Is it worth upgrading?

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Swankhammer

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Feb 15, 2005
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Hi everyone. Another newbie with a few questions.

First off, I've been a BUD owner since 1987 (the good old days) Along the way my original set-up has changed: I now have a 7.5' dish on the roof (don't ask) along with a 920 4DTV receiver. I know some might say the dish is too small, but I have had no reception problems with the digital feeds. The picture and sound is beautiful. But a few things are getting old and some repairs and upgrades are needed. I would like some advice and pointers if you could. Oh yea, my local satellite company is no longer in business, so any upgrades I would need to do.

1) About a month ago we had some really mild temps with rain. The rain turned into an ice storm after a couple of days and without thinking I turned on the satellite and tried to move it to G1 but nothing seemed to happen. So I tried moving to W1 and still nothing seemed to happen. A couple of days later I tried again with the sme results, so I went outside and watched the dish as I tried to move it. I could hear the motor running, but the dish did not move. I suspect there are gears inside and I wiped them out trying to move a frozen dish. Anyways, can I change the actuator myself? Anything I should know before attempting to do so? Do I need to reprogram after the switch?

2) Should I upgrade to a C/ku feedhorn? Do I need to run additional wiring? Will I get decent reception with a 7.5' dish on ku? Any suggestions on brand, etc.


I really don't want to go small dish because of the price of a package containing channels I'll never watch and the lousy reception, but I'm also wondering if sticking money into my system is worth it.

Thanks for any replies. I'm sure I'll have more questions down the line.

Willie.
 
Diamond Jim

Diamond Jim

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 18, 2004
4,361
498
The Boilermaker State (#19)
Yes, yes, yes. I've had my BUD since 1983, I let it go dormet in the late 80s to early 90s. I have since up graded it with a Motorola 922 4DTV and a Satwork 3618/3688. That is the best thing I have done since I have owned it, there is so much free stuff out there and even more if you are willing to pay for it.
 
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tdti1

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 23, 2004
2,321
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Montreal, QC
There is a battery in all DCII boards and when it dies you will need to send the box in to be fixed, many people change them on there own, If I was you I would sell the 920 on ebay or on a forum and grab a 922 from NPS or Skyvision, they are all new with new batterys, or you can send your 920 to ATS electronics to change your battery. The VCII+_board also has this battery problem, I changed mine already, easy but if you are not good at that stuff get a pro.

Ku-band is a great add on to a big dish, the arm is easy to replace, and a DVB unit is a great and cheap add on also. If you get a arm get a Venture Vonweise or the king of them all if the funds don't matter Thomson Saginaw. Good thing about Ku is the hits channels on X4 from NPS and many wildfeeds in analog, and it is needed if you add a DVB, well not needed but there are many feeds on Ku, you will need a dual band feedhorn and a Ku-band lnb though.

To sum it up, sell the 920 grab a 922 (there are some feeds the 922 get that the 920 cannot) grab a new arm, and a DVB box, then later on you can get the Ku. Or do it all in one shot. The big dish is the best system out there hands down.
 
kspeters

kspeters

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Feb 15, 2005
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QUOTE "1) About a month ago we had some really mild temps with rain. The rain turned into an ice storm after a couple of days and without thinking I turned on the satellite and tried to move it to G1 but nothing seemed to happen. So I tried moving to W1 and still nothing seemed to happen. A couple of days later I tried again with the sme results, so I went outside and watched the dish as I tried to move it. I could hear the motor running, but the dish did not move. I suspect there are gears inside and I wiped them out trying to move a frozen dish. Anyways, can I change the actuator myself? Anything I should know before attempting to do so? Do I need to reprogram after the switch? "

On many of these actuator arms is a small metal coupler between the motor and the screw part. It's easily replaced and you might even have a spare inside the motor cap on the back of the unit. Take a look as this has happened many times on my old system.
 
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Swankhammer

Thread Starter
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Feb 15, 2005
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Thanks for the replies.

tdti1, if I understand correctly, I can slave a DVB receiver to my 920 and pick up channels without upgrading my lnb to ku?

