Eastern (Atlantic) Canada

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drhcanada

Member
Sep 7, 2007
14
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Hey,
fairly new to free to air and am wondering for those who are in nova scotia or new brunswick, what satellites can we get here with a 36" dish.
our we kinda screwed being so far east or can we get some of the european stuff?
any info would be great. thanks
 

Tron

SatelliteGuys Master
May 6, 2005
6,599
33
Metro New Orleans, LA
From what I've read here, most people in Canada have no problems getting most of what's up there. There's a lower dish elevation to consider, of course, being further North. A slightly larger dish is also helpful.

As far as the European satellites, even if you are far enough east to have LOS to one (it is above the horizon), most of those have beams aimed at Europe, so we couldn't get anything from them here in NA even if we could see them.
 

starman345

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 25, 2004
3,647
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New Brunswick, Canada
You can see lots of satellites as long as you don't have trees or other obstructions in your way. I"m in southern New Brunswick, my ku system picks up satellites between 15 degrees east to 129 degrees west, I can "see" further east and west than that but my motor limits me to that range. On C-band I can get down to about 140 degrees west and that puts me just about on the horizon, because of the actuator that drives the dish I can only get to about 70 degrees east. Most of the programming for North America is within those ranges. Check Lyngsat to see what satellites are in that range. You can get most of the stuff up there with a 30" dish but 36" is much better, especially during bad weather when rain fade can be a pain.
There is some european stuff I can get east of 60 degrees or so but like Tron said most of it is beamed toward Europe.
In short it isn't really that much different here, the further north you go, the bigger dish you need to get the same reception.
 

Mr Tony

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
299
48
Mankato, MN
welcome :wave

I know there are a few members from Atlantic Canada that have FTA and they have no issues. As starman noted, you might need a larger dish but with FTA most of us like to use a bigger dish
 

Davage

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 26, 2005
1,063
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Southwestern Ontario
welcome :wave

I know there are a few members from Atlantic Canada that have FTA and they have no issues. As starman noted, you might need a larger dish but with FTA most of us like to use a bigger dish

I can remember going to Nova Scotia back in 1998. The ExpressVu Dishes were *HUGE*. I didn't actually take a measuring tape to one, but it appeared to be at least 1.2 metres (4 ft) in size. Those old dishes would be awesome for FTA!
 

starman345

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 25, 2004
3,647
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New Brunswick, Canada
I can remember going to Nova Scotia back in 1998. The ExpressVu Dishes were *HUGE*. I didn't actually take a measuring tape to one, but it appeared to be at least 1.2 metres (4 ft) in size. Those old dishes would be awesome for FTA!

And you wouldn't even have to change the lnb, I think around that time, they were using linear lnbf's....maybe a bit earlier?
 

Davage

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 26, 2005
1,063
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Southwestern Ontario
And you wouldn't even have to change the lnb, I think around that time, they were using linear lnbf's....maybe a bit earlier?

Yes - Exactly - No LNB change if they still had the linear LNB installed! Although, could you imagine the signal strength on a 4ft dish on one of the Nimiq birds? That signal strength would be pegged at 110%. Rain outages would only happen in the most extreme weather.

I can remember seeing houses with these big 4ft dishes mounted to the sides of them. They had additional braces to keep it from moving.

I'd love to get my hands on some of those old ExpressVu dishes. I don't even know if they're still in use out east, or if Bell just sent out 18" dishes to everybody when they changed to Nimiq.. Maybe somebody from out east can let us know if they see any of those old 4ft dishes still on houses.
 

starman345

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 25, 2004
3,647
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New Brunswick, Canada
I haven't seen any of those big Expressvu dishes for a long time. Going back even further, around 1993, Skypix had a few demo dishes around this area, they were about a meter, they had the Skypix logo stamped on the dish. The service never got off the ground. A few investors from this area are still smarting from that failed adventure. Those bigger dishes must have ended up in landfills, just don't see them anywhere......at least not in this area.
 

drhcanada

Member
Sep 7, 2007
14
0
am setting up my new 36" dish with motor and invacom and the satellite closest to true south for me is 61.5 on circular, anyone in New brusnwick able to get this satellite? 63 is actually closer to true south but its not pointed towards me to pick up.

any info would be great
 

starman345

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 25, 2004
3,647
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New Brunswick, Canada
Yup, the Echostar bird at 61.5 is easy to hit, I don't know if there is anything up there that is in the clear any more but you can get a good strong signal from it anyway. The Invacom is nice for setting up a new dish, its a lot easier to find the circular dbs birds, then use Usals to find the linear ones. Where in NB are you?
 

schlever

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 1, 2007
491
1
Regina, SK
That is a true shame.. Those would have been great Mini-BUDs..

