Hi, I have some noob questions. (1 Viewer)

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ColdPizza

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Apr 8, 2008
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I wasn't sure where to post this but this forum seemed like a reasonable place.

I've got a buddy who gets TV from a dish and he recently moved leaving him with two satellite dishes that he was going to throw away. It seemed kind of weird to me to throw out a perfectly good satellite dish so I offered to take them off of his hands. So now I have 2 Dish 500 dishes that I have no real idea how to use or what to do with.

I had one friend suggest that I turn them into some kind of solar cooker, which would undoubtedly be pretty cool, but after doing some googling it looks like I might be able to receive some unscrambled satellite signals with one of these dishes. The only problem is that I know hardly anything about satellite communication/receiving. So far, all I've figured out is that I need some kind of receiver to decode the signals from the dish.

My questions:

-Is there is any FAQ or Sticky Thread for noobs that I have overlooked?

-I don't really have a fancy media center, I just use this computer I built awhile back. Would it be cheaper to buy some kind of stand-alone receiver or one of those TV tuner cards for a PC?

-I can't imagine I'd need two of the exact same satellite dish, do most people really throw these away or could I sell one of these?

-Will I end up sinking more money than it's worth into this silly idea? :)
 

glen4cindy

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 14, 2004
640
38
St. Louis MO, area
Not much FTA use for a "Dish" dish, you would need at least a 31" dish for FTA here.

Only thing that will pick up is NASA, Angel 1 and come demo channels on 119.

Sorry.
 

ColdPizza

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Apr 8, 2008
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Not much FTA use for a "Dish" dish, you would need at least a 31" dish for FTA here.

Only thing that will pick up is NASA, Angel 1 and come demo channels on 119.

Sorry.

Doh, oh well. It'd be kind of cool to receive NASA though, do you know how much I would need to spend to on a receiver to catch that?
 

ColdPizza

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Apr 8, 2008
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glen4cindy

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 14, 2004
640
38
St. Louis MO, area
Doh, oh well. It'd be kind of cool to receive NASA though, do you know how much I would need to spend to on a receiver to catch that?

You could find one on Ebay for less than $50 shipped but, you can plan on it having hack software on it! I got an Fortec Ultra, and it was a simple matter to upload a fresh firmware.

We can help you with all that if necessary.

You get NASA zeroed in and you are likely to be hooked. There really is alot available FTA, it's not like it will replace cable or subscription satellite but, it certainly adds much to the watching. The best part is finding wild feeds of sporting events. Lots of those and lots of news feeds too.
 

rv1pop

SatelliteGuys Pro
My motorhome has an old "Dish" on it and I got on turned on and hooked up my Mercury II to the co-ax (the DishNet receiver is dead.) I got NASA and Angel both so I think any decent FTA receiver would do the job. I have the Glorystar package from SatelliteAV, one of the GOLD sponsors at tghe top of the page and for $200, I do not think it can be beat. A good dish, cables, LNBF's, receiver and best of all, excellent support from dealer.
POP
 

ColdPizza

Thread Starter
Member
Apr 8, 2008
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You could find one on Ebay for less than $50 shipped but, you can plan on it having hack software on it! I got an Fortec Ultra, and it was a simple matter to upload a fresh firmware.

We can help you with all that if necessary.

You get NASA zeroed in and you are likely to be hooked. There really is alot available FTA, it's not like it will replace cable or subscription satellite but, it certainly adds much to the watching. The best part is finding wild feeds of sporting events. Lots of those and lots of news feeds too.

Truthfully, I'd much rather buy a new product from a reputable online store like newegg or amazon. Nothing against Ebay, but I'd prefer to have some kind of warranty in case I end up with a lemon. Plus, I wouldn't have to worry about some previous owner modding it.

I think I could comfortably throw about $75 into this venture. Do you have any suggestions as to what I may need to make this work? Receiver/cable/splitter/etc.?
 

ColdPizza

Thread Starter
Member
Apr 8, 2008
5
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My motorhome has an old "Dish" on it and I got on turned on and hooked up my Mercury II to the co-ax (the DishNet receiver is dead.) I got NASA and Angel both so I think any decent FTA receiver would do the job. I have the Glorystar package from SatelliteAV, one of the GOLD sponsors at tghe top of the page and for $200, I do not think it can be beat. A good dish, cables, LNBF's, receiver and best of all, excellent support from dealer.
POP

Honestly, your post confused me a little bit. I've done some googling but I really don't know much of anything about any of this.
 

Anole

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 22, 2005
11,819
10
L.A., Calif.
If you just want to see NASA and Angel One, then you'd need some RG6 cable with connectors, and any FTA receiver.
Of course if you ever want to grow in the hobby and get more interesting things, then you'd like to get a decent receiver... ;)
Reason I phrase it that way, is because there is some junk on the market.
(more later)

Now, as to what you might grow into, here is a very simplified list of FTA satellites and you can get an idea of what is on them.
When you get to where you want better info, we also have TheList hosted here on SatGuys.

To get those stations, you'll need to be able to see their satellites, and for that, TheList has a calculator.
You put in your zip code and it will tell you where in the sky to aim for a given bird (how high and which direction).

You'll need a 30 - 36 inch dish (and it's better to err on the large side), along with a linear LNB.
There are good deals to be found on 36" dishes (example), and many LNBs go for $15..25.
The LNBs come in two types: Standard or Universal.
For getting started, either would be fine.
The LNBs on the Dish 500, are circular, and are specific to their purpose.

When our sponsors have excellent deals, we like to let folks know.
Two particularly desirable receivers are the Fortec Mercury II and the Visionsat IV-200.
And I don't just say that because I have both; I have both because it's true! ;)

Look over the things I've linked above, and hopefully you'll be getting a feel for the hobby.
Oh, and welcome aboard ! - :up
 

rv1pop

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sorry, I did not mean to confuse you, just saying that the receiver I had on hand got the Free to Air stuff from Dish Network --- Then I rambled! Anole explained what else I was trying to say. (And he did it better. He has been around longer.) ENJOY and WELCOME!
 
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