What was your first satellite you got when you started with FTA?

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oblio

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Oct 24, 2011
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I'd think many may not want to honestly participate in this discussion simply to avoid bringing up former quilty pleasures like ?????????????????, ###########, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and ************* which is where many of us I suspect learned to aim a Ku dish. My linear experience started with looking for 79W as my due south but somehow finding 97W by totally random chance after hours and hours of frustration (and then promptly losing it when I moved the dish again!). Then it was finally 72W after another extended voyage of discovery with my roof top dish (which i did manage to lock down).
 

Kraven

Resident Bozo
Jun 2, 2012
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Last summer, what a pain in the arse it was. I mounted the 39" dish on top of the shed. I aimed and aimed and aimed without success until I read I had to set the receiver to a specific LNB freq. Then aimed and aimed without success under I discovered the receiver had to be set to a specific transponder. I aimed and aimed again, then i read I was using the wrong output on the quad LNB..aimed and aimed, and finally a signal (NBC on 72W). Imagine going up and down a ladder 50 times and some points, the roof started to sink a bit. Needless to say, today, I could take an etire Ku system out of the box and have it running within an hour.. but the first time took just over a month.

Experience is key

Cheers, K
 

vanalex

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Apr 4, 2004
216
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Northeast Indiana
My first satellite was 97W. That was on a Prime Star Dish with a Fortec Receiver. It took some time to find the satellite but it was a real thrill when I got that first signal lock and scanned in channels. There is still a little of the feeling every time I lock a signal re-aiming a dish or setting up a new one.
 

lost_mesa

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Oct 18, 2010
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My first satellite was Satcom F2 at 119 degrees. This was in 1980 using a 6 foot surplus dish and homebrew feedhorn, LNA, and receiver. Needless to say, the signals were well below threshold with a 6 foot dish, but I didn't care. I can still remembered how excited I was! It took me about 9 months to build the equipment.

Satcom F2 had 18 transponders with CONUS coverage and 6 transponders with an oval footprint that stretched from California to Alaska. Those 6 transponders were the strongest signals for me in Northern California. My first signal was a football game on AFRTS and then Learn Alaska (Tr 18) and the Rural Alaska Television Network (Tr 24). This is from memory, so I may have a few of the details wrong.

Anik A2 and A3 were interesting because they were spin stabilized. The satellites spun at about 100 rpm and a rotating joint in the waveguide allowed the antenna to remain pointed at the earth. With age this rotating joint had become worn, causing the signal strength to vary at a 100 rpm rate. This was very noticeable with my below threshold reception, causing a rapid flicker in the video noise.

I later got a 8 foot surplus terrestrial microwave dish and built a polar mount for it. A 120 degree LNA (only $800) to replace my homebrew LNA also greatly improved my reception.
 

Mr Tony

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Nov 17, 2003
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actually I have to rescind my prior statement

the 1st satellite I worked with was technically G5 at the lakehouse back in late 97 early 98. Had an old Radio Shack analog receiver and a 5 foot dish at G5 with a subscription and a few free channels.
 

wallyhts

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Iceberg said:
actually I have to rescind my prior statement

the 1st satellite I worked with was technically G5 at the lakehouse back in late 97 early 98. Had an old Radio Shack analog receiver and a 5 foot dish at G5 with a subscription and a few free channels.

Why not dish network u could have gotten a free gun!!



image-1659986786.jpg
 

joshrr

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Apr 19, 2010
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Michigan's Upper Peninsula
lost_mesa said:
My first satellite was Satcom F2 at 119 degrees. This was in 1980 using a 6 foot surplus dish and homebrew feedhorn, LNA, and receiver. Needless to say, the signals were well below threshold with a 6 foot dish, but I didn't care. I can still remembered how excited I was! It took me about 9 months to build the equipment.

