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First Installation- A few tips needed.

Discussion in 'Freesat' started by timmoore46, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. timmoore46

    timmoore46 Member

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    I got my hands on a very modest set of parts:-

    39cm dish

    Single Sensor thing

    Comag SC25-S = Scart out 100% on remote control

    Comag AG

    It claims to pick up

    8 Satelltes:-

    Astra 19E
    Hotbird 13E
    Turksat42E
    Sirius2 5E
    Amos/Atlantic4-5W
    Astra2 28E
    Eutel W2 16E
    HispaSat 30W


    Now I have no 'jargon', so I could easily get lost.

    So far all I get when I press 'info' on the remote is a nice screen with signal strength at 85% and quality of signal at 15% when the dish is pointing anywhere.

    I assume this is background 'Cosmic' noise ?

    Questions:- which satellite is best to start with ? And where is it ? I'm use to 0 deg being true north, 90 deg Eat etc so i'm not sure how to interpret the cryptic 30W etc.

    All the local dishes seem to be pointing SE (135 deg very very approx.)

    And whats the Altitude is this satellite? 0 deg horz, 90 deg straight up. 15 deg ish?

    Are there loads 'must do' settings I have to adjust before I have a hope of a picture?

    A signal strength meter is on its way as I suspect the 'info' readings are not a very convenient way to align a dish.

    Any thoughts very very welcome !

    :):):)

    Tim
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2009
  2. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson Well-Known Member

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    Read this (It's for caravans but is entirely relevant to a home install)

    www.satelliteforcaravans.co.uk

    The satellite group at 28.2/28.5E Astra2A,B,C,D, Eurobird 1 has around 450 free Radio and TV channels in English

    Enter your post code here for a google earth picture of where to point the dish

    http://www.uksatellitehelp.co.uk/2007/08/12/satellite-alignment-calculator-v2/
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2009
  3. timmoore46

    timmoore46 Member

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    Many many thanks ! Trying out those sites as my next act !

    :):):)

    Tim

    Update:-

    LNB skew: -15.1°


    what does this mean ?





    Last edited: Apr 3, 2009
  4. Synchro

    Synchro Active Member

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    See if that helps
  5. timmoore46

    timmoore46 Member

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    Brilliant ! I know know what I'm trying to do !

    Without the help from this forum I'd be floundering for ages !

    Many many thanks 1

    :):):):):)

    Tim
  6. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson Well-Known Member

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    Its the angle of twist for the lnb in it's holder. There is a scale on the lnb body
  7. timmoore46

    timmoore46 Member

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    So that is 15.1 deg anticlockwise from vertical top ?

    :)

    Tim
  8. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson Well-Known Member

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    As you face the dish the lnb is rotated clockwise (bottom goes to the left).
  9. timmoore46

    timmoore46 Member

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    Many thanks !

    :):):):)

    Tim
  10. Supersonic

    Supersonic Member

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    Just a tip re. something I forgot about when I put up my dish: i.e. the dish and arm have a "built in" elevation angle so if you set the dish simply perpendicular you'll actually be getting elevation equal to the dish's elevation angle.

    So when I angled the dish to the elevation needed for Freesat, I was aiming too high because I hadn't subtracted the built-in angle from the stated elevation for the Freesat (28.2E Astra) satellite.

    Otherwise, the steps on here and the caravan site are fine - just go slowly and be patient with the missus if you've get her shouting out how the signal is! :D
  11. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson Well-Known Member

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    Most dishes have an elevation scale that's good enough for a first stab. It of course relies on the mounting being horizontal/vertical.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2009
  12. Supersonic

    Supersonic Member

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    Mine had one but the paint coating was so thick the numbers were practically invisible so I used a compass aligned with the vertical mounting pole... and you know the rest.
  13. timmoore46

    timmoore46 Member

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    Well a Konig Satellite Finder plus some F connectors arrived today so with compass Inclinometer etc I tried to find a satellite.

    Now some questions:-

    How long once in position does it take for a receiver to lock on to a satellite?

    The name of the satellite appears on the ' info ' screen but under what title.

    The satellite Finder apart from whistling a lot seem's to give a very different answer to the signal and quality reading off the ' Info' ' page !

    I discovered that screw on F connectors are not very robust ! *LOL*

    Now the receiver applies a voltage to the LNB but can blow up if the LNB is not connected ? eg duff cable joint.

    How does this show up when a receiver has died ?

    (Have I accidentally knackered my receiver ? )

    An thoughts very welcome !

    :)

    Tim
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2009
  14. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson Well-Known Member

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    Screw on F connectors are very secure if you get the right size for the cable you are using. Too large and they dont grip the cable outer, too small they are near impossible to screw on.

    You are very very unlikely to damage the reciever as the lnb dc power outputs are current limited (Even a short citcuit won't do any damage)

    The reciever can take quite a long time to respond to dish movements, wait around 30 secomds.
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  15. timmoore46

    timmoore46 Member

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    Many thanks !

    I'll try again !

    :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

    Tim
  16. Supersonic

    Supersonic Member

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    With a compass and inclinometer (impressive!) you can get pretty close to the right direction - don't forget the LNB skew - and if you do a scan for channels you might get at least one or two which you can then use as a reference.

