Need help adding KU to 10' C-band FTA dish

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jjs10foot

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Original poster
Dec 8, 2022
15
9
sarasota, Fl
I am getting a 10-foot dish working that was on our property when we purchased. Got the C-band working quite well using a Titanium LNBF and a FTA receiver AMIKO mini 4k. I have read the numerous posts to add a KU LNB which I have done but am not sure if it is is the right spot. We mounted it due west of the CB LNB when the dish is pointing straight up (due south).

Please ref the photos. Also the skew is in line with the CB LNB.
We are at 27.236N -82.506W

So is this the right spot? I realize the the KU signals will not be received on the same satellite as when getting the CB stations, since the LNB is offset by about 8 inches (again due west) . So before we start searching for channels is my configuration correct?
Also what is a strong channel on a KU satellite that I can initially look for?

Help for an old new novice. THANKS

jjs10foot
 

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arlo

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Pretty much mimics my setup. Are you able to get signal yet? My dish is a solid 'glass antenna with button hook feed like yours appears to be. My geo is in N. PA.
If you have a dish mover you may want to move it west a calculated 5-6 degrees (lower it, like going from 121W to 127W).

I actually held my Geosat lnbf in my hand to grab a signal at first. It is as yours is. With the dish at zenith it is directly on the left of the scalar. Cool.

Trying to aim it directly at dish center didn't give a usable signal due to the button hook center mounting plate. So you'll end up with horizontal offset 'bouncing' satellites more east (higher up in the sky) into the ku feed.

To keep the ladder climbing low I recently checked aim using 125W 12180 V. It's a pretty 'hot' tp.
Your dish would be in the range of where 131W is aimed at. Roughly. A good starting point.
I yank the motor off of the actuator and crank it manually with a pair of Vice Grips on the actuator shaft.

Once you do grab a sig. and get the lnb tweaked for max. signal on 125W. Lock the bracket down.
Look for 123W. There you can tweak skew to peak signal on, oh, 12008 H & 12078V.
Just log where you get a CB signal vs KU signal and calculate the counts difference on your mover. It "should" then stay relatively close throughout the arc. But not exactly.
Note: During all of this you may want to try moving the dish a bit higher or lower in the arc to find a sweet spot where signal strength seems to be a bit better. Things like the button hook arm and center plate blocking the signal screws things up. But you know this.

Then use the tvro.com charts to look for sat/tp's with lower signal and see if you can snag a signal on them. Do your final lnb position tweaks.
One thing you'll notice is that where you have a CB signal and bumping your dish E or W 5, 10 counts loses signal. The Ku signal will cover a wide arc. In other words. If you blindscan for a 'where the hell is that thing'. Then head over to signal finder to peak it. You're going to bump and bump the dish 15-20 counts.
Also this is where the seldom used 'Filter out adjacent satellites' setting will need to be used.
You will get bleed over from the neighbor sats. Especially if they have high signal strengths.
What you don't really see in CB reception.
So use the satellite charts and do expect to get a lot more transponders scanned in than might be posted. But be wary of ones that have very low signal, as they may actually be coming from a sat next door to the one you're aimed at.

Speaking of dish bumping. I find that doing this eventually throws things out of whack for the other stored satellites. Bumping it causes lost or gained stored positional counts. So with my motor unbolted I use my signal finder app on my phone and crank the dish to peak signal (127W) then tell the mover to land on it.
If the alignment of the actuator coupling doesn't match the actuator shaft I'll take the motor cover off and use a 12V battery with wires on the terminal block to spin the motor until the coupling matches.
Saves a hell of a lot of time actually peaking the other stored sats and saving positions all over.
Which again, will eventually have you bumping the dish mover to peak it all in again.
What do they call it? Paradox?
Which may well be why it's illegal to have only one EMT in and ambulance. You need a pairmedics!
Anyway in the case of my Titanium ASC1. When the motor is not energized by the box, the counter is frozen where its at. So moving the motor and pulse switch (reed, hall, optical) doesn't increment/decrement the counter.

What else? Ask me, us. Hows that for a book! It oughtta' be a sticky.
Oh yeah. Where did you get that cool mounting bracket?
 

