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HD,Trees,Multiple AT9 Dishes and Aiming

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by mckibbe, Aug 12, 2007.

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  1. mckibbe

    mckibbe New Member

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    Hi. I would like add HD service to my home. D* gave me a free HR20 and setup installation for a day last week. I knew going into the installation that the installer would need to get creative because of trees, but I did not have enough knowledge at the time (had not read here enough!) to offer suggestions. As you can guess, the installer was here less than 5 minutes before he said, "Sorry bud. No line of sight." I asked about using multiple dishes and he just gave me a weird look dismissing the idea completely. He pretty much said HD was impossible because he couldn't get all 5 on one dish and that a second opinion wouldn't matter. I reluctantly said ok and he canceled the order.

    Disheartened, but not ready to quit, I googled trees and HD and found a wonderful thread here on DBStalk started by litzdog (you seem to really know your stuff!) regarding the use of multiple dishes to acquire HD. Litzdog ended up using 2 AT9 dishes to get all 5 sats and provided some wonderful information about other configurations that would not work along the way. I was lucky enough to find 2 AT9 dishes on ebay and placed the order for them. They are to arrive tomorrow (Monday, Aug. 13). Once I found these dishes, I called D* and told them I wanted a second opinion. The installer should be out Tuesday. However, now I think it would be best to just do it myself. I don't want t obe charged for a special installation and frankly, I don't trust the installer to do a good job. So, I have a bunch of questions about doing this myself and questions about getting money from D* for doing it myself.

    1. Since I bought 2 AT9 dishes and D* was going to give my an AUS9 dish, am I entitled to a credit for one of the AT9 dishes?

    2. Installation and testing signal strength: I currently have a single 18" dish and 2 D11 receivers. I will replace the 18" dish with one AT9 dish (110 and 119 lnbs removed) to acquire the 99,101, and 103 sats. The other AT9 dish will be approximately 60 feet away and *should* pick up the 110 and 119 sats. Here are my questions:
    a: I align both dishes to point at the 101 sat, right?
    b: How can I test the signal strength of 101 dish using my current D11 receiver?
    c: Will my current D11 receiver allow me to test the signal strength of the 99 and 103 sats? If so, how?
    d: How do I test the signal strength of the 119 sat using my D11 receiver? Do I test at the second dish position before running the cables to the main dish or do I test at the main dish?

    As you can probably tell, I do not have a signal meter and do not want to purchase one, I want to use my current receiver to test all signal strengths. The receiver currently is setup for a single dish, will this receiver pickup signals from multiple dishes? If so, how do I setup it up to do so?

    I beleive that is all for now. If you guys know of something I am forgetting, please bring it up.

    Thanks so much for your help!
     
  2. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    :welcome_s to the forum.
    We are always here to help and like a challenge.
    To date, nobody has been able to get the setup you're looking to do without the AT9 dishes with F-type connectors which are very uncommon [hard to find], because these are the only ones that you can connect the second dish to the first one before the dish's multi-switch.
    One member has been able to use two dishes but one uses a 18 degree fields of view for the 103, 110, & 119 SATs, while the other picks up the 99 & 101 SATs.
    As for your D11 I don't think it can find the 110 SAT & and I know it wouldn't work for the 99 & 103 SATs which take the most fine tuning because they are a narrower beam than the others.

    Anyway We're all here to help you out.
     
  3. mckibbe

    mckibbe New Member

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    Aug 12, 2007
    I thought I read in a thread that one can purchase connectors designed for Sirius satellite radios that convert the special smaller terminal to an F connector. Do these not work?

    Don't the directions (and video on solid signal) indicate that you use both the 101 and 119 satellite when setting up the dishes. For the 101 sat I thought you peaked on that and then adjusted to both the left and right until the signal matched. From there don't you go to the middle? When setting up would I even need to see the sat strengths for the 99 and 103?

    For the 110 and 119 sats, I thought you tilt the dish for the 119 sat and make adjustments based solely on the 119. If this is true, could I use my D11 receiver to make the adjustements based on the 119 sat? If my original proposition is untrue, then using the D11 is moot and I will either have to buy a signal meter or have the installer adjust the dishes for me when he comes on Tuesday.

    Again, thanks for the help.
     
  4. litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

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  5. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    As can happen with postings: I didn't know about the adapters. If you can get them to work [may or may not work well], then you're on the right track. The dish has push in connectors and I'd bet the weight of the F-type will give you some problems. Not that it would be impossible.
    So for the D11: yes if you take the time, I would think the 101 would work and then setting up the tilt with the 119.
    Since the installer gets paid to do this for you, I'd think having him check it would be a good idea along with getting the actual readings off the MPEG-4 receiver for all of your SAT transponders before he leaves.
     
  6. litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

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    The required adapters are described in the thread linked above.
     
  7. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Just did and still think it will take some work to have a coax hang off them without problems.
     
