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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First of all, i DON'T want to know how to hack or pirate ANYTHING! I'm too damn old for that and don't really care about it! I'm just interested in learning alittle more about fta. It seems like another hobby i'd like to try since i've done all the work on my dish setup. I've been reading these forums and checking out different sites on fta. i've been looking at different systems, and man, i'm getting lost. I found a system that seems like it might be a good one for me to get started with and would like some imput on it. Its a Coolsat 6000 premium receiver, a Motek sg-2100 motor, Fortec star 31" dish, Invacom quad polar lnb, diseqc 4x1 switch, and a data cable. Heres my questions: Does this sound like a good setup? If you were buying this, is there anything you would change? How long of a cable run can you have with fta? Do you have to connect to a computer to get updates everytime? I think thats it for now, Thanks for any help and suggestions.
 

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Well, you have a perfectly fine system for True FTA. Personally, I'd rather have the Fortec 36" dish ( I have the 31" also ), but that's a small thing. Think of 100 feet of cable as a goal. As long as its good quality, with good terminations, longer runs will work, but they degrade your signal quality. I'm down to about 80 feet now, and everything is cozy. As to updates for your Coolsat, you probably will never need them unless you're hacking . The original factory file is probably your best bet for True Free to Air.

I assume you haven't bought this system yet, so get a 36" Fortec dish . I'm not familiar with any of the Coolsats, but they have a good reputation for motorized systems. So do the Fortec boxes .

Welcome to the club ! ( You have a Private Message )

:)

True Free to Air Guy-

Fortec Star 31" dish
Invacom QPH031 quad LNBF
STABS HH90 rotor
2- DiseqC switches feeding
a Buzz Plus & a
Fortec Lifetime Classic NA (Excellent for motor control )
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I thought about a bigger dish, but read somewhere they need a bigger dish for living on the east or west coast, and since i'm in the middle of indiana, i thought i might get by with a 31". I just seen in the kit that it had a cable to hookup to a pc for updates. If it's just for hacking and i don't need it, i'd just throw the thing in the trash! I'd probably have about a 75-100 run on the rg6, i'd like to keep it as short as i can.
Thanks for your help!! At least now i'm starting to head in the right direction.
 

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Sometimes manufacturers will update the firmware, and you'd need the cord for that. So far, I haven't seen any updates important enough to bother with all that.

About the only thing on your list that seems odd is the DiSEqC switch. If you've just got one dish, you don't need a switch. It's nice to keep it around in case you want to add a second dish later.

Please feel free to ask any other questions you have.
 

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shultz said:
I thought about a bigger dish, but read somewhere they need a bigger dish for living on the east or west coast, and since i'm in the middle of indiana, i thought i might get by with a 31". I just seen in the kit that it had a cable to hookup to a pc for updates. If it's just for hacking and i don't need it, i'd just throw the thing in the trash! I'd probably have about a 75-100 run on the rg6, i'd like to keep it as short as i can.
Thanks for your help!! At least now i'm starting to head in the right direction.
True FTA KU Band = East or West coast means as much as North and South. Let's put it this way... pretty much the further south the smaller the dish... for true FTA (as well as others). Most quality True FTA would come from the linear sat Galaxy10R. About 50 ABC,NBC,CBS,FOX,CW,UPN,UNIVSN,PBS channels from around the U.S. Free and Legal.

Best set up North America... A 30-36 inch dish on a motor with an Invacom 301 lnb (works both linear and circular). That covers any KU you can possibly get in the U.S. (Legal or Illegal). Sounds like you got it already...

True FTA C-BAND = C-Band is a 6 ft ugly dish on a motor. (Better known as a BUD dish... BIG... UGLY... DISH). C-Band is mostly non-english channels aside from the hundred (or so) free english religion channels available. There are a couple others... but check with your home owners assoc first!!! They "ALL" frown on a BUD.

I generally insert a signal amplifier on any line over 50 ft. It makes a difference that is very slight, but noticable... (Like receiving Regular Digital vs Hi-Def. Once you are watching with the amp for a while... there is no other way). Also is very good improving communications with longer lines (100-200 ft). It also is very in-expensive for either an in-line amp, or in house entertainment center amp... both less than $20. Available online or home depot...

The cable that came with the receiver, (for true fta'ers) is to do nothing except update the original factory bin installed on your receiver. Mostly does nothing except update the bird list... birds that have been recently launched and put in service that were not included in the past.

All of my above suggestions above are probably worthless... looking at your setup. (I know where you have been already). Just from your equipment, about the only thing I could suggest would be the inline amp... One of the first things I ever installed on my system. PS... It doesn't effect motor communication at all.

And Yeah like Michael said... why the DiSEqC switch?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I wouldn't have to worry about the home owners assoc. I live in a small town of about 1000 people (if that big) and have tons of acreage. I could put 50 bud's up and nobody would say a word! As for the diseqc switch, it comes with the complete package deal. I just didn't know all that much about fta, and for the price of this package, it sounded like a really good deal! I will check on a bigger dish though. Thanks for all your help!!
 

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True FTA C-BAND = C-Band is a 6 ft ugly dish on a motor. (Better known as a BUD dish... BIG... UGLY... DISH). C-Band is mostly non-english channels aside from the hundred (or so) free english religion channels available
havent checked out what's really on C-Band, huh? :D

I have one and dont have it for Religious stuff. Lots of neat feeds out there. And when I'm done scaning for games, I park it on G4/G16 for the networks (Big 4) :)
 

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It is a shame though that the good old days of c-band are gone. I miss that big beautiful 10' monster rising majestically in all it's glory to a height of 26' braced against my house. ;) I even had to weld two poles together to make it long enough to do the job.
 

