Can I use/convert a DishHD dish for FTA Satellite? and noob help. (1 Viewer)

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Thomas1234

New Member
Jul 18, 2019
2
2
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Hello, I just moved into a place with a "Dish HD" dish in the yard and I wondered if it could be used or modified for FTA (I think it's called Ku band, galaxy 19 etc) or if I need a new dish. It has 2 LBNs. Also below Ive included links to a receiver I'm considering and a dish I thought about getting if this one won't work, but it would also need an LBN. I'm open to any help or suggestions, as I'm new at this.

Satelite Reciever:
Viewsat Ultra Lite Digital Satellite Receiver for sale online | eBay

Alternate Dish: Winegard DS2076 76 Cm Dish Antenna for sale online | eBay
20190718_210644.jpg
 
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raoul5788

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:welcome to Satelliteguys Thomas1234!

I'm moving your post to a more appropriate forum, hopefully you will get some answers there.
 

Magic Static

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Oct 12, 2010
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While it is possible to convert that dish for FTA use with a lot of work, I wouldn't suggest you put yourself through that ordeal. Once you know about the way everything works then you can apply your knowledge to projects like that. :) The Winegard dish on eBay is a good choice for a beginner. You will also need an LNBF. ( LNB with feed horn built in) . The receiver is a poor choice. Aside from being used, it's out dated and no help available. And no remote! It's worthless. There are other cheap china receivers on eBay but support is usually nonexistent. Even the dealers don't know anything about them :(
I can recommend a couple that assist their customers very well right here on SatelliteGuys.
Welcome to Michael Electronics

Titanium Satellite - Store
 

harshness

SatelliteGuys Master
May 5, 2007
16,786
2,839
Salem, OR
The hard lesson that I recommend everyone avoid is that a relatively small dish is not your friend. The DISH HD dish and the larger DIRECTV Slimline are simply too small for FTA enjoyment and fitting them with an FTA LNB is a rather tall order that, because of the lack of gain of the dish, won't be very satisfying other than as an art piece.

There was a time when I reasoned that I could record video on C-type cassettes but thanks to Fisher Price and their PXL-2000 video camera, I was saved the frustration. As Magic Static points out, you want to be able to get results after going to all the trouble and the DISH 1000.2 is about half of the dish (area-wise) that you need for reliable FTA on the most popular satellites.

Hope is no substitute for gain.
 

FTA4PA

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Nov 13, 2013
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Central Pennsylvania
First off, welcome to Satellite Guys Thomas1234! Good advice in the previous posts about dish size and receiver choice. If you start too small you will likely be disappointed and need to purchase a larger dish anyway. The minimum I would get is a 90cm (36") for ku. This will get the majority of what is available. If you can swing it here is a good deal on a 90cm that includes a pll lnbf and ships for free. Many members here are very happy with this combo. Good luck on your FTA endeavour! :)

36 Inch 90 cm Free To Air FTA Satellite Dish & HD LNBF | eBay
 
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Brct203

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 24, 2016
1,230
1,205
Connecticut
I agree about the receiver being a poor choice as it's definitely outdated and would greatly limit what you can receive. The Amiko listed in above posts would be my recommendation. Simple to use, robust and reliable.

As for the dish, yes size is important and I would recommend a 90 cm too. But that's not to say that you can't get started with what you have. I would say it also depends on your degree of enthusiasm about FTA... If you like tinkering with less than perfect solution for the fun of making it somewhat work and accept that it's not perfect, then you can give it a shot. But if you have higher expectations and will get discouraged if it doesn't work as well as you were hoping for, then don't bother.

Fortunately you have the old LNBF assembly so you can tell exactly what the correct position of the LNBF should be. You can get an adapter and a decent LNBF for about $20. it won't be "plug and play" but if you position the new LNBF so that its opening is positioned similar to that of the old Dish Network LNBF it should work ok. It's still on the small side, and on 97W some transponders will suffer from interference from 95W and 99W. It would probably work ok for the CCTV/CGTN channels on 95W. Also, you will probably lose reception during moderate to heavy rain.

So by all means, if you can afford it, get a 90cm dish (about $100), but if your budget is limited, the dish you have is better than nothing as long as you don't expect miracles. That's how I got started, with an old DN dish that was on my house when I bought it.
 
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c-spand

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 25, 2019
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This dish works perfect for 121w. Since you have the original lnbs measure the how high the center of the lnb is and the distance from lnb to the pan. You can purchase a 5 $ bracket or use plumers tape with tye wraps to mount the new linear lnb for fta. I get 84% signal off that bird. And should work with most others. Good luck and have fun.
 

danristheman

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 25, 2011
3,146
1,134
85w
Here what mine looked like, but for newbies get a 36 inch dish, ku band lnb standard, amiko receiver.
 

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Thomas1234

New Member
Jul 18, 2019
2
2
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Sorry It's taken so long to respond. I've been weighing all of your suggestions and doing research, and I have some questions. This started because I wanted to maximize my options for free TV and I had a dish, so reduce, reuse, recycle. I have no problem investing in a dish and I am generally passionate about my interests, and satellite TV could become one.

