What's the deal with NBC Mux Ch4 on SES-3 (103W), KU? (1 Viewer)

cyberham

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While in the Play store install VLC for Android too on your smartphone. This will allow you to stream those hard-to-catch NBC mux channels to your smartphone while at the dish. So you can aim the dish while watching the SQ and also check visual picture quality at the same time.

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pacificrim

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Those channels are most definitely monitor channels. You'll see teleprompters, empty news rooms, NASA, and 12 years ago I watched a SNL rehearsal. Super cool MUX to watch.

Your Orby dish (65cm) is pretty small. Consider a bigger dish. 65cm is good for music on 103
 
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rmccolman

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You don't need a sat meter. Most of us have a computer or spare smartphone with camera, wifi and our main smartphone. Bring up your receiver's signal meter on your TV, aim a computer or smartphone camera at the TV screen, start Real VNC or similar program on the computer and your camera, receive the Real VNC signal via wifi at your dish using the Real VNC free downloadable app. You tune your dish while looking at your smartphone.

If you own an Edision receiver, it's even better. You do the above without using Real VNC. You simply connect to your networked Edision via wifi and the Edision app on your smartphone. The latency between the connection of your smartphone and sat receiver is not a problem and you can aim your dish reliably. A TV at the dish is no longer necessary. You can also remotely change selected transponder or satellite using this method.
Thanks for the info.

BTW, what's a smartphone? :) (Sorry -- I couldn't resist!)

Richard
 

rmccolman

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Those channels are most definitely monitor channels. You'll see teleprompters, empty news rooms, NASA, and 12 years ago I watched a SNL rehearsal. Super cool MUX to watch.

Your Orby dish (65cm) is pretty small. Consider a bigger dish. 65cm is good for music on 103
I have wondered about a bigger dish. But I'm reticent to spring for one, not knowing whether it will be enough to pull in the NBC MUX channels reliably. Comfortably_numb says he has the same NBC MUX reliability issues using his 90 cm dish, though I don't know how perfect his alignment is with the 103W satellite when he's aimed at it. If I had some confidence that the NBC MUX channels would be reasonably reliable with a 90 cm or a 1.2 m dish, I'd strongly consider purchasing one. (I don't think I'm ready to spring for an 8- to 10-foot dish unless I can get real deal on one somewhere.)

My 65 cm Orby does a great job reliably pulling in other channels such as DW, NHK, CGTN, Cozi, NBC regional feeds etc,. so it's perfectly adequate for the "standard signal strength" stuff.

As I mentioned previously, my main spark to get into FTA was the fact that I had this Orby dish sitting around with no purpose after Orby TV went belly-up, so with an additional investment of less than $100 for a good FTA receiver I was able to jump into the FTA realm. I'd need to do a fair amount of head scratching before making a much bigger investment in equipment.

Richard
 

cyberham

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I have a 1.2m dish on a motor. The footprint of 103W is supposedly 6 dB lower here (44 dBW) than at your location (50 dBW) since I am at the edge of coverage.

Right now, I am receiving NBC West at 11.3 to 11.5 dB and the NBC mux channels varying from 7.8 to 8.0 dB. As the signal drops to 7.8 dB there is some pixelation. So 8.0 dB is likely the minimum needed for solid reception of the mux channels. Earlier closer to sunrise, the level was 8.0 to 8.3 dB with no pixelation.

A 1.2m dish will always give a stronger receive signal than my 1m dish. How much? In past, I did tests receiving 87W and found the 1.2m dish was only about 1 to 2 dB more than my 1m dish. But that amount is important especially when weather is poor and signals are weaker.

There are no guarantees. But if you're serious about FTA, get a 1.2m dish. If not so serious, use a 90 cm or 1m dish. Where you're located, they will work fine most of the time for most signals.
 
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rmccolman

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Thanks for the input, cyberham!

I do like watching the NBC MUX channels, especially MSNBC, so I might considering springing for a 1.2m dish at some point, and point my Orby dish at another satellite (guess I'll need to pick up a switch, too!). Will need to figure out a decent mounting solution for that bigger dish. (Orby dish is mounted on the house exterior wall, southwest-facing corner.)

Once you get up to the 1.2m range, would wall mounting become less practical, would you say? (Seems like it could be.)

If so, I may look at a pole mount. (Don't like the idea of penetrating my roof.)

Thanks again,

Richard
 

cyberham

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Don't even consider a wall mount for a 1.2m. Use a perfectly plumb pole mounted securely in the ground. One down side of a 1.2m nowadays is it's hard to find a motor for them. But you can fix it on 103W and use your Orby dish for other satellires.

