Are you approachable as a SatelliteGuy? (1 Viewer)

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Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 2, 2007
Hudson Valley Region, NY
Are you approachable as a SatelliteGuy? I was thinking about this topic the other day while preparing to go outside and work on the dish farm. I spotted an older gentleman pull to the side of the highway and snap a few photos of my dishes. Which doesn't bother me a bit.

I thought perhaps he feared he was noticed and quickly departed when I stepped out the door. How do others here react to curious spectators? Had he stayed he could had watched me pointing my latest dish recently installed. People in my neighborhood are probably accustomed to seeing my son and I out doing something with one of the dishes.

I wondered if others in our hobby are more defensive than open to the curious. When attempting to describe what I do with the dishes the first response is something along the lines of...wouldn't it be easier to have cable? It's your hobby to watch TV? Is all this necessary? Or the dreaded...I have a friend that gets free satellite TV too. If he was interested, I could have introduced him to this site.

I try to explain it's fun to hunt down new and unusual feeds and programs not available any other way. Like RetroTV for the past 4 or 5 years. We were among the first to enjoy it. Back in the 90s on analog C band we saw channels months or years before cable. Sci-Fi and TVLand come to mind.

I see potential SatelliteGuys dish farms in my travels. I can spot them a mile away. I would stop and ask if I saw you outside. Although not limited to locally, even in print. I was reading one of my son's Lawn and Garden Tractor collector magazines and spotted the contributor's dish farm behind his Wheelhorse "stable" he was building. At least four dishes beautifully setup out back. Multiple LNBF and toroidal dishes, a Bud and what appears to be a recycled commercial Andrews dish. Congrats if your a fellow member, I'd like to see more of it.


SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 14, 2005
Hernando, Mississippi
Maybe the gent was actually a spy for Charlie... looking for eye-patches... ;)

I'm as accessible as I can be. When I first put my mount posts up for the BUDs, all the neighbors wondered what I was doing... funny, a couple of them thought I was mounting solar panels at first. When I told them they lost interest.
The others started wondering about a neighborhood cable service... which I have pondered quite a bit... (there's only 8 of us in the 'hood)


SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 22, 2005
L.A., Calif.
I have weekly lunches with some former co-workers (and decade-long friends).
I have weekend lunches with two couples (and friends).
From time to time I try to preach the gospel of FTA.
But, I can never get anyone to drink the Kool-Aid. - :rolleyes:

And once you've gone PVR, you never go back! - :D


SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 28, 2009
Ontario, Canada
Yes, but often it is people asking about the other kind of FTA. It kindly tell them it is stealing and won't help them with that, if that is what they want to play.


SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 25, 2007
Davenport Iowa
Every time I go out to work on my three fta dish's the neighbors dog comes over and wants me to play with him. And when the dog starts to bark, Thats when the neighbor has her chance to come over and start talking to me for hours. Sometimes I can't get anything done. She just starts talking about nothing...I feel sorry for her tho, She is in her 80's and her husband passed away a year ago. She has no TV as she mentioned several times. She just reads books.

The other neighbor on the other side of me came over asking why I needed so many dish's. After trying to explain what FTA is, I told him at this moment I was trying to lock on the Pentagon channel. His eyes popped wide open and ask if that was legal? I told him it was mostly military news and he got very interested as he is retired Air Force 30 years. After taking him inside to watch a few minutes of the Pentagon channel he asked me how much would I charge to install a dish for him?....The next weekend I brought over a old Superdish and a old Fortec Star receiver and installed it for him. I didn't accept any money for it but that evening his wife came over and gave my wife and I a $100 Olive Garden gift card. :)


SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 24, 2005
Port Hope, ON Canada
his wife came over and gave my wife and I a $100 Olive Garden gift card. :)

Olive Garden, they have been gone from around here for quite a few years. They were a good place to eat, and reasonable too.