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jjs10foot

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Original poster
Dec 8, 2022
15
9
sarasota, Fl
Pretty much mimics my setup. Are you able to get signal yet? My dish is a solid 'glass antenna with button hook feed like yours appears to be. My geo is in N. PA.
If you have a dish mover you may want to move it west a calculated 5-6 degrees (lower it, like going from 121W to 127W).

I actually held my Geosat lnbf in my hand to grab a signal at first. It is as yours is. With the dish at zenith it is directly on the left of the scalar. Cool.

Trying to aim it directly at dish center didn't give a usable signal due to the button hook center mounting plate. So you'll end up with horizontal offset 'bouncing' satellites more east (higher up in the sky) into the ku feed.

To keep the ladder climbing low I recently checked aim using 125W 12180 V. It's a pretty 'hot' tp.
Your dish would be in the range of where 131W is aimed at. Roughly. A good starting point.
I yank the motor off of the actuator and crank it manually with a pair of Vice Grips on the actuator shaft.

Once you do grab a sig. and get the lnb tweaked for max. signal on 125W. Lock the bracket down.
Look for 123W. There you can tweak skew to peak signal on, oh, 12008 H & 12078V.
Just log where you get a CB signal vs KU signal and calculate the counts difference on your mover. It "should" then stay relatively close throughout the arc. But not exactly.
Note: During all of this you may want to try moving the dish a bit higher or lower in the arc to find a sweet spot where signal strength seems to be a bit better. Things like the button hook arm and center plate blocking the signal screws things up. But you know this.

Then use the tvro.com charts to look for sat/tp's with lower signal and see if you can snag a signal on them. Do your final lnb position tweaks.
One thing you'll notice is that where you have a CB signal and bumping your dish E or W 5, 10 counts loses signal. The Ku signal will cover a wide arc. In other words. If you blindscan for a 'where the hell is that thing'. Then head over to signal finder to peak it. You're going to bump and bump the dish 15-20 counts.
Also this is where the seldom used 'Filter out adjacent satellites' setting will need to be used.
You will get bleed over from the neighbor sats. Especially if they have high signal strengths.
What you don't really see in CB reception.
So use the satellite charts and do expect to get a lot more transponders scanned in than might be posted. But be wary of ones that have very low signal, as they may actually be coming from a sat next door to the one you're aimed at.

Speaking of dish bumping. I find that doing this eventually throws things out of whack for the other stored satellites. Bumping it causes lost or gained stored positional counts. So with my motor unbolted I use my signal finder app on my phone and crank the dish to peak signal (127W) then tell the mover to land on it.
If the alignment of the actuator coupling doesn't match the actuator shaft I'll take the motor cover off and use a 12V battery with wires on the terminal block to spin the motor until the coupling matches.
Saves a hell of a lot of time actually peaking the other stored sats and saving positions all over.
Which again, will eventually have you bumping the dish mover to peak it all in again.
What do they call it? Paradox?
Which may well be why it's illegal to have only one EMT in and ambulance. You need a pairmedics!
Anyway in the case of my Titanium ASC1. When the motor is not energized by the box, the counter is frozen where its at. So moving the motor and pulse switch (reed, hall, optical) doesn't increment/decrement the counter.

What else? Ask me, us. Hows that for a book! It oughtta' be a sticky.
Oh yeah. Where did you get that cool mounting bracket?
THANKS for the reply. I did look at you thread and since I still am new to this, I did not understand all the jargon etc.

I do plan on using your technique but my main question is, based on my location, is mounting the LNB due west of the CB LNB (with dish point due south) the correct position? My mounting is similar to yours but I am not sure what your mounting orientation is?

As far as the mounting of the KU LNB I stripped one of these using the ball and socket end attached to a split plastic clamp which I printed with my 3d printer. Allows to rotate in any direction.

Amazon product

Here is the bracket

1670600828332



I understand you explanation of the counts etc.

Thanks very much.

