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New guy needs guidance

Discussion in 'FTA / Non Small Dish Satellite Area' started by jumpin jack flash, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. jumpin jack flash

    jumpin jack flash New Member

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    Aug 14, 2008
    Hello all,
    I just got some new equiptment and need some assistance to get moving in this hobby. I am pretty knowledgable in dss stuff, but am looking forward to enjoying tru FTA. I have a Coolsat 6K, Geosat Pro 36" dish, an Invacom QPH-031 LNBF. I am at 41.97 N lat., and 71.33 W long. For now dish will be staionary as I want to learn one step at a time. I was just testing out my stuff yesterday on a temoprary piece of plywood for a base and mounted the dish to that. All was plumb and level, I got some reference points with a sat calculator at FTA list and went to work. I tried for 3 hours and was about to give up when I finally found 97w. But I think I found it a little by accident as every time I looked for a bird by using the regular Sat menu on the CS6K, I could not get a good Quality sig. My Level was around 98%, but quality was 15%. I then dropped down to the Manual scan menu where I could select different TPs, and on one of the TPs, my signals went to 98%, 78%. Signal and quality. Then I scanned but only got 21 channels. So I tweaked the dish and got some more good signals on other TPs and I remembered reading that FTA uses a lot of blind scanning, so I did that and got 275 TV channels and a bunch of radio too!:D I was so happy with that, but that bird is almost all foreign stuff.So my question is whats the easiest way to find another "Popular" bird I tried but could not get any others. I could pick up real strong signals from 82w, 91w, 110, 119, etc and most other DSS birds. But I want all True FTA on my set up.
    Thanks for any help in advance.
     
  2. FTA Michael

    FTA Michael Hall Of Fame

    3,474
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    Jul 21, 2002
    It sounds like you're doing a lot of things right, and once you've locked in one satellite, it gets a lot easier to lock in any other satellite that you want.

    In general, the trouble in getting the first satellite is when your dish isn't pointing where you think that it's pointing. That is, after you calculate the right azimuth and elevation for the satellite that you want, you set your dish to that position, and then you typically have to move the dish a little to get the signal just right. That doesn't mean that the elevation or azimuth was wrong; it means that the elevation markings on your dish mount or your compass are a little off.

    So when you've got a good lock, it makes repointing a lot easier. Compute the azimuth and elevation for the satellite you have and the satellite that you want. Do the math to see that the difference is, say, 6.4 degrees east and 1.2 degrees higher. Adjust the dish by that amount, and you'll be very close to a perfect signal.

    Finally, of course the DSS birds have stronger signals; that's why you can use smaller dishes to receive them. But do they have Fashion TV and Retro Jams? ;)
     
  3. jumpin jack flash

    jumpin jack flash New Member

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    Aug 14, 2008
    Thanks Michael. One other question...is Retro Jams and the Fashion channel FTA channels? Do I use the circular port on the Invacom LNBF to find DSS channels/birds, then switch to linear and blind scan the bird for FTA channels? I hear there are FTA channels on DSS sats.
    Thanks for the help.
     
  4. FTA Michael

    FTA Michael Hall Of Fame

    3,474
    4
    Jul 21, 2002
    Yes, Retro Jams and Fashion TV are FTA channels. And yes, you can use the circular-polarity port to pick us NASA and Angel One and lots of information about how to use a Dish remote, but there isn't much legitimate FTA content available on the DSS sats. Especially considering you're currently manually repointing every time you change satellites.
     
  5. PTown

    PTown Legend

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    Aug 18, 2007
    Keep in mind for FTA sats you'll have to skew the lnb potentially.
     
  6. jumpin jack flash

    jumpin jack flash New Member

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    Aug 14, 2008
    Yep. Thats always my last move to see if the signal improves.
     
  7. jumpin jack flash

    jumpin jack flash New Member

    6
    0
    Aug 14, 2008
    So if I am only going to the next bird to the east, or west from where I am pointed, I am only move the dishes AZ. very little. (1/8 inch or so) Same as elevation?
    Another question...Do I need to get a list of "Strong TPs" so I can know when Im locked on? If I just select the next satellite in the Coolsat 6K menu, the default (#1) TP does'nt always show a signal. I would have to scroll through all of them to find a signal, but if theres none now I have to "guess" which way to tweak the dish, and that is really a pain, and time consuming. It would be good to have a strong TP plugged in when Im moving the dish!
    Thanks for all the help you guys. I really appreciate it.;)
     
  8. FTA Michael

    FTA Michael Hall Of Fame

    3,474
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    Jul 21, 2002
    First answer, do the computations! If it really is the next satellite over, you won't need to move the dish very much, but the point is to know exactly how far to move.

    The strong transponder question is a good one. The first rule of thumb is to look for a transponder with current programming on it. The alternative is to ask somebody (such as us) what transponder to use when trying to find Blank. Except that you need to fill in the blank. :)
     
  9. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    9,136
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    Sep 16, 2006
    You said you were doing it stationary to make it easy, but I found using a motor is easier...you tell the sat receiver to find the sat due south of you, motor moves to it...you then set your az and el to lock on that one sat, and the motor finds all the rest by itself.

    check www.ftalist.com for current channels sorted by language or sat. It will help you to know what to set your receiver to, when searching for a live signal... So you will know if the first entry in your receiver database is actually still valid.
     
  10. FTA Michael

    FTA Michael Hall Of Fame

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    Jul 21, 2002
    IMHO, when you're first getting started, a stationary dish is easier just because it eliminates one layer of possible difficulty. Once you've successfully pointed and repointed a dish to various satellites, then you'll have more confidence and some fresh "common sense" born of experience.

    But I agree that it's much nicer and easier to set up a motorized dish after you get familiar with it. USALS is one of my best friends! :D
     

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