[Sonicview] Newbie and LOST

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cabin4me

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May 22, 2018
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North Carolina, USA
Hi guys,
By the heading, you can see that I am new to FTA. I have already purchased a 40 inch round dish, a Ku band LNB (eBay) and I own an older sonicview sv400, but purchased a newer receiver. (Free to air DVB S2 HD FTA Satellite Receiver DVBS2 with AC3 1080P blind scan) I have setup Direct TV dishes in the past and also some Dish Network, without any problems. I need a good starting point for FTA and which satellites are best for my location (North Carolina, US). If I need a better LNB, please let me know. Also, can I use a motor to change my dish back and forth to satellites? Thank you for any help.
 
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johnnynobody

johnnynobody

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What type of dish? Prime focus or offset? Is it actually round or oval shaped? 40 inches should be OK.
What LNB did you buy? Is it really an LNB or LNBF?
Normally you'd use an USALS type of motor to move the dish.
Do you have pictures that you can post?
 
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radio

radio

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And, probably...the most important thing with Ku, in my opinion is to look at listings and see at WHAT you want to aim! If it's foreign language, you've got a gold mine...if it's other types of programming you want, might best try to narrow down what satellite(s) are most important to you. As the above post said, yes, you can get a motor to move the ku dish, and usually they are powered through the coax that feeds the LNB so no extra wires to run. You must have perfect plumb vertical support for your dish, however, especially if motorized. When aiming at just one satellite, you may get by with tweaking yourself, but if the arc is off on a motorized install, your results will be poor or less than poor. Ask all the questions you need, be specific, and folks here will be happy to help you! Welcome aboard!
 
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KE4EST

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:welcome to SatelliteGuys cabin4me!!!

Yes, please give us more details on your new receiver and dish. Also, once you decide which satellite you want to start with, you will need to make sure your receiver has a good known transponder programmed in. This way you can use your receiver as a meter. This I highly recommend. Take a small TV and the receiver out at the dish and use that. Unless you have a decent meter, you will never find it. The cheapy meters will squeal at anything and mostly the DBS birds. Most FTA signals are much weaker than the paid services.

Also, yes you can use a USALS motor...However, I recommend against one until you have some experience at FTA. Starting out with one can be a nightmare for a newbie.
 
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cabin4me

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May 22, 2018
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I am tied up with some yard sale stuff this week, but as soon as I get some time I will post some pictures of everything I have. Thank you to all that have offered the great advice.
 
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spongella

spongella

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Few tips. Make sure you have a good working compass. Place your dish were there'll be minimal obstructions. You can use a motor (H-H motor, i.e. Horizon to Horizon) but the motor will not automatically find a satellite, you have to position the dish/motor using your Southern-most satellite. KE4EST has good advice, first get your feet wet with a stationary setup. Sometimes moving your dish location to different areas of the property will give better results. And last but not least, seek advice from this forum, you're in the presence of greatness :).

You'll enjoy FTA.
 
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cabin4me

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May 22, 2018
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My dish is actually 30 inches round, not oval. I was able to dial in Galaxy 19 and came up with 176 channels. I have two receivers one is the Sonicveiw sv4000 and it doesn't have the Galaxy 19 satellite listed. The other I purchased on eBay for 30 bucks, it is an HD DVB-S2 and it is the one I found everything with. From the old days of "testing" direct tv channels I have set up a lot of stationary dishes and I feel this helped me with this FTA dish setup. My next question is, which satellite is best for English speaking channels? I noticed that Galaxy 19 seems to have the most channels on it, but most are religious non-English speaking broadcasts. I enjoy the challenge of finding the satellite and finding new channels but am clueless to how the setup for a motor would be. I know it has to be on a perfect arc with the satellites but not sure which satellite to line up on first. I want to play around with it as a stationary setup first and then move to the motorized dish. I did order a new LNBF as I am not sure about the one I have. As for the Sonicveiw receiver, is there a site where I can get updated firmware for it?
 
KE4EST

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As for the Sonicveiw receiver, is there a site where I can get updated firmware for it?
That is like asking where you can updates for a VCR.
I am sure the firmware is as good as it gets for the Sonicview. It is also mostly, only good for G19(97W).
I don't have one in front of me, but can you, via the remote rename satellites? If so that is all you need to do. Receivers are dumb as far as satellite names. They are there just to help us humans stay organized.
You can pick any bird in the list, select the proper LO and such, and scan. If you dish is aimed at 97W it will scan in those channels. It has no way to know which satellite your dish is aimed at unless you tell it.
If you can't rename it to Galaxy 19, just use the one that is in there. Satellites die or get moved. So different ones get moved to their slot...or a new one gets shot into orbit. As long as you are on whatever it shows for 97W you are fine.(Gal 25, Maybe).

