Ever wonder why certain sats are rarely used


Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 14, 2019
I often wonder alot of things like why do certain test patterns stay up 24/7 like the Florida lotto when it is supposed to cost so much money for sat space to rent out a tp. One thing I often wonder is why certain sats have so little feed activity. Also is it a given that when news feeds are shot up they generally use their due south sat for their area? I wonder why 89 or 101 are not used much and why 95 and 97 are not used much for feeds as well as the 113,121,123,125 and 127 birds. What do you guys think and if you ever wonder things post it I would like to hear and we are all here to learn and to help pass knowledge.


SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 24, 2016
it seems some satellites, or orbital slots, are more focused on either Direct-to-home (117W, 97W, 34.5W, Anik, 1W, 13E, 19E, etc), mostly in Ku, or on Cable feed (like 105W in Ku). Those won't usually "waste" those prime locations on feeds, when they can rent for big $/€

Then there are the more "utilitarian" slots, that are either used with permanent channel feeds that are not focused on individual reception, or for occasional feeds. Looks like in many cases, big users have reserved transponders, like CBS and FOX on 99W Ku, etc.

Do they always use the southern-most satellites? I don't know, but I would guess they try to stay not too far from it, but also need to take into account the local topology. For example, uplinking from a truck in a large city might mean you have a very limited view of the sky, due to surrounding buildings. In that case I guess they use what they can, and that might sometimes be a bird much lower on the horizon. Also, a large part of the US does not have much in terms of southern-most satellite that would be carrying wild feeds. From here, in CT, the closest might be 87W, that's 14 degrees away from our longitude


SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 18, 2010
New Mexico
Don't assume that a transponder that you never see a signal on isn't being used. I once had the opportunity to look over the shoulders of some guys looking at some satellites with a 100 ft dish and a spectrum analyzer. There was a lot of stuff up there that was 20 dB down from the weakest signals that I can lock on my 10 ft dish. Mostly full transponder width data signals.
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