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Tailgating with a Slimline

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by flyingtigerfan, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. flyingtigerfan

    flyingtigerfan Godfather

    277
    0
    Feb 16, 2005
    Success!

    At least in the pre-event test. I finally gave in and bought a slimline antenna today. I don't know if they all have multiswitches built in or what, but this one supports 4 receivers from the lnb output. That's cool, I might use all 4 at the tailgate. 2 for my RV and 2 for my friend next door. And his account has HD locals. But I digress.

    Be thou not afraid of trying this. I really thought it would be painful. It was, but only because my driveway is not level. I mounted the dish to a 2' wide by 4' long piece of plywood, and will put a cinderblock on it to stabilize it at the tailgate site. My parking spot is flat level, and I have a few shims just in case. Once I got the pole level (and there's a built-in bubble on the pole) it was positively no issue at all to get all 5.

    In my case, I did not have to go through the complicated peaking process, because I wasn't trying to get top-notch values. That can be a problem - you really need good 101 and 119 values. But I did not use a meter, I used an H21 that I got today.

    Anyway, after getting it bolted in and all the pieces put together, I set the tilt to what the box said and the elevation as well. As with the 18" dish, I just swung the slimline around the pole until I got a 90+ 101 signal. This is as difficult as tying your shoes, maybe. I switched to 119, and was getting signals in the 80s right off. Since my signals at home are like that, I didn't worry. Signal on 110 was not good - in the 60s. 99 and 103 were practically nonexistent.

    So I start all this fine tuning hocus pocus. I got 101 up to 94, and the 119 signal in the upper 80s low 90s. 99/103: 0 to 40. Not good. I got the dish from a local satellite store, and the guy there plainly thought I was too stupid to do this for tailgating - need a $400 meter to do it right, all kinds of stuff that I knew was not accurate based on instinct and what I have read here.

    Then I checked the level of the pole and noticed it was out of whack - the bubble was half out of the center. So, starting from scratch, I picked up the plywood, shifted it around, and put some shims under it until the bubble was centered (again, on a slightly sloped driveway). Started over, swinging the pole around - 101 came in at 98-100. 119 at 98-100. 110 at 95+. All CONUS transponders on 99 and 103 at 90+. Just nailed it with no effort. Disassembled and put it back up again in under 2 minutes with same signals.

    So the morals of this long story:

    1) As many many others have said, getting the pole level is the key.
    2) If you are remotely technically inclined and want to try HD in your RV or at your tailgate, this can be done and it's not an insurmountable deal. It can be made relatively easy.
    3) My installer at home did not do a good job. I will be out there tomorrow peaking the dish, because I know full well I can get better signals than what I have (99/103 in the 70s).

    Happy football season to all!
     
  2. 2dogz

    2dogz Godfather

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    Jun 14, 2008
    Good job, dude.

    Now all you have to figure out is how to keep the tailgating drunks from tripping over the dish. Crime scene tape?

    Go Terps.
     
  3. flyingtigerfan

    flyingtigerfan Godfather

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    Feb 16, 2005
    Yeah, this will especially apply when Maryland comes to town next week. :D

    That's not usually an issue - I've only had it happen once. The key is just to keep the dish close to the vehicle.
     
  4. dsheli

    dsheli AllStar

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    Jul 15, 2008
    Yo you tailgating over at the YMCA? If you are I am a member of the Clemson sailing club.
    David
     
  5. flyingtigerfan

    flyingtigerfan Godfather

    277
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    Feb 16, 2005
    No, I am in the numbered motor home parking mixed in with Lot J / Lot 4 behind the baseball field.

    And had HD all weekend from there - the experiment worked just fine. Even put up the antenna and got some locals in HD, but that was shaky.
     
  6. dsheli

    dsheli AllStar

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    Jul 15, 2008
    Nice, I was able to get all of the Atlanta locals from our setup. I guess we are just on the edge of the spot beam. YOu see some of the custom painted tiget paw dishes around campus? Which locals could you recive OTA?

    David
     
  7. flyingtigerfan

    flyingtigerfan Godfather

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    Feb 16, 2005
    Everything but WSPA. The guys next to me had a taller antenna and we got WSPA as well when we set his up. But reception was better at night.

    I'm sure I will paint my dish as well. But I have not done it yet! Thinking about doing it in purple just to be different.
     
  8. Charlutz

    Charlutz Mentor

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    Jul 30, 2007
    Have a pic of the mount? We are using a single LNB on a 20" SD lcd screen for our Ravens tailgates, but would like to step up to HD. When you say the key is to get the pole "level" do you mean vertical?
     
  9. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    21,192
    183
    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    Visualize a quarter sheet of plywood with a Slimline bolted to it. A tripod with a 2" mast may be easier.

    Having the mast plumb is imperative. It can be done without a plumb mast, but you'll have to dial everything in every time out.
     
  10. doctor j

    doctor j Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    1,741
    60
    Jun 14, 2006
    Birmingham, Al.
    See this post from last season.
    Adjustable feet with threaded rods keeps uneven ground from being a problem.


    http://www.dbstalk.com/showpost.php?p=1321396&postcount=5

    Doctor j
     
  11. flyingtigerfan

    flyingtigerfan Godfather

    277
    0
    Feb 16, 2005
    I'll get one. Harsh has already answered most everything correctly. I wanted to get a tripod - got a recommendation to get one from Camping World, but they were like $90.

    So this week we're going with the plywood setup again. I have some of the heavier OSB decking from a house I built, so I just bolted the mast to it. I have some smaller pieces I have cut up to help level it out. Since it will be windy, I also have a couple of 4" cinderblocks that keep it solid. On a calm day I wouldn't bother. Having the mast plumb (vertical) is the key as Harsh said - if you get it level, all you need to do the next time is to get the azimuth right - cuts down on setup time tremendously.

    We have 3 RVs that will park together for the games - family friends. So we can now just set up the 1 dish and run lines from it to all the receivers for the weekend.

    I'll get this down to a science yet.
     
  12. mjtville

    mjtville AllStar

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    Jul 31, 2008
    Forget the cinder blocks. Clamp that gizmo on top of an RV if there is a luggage rack available! Small plywood foot print and wood blocks to level. Fly the lines to each RV. You have to post pictures no matter how you do it.
     

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