See the very occasional one here in Saskatchewan, but mostly on farm houses out in the country. Starchoice also had a similar dish, which a family member still uses out at thier farm for thier subscription.
 

drhcanada

Member
Sep 7, 2007
14
0
Yup, the Echostar bird at 61.5 is easy to hit, I don't know if there is anything up there that is in the clear any more but you can get a good strong signal from it anyway. The Invacom is nice for setting up a new dish, its a lot easier to find the circular dbs birds, then use Usals to find the linear ones. Where in NB are you?
i'm in moncton. dont think anything on 61.5 is in the clear, but it should make a perfect satellite to aim to in order to get a signal.
the problem that I am having may have more to do with the transponder I am trying to use on that satellite. that satellite did not have a listing for the strongest transponder like others on one of the closed threads on this site.
 

Mr Tony

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
299
48
Mankato, MN
the problem that I am having may have more to do with the transponder I am trying to use on that satellite. that satellite did not have a listing for the strongest transponder like others on one of the closed threads on this site.

SatelliteGuys.US - 61.5°W EchoStar 3 Ku

check out above link. There are 2 free channels on 61.5
Issue is Dish only uses 12 transponders that arent HD (out of 32) so out boxes wont lock alot of them
 

starman345

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 25, 2004
3,647
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New Brunswick, Canada
Forgot to say :welcome

Just did a blind scan for fta on 61.5 with the Coolsat 5000 and it came up with one channel in the clear.
12.413H SR 20000. That is the "Congratulations you are pointed at the 61.5 orbital location" channel. It is pegging the meter at 99 on the Coolsat, should be a good one to aim for, its full time as far as I know, its there every time I've checked over the years. I"m in St Stephen.
 

Sadie

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 31, 2006
220
0
Nova Scotia
I scored one of the old StarChoice dishes, I stopped in at one of the Rat Shacks (The Source now) that did install and he had a couple lying around behind the back of the store, he just said help yourself, please.

I guess they still do a few new installs for Bell with the small dish and when asked have to remove the big old dish, its a nuisance to them, another trip to the dump they have to pay for, so they are usually happy to get rid of them, you might try a few dealers the price is right.

A 1 meter dish is the minimum I would recommend around here, with my line of sight I get everything from 87 to 129W at a reliable signal strength, although I will lose PBS on AMC3 in really heavy rain.

To give you some idea of signal strength (signal strength meters vary to much to be a good guide) I could just get a signal in perfect weather from PBS on AMC3 with a 33" dish, the 1 meter plus ex StarChoice dish has good signal strength except in really heavy rain on the same channel.

It seem that as you go further east you start to head out of the footprints of a lot of the satellites that are aimed at the center of the continent you can still get them, you just need a bigger dish than someone in Ontario even if you happen to be further south.
 

starman345

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 25, 2004
3,647
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New Brunswick, Canada
Are there any markings on the dish that would tell you who the maker was? I notice you are using the dish on a SG-2100, did you have to mod the mount to make the dish motor mate up? How about some pictures?
 

Larry1

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 24, 2005
1,588
129
Port Hope, ON Canada
The 1m StarChoice dish is a Winegard. (at least the older oval dish that I have) I have a picture of mine in my avatar, above my StarChoice elipitcal. The eliptical is used for my StarChoice subscription and the oval 1m StarChoicw for my FTA. Works great in Ontario for FTA, and should do well in Nova Scotia. Somewhere on this site I had previously posted the drawings for the 1m StarChoice dish for you could get the LNBF positioned in the optimum position. When I assembled my dish, the LNBF arm moved some depending on the tightness of the bolts, so I requested the drawing from Winegard. It helped greatly in making sure that the LNBF was positioned properly.

See here for the dish drawings
http://www.satelliteguys.us/free-air-fta-discussion/64324-dish-focal-distance.html
 

Sadie

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 31, 2006
220
0
Nova Scotia
I couldn't figure out how to post pictures so I threw them up on a quick webpage here

The dish has a new colour scheme, any markings on the dish had faded long before I painted it so I can't be a 100% sure it was an ex StarChoice dish however the LNB I took of it had the StarChoice printed on it. The dimensions are 40" horizontal and 43" vertical so it is just over a meter.

I just went outside and checked the LNB measurements against Larry1' drawing and they are the same so it could be a Winegard. There are still a lot of these dishes around here usually with a couple of other dishes on the roof so I expect a lot of them are no longer used, its a good FTA dish for around here if you can screw up the courage and go ask, I doubt if you would have to knock on many doors.

I thought I was going to lose the whole works this winter, as you can see from the picture I live on a lake, this winter the ice/water came up about 4ft above its normal high water level the ice was only about 15" from the bottom of the dish. I was going to give it another 6" before I rescued everything but mother natured co-operated and was nice enough not to bend the pole as the ice retreated, everything kept working the whole time.
 
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