When you get ready for a motor, I have a pinned thread at the top of the FTA forum, all about that. :)
 
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KE4EST

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,that spot has had a lot of names in the last 10 years or so.
Actually Gal 25 was there this time ten years ago. Then in late 2008 G19 took over. :)
 
KE4EST

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Yeah,but I'm old and don't have any sense of time anymore :mad::biggrin
Oh, I know that feeling. Time flies!! Just the other day I was talking about a neighbor that had passed away. I was thinking something like 5-6 years. His daughter looks at me and said, Mom has been dead 14 years now. oops. :D
 
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cabin4me

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May 22, 2018
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North Carolina, USA
That is like asking where you can updates for a VCR.
I am sure the firmware is as good as it gets for the Sonicview. It is also mostly, only good for G19(97W).

I understand. I kinda thought that the Sonicveiw would turn out to be an ugly paperweight. I did find and look at your setup for the motor and I must thank you for taking the time to layout those instructions in a way that even a newbie like me would understand. FTA is a nice hobby and I enjoy the challenge that comes with it. I do admire the patience that each and every one of you have when it comes to dealing with my ignorance of the hobby.

So the only other thing I would like to ask (I hope) is which satellites do most of you watch? I know that from my location in the US I am only going to be able to locate satellites from 61D west to 180D west. Also, it won't be long before I move to a C band dish, as I have read that C band is better when it comes to channels I may like. I have also noticed that when you guys are talking about satellites, you don't call them by their name. You will just say 95 west or something like this. Would I be able to pick up more than one satellite in a stationary position?

Again I want to say thank you so much for helping me and welcoming me to this forum.
BTW Where are you all located? US?
 
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cabin4me

Thread Starter
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May 22, 2018
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4
North Carolina, USA
Oh, I know that feeling. Time flies!! Just the other day I was talking about a neighbor that had passed away. I was thinking something like 5-6 years. His daughter looks at me and said, Mom has been dead 14 years now. oops.

I do the very same. I am 49 and each time I think of something from the 90s or even the 80s I feel as though it was just a few years ago. My 14-year-old son tells me that the 80s were a very long time ago. LOL Time seems to get away from us and it gets even faster when you top 40.
 
Arion

Arion

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I have setup Direct TV dishes in the past and also some Dish Network, without any problems.

The best one piece of advice I can give [been doing this for 20 years and have also set up my own DTV and Hughesnet Internet dishes along with C and KU band] is to get a 'decent' signal meter. It will save you a lot of frustration. The beamwidth of a KU band dish your size is a lot narrower than a DTV dish and aiming can be frustrating without proper equipment. And you don't have to break the bank nowdays to get one. You find the satellite your interested in and program the transponder information and move from satellite to satellite until it locks. And some of them today tell you what satellite your aimed at.

There is nothing more frustrating than moving back and forth from the dish to the receiver or listening for the darn thing to beep when your getting close. A lot of people never last in the hobby because locking down a satellite signal can be so frustrating. The DTV type dishes have a wide beamwidth and the satellites are so strong compared to the ones we aim at that one of those dishes is pretty easy compared to FTA. It takes me minutes now to do what took hours and like with any hobby there is a learning curve involved so you have to grit your way thru it. If you can aim a DTV dish then you can also do a FTA dish but it won't be as easy.
 
Phalaenopsis

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I understand. I kinda thought that the Sonicveiw would turn out to be an ugly paperweight. I did find and look at your setup for the motor and I must thank you for taking the time to layout those instructions in a way that even a newbie like me would understand. FTA is a nice hobby and I enjoy the challenge that comes with it. I do admire the patience that each and every one of you have when it comes to dealing with my ignorance of the hobby.

So the only other thing I would like to ask (I hope) is which satellites do most of you watch? I know that from my location in the US I am only going to be able to locate satellites from 61D west to 180D west. Also, it won't be long before I move to a C band dish, as I have read that C band is better when it comes to channels I may like. I have also noticed that when you guys are talking about satellites, you don't call them by their name. You will just say 95 west or something like this. Would I be able to pick up more than one satellite in a stationary position?

Again I want to say thank you so much for helping me and welcoming me to this forum.
BTW Where are you all located? US?

I mostly watch PBS on 125w, NBC on 103w, CNN feeds on 87w.
 

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