Freesat newbie needing help

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by bigengines, Feb 18, 2014.

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  1. bigengines

    bigengines
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    Hi all,
    I am wanting to get freesat in my summer house but i dont know much about it, i am going to fit the dish myself as i am quite handy with diy stuff, but i am wanting to know if a cheap dish will surffice or which is a good dish to use, also i want to record channels so what is a good box to get, i am also wondering in addition to getting the freesat channels do you also get foreign channel ? Does the dish have to point southerly ?, sorry for these basic questions but like i said i dont know much about freesat, thanks in advance
    Rob.
     
  2. TJT1

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    First question is; Where are you? This will determine the size of the dish. Your premise about 'Point the dish southerly', is correct, but you need to be a lot more precise than that. You can use this tool at Satellite Finder / Dish Alignment Calculator with Google Maps | DishPointer.com to get a more accurate azimuth angle for your dish You need to enter your location and then zoom/pan about for your dish location and then enter the required satellite which is 28.5E Eutelsat 28A.... If you are anywhere in Southern England you will be OK on a cheapie zone1 sky dish.

    Once you have got it set up approximately correctly, move it about a bit trying to get the best 'quality' on your set. The 'strength' is not so important but gives a good guide. I have installed several dishes for friends and used a cheapie satfinder meter in the co-ax close to the dish so that you can see what's happening as you move the dish. Actually, most of the freesat channels are from a sat at 28.2E but the main freesat transponder is on 28.5E, and once your dish is pointing at that sat, it should comfortably receive the others from 28.2E (but it might just benefit from some minor tweaking).

    That azimuth will get you all the Sky/Freesat channels, but if you want different satellites,. you will have to either fit multiple LNBs on the dish with a DISEQC switch or mount it on a motor driven mount.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2014
  3. Vin Blanc

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    To give you some idea of the degree of accuracy required when aiming your dish.

    With the satellite at approx. 24000 miles distant. Each degree of error in elevation and/or azimuth (latitude and/or longitude) equates to about 423 miles.

    Any more than one to two degrees of error will result in no signal.

    Vin Blanc
     
  4. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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  5. Vin Blanc

    Vin Blanc
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    Step by step guide for "Aiming the dish" was covered by me in the attachment to my post No.6 here:-

    Help with re-aligning Sky Dish

    Whether for Sky or Freesat the satellite that you need is Astra 2E at 28.2 East

    Note; Aiming the Dish contains a minor error - SouthEast on a compass is 135degrees not 125degrees.
    Sat4Vans web site is a good read and contains a lot of useful info!

    Vin Blanc
     
  6. bigengines

    bigengines
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    Thanks Guys, i am based in the northeast of the uk on teesside and i do have access to a satellite finding meter, the reason for the southerly question was that i am deciding where to mount the dish and i had heard somewhere that you had to be pointing in the southerly direction, once mounted i will be going through the motions of setting it up properly, so with a bit more info can you guys recommend a dish and pvr that can meet my requirements of wanting to watch a channel and record another. I know there are a lot out there but wanting something thats decent quality and reliable.
     
  7. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    Get yourself a Zone 2 Mk4 Skydish and lnb from e-bay.

    eg

    Freesat 80cm zone 2 satellite dish & mk4 quad lnb + HD kit for sky hotbird pvr | eBay
     
  8. Vin Blanc

    Vin Blanc
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    If you look at the bottom of each one of our respective posts in this thread, you might just notice the name "Humax".

    I think that should answer your question about the best HD Recorders.

    As for dishes, you don't need anything larger than a 60cm where you live. Probably a four outlet LNB (2 for the recorder and 2 spare for other rooms).

    Remember, larger dishes stand more chance of moving in high winds!

    Note that a sat dish doesn't point where it would appear to! - see below

    Vin Blanc
    Offset dish.jpg
     
  9. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    The extra area of a zone 2 dish considerably improves the bad weather reception margins, they aren't that much larger than a zone 1.

    And the poster lives a long way North, quite close to the Scottish borders in fact. Pretty sure Sky would fit a zone 2 that far North. Going to 80cm should give a very reliable signal.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2014
  10. Vin Blanc

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    I was under the impression that a Zone 1 Sky dish would work well into central Scotland and even further north and that a Zone 2 was only necessary roughly north of the Fort William area.

    Of course, I'm open to correction GLT but I'll investigate a little deeper and report back.

    Anyone know of a link to a Sky zone footprint map?

    Vin Blanc
     
  11. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    Satcure recommendations here.

    What size satellite dish do I need for Sky Freesat?

    I use a 60 cm dish in the Midlands and it's impervious to torrential rain. At a guess a 80cm that far North would have similar performance.

    I imagine Zone 1 dish would be OK with UK spot beam transponders, less so with channels on the Pan European transponders.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2014
  12. bigengines

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    Thanks everyone, i can now move forward and start looking at buying the right gear for the job, much appreciated.
     
  13. Vin Blanc

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    :oops::oops:
    Sorry GLT, you were quite right of course, it seems that my memory has let me down again. Having checked with the Satcure guide to dish sizes I had obviously misread "Zone 2" as "Zone 1".

    Ah well, back to B..... Specsavers again! :( :suicide:

    Vin Blanc
     

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