receiving out of area transponders



Original poster

I moved from Detroit to DC a while back and discovered that when I hooked up my dish system I was still able to receive my local station from Detroit (a huge benefit) by keeping my old address as my billing address.

But Dish has moved the Detroit locals to a different transponder and I now have difficulty picking them up. On a clear day my reception on the locals usually hovers around the mid 50s, but if there is slightest bit of weather I loss them.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can improve this reception? I currently use a dish 500 with a dishplayer and 4900. I'm also using an inline amplifier which has helped a little bit.

Would a large dish like the Superdish help?

I love being able to keep up with news from home and would gladly pay Dish to receive these channels, but of course the FCC won't allow that.

Any advice would be greatly apprecated.

Thanks in advance for the advice,
Likely your Detroit locals are on a spotbeam transponder. You are lucky to see them at all. The only way to improve reception would likely be to move closer towards detroit. :D

I was afraid that was the answer... :(

A Dish tech told me the Detroit locals are on spotbeam transponder 10. Although the sometimes they are listed as transponder 70 on the dishplayer, I'm not sure why.

Thanks for the graphic...Looking at it makes sense since it looks like I am right on the edge of the signal. Although some of beams don't seem to make sense (ie DC & Philly using 4 & 6 which are both out west).

Still I figure there has to be something I can do to improve reception. Even a little improvement should make drastic different since I am so close to the borderline of receiving a signal.

Any other suggestion???
A larger dish would provide more gain. But it would have to be significantly larger, not just a SuperDish.

An RF engineer can work out the numbers precisely for you. For example, a pretty typical 1.8 meter antenna will have a gain of around 45 dB at 12.7 GHz (receive). A 76cm offset feed dish (about 30 inches) will have around 38 dB of gain.

That 7 dB increase will give you roughly 4 times the signal into your receiver, all other things being equal.

However, keep in mind that a higher gain dish also usually has a smaller beam width, meaning it "views" a smaller "cone" of the sky. With a single satellite that is not very important, but Dish uses multiple satellites for most orbital locations, so picking up all the satellites could be an issue.
Seems like the Detroit locals are on 110. When the dish is setup, or when you get the peak angles, it balances and averages the peak angles for 119 and 110. What you need to do is go to the peak angles menu and choose dish 300 and sat 110. Align your dish 500 to 110 and your signal strength will increase for those locals while decreasing the channel on 119 a little.

Might not be much but it does make a difference.
If someone is on the fringe of a spotbeam and would require a dish that is a good bit bigger then you should get a bigger dish to wire up to a sw-21 switch aimed at 110 while you can use your Dish500 dish at 119 leaving it as it is right now. If you have a Twin lnbf with the switch built in then you may have to get a single slot lnbf to put at the 119 end of the Y bracket. You would then need to do a check switch test.
Although some of beams don't seem to make sense (ie DC & Philly using 4 & 6 which are both out west).

They are Spotbeam 13 using transponders 4 & 6. The circles are the spotbeams, not the TPs.
You have a half way reasonable signal, therefore a bigger dish will help. The Detroit locals are on transponder 10 at 110 therefore point the Dish 500 antenna at 119 only and use a larger dish for 110, my guess is a 1.2 meter would be sufficient to give you an 80 plus signal which is quite adequate for almost continuous reception except during very heavy rain. If you want to get an even better signal go for a 1.8 meter which is what we use in the Caribbean. Depending upon what you have at the moment you may need to change your LNBF's but that is simple and a two dish combination works well.
The reason the DISHPlayer sometimes says Tp or Spotbeam 70 is because it is Transponder 270 in the System.

Luckily they are on Tp 10 as the Tp 2 and Tp 8 from that area do not make as much signal down our way.

A 30" dish may solve the problem except for significant rainfade.

I am getting 82 on the DISHPlayer on a cloudy day here in Reading, PA with a 30" dish.
I greatly appreciate all the advice...

Since I'm already using AppliedAggression's suggestion of point the dish directly at the 110 feed and losing a little quality off the 119* (only a few notches), it sounds like a bigger dish just for the 110* is the way to go.

This sounds like it should not be too hard. Just replacing the exist dual LNBF with a single and getting large dish with a single, or could I just not use half of the existing dual??? I should even be able to use my existing SW-21 switch, right?

BTW, any suggestion on a make or model for the large dish or does it really make a difference?

Now lets make it a little more difficult....

I've been thinking about getting HDTV (who hasn't, if only it wasn't so #%$ expensive). Could the dish 500 be used to pick up both 119* and the 105*? If so, I would assume this would require a more complicated switch, right?

Again I am grateful that I stumbled across this board, the advance has been invaluable.

Before loading up your yard, roof, or whatever with several dishes you might check out the site below concerning multiple feeds from a single dish.

If you decide to go that way, I would also recommend checking out ebay for a new or used Primestar dish. They come in different sizes with the largest being about 40"x30". If you have some patience you might get a great deal. I bought a new one for $20 plus shipping (which was about $21). In addition, if you get one with an LNB, I believe you might be able to use for the 105 or 121 locations.
I would probably go with like a 32" inch Dish and point it towards 110.

That should be enough to pick up a satisfactory signal for Detroit :)

Hey, you could always pick up just channel 38 on 61.5 :) Lots of good quality programming there :)

Anchorage now has full set of nets, KTUU NBC added


Free 811 to new subs

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 0, Members: 0, Guests: 0)

Who Read This Thread (Total Members: 1)