Portable dome and Dish HD in RV

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Gracie Allen

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Jan 3, 2017
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Minneapolis
I’ve read so many conflicting things about Dish in an RV that, with apologies, I’m going to drag the dead horse back out and flog it some more… It doesn’t seem like it should be this hard, but so far it’s been confusing.

I’m trying to find a reasonable way to switch from Directv to Dish. The house is easy – Hopper, couple Joeys, done. In the RV, with one TV, attached to the wall, it’s been impossible so far:

I’d like at least the same capability I currently have with Directv. Currently, HR 24, AM21 and a Winegard 1518. This means I can record or watch ANY of the SD cable or OTA channels any time – with a maximum of 2, 3 if I’m watching a recording. So, I can be recording an OTA channel, WATCHING a different OTA channel, or any other combination of satellite and OTA for watching and recording. And I can be watching a recorded show, OTA or cable, while 2 are recording. I’d LIKE more than 2 channels when on the road, but I could live with 2 if they were as flexible as I currently have.

I don’t want a fixed roof dish – we spend way too much time in places where the trees will make it not work, and it would be extremely bad to have a $1500-2000 dish on the roof that doesn’t work. I’ve had the manual dish on a tripod in the past and it was a nightmare, especially when traveling alone. Aiming was random and painful, and the signal meter was useless since it saw everything in the sky, rather than the satellite I needed. Unless this has changed drastically, the manual dish on the tripod is the worst possible option.

Which means a portable dome – one small enough to fit in the RV compartment (the 1518 fits fine), and light enough to be handled by me, that will get HD Dish whether I’m on the East coast or West. I don’t care if it’s a Carryout G3 (which specifically says it WILL NOT work with a Hopper), a Tailgater or Pathway X2 (neither of which say they WILL work with a Hopper), or something else. Which portable dome (or domes) work properly (flawlessly) with the Hopper?

If the answer is NONE, I presume I’m stuck with a Wally and a hard drive. How do I get a Wally configured be able to do at LEAST what I currently have?

I’ve been told elsewhere that there is a phone app for changing the local channels (no need to call Dish), but haven’t seen this verified. Nor have I found information on whether this will affect the home system if the locals are changed in the RV.

Will this work with a SINGLE account for both home and RV, which is the only way Dish is cost effective? Or will changing the locals in the RV cause the system at home to be unable to record locals?

So, HOW do I get a simple RV setup to do what I currently do with Directv?
 
D

Doughhead

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I would avoid the tailgator. It requires a short cable, mine never worked well. King support was non existent. I switched to a dish on a tripod.
 
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rvvaquero

rvvaquero

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Hi Gracie, how's George?

First of all, I would recommend the Winegard Pathway X2 if you go with a dome dish. I've owned three of King Control's products and will never buy another.

That being said, I don't think you can do what you want to do. A dome dish is small and round and can only look at one satellite at a time. When you turn it on and set it up, it finds all three satellites and remembers their location. So, when you change channels on the receiver, the dome dish moves to point at whatever satellite your new channel requires. It does it rather quickly so you don't really notice the hesitation.

How does that relate to what you want to do? Well, you say you want to watch one channel and record a different channel. If those two channels are on different satellites, the dome dish can't achieve that. Only a dish capable of seeing multiple satellites at the same time is going to be able to use two different satellites at once. That limits you to the Traveler automatic dish or a tripod mounted full size dish.
 
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Gracie Allen

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Jan 3, 2017
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Minneapolis
George is moving a little slow these days! But, Gracie Allen the cat is doing just fine! She does most of the posting and a lot of the online shopping!

Just for giggles, I figured I’d try one of the recommended (by the Internet) Dish distributors, so I called Solid Signal after posting in here (I wasn't sure WHICH, if any, of the retailers/distributers were any good -- if there are recommendations let me know).

I explained what the minimum setup would be and was told:

Wally has only 1 input. It can only record 1 of ANYTHING. There WERE (he thought) old Wally units that HAD 2 inputs. They may still be available somewhere, but he had no idea.

There is NO portable dome that works with a Hopper. There MAY BE on that with Hopper Duo but they don’t get those, so he had no idea.

He had NO idea how to get even the minimal capability I currently have without a full-sized, stationary roof dish.

I’m starting to remember why we’ve been with Directv 4 years since I originally started trying to move to Dish.