I have only one neighbour ask me about my dish. He also talks at the fence about the TV antenna. He only has antenna, does not have cable, but is happy with his TV reception. I keep telling him next summer I'm putting another section in my TV tower. His is one piece higher and gets quite a bit better reception than mine. The other neighbour has a pirate dish and does not even say hi, well fine for him.


SatelliteGuys Master
Dec 26, 2006
I have so many trees nobody could see mine unless they flew over. And even if they spotted me from a helicopter, I don't have enough yard to land one in safely. But I'd be happy to talk about my dishes!


SatelliteGuys Pro
May 28, 2008
Wichita Kansas
I ran into a guy in Buna Texas that was buying some TV antenna equipment. I asked him why he needed the amp. He said his antenna was a long ways from the TV and he had to have it. he said he refuses to pay for TV. So I pointed him over to the great SatelliteGuy site :) hope he jumps in and enjoys some FTA.

One of my neighbors has no TV I have been wondering how to give them a line to my dishes. For the price of a cheap STB would be worth it to be nice to them.


SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 13, 2008
My array has raised some eyebrows, and a few questions. It has also led to the construction of at least two other arrays in the area and hopefully more.

Well, your geography would seem very array friendly. Do tell us about these other arrays, a story from you would be nice.

Mr Tony

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
Mankato, MN
most folks dont say anything. Once when we were doing some work in the townhouse complex (I'm the president) one guy said to my neighbor (we were working about 150 feet away from the dish farm) "damn what is with your neighbor and all those dishes".

I said "those are mine" :)


SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 4, 2009
10-6 Gas Pumps
Even though I have explained about FTA several times....they still believe I work for the CIA. When I put up the 7' LaFayette Parabolic dish on the chimeny, some came into the street and just watched it, well after I left.


SatelliteGuys Master
May 6, 2005
Metro New Orleans, LA
Last week, while STS-129 was still ongoing, a neighbor asked me what the new 6 footer was for. I told him it was a C-Band dish, and at the moment, I was picking up NASA with it. He nearly freaked out...

"You can do that? You can actually receive NASA video! Can anyone do that? That's like... serious stuff... wow. How do you know where to aim the dish?"

I told him about the various FTA lists and dish aiming tools.

"That's all legal? It's public knowledge where the satellites are?"

Of course, everyone thinks that you are part of some sort of secret society. It's really funny sometimes. Then they have trouble believing you're not getting "all the movie channels and porn for free"... :rolleyes:


SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 26, 2006
40 miles NW of Omaha. Omaha?
I don't have any trouble being approached by on-lookers. Of course, I don't get many visitors here, I am a bit off the road and unless you have really superb eyesight, you won't see many of my dishes.

However, the UPS and FedEx delivery guys and the U.S. mailman and the local Sheriff's deputy have all stopped here from time to time to deliver something or just ogle at my dish farm.

They usually drop by in the late morning or early afternoon when it is warm and sunny out. Not on purpose, I am just on that schedule for their route - around 11 am to 2 pm. They eyeball my setup and usually ask me whether they all work, are they real satellite dishes, how much does it cost? I give them all a tour and show 'em my favorite channels or something.

Their main response is that they had no idea that anything other than cable, DN or DirecTV was available. Some of them remember the old days of BUDs, but they thought that those days were long gone. I explain what channels that I do receive, and they are surprised, but usually not too overly enthused.

The one response that got me smiling was from a guy from Minnesota or Wisconsin, who was flying his plane over the area and taking aerial pictures to sell to farmers or whomever would buy them.

After developing the photos and framing them, he stopped in to ask if I wanted to buy an aerial photo of my property. It showed the dish farm quite well, but $50 for the photography was too steep for me.

He kinda jokingly asked me, "What are you looking at with all that gear out there? CIA, FBI, NASA?" I just happened to have the program about the NASA Mars rovers recorded on disc and in my DVD player, so I simply grabbed my remote, queued it up quick and smiled at him, stepped back from the door and pointed at the TV! He just laughed.

Yep, I like my toys and I like this hobby, but a great many people don't really understand it. They are either totally oblivious of the information or they are shocked and think that it isn't legal.

