DIY of Freesat Dish

keephill

Standard Member
Hi There,
I've just joined this forum, so here goes! I've just purchased 1 clear 60cm dish and 1 pre-prog Freesat Humax HD receiver. I am hoping that all I need to do is connect up the receiver via the HDMI cable, select say channel 101 (BBC), and then move the dish until I get a picture. I've got a good idea where to point it via the dish pointer web site, using the various Horizontal 146.2* (magnetic) and elevation 23.9* with a LNB offset of 14*. I hope to try this out this week-end.
Don't quite understand what is occurring when I move the LNB in its holder to 14* as its round in its holder, so I can't quite see what this is achieving.i.e where is the offset?
Can anyone help?
 

gbmitie

Active Member
dpnt get too hung up on figures, you dont say where you are located so the readings you quote mean nothing, say where you are roughly.

The signal from 28e is very strong. The important bit is getting the dish fixed up correctly ie have everything dead level, look at dishes locally, etc

gbmitie
 

NickHunt

Standard Member
I'm not sure that you can actually set the box to a channel with the dish pointing anywhere and then steer the dish on to the satellite. If the box is new, I would think it needs to scan in the signal from the satellite even to "register" 101 as a channel. Could be wrong though. Even if you could do that, personally, I would use a compass and signal meter (£5 from Ebay, possibly more from somewhere like Maplin), finger tighten up the bolts on the dish, get the box to scan, and then if you have found 28e you can tweak the dish the last little bit (as you describe). But if you've used a signal meter you shouldn't even need to do that. I just think the box needs to "have" a channel first.
 

snaithg

Well-known Member
I'm not sure that you can actually set the box to a channel with the dish pointing anywhere and then steer the dish on to the satellite. If the box is new, I would think it needs to scan in the signal from the satellite even to "register" 101 as a channel. Could be wrong though. Even if you could do that, personally, I would use a compass and signal meter (£5 from Ebay, possibly more from somewhere like Maplin), finger tighten up the bolts on the dish, get the box to scan, and then if you have found 28e you can tweak the dish the last little bit (as you describe). But if you've used a signal meter you shouldn't even need to do that. I just think the box needs to "have" a channel first.

The OP said that his Humax HD was pre-programmed in the first post :)


Graham.
 

keephill

Standard Member
dpnt get too hung up on figures, you dont say where you are located so the readings you quote mean nothing, say where you are roughly.

The signal from 28e is very strong. The important bit is getting the dish fixed up correctly ie have everything dead level, look at dishes locally, etc

gbmitie

Ok thanks for that. I'm located about 12 miles NW of Worcester. How critical is the DNB offset which for my location is 14*. According to Maplin the offset is viewed looking at the dish and moving clockwise. Is this correct?

Steve (keephill)
 

keephill

Standard Member
The OP said that his Humax HD was pre-programmed in the first post :)


Graham.

Hi Graham,
As I said the shop has pre-tuned the humax box to my post code location, so when the box is first switched on it's already set to 101. I'll give it a try tis week-end.

Steve
 

keephill

Standard Member
I'm not sure that you can actually set the box to a channel with the dish pointing anywhere and then steer the dish on to the satellite. If the box is new, I would think it needs to scan in the signal from the satellite even to "register" 101 as a channel. Could be wrong though. Even if you could do that, personally, I would use a compass and signal meter (£5 from Ebay, possibly more from somewhere like Maplin), finger tighten up the bolts on the dish, get the box to scan, and then if you have found 28e you can tweak the dish the last little bit (as you describe). But if you've used a signal meter you shouldn't even need to do that. I just think the box needs to "have" a channel first.

Hi Nick,
As I said the Humax box has come pre-tuned to my post code, and when it's switched on 101 is displayed. I'll give it a try this w/end. Do you know how critical the LNB offset is, and is the offset turned clockwise when viewing the dish, according to Maplins it is.

Regards

Steve
 

Peridot

Well-known Member
Set mine up last weekend with an out of the box Bush SD receiver.

I roughly aligned the dish with my neighbour's one. Connected a cheap ebay sat meter in between the LNB and the receiver and connected the receiver to a portable TV in the garden.

A bit of tweaking of the dish gave a signal indication on the startup screen from the receiver. I then used the sat meter to fine tune the dish horizontal alignment, vertical alignment, LNB orientation - in that order.

The sat meter was necessary as the response time of the receiver was too slow to usefully use. Connection to the receiver is necessary as the cheap sat meters will respond to any signal even if it's the wrong satellite!

Got to 70% signal on the receiver after 10 minutes and as soon as the sat meter was removed from circuit it rose to 100% :thumbsup:

Best 10 minutes I've spent in a long time - have now cancelled my hopelessly unreliable and overpriced Virginmedia 'service' :)
 

Stiggy

Distinguished Member
There are lots of sites to help you set up. The Astra one is here.