Jeff
 
Hyper Casey

Hyper Casey

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I appreciate this thread. I may soon be trying the same thing. Currently i am using a BSC621 C/Ku Combo on my 10 Ft Winegard Pinnacle, and the Ku has always worked great so i am pretty confident i can get good Ku signal with a sidecar Ku LNBF. The C Band on the 621 for the last few week i am noticing pixellation i suspect may be 5G Interference. I have been laid up for a few weeks after a surgery so i havent been able to check/replace my connectors etc.. to make sure that is not the cause but i think it is 5G. So i plan to get a C138 5G Filtering LNBF from Titanium, and then i still want Ku so i will have to do the sidecar. First i got to get a little healthier, then hope the snow doesnt fly so i have time to do it. If i cant beat the snow/cold it may have to wait til March/April. So anyways i will be watching this thread, and looking for any tips/advice. Good luck jjs10foot!

 
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arlo

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Dec 4, 2016
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THANKS for the reply. I did look at you thread and since I still am new to this, I did not understand all the jargon etc.

I do plan on using your technique but my main question is, based on my location, is mounting the LNB due west of the CB LNB (with dish point due south) the correct position? My mounting is similar to yours but I am not sure what your mounting orientation is?


You are correct. At zenith (dish pointing due south, the highest point in the sky). Due West is what I ended up with. If you can climb a ladder with it up there then draw a level line across the side edges of the scalar. And take note of what straight down to the ground is. That will be your 0 skew setting. Or pretty darned close. I tried mounting in on the East side first but in anticipation of trying to get anything out to, let's say, 55.5W.
The dish would be leaning way over looking at Britain. Dish flop, over extended actuator arm.
Stick it on the west side of the scalar.

As mentioned I actually held the lnbf in my hand seeking a signal. It was pretty easy. Once I figured what sat I was getting. Read a bit what I wrote.
What is the best place on the dish face to reflect off of? Get it?
You may try to move the dish a bit West, get a signal and compare it from the previous position.
Move it East a few degrees and do it again. Is the signal better? Worse?

Getting a signal on your dish actually is tons easier than aiming your C-Band lnbf was.
Looking closer at your mesh. I do hope it's fine enough to get a decent ku signal. An afterthought.

As it stands currently. I have a high resolution (20 pulses/revolution of the actuator shaft) encoder.
Across the board my C vs Ku band satellite locations are in the 32-40 counter increments apart.
And because the lnbf is looking more East than the C-Band one is. Those counter locations are minus of the C-Band settings.

Today I guess I got real smart. I spliced an insulated connector to the motor terminals on the back of my actuator control. No more pulling the motor from the shaft. And yeah. I know there is a re-sync function in the ASC1. It somehow just doesn't seem to play nice and always end up tweaking in positions again anyways.
Hunting sats and tweaking positions and moving E/W in bumps just throws it all out of whack. Stored settings stick once you put the motor back to a known reference w/o the counter changing. Yeahhh.


As far as the mounting of the KU LNB I stripped one of these using the ball and socket end attached to a split plastic clamp which I printed with my 3d printer. Allows to rotate in any direction.

Amazon product

Here is the bracket

View attachment 159815


I understand you explanation of the counts etc.

Thanks very much.

Jeff
 
L

LEEHRAT

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Dec 13, 2004
29
12
Make sure when you run your dish to your true south location which is your longitude that your ku lnb in straight up. see my attached picture. make sure you lnb is slightly tilted to hit the center of your dish. you should then be about 4 degrees off of your c-band lnb. hope this helps.
 

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jjs10foot

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Dec 8, 2022
15
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sarasota, Fl
Thanks again. Looks like I am on the right path. So tomorrow we will see if anything is up there!

One note, since I am at 27 N latitude my dish when pointing at zenith, its almost impossible to, even with a ladder, to access the LNB's

Thanks

Jeff
 
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arlo

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Dec 4, 2016
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Lee. He has a button hook feed. Aiming at the center may actually degrade any signal he may snag. If it's anything close to resembling mine with a mounting plate in the dish center. The assembly obliterates signal. You have to aim the lnbf at a complete, not obscured part of the dish.
 

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a33

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Feb 4, 2015
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arlo:
In the photo it looks like the phase center of these two LNBs are at quite different focal lengths from the dish.
When your C-band feedhorn is set at optimal focal length, I'd expect the Ku-band feedhorn to be further away from the dish.
So how did you come to this LNB position?

Greetz,
A33
 
A

arlo

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Dec 4, 2016
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North Eastern
arlo:
In the photo it looks like the phase center of these two LNBs are at quite different focal lengths from the dish.
When your C-band feedhorn is set at optimal focal length, I'd expect the Ku-band feedhorn to be further away from the dish.
So how did you come to this LNB position?