I even met a DN installation tech at the gas station near my house. I invited him over for a view - to talk shop. He was impressed with my setup, but I was rather surprised that he was not at all familiar with FTA stuff. All he knew was DN setups and that was the extent of his knowledge. It was fun to chat with him, but he was just a regular guy doing a regular job and then heading home to his family, he wasn't a hobbyist like us.

I guess that it is not all that easy to find someone to "come out and play" with you when you have such an obscure hobby (Oh! Dare I say this?) LOL Awh well, you guys know perfectly what I infer. It's the reason that we have a forum devoted to this very cause. And I am very glad of that.



Pub Member / Supporter
Lifetime Supporter
Apr 26, 2009
Jersey Sure
I was down by the bay recently and had the dish out, it is mounted on my testing board, and placed on a TV table. Across the bay you can see the red and white Old Barney Light House, a lot of people come to take pictures.

I had just tuned in 30 West, and had the Cuba station on; the station was having a salsa dance contest. An elderly couple passed by, camera in hand, heard the music and asked what I was watching. I told them it was a satellite TV station geared for the Cuban market. They were so intrigued that they stayed and talked to me for a half hour. They equated FTA to when they’re in their car and they get a radio station from outside there area (medium wave Dxing of the broadcast band). I did give satelliteguys.usa a plug if they needed further info.

Now on the other hand when I take my 90 cm dish mounted on tripod out in front of my house, most neighbors passing by make stupid comments. “Are you trying to get Mars, are you looking for aliens?” A few are interested and ask intelligent questions.

In the summer, I have one neighbor who likes to come over and sit with me outside and I tune in 79W and we watch the horse races and make friendly bets.

In general it is one of the hardest of my many hobbies to explain to people, very few people grasps that there are free TV stations on satellites and you can receive them without paying anyone.


Active SatelliteGuys Member
Oct 1, 2008
near San Francisco, CA
I just upgraded my DTV sub to Hi-def and when the tech was out to install the new dish, he noticed my FTA motorized dish. He asked me about it and I started to explain the wildfeeds and such to him when he asked me if I get the Al Jazeera beheadings on it. I chuckled to myself and then I figured 'what the heck' and I told him I did! And he got real quiet! :p (even though I really haven't seen a real beheading on there --- yet!) HA! So this is the perception of FTA is that we can watch beheadings on Al Jazeera? Oh boy! We have our work cut out for us! :rolleyes:.
I have said many times that FTA wildfeed hunting is like a box of chocolates, you never know what your gonna find! :)


SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 15, 2008
In the USA
I'm open to talk to anyone about my satellite setup. Almost anyone.

When I first moved to Nevada no one where I live cared what any one was doing. As more and more people from our left hand neighboring state relocate here, I get more and more questions about my 12' dish. Most are somewhat in the know about satellite reception and are interested. I did have one neighbor ask "who or what are you spying on". This neighbor is in everyone business and I don't care for that. So I just told him It came with the house and I did not use it.


SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 7, 2003
Canton, Ohio
While I don't have an "array" as such, I've had people "look" at the Dish as They drive by while I tweak the LNBF and such....Never had anyone ask me about it as yet..My situation is different, as I am in a residential neighborhood.The dish I have is slightly bigger than any DBS Dish, so that might be noticeable..


SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 19, 2006
32ºN 111ºW
... He asked me about it and I started to explain the wildfeeds and such to him when he asked me if I get the Al Jazeera beheadings on it. I chuckled to myself and then I figured 'what the heck' and I told him I did! And he got real quiet! :p (even though I really haven't seen a real beheading on there --- yet!) HA! So this is the perception of FTA is that we can watch beheadings on Al Jazeera? Oh boy! We have our work cut out for us! :rolleyes:.

Were you trying to help?

If you look this up, it is widely reported as a hoax.

On the other hand, don't get the idea that what we see on English language Al Jazeera is identical to the Arabic language version. (except for some language translation...)
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