With the aid of a compass and spirit level I didn't find it too difficult.
 

snaithg

Well-known Member
keephill,

I don't own a Foxsat so don't know if this is possible (it is on a Sky box). Look for a menu option that allows you to view the "Signal Strength" and "Signal Quality", if these are present I would suggest that you use these instead of an actual TV channel. A satellite meter is probably a bit better for "peaking" the satellite signal, but using the Foxy "signal Strength (if available) would be second best. Also (again if available) use the "Signal Quality" gauge to determine that you are on the correct satellite, again peaking to maximum signal.


Graham.
 

keephill

Standard Member
Set mine up last weekend with an out of the box Bush SD receiver.

I roughly aligned the dish with my neighbour's one. Connected a cheap ebay sat meter in between the LNB and the receiver and connected the receiver to a portable TV in the garden.

A bit of tweaking of the dish gave a signal indication on the startup screen from the receiver. I then used the sat meter to fine tune the dish horizontal alignment, vertical alignment, LNB orientation - in that order.

The sat meter was necessary as the response time of the receiver was too slow to usefully use. Connection to the receiver is necessary as the cheap sat meters will respond to any signal even if it's the wrong satellite!

Got to 70% signal on the receiver after 10 minutes and as soon as the sat meter was removed from circuit it rose to 100% :thumbsup:

Best 10 minutes I've spent in a long time - have now cancelled my hopelessly unreliable and overpriced Virginmedia 'service' :)

Ok thanks for your experience, I'll see if I can do it in the same order.

Steve (keephill)
 

keephill

Standard Member
keephill,

I don't own a Foxsat so don't know if this is possible (it is on a Sky box). Look for a menu option that allows you to view the "Signal Strength" and "Signal Quality", if these are present I would suggest that you use these instead of an actual TV channel. A satellite meter is probably a bit better for "peaking" the satellite signal, but using the Foxy "signal Strength (if available) would be second best. Also (again if available) use the "Signal Quality" gauge to determine that you are on the correct satellite, again peaking to maximum signal.


Graham.

Graham,
The Foxsat does not appear to have this signal strength/quality facility, but my TV does, so I'll attempt to use the Tv's facility.

Thanks

Steve
 

keephill

Standard Member
Graham,
The Foxsat does not appear to have this signal strength/quality facility, but my TV does, so I'll attempt to use the Tv's facility.

Thanks

Steve

Just an update, just as I thought with pre-tuned channel service from the shop provider, I was able to align the dish to Astra 28.2E. One point though if the Foxsat is left on 'no or bad signal' for a length of time say more than 10-15 mins, the set locks out forever with this message so frequently re-boot the box. I was able to fine tune using the signal strength & quality meters via the 'diagnostic' menu on the Humax freesat, although there is no mention of this in the manual/set up guide. The setting via dishpointer.com, using my postcode of around 143* was pretty accurate but the elevation of 23.9* I don't quite understand as the dish is fairly level, unless of course it's built in to the parabolic dish. Anyway thanks again Graham and all of you who helped, hoping my update will help othres.
 

snaithg

Well-known Member
Just an update, just as I thought with pre-tuned channel service from the shop provider, I was able to align the dish to Astra 28.2E. One point though if the Foxsat is left on 'no or bad signal' for a length of time say more than 10-15 mins, the set locks out forever with this message so frequently re-boot the box. I was able to fine tune using the signal strength & quality meters via the 'diagnostic' menu on the Humax freesat, although there is no mention of this in the manual/set up guide. The setting via dishpointer.com, using my postcode of around 143* was pretty accurate but the elevation of 23.9* I don't quite understand as the dish is fairly level, unless of course it's built in to the parabolic dish. Anyway thanks again Graham and all of you who helped, hoping my update will help othres.


Mini Dishes and most smaller satellite dishes are what are called "Offset" focus dishes (usually identified by the LNB and arm being mounted below the centre of the dish). I won't get technical but what this means in practice is that the dish is almost vertical when aligned on Astra 28.2E. It would only be at the correct elevation of "23.9deg" (for your location) if it was what is known as a "Prime" focus dish. These tend not to be used for most domestic installations, but instead used for larger professional dishes.


Graham.
 

keephill

Standard Member
Mini Dishes and most smaller satellite dishes are what are called "Offset" focus dishes (usually identified by the LNB and arm being mounted below the centre of the dish). I won't get technical but what this means in practice is that the dish is almost vertical when aligned on Astra 28.2E. It would only be at the correct elevation of "23.9deg" (for your location) if it was what is known as a "Prime" focus dish. These tend not to be used for most domestic installations, but instead used for larger professional dishes.


Graham.

Hi Graham,

Thanks for the technical update on the offset dish theory.

Steve (Keephill)
 

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