    pedrogarcia Active SatelliteGuys Member

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    Nice one Radar!
    I wish I could find the pic I took of an aluminum dish that took got a direct hit.
    I would add it is also the errant surges of nearby lightning you are also protecting yourself from which can cause a vast majority of damage.
    Grounding dish(s together) thru one external earthrod and cable size to code is certainly the best method
     
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  15. FTABman0

    FTABman0 Active SatelliteGuys Member

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    Valdelocc,
    I have a little over 175 ft of coax on my system and had no problems whatsoever! So far the longest run I done was another 100 feet testing on my existing setup for a total of around 275 ft with no problems at all. All my coax is RG11 though never done it with RG6 but you should be just fine.

    About grounding, AcWxRadar is right on track! I grounded my system using this type of grounding block:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    A long piece of rebar in the ground with the proper ground hardware.

    [​IMG]

    More on grounding your dishes see this information {Grounding the Satellite System} from our Site Sponsor Sadoun!

    You can get all you need to ground from them or at least get an idea on what you need!

    There is other various grounding ways without using rebar; it was just easy for me to ground that way.

    Grounding is important and is a thing that most people overlook because they think it is something that is not important! It is! The dishes we use are bigger than the pay providers and it just makes since.

    Keep us posted on the finished project and post some signal and quality readings on some various birds so we can compare! Welcome to the hobby!


    B-man
    [​IMG]
     
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  16. spacebug42

    spacebug42 Member

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    I also suggest using RG-6 Quad instead of the regular RG-6 cable. It provides good shielding from intereference. I recently started using compression connectors and they're a bit easier and take the same amount of time to install than the crimped connectors. As a bonus, I noticed how much of an improvement I had with the reception of my OTA HD stations - going from 87 to almost 100%.
     
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  17. AcWxRadar

    AcWxRadar SatelliteGuys Family
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    I highly recommend compression connectors and good quality ones at that.

    There are several advantages with compression connectors.

    First of all, they are much more secure (so if you do a pull test, the force required to separate the connector from the cable is much greater than with crimped connectors).

    They provide a moisture barrier or seal naturally because they "compress" equally around the outer jacket of the cable, whereas crimped connectors do not. Crimped connectors usually have something like six or eight points of contact with the cable sheath and gaps in between them. Higher quality compression connectors provide an even greater seal.

    The disadvantage is the price of each connector and the compression tool. However, I find this to be insignifigant in comparison. There really isn't that great of a savings in this regard and those savings may actually be negated by having to replace crimped connectors more than once.

    Radar
     
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    Last edited: Apr 2, 2009
  18. pedrogarcia

    pedrogarcia Active SatelliteGuys Member

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    there is no doubt compression connectors are best. But like the crimp and screw on versions they all can suffer water ingress through expansion and contraction between the nut and body itself and the LNB thread and to solve this I use self amalgamating tape over the whole connector and as much of the lnb thread as possible. the downside is it is almost impossible to remove.
     
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  19. AcWxRadar

    AcWxRadar SatelliteGuys Family
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    Pedro,

    Try Novagard G661 Silicone Compound instead. Works great, but sometimes you may need to reapply it.

    Radar
     
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  20. updatelee

    updatelee Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member

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    I setup one receiver in a large hotel bar/lobby at 800ft away from the dish using RG6. it was far from ideal. but it did work. I used a bandstacked lnb to get away from voltage switching issues. used a signal amp half way (only time I ever needed to use one) and put in DC block and used my own 2A 18v power supply to power the lnb.

    long runs can be done. RJ11 would have been better, but it was going to significantly increase the cost of the setup and they were cheap, lol.
     
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