But since I'll be up on the roof anyways, I'll probably just update to a dual band feedhorn. Would you suggest a package deal or buy the feedhorn and lnb's separate? Any suggestions on brands would be appreciated.

kspeters, your two days late. Already ordered a new arm, but I think I'll take the old one apart to have a look inside. Thanks for the tip though:up
 
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tdti1

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 23, 2004
2,321
3
Montreal, QC
If you have C-band only then that is all you will get, there are many feeds on C-band, add Ku its the best thing to do, right now you have a C-band dish, you must upgrade your system to have a fullview setup, grab a Pansat or any other DVB unit and slave it to the 920, I will give you a link on how to hook it up:
http://www.dmsiusa.com/add_a_receiver.htm

I find these places have the best LNBs:
http://mechtech.satforums.com/
www.rpssat.com
http://www.global-cm.net/
these guys are all good and very honest people to deal with, I highly recommend any of them.

You can also try www.skyvision.com but me I don't like there LNBs that much.

Make sure a #2 pencil cannot fit into you mesh, the smaller the holes the better for Ku it is.
 
Diamond Jim

Diamond Jim

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 18, 2004
4,361
498
The Boilermaker State (#19)
kspeters said:
I could hear the motor running, but the dish did not move. I suspect there are gears inside and I wiped them out trying to move a frozen dish. Anyways, can I change the actuator myself? Anything I should know before attempting to do so? Do I need to reprogram after the switch? "

1. Yes, they are easy to change.

2. Yes, you will have to re program.

3. If your dish is anything like mine all you have to do is loosen two U bolts and slide the old arm out, then slide the new one in. Also try to get an arm the same size as the old one, hold it next to the old one before you take it off and mark it at the spots where the U bolts held the old one. That will able you to keep close to the same place it was before you started and will keep the dish inside it limits to insure you will get every satellite from AMC 6 to AMC 7.

4. Motor tips: The first winter I had mine the same thing happened. My old system had a fast blow fuse and when it froze the fuse would blow preventing damage to the motor. After I spent about $10.00 on fuses, I figured out that if I took a drop light with a 200 watt bulb and clamped it to the side of the motor and plugged it in, it would keep the motor warm. This kept it thawed out until spring. I then took the motor cover off, it was filled with water, I don't know why it didn't short out, and drilled a hole in each lower corner and in the middle to let the water drain, I've never had that problem again. You can also put a rubber boot on the arm secured with hose clamps, I prefer plastic ties. The motor I have now has precut slots for drainage and with the boot I can't remember the last time I had a frozen motor. And yes, it's gets cold here in the Boilermaker State.

5. If you have any technical ability, crack that motor open and take a look. You can't do any harm, it doesn't work anyway. The first time mine quit working, I took it to my Dad, he was a wiz with electric motors. The brushes were burned out, he showed me how to put new ones on. At least 5 times I put new ones on stretched that motor far past it expected life.

Hope this is of some help.
 
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Swankhammer

Thread Starter
Member
Feb 15, 2005
7
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Couple of quick questions:

Should I buy a Corotor II Plus or the Corotor II Plus Wideband ?

Are Eagle Aspen lnb's any good? I checked the prices on Norsat's and almost fell out of my chair. I can get the complete Corotor II Plus and lnb's for $155.00 or the Corotor II Plus Wideband and lnb's for $170.00.

I also purchased a Pansat 2500A...the upgrade has begun.
 
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Swankhammer

Thread Starter
Member
Feb 15, 2005
7
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Almost forgot...

I suspect I'll need a new feedhorn cover...any suggestions where I can find one?
 
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mkm4

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 13, 2003
617
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Swankhammer said:
Should I buy a Corotor II Plus or the Corotor II Plus Wideband ?

Unless you will be trying to get some AOR sats, you won't need wideband.
AOR = Atlantic Ocean Region, from 1W to 61W.
 
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