Wave Frontier Toroidal T-90 Satellite Dish

Discussion in 'FTA/MPEG2 Equipment Reviews' started by Iceberg, Sep 17, 2006.

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  1. Iceberg

    Iceberg Thread Starter We're here....RUN!!!!
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    The other day I was out working on the “dish farm” and I decided to condense some of the setup.

    Now before today I had the following set up
    -6 foot C-Band dish
    -Dish500 with I adapter for Dish Network subscription 110
    -Dish300 for 61.5 Dish Network
    -36" dish for G10 with a LNB attached for 119 Dish Network
    -Primestar dish for IA8
    -StarChoice dish for SC subscription
    -30" motorized

    I know lots of us have multiple LNB’s on one dish (usually 2 or 3) but the LNB’s off the center always have lower signal and that turned me off. I always want the best signal possible..
    I had seen picture of the dual reflector dishes that can do 10+ LNB’s and thought “yeah right”. I did some reading and saw a review done in Tele-satellite magazine a month or so ago and that’s what caught my interest. If I could combine dishes together while not sacrificing signal that would really clean up a lot of the setup. But the article was pretty quick and the review only did 4 satellites 13 degrees apart. I wanted more.

    Enter the Wave Frontier Toroidal T-90 multi-LNB dish

    Fist thing you want to do before ordering is to figure out what satellites you want to pick up (to make sure you have enough LNB’s & switches). The satellites have to be 3 degrees apart and the max view is 40 degrees so I took out the Lyngsat list and started figuring out what satellites I wanted to get. I knew I needed 110 & 119 for Dish and 107.3 for StarChoice. This would take care of my subscriptions. I wanted G10 for sure so I knew the farthest I could go on the other side was AMC9 at 83. With AMC1 (103) and the screwy skew, I figured “half way between”. I also chose some satellites with feeds. 97, 93, 89, and 85. So I ordered from Sadoun the T-90, 3 duals, one single, and 2 reverse DBS LNB’s and 2 22k switches. I already had a couple LNB’s that could be used too. If you use DBS for subscription, you need these reverse polarity LNB’s due to the 2 reflectors or else the polarity is backwards. KU Band is fine.

    So Friday night I come home to see a HUGE box in front of my door. I had to use the 2 wheeler to bring it in. Opened up the box to see a lot of parts (a lot). Took everything out of the box and separated the parts in little piles. Please note this is not a half hour build the dish job so make sure you have a couple hours minimum to build it. And away we go.

    The first thing I noticed is the instructions aren’t the best. I mainly looked at the pictures. This is a big dish (42x40) and has 2 reflectors. They claim the 2nd reflector does the magic. We’ll see. Building it wasn’t bad (there aren’t that many actual parts, just lots of nuts and bolts). I did have a little difficulty lining up the holes for 2 pieces but we got it put together. I highly suggest 2 people put this together because the dish is heavy. The mast is kinda weird. There is only one bolt to go through the bottom of the mast and there is a brace that goes behind the mast and you have to use. The mast is 2 3/8" so it is a bigger mast. Once I had the dish put together I put it on the mast (temporarily set up in living room). Put the arms on to hold the 2nd reflector and put that up. Lastly there is the “slide bar” where the LNB’s go. It took me about 3 hours to build it and get it ready (I did take a couple breaks but I say it was at least 2+ hours for sure. And I wish I had a 2nd set of hands because putting together some parts were tricky for one person.

    So Saturday I went out to find a spot to mount the dish. Check Line of sight which was no issue. The issue was I thought I could use my StarChoice mast but it was too small and I really didn’t want to drill more holes, I settled on the table that my C-Band dish is on. Made sure mast was plumb and put in bolts for foot and brace and leveled it out. Put dish up (here is where a 2nd person could come in handy) on mast and was very happy that by looks, my roof wouldn’t come near my LOS : )

    There is a spot on Sadoun’s site that you can enter your latitude/longitude and list your easternmost & western most satellites that you want to pick up and it tells you where to aim the dish and gives you skew and “twist” of the LNB holders. Printed that out and started working on aiming. The first two issues I came across were there is no elevation markings. Its just one giant bolt that you screw and unscrew. Another thing is skew has markings for every 10. My skew was 82.61 so I had to guestimate.

    The LNB holders are quite interesting. They have markings for 0, +10, +20, -10, -20 and I didn’t know what they were for. Well, these are to twist the LNB holder to aim it up properly. The chart that I printed out told me what each one was and you can fine tune these (more on that later).

    Since I wanted to get from 85-123 I used 83 in the setup which gave me 103 as my “center” LNB. I felt it was easier to use an exiting satellite and not “104" when I said I wanted 85-123. The slide scale is pretty neat. It has markings on it so you don’t have to guess. The LNB in the center goes to 0. So I slid it down the scale to 0 and tightened it.