Greetz,
A33
Same as it ever was. Go for peak signal and then adjust skew for equal signal strength on H & V.
Did it all w/o a single tweet or Tesla Phone call to Elon!
 
J

jjs10foot

Thread Starter
Active SatelliteGuys Member
Original poster
Dec 8, 2022
15
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sarasota, Fl
Same as it ever was. Go for peak signal and then adjust skew for equal signal strength on H & V.
Did it all w/o a single tweet or Tesla Phone call to Elon!
Update

I was able to find and peak KU channel 10278V 3680 which seems to be on G18 123W. Channel is KBS America which is a Korean channel. The dish was pointed at approximately 131W. So the difference was about 7 degrees. With my system, its close to 2.7 counts for degree. Count reading is 263.

Once signal was received we adjusted the LNB and peaked the signal. By doing so the LNB now seems to be pointed at quite a bit away from the center of the dish, which I suppose is expected.

Next we moved dish west to approx 135 to see if we could get AMC11 at 125W. No luck, tweaked dish back and forth around count value of 269-271. Nothing, could not see the PBS channels.

As a note, the furthest West C-band channel we can get is G13 127W. We do get the NASA channels great. But anything beyond 127W such as 129W G12, etc, no go. There are too many trees in the way that low in the horizon. So we think that is possibly why we cannot get the PBS station on KU125W.

Next we will start going east.

Stay tuned..

jjs10foot
 
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arlo

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Update

I was able to find and peak KU channel 10278V 3680 which seems to be on G18 123W. Channel is KBS America which is a Korean channel. The dish was pointed at approximately 131W. So the difference was about 7 degrees. With my system, its close to 2.7 counts for degree. Count reading is 263.

Once signal was received we adjusted the LNB and peaked the signal. By doing so the LNB now seems to be pointed at quite a bit away from the center of the dish, which I suppose is expected.

Next we moved dish west to approx 135 to see if we could get AMC11 at 125W. No luck, tweaked dish back and forth around count value of 269-271. Nothing, could not see the PBS channels.

As a note, the furthest West C-band channel we can get is G13 127W. We do get the NASA channels great. But anything beyond 127W such as 129W G12, etc, no go. There are too many trees in the way that low in the horizon. So we think that is possibly why we cannot get the PBS station on KU125W.

Next we will start going east.

Stay tuned..

jjs10foot
Excellent. 5-7 degrees sounds close if your button hook center mount obscured signal.
Since you got your feet wet and now know what's happening with the "bounce" of the offset.
You could try bumping the dish a little bit towards the actual satellite position.
Just a few counts at a time. Then see if moving the lnbf a touch towards the dish center may get your offset angle down a little. And maybe grab a few tenths dB. You never know.

Hey man. And the others peeking at this thread. I don't claim to know a lot about anything until I dive in. I'm a hobbyist and love electronics and gadgets. And fabricating 'stuff'.
I got to say. Your 3D bracket is cool as, well, what the dog left behind in the yard.
I would suspect that since these pip-squeak ku lnbf's are designed for ~30 inch or so dishes that you're only using a portion of your big dish.

Could you put up a photo of your final setup? The comment by a33 of 'phase difference' kind of threw me a touch.
As this C-Band resurrection started out a few years ago. The old CM C/Ku feed came off.
I started off from scratch and measured, calculated, focus, f/d.
Put my scalar and C2W lnbf exactly where it all was supposed to be.
When finally snagging my first signal. Like anyone else. I almost peed my pants.
Tweaked the lnbf for max signal. Made a jig out of 2 paint can tops and a dowel rod so I could verify it was dead nuts with dish center.
Something was funky. Expecting blazing dB levels. Not so much.
Eventually playing around with the scalar position. In a bit, out a bit. Tweak the lnbf again.
What's written in stone wasn't quite so. Learned the terms under and over illumination.
Whatever, however a scalar works (you can find several versions of it's theory of operation out there).
Mine ended up a bit further out than calculated values of dish diameter, center depth.....
If I left it like that. I'd probably be only using 10' of the dish 12' diameter.
What was at first were signals of 10-12 dB at most. Man. Some transponders blow the signal meter off scale in the receivers signal finder window now.
It kinda makes me wonder if folks with rim mounted, non adjustable scalar ring arms are getting what they really could if they were able to try that crap. Button hook feed mounts are a chunk of hardware for real. Right!
 
