Help me explain... (1 Viewer)

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SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
May 12, 2008
to my wife...

Why we can't receive FTA on a 18" dish. I have tried to explain this to no avail. She is not a fan of 'BUD's (Big Ugly Dish) sitting in the yard. :)

Hi, the term BUD normally applies to C-band. A 18 inch dish like the Direct TV is used on the Ku band. Different frequency - requires much large dish. Of course there is also Ku FTA and it requires a bit bigger (but still small) dish because less power is available from the satellite. How is that? DC
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SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 4, 2008
North Carolina
My wife was the same

Hi, yea I can really understand where you are coming from. My wife was exactly the same way. I bought a 10" Sami C/Ku band dish about 20 years ago and she was dead set againt that. She soon changed her mind. Later we had DN and I had a small Dish 500 installed and the old Sami just hung around. Then a friend gave me a 12' foot Paraeclipse dish and I installed that for what ever reasons, I have yet to figure out why. Anyway..she was just about at her limits. I got sick a couple of years ago and we then are forced to live on a budget so tight most people would shutter at the thought. That said no more subs could be afforded. So now we are back on OTA for a while! I was in a near by small town and ran across a pile of old Satellite dishes and found a really nice Direct PC dish with mast pipe and all the goodies. Bought that and came home and played around with it on my Ham Radio. Yea another thing she hated because of all the wires and antennas. I think this would have been around 2004 or 05 maybe. I was playing on ebay and ran across a Pansat 2500 really cheap so I bought it. Now I had a FTA receiver and a dish! Sweet! Well I messed with that so now another dish in the yard. Then I added another Primestar dish and then another and the more I add the more she will bitch but then she sits back and says oh wow that's a neat channel. She even enjoys some of the international channels now...All in all I have around 15 antennas and dishes up and she hates to look at them but loves the tv and she loves the fact it's all free. All my dishes are in Use even the old Buds......All in all I have several FTA receivers and the expense part she has never said a word about...I am at a loss as to why..she seems to find things to fuss about but the tv is no longer one of them,,,

Oh, she still will make remarks about the dishes but I look at her and just say without those, you can't watch your tv..she goes on turns a little red but that ends that...

I guess what I am saying is, once your wife sees all the neat channels you can get and the fact that FTA keeps you out of troubles and maybe at home on the weekends. You know, you have to work on your dish kind of thing or add a new something here or there. She might just come around and really enjoy it! :)
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SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 22, 2005
L.A., Calif.
Let's say you had three vehicles:

(18" dish): small high-powered sports car with two seats.

(36" dish): large American sedan, eg Ford Crown Victoria

(8-12' BUD): large American pickup with towing package, maybe diesel

Each is suitable for a specific task.
You pick the one to do the job you need, be it blowing down the open highway, hauling a family to a wedding, or pulling your boat.

Back to satellite dishes:

They operate in two bands,
- Ku: around 12ghz (high frequency/short wave length)
- C: and 4ghz (lower frequency/longer wave length).

(18" dish): the very high powered satellites are about 9° apart in the sky.
So, this size will get the strong signal, and discriminate between birds 9° apart.
They are at the high end of the Ku band so don't interfere with the next group.

(36" dish): These lower-powered satellites are only 2° apart.
You may get sufficient signal for a -few- channels on smaller dishes, but 36" is recommended for everything.
To pick out the close satellites, the larger dish focuses on a smaller window in the sky.

(8-12' BUD): These satellites are C-band, around 4ghz.
They have varying power levels, so some can be received on smaller dishes.
Because the wavelength is longer, you need a larger dish to focus on just one bird in the sky and discriminate against the satellite next door.
This becomes more important when using advanced data transmission methods.
The clean signal is necessary to be able to recover all the data being broadcast.



SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2003
Okay, you have to get this down to something women can relate to...

18" = A cup
30" to 36" = B cup
4' to 6' = C cup
7' to 12' = D cup (do not confuse her by mentioned c band)
greater than 12' = DD to F cup

then explain to her the correlation that just like the larger the cup the more attention it gets, the larger the dish the more signals it gets.

DISCLAIMER: Using this explanation may be hazardous to your health.

Good luck.


SatelliteGuys Master
May 6, 2005
Metro New Orleans, LA
DISCLAIMER: Using this explanation may be hazardous to your health.

Good luck.

No wife here, but some females I know would probably call me a pervert with a O-O fixation if I used that explanation...

I might try it next time I'm feeling adventurous and see what happens ;) ...


SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 4, 2007
Nuclear Testing Grounds
You guys tend to go over board with the tech terms, the bra size thing is good but you can't use a bra cup as a dish so that doesn't work, lol

maybe if she knows that a BIG ugly dish is actually the best investment if one isn't aquired for free and as they say; size makes a difference! You can get a whole lot more with a BIG dish than with a teenie weenie itsy bitsy pizza pan. You can do so much more with the BIG thingy than the small one. The programming is as different as night and day, the better programming, including a few premium channels are all free and not to mention the MANY HD channels to match that HD TV in your living room. It's one of the best investments you can make in this respect. Put your money into your own nest, not into someone elses.
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