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· Legend
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My father-in-law has a cabin on Rough River in Leitchfield, KY. His cabin is way out in the boonies on the side of a wooded hill. He wants to get D* at his cabin and at his house in Louisville (he currently is a cable subscriber). He called D* and the installers won't call him back. He tried Dish Network and someone "suppposedly" looked at his site, but told him there was no way it would work due to the trees.

I gave him my compass and he said that he has a decent view of the SW sky (not perfect). I have seen this lot several times and believe that he could get reception there, but no one wants anything to do with it. I personnally believe it is because the nearest D* installer is more than an hour away in Bowling Green.

My questions are:

1.) Is there a way to find out if he can receive a D* signal without purchasing high-end equipment?

2.) If I were to purchase a new dish, could I take one of my D* receivers to his cabin and hook it up temporarily just to figure out if it works? I ask because he doesn't want to buy a bunch of equipment that has no chance to work.

3.) How difficult is it to install the dish? I have never done it before, but it doesn't appear to be rocket science. I would not need HD capability, just something that would get the main bird and his local channels.

4.) Would I need more than a compass (to find azimuth) and a level/protractor (to find elevation)?

Thanks for any advice.
 

· Beware the Attack Basset
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bluesman40220 said:
I gave him my compass and he said that he has a decent view of the SW sky (not perfect).
The view for DirecTV needs to be unobstructed above 40 degrees above horizontal and between 195 and 207 on the compass.
I personnally believe it is because the nearest D* installer is more than an hour away in Bowling Green.
Has anyone checked into any dealers in Owensboro? Estes Electronics claims to be a satellite dealer.
1.) Is there a way to find out if he can receive a D* signal without purchasing high-end equipment?
The gizmo that the installers use to do a site survey isn't real expensive. Maybe you could get someone to loan you one.
2.) If I were to purchase a new dish, could I take one of my D* receivers to his cabin and hook it up temporarily just to figure out if it works?.
Again, maybe you could borrow a dish or buy one from someone who isn't using theirs.
3.) How difficult is it to install the dish? I have never done it before, but it doesn't appear to be rocket science.
It isn't rocket science. It is best if you have something that is relatively plumb to attach it to.
4.) Would I need more than a compass (to find azimuth) and a level/protractor (to find elevation)?
Just a compass. the elevation is marked on the mount and will work as long as the support tube is vertical.
 

· Godfather
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I have done 5 of my own installs/moves with the three LNB dish with nothing more than a level, a reciever, TV, and a cordless screwdriver. Put your zip code in the reciever, it tells you the elevation. THEN once you have the elevation you can move the dish from side to side to get the azimuth. I got no less than 91 on any of my DIY installs. It takes no more than 20 minutes to do it, BUT you have to MAKE SURE the base and the pole where you mount the dish is LEVEL. I mean LEVEL. Not almost, not good enough, LEVEL.

If ya need more info, feel free to PM me. BTW I am nothing more than a DIY'er. If you can change your own oil you can aim the dish.
 

· Legend
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
harsh said:
The view for DirecTV needs to be unobstructed above 40 degrees above horizontal and between 195 and 207 on the compass.
Is this a set-in-stone figure? Horizontal isn't the problem. 195-207 is pretty wide for where we would be pointing.

Litzdog, I think my father-in-law wants to do something sooner than March, but that is a great resource. I was having a little trouble earlier with it however. When I have a little more time perhaps I'll figure it out.

Thanks everyone for your help so far.
 

· Legend
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
harsh said:
The gizmo that the installers use to do a site survey isn't real expensive.
Is there a name for the gizmo? I try to act like I know what I am doing--even if I don't.:lol: Where would I find such an item if I were to attempt to purchase it? Thanks!
 

· DBSTalk Club Member
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I bought an inexpensive meter to align my system on ebay for $79. There are several types available. The website www.solidsignal.com lists several types brand new. If you start with a round dish (also very easy to find on ebay for short money) for the DirectTV 101 (most standard definition programming) you will know pretty easily if you can get signal. If you do, most of the weekend cabin viewing will be on that sat anyway - unless the cabin has an HD Plasma panel and is intended for NFL parties.

Be careful with the azimuth however, I was warned that the meter doesn't distinguish between satellites and if you look at the wrong sat the meter will still light up with a good reading.

In my case I have an old extra round dish I use in my camper and I just pull it out and stick it on the roof with some wooden feet and align it with a compass and the receiver signal meter. Works good enough to know if the trees at the campsite are in the way or not. If the camper rocks too much we lose signal however...
 

