What Happened to Everybody?

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I'm still here... Lots of other stuff going on these days managing my business, maintaining equipment (not just FTA stuff), and on the road quite a bit with the truck. Very difficult finding employees that are capable/functional these days so I have to do everything myself.
I am also more busy with ham radio and club activities.
I just don't have as much time to put into FTA anymore. Also as I get older it takes more time to do things that are a priority I guess.

I am glad to have this forum and others to keep me up-to-date, and I do post once-in-a-while... often a long while though. It's still a fun and rewarding hobby.

My HH120 motor died a few months back and I haven't had time to repair it. I suspect water damage, the seal at the top of the unit was leaking a bit last time I had it apart. The 1m Ku dish mounted on it worked great for blind-scanning, but not so much now it's stationary. I don't think these are being made anymore, and if they were available I might not be able to get it shipped here; another problem I am having up here these days.

Winter is here, maybe I'll be on more often as work tapers off a bit. :)

Off to work...
-C.
 
The lack of fair priced equipment is what's going to run me out of the hobby as lightning got me again this year and I now no longer have a spare Vbox dish mover.
I can't remember ever having trouble with lightning except at work.
Ennywho, it is what it is and @ 78 with failing health, I may not need more spares.

Just saying......................
Maybe you need spare parts for your body. It sure sucks to get old huh? 71 here. With all the advances made in medical science one would expect to live to 140. Oh well.
 
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I think a lot people who were into FTA lost interest in it because of the trash on TV today.
One reason I enjoy FTA is because I don’t like most of what’s on network TV today. Also I can only get a few OTA channels anyway. Those who live in/near big cities got a huge selection. But living in the sticks is a worthwhile tradeoff for me.

And I won’t pay for streaming services. If I can’t watch TV for free then I got plenty of other things to do.

There are tons of free things on my Roku, which I watch occasionally. Usually I just use it for music. But watching things on the Roku just isn’t the same. For one it’s not the 4:3 picture I get on most FTA channels. And it’s kinda like work. Typing on it is a pain. Loading services especially XUMO takes longer than running the dish fully across the arc. I don’t get the same appreciation as just hopping around the dish and seeing what weird things show up. It’s also not the same with the tech itself. Kinda like the folks who appreciate music more when it’s played on the original LP tech. It’s just a different feeling getting TV from the old tech. Bump the dish as needed, no internet connection, etc.
 
Years back I always wanted to play around with fta, but due to my location it wasn't possible. Now I live in the boonies with a clear southern sky, so a few years back i spent a bunch of money on equipment and had fun learning how to get everything set up. At the end of the day though I can get most of the channels over my OTA antenna that I can get with the dish, and last week I got fiber internet (I never dreamed that would ever happen at my location) so there is basically no limit to what's available "if" I wanted to watch it. I recently fixed my motor and got my dish operational again so I can scan the sky's occasionally but as far as spending more money on equipment I'm probably done.
 
I had moved and couldn't set up my dishes until this year, and when I did, I realized that my view of the southern sky was limited. I still enjoy reading about other people's successes and finds, though. And I would very much like to get confirmation in early spring of where my view is. I think there's a tree that blocks 87W from here.

BTW, if anyone near Pennsylvania wants some dishes for experimenting, hit me up. It's time for me to realize that there will be no big dish farm here.

My current abode has a single dish right now aimed at 101 for the music channels, and three receivers (two of which are old DVB-S with phono outs) throughout the house for music. And really, I'm content with that. I bought some 8tb hard drives and put together a NAS with OpenMediaVault, and ripped all my DVDs to it so I can watch whatever I want from anywhere in the house without commercials.
 
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5g pretty much killed my C-band. And most of what I put all these dishes up for has gone to fiber delivery (Sports) or encrypted, so all my dishes are essentially useless. I don't watch news, I don't watch networks.
Ironic thing is I now have ALL the tools I need to build a mount from scratch, but I have absolutely no need to. There's not much to watch for me anymore. That's why I sold my more expensive boxes and now use an appliance box for what little I do watch. It hasn't been on in weeks. An internet connection and an apple tv box gets me all the free TV I can handle, And T-Mobile lets me watch my Red Sox for free every year.

Anyone that wants to travel to the New Orleans area and can provide a little help could leave with a truck full of dishes....Only thing I lack is an excavator to dig up the poles. LOL
 
I drop by the Forum periodically. usually with a technical question or where can I find this network feed, etc. I found the Amazon Firestick with a KODI build eliminated the need for satellite feeds. You can find and stream any channel from anywhere in the world for free. I just use my dish now pas a =hobby, just to see what I can find.
 
Huh, I retired in January of 2006 @ 60 years old and never looked back!! Bought my 10 ft Winegard system with an Echostar 7000 receiver in 1988.

The lack of fair priced equipment is what's going to run me out of the hobby as lightning got me again this year and I now no longer have a spare Vbox dish mover.

Ennywho, it is what it is and @ 78 with failing health, I may not need more spares.

Just saying......................
I got started with an existing local dealer that (like many) turned out to be scammers. Pressure-selling $4,000.00 systems on bank credit. I remember they had gotten this one old guy they laughed about who had wanted an "el cheapo" (at least to their $4,000 eyes) system and asked if he could get a hand crank to save $. How he would have even known about this stuff I don't know, unless he'd had a buddy with an early system. Anyway, the scammers' punchline was the guy's pitch back at them: "Just make a scratch for every satellite, and I'll match you scratch for scratch!" They found this absolutely hilarious.

