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Old 08-18-2011, 12:18 PM   #1
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Portable Satelite Setup

We don`t normally worry much about TV when we camp. We do frequent a campground that has no reception or cable hookups. We want to see the football games and weather. I am looking at the manual Winegard single satelite antenna with case. We have Dish service at home and plan to take along a receiver. I realize these take some care to aim properly. Since we will only use it ocassionally, I don`t want to spend $700 on an automatic dish. Can anyone provide feedback on these units? Is there a better cost effective solution?

Thanks!
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:48 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjarrard View Post
We don`t normally worry much about TV when we camp. We do frequent a campground that has no reception or cable hookups. We want to see the football games and weather. I am looking at the manual Winegard single satelite antenna with case. We have Dish service at home and plan to take along a receiver. I realize these take some care to aim properly. Since we will only use it ocassionally, I don`t want to spend $700 on an automatic dish. Can anyone provide feedback on these units? Is there a better cost effective solution?

Thanks!
I am also a Dish subscriber and that is what I use to tune to the 119.0w satellite. With the help of a satellite signal meter I bought on the internet (for $25.00), I can be watching TV in about 10 minutes after I set up my antenna tripod.
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Old 08-18-2011, 06:03 PM   #3
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If you are not getting the high def stuff DirectTV makes a disaster recover kit for well under $100. It includes tripod, antenna, cable, and compass.

The satellite meters are certainly nice, but not really necessary. All you need do is plug in location using the GPS (zipcode is easier that lat/long). The box tells you where to point the antenna and with the audio cranked up loud you just sweep until it starts beeping really fast.

I use to go to pains to level the dish and carefully set the elevation, but I can just eyeball that now. It never takes me more than 5 minutes to locate the satellite and get it to 90%-95%.

If you are going for the high def signals you are going to need better more expensive antennas. Those antennas cost a lot more...
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Old 08-18-2011, 09:01 PM   #4
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How far do you travel? If it's within 100-200 miles then you shouldn't have to adjust the angle of the dish each time. At that point for aiming it's a matter of doing the following:

- Make sure your mast is 100% level. This is very critical
- Aim your dish in the general direction.
- Move your dish slowly when sweeping to aim. So move it 1/10 of an inch, wait 15 seconds. Move it another 1/10 of an inch, wait 15 seconds. This will get you aimed faster than trying to sweep it.
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Old 08-19-2011, 01:36 AM   #5
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I have given up on my tri-pod set-up. I was 3 for 15 with trying to get mine set up. I built more permanent base in hopes of either mounting it on the bumper or picnic table. Get to try my contraption tomorrow. From what I have heard that ensuring that your dish is level is the key.
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Old 08-19-2011, 10:01 AM   #6
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Geeze, I guess having a circular dish makes it so, so simple. I use to care that the dish was level but I don't anymore. All I care about is that it is somewhat level and that has proven to be good enough.

I think the first time I setup using the Winegard dish it took me 30 minutes. Most of that time was learning just where I needed to point the dish. Next time it took less than 15 minutes. Now its less than 10, and I can be faster if there are other dishes around.

If there are, I get the elevation data from the satellite box, turn the volume up loud, start sweeping the sky. If I miss, I readjust the elevation and sweep the sky. Once I locate the satellite it takes only a minute or two to zero on the unit.

I have done this 8 for 8 and I only using the compass, GPS, and the level. It is literally that simple, at least for me...
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Old 08-19-2011, 10:01 AM   #7
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We use the dtv and 18" round dish with tripod. Like other posts, we simply put the zip code in and adjust from there. One of the first things I do when arriving at a CG is go on a "sattelite recon" see where others are pointed and go from there. Im set in 10-15 mins top everytime
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Old 08-19-2011, 10:14 AM   #8
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i used the meter for years. would only point at 119 so wasn't overly concerned abt being level. i would sweep back and forth, elevate maybe 10 deg then repeat. with the meter set sensitive, i would see a deflection at some point. then i would zero in and see if it was the right bird. if not, it would usually tell u what deg it was then i would go from there.
ur pointing at a point over the equator so the angle is greater for say 110 than 129.
i have sense move to the more expensive $700 one and let it do the work.
there is an alternative version that isn't automatic that cost much less. i believe (haven't looked into it) u set it up and go inside and do the adjustments while watching tv. u may want to look at that as a compromise. both the ones i'm talking abt are made by winguard. believe there is one called view cube that has the same features. the automatic uses 1 lnb but rotates it to the proper sat.
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Old 08-19-2011, 10:56 AM   #9
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I am with Shaw Direct. Their dishes are elliptical. I wish it was round. Sounds easier.
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Old 08-19-2011, 11:10 AM   #10
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u can use a round dish. usually they go elliptical to give a better signal to multiple lnb's. if ur pointing at a satellite to get it. it should work. the difference would be in the receiver. (there could be frequency differences as well). i would say hook up to one, point it, and see.
another problem may be if u get out of their market area. they can direct the sat sig to a general area.
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