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rmccolman

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Don't even consider a wall mount for a 1.2m. Use a perfectly plumb pole mounted securely in the ground. One down side of a 1.2m nowadays is it's hard to find a motor for them. But you can fix it on 103W and use your Orby dish for other satellires.

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That (avoiding wall mounting with a 1.2m) confirms my thinking, cyberham.

I tend to lean away from using a motor, especially to get the absolute best aim, since I assume that the motor's gearing might have a little slop, particularly as it wears over time. (Even with worm gearing to minimize backlash, wear down the road might increase backlash.) That said, I imagine that some sat motor users might argue with me on that point. :)

Given that the NBC MUX channels need the most accurate aim to maximize reliable signal, it seems that a fixed mount would be best anyway.

Thanks
 

rmccolman

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Yikes! -- it looks like a 1.2m dish requires freight shipping, but not so with a 90cm or 1m dish. Since it appears that a 1m dish has about 10 or more times the surface area of my Orby dish, I might go that route.

Richard
 

cyberham

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Yup. If you buy two 1.2m dishes (with a friend?) or drive it home then you save on shipping. I was able to carry mine home in my van from Toronto. Whereas I found my two 1m dishes locally for free and $20 respectively.

Added: You can compare gain and beamwidth of different dishes with link below. I use 75% for efficiency.


By the way, the mux channels are now peaking 8.8 dB on my 1.2m. Beautiful to watch CNBC with no pixelation.

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rmccolman

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Question:
Has anyone cobbled together some sort of DIY fine-aim adjustment for smaller KU band dishes (less than 1.2 meters)? Given the mount design of the Orby dish, having something, especially for the elevation adjustment, that will make it easier to fine-tweak the aim precisely would be most helpful. Unlike the azimuth, which will hold position when the nuts are loosened up, the dish "falls" in elevation as soon the elevation lock nuts are loosened. Overall, I find it a bit more difficult to fine-aim the elevation. So the issue is really a combination of having something to hold the darn thing in place when the elevation nuts are loosened along with fine-tweaking the aim.

I have visions of cobbling together something temporary, at least -- a sort of adjustable prop, perhaps, that can be inserted between the lower edge of the dish lip and the vertical part of the J-pole -- made out of some threaded rod, one or two coupling nuts, and a couple of blocks of wood. The threaded rod and coupling nut(s) would provide the fine adjustment -- turning a coupling nut would extend or contract the prop -- and the blocks of wood would be at the two ends of the threaded-rod-coupling-nut assembly to bear against the dish edge lip at one end and the J-pole at the other end. Once the elevation adjustment is locked in and the elevation locking nuts tightened, the fine-aim prop could be removed. A quick look at the Orby dish and mount leads me to think something like this could work.

Ideally, I'd like to have some permanently-installed fine-aim hardware for both axes, but I'd need to make those out of stainless steel and/or aluminum parts to eliminate potential rust. In the meantime, something temporary/removable might suffice for now.

Anyway, before I totally "reinvent the wheel" I thought I'd check in to see if any of you guys had already created some mechanical DIY fine-aim adjustments for a smaller KU band dish that wasn't made with them.

I'd like to be assured that I've gotten the dish zeroed-in precisely to the 103W satellite before I assess whether upgrading my 103W reception to a 90cm dish will help enough to significantly increase the frequency of receiving a decent signal on the NBC MUX channels, or whether I'd need to go with a 1.2m dish. (I know that comfortably_numb said that he has weak and irregular signals using his 90cm dish, but what I don't know is whether that's with his dish aimed at 103W to the most precise degree possible.) For me, a 90cm dish is well within the "easily manageable" range, since I can wall-mount it on the side of the house like my Orby dish. A 1.2m dish starts to become a different ball game, both from the standpoint of mounting, as well as being something that is more likely to offend the sensibilities of my "better half" :)

Thanks,

Richard
 

FTA4PA

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Question:
Has anyone cobbled together some sort of DIY fine-aim adjustment for smaller KU band dishes (less than 1.2 meters)? Given the mount design of the Orby dish, having something, especially for the elevation adjustment, that will make it easier to fine-tweak the aim precisely would be most helpful. Unlike the azimuth, which will hold position when the nuts are loosened up, the dish "falls" in elevation as soon the elevation lock nuts are loosened. Overall, I find it a bit more difficult to fine-aim the elevation. So the issue is really a combination of having something to hold the darn thing in place when the elevation nuts are loosened along with fine-tweaking the aim.