    Here’s where the fun began. With no way of knowing what elevation was, I had to basically hunt. I tuned up Pentagon channel on my Pansat 1500 and aimed where I thought it was. Nothing. Tried some more. Nothing. If I had a angle finder it would be easier (I think). The one advantage of the Pansat is when your close, the signal meter goes up (even if the elevation is off). Finally found Pentagon. 45 signal. Tweaked the LNB and got it at abut 75. Now I skewed to where I thought 82 was. You’re suppose to add LNB’s on your far east and west satellites and tweak the skew from there. This is what took forever to do because one was fine but the other was bad. I tried for almost an hour to get both at good signals. I decided to try and tweak it a little closer in by using 119 and 89 (these 2 satellites I wanted for sure). This was much easier to do and in 15 minutes I had both tweaked in.

    Now I started adding LNB’s. First one was 107.3 for my SC subscription and got that tuned in.(I hooked up my StarChoice receiver to tune that in). Setting up other LNB’s is much easier. 107.3 is 4 degrees form 103. Slide it to “4" on the scale and bam..signal. Tweaked the signal in. Added 110 & 119 with a breeze. Now I started on the other side (remember, when working with multiple LNB’s they go on the opposite side so the right side was from 101 down).
    Added 97 and tweaked. The best thing to do if you don’t have a satellite meter is to pick an active transponder on the receiver and slide the LNB until the signal comes in.
    Remember the numbers on the LNB holders? You can adjust those for optimum signal. There is a screw to keep them from moving. I adjusted those and got a few more points on some transponders. Basically when the signal comes down, it reflects off the dish to the 2nd reflector and to the LNB. The twisting of the bracket lines it up to get the second bounce. So twisting them allows you to optimize signal. Skew is normally not needed as the whole dish is skewed but you can skew the LNB too if you wish (again for signal).I only did that for AMC1 (which is off anyways) and one other (I forget off the top of my head). Had good signal on a couple TP’s on IA5. I made sure to check most active TP’s before continuing. Slipped another LNB down the scale for IA6 and got that tuned in. This is the easiest part. Just need to add or subtract and line it up on the marking. Please note this is not etched in stone, You can move it for optimum signal. Added one for 89 and got really good signal. I tried to add one for 85 but AMC2 is kinda bad signal wise here in MN so the signals I didn’t like the best. So I settled on AMC9 at 83. I tried to get 79 (which is more than 20 off center) and I did get a flicker but ran out of the slide bar :)

    Now the last one was G10. This one took some working because I feel I might have a minor LOS issue. The signals aren’t as good as I wanted but should be fine.

    So now the test. What kind of signals can I get? This is where I was most skeptical as I have worked with multiple LNB’s on a dish and normally any LNB not dead center has some degrading of signal. This is where I was amazed by the signals I was getting.

    103 was the first one that amazed me. Remember that AMC1's skew is goofy so I skewed the LNB and to my amazement, I got 99 on Pentagon. I also got about 10 feeds that I have NEVER seen on AMC1 (mainly due to the LNB being off). So I was very happy.
    107.3, 110, and 119 were set up with their respective receivers, so those were fine

    97 I tweaked a little bit and got 75-80 on most transponders. 93 took some tweaking but I got very good numbers on those. 89 made me happy as ABCNewsNow & ABCNewsOne were both 75-85 on the meter. I did pick up a couple feeds.
    AMC9 had NBC News Feed and that was at 75 (that’s normal). G10 was the only one I saw some signal loss (maybe it was the satellite) but I was amazed at how the fact I was 20 degrees off center for AMC9 and the signal was the same as if I had it aimed at a fixed dish. The numbers for IA8 were the same as my 40x30 Primestar which was aimed directly at the satellite.

    Then I decided to have some fun. The book claims 3 degree spacing due to the LNB holders and LNB’s. But could I get 2 degrees? I really wanted 101 for some of the programming there and since the signals are strong, I figured “what the heck lets try”. This took some major tweaking because the LNB holders are too big so 2.5 degrees is the minimum spacing. I did get 107.3 & 110 with non issues but 110 sicne its DBS has some play room. I put the LNB between 103 & 97 and got it over as far as I could to 103 and I got a decent signal (40) on KUIL but some of the weaker ones not even a flicker. So I twisted the LNB holder and the signal went up. Even though the LNB is probably aimed at 100 twisting the LNB holder allowed me to get decent signals on 101. These aren’t as good as if I could aim directly at 101 but decent.

