OTHER New to FTA

Discussion in 'FTA Receiver / Equipment Support' started by David Tibbets, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. David Tibbets

    David Tibbets Topic Starter Active SatelliteGuys Member

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    Northern Illinois here. Bought an FTA receiver but a little confused about dishes and lnb's. I have 2 dishes. A directv slimline and an older and larger primestar. Confused about what to get for the proper lnbf and which dish might work better or not work at all. I'm an old retired electronics tech and looking for a new hobby. Seems to be a lot of conflicting info on what to use for the proper lnb. Thanks for any replies.
     
  2. KE4EST

    KE4EST SatelliteGuys Is My Second Home
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    :welcome to SatelliteGuys!

    The primestar dish would be better. The slimline is really too small. There were a couple different variety's of PrimeStar. Which one do you have?
    Post pictures if you can.
    Which FTA receiver do you have?
     
  3. David Tibbets

    David Tibbets Topic Starter Active SatelliteGuys Member

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    Used this old Primestar for years on WIFI. Flipped it upside down and got open WIFI a half mile away. Even put a compass and camera on it with an led to move it at night lol.
     

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  4. David Tibbets

    David Tibbets Topic Starter Active SatelliteGuys Member

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    And I thought there would be people in here that could help a newb with a new hobby. Thanx. I'll figure it out the hard way.
     
  5. VictoriaFTA

    VictoriaFTA SatelliteGuys Family

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    Get a PLL LNBF. Seems Amiko Premium L104 is the current model Ku PLL LNBF circulating around. You've also got GEOSATpro SL1PLL or Titanium PLL-1KS as some other options easily found on eBay that will work well.

    Don't think you could pick up much with those dishes. I'd suggest picking up at least a 90cm dish to pick up Ku band feeds. You'll need a 1.2m to get almost everything though, or a 1.8m to get those last few Ku feeds that even a 1.2m dish isn't big enough for. But 90cm is the easiest to start with for a newbie, and you could potentially roof mount it.

    If/when you opt to go with a 1.2m or bigger dish then it really should be mounted out on a pole in the yard. Sadoun's offering a 90cm dish for $140 shipped right now on eBay:
    GEOSATpro 36"/90cm FTA Satellite Dish and .5dB NR SL1PLL Single Standard LNBF | eBay

    It includes a wall mount and it's not a bad way to dip your toes in the water before you move on to something bigger. 90cm is big enough to receive the PBS national mux @ 125W or the NBC feeds @ 103W if used in conjunction with that PLL LNBF.
     
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  6. danristheman

    danristheman SatelliteGuys Pro

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    I am a northern Indiana resident. Primestar dish is a good size dish. Its best to have a 36 inch dish on up to a 4 foot dish for ku. Start off with ku then go from there.
     
  7. spongella

    spongella SatelliteGuys Pro
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    Dave,

    Welcome. We're here to help out. You don't have to figure it out the hard way, You've come to the right place.

    First off, buy yourself the proper dish and LNB. If you are interested in setting up a FTA Ku band system you need at least a 30 inch FTA satellite dish and you need a Ku band LNB. Don't use leftover dishes and LNBs from former subscription satellite services, they are useless for the most part. Save yourself headaches and buy the proper dish for FTA.

    A FTA receiver is also needed. The one you posted I know nothing about. Go to a reputable dealer, like Hypermegasat (or Titanium or Mike (K4EST))and look for a package deal for Ku band FTA. This should include RG/6 coax too. Get yourself a compass. If you don't have a good working compass don't even bother to continue with FTA. This is not a plug and play situation, it's an art and science, but with your background it should be reasonably successful.

    Once you have all that, you can set up your dish at your location. Do a site evaluation see where you want to locate it. Keep in mind that a an unobstructed view of the Southern sky is the best. That's the ideal situation but most of us don't live in ideal situations, we have trees, shrubs, neighbor's houses, etc in the way. So look South (use a compass, this is your most important tool) and that is where your dish will generally have to be in the direction of.

    A dish needs to be mounted plumb. Get one of those levelers that are used for fence posts, Home Depot has 'em, they are L-shaped plastic things with level bulbs at right angles. Nice thing about them is you can attach it with rubber bands to the pole and keep you hands free to bang it in.

    Start out with what is termed a "stationary" dish, that means it's pointed to only one FTA satellite and has no motor. Once you get good at finding satellites (a good one is Galaxy19 at 97W) then you can move on to a motorized setup which will allow you to move your dish remotely to many different FTA satellites. Finding an FTA satellite takes time and patience. It took me three months to find one but I was completely on my own with no prior knowledge and did not know about this great forum site.

    Educate yourself at home by looking at YouTube videos ( if that option is available to you) on how to set up an FTA system. FTA has been around for many years so some of the videos go back several years but the basics or setting up a system are the same. Sadoun satellite has some good videos.

    A lot of us started out in the same situation as you. I learned the hard way but you don't have to. Continue to ask questions and plan for a nice hobby.

    Hope this helps.
     