· Éminence grise
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bluesman40220 said:
Is there a name for the gizmo? I try to act like I know what I am doing--even if I don't.:lol: Where would I find such an item if I were to attempt to purchase it? Thanks!
I just used a compass and protractor. If he only needs to get the 101 satellite, the field of view narrows considerably: Elevation = 42.9, azimuth = 204 (magnetic). For 110, it would be 32.9 and 217; 119 would be 34.8/227.7 (http://www.emantechnology.com/lookangle.asp).
 

· Éminence grise
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Herdfan said:
Louisville's locals are on the 119.
In that case, a Phase 3 dish would be required with a view from roughly 200-230 degrees in azimuth and 30-45 degrees in elevation. In a pinch, two single-LNB dishes could be mounted where each could see the appropriate satellite, combined with a multiswitch.
 

· Legend
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
bobnielsen said:
In that case, a Phase 3 dish would be required with a view from roughly 200-230 degrees in azimuth and 30-45 degrees in elevation. In a pinch, two single-LNB dishes could be mounted where each could see the appropriate satellite, combined with a multiswitch.
Well, after reading everyone's advice I think my father-in-law may be a little disappointed. He wants his locals in addition to his standard programming and I just don't know if he has that much access to the sky (particularly in the spring when the leaves have busted out). IMO, he would still be better off, but that is his decision to make. The deciding factor I'm sure, will be if he can get his UofK Wildcat's games on his satellite. That 119 satellite is going to be the trouble.:eek2:

Thanks for everyone's help. Now it is up to him, but I feel much more confident in what I'll need to do to help him out.
 

· Mentor
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47 Posts
I hate to be a such a smart a**, what about a chain saw?
Sometime all you're looking at is a couple of trees that need to be "moved" or trimmed.
Something I've done to help check things out in the past was I took a 1/2" or 1" PVC pipe and mounted it to a tripod, set the elevation with a protractor, set the azimuth and then looked through the pipe.. If you see leaves or branches, move the tripode to another location and try again.
 

· Legend
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
wedge40 said:
I hate to be a such a smart a**, what about a chain saw?
Sometime all you're looking at is a couple of trees that need to be "moved" or trimmed.
Something I've done to help check things out in the past was I took a 1/2" or 1" PVC pipe and mounted it to a tripod, set the elevation with a protractor, set the azimuth and then looked through the pipe.. If you see leaves or branches, move the tripode to another location and try again.
It isn't that easy. His cabin on the river has many restrictions imposed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Believe it or not, he is limited in what he can do with the trees on his own property. That is just how it is.:mad:

His property is on a sharp bend in the river so he has to be careful not to cut trees anywhere close to an "imaginary line". The Corps actually sends people once or twice a year onto the properties on the river. If they find that trees have been cut down or trimmed in certain areas they can (and have fined others) thousands of dollars.
 

· Legend
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Mertzen said:
You can always pole mount it. You do have about 125 ft of cable you can run.
We have considered that in our talks. That will be the last thing that we would try, but it is an option.

In regards to the length of the cable run--isn't it bad to run RG-6 more than 100'? I believe I read that somewhere.
 

· Mentor
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bluesman40220 said:
It isn't that easy. His cabin on the river has many restrictions imposed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Believe it or not, he is limited in what he can do with the trees on his own property. That is just how it is.:mad:

His property is on a sharp bend in the river so he has to be careful not to cut trees anywhere close to an "imaginary line". The Corps actually sends people once or twice a year onto the properties on the river. If they find that trees have been cut down or trimmed in certain areas they can (and have fined others) thousands of dollars.
Sometimes I wonder if really LIVE in America. Ok he cant cut trees DOWN, but is he allowed to trim trees. I live in the middle of the woods and when I first put my dish up 12 Plus years ago, the trees weren't an issue, but just this last year I started to have problem with branches creeping into the line of sight. I d had a professional come out and trim one side of the tree.. Problem solved for another 5 or 6 years.

Maybe the next time "The Corps" come out he can see if "THEY" will do a little triming for him? They did such a wonderful job with things down in New Orleans, I'm SURE they can help out here too.

Good luck with the cabin.
 

· Super Moderator
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bluesman40220 said:
In regards to the length of the cable run--isn't it bad to run RG-6 more than 100'? I believe I read that somewhere.
For SD with a round or oval 3-LNB dish, you should easily be able to support a coax run of 250 feet. I've run over 400 feet testing, but have not left that much line in an actual installation.

For HD with the 5-LNB dish, with solid copper center conductor, you should still be able to do 125 to 150 feet.

There are other coax options besides RG6 that could give you added distance if it was essential, but your cost factors go up.

Carl
 
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