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· God Bless America!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy folks, I'm new to the idea of receiving FTA satellite and I am interested in receiving Intelsat Americas 5 from northwest Montana (near but north of Kalispell). Will I be able to get off with a 75cm dish? I don't want a 90cm with the neighbors I have, LOL...

Second, I'm also interested in Galaxy 10R. Could this be received by adding a second LNBF and a switch ala DISH 500 or SuperDish? If so, what would I need to accomplish this?

Thanks,

Mark

P.S. Yah, I know I'm not exactly welcome here... I'll leave once I get this figured out, LOL.
 

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:welcome_s
I'm always happy to try to help with friendly, reasonable questions like yours.

The satellite footprint map (http://www.intelsat.com/apps/coverage-maps/sat_foot.htm?name=IA-5&loc=97&band=ku&beam=1&dir=W) shows you to be in an area of about 46 dB if I read its tiny print correctly. The old table I've got suggests a 90 cm dish given a 0.9 dB LNBF. Of course, modern Ku-band LNBFs are a lot more sensitive than that.

For another data point, I'm in a 48 dB area with a 0.5 dB LNBF and a 76cm dish, and I see everything on IA5 loud and clear.

My guess, my estimate is that a 75cm would work on a clear day with a decent (0.5 or less) LNBF. If you can find a satellite dealer in your region, he'd be able to tell you with greater certainty.

A second dish pointed at G10R and a DiSEqC switch should work great with any modern FTA receiver. Good luck!
 

· God Bless America!
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hmmm, if I read it's tiny print correctly, I'm just inside the 48dB line which it looks like is almost right on the Canadian border in that map (I think the labels are BELOW the line if you look higher at where they start). Looking at this bigger map - http://www.geo-orbit.org/westhemipgs/ft5p.html the footprint is a wee bit different. On that map the 48dB line dips down into Montana, but I think I'm still just barely inside it.

Also, I've already ordered a 75cm dish and a 0.3dB LNBF off of ebay, LOL. Now I'm just anxiously awaiting to find out if it works, as I learned our church uses a 90cm dish for the same satellite........ after I ordered the dish :(

Secondly, I'm wondering if I can add another LNBF to the same dish (using one of those bracket thingies) to get Galaxy 10R... That's what I meant to ask.

Thanks,

Mark
 

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MarkA said:
I'm wondering if I can add another LNBF to the same dish (using one of those bracket thingies) to get Galaxy 10R.
No. IA5 and G10R aren't very close to each other. The dish you ordered was almost certainly designed for a single focal point anyway. You could always add a motor instead. :D
 

· God Bless America!
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
How expensive and difficult is it to add a motor? Would something like this be all I need? http://cgi.ebay.com/SATELLITE-MOTOR...ryZ11726QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Can most satellites be received here with the 75cm dish or am I going to be regretting not going 90 if I get the motor? Also, I'm interested in the networks on Galaxy 10R that are FTA - is that a freak thing likely to go away at any moment or are they fairly stable there? If so, HOW is that legal when Echostar is struggling with injunctions against distant networks?

Thanks,

Mark

P.S. The dish and LNBF shall arrive Monday according to FedEx, but I don't even have a shipping confirmation for my receiver yet and I don't know if I'll be able to install the dish before the weekend anyways, so it may be next Sunday before I can give you an update.

P.P.S. The thing about not being welcome - back in the day I kinda really annoyed the heck out of Chris and Scott on here. Wishing I could just delete this account and start over - heck I shoulda just created a new account, but I didn't want to get found out for breaking the terms...
 

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Yup, that looks just like my motor. Installing it is a little trickier than just pointing a stationary dish, but I followed the instructions and got mine working pretty much on the first try.

Every time you lose a signal in the rain or run into a marginal signal, you'll regret not going 90. :) But in your case, you'll remember that at least your neighbors aren't mad at you. And really, most of the time you'll be able to pick up anything with the 75 that you could with the 90.

How is it legal, or even lawful, for broadcast network affiliates stations to send their programming to us? Well, it wouldn't be, so they don't. They're sending their signals to cable systems and other legitimate users, and they see no need to scramble the signal. We're eavesdropping.

As the mutual fund operators say, past performance does not guarantee future results. Most of the OTA stations that are FTA have been there for many months, but they can change any time. As a wise equipment dealer once said, you can't count on anything in particular being there, but you can always count on something being there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oh, I'm sure my neighbors will be mad - the only acceptable mounting place I have is above my garage on the front of the house :) - The 90 I think would be completely frowned upon. Plus, I wanted something with as little chance of ripping the siding off the house as possible, LOL Of course, look at the size of those things DISH Network is putting up now! They gotta be 90 wide... though they're short. At least DirecTV dishes (for how rare they are - there's gotta be 10 DISH dishes for every 1 DirecTV) are still nice and small.

P.S. - I looked at the signal strength and quality off our our church's system - strength of 90 and quality of 96 on a Topfield receiver with a 90cm dish... does that sound like I'll be OK with the 75cm?