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shultz said:
Its a Coolsat 6000 premium receiver, a Motek sg-2100 motor, Fortec star 31" dish, Invacom quad polar lnb, diseqc 4x1 switch, and a data cable. Heres my questions: Does this sound like a good setup? If you were buying this, is there anything you would change? How long of a cable run can you have with fta? Do you have to connect to a computer to get updates everytime? I think thats it for now, Thanks for any help and suggestions.
I have this exact setup. I like it but it's a bit overkill for my needs (I have Dish HDGold and use this mainly for international channels). The 6000 is nice but the 5000 is supposedly almost the same and a lot cheaper.

The motor and dish work well together. I'd like a 1.2m dish (to experiment with C-band) but that would require a bigger motor. The Invacom is good and I'm going to connect another receiver to the second set of outputs.

I'm not sure why there's a 4x1 switch. I did order two 2x1 switches although I haven't tried getting any circular signals yet. Maybe they could substitute two 2x1 switches for the 4x1. I tried getting the seller to include a satellite finder (SF-95) but they didn't. I have used the data cable: for a different application where I needed an RS-232 cable. :p

Summary: 1. see if a similar Coolsat 5000 system is available for a lot less money; 2. check whether the SG-2100 can handle a larger dish; 3. try to change the 4x1 switch to two 2x1 switches; 4. get them to throw in a satellite finder; 5. find your old external modem or other serial device.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
ok folks, i really appreciate all the help and suggestions! so i went out and got my setup. i got a coolsat 6000 with a free card reader (got it installed, but don't plan on buying a card) a 39" fortec dish, stab hh-120 motor, invacom quad polar lnbf, diseqc 4x1 switch, and a sf-95 satellite finder. i hope to get this setup this weekend. so here's another question...i noticed on the bottom of the invacom it has 4 connectors marked c, l, c, l, (circular and linear), should all 4 of these be hookedup to the switch, or would 1-c and 1-l work and just leave the other 2 imputs on the switch capped? seems if you only needed to hookup 1 of each, they would just give you a 2x1 switch instead of a 4x1 switch! also, if you are suppose to only hookup 1 c&l, what would happen if you did hook all 4 of them up? i don't really want to fry anything right off the bat! thanks again
 

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You only need to hook up one of each (C&L) for your single receiver. The second pair of connectors are there to feed a second receiver or second tuner.

It wouldn't hurt anything if you hooked all four to your 4x1 switch, but it wouldn't accomplish anything either. The feed from the second pair should be identical to that from the first pair.

Why a 4x1? The price difference between a 4x1 and 2x1 is very small these days, and having a couple of open switch positions will let you add a fixed dish or two later if you feel like it.

PS, Buying an extra switch cheap somewhere online gives you a great cheap insurance policy against downtime. When a switch fries, you'll probably have a hard time finding a replacement locally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
the 4x1 switch came free with the receiver (as did the cable and reader). i couldn't figure out why you would need to hook all 4 up if you could get the same results with 2! but thats a good idea to have a couple xtra's around. heres another question...is the ia5 at 97w the best bird i should aim at for the setup? im in indiana and according to sadoun's site, im 40 latitude, 85 longitude, and 180 azimuth.
thanks
 

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To set up a motorized dish, you should start with your true south satellite. The closest one (to you) with reliable content is AMC3. http://www.96q.com/ftalist/amc3.htm First you offset the motor according to your latitude (check the motor's documentation for details). Then get the dish perfectly pointed at AMC3. Then tell your receiver to drive the motor to the other satellites along the arc. If they all come in okay, life is good. If you start to lose some along the edges, you might need to fiddle with that offset again. Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
gotcha! i got all the settings wrote down to do the setup, but i know, life ain't THAT good! after reading everything about this hobbie i'm now into, it can get alittle confusing on my part. thanks for all your help!!!
 

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shultz said:
gotcha! i got all the settings wrote down to do the setup, but i know, life ain't THAT good! after reading everything about this hobbie i'm now into, it can get alittle confusing on my part. thanks for all your help!!!
Have an Update on your Progress ??;)
 

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The second set of LNB outputs is for the second receiver and it's switch, when your family members want to add their own. (This stuff gets addictive.)

Of course, with a large family, you can put the four signals in to a huge multiswitch, and feed a dozen receivers :) .
 

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I have some Phase II Directv dishes laying around. Could I use these to recieve signals from FTA satellites? I live in San Antonio Tx and was wondering what satellites I could pick up from here for Spanish programming.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
DougRuss said:
Have an Update on your Progress ??;)
well, after a month of the dish setting in the living room, waiting on the weather, and my work, i did get it setup! got the dish mounted, pointed, carried alittle 19" tv and the receiver outside in the cold and set for hours fine tuning the thing. (my neighbors ain't gonna let me forget about watching tv outside in 20 degree weather). on xmas eve, i ran the cable, hooked up the receiver and everything, and it works great!! i can pickup all the sats from 30w to 129w, all with a q reading of 92-98. the receiver came with more sats, but the motor won't turn to them, (like 15w and 148w). i have the motor stop disabled, but when i pick one of those sats, the motor won't turn to them. i can pick 129w to move it, then move the motor over to 148w, i just won't go automatically. (i'll work on that later). other than that, it works great! and yes, this little hobbie is very addictive! :D
 

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gomezma1 said:
I have some Phase II Directv dishes laying around. Could I use these to recieve signals from FTA satellites? I live in San Antonio Tx and was wondering what satellites I could pick up from here for Spanish programming.
The Phase II dish is toroidal, designed to pick up two satellites simulateously. Neither focal point collects enough signal for reliable reception with a Ku-band linear LNBF.

What you can get in Spanish is here: http://www.ftalist.com/spanish.htm
 
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