What you need to get legal FTA/MPEG2 channels

Discussion in 'FTA FAQ's' started by PSB, Aug 22, 2004.

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  1. PSB

    PSB Topic Starter On vacation

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    Here is a list of the basics that are needed to pick up legal FTA channels...

    YOU WILL NEED A COMPASS!
    YOU MUST HAVE LINE OF SIGHT TO THE SATELLITE/S

    A satellite signal will not pass through trees or leaves, take into account future tree growth and other possible obstructions, overhanging braches and balconies cause a lot of trouble with self installs.

    A minimum 30"/75cm minimum satellite dish, a 1 meter/39" is recommended for some feeds and northern locations.

    Standard Ku band LNBF (11.7-12.2ghz) L.O. of 10750 (most people use one of these)
    or
    Universal Ku band LNBF (10.75-12.2ghz) L.O. of 09750 / Hi Lo 10600/22khz tone.
    (The universal LNB gives you a wider scanning range but cant be used with most satellite meters as it also uses a 22khz tone switch).

    (DirecTV + Dish Network LNBF have Circular polarization and will not work for most FTA programs, but there are a few channels you can pick up with one see below*)

    A DVB MPEG2 FTA Digital receiver preferably with the blind/smart search function.
    The blind/smart search finds live feeds/channels you would difficult and time consumong to find using a regular receiver.

    RG6 cable from receiver to LNBF (or to motor then to LNBF if using a motor)
    Ground block and f-connectors
    There are also computer cards available that work as receivers.

    Optional items:
    If the receiver is DiSEqC 1.2 compatible then a motor can be added to the system opening up all the available FTA satellites in the Clarke belt as long as you have a clear line of sight to them.

    An additional item to expand onto your system is a DiSEqC switch. These allow you to hook up to 4 dishes to a system.

    *With a simple 2 way DiSEqC switch and a "dual LNB Bracket" you can easily add a DBS LNB to your system to give access to FTA DBS channels/Audio.

    Its always a good idea to do your homework before purchasing any FTA/MPEG2 system, if you are going to be doing the installation yourself be prepared to not get the whole job done in one day, and don't be disappointed if it does not all click together at your first try, don't give up and blame the equipment, there are very few BAD brand new LNBF and receivers being shipped : ) but its always the first thing people new to the hobby seem to blame it on. If all else fails hire a local licensed satellite installer. Ask first if they have ever done a Ku band installation, and what type of satellite meter they use, if they say they use a small TV , do it yourself or get a professional with the right tool for the job, there are VERY few DirecTV/Dish installers who have ever done a Ku band install never mind have the right positive identification satellite meter for quick accurate installations. You CAN do the install yourself, and the members here can help!
     
  2. Iceberg

    Iceberg The No Pain Train
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    opened up thread for any questions....
     
  3. mrmorris

    mrmorris New Member

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    I've seen the Winegard 76cm dish recommended several times as 'the' dish to get -- and I've seen several notes like the above that recommend getting a dish larger than 75cm. However -- I haven't read any suggestions on a dish to get that's larger than the Winegard. This leads to a several questions:

    1. What does the larger dish buy me (presuming we're staying in KU-land -- obviously 6' or better would get me C-Band)? I live in Florida (can't get much less northern than that) -- so does this get me clearer reception? More robust reception (i.e. storms/etc. less likely to cause poor quality picture)?
    2. All I really see in FTA dishes are 75 cm, 1-meter, and 6-feet+. So presumably for KU-band, I'm looking at either 75cm or 100cm -- there doesn't appear to be a third option.
    3. Are there any downsides to the larger dish (other than price). A quick check shows me the Winegard for sale at $60 and the Pansat 3ft at $100. Is the ~$40 hit the only one I'm going to take, or does the larger dish need a larger moter, more expensive LNBF, etc?
    4. Do you have a recommendation on a 1-meter dish?

    Putting together a 1-m system possibility right quick, I have:
    - Pansat 2500a Blind Search FTA DVB Receiver $ 189.95
    - Pansat 3ft Prime Focus FTA Ku Satellite Dish Antennas $ 99.95
    - Pansat Prime Focus Ku Band LNBF $ 49.95

    - Sg2100 H-H Offset Dish Positioner Mover DiSEqC $ 99.95
    $~440 total

    A comparable 76 cm system would be
    - Pansat 2500a Blind Search FTA DVB Receiver $ 189.95
    - Winegard DS2076 76cm dish $ 59.95
    - .6 Ku MPEG-2 Digital Ready LNBF $ 21.95

    - Sg2100 H-H Offset Dish Positioner Mover DiSEqC $ 99.95
    $~372 total

    So about a $70 difference overall -- an 18% increase in price over the 75 cm system. If the 1-m dish buys me anything at all (and I'm not missing anything) -- it's worth it.
     
  4. PSB

    PSB Topic Starter On vacation

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    If you have a source for the 1 meter dish this is what I would go for, most people want to upgrade the dish before anything else, but the Winegard is a great dish for its size and price. The bigger dish costs more and even the shipping costs extra as they are an oversized item : (

    Being so far south a 30" Winegard would work well, but like most dish the signal will cut out in bad weather, I use a 30" dish and it works well here in MN. I wish I was as far south as you : )
     
  5. snathanb

    snathanb Supporting Founder
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    I have an old Direcway dish that is about 3 feet across, can I use this dish, with a proper LNB added?
     
  6. PSB

    PSB Topic Starter On vacation

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    Yes thats what I use for linear KU signals! Hook it up to a DVB receiver and get started!
     
  7. snathanb

    snathanb Supporting Founder
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    Pete,

    Thanks for the response... is there a particular type of LNB that I need to get in order for it to properly fit on the feedhorn arm of the D'way dish? Also, what grade motor do I need to move that size dish around?

    Thanks!
     
  8. PSB

    PSB Topic Starter On vacation

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    The LNB on the dish right will work for most FTA channels up there (Linear/KU)
    I cant really recommend using a motor with a Direcway dish unless you remove most of the polar mount. Thats where the real weight is. A member here posted pictures and plans for a modification to a Primestar dish that would also work in this application. I will post a link to it here. A SG2100 motor would work well with this modification as its OK to use a dish up to 1.2m in size.

    http://www.satelliteguys.us/showthread.php?t=42450&highlight=Primestar+dish
     
  9. snathanb

    snathanb Supporting Founder
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    Pete.. thanks a bunch for the link... great resource!

    So.. the LNB that is sitting on my Direcway dish right now is a linear one? That's great!
     
  10. PSB

    PSB Topic Starter On vacation

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    Yep! I have a few of DirecPC/way dish and they are PERFECT for linear FTA! Just a wee bit to heavy. I am hoping to try the above modification myself if it EVER gets warm enough here!
     
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