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Old 10-15-2011, 08:33 PM   #1
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Satellite Television

Bought a Dish Network receiver and connected it to my portable (an old DN dish that I mounted on a roll around cart) dish. The dish has 2 LNB heads. It has two cables (one for each LNB). I connected the receiver to one cable from the dish and with a little tweaking of the dish got a signal strength of 69%. Managed to acquire the 110 satellite with no problem.
So I said to myself "self; it should be a simple matter of switching to the other cable to the opposite LNB and it should acquire the 119 satellite". Didn't work.
What am I missing? Do I need to install a DP 21 switch and have both LNB's connected in order to get both 110 and 119? I thought one LNB would be for 110 and the other LNB would be for 119. So by switching the wires at the dish, I would be able to switch satellites.
Need some input here.
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Old 10-15-2011, 11:46 PM   #2
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It sounds like you're possibly using an old version of the DISH 500 antenna/LNB assy. Does it have 2 discrete LNBs? If so, they each need to be connected to a switch and then run 1 cable from the switch to the receiver. The later version of the 500 had an integrated switch and 2 ports to service 2 receivers. In that case you still use only 1 cable, the other port will be unused if connected to only 1 receiver. It doesn't matter which port.

Did you run Check Switch? If not, the receiver may have already been set up for a single focus DISH 300 antenna that had only 1 LNB and was configured for 110 (unlikely).

Running Check Switch would reveal the existence of a switch if present. It also determines the strength of each satellite and when you back out of setup, it downloads the program guide based on the satellites it sees.

If you have 2 discrete LNBs and assuming when you pointed the dish you were connected to the correct LNB for 110, the other LNB should be in line with 119. However since Check Switch never saw the 119 LNB, it is unknown to the receiver and when you switch cables it simply thinks it lost the 110 signal or its pointed at the wrong bird.

In basic terms, if you had a single LNB antenna and pointed it at 110, you would then run Check Switch. It would confirm you were seeing 110 and load the channels available on 110. If you then really wanted to watch a channel on 119, you would repoint the antenna and rerun Check Switch. You would then have the 119 channel, but not those at 110. The dual LNB antennas and a switch solved that problem. The later SuperDISH and DISH 1000 antennas added a 3rd LNB for yet another bird.

Few use the 500 anymore. Most dealers have a pile of them in their backlot so it might be easier to finagle one of them instead of finding a switch.

If you are satisfied with the programming on either 119 or 110, the single LNB antenna is easier to set up as there are only 2 variables, azimuth and elevation. The dual LNB antennas added a skew angle where the antenna is cocked at an angle as 110 and 119 aren't on a level plane with the horizon. The skew angle doesn't vary much unless you travel great distances, but it is much more fussy about the base being perfectly plumb to get the best strength from each bird.

A caveat: If you have a dvr receiver with dual tuners, both inputs must be connected to the switch for the receiver to work properly.
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Old 10-16-2011, 12:31 AM   #3
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Lots of good info here. Thanks!
More questions.
Is 119 located at the same place as 110?
The reason I ask is that my stationary dish for my home is exactly like the dish I'm using for my mobile unit, both have two LNB's.
The home system has a DVR whereas the mobile unit has a simple receiver.
When I go thru the setup routine and get to the page that shows which satellites I see. Under satellite 1 it says 110, under satellite 2 it says Comm and has an "X" in the box for polarity.
If I buy the switch. Will this solve the problem?
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:47 AM   #4
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I had Dish and always had problems getting the 2 satellites, you have too skew the dish which was almost impossible for me to find both. Dropped Dish went with DirectTV (small 18"), no skewing and just one satellite, also bought a satellite finder, can set-up and less then 5 minutes.


http://www.ebay.com/itm/Acutrac-22-Pro-MKII-Dual-Satellite-Finder-Meter-New-/330619822173?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4cfa7a 205d

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Old 10-16-2011, 09:07 AM   #5
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From your vantage point on Earth, 110 and 119 are neighbors. They are in orbit above the Equator about 22,000 miles up. This is so that their orbit exactly matches the rotation of the Earth and they remain in one fixed location relative to your antenna. 110 is located at 110 degrees west, 119 at 119 west. That puts 119 nearly due south of Oxnard California while 110 is about due south of Tombstone Arizona. The 3rd location DISH uses for the western part of the US is 129. I refer to these as locations as there are typically more than 1 satellite at those positions.

I put some foil over one of my LNBs and ran Check Switch. This duplicated your results, Conn under satellite and X under Trans. The fact that 2 ports show up tells me you have a switch. The other LNB is either blind or is not pointed at an active DISH satellite.

This is only a guess on my part. You may have your antenna pointed to 110 and 101 (9 degrees off). Using your original cable, pivot the antenna a few degrees west and possible tweak the elevation and see if you can't lock onto 119. If I'm right you should see both 110 and 119 after you rerun Check Switch. After that your program guide will populate with channels from both.
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Old 10-16-2011, 09:33 AM   #6
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This is a cool iPhone app that also works on the 3G iPads. It is called Dish For My RV. There are other similar apps available. It uses the camera and GPS to superimpose the satellites' locations in real time allowing the user to identify any possible obstructions in the path of the intended antenna location.
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