Minimum size for "poor man's Superdish"?

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Before I attempt my own "poor man's Superdish", I'd like to get some input from anyone who's tried it or has some FSS experience.

I'm in the SF DMA (yes, I know - officially unsupported by Superdish), and would like opinions on the minimum size round dish to use for 105°.

I have a 24" round dish receiving Bell ExpressVu from Nimiq 1 at 91°W, which I am about to replace with an oval dish (a Channel Master GainMaster) to get the HD programming they've moved to Nimiq 2 at 82°. I'd like to pull WCBS-DT from 105°, but for this one channel I'm not motivated to invest another hundred or more for a 30" or 36" (even if I can get one on eBay, the oversize packages drive the shipping way up).

I know this is one of those YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary) questions, the ultimate answer to which is "give it a try...", but I'd love to get a sense of how much of a long shot this really is.

Thanks,
Peter
 
Stargazer

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I have seen from other posts where a 30" round dish has a slightly better gain than a 36" oval dish so if the dish is round you might get by on a slightly smaller dish but 24" may be a bit too much smaller to get a good enough signal strength to get a signal lock and a picture in for 105. Perhaps when the new satellite gets launched in 2004 to 105 that it may be possible.

You could also use a used Primestar dish in which is an 36" oval dish, the lnbf will even work if you put a switch on it to change the polarities.
 
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which switch and what manufacure #? Where can we get one?
 
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Stargazer said:
I have seen from other posts where [...] you might get by on a slightly smaller dish but 24" may be a bit too much smaller [...]

Yes, I've been reading those posts as well. I'm hoping one of the Gurus with broad experience (BUD, FTA Ku, etc.) will weigh in.

Perhaps when the new satellite gets launched in 2004 to 105 that it may be possible.

Perhaps by then I'll be off the legacy gear, outfitted with a Superdish, DP44+, 921, ... :D

You could also use a used Primestar dish [...]

Before the "poor man's Superdish" emerged, these were dirt cheap on eBay. Now, they're more pricey! Since I'd be doing this for one channel, I'd rather start by purchasing just a used LNBF.
 
wcswett

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peterd said:
Before I attempt my own "poor man's Superdish", I'd like to get some input from anyone who's tried it or has some FSS experience.

I have two 90 cm. FSS dishes and one 24 in. dish which I have used for various Ku band satellites. The 24 in. dish works ok if you don't have other satellites nearby on the same frequencies, like Galaxy 10R at 123W before Echo 9 was launched. In the event you have to pick a satellite from between two others, like Telstar 5, Galaxy 3C or AMC-2, and especially if it's low power (like AMC-2), I'd really recommend at least a 90 cm. dish. I used one of my 90 cm. dishes on 105 and I was getting around 55-70 signal strengths. The same dish is now on Echo 9 at 121W and has signal strengths around 115 for this higher powered sat.

I think you have a shot at picking up 105 from your location but IMHO it's not worth the effort until they have something up there that you want to receive and it's released to the subscriber base.

--- WCS
 
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Also you could use a smaller dish if you can accept a lower signal strength and more of a chance at rainfade when it began to storm. It depends on how often it rains in your area and if it rains hard and for a long time. You dont want to be out of tv for the 105 slot for a while if you get long periods of downpours. I have been hearing that 105 (FSS) has not be subject to rainfade as bad as 110, 119, etc. (DBS).
 
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wcswett said:
I think you have a shot at picking up 105 from your location but IMHO it's not worth the effort until they have something up there that you want to receive and it's released to the subscriber base.

Based on Scott's post in another thread, I had thought that WCBS-DT was already released (to those subscribed to it) on 105. That's the one channel I'm subbed to but can't currently pick up off the Dish 500 + 148 setup I have now. Do you have info to the contrary?

Thanks,
Peter
 
wcswett

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wcswett said:
I think you have a shot at picking up 105 from your location but IMHO it's not worth the effort until they have something up there that you want to receive and it's released to the subscriber base.

Anonymous said:
Based on Scott's post in another thread, I had thought that WCBS-DT was already released (to those subscribed to it) on 105. That's the one channel I'm subbed to but can't currently pick up off the Dish 500 + 148 setup I have now. Do you have info to the contrary?

The last I saw Scott post he said that 105 would be released to the public on December 3rd. Right now I believe it's only being viewed by individual beta-testers and hackers, and regular subscribers can only see channel 7000. I guess I need to order yet another 90 cm. dish so I can see if I can get KCBS-DT in addition to WCBS-DT (they're both on transponder 24). I don't want to drop Telstar 5 right now to check.

--- WCS
 
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WCS -

Maybe I mis-read what Scott was saying. How do you interpret his post?

Thanks,
Peter
 
mike123abc

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December 3rd is getting really close, and people are reporting that SuperDish installs are scheduled up to 2 months from when you call. Putting a dish up now and being ready without having to wait for DishNetwork has its advantages. Now it is quite possible that there would be no new channels released to the HD pack for 2 months, but then again...
 
Stargazer

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If they find themselves backed up with installs on upgrades for those markets getting their locals then it would not do them any good to add the HD channels if they are running short on SuperDishes or people to put them up.
 
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mike123abc said:
December 3rd is getting really close [...]

What with Thanksgiving plans, it will be at least December 3rd before I get a chance to go up on the roof (more likely mid-December :( ).

Putting a dish up now and being ready without having to wait for DishNetwork has its advantages.

One of the big advantages for me is that all my gear is still legacy! I'm eager to get the 921, but the SW 44+ is the real prize for my setup (to get dual tuner on the 921 without having to do an impossible cable run!). If I can reuse my 24" dish with a $10-$20 Ku LNBF from eBay, then I can wait until all 3 pieces (Superdish, 921 & SW 44+) are available and should be able to have my cake (CBS-HD East from 105, HBO-HD + SHO-HD from 148) & eat it, too (free DP LNBF & DP+ switch to go with my (hopefully discounted) Superdish)!

This is, of course, counting on 2 things:
1. That I can get a useable signal in the SF area with a 24" dish.
2. That it is true that CBS-HD East really is on 105.

Any further confirmations are welcome! :D
 
wcswett

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peterd said:
WCS -

Maybe I mis-read what Scott was saying. How do you interpret his post?

Thanks,
Peter

Scott has access to a 105 superdish beta-tester, I believe.

--- WCS
 
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wcswett said:
Scott has access to a 105 superdish beta-tester, I believe.

--- WCS

Meaning that he's receiving channels not yet released to us mere mortals? :shock:
 
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