Question Question re: alignment of satellite dish for Freesat

Tako

Member
Hi,

I have recently moved to the property with a satellite dish installed. I bought a Freesat receiver (Manhattan Sx) and connected to the TV but I could not get any images, it shows 'no signal found' on the tv screen.
I have checked the alighment of the satellite dish by using the satellite finder meter and followed the wiring instruction as stated on the manual of the meter. The light of the satellite finder comes on, the needle of the meter moves and gives a loud beeping noise. I have used the sensitivity dial and adjusted the signal as accurate as possible. However, I am still nog getting any images and no signal found by the receiver.

Does this mean that LNB is not aligned to the Astra 2 satellite I was aiming? (To me, the satellite is directing towards the supposed Azimut ~145° and vertical alighment ~25°). Is a LNB designed to catch one specific satellite signal? The previous occupant was a Polish so I am not sure if he was watching Sky/Freesat. Do I need to buy a new LNB and satellite for Astra?

Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you for your assistance and time in advance.

Best regards,
Tak
 

paulyoung666

Distinguished Member
It may have a sky q lnb , I had to change mine recently , despite asking the sky installer to fit a hybrid :facepalm:
 

Tako

Member
@Rodders53, thanks for your reply. I have no photo of the dish or LNB at the moment but I’ll try to post these later. Thanks for the info of Polish satellite location. I’ve used the DishPointer app and the dish seems to be pointing at Astra but I’ll check this again later.
 

Vin Blanc

Active Member
The Astra 2 group of satellites are thousands of miles away, located above the equator, so just a nudge of the dish is enough to mis-align it.

Take a look at the article I wrote for caravanners some years ago, it may give you some idea of what is involved when trying to set up a satellite dish accurately.

Simply Google “The art of aiming a satellite dish” by me – Vin Blanc.
 

Tako

Member
@paulyoun666, thanks for the reply.
Ahh that makes sense. I didn’t know Sky has own lnb. Is there any way I can check if the lnb is from Sky?
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
IF the dish is pointing at Astra 2 then the arm will be pointing South South East (28.2 degrees).
But Astra 1 is a bit more South - 19 degrees) and easy to find 'first' when moving a dish from South towards the right spot.

Vin Blanc's article should help.

Also if the dish is a small oval $ky one (as opposed to a larger circular one typically used for Polesat) and it has only two cable connection points (as opposed to four or more) it could be a $ky Q one. If so it will need replacing (probably). That's why a photo will help us.

Google the $ky Q LNB images to see one.
 

Tako

Member
Hi all,

I have attached the photos of LNB and the dish... and it appears that the LNB is indeed from Sky, although it has 4 ports for the cables. The dish is slightly bigger and is more oval in shape than my neighbours'. So does this mean that this LNB only works with Sky receiver and I should replace this? If yes, do I need to buy a dish as well and do you have any recommendation of which LNB/dish to buy?
Thanks again for your help!

@Vin Blanc, thanks for your message. I have read your article which was very informative! Yes, pointing with the laser beam towards to the dust bin floating in the space.. is not a pice of cake 🤣
 

Attachments

paulyoung666

Distinguished Member
It's obviously a quad but is it a hybrid , have you tried a different connection on it ?

Also , the cover needs pulling down over the connectors .....
 

Tako

Member
I have not tried a different connection. Do you mean by different F connector..? Sorry if this a daft question.
A quick Google search says that this J4LS LNB should be ok to use for Freesat. Perhaps I should contact the engineer to check all the materials and the basics of aligment.
 

paulyoung666

Distinguished Member
I have not tried a different connection. Do you mean by different F connector..? Sorry if this a daft question.
A quick Google search says that this J4LS LNB should be ok to use for Freesat. Perhaps I should contact the engineer to check all the materials and the basics of aligment.
If it was hybrid then 2 connections would be for sky q and 2 for normal sky / freesat , it looks as though that isn't the case , it might still be worth swapping to a different connection at the lnb , have the connections always been exposed like that ?
 

Tako

Member
@ paulyoung666, I have not touched the satellite dish since I moved to the property until today and it must be exposed like this for few years. I can see a sign of corrosion on other connection ports. But if the connector is damaged, would the satellite finder meter still give the reading and squeling noise? I will change the connector tomorrow anyway, thanks for the advice.
 

winston2010

Well-known Member
That is definitely a sky dish and standard LNB. But of course the Polish occupant may have realigned it to 19˚E for his Polish channels. Not difficult to get it realigned to 28˚E.
 

paulyoung666

Distinguished Member
@ paulyoung666, I have not touched the satellite dish since I moved to the property until today and it must be exposed like this for few years. I can see a sign of corrosion on other connection ports. But if the connector is damaged, would the satellite finder meter still give the reading and squeling noise? I will change the connector tomorrow anyway, thanks for the advice.
What you definitely don't want is water working its way down the cable , I would be tempted to get the cable renewed as well .....
 