Also the time the chief scammer went on a sales call to a dilapidated house (leads were generated by scattershot telemarketing) and, after thoroughly deriding the prospect, the laugh line was "I fell through the steps!"
 
I got started with an existing local dealer that (like many) turned out to be scammers. Pressure-selling $4,000.00 systems on bank credit. I remember they had gotten this one old guy they laughed about who had wanted an "el cheapo" (at least to their $4,000 eyes) system and asked if he could get a hand crank to save $. How he would have even known about this stuff I don't know, unless he'd had a buddy with an early system. Anyway, the scammers' punchline was the guy's pitch back at them: "Just make a scratch for every satellite, and I'll match you scratch for scratch!" They found this absolutely hilarious.

Also the time the chief scammer went on a sales call to a dilapidated house (leads were generated by scattershot telemarketing) and, after thoroughly deriding the prospect, the laugh line was "I fell through the steps!"
On a lot of industrial equipment, the satellite actuator is just an Andco actuator which they’ve built since the 70s. We use them as a substitute for a pneumatic cylinder on knife gates and rotary valves, but they show a satellite dish in the list of applications. And where you can use an Andco, you can use a basic screw jack by Duff Norton among many others. I’ve been in the industry 25 years. Maybe that old guy was in the industry too.

When I started C band, my gf didn’t even have a hand crank on hers. Just a fixed bar. She called my actuator a “foot”.
 
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Talking about system costs.......My 10ft Winegard system cost me $2200 installed in 1988. That was with a Von Wise mover that I still have and the Echostar 7K receiver which has been gone a while now.

In 1995 I upgraded to a GI-920 which I still have but don't use.

Still have a Pansat 3500 that I also haven't used in years!

What I'm using now is in my sig below and I guess that will be the end of it.

Just saying.................
 
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Talking about system costs.......My 10ft Winegard system cost me $2200 installed in 1988. That was with a Von Wise mover that I still have and the Echostar 7K receiver which has been gone a while now.

In 1995 I upgraded to a GI-920 which I still have but don't use.

Still have a Pansat 3500 that I also haven't used in years!

What I'm using now is in my sig below and I guess that will be the end of it.

Just saying.................
I still have my 920 and 922. Haven’t used them since 2016. Think I paid around $250 for the 922. The 920 I got for free later on. I much preferred the 920 piggybacked to the analog box. The 922 would store the satellite position every time you bumped the dish and that drove me nuts.

Other than that, I think I paid maybe $80 for the Corotor. Went through a couple Ku LNBs. And a servo motor every couple years. Still on the original C band LNB, dish, actuator, and analog box, all of which came with the house in 99, but I do have spare parts. FTA boxes were all market price.
 
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I'm also a rabid audiophool and have been wheelin' and dealin' stereo gear, I have way too many speakers, amps, etc. I'm selling underused/redundant gear so I can buy that MiniDSP Flex 8 HTx to use as my preamp/eq/DAC/active crossover. I'm also putting together an off grid solar system so that's a big time sink......
 
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I was posting until people complained. So i stopped. But also discovered the ignore option for some folks that get out of hand. Wish everyone out there a merry Christmas! And for those who have helped me thank you.
 
I still have my 920 and 922. Haven’t used them since 2016. Think I paid around $250 for the 922. The 920 I got for free later on. I much preferred the 920 piggybacked to the analog box. The 922 would store the satellite position every time you bumped the dish and that drove me nuts.

Other than that, I think I paid maybe $80 for the Corotor. Went through a couple Ku LNBs. And a servo motor every couple years. Still on the original C band LNB, dish, actuator, and analog box, all of which came with the house in 99, but I do have spare parts. FTA boxes were all market price.
I still have my 922 and HDTV side car for it. I spent $1000 for the 922 when it came out. I had a VCRS module also. Too bad we'll never use this tech again.
 
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I've not hooked up my FTA stuff in probably 5-7 years. I've still got a 6 foot dish on a mount, and a 39" KU dish. I remember it was really fun then fiber came along. My old actuator died years ago, and I gave the 8 foot dish away. Maybe this summer if I get bored I'll hook up something for old times sake. Doubt my lnb is any good by now lol
 
^You might have to tune in the dish after that long. I read somewhere the declination angle in the sky changes over time and you’re supposed to adjust it every year or two or whenever it goes out.

I’m still running my Echostar C band LNB that was on the dish when I got my house in 1999. I bought another of the same thing as a backup but haven’t needed it yet. I tried swapping them a few times to rule out problems but they perform identically.

Ku LNBs on the other hand, I’m on at least my 3rd one. Always new Norsats. They just die. Go figure.
 
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I'm still here and enjoying the hobby. When the last transponder that I can see goes dark I will just repurpose the dishes and carry on. Still lots of stuff to experiment with in satellite land. I plan to reinstate my ham license and get a SDR TX/RX and a nano VNA and make a system to receive drone video when they fly near my house. Woe to any drone operator who invades my privacy. ADSB, NOAA weather satellites, ham satellites, Marine AIS, new digital modes on vhf/uhf, lots of fun to be had. Thanks to the many people here who have helped me out. Have a good year all!