=================================================================

There have to be thousands of people in RVs with Dish, that are getting a reasonable number of concurrent recordings of channels without going through a bunch of messing around. How are they doing it? Are they all in wide-open parking-lot campgrounds with stationary roof-mounted dishes? We've always had a portable dome (or way back a tripod-mounted dish) so we've always tried to get IN the trees where it's shady and cooler. Are they using the manual, tripod-mounted dishes? Which when I mentioned to the domestic associate we might have to go that way said something like "ick" but a LOT more colorful... She too remembers the days of trying to aim the dish and the times when the wind pulled the anchor out of the ground and blew the tripod over and all the other "interesting" times we had.

I'm starting to see being stuck with Directv 'til they terminate their SD programming next year (2020)! I keep thinking I'm missing something 'cause this can't be this difficult (or this expensive)...
 
Jim5506

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I am by no means an expert on the Wally, but IIRC, if you attach an external hard drive to the Wally, it enables the second satellite tuner.
 
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Brussam

Brussam

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You can say you used to be able to watch almost all of DirecTV SD channels on one satellite and that worked fine with a dome dish with a single LNBF. That is changing and to get a full array of DirecTV channels, you will need a multi-headed LNBF dish, and that means a dome dish is severely limited.

If you have been used to multiple channels viewing and recording at the same time, the answer is a ground tripod. For less money than any dome dish, you get a great tripod from TD4RV.com, a new dish, both RA and WA LNBF heads, and most of the other accessories. The only cost killer at the moment is a Applied Instruments meter (like a Super Buddy 29) to be able to aim a Hybrid LNBF dish. That will add $300-$400 used toi the mix but you will not be too far from what a good dome costs. And when you get done, you will have full channel capability that a Hopper 3 can provide.

I guess you could stick with a Hopper 1 or Hopper 2 and eliminate the Hydrid requirement and the associated AI meter but there is too much to gain from a Hopper 3.

If you want to be an RVer, then you need to spend some money and learn some skills.
 
Brussam

Brussam

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I am by no means an expert on the Wally, but IIRC, if you attach an external hard drive to the Wally, it enables the second satellite tuner.
yes a second tuner is added but it will be restricted to the same satellite as the primary input.
 
rvvaquero

rvvaquero

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so I called Solid Signal after posting in here (I wasn't sure WHICH, if any, of the retailers/distributers were any good -- if there are recommendations let me know).

I explained what the minimum setup would be and was told:

Wally has only 1 input. It can only record 1 of ANYTHING. There WERE (he thought) old Wally units that HAD 2 inputs. They may still be available somewhere, but he had no idea.

There is NO portable dome that works with a Hopper. There MAY BE on that with Hopper Duo but they don’t get those, so he had no idea.

He had NO idea how to get even the minimal capability I currently have without a full-sized, stationary roof dish.

I don't know who you talked to at Solid Signal, but they need to do their homework. The Wally was upgraded to two satellite tuners a couple of years ago, if you have the dvr capability enabled. Also, you can record two OTA channels if you add the OTA module for $30. So, the Wally is capable of recording four separate channels. I know, I do it sometimes. Quite often I record three while watching one.

Following his logic, the Hopper 3 would need more than 16 inputs.
 
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Jim5506

Jim5506

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yes a second tuner is added but it will be restricted to the same satellite as the primary input.
- when used with a dome type antenna.

If you use a standard dish on a tripod mount multiple satellites are available.
 
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G

Gracie Allen

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Jan 3, 2017
14
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Minneapolis
Brussam, as far as I know, I haven't found ANY portable (or fixed) dome that will provide HD on Directv. All I've ever found is one's that'll do HD on Dish and only SD on Directv. And since Directv keeps threatening to shut off the SD, I figure that's a good excuse to move to Dish if I can do what I want to do.

Hopefully not to get too strident, but THAT'S THE PROBLEM! I get different answers every time I call Dish - from "nope, it just can't be done" to "oh, sure, you can do this and this and this, but I'm not sure how", to people I THOUGHT were supposed to be experts on Dish who tell me exactly the OPPOSITE of what's in here - that the Wally USED to be two tuners, but NOW it isn't.... Repugnant as Directv's phantom price changes, poor treatment of long-term customers, miserable support and lack of veracity is, at least I've got a system that works 'til they break SD...

