Looking for info on DirecWay DW4000 dish (1 Viewer)

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tenpenny

New Member
Jul 26, 2008
4
0
South-central PA
Hi folks,

I was recently given an old DirecWay DW4000 dish, and I thought it would be fun to enter the world of FTA. This is my first post.

Here are a couple photos of the dish and LNB (LNBF? I've looked the difference up but I don't quite understand it). I've stripped off the transmitter unit and taped over its input to the feedhorn, just to block any debris from getting in.
CIMG1784.JPG CIMG1785.JPG
Also, I can't post links yet, but if you Google "direcway dw4000" the first result is exactly what I have.

At this point I'm just curious to experiment, and I'd like to find out as much as possible about what I might be able to receive with my dish. Unfortunately I live in the woods, so only a narrow area of the sky is visible to me, but since I'm just doing this for the fun of it that doesn't worry me too much. I think the swath I can see is about the 80-85W range. I'd be thrilled if you could tell me anything about my equipment and my possible targets.

(I also just picked a Twinhan 1028 PCIe card up on eBay, since a computer-based tuner seemed like a versatile option. I'm having trouble getting that going, but I don't think this is the right forum to ask about that, and I wanted to make sure I had good satellite/dish/LNB[F] information first.)

Thanks!
 
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turbosat

SatelliteGuys Master
Dec 26, 2006
9,001
75
Oneonta,AL
Have that exact dish, not using it right now but it will do a pretty good job on fta.
If it is really the exact same construction, you adjust the skew by loosening bolts on backside of the dish, you will see them. Use the dishpointing sites and pick a satellite you think you have clear sight to from your location and learn the elevation for it and the skew for your location. (Most dishes you just twist the lnbf to adjust skew) Set the elevation on the dish/pole bracket and start slowly panning the dish back and forth on the pole. Gotta go slow with that dish=they are bastards to aim but give a good signal once you hit the satellite. And of course it helps to have a tv and fta rec out by the dish so you can tell when you're getting close. Use the List link on the page here to choose a strong transponder to enter into your receiver then start playing! Once you get both signal and quality readings, do a blind scan for channels. With 2degree spacing on the sats, you don't have to turn that dish very far to go from one sat to the next, it's like a half-inch rotation on the pole lol.
Mark a straight line on your pole/dish mount wherever you find signal so you can go back again if you lose it! And , if nothing found first, adjust elevation up a degree or two, start panning again. You'll get it.
 

Tron

SatelliteGuys Master
May 6, 2005
6,599
33
Metro New Orleans, LA
LNB is the Low Noise Block downconverter by itself, with the feedhorn separate (the LNB bolts onto the feedhorn). This is how your DirecWay dish works, you have a separate LNB and feedhorn. LNBF is a one piece LNB and feedhorn, such as the units you see on DirecTV and Dish Network dishes for example.
 

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tenpenny

New Member
Jul 26, 2008
4
0
South-central PA
Tron, thanks for the explanation. As they say, a picture's worth... many words. :)

turbosat, my skew adjustment works just as you have described. Since you have the same hardware, can you tell me anything about the stock LNB -- polarization, etc? I need to choose a good transponder to aim for (I was trying to decipher Lyngsat for that info, but TheList seems much more useful for FTA), but I have no idea what matches the LNB or what receiver settings to use.

It has been stormy here this morning but it looks like things are clearing up now -- time to go try out your pointing advice!
 

turbosat

SatelliteGuys Master
Dec 26, 2006
9,001
75
Oneonta,AL
The dishpointing sites will usually give you the skew for your area, for a given satellite, so just twist the entire dish around to that number to set the skew. Then its just a matter of slowly moving the dish east and west a little bit at a time until you hit something. Decide which satellite you want and then you can pick out a transponder to enter. Direcway lnbs are the "standard" type, the local oscillator freq is 10750, you would enter that info under the Satellite Setup screen for your receiver along with the transp freq and symbol rate. I always just entered the channel information for a channel on a transponder I wanted, creating the channel listing manually. Then I called up that channel on the rec, hit the INFO button so you can watch the signal strength and quality meters>that way when you get close to the bird you can see the numbers go up. And hopefully a picture pops in!
 

tenpenny

New Member
Jul 26, 2008
4
0
South-central PA
I had my first taste of success last night, and it was delicious!

I aimed the dish for AMC 9, without any sort of meter reading visible from the dish. I went inside and did a scan in MyTheatre -- locked (!)... getting info (!!)... lo and behold, 2 channels found!!! No TV channel has ever looked so sweet as those first few seconds of PBS HD free to air. :D

Confused as to why I was seeing PBS at all when pointing at AMC 9, I searched around until I eventually realized I was looking at AMC 3. Oops. Well, at least AMC 3 has a few more channels, and once I did a bit more scanning, I also had Muslim Television Ahmadiyya in all its glory.

With my current setup of only a PC tuner, I think I was lucky to find anything. I don't want to shell out for a STB just to get the thing aimed, so maybe I'll see if a sat finder can do the trick.

Since I'm pointing through a narrow opening in the tree cover, I'll have to move the dish to hit anything else. Not a big deal, since it's only bolted to a quarter sheet of plywood, but it means I'll have to give up my PBS HD on AMC 3. I'm not sure I'll be able to see much else I'm interested in, but now that I'm hooked, I want to find as many channels as possible!
 
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nhulst

SatelliteGuys Guru
Pub Member / Supporter
Dec 20, 2007
136
2
With my current setup of only a PC tuner, I think I was lucky to find anything.

This is the quote of the year :D It usually doesn't work this way. Heck, I sometimes have trouble getting my PC card to lock even when I'm dialed in to a known-good signal. You really should think about investing in a set-top box as soon as you reasonably can. Not only does it make dish pointing far easier, it'll give you blind scan capability and thrust you into the world of wildfeeds :up
 

tenpenny

New Member
Jul 26, 2008
4
0
South-central PA
Why would I invest in a set-top box when everything has been this easy so far? :D I'm going to experiment a little bit more before I cave and buy a box. I'm sure my tune will change by the end of the week.
 

TTTTVVVV

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Mar 25, 2005
17
0
Man you got lucky. I spent 4 hours on Sunday trying to get AMC3 specifically the PBS feeds and I was unsuccessful. Have to go out again this week and try again.
 
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Tron

SatelliteGuys Master
May 6, 2005
6,599
33
Metro New Orleans, LA
There are some wild deals happening with certain FTA boxes which no longer support the eye-patch gang (hackers). Members here have been picking up the older Coolsats for next to nothing recently. Perhaps you can snag a deal on one of these. The 5000 and 6000 are excellent boxes, not that I've ever owned one :)
 

turbosat

SatelliteGuys Master
Dec 26, 2006
9,001
75
Oneonta,AL
Congrats!!!!! I think you did great finding anything without a STB. Move your dish a little bit east, drop the elevation just a tiny amount and try for 79 (AMC5) then you can watch the horse races!! And some news feeds too lol. If the trees aren't blocking ya.
 
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