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Old 02-10-2008, 06:29 PM   #1
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Portable satellite dishes

Am new to portable satellites -- have box hooked up, and wiring with stationary dish previously used. Am concerned about type of portable dish to buy and being electronically challenged am also concerned regarding the on site hookup with the tv zip codes set ups -- how does all that work? Is is tough for the neophyte?
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Old 02-10-2008, 06:35 PM   #2
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m.vidos,
commo se va, mon ami!
No the hookup is easy. I bought a dish network antenna and tri-pod from the local camper supply place. The paper work from your particular carrier has charts, by zip code that tell you the azimuth ( left/right in degrees) and the elevation to set on the antenna - dish network also has a 'skew' to set (the tilt, left or right of the antenna dish). I carry a 200' coax cable so I can find a line of site that avoids trees. It takes once or twice to get the hang of it, but then it is pretty simple, even for a cajun.
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Old 02-10-2008, 06:43 PM   #3
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Not a simple question. The actual dish set up at a campsite varies from fairly easy to not so easy depending on your company. I have a simple Directv package so when I aim my dish I only have to worry about azimuth (compass direction) and elevation. From walking around many a campground it seems the DISH Network folks also have to dial in a degree of rotation so I am guessing it is a mite more troublesome.

There are several gadgets to help. Winegard (among others) sells a little black box that is wired inline between the receiver and the antenna that beeps more urgently as you close in on the satellite. There is also a rather pricey and seemingly complex device that purported makes aiming very easy.

As for antennas and mounts -- a quick stop by any satellite retailer will probably net you an antenna, maybe even cheaply if all you need is a single horn basic unit. Lots of folks make their own mounts out of PVC ppe. I bought the basic Winegard tripod (I already had an antenna).

Whatever you buy -- set it up at home so you can use your household antennas orientation to get you in the ballpark.

After a while, it's all pretty easy....
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Old 02-10-2008, 06:57 PM   #4
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Installing your satellite dish and receiver - DIY INSTALLATION SUPPORT. And, Satellite Dish Pointer / Alignment Calculator with Google Maps.

It just takes a little practice. Good meter helps if finding more than one bird.
I find five of them in minutes now.
Tom
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Old 02-10-2008, 07:20 PM   #5
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Standard def is easy. Like anything, It takes some practice. High def is a little harder. For standard it is just one satellite you are try to capture. for high def it can be up to five.

A tripod and small dish will work for std def. make sure you can stake it or teather it in case the winds come up. I uilt my own dish base for my high def dish.
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Old 02-10-2008, 07:42 PM   #6
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i have a dumb question, because i also don't know a thing about sat's.

can you get the internet w/ an up and down link, as well as tv?

thanks,

k.
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Old 02-10-2008, 07:46 PM   #7
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zip

What is that stuff about plugging in the zip code depending upon where you perch your vehicle? So aside from correctly positioning the dish outside, what is necessary to do inside?
mv
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Old 02-10-2008, 07:49 PM   #8
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Yes you can get satellite internet. Satellite Internet - Hughesnet - Hughes net - Satellite-Internet.cc.
Requires a separate dish from TV.
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Old 02-10-2008, 08:51 PM   #9
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I just went through the setup for the first time and found it to be pretty simple, if a little more time consuming than I thought would be necessary. We are getting ready for a 6 month trip and I decided to try it out at home before we begin the trip.

Basically, get a dish and a receiver. Follow the setup directions (especially the part that says be sure that your dish is on a vertical mast). If the dish is not plumb, the setup is pretty worthless. A level and a compass is all that is necessary, although a meter (available at radio Shack) is helpful.

Go for it. I am watching the Discovery Channel tonight and am already spoiled with my dish setup in the AS.
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Old 02-10-2008, 09:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. vidos
What is that stuff about plugging in the zip code depending upon where you perch your vehicle? So aside from correctly positioning the dish outside, what is necessary to do inside?
mv
The zip code gives the reciever the information needed to tell you where to point the dish. Running satellite setup should take it through al the necessary steps. It is not that hard...
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Old 02-10-2008, 09:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deauxrite
A level and a compass is all that is necessary, although a meter (available at radio Shack) is helpful.
I found the radio shack meters pretty useless. I own a acutracc 22 that got replaced with a accutrac III pro. If the mast is vertical pointing the dish is quick.
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Old 02-10-2008, 10:55 PM   #12
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Has anyone used the automatic rooftop units? I am referring to the ones that look like a small bubble on the roof. Seems like such a clean system, no wires or tripods needed.
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Old 02-11-2008, 04:59 AM   #13
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Right now the state of the art automatic units are not the bubble ones. For full HD on DISH or DTV you need one of these: Winegard TRAV'LER Automatic Multi-Satellite TV Antennas - Camping World.

The 3 lnb for DISH. 5 lnb for DTV. Personally I would wait on any roof unit as the technology is evolving quickly.

Tom
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Old 02-11-2008, 06:53 AM   #14
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Has anyone used the automatic rooftop units? I am referring to the ones that look like a small bubble on the roof. Seems like such a clean system, no wires or tripods needed.
The only problem , ok two that i se with the roof top versions are you have to park in the open so the dish can get signal. I prefer to park in the shade of a tree. Flexability. Second it takes up room for solar panels!
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