Fred Smith

Well-known Member
If it was hybrid then 2 connections would be for sky q and 2 for normal sky / freesat , it looks as though that isn't the case , it might still be worth swapping to a different connection at the lnb , have the connections always been exposed like that ?
What about the the other two outputs.
 

Tako

Member
I have not managed to get close enough to the lnb to inspect the outside casing with the ladder (and myself) leaning towards the wall. I've connected the cable on the same output where the previous occupant left the cable attached, but I don't know if he had Sky Q or normal sky/freesat.
Does it say on the lnb which connections are for sky q or normal sky/freesat?
 

HeadBanger

Well-known Member
The Astra 2 group of satellites are thousands of miles away, located above the equator, so just a nudge of the dish is enough to mis-align it.

Take a look at the article I wrote for caravanners some years ago, it may give you some idea of what is involved when trying to set up a satellite dish accurately.

Simply Google “The art of aiming a satellite dish” by me – Vin Blanc.
Vin, out of interest is there also a specific transponder that you recommend using on the receiver in order to get the best possible alignment overall? A weaker one perhaps?

Thanks,

HB
 

Fred Smith

Well-known Member

Vin Blanc

Active Member
Vin, out of interest is there also a specific transponder that you recommend using on the receiver in order to get the best possible alignment overall? A weaker one perhaps?

Thanks,

HB
Sorry Headbanger, I’m not able to answer your question, technology has progressed so much since my caravanning days when I wrote that article, not to mention my old age and inevitable onset of “Premature Rigor Mortis.”

Providing that you have the right dish, LNB & receiver, the only remaining answer has to be “Alignment”.

I once calculated that just one degree (1˚) of dish alignment error equates to missing the targeted satellite by 20 odd miles.

So be patient, start from 135° magnetic and slowly pan toward south just a nudge at a time. Astra 2 (Freesat & Sky) should be the first group of satellites that you start to pick up.

When the squeal is at its loudest, lock down the Azimuth and re-adjust the elevation once more.

Check your signal “quality” which should now be around 80 to 100%.

If you still have no picture, throw the whole lot in the bin and get the professionals in. - Good luck!

Vin Blanc
 

grahamlthompson

Distinguished Member
Vin, out of interest is there also a specific transponder that you recommend using on the receiver in order to get the best possible alignment overall? A weaker one perhaps?

Thanks,

HB

The weaker ones are only weaker because they have a beam that covers a much larger area (Europe Beam).

If you using UK spot beams (labelled UK) choose a mid range horizontal to optimise signal and quality. 100% on both is easy in most of the UK. Check adjacent vertical transponder

Check for perfect alignment.

With help get someone to watch quality (wait for box metering to respond.

Press gently on dish back left. If quality goes down. Repeat on right. If quality goes down as well azimuth is spot on.

Repeat top and bottom for elevation.


Remember Sky type offset dishes look as if they aiming much lower than they are. New Sky dishes do not have a elevation scale. A inclinometer set to the dish offset is the most accurate way.

Dishpointer. com will give the exact figures for your dish location. And a zoomable line of sight for accurate azimuth.

 

HeadBanger

Well-known Member
Thanks Graham.

When you say use a mid range H beam do you mean take one that's as close to the middle of the highest and lowest frequencies? So 11582.25 H would be ideal? I think that I used 10847.00 V last time just because it had BBC HD channels on it :(

HB
 

grahamlthompson

Distinguished Member
Thanks Graham.

When you say use a mid range H beam do you mean take one that's as close to the middle of the highest and lowest frequencies? So 11582.25 H would be ideal? I think that I used 10847.00 V last time just because it had BBC HD channels on it :(

HB

Either would be fine. But I would use the horizontal transponder. Simple reason is to set up a Freesat box you need to get the Freesat home transponder which is horizontally polarised,

Tip establish a line of sight to 28.2E using your Postcode use the the Dishpointer link, Select 28.2E and enter your UK full post code. You should see a google earth view of your home. with a location indicator. Zoom in close to identify your house. Drag the indicator to your dish location look at the line, Can you see something close enough to you ?

I am lucky for me the line crosses the right hand side of a neighbours roof gable end.

You do not need to connect a cheap sat finder.

Given you find a similar point, This establishes the exact direction (azimuth of 28,2E). Slacken the direction bolts and align the arm as close as possible. This should give you a azimuth close enough to get a basic lock on 28,2E.

Now slacken the elevation adjustment bolts so the front dish face appears to point slightly downwards, Do not worry even at this setting, the dish focus looks upwards at roughly the same angle as the steepest roof).

Now with help nudge up the dish in tiny increments till you find a signal (don't expect the box metering to respond instantly, to the change_ . Optimise it as before for elevation, Once found lock of the elevation.

Noe repeat for the direction (azimuth).
 

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