  8. doctor j

    doctor j Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    I had some extra time this weekend and had been thinking that a Power Inserter/Polarity Locker might be the solution to multipe AU-9 dishes.
    I'll post pictures and F/U later but was foiled by splitters.
    My thought is to take 3 AU-9 dishes, Combine them with 3 way splitters: 4 inputs kept uniform into a polarity locker then to multi switch (WB68).
    This should work in my mind.

    To test it: I covered 2of 3 LNB assemblies on each of 3 side by side Au-9 dishes with aluminum foil , leaving one 99,101,103 ; one 110 ;& one 119 assembly open to the sky.

    Didn't work!

    Spend a long while troubleshooting. Used one port power passing & all port power passing splitters. No signal! Finally just tested the splitters (Perfect Vision 5-2300Mhz) and they are true splitters only,not combiners. Signal passes only 1 in to 3 out. Neither set passes out to in combining. I have Channel Vision splitters that do pass signal both directions . They are rated only 1 GHz but signal strong on meter. Do not have 4 to test set up today, TOO HOT anyway this afternoon, but I'm determined to make this work.

    Any other thoughts or suggestions on splitters. The other part of setup NAS PI-6S power inserter and Zinwell WB68 all working as expected.

    Doctor j
     
  9. litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

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    I remember you posting this idea. Please give it a try. If it works, please also provide a wiring diagram and parts list. Thanks!
     
  10. mckibbe

    mckibbe New Member

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    Aug 12, 2007
    Yes, please post any additional information and experiments. As I learn more and try things I will keep this thread updated.
     
  11. doctor j

    doctor j Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Day 2 and still foiled by splitters AGAIN!!!

    Pictures enclosed of the test platform.
    I believe this will work.
    Did not have four 3-way channel vision splitters so tried to make do.
    Others on order so soon will complete this experiment.
    Baseline sat signals pictured.
    Put 1 sat thru splitters and sat strength pictured.
    The 4 way splitter was uni-directional only.

    This seems to be the biggest lesson !
    The splitter/combiners must be bi-directional AND able to pass signal to 2150 MHz.
    I haven't confirmed which ones are best to do that, yet so far the Channel Vision 1 GHz splitters seem to work the best. Haven't been able to confirm if they pass Ka High yet but so far they are the only splitters that actually are bi-directional and do seem to work thru needed range.

    Pictures of Dishes; LNB foil coverings ; and signal strength baseline Attached AT-9 dish and 1st splitter sat strength : 1 sat only to test signal thru splitters.
    One splitter failed and visible on 119 strengths only every other transponder active.

    Will retry when 4 good 3 way splitters available and post results.

    Doctor j
     
  12. doctor j

    doctor j Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Only able to post 8 pix at a time.
    here are the one sat connected pix
    Line 4 splitter did not pass signal so I'll have to wait to get 4 workable splitters.

    Doctor
     
  13. litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

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    Doctor, can you also post a connection diagram?
     
  14. doctor j

    doctor j Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Will do as test goes along.

    I usually use Sonora Design HRPID1422 power inserters(cheaper); but did not have a spare available.
    The NAS PI-6S is essential the same device except 6 channels for 95 and 72.5 sats if needed (3x the cost).

    The other major factor is the line sequence.
    Zinwell and most other D* multiswitches are:
    Port 1 18v
    Port 2 13v
    Port 3 18v&22MHz tone
    Port 4 13v&22MHz tone

    The NAS sequence swaps 1&2 and 3&4
    Port 1 13v
    Port 2 18v
    Port 3 13v&22MHz tone
    Port 4 18v&22MHz tone

    That's why the pictures may be a bit confusing.
    I don't know if it really makes a difference.
    My personal opinion is that it won't.
    The power inserter sets the dish's internal multiswitch channels and i doubt the sequence makes any difference. To keep standard sequence I have elected to conform to zinwell standards.
    That means:
    LNB line 1 to Splitter #1 to NAS PI Port 2 to Zinwell Port 1 : 18 v.
    LNB line 2 to Splitter #2 to NAS PI Port 1 to Zinwell Port 2 : 13 v.
    LNB line 3 to Splitter #3 to NAS PI Port 4 to Zinwell Port 3 : 18 v & 22 MHz.
    LNB line 4 to Splitter #4 to NAS PI Port 3 to Zinwell Port 4 : 13 v & 22 MHz.

    Maybe a bit confusing but would be completely linear if Sonora HRPID1422 used.

    Hope this helps explain wiring.
    I'm not adapt enough to draw on the computer but will make a wiring diagram and scan it to a file when success has been confirmed!!

    Doctor j
     
  15. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    I wish you good luck, and for the many who want a multi-dish solution hopefully you may find a solution.

    I have already done most of the testing you are doing, and have previously posted about the one-way DC current pass problem on splitters, etc.

