Grettings and Questions about BUD

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BlueWave8

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Apr 29, 2011
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Medina, OH
Wasn't sure if I should post this in FTA, C-Band, or 4Dtv, but C-Band looked like the most popular.
I will be moving into a house next month that has a BUD on the property. I find this exciting because I love tinkering. However, I have very limited knowledge of satellite systems and I am especially confused by the state of subscription and scrambling services/technologies at the present time.
The dish on my property is at least a 10 foot mesh dish. I say at least because I have not gotten high enough to measure the full diameter yet, but I did measure about 10' a foot or two below the full diameter. The dish has a rusty Venture actuator, and I am unsure of the feed horn and LNB setup. There are two coax cables coming out from under the feed horn cover, but it looks like only one comes through the wall into the house (with a myriad of other ribbon wires).
In the house there is a Chaparral Sierra (the first Sierra) receiver and a MA/COM DigiCipher II (not plus or RS, just II) satellite descrambler. The DC looks like it has a slot for a card in the back but it is empty. This equipment appears to have not been used for many years. So, my many questions....

Can these pieces of equipment still be of any use to me?
How much FTA and subscription programming is available to me with this dish? I have seen maps of what is available, but lots of the channels say DigiCipher or Nagravision etc., and I'm not sure exactly what this means to me.
If possible, I plan on redoing the feed horn and LNBs, possibly adding Ku band. I want to do whatever will give me the most flexibility. Ideally I would like to be able to tune analog and digital C-Band and down the road would like to get deeper into FTA. Probably start out with a C-band subscription to keep the wife happy and then experiment with FTA more as I have time.

The only C-Band subscription service that I have found that is still active is Hits to Home, but my understanding is that it is still in a somewhat transitional phase? Does this service only work with 4Dtv receivers? Are there other subscription services available? Part of my reason for wanting to do C-Band is the picture quality from the master feeds that I always used to hear about, how much of this is still available?

Sorry for so many questions, and thanks in advance for all of the help.
 
coinmaster32

coinmaster32

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 25, 2010
916
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The ma/com is pretty much useless. It's not a satellite receiver, just a descrambler box, used on older receivers that did not have a descrambler cage built into it.

The Sierra might be a usable piece of equipment. It should still position the dish and switch polarities on the feedhorn.

Should still be able to test everything and see if the lnb is working. Put the receiver on channel 16, c band, and sweep across the arc, should still get a channel.

I would take that feedhorn off and use a DMX741. That switches polarity by voltage.

If you want a smaller postioner, and don't have a need for analog channels, then get a vbox.

H2H is currently the only c band subscription available. It only works with DC2 receivers. There used to be plenty of analog programming until about 2005-2008. The h2h service is still master quality.

If you get a FTA receiver, like an openbox s9, then you can get much more up there.

Also if your mesh dish has large holes, it might not be good enough to do Ku. Take a pic of the mesh with your hand or a ruler behind it as reference.
 
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BlueWave8

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Apr 29, 2011
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Medina, OH
Thanks for the response!

Great to hear that H2H is master quality.

Thanks especially for the channel 16 and sweep info. If I don't get a signal, is it likely that my LNB is bad or that my dish is no longer pointed correctly?

I would like to have the ability to view analog feeds if and when available, would also like H2H, would also like MPEG and DVB-S2, blind scan, basically, I want everything but with the least amount of equipment! :)
 
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