Beginner install information?

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klgould

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Jun 7, 2004
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Hello, I apologize in advance for the long and potentially naive posting. The Directv web site used to have all sorts of information on DIY installations and most of that information seems to have disappeared. I do not currently have any DBS service, but would like to install it myself. Where can I get information for the novice on performing an installation - you know, something that contains diagrams and explains the type and number of multiswitches needed as well as the number of RG6 runs needed to support a certain # of receivers.

Specifically, I'm interested in the JadeWorld Chinese programming package from Directv. From the DTV website, it states that I would need a 18" x 20" multisatellite triple LNB antenna and a multi-satellite receiver. So, first question: in my neighborhood I still see plenty of homes with multiple round DBS dishes. I always assumed that these home had multiple dishes because they received some programming from a satellite in one direction and other programming from a different satellite in a totally different direction. Is it now the case that I can get all of the usual english language programming AND the chinese programming using one multisatellite dish? The DTV web site states that the single multisatellite dish can see satellites at 101, 110, and 119 degrees west long. I assume that this covers everything that DTV offers?

The single self-install .pdf file on DTV's site only describes how to install a non-multisatellite dish. Anyone know where I can find the multisatellite installation instructions? It sounds like the only real difference is setting the "tilt" of the dish.

Next, what's the relationship between the number of LNBs, # of receivers, and the # of RG6 runs that I need from the dish to the house? Unfortunately, the single self-install doc on DTV's web site is pretty simple and has no mention of multiswitches, their use, and their location.

Now I'll really demonstrate my ignorance. If I have a triple LNB multisatellite antenna, does that mean that I run three RG6 cables from the dish to the house? I assume that the three cables terminate at a multiswitch AFTER the grounding block.

So, what's the deal with multiswitches? If I want to hook the multi-satellite antenna to two receivers (one of which could be a PVR), then what will my cabling look like? I'm assuming three RG6's from the dish (each with a messaging wire?), into the grounding block, then three RG6s from the grounding block into a multiswitch (3 input multiswitch?), then two RG6s from the multiswitch (one to each receiver). Adding PVR or HD functionality doesn't affect the number of RG6 cables at any one of these hops right?

Regarding grounding of the dish. I plan on pole mounting my dish in the yard as that's the only place where I have line of site. I understand that the dish needs to be grounded and I've been looking at some dual-RG6 cabling that includes a messenger wire. Now my question is: if the dish is over 100 feet from the house on a pole mounted in the ground, do you still run the ground all the way to the house ground, do you ground it to a grounding stake out by the dish, or do you do both? Reading the installation guide, it's kind of vague to me - it does say the if you do a pole mount that the grounding wire needs to be attached to the pole using a grounding clamp, but I still assume that the other end of the grounding wire is to go all the way to the grounding block at the house? I'm assuming that you ground it at the house as I assume that grounding stakes are still supposed to be connected to the central building ground.

Another topic - due to line of sight issues, my antenna will actually be around 200 feet from the house. I've read plenty of posts from people who've managed such an install, some without amplifiers and some with. The installation manual from the DTV website is totally silent about RF levels and the use of amplifiers. Now, I work with a bunch of RF engineers, so while I don't understand it all, I can find someone who can. Now I understand that the LNBs are powered by the receiver. I assume that the cable length doesn't cause any problems getting the power to the LNBs, but that the length causes RF level problems due to attenuation. So if I want to do RF tuning, I can I lug an RF spectrum analyzer home. Since the RF spectrum analyzer isn't going to power the LNBs in place of the receivers, can I have one receiver powered on and connected to the RG6, and in place of the other receiver, hook up the spectrum analyzer? If so, what RF levels am I supposed to be shooting for? If my RF levels are too low due to attenuation due to the distance, where does one insert the amplifiers? The in-line amplifiers that I've seen don't seem to be powered, is that correct? assuming that the amplifiers are inserted between the dish and the multiswitch, I guess I might need three amplifiers since it's a triple LNB antenna?

From what I've read, a lot of you are professional installers. Where do you get your installation training manuals?
Thanks in advance.
 
Anyone know where I can find the multisatellite installation instructions?
Should come in the Box when you get your equipment

It sounds like the only real difference is setting the "tilt" of the dish.
No, thats not the only Diffrence... When you power up your receiver you can find the Azimuth, Tilt, and Elev. in the MENU.

what's the relationship between the number of LNBs, # of receivers, and the # of RG6 runs that I need from the dish to the house?
Multi-sat dish will have 4 runs ( built in multi-switch )
You should run those down to 2 ground blocks ( grounds dish w/ msngr. wire and #10 Green to main house ground )
then from Ground blocks to each receiver ( Tivo's will take 2 lines in )


The DTV web site states that the single multisatellite dish can see satellites at 101, 110, and 119 degrees west long. I assume that this covers everything that DTV offers?
You should be able to get everything with the Multi-sat 18x20 as long as you are subscribed with directv when you activate the receivers... any receiver will pic up the channels as long as you are subscribed.

I assume that the three cables terminate at a multiswitch AFTER the grounding block.
you dont need a multi-switch after the ground block with multi-sat ( its built in to LNB) if you hook one up, it won't work, you confuse it )


my antenna will actually be around 200 feet from the house.
you may lose some signal strength with that distance, I am running 180' and carry a 95 signal, if you signal strenth is too low ( low 80's ) I would add an inline amp about 100' from the dish going to the ground block.

Where do you get your installation training manuals?
I am sure as most Trained Installers, when you go to get certified. Training material is given in class ( $200 ) and you are tested. you can check with the SBCA National Standards and Testing Program

Best of Luck,
ROB
 
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