Fta newbie

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George Porrata

Original poster
Jan 7, 2018
San Juan
Hello im totally new here just wanted to say hello and maybe look up some information on how to aquire and set up a dish so i can watch spanish (spain) channels, any help would be greatly appreciated
And happy new year to all
Welcome George Porrata to Satelliteguys! :welcome

Not aware of any FTA channels originating from Spain, but many (hundreds) Spanish language channels originating from Mexico, Central and S. America. Maybe a forum moderator will move this thread into the main FTA forum so more members will see this request.

Most Spanish language channels are available with a C-band dish 8-10ft. These dishes are usually free for the removal and are found on Craigslist. A good receiver will cost around $100 and you will likely want to upgrade the feedhorn ($50-$150) and a controller to position the dish ($50-$180).

Enjoy and don't be afraid to ask any questions!
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Welcome to the site George! Yes, ask as many questions as you wish!
There are several channels from Spain in Ku band on Hispasat @30W. Specificaly, there's Canal Vasco, TV Galicia and Cordoba TV. I think those are the only FTA channels from Spain that I have seen. That Hispasat satellite also carries Cuban TV and a few Argentinian, Peruvian and Urugayan channels. However it seems the coverage is not so great in San Juan (assuming that you're in San Juan, Puerto Rico)

Like Titanium mentioned, there are many, many channels from Latin America in C-Band.
Where are you located - makes a difference as to which satellites you can use.
satellite TV transmissions operate in 2 different radio frequency bands: C band and Ku Band

C-Band frequencies are between 3600 MHz and 4200 MHz, and usually require a large satellite dish, like used to be common in the 80's in North America. Many of those dishes are made of mesh pannels

Ku-Band frequencies are between 10700 and 12750 MHz, and can usually be received with a much smaller dish (18 inches to 4 feet or more depending on the satellite and location). This is what's used by the Direct-to-Home services such as DirecTV and Dish Network, but is also used by many other TV services. In North America, most signals are in the 11700-to-12200 MHz part of Ku band

In Ku band, as mentionned in my earlier post, there's Hispasat and also several North American satellites, particularly Galaxy19 @ 97W broadcasts about 180 unencrypted channels, mostly foreign or religious. Lots of stuff from Africa, Eastern Europe, Middle East.

In C-Band, the majority of the channels are either US domestic channels, Brazilian channels and Spanish Latin-American channels. But there are also a handful of channels in French, Korean, German, Chinese, etc

Look at the channel lists on Lyngsat.com and sathint.com. Those where the frequency is a 4-digit number are C-Band and those with a 5-digit number are Ku.

Keep in mind that PR might be outside of the footprint of many of those satellites. Lyngsat has some maps. Another good source for footprint maps is satbeams.com

As you can guess by the dish size, a Ku band system is a lot smaller, and easier to install, but then a C-Band system is a lot more rewarding in terms of content.

New C-Band systems are getting a bit hard to find, with only a few resellers catering to residential customers, but old dishes from the 80's can often be found for free from people willing to get rid of their old systems. This might not be so easy in PR after the recent hurricane though.

As for the feedhorn, it's the part that goes at the focal point of the dish and feeds the radiowaves to the LNB, the electronics that converts the radiowaves to electrical signal to be sent to the receiver. Nowadays the feedhorn and the LNB are integrated into one piece called LNBF.

I hope this helps, always feel free to ask questions!
Wow im getting a real education, thanks so very much.
Now theres a large 8 feet or so dish by my house but the mesh material seems pretty damaged, i wonder if it would be easy to repair?
Also are the ku and or c band lnb’ single or double? Are they one and same?
Will a old 4 foot directv dish work for ku?
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The receivers are the same. I'm using an Amiko Mini-HDre and am very happy with it. Stay away from the cheaper stuff on ebay or Amazon... it's worth spending a few more buck to have a properly supported box

As for the LNBF, C-band and Ku-band use different LNBFs. There are some combo LNBFs that do both but from what I've heard they are a mediocre compromise. What i'm doing is that I use a C-band LNBF at the focal point and mounted a Ku-band LNBF next to it. It's working quite well. Those LNBFs do exist in dual output and even quad and octo in Ku in case you need to hook up multiple receivers. For C-band I recommend the Titanium LNBFs. For Ku, the Maverick Mk1-PLL is great but it's only for north American Ku (11.7-12.2 - works fine for hispasat too). But because of your location and the availability of lower Ku frequency signals in your area, you might want to get a "universal" Ku LNBF that covers the entire Ku band from 10.7 to 12.7. The GeoSatPro UL1-PLL is a good one.

A 4-foot dish would probably work well for Ku. Not for C-band. If you can get one for free or cheap, that's a great way of getting started.

an 8-foot C-Band might be ok, but i would try to find a 10-footer. The mesh needs to be smooth (meaning, no dings from hail, etc). Replacement mesh is hard to find these days, so if you decide to go with that dish, you'll have to be resourceful and try to find suitable mesh in hardware stores etc. The mesh needs to be metallic so that it reflects radio waves, and the holes should be no larger than 1/8 in or 3mm.
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