J

jjs10foot

Thread Starter
Active SatelliteGuys Member
Original poster
Dec 8, 2022
15
9
sarasota, Fl
Excellent. 5-7 degrees sounds close if your button hook center mount obscured signal.
Since you got your feet wet and now know what's happening with the "bounce" of the offset.
You could try bumping the dish a little bit towards the actual satellite position.
Just a few counts at a time. Then see if moving the lnbf a touch towards the dish center may get your offset angle down a little. And maybe grab a few tenths dB. You never know.

Hey man. And the others peeking at this thread. I don't claim to know a lot about anything until I dive in. I'm a hobbyist and love electronics and gadgets. And fabricating 'stuff'.
I got to say. Your 3D bracket is cool as, well, what the dog left behind in the yard.
I would suspect that since these pip-squeak ku lnbf's are designed for ~30 inch or so dishes that you're only using a portion of your big dish.

Could you put up a photo of your final setup? The comment by a33 of 'phase difference' kind of threw me a touch.
As this C-Band resurrection started out a few years ago. The old CM C/Ku feed came off.
I started off from scratch and measured, calculated, focus, f/d.
Put my scalar and C2W lnbf exactly where it all was supposed to be.
When finally snagging my first signal. Like anyone else. I almost peed my pants.
Tweaked the lnbf for max signal. Made a jig out of 2 paint can tops and a dowel rod so I could verify it was dead nuts with dish center.
Something was funky. Expecting blazing dB levels. Not so much.
Eventually playing around with the scalar position. In a bit, out a bit. Tweak the lnbf again.
What's written in stone wasn't quite so. Learned the terms under and over illumination.
Whatever, however a scalar works (you can find several versions of it's theory of operation out there).
Mine ended up a bit further out than calculated values of dish diameter, center depth.....
If I left it like that. I'd probably be only using 10' of the dish 12' diameter.
What was at first were signals of 10-12 dB at most. Man. Some transponders blow the signal meter off scale in the receivers signal finder window now.
It kinda makes me wonder if folks with rim mounted, non adjustable scalar ring arms are getting what they really could if they were able to try that crap. Button hook feed mounts are a chunk of hardware for real. Right!
Yes I was thinking of slowly moving dish closer to actual position and peaking along the way.

I did when manipulating the LNB move it in and out from dish, also rotating it as well (skew?). It Did not make much difference in signal strength. What did improve the signal was moving the LNB around its various axis to get max signal.

Here are a few photos. will send in a couple of posts as not sure as what lint forum allows.

Note the white half clamps around both LNBs. We printed those as well as the big white piece that the weather cone will ultimately be attached after all tweaking is done.

I don't have a signal finder, just use a TV outside with the RCA feed coming from the Amiko receiver. I just use the signal strength bar. Typical quality signals are around 70% or so for the KU channel. C-Band typical are 80% or more.

The 10 foor dish was here when I bought the house in 1990 when we moved here. The first year or so we had no cable so we did use an antenna and the dish as the former owner left the electronics. Of course back then every thing was analog and free free free. Around 1997 or so we got a Houston Tracker system 70 and used it for a while but then things got going digital and dish has sat there since. It has survived several hurricanes and out hot humid weather. But is in good shape and the actuator works well, after I had to design and print one of the reduction gears that stripped.

This too is a just a hobby as still have Comcast, but in time with NextGen TV coming, streaming services and the dish, someday Comcast is going to get DUMPTED.

Thanks for the advice to you and others. I get back at this in a day or so.

jjs10foot
 
J

jjs10foot

Thread Starter
Active SatelliteGuys Member
Original poster
Dec 8, 2022
15
9
sarasota, Fl
Yes I was thinking of slowly moving dish closer to actual position and peaking along the way.

I did when manipulating the LNB move it in and out from dish, also rotating it as well (skew?). It Did not make much difference in signal strength. What did improve the signal was moving the LNB around its various axis to get max signal.

Here are a few photos. will send in a couple of posts as not sure as what lint forum allows.