    I don't have a signal meter, so once I'd scanned and got a couple of channels, I popped up the info bar on my Foxsat which shows signal strength and quality, then found the weakest channel I had and set about tweaking the dish alignment to improve that channel as best I could. I found the rest were improved as well.

    I've heard people suggest putting a damp cloth over the LNB to weaken the signal for dish-tweaking purposes but I was happy with the signal I got in the end.
  17. timmoore46

    timmoore46 Member

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    I'm learning so much about sats and how to use them !

    Just need to mount the dish better, get some reliable cables and get any satellite recognised. Then I can start tweaking !

    To match cable to F twist connector, is there any good place to get matching cable and plugs ?

    The only cable I have has a thin braid first and a layer of very thin 'bacofoil' around the inner.

    Is there better cable than this when it comes twisting on F connectors?

    How far should the inner insulation stick out if the hole at the start of the clamping nut to body interface?

    Many many thanks for these posts which fill me with confidence to get this all working !

    :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

    Tim
  18. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson Well-Known Member

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    How to fit F Connectors to coaxial cable

    Cable

    Labgear PF100 Satellite Black Coaxial Cable - Screwfix.com, Where the Trade Buys

    F Plugs

    Philex Coaxial F Plug Pack of 10 - Screwfix.com, Where the Trade Buys

    You might have a local branch
  19. timmoore46

    timmoore46 Member

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  20. timmoore46

    timmoore46 Member

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    Finally got the parts together and tried it all out in a large empty field, no hedges or any thing !

    And got a strong signal at 160 magnetic with channel 203 yielding sky news !

    Great surprise here as I was expecting it at 144 deg magnetic. Could this be a reflection of something ? Now there are mountains all over the place here and big rocks in the way of most signals ! *LOL* The horizon is never at 0 deg horizontal !

    Not much else would show up on the channels. of a choice of less than 300.

    Being totally unfamiliar with the remote I was floundering around a lot.

    BBC1 etc where black screens with weak signal coming up.

    Other signals were detected but the receiver did not lock into them.

    I was delighted to get anything as this was my very first reception on this setup.

    So I thought reduce the cable length and get rid of the finder giszmo might get more signal into the Receiver ?

    Are there any idiot guides to the remote. As to when to use which button?

    :clap::clap::clap: for getting any picture at all !

    Tim
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2009
  21. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson Well-Known Member

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    Excellent advice here

    www.satelliteforcaravans.co.uk
  22. timmoore46

    timmoore46 Member

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    Yes, but I can't print it to take in the field as copy and paste is prohibited

    Writing notes on the screen of the PC gets very cluttered.

    Good advice and if he has written a book I'd buy it.

    But just the odd nugget of gold ! I need 1

    I'll try it out this morning.

    Many thanks for the post !

    :):):)
    Tim
  23. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson Well-Known Member

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    It helped me greatly in setting up my own dish. After all caravenners do it all the time :D
  24. timmoore46

    timmoore46 Member

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    Well I tried in two different locations at home and received only one good signal suitable for watching.

    Only one satellite was strong enough to get the receiver interested:-

    Its was Astra 28.2E ch 188 called Test-R in german.

    Ch 204 sky news Intnl was iffy but came up sort of.

    I'm sure both horizontal and vertical were optimised correctly.

    Now the dish is 35 cm wide and 39 high. 90 deg different to the sky dish ellipse.

    Its mounted on a 2? inch pole.

    Now at the moment I suspect I need a bigger dish because I plain old fashioned have not got enough signal, which surprised me because the receiver meter read :-

    intensity 91%

    quality 72%

    Does the receiver need setting up at all?

    So what should my plan of action be ?

    If it is another dish, what size and where from ( including mounts for the pole and lnb)?

    A puzzled,

    Tim
  25. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson Well-Known Member

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    Where do you live. Astra2 is strongest in Southern England. The further North and South you are you need a bigger dish for the same signal strength (and quality)
  26. timmoore46

    timmoore46 Member

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    I live half way up a Mountain on the southern edge of the Brecon Beacons.

    :)

    Tim
  27. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson Well-Known Member

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    Should have twigged earlier, I reckon you have got Astra1 at 23.5 E. (this group has loads of German channels and I don't think there are any in German on 28.2/28.5E. You need to swing your dish further East.

    Enter your postcode here

    UKSatelliteHelp.co.uk - Satellite Dish Alignment / Setup Calculator 2.0

    It will give you a google earth line on the sat and you can zoom in your house to get an accurate line. Elevation should already be pretty close to what you need.

    Dish size should be fine for your location assuming you can see sky from the dish location when pointing in the right direction and elevation.

    Graham
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2009
  28. timmoore46

    timmoore46 Member

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    Been there already. I could not get into any other satellite even in the field.

    I'm wondering if a Receiver setting excludes all/any other sarellites ?

    A very puzzled.

    Tim
  29. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson Well-Known Member

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    The list of satellites in the spec are simply those that the box has a database of which transponders to scan for each satellite. You can edit or add them usually on a PC. Selecting Astra2 hopefully should find all the transponders that are on Eurobird1/Astra2.

    Have you an el cheapo meter ?. If so try and get a lock on Astra2 and then manually scan 10778 H 27500 2/3 you should get loads of BBC stuff
  30. timmoore46

    timmoore46 Member

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    If I can figure out how to invoke a manual scan I'll give that a whirl !

    Many thanks,

    :):):):)

    Tim

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