1. Most of what I see for programming is Church, News and PBS. Is there better programming than this? No disrespect meant. I only have room for a Ku band dish or smaller. What do you guys watch? What made you go with satelite?

2. I was considering the Geosat bundle suggested above, but I watched a youtube video where a Russian guy shows how to fix your dish if it's bent in shipping, which gave me doubts about the quality.

3. I hope I'm not out of line asking this. I apologize in advance if this subject is not allowed. I saw another thread where someone asked if they could pick up DBS or Something like that with a "conditional access thing" I researched this and I get the impression that there is a device that will unscramble pay satelite channels. I have some experience hacking, modding, and softmodding video game consoles and I use Kodi for streaming. If I'm wrong, that's fine, I'll just stick with Ku band. If I'm right, I would like to learn everything I can on the subject. Thank you all.
 
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Brct203

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 24, 2016
1,230
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Connecticut
Sorry It's taken so long to respond. I've been weighing all of your suggestions and doing research, and I have some questions. This started because I wanted to maximize my options for free TV and I had a dish, so reduce, reuse, recycle. I have no problem investing in a dish and I am generally passionate about my interests, and satellite TV could become one.

1. Most of what I see for programming is Church, News and PBS. Is there better programming than this? No disrespect meant. I only have room for a Ku band dish or smaller. What do you guys watch? What made you go with satelite?

2. I was considering the Geosat bundle suggested above, but I watched a youtube video where a Russian guy shows how to fix your dish if it's bent in shipping, which gave me doubts about the quality.

3. I hope I'm not out of line asking this. I apologize in advance if this subject is not allowed. I saw another thread where someone asked if they could pick up DBS or Something like that with a "conditional access thing" I researched this and I get the impression that there is a device that will unscramble pay satelite channels. I have some experience hacking, modding, and softmodding video game consoles and I use Kodi for streaming. If I'm wrong, that's fine, I'll just stick with Ku band. If I'm right, I would like to learn everything I can on the subject. Thank you all.
1- yes, lots of religious stuff up there, in many forms and flavors. I don't watch any of it. I like the fact that we can get foreign channels, both those in foreign languages and those like NHK World and CGTN that offer a different perspective. I also like PBS. There's a lot more on C-Band, but that requires a much larger dish.
2- GeoSatPro makes excellent Ku dishes. Their 90cm is probably considered one of the best for a very reasonable price. They also make excellent LNBFs. However it seems that their receivers are a bit behind in terms of technology. The $99 dish/LNBF bundle posted above by FTA4PA is certainly the best value.
3- Not allowed here
 
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FTA4PA

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Nov 13, 2013
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1. Most of what I see for programming is Church, News and PBS. Is there better programming than this? No disrespect meant. I only have room for a Ku band dish or smaller. What do you guys watch? What made you go with satelite?
The resource that Magic Static mentioned is great to see what is out there. They list Kazakh TV on 97w but often have no data for it. I have seen woodworking, science, educational, music, etc on Kazakh TV. To get English language you need to select the correct audio track using your remote. Their schedule is here: TV schedule - Kazakh culture and traditions,Visit Kazakhstan,Astana,Nomads | Kazakh TV. There is another channel on 97w that isn't listed called IBN (International Broadcast Network). They are mostly religious but also air some hunting/fishing shows and some family movies as well. We watched a movie from the 1940's there on the weekend. Their schedule is here: International Broadcast Network if you want to check it out. There are many sports feeds available on different satellites but there is no schedule for those so you need to blind scan to find them. While there is a bit of work involved there is quite a bit of programming to be had. If you only have room for a ku dish and are serious about the FTA hobby then you will most likely want to invest in a motor which will allow your receiver to move your dish automatically from satellite to satelite. Again, good luck on your FTA endeavour! :)
 
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harshness

SatelliteGuys Master
May 5, 2007
16,786
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Salem, OR
FTA by its very nature is typically public programming. Sometimes that means government funded and sometimes that means churches giving away "The Word".

There is content to be had in "wild feeds" where someone rents time but it is unpredictable.
 
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Corrado

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 2, 2007
2,399
284
Hudson Valley Region, NY
While I agree with the other members about starting out with a dish that is too small is probably not the best approach, it certainly is possible.

Keep in mind, I have been pointing satellite dishes since 1988, I have a barn full of all sorts of dishes, I have a nice meter for aiming and experience to know what I can receive from where.

Some examples provided of recycled dishes with fabricated LNBF holders here out in the yard. While I have an extensive supply hardware and metal odds and ends, universal LNBF holders are very inexpensive from many online sources.

DSC00234.JPG DSC00231.JPG DSC00226.JPG DSC00235.JPG
 

Brct203

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 24, 2016
1,230
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Connecticut
i'm currently using a Superdish on 123W, with its original mediocre stacked LNB, and it's giving surprisingly great results on KBS, but borderline for TVW. But KBS is stable unless there's a real bad downpour. I use another Superdish with a universal LNBF on 34.5W for the handful of French FTA channels, and it's mostly fine but degrades quickly at the slightest rain. I should replace that one with a 90 cm. I was actually surprised that it worked at all with the superdish.
 
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