    So when all said and done I have
    Single LNB on 83
    Dual LNB on 89
    Dual LNB on 93
    Dual LNB on 97
    Single LNB on 101
    Dual LNB on 103
    Single LNB on 107.3 for StarChoice
    Single reversed LNB’s for 110/119 for Dish subscription
    Single LNB on 123

    When I first started I had my doubts (lots of them) but this is one amazing dish. The fact that I was able to go from 7 dishes to 3 is amazing. I was able to get rid of the StarChoice dish, the Primestar at IA8, the G10 dish and the 2 DBS dishes (I did lose 61.5 but I mainly used that for Pentagon Channel). So now I have my motorized, the Toroidal and the C-Band dish. I was able to add 10 LNB’s to the dish and not sacrifice the signal. This will allow me to motor around and still be able to see a few satellites on other boxes which works good for sporting events.

    SPECS:
    Main reflector
    Height 96.7 cm (38.1 in.)
    Width 108.6 cm (42.8 in.)

    Sub reflector
    Height 36.1 cm (14.2 in.)
    Width 83.6 cm (32.9 in.)

    Net Weight 14.1 kg (31.0 lbs)

    Operating Frequency10.70 - 12.75 GHz
    Polarization Linear & Circular
    Multi Satellite Range in arc 40 degrees in arc
    Mid Band Gain @ 12.5 Ghz 39.65 dB (± 0.45 dB)
    Recommended Satellite Spacing 3 degrees
    Pole Diameter 2 3/8"

    Windloading
    Operational 80 km/h (50 mph)
    Survival 200 km/h (125 mph)

    LNBF Installation 1 – 16 LNBFs

    Pros of the dish are pretty self explanatory
    -allows you to use multiple LNB’s on one dish
    -signal is not degraded even if it is 20 degrees off center (this is what made me a believer in the dish)
    -Once you get the east, west and center LNBs set up, adding LNB’s is a breeze
    -multiple ways of fine tuning for optimum signal if needed
    -slide scale on this rules. No need to think where it needs to be. Just add or subtract from the center LNB. (So when I added one for 97, I went to the mark for “6" and boom signal)
    -Lots of room for me to add cables & switches
    -Big reflector (42x40) really brings in those signals
    -Allows you to use multiple receivers to see multiple satellites (your setup may vary depending on LNB’s)

    The drawback of the unit (and there are a couple)
    -First off, I cannot stress enough this is not for the beginner. Setting this up is not like adding LNB’s to a fixed dish. When working with a fixed plane (the slide scale) you cant move the LNB’s up and down. You have to move the whole unit. The hardest part was getting the far east & west satellites tuned in with the skew and elevation. This took the longest. Make sure you have planned a good half day for setup and a couple hours for building.
    -The unit is very heavy (30+ pounds) so a 2nd person is suggested for mounting and building.
    -no elevation scale really bugs me (of course if I had an angle reader there would be no issues). There is even a spot to put the angle reader
    -skew scale is pretty generic. Marks every 10. Wish it had more markings.
    -3 degree spacing so make sure you know what you want to get first. I was able to get 2 degrees but I have a feeling if I wanted 87 (as an example) it would be trickier than 101 due to lower signals
    -You need special LNB’s for DBS due to the dual reflector. The polarity is off if you use a regular DBS LNB. No biggie if you use it for FTA but a subscription requires these different LNB’s. Hopefully they don’t go out.

    Reasons you might want to get a T-90
    -you have multiple subscriptions and want them all on one dish
    -you have multiple receivers and want to see a few satellites
    -you want to condense your dish farm
    -you want instant channel changing from a couple satellites

    Reasons the T-90 may not be for you
    -you want to see satellites 2 degrees apart
    -you have LOS issues
    -you want to see it all (the T-90 has a 40 degree arc whereas a motorized can see more)
    -you have issues aiming a fixed dish

    All and all I am VERY happy with the Toroidal dish. I know some people like having a dish farm, but due to my setup I was limited with putting dishes on the roof and the deck was getting to look a little tacky with dishes everywhere, so I was able to go from 7 dishes to 3 makes me happy. Thanks to Sadoun for stocking the dish and also for their fast shipping. I still have to hook it all up with switches and stuff.
     