Satcom F2 had 18 transponders with CONUS coverage and 6 transponders with an oval footprint that stretched from California to Alaska. Those 6 transponders were the strongest signals for me in Northern California. My first signal was a football game on AFRTS and then Learn Alaska (Tr 18) and the Rural Alaska Television Network (Tr 24). This is from memory, so I may have a few of the details wrong.

Anik A2 and A3 were interesting because they were spin stabilized. The satellites spun at about 100 rpm and a rotating joint in the waveguide allowed the antenna to remain pointed at the earth. With age this rotating joint had become worn, causing the signal strength to vary at a 100 rpm rate. This was very noticeable with my below threshold reception, causing a rapid flicker in the video noise.

I later got a 8 foot surplus terrestrial microwave dish and built a polar mount for it. A 120 degree LNA (only $800) to replace my homebrew LNA also greatly improved my reception.

Wow great story. Especially the part about the worn joint on the satellite.
 

raoul5788

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First satellite I picked up with my own equipment was Anik F1, and I think it was the video feed from the Canadian Parliament CPAC. It must not have been scrambled at that time. Took quite a while to get the angles all set up on the big dish, but once I found this satellite I could find the rest so it didn't take long to align things properly. Getting the H and V transponders and the skew sorted out was another challenge as I hadn't figured out how to reset the analog receiver, and the skew angles were really messed up!

The first one I got was also Anik F1. The Blue Jays were playing! I was astonished at what a great picture it was, and it was analog!
 

KE4EST

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My first C-band Satellite was G5 I believe around the year 2000, I was using a GI450 analog rig. I had already installed some of the first DTV dishes at 101 in the late 90's. My first Ku FTA bird was 95W and the CCTV channels in 2006. When I started playing around with C-band again later on my first bird was 91W on a old Topfield receiver a guy gave me when I upgraded his Sky Angel to a new receiver. I was after the audio channels.
 

stanleyjohn

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Mar 25, 2010
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south/central Ct,USA
Thanks for the many great replies :).My first satellite receiver was a usb matchbox pro that i could never get to work then i got a neusat hd that worked ok but the blind scan was slow and would lockup at times.First dish which i still use on my garage roof came as part of a ku package that i got from sadoun.It consisted of a 90 cm Geosat dish,power tech DG280 motor,sadoun linear single ku LNBF,and a Geosat pro DSR200 receiver which wasn't in stock at the time so while waiting for it to come in i tried the matchbox pro which i said before i couldn't get to work then got my first tp station on 72 w with my neusat.When i bought my second package from sadoun later that year which included a 6ft sadoun dish,DMX741 LNBF,Gbox3000 a HARL 24" Actuator and a Solomend PVR100 receiver(You can tell by now that I'm hooked on FTA).Since then i have bought one other receiver (the AZbox Ultra) and most likely will be buying the new Geosat micro HD receiver.
 
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Stargazer

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Sep 7, 2003
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About 12 years ago I used a receiver someone gave me that they used on their C-Band dish. I connected it up to a Primestar dish and watched NBC feeds off of I believe was 101 at the time. Watched Tom Brokaw during the breaks. Couldn't get NBC OTA or on satellite.
 

SATisfied

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Feb 22, 2006
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Lineboro, MD
I got the Ohio News Network, which became Ohio News Now on 74W, which happened to be the closest sat to my true south.....nothing on that sat now.
 

jaytay

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Apr 4, 2011
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Des Moines, IA
My first FTA satellite locked was G17 91*W on the 8 1/2 ft. solid Birdview dish, almost 1 year ago, and here is the picture of the meter showing it "locked"...

IMG_1340.JPG
 

Johnson114

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Apr 18, 2012
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My first FTA lock was in Galaxy 19. That was about three months ago. I do remembered it took me two days to get it locked with the help of a neighbor moving the dish around behind my apartment. It was hilarious. I was a celebration with excitement locking on to a satellite signal. Since then I've been thirty for more satellite signals.
 
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