I think once I get everything up and running I'll look at adding the DiSEqC motor... will the cold snowy winters of Montana cause it any problems?
 

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Quality of 96 on a 90cm should about equal quality of about 67-70 on a 75cm. It depends on the receiver, but for me 35 is marginal and 50 looks perfect. You'll be fine on clear days. :)

The motor is made to run outside in the elements. That doesn't mean it won't freeze or die one day, but it _ought_ to work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks, one more question:

The receiver I ordered is a Traxis 4500. Is this a decent receiver? It was like $85 shipped. Second, is it usable with the motor - I know it has DiSEqC 1.2, but it doesn't have "Blind Search" - what does this lack mean to me as a user?

Thanks,

Mark
 

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The reviews for the 4500 were pretty good, and I'm happy with my 4550, which includes blind search and supports USALS for my motor. DiSEqC 1.2 is sufficient to drive a motor; it just isn't as ultra-easy as using USALS.

No blind search? It depends on whether its "auto scan" is close enough. If it really can't search, then the biggest impact is on watching feeds, which often bounce around with different settings from day to day. If you don't know where they are, you can't watch them.
 

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Motors are a bit tedious to install and align, but are well worth it.

Follow the instructions carefully, think about what you are doing as you go, and MAKE SURE THE POLE IS ABSOLUTELY PLUMB. That last one is what kills most installs. Be sure it's plumb. Be sure it's plumb. Be sure it's.............

Oh! And make sure it's sturdy and strong....so it stays plumb!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Okay, it's up and working. The killer about not having the blind search was that I had to go in and type in a bunch of transponders from Lyngsat that it's preprogrammed list for IA-5 didn't have.

Quality ranges from 60-70. The signal meter is useless - as long as the LNBF is connected it always shows about 55. What's with that? Unless I don't understand the point (maybe that it's getting something from the LNBF?). Overall, I'm happy for how cheap it was. In retrospect, I may have bought the Glorystar system with the nice Fortec Star receiver and the 90cm dish. I think it's a better deal than what I got ($219 shipped and I paid about $153 shipped for IMHO an inferior setup).

Anyways, it works, life is good. And we had decent rain and the signal stayed in the 60s...

Thanks again for your help!
 

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You're welcome. The good news is that, with the dish and everything pointing right, it's really easy to swap in a blind scan receiver. All you need is money. :D

Seriously, if you're perma-pointed at IA5, you don't see very many feeds, so blind search isn't as important.
 

· God Bless America!
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Nah, not interested. Not having it just made the initial setup trickier than I'dva liked. I had two problems:

1. Some transponders weren't in the preprogrammed list for IA-5 and I had to punch them in from Lyngsat.

2. I peaked the dish on the first listed transponder. Somehow, that wasn't best (or even workable) for several transponders. So I changed to one that was weak and moved the dish very very slightly to the right and BINGO! I had 60 quality on them and I was up to 70 on the ones that were 60. Rescan and ta-da I had a ton more channels.

All is working well now, and this dish is staying parked on IA-5. I'll probably stick around here now that I oh, actually have satellite TV again :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
UH-OH - I realized my dish has an F/D of 0.5 and the Invacom LNBFs are designed for an F/D of 0.6 - meaning that it would be like I had an even smaller dish. Who knows of a good LNBF for a dish with an F/D of 0.5? Thanks, Mark

Okay, I'm still having problems with one transponder - the one that Word Network is on. I get quality of about 60 on it and it breaks up occasionally - if the dish is anything less than spot on or the weather anything less than perfect it starts breaking up.

I have a cheap no-name "LAVA" brand dish (total junk but cheap and lightweight - a benefit on the side of the house) and 0.3dB noise factor LNBF set.

If I swapped the LNBF for a good quality brand like an Invacom 0.3dB, would I see an improvement?

Thanks,

Mark
 

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Supposedly, one 0.3dB LNBF should be as good as another. Personally, I've had great success with the sensitivity of my Invacom, but really, it's only an incremental benefit.

About the F/D trouble, your dealer really should have sold you equipment that works together. You might drop him a line.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
No, he did. The LNBF I have is designed for the F/D of 0.5. I was asking about switching to a better LNBF (if there is one) and was wondering about the Invacom - but it's designed for a dish with an F/D of 0.6. Meaning (as I understand it) that it's not an option. Again, I was interested in a better LNBF only to see if I could improve things somewhat.

I do regret buying this setup (DEALER? It's ebay parts baby! LOL, dealer - I tried to do things cheap). If I had it to do over I'd have done the TBN/Glorystar deal. Why?

90 cm dish
Their receiver has component video outputs and blind scan (the Fortec star)

But it was $60 more than what I paid...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
OK, I've found my signal quality problem on the other site ran by the evil one..... those two transponders that are really and almost impossible to aim for have interference from a neighboring satellite and thus require a 90cm dish to properly receive regardless of strength (because you need the narrower beamwidth of the larger dish).

Really regretting not buying that SatelliteAV/Glorystar setup now...
 
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