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  2. Iceberg

    Iceberg Thread Starter We're here....RUN!!!!
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    pictures of the dish and LNB's

    last picture is my empty roof (had 3 dishes up there) :)
     

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    Last edited: Sep 17, 2006
  3. Iceberg

    Iceberg Thread Starter We're here....RUN!!!!
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    closeup of the LNB's

    from far to near
    85, 89, 93, 97, 101, 103, 107, 110, 119, 123
     

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  4. Iceberg

    Iceberg Thread Starter We're here....RUN!!!!
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    Well its Sunday and here are the screen shots of what I am picking up. I am using a Pansat 1500 with the threshold of 30 for signal and a very spazzy meter. The meter jumps on some signals so what the picture shows is close to what I reported. First thing was I did move the 83 LNB to 85 and did get a church feed at a stable 30. When I was on 83 the signals were 75 for the NBC news feed and 60-65 on the data TP’s. On Dish 119 & 110 all signals were between 95-115 (no pictures)
     

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  5. Iceberg

    Iceberg Thread Starter We're here....RUN!!!!
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    AMC1 is the next one I went to. This is my dead center LNB and after skewing the LNB to compensate for the oddball skew, I am VERY happy with the results. Pentagon at 99 and about 10 feeds. Most are between 50-60
     

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  6. Iceberg

    Iceberg Thread Starter We're here....RUN!!!!
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    AMC4 is the oddball. This one I shouldnt be able to get due tot he 3 degree spacing on the brackets. But a little twisting I can get KUIL at 75, 3ABN at 45-50 and LLBN on 38-40
     

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  7. Iceberg

    Iceberg Thread Starter We're here....RUN!!!!
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    For AnikF1 I used my StarChoice receiver. In the right corner the + number is what I look at. Considering +5.0 is minimum and +7.5 is good, I’m happy with my results :)
     

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  8. Iceberg

    Iceberg Thread Starter We're here....RUN!!!!
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    G10 is tricky due to being on the end of the line. KWTO came in at 75 and 11800 TP was between 58-60, 11720 is low at 30 but stable. I have some working on that one to do
     

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  9. Iceberg

    Iceberg Thread Starter We're here....RUN!!!!
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    IA5 I chose 6 different transponders and got mostly in the 80's but one was between 66-75
     

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  10. Iceberg

    Iceberg Thread Starter We're here....RUN!!!!
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    IA6 was 60-65 on CBS Newsfeed, Doc Scott was a little low but its been like that lately. Azteca and Macy were at 90. Most of the other channels (feeds) were around 75-90
     

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  11. Iceberg

    Iceberg Thread Starter We're here....RUN!!!!
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    IA8 registered very well on both ABC NEWS NOW and ABC NEWS ONE at 90 and 75 respectively. There was a sports feed last night that registered a 80
     

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  12. Iceberg

    Iceberg Thread Starter We're here....RUN!!!!
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    So all and all I am very happy with the dish. Other than the obstacles I had aiming it I had fun, learned a lot, and now can watch various satellites with only one dish :)

    I still love the fact I can put 10 LNB's on one dish without compramizing signal :)
     
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  13. PSB

    PSB On vacation

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    WOW! You HAVE been busy!

    I have always discounted this dish but you really have done it justice, I see a shortage of these dish in the NEAR future!


    VERY nice review and work!
     
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  14. Iceberg

    Iceberg Thread Starter We're here....RUN!!!!
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    I always discounted it too since I have seen what happens when you add multiple LNB's to a regular dish so I assumed this was souped up version and would give me the same crappy results once you're off your centre LNB. Boy was I wrong. This dish is really neat and the fact you can get multiple satellites at good quality is what I like :)
     
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  15. charper1

    charper1 Bourbon Tester
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    Think they may up to an even bigger version to get that 2deg separation? Or is they dish size the culprit?
     
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  16. Iceberg

    Iceberg Thread Starter We're here....RUN!!!!
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    Its the holder. Where the screw goes in to close the LNB holder is what makes it more than 2 degrees. If they shaved 1/8" off of them I could get 2 degrees. I have one holder left and I might just try that :)
     

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  17. voomvoom

    voomvoom SatelliteGuys Family

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    Nice work Tony! After reading this, I can't help but think. If, you had used 89, instead of 83, for your starting point? You could have gotten 129 also, and maybe even 127. But, now for my thinking, you could have then gotten another T-90 and placed it for 61 to 101? Sometimes, I think to much, and I can't help what I think. None the less, very good Review!

    Al
     
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  18. Iceberg

    Iceberg Thread Starter We're here....RUN!!!!
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    I could do 2 dishes but the problem is the 2 degree spacing. So if I use 89-129 the 2nd dish I'd have to choose between 74 or 72 and 83 or 85.

    85 sucks on my 30" dish due to the footprint so this bigger dish might help. If not, 83 works fine
     
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  19. vfrjim

    vfrjim Active SatelliteGuys Member

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    I was also considering this dish but my concern was G10. Approximately where are you located? 11720 is the most important freq on G10 that I watch, did you have much breakup?

    Looks like a first rate install!

    Thanks
     
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  20. Iceberg

    Iceberg Thread Starter We're here....RUN!!!!
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    Minneapolis, MN (45N 93.5W)

    I didnt have issues with it once I tweaked it. We have had some blech weather here the last couple days (very windy).

    I went out tonight to play some more and a few TP's the signals went up now that the sun is down :)
     
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