I have visions of cobbling together something temporary, at least -- a sort of adjustable prop, perhaps, that can be inserted between the lower edge of the dish lip and the vertical part of the J-pole -- made out of some threaded rod, one or two coupling nuts, and a couple of blocks of wood. The threaded rod and coupling nut(s) would provide the fine adjustment -- turning a coupling nut would extend or contract the prop -- and the blocks of wood would be at the two ends of the threaded-rod-coupling-nut assembly to bear against the dish edge lip at one end and the J-pole at the other end. Once the elevation adjustment is locked in and the elevation locking nuts tightened, the fine-aim prop could be removed. A quick look at the Orby dish and mount leads me to think something like this could work.

Ideally, I'd like to have some permanently-installed fine-aim hardware for both axes, but I'd need to make those out of stainless steel and/or aluminum parts to eliminate potential rust. In the meantime, something temporary/removable might suffice for now.

Anyway, before I totally "reinvent the wheel" I thought I'd check in to see if any of you guys had already created some mechanical DIY fine-aim adjustments for a smaller KU band dish that wasn't made with them.

I'd like to be assured that I've gotten the dish zeroed-in precisely to the 103W satellite before I assess whether upgrading my 103W reception to a 90cm dish will help enough to significantly increase the frequency of receiving a decent signal on the NBC MUX channels, or whether I'd need to go with a 1.2m dish. (I know that comfortably_numb said that he has weak and irregular signals using his 90cm dish, but what I don't know is whether that's with his dish aimed at 103W to the most precise degree possible.) For me, a 90cm dish is well within the "easily manageable" range, since I can wall-mount it on the side of the house like my Orby dish. A 1.2m dish starts to become a different ball game, both from the standpoint of mounting, as well as being something that is more likely to offend the sensibilities of my "better half" :)

Thanks,

Richard
Try building this. :):thumbup

 
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cyberham

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Just one reason why I'd buy a Geosatpro 1.2m dish. Note its fine tuning method for elevation in the image below. You could copy this.

I find adjusting elevation precisely is even more important than azimuth for NBC on 103W. My Fortec Star bolts are rusted and adjusting elevation precisely is near impossible. I should change out for new hardware of course. In my case, fine adjusting the elevation is much easier by shimming the palette on which it is mounted. I won't go into detail about the anchor rope I run from the mast to a nearby hefty tree trunk for extremely fine adjustment of the plumbness of the mast. This information could give purists a heart attack.

When making your decision, be sure to tune the dish on a sunny day but take readings on a cloudy, preferably rainy day. This is when signals on Ku are the worst.

GSP 1.2m el adjust.jpg
 

rmccolman

Thread Starter
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Apr 10, 2021
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Hillsborough, NC
Just one reason why I'd buy a Geosatpro 1.2m dish. Note its fine tuning method for elevation in the image below. You could copy this.

I find adjusting elevation precisely is even more important than azimuth for NBC on 103W. My Fortec Star bolts are rusted and adjusting elevation precisely is near impossible. I should change out for new hardware of course. In my case, fine adjusting the elevation is much easier by shimming the palette on which it is mounted. I won't go into detail about the anchor rope I run from the mast to a nearby hefty tree trunk for extremely fine adjustment of the plumbness of the mast. This information could give purists a heart attack.

When making your decision, be sure to tune the dish on a sunny day but take readings on a cloudy, preferably rainy day. This is when signals on Ku are the worst.

View attachment 151791
Thanks to you both (FTA4PA & cyberham). Two good ideas to throw into the mix as I figure out a fine elevation aim mechanism that will work on my Orby dish.

Yes, I assumed that sunny day adjustment is a must, along with picking a cloudy/rainy day for reception assessment.

I'm sure that a 1.2m dish will pull in the 103W NBC MUX channels more reliably than a 90cm. I just don't know whether it's worth the extra expense (incl. freight shipping costs!) or the additional mounting -- and wifey complaint -- issues. ;)

Thanks again!

Richard
 
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rmccolman

Thread Starter
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Apr 10, 2021
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Hillsborough, NC
BTW, do any of you guys own or know anything about this 99cm dish:


Bigger than a 90cm, but still avoids expensive freight shipping charges. On the other hand, I don't want to get a flimsy, substandard dish that'll give me trouble and won't hold up over time. (I was interested in a GeoSatPro, but they don't appear to have anything between a 90cm and a 1.2m.)

Thanks,

Richard
 

cyberham

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So there's no confusion, that is a 35.5" (90 cm) dish. The short horizontal axis is the important dimension.


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