    The other issue I have found is that once you get a wiring scheme set up where the dc is passing, and everything else appears to be working the way that it should be working, it still won't work because if you have two LNB's (for the same satellite) one of which has a signal, and one of which does not have a signal (covered with foil for example), both are still sending out an intermediate frequency. One is modulated with the proper signal and the other is essentially just a "blank carrier" - but it is still there. That blank signal is interfering with the valid signal, and you won't get any successfull satellite signals to the receiver.

    Hopefully this information might help you figure a way around that problem. I wasn't able to.

    Carl
     
  16. doctor j

    doctor j Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    The only splitter that I could find today that would pass bidirectional sat signals was a 4way radio shack (otherwise thrown away).
    I connected all 3 satellites as outlined above and left all lnb's open to see what I got.

    Got NOTHING. all sats 0 . Ok probably the carrier modulation already mentioned.

    Then covered 2 of 3 LNB's on each sat (as in earlier pictures) and tested signals.

    Success although signals pretty weak. They are viewable even HD. No signal on 103, I need to check stack diagram but I hope this is on line 4 ie: the el cheapo Radio Shack splitter. I'm hoping that when the Channel Vision splitters arrive I'll get an increase in non 101 signals.

    Carrier modulation is a factor as the signal strengths are noticeably lower when all 3 sats are connected thru splitter as opposed to just one thru the splitter(combiner). It seems imperative that only one signal in any combiner is active so you can't sum 2 poor signals to get a better one. You need one great signal and block the other(foil) at the LNB.

    Still concerned that the Ka attenuation is a function of the splitters being only 1GHz rated. I'm open to any suggestions about 2+ GHz splitters that will pass DC and are able to function as a combiner ie: pass sat signals either way.

    Final diagrams and results soon. Success is possible but may be marginal and the function of the splitters is the key weak link.
    Pictures enclosed

    Doctor j
     
  17. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Summing two poor signals would need to be phase matched, or they will be canceling each other to some degree.
    Adding covered LNBs will be adding to the noise, so this will reduce the signal to noise ratio.
    I would think using 18" dishes with single LNBs [one using the SAT C upgrade kit] and old style external multi-switch, might improve your results, since you could reduce the number of LNBs powered [that are adding noise].
    You probible already have this, but if not:
    Polarity_________ RHCP _________LHCP ________RHCP ___________LHCP
    Output___________ 13 V DC _______18 V DC _______13 V 22 kHz _______18 V 22 kHz
    Ka-Lo 250 to
    750 MHz _________99º Odd _______99º Even ______103º Odd __________103º Even

    Ku 950 to 1450
    MHz ____________101º Odd ______101º Even ______119º Odd _________110º/119ºEven

    Ka-Hi 1650 to
    2150 MHz ________99º Odd ________99º Even _____103º Odd __________103º Even
     
  18. igator99

    igator99 Godfather

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    My HOA and neighbors would love that dish farm.:lol: As the sky has expanded ever wider more of use are having this problem. You would think that D* would be working on a two dish solution.
     
  19. doctor j

    doctor j Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Got other 2 Channel Vision splitters and set up final try.
    NOT Much better; maybe some but 103 still a concern. I believe some of that is because I'm not in a primary spot beam for 103. HD-LIL's here from 99. I get good HD picture even with signal down to 55.

    Started thinking that if my original theory is right ie; a Power Inserter sets the internal multiswitch; then i could get by without all 12 lines (4 from each of 3 dishes).

    Started pulling lines and checking results. Final results were acceptable for my DMA as i got good signals on 101 ,110 passable on 119 and 99, still suspect on 103 but at present no channels from 103 here.

    I needed only one line each from sat#1 into port #1 (18 v) & port #2 (13v). Combined one line from sat #1 and one from sat #2 into port #3 (18 v &22 MHz tone). Combined one line from sat #1 and one from sat #3 into port #4 (13v &22 MHz tone). See stack diagram in earlier post to see how this covers all the frequencies.

    Then a new THEORY came to mind. Maybe I can use 2 18" round dishes , a Sat C combiner and lessen the carrier modulation. Can lessen even more if a notch filter for 950-1450 MHz is placed on the AU-9 legs as it combines with the single LNB inputs..

    That experiment will have to wait till next month. One can only get away with 3 large satellite dishes on tripods on your back porch for so many days before you evoke the Wife Factor !!!

    Doctor j
     
  20. litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks doctorj!

    I'm still a bit puzzled by your approach. Are you currently combining signals from three 5-LNB dishes? A wiring diagram would sure help me visualize what you're doing. Or perhaps even labeling the cables at the top of your photo. Brands/models for the combiners and other devices would be useful, too.

    Also, I think you're on to something using round dishes and SatC Kit for the 110-deg dish. If I understand your approach, it shouldn't really matter if the signals are coming from 5-LNB dishes or single LNB dishes (except for the 99 & 103-deg satellites, of course).
     
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