Getting back in (never was too deep before)..some questions, suggestions?

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Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 21, 2004
So a good long while back, in the 2007-2008 time frame while I was living at my childhood home, I got the idea to see what I could pick up with an old Primestar dish we still had installed from back when we actually had Primestar. I basically just put on an LNB and got a really cheap receiver from someone locally and pointed at a couple of different birds and played around with it. Shortly thereafter I ended up moving and my brother took over the house

I've moved a couple of times since then and never really had LOS for FTA stuff so I never got back into it. However, my current house, I decided to switch from cable to Dish Network, and after getting it installed, I realized I had a really good view of a lot of satellites. So, I had my brother dig up the Primestar dish and I've brought it home. We'll probably put it up next weekend.

So.... the point....

What is good out there these days?

First off, what is a good cheap receiver to get started with? Really, I just need something I can use to help me point the dish, and just dip my toes back in. Don't care about a DVR, this isn't to get content alternatively. I don't care about HD right off the bat, but would like to eventually have HD (and maybe even 4K if there's any of that out there). I've seen folks talking about PC cards, what's the deal there? Slightly longer term I want to definitely go motorized/multiple dishes and might even consider putting up a C-Band dish, but first off this is just a Primestar dish with one location and one LNB

Secondly, any suggestions for an LNB? Something I can get on Amazon through prime would be great. There was an LNB on the dish but it's been out in the woods possibly upside down, so I don't know if it's rained into it and ruined it.

Thirdly, is this a good meter, or any along this line good? Amazon product I just need something I can use to get it close and without pulling a TV and receiver outside. Don't need/want to pay for the meters they use for DirecTV/Dish

fourth, any chance of shoehorning *any* C-Band use out of a Primestar dish? One big thing I want to eventually get is NASA 4K, but if I have to eventually get an 8 foot c-band, I might.

finally, I know this isn't the "What's up there" board, but what bird should I point this manual dish at to find the most interesting stuff? Not interested in religious or non-english programming. Number one priority is wildfeeds. Just a good 2-3 satellites to keep in mind while playing with this

I'm attaching some pictures of Dishpointer app to show what I can see. I basically start getting into trees at 133 and further west, and 30W and further east. Meaning I can see (I think, anyway) 34W to 133W or so. The ladder up to my Dish Network dish was from me repointing from EA to WA


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"On the Air" in MI
Pub Member / Supporter
Oct 13, 2007
West Central Michigan
Much will depend on your interests as to what you buy to restore your hobby.

You mention not needing HD, but all receivers these days output HD, and you'll be amazed at the quality, even if all you do is compare network feeds (plenty up there, great if you have problems with local OTA reception) to a local station's rebroadcasting of them. The nice part today of FTA is cost is down. There is an amazon link on this site that will help support Satguys with your purchase, other than that, there are members with great offerings in receivers, dish movers, and LNB's.

A used MicroHD is a very stable receiver, so is the Amiko Mini HD if still available. Most new models of other brands are very reasonable, some with 'net access, and the DVR function is achieved simply by adding a hard drive you may already have laying around.

103 ku with Cozi-TV and the NBC feeds OFTEN have uplinks going for news reports and individual stations, but C-band, in my opinion has become where most of the "action" is. During major events like the last huge hurricane, that satellite had TONS of live coverage from stations in the affected area.

Since you're using one, you'll want to seach "Primestar dish" on this site for lots of info on people that re-purposed them. I'm not familiar with their LNB's compatibility with FTA. I have not. worked with an original (Primestar) one...but they are very similar to Ku dishes used by DTN weather/ag services which I have used, just different LNB's are applied to each proprietary system.

Good Luck! Ask Questions! Enjoy, and welcome back to FTA.

Opposing viewpoints welcomed!! (yeah, that's a silly disclaimer..and I hate disclaimers.)
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