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  8. David Tibbets

    David Tibbets Topic Starter Active SatelliteGuys Member

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    Thank you all! I determined I needed a Linear Ku band PLL lnb a couple days ago. It's on the way. I cut the cable TV a year ago and had to appease the better half with some OTA TV. Picking up 40 crystal clear channels on 3 YAGI's in different directions which was a feat in itself isolating the antennas from each other. Now it's time for some dish fun. Spring has sprang! Thanx again.
     
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  9. primestar31

    primestar31 SatelliteGuys Master

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    I've got a 3 yagi OTA antenna system myself. 2 UHF antennas, and 1 VHF antenna. It took me about a month or so of tweaking to get them just right for all my local stations.
     
  10. clucas

    clucas SatelliteGuys Guru

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    The Primestar dish will work if you want to use it. I was using it at one time to get GPTV on Ku with my 4Dtv and the lnb that the dish came with. I replaced the original lnb with an LNBF so it was easier to change polarity rather than using a separate switch. I had to fabricate a mount for the LNBF. The degree scale on the dish mount will be of little use. The GTMedia receiver is cheap but will work so you can see what you are able to receive.
     
  11. David Tibbets

    David Tibbets Topic Starter Active SatelliteGuys Member

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    This is more complicated than I thought. I fiddled with it, put it on a temporary tripod. Jury rigged it and put the new lnbf on it. Got it pointed at Galaxy 19. My kid gave me an analog sat meter years ago and it helped. Managed 90 to 93% signal strength. It finds no programs though. I might also add from what I see for channels, 90% are religious TV according to what I read on the net. Is there really anything worth while? I get conflicting data on the net when it comes to what's actually on Galaxy 19.
     
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  12. Titanium

    Titanium AI6US
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    What is the LNB type and LO Setting in the receiver's Install Menu for 97w satellite? Universal (LO: 9750/10600) or Standard (LO: 10750)

    What transponder is selected in the 97w satellite? I usually recommend using 12152 - frequency / Horizontal - Polarity / 20000 - symbol rate

    What brand and model LNBF did you purchase?

    Was the new LNBF mounted with the plastic cover at the same height, distance from the dish and angle?

    Standing in front of the dish and looking at the back of the LNBF, is it rotated (Skew) 8 degrees counterclockwise (towards the West)?

    Fort Freeport, IL to the 97w satellite
    Dish Setup Data
    Elevation: 40.6°
    Azimuth (true): 190.9°
    Azimuth (magn.): 193.7°
    LNB Skew [?]: 8.0°

    The analog meter doesn't tell you what satellite the dish is aimed at or if the LNBF skew is set correctly. You may be aimed at a different satellite as adjacent satellites are separated by only 2 degrees in that area of the sky.

    If you are wondering what you can receive with a small 36" dish (KU band) look at the channel transponder frequency. Transponder frequencies with 5 digits - Example 12152 are KU band and can be received with the smaller dish. Transponders with 4 digits are C-band and a 8 - 10 foot dish with C-band LNBF is necessary.
     
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  13. spongella

    spongella SatelliteGuys Pro
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    There's a lot worthwhile on 97W. Programs from Middle East, Far East,Europe USA, Africa. Many of the channels are in the native language but still entertaining.
     
  14. David Tibbets

    David Tibbets Topic Starter Active SatelliteGuys Member

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    4 CHANNELS! YES! It works. Now it's time to sink a pole in the ground, plumb and concrete it and really start tuning. Figuring out the dish was easier than the pathetic attempt at the manual of the receiver. I'm hooked. Your posts helped out immensely. Thanx all!
     
  15. primestar31

    primestar31 SatelliteGuys Master

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    4 channels is a start, but there's a couple 100 FTA channels on that sat. Maybe not what you want to watch, but they are there.

    Now that you have 4 channels, try a full Blind Scan.
     
  16. David Tibbets

    David Tibbets Topic Starter Active SatelliteGuys Member

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    Tried it but didn't gain anything. Didn't lose anything either. I attribute this to my makeshift cluge on a picnic table. I'm headed out to get some pipe and put it in the ground. Time for some real tweaking. We'll try out the primestar first and possibly go bigger on a dish at some point. Hey I'm a retired old electronics tech that's been put out to pasture. I needed some fun. My total investment so far is 14 bucks for the receiver, 8 bucks for the lnb. Everything else was just laying around. Starting to look like a mini antenna farm here lol.
     
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  17. . Raine

    . Raine SatelliteGuys Pro
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    What channels did you get? You might be locked onto a sat other than 97W.
     
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  18. primestar31

    primestar31 SatelliteGuys Master

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    I agree with this. What's the names on the 4 channels you scanned in?
     
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  19. David Tibbets

    David Tibbets Topic Starter Active SatelliteGuys Member

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  20. spongella

    spongella SatelliteGuys Pro
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    Yep, I remember lassoing my first satellite too, feels good, right? Congratulations.

    Like Titanium said in a previous post satellites in that region of the arc are spaced 2 degrees apart so if you let us know what channels you are receiving that'll give us a clue.

    If you set a pole in the ground, bring a magic marker with you so that when you get a satellite and know which one it is, make a mark on the pole and bracket as a reference.
     

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