So, let me make sure I have this correct..... I get one of the domes that says it'll get Dish HD (I presume at least ONE of them (Pathway X2? If not, which) will work whether I'm on the East coast or the West or anywhere in between). I get a Wally. I plug in an external HDD (I'll ask about exactly what that means in a moment). I plug in the OTA dongle. Can I concurrently record
1 of ANY of the OTA channels and 1 satellite channel
Any TWO satellite channels as long as they're on the same satellite?
Any TWO OTA channels?
Watch one OTA channel while recording a different OTA channel?
Watch a previous recording while any of the above is happening?

With a single account, can I use the phone app to tell Dish to provide the local channels where I am (say, East Overshoe, Utah) WITHOUT screwing up the local channels at home in Minnesota? Or does Dish do the same <string of vulgarities> thing Directv does?

Is there ANYTHING special, non-standard or bizarre about the external HDD? I have several 1 and 2 TB HDD sitting around, and several USB2 (or USB3) external, self-powered HDD enclosures. Is this HDD a standard USB plug?
 
NYDutch

NYDutch

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Everything you wrote above is correct EXCEPT you cannot get locals for two different locations on the same account. You can only have one "Service address", and that determines which locals will be authorized for all receivers on the account. That's no different than DTV. The app may or may not work for changing locals depending on how the account is set up and the equipment used. Even without the app, changing locals is a simple process requiring no more than a few minutes of your time.

The external HDD is a standard USB (externally powered recommended) device up to 2TB. As I recall, larger drives will work, but will only format to 2TB.

The only automatic dome that receives the full western and eastern arc lineup is the Winegard Pathway X2.
 
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Gracie Allen

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I suspected this would be the case... So Dish does the same thing Directv does - it's changing the service address which means the system at home is totally screwed for locals if you change it to get locals where you are. I was hoping Dish was more accomodating but figured it wasn't. Are most people using two separate accounts and paying double fees when the mobile one is active?

When I looked at the Pathway X2 specs, I don't see a separate 12V cable. Does it get all it's power from the Dish receiver or does it use a 3 cable (2 coax, 1 power) setup like my elderly Winegard 1518?
Other than being heavier (and possibly too large to fit in the storage compartment) is there any problem specific to the Pathway that would make it a poor choice?
 
Jamie57

Jamie57

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Yes Pathway X2 has no power cable, all power comes from the receiver through the coax cable. The specs for the pathway x2 shows it is only 1 inch larger diameter than your winegard 1518. Pathway x2 weighs 16 lbs. I believe the Pathway X2 is the best choice being that it can receive full western or eastern arc, which is great for camping near trees.
 
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Gracie Allen

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Minneapolis
Nice... Sounds like, if the information here is accurate, this is doable with a reasonable amount of angst! Other than not being able to get the locals through the dish, which is the same problem we've always had with Directv. Long as the OTA dongle brings in all the available channels concurrently it should be workable.
 
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Gracie Allen

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Hopefully, y'all can confirm or refute what I found in a different forum:

A Wally receiver when used with any of the portable dome dishes can only receive one satellite channel plus two OTA channels with an optional USB adapter. The Wally can also be configured as a DVR with the addition of an external USB hard drive and payment of a one time fee.

My understanding from here (if I have it correct) is that IF the two channels are on the same satellite, the Wally CAN record two concurrent satellite channels... I"m looking at a Pathway X2 and my understanding is that MOST satellite channels (say the locals when we're in the spot beam) are on the same satellite... So, will the Wally record 2 with this dome or just 1?
 
Bobby

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Hopefully, y'all can confirm or refute what I found in a different forum:

A Wally receiver when used with any of the portable dome dishes can only receive one satellite channel plus two OTA channels with an optional USB adapter. The Wally can also be configured as a DVR with the addition of an external USB hard drive and payment of a one time fee.

My understanding from here (if I have it correct) is that IF the two channels are on the same satellite, the Wally CAN record two concurrent satellite channels... I"m looking at a Pathway X2 and my understanding is that MOST satellite channels (say the locals when we're in the spot beam) are on the same satellite... So, will the Wally record 2 with this dome or just 1?
You can get two satellite channels, same satellite, only if you have have an external hard drive and you pay the one time $40 DVR fee.
 
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Gracie Allen

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Minneapolis
Awesome... The hard drive isn't a problem. I've got 1 and 2 TB drives laying around and external, self-powered carriers to spare...
 

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