Advice for TEST12345

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AcWxRadar

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 26, 2006
4,575
4
40 miles NW of Omaha. Omaha?
Hey Test,

I see that you are still doing your homework and research. Might I add a very simple recommendation to you here?

No matter what I or anyone else recommends, remember that this whole endeavor is a hobby and it is your hobby.
If you have a specific budget in mind for your hobby, judge the information that you gather from all of us against what your personal budget is at this time. Maintain your idea of this hobby as a FUN item and not a major expenditure. You do NOT have to spend a boatload of money to make this work. Try making your entry into FTA the cheapest endeavor you can. There is a learning curve here and it is a lot more enjoyable if it isn't enjoyed at a cost that you have to fret over.

In other words, don't try to figure it all out right now and dump a lot of money into it. I believe that you will enjoy it all much more and learn much more if you just buy the inexpensive stuff and look for the good deals and do some scrounging in the beginning. Some of the lesser expensive items will make you more pleased.

This is a hobby and hobbies are for the fun and the education, not work.

RADAR
 

Test12345

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 11, 2007
155
3
If I could figure out how to "like: this post, I would "like it" too. :D

Thanks for the advice RADAR. I sometimes get ahead of myself (well, always) when it comes to hobbies/projects and the like. My problem is (I think this is everyones problem too :)) that I have a certain budget I try to meet, but then I see all this stuff, want to get the best, and go overboard and spend more than I like. NOT because I just like to throw away money, but mostly because I get really into everything I do (perfectionist?) and try to do it as good as I possibly can so it works, and stays working for the long haul.

Anyway, I appreciate the advice here (and in every one of my other threads you've so kindly replied to). So far, it's actually caused me to buy slightly cheaper cable. :eek:
 

AcWxRadar

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 26, 2006
4,575
4
40 miles NW of Omaha. Omaha?
Thanks for the advice RADAR. I sometimes get ahead of myself (well, always) when it comes to hobbies/projects and the like. My problem is (I think this is everyones problem too :)) that I have a certain budget I try to meet, but then I see all this stuff, want to get the best, and go overboard and spend more than I like. NOT because I just like to throw away money, but mostly because I get really into everything I do (perfectionist?)

but then I see all this stuff
LOL!

:D This is exactly what I was referring to. It is why so many of us affectionately refer to this as an addiction, in lieu of the word "hobby".
It is very easy to go "nuts" and want to buy everything that looks like a neat toy, but not all of it is necessary to get the job done.

There are some items that you should not cut corners on and others that you should not go overboard with. Hardware tools are one piece of the puzzle that I would urge you to buy the top of the line. Because they are not consumable items and can be used over and over again. Therefore, they should be of the highest quality to last you for many years. You will never regret that expenditure. Cable strippers, compression tools and such items should be on this list, regardless of your budget. If you purchase the el-cheapo brands, you may find that you have to buy them over again because they don't hold up. That is wasted money.

Cable and connectors should be the next priority, but don't buy gold plated connectors. There is no need to go for overkill here. The ones that Iceberg and I and a few others have recommended are what we have found through personal experience to be very reliable at a reasonable cost. Cable selection has to be dealt with on an a per application basis. First criteria is that it must be suitable for up to 3GHz, no matter what else. Quad shield cable is not required. Solid copper center conductor cable is only necessary if you have a very lengthy cable run with a motor or other device that requires DC power.

I urge you to buy dielectric grease and the rubber boots for your outdoor connections. These items are quite inexpensive, but very worthy of their simple value for the weather protection of your outdoor electrical connections. They deter moisture and thus deter oxidation and corrosion. Make certain that you install your cabling properly. Provide drip loops at every connection and when routing the cable through a turn, or around a corner, make a proper bend radius (no sharp turns).

Ensure that your mast for the dish is perfectly plumb and extremely sturdy. This is the #1 rule for the setup of any dish, Ku, C-band, motorized or single fixed point. You absolutely MUST adhere to this rule or all other angles and alignments will mean nothing. A plumb mast is the foundation for your assembly and it must be maintained as it is highly critical for all other measurements. To reinforce the mast, to maintain its plumb, do not use cables. Use solid metal rods or struts.

With all of the above matters being covered properly, you may concentrate on the greater heart of your system. The Dish, motor, LNBF and the IRD.

We have already covered the dish for the time being. Since you already have a 76 cm dish, you are ready to go for now. It will get you started and it will perform just fine for you here in the beginning. You can use it while you rebuild your toy budget after buying all the other items. By the time you recuperate from that expense, you will have accomplished enough testing to know if you need to upgrade to a larger dish or not.

The LNBF: I would still recommend the SL2. I would not bother with a Universal LNBF unless you already have one.

The Motor: You may not be pondering a motor just yet, but you will. It is an added expense, but in the long run, it will be well worth it. I recommend the PowerTech DG-380 motor from Sadoun's. There are others that you can investigate and research, but I'll stand behind this one. Price-wise, there isn't a great variance.

The IRD: This subject is too subjective to discuss on the fly. There are far too many variables and too many options, mfg's and models out there to nail any one down as the best recommended as a "suit-all" box. I will go as far as to tell you that my most favorite IRD was the Coolsat 5000. This IRD is no longer in production, so I have no qualms mentioning it here. You can still get one (or it's little brother the 4000 or older brother the 6000) on the used market from E-Bay. You can get one of these very cheap, but they are only for DVBS standard def signals. I still use mine to this day and I have 8-12 of them. Some working and some that I bought for parts.

I like the Coolsat 5000 because of its ease of use, simplicity, awesome blind scan, channel editor support, firmware support and durability. I refer to it as the F-150 of FTA boxes. It doesn't have 1,000 bells and whistles that don't work, it just does one thing very well. It brings in satellite signals! And... it is inexpensive. It was inexpensive when it was new and it is dirt cheap now. I use mine in conjunction with a mini-portable TV as a satellite meter. It works really great in this regard, especially if you are setting up a motorized system as it can control and position the motor where a sat meter cannot do so.

Well, that is about all for the time being. I wanted to, hopefully, paint a picture of the whole enterprise in a nutshell for you. Basic foundations at least with simple and to-the-point ideas. There is so much information to cover in FTA today that any newbie must wade through a lot of mumbo-jumbo to get to the meat of what they are looking for and really need. I hope that I am helping you find a trail here so you don't get mired in the mud along the way.

The best of luck to you! Enjoy the fun!

RADAR
 
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