Note the white half clamps around both LNBs. We printed those as well as the big white piece that the weather cone will ultimately be attached after all tweaking is done.

I don't have a signal finder, just use a TV outside with the RCA feed coming from the Amiko receiver. I just use the signal strength bar. Typical quality signals are around 70% or so for the KU channel. C-Band typical are 80% or more.

The 10 foor dish was here when I bought the house in 1990 when we moved here. The first year or so we had no cable so we did use an antenna and the dish as the former owner left the electronics. Of course back then every thing was analog and free free free. Around 1997 or so we got a Houston Tracker system 70 and used it for a while but then things got going digital and dish has sat there since. It has survived several hurricanes and out hot humid weather. But is in good shape and the actuator works well, after I had to design and print one of the reduction gears that stripped.

This too is a just a hobby as still have Comcast, but in time with NextGen TV coming, streaming services and the dish, someday Comcast is going to get DUMPTED.

Thanks for the advice to you and others. I get back at this in a day or so.

jjs10foot

PXL 20221212 164741815
 

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J

jjs10foot

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Original poster
Dec 8, 2022
15
9
sarasota, Fl
Before you start blind scanning other satellites and log incorrect transponder frequencies... There is no low-band KU on this satellite. Change the LNB LO type in the receiver to match the LNB's LO frequency.
Whats LO mean?? Also here is what I think I got. Sure looks like it when I look at the video.

Thanks
jjs10foot

1670872969458
 
primestar31

primestar31

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Whats LO mean?? Also here is what I think I got. Sure looks like it when I look at the video.

Thanks
jjs10foot

View attachment 159859
You transposed some numbers there, and that's what Brian was keying on. KBS World is 12078 V, (high band) and you posted 10278 V (low band) in your first post..

So, IF it really came up on the receiver as 10278, your LNB is set to the wrong LO setting. 10750 is a normal standard KU lnb setting for in the system menu settings.
 
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jjs10foot

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Original poster
Dec 8, 2022
15
9
sarasota, Fl
You transposed some numbers there, and that's what Brian was keying on. KBS World is 12078 V, (high band) and you posted 10278 V (low band) in your first post..

So, IF it really came up on the receiver as 10278, your LNB is set to the wrong LO setting. 10750 is a normal standard KU lnb setting for in the system menu settings.
Sorry, yes I did mess up the number. It is 12078, very strong signal.
 
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arlo

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Dec 4, 2016
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594
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Great start. Please do try moving the dish and trying to target getting the lnbf a bit more towards the dish center. Your signal will probably get even better.
LO, local oscillator. Just the way most every piece of radio related electronics gets higher frequencies down to a manageable lower frequency.
In the case of ku satellite signals, getting that 12,000 MHz (12 GHz) signal down coax cable would only work maybe a few inches without very expensive cable. Amplified and converted down to ~1000 MHz, run of the mill 75 Ohm coax works well.
If the Amiko has a scan setting to filter out adjacent satellites you might want to use it.
It's possible you may experience trying to blind scan a particular unknown satellite and snag transponders from its neighbor(s).
 
J

jjs10foot

Thread Starter
Active SatelliteGuys Member
Original poster
Dec 8, 2022
15
9
sarasota, Fl
Great start. Please do try moving the dish and trying to target getting the lnbf a bit more towards the dish center. Your signal will probably get even better.
LO, local oscillator. Just the way most every piece of radio related electronics gets higher frequencies down to a manageable lower frequency.
In the case of ku satellite signals, getting that 12,000 MHz (12 GHz) signal down coax cable would only work maybe a few inches without very expensive cable. Amplified and converted down to ~1000 MHz, run of the mill 75 Ohm coax works well.
If the Amiko has a scan setting to filter out adjacent satellites you might want to use it.
It's possible you may experience trying to blind scan a particular unknown satellite and snag transponders from its neighbor(s).
Had some success moving dish a bit closer to actual degree. So now we are a couple of counts east from initial peaking of the KBS station. Signals strength the same after adjusting, but now the LNB is not pointing towards the center post a much. It still is far from being looking at the center however. So now we will start looking east. We did try to get the PBS stations again at 125W but no luck.

Thanks again to all.

jjs10foot
 

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