Your experience with external satellite dish set up?

Discussion in 'Full Timing' started by onthecoach, Sep 11, 2006.

  1. onthecoach

    onthecoach Senior Member

    Hi All---

    OK---we've had it! I thought the satellite dish on the roof would be HEAVEN....and although it is great, it is NOT perfect! :disapprove:

    We are now in a most beautiful campsite....lovely trees, shade, cool day and evening...but, can't get a satellite signal :angry: !!

    So, I am planning to get the tri-pod and portable satellite dish, we have a cable input in the dump bay so that shouldn't be a problem.

    I wonder what your experiences are with setting up, holding down and aiming these things? :question:

    Do I need any additional equipment to make sure I can line it up quickly and easily? :question:

    DH does not really do much where the coach is concerned...I love him, but he is not very mechanical and I don't trust him to do much more than pull the valves to empty the tanks, so I am hoping this new external set-up will not add too much more to my regular set up duties!

    Any/all info and opinions will be helpful!! Thanks!! :laugh:
     
  2. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Re: Your experience with external satellite dish set up?

    You will need a compass and then contact your provider to get the degrees and compass reading like you do now. I have a satellite finder that goes in the line right at the tripod. As you get closer and closer to the satellite, it gets louder and the needle on it pegs to the right. After you have the signal, just take the finder out of the line.
     
  3. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: Your experience with external satellite dish set up?

    I have never done it, but I think some kind of aiming aide is very helpful. The electrical one which GTS mentions would probably be best. However, I have also seen an optical one which mounts on the dish, shows you what the dish is 'seeing' (trees and other obsticals), and I believe it has a built in compass and elevation guage, which are the keys to getting the dish in the right ball park.
     
  4. onthecoach

    onthecoach Senior Member

    Re: Your experience with external satellite dish set up?

    Thanks, Gentlemen! I can get the Azimuth and Latitude from my onscreen menu with the receiver...I wonder...will I need some kind of A-B switch at the switch box so the receiver knows from which dish to acquire the signal? :question:

    GTS-what is the name of the satellite finder you use? Sounds like a good one...and if I have to get one, I'd like to get one that someone else already knows works! ;)
    Thanks!
     
  5. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Re: Your experience with external satellite dish set up?

    I got mine from Stag Parkway. That is a supply house I purchace from. They have 2 to choose from, one is 40.79 the other is 32.29. Part numbers are 22-1200 and 22-1183, respectively. Probably not a pennies worth of difference in the operation. If you can't find one, I can ship you one. Simple to use.

    I saw an optical device the other day that let you "see" what the satellite sees, but you held it. Great little device, but cost about $150.00.

    As far a switch, you will have to do something. You can't have 2 satellites hooked up at the same time. I asked an installer about a "Y" and he explained that would not work. The signal from the box can only get feedback from one satellite.
     
  6. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: Your experience with external satellite dish set up?

    If you've got an unused 'AUX' input on your entertainment system switch, you can use that. Or you can unplug the automatic dish and plug in the external dish. Or you can get an A/B switch, just be aware that you are adding more complexity to the antenna, which might degrade your signal a bit.

    GTS, the optical device I saw clamped to the top of the dish. It was pretty pricey too.
     
  7. onthecoach

    onthecoach Senior Member

    Re: Your experience with external satellite dish set up?

    Thanks GTS and hertig,

    I will check out Stag Parkway right away, thanks so much. If I cannot order from them, I will get back in touch w/you, if you don't mind! :)

    Hertig, I do have an unused AUX input in the back of my master switch box...so that's good. :laugh: But, how do I know which cable (from the many,MANY cables from the back of the cabinet is the cable from the input at the side of the coach? :question:

    HMMMMMMM...I guess I'm just going to have do it via process of elimination, huh?? Ain't nothing EVER easy!?!?!?!? :(
     
  8. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: Your experience with external satellite dish set up?

    Hmm. I mis spoke. The dish needs to go into the satellite receiver, not the program selection switch. The OUTPUT of the receiver goes to the switch, generally to the 'satellite' position.

    However, the good news is that if you have a cable input to the coach, it will be probably be attached to the 'cable' position of the program selection switch. You could move that to the input of the satellite box to try it out with your external dish.

    Once it works to your satisfaction, you have the decision of what you want to be set up for. If you always use the satellite and never use cable, then you can just use the existing cable input to hook your external dish to (like you did to try it out). On the other hand, if you will want to hook to cable at times, the best solution is to add a new cable from the place where you hook up the dish to the entertainment center compartment. If this is not practical, you could alternatively run the existing external cable to a switch which determines whether the signal goes to the program selection switch (for cable) or to the receiver (for satellite).

    Next, will you always use the external dish or will you sometimes use a dish on the top of the RV? If you will aways use the external dish then just run the signal into the receiver and you are ready to go. However, if you want to select which dish, and there are not 2 inputs to the receiver, then another switch is in order to select which dish is being used.

    Again, adding switches and short hunks of cable can cause some signal degradation, not to mention a bigger rats nest of wires in there :)
     
  9. onthecoach

    onthecoach Senior Member

    Re: Your experience with external satellite dish set up?

    Thanks John! I understand all that you said...I am amazed that I did, but I did. I realized late this afternoon that my cable input on the side MUST go somewhere...so I think I will be ok w/that.

    If I can...I would plan to use the roof mounted dish most often...saves the hassle of setting up the outside dish (and taking it down) and also eliminates the need for all those switches and short cables to degrade the signal. :disapprove: But, I have come to find that there will be times when I will need/want that external dish...so I'll have it when I need it! :approve:

    Everyone here has been great --- I am so grateful to all of you for your assistance and willingness to help me! I only hope I am able to return the favor down the road!!

    Lynn :laugh:
     
  10. Johnny-O

    Johnny-O New Member

    Re: Your experience with external satellite dish set up?

    LYNN,
    YOU DON'T STATE WHICH SAT DISH YOUR USING. ONE OF THE BIGGEST PROBLEMS I SEE WITH NEW SAT INSTALLATIONS IS, THE SAT DISH IS PURCHASED FROM ONE PLACE AND THE RECEIVER IS PURCHASED FROM THE SAT NETWORK, BUT THE DISH IS NOT ALWAYS COMPATIBLE WITH THE RECEIVER. THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE WITH THE AUTOMATIC SYSTEMS (KVH, KING DOME, ETC.) ALSO, WITH THE KVH SYSTEMS, THEY SOME TIMES NEED TO BE FINE TUNED. ALL THEY DO IS PLUG A LAP TOP COMPUTER(WITH THE PROPER SOFT-WARE) INTO A SUPPLIED SERIAL PORT.

    JUST A LITTLE ADVICE BEFORE YOU SPEND A WHOLE LOT MONEY. ;)
     
  11. onthecoach

    onthecoach Senior Member

    Re: Your experience with external satellite dish set up?

    Thanks all---got the portable dish and tri-pod and even was able to make it all work!!!! Although I was able to do all this, I am hopeful that I can use the roof mount dish most often...it's so much easier to set up!
     

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