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Pre-installation Checklist? List of birds?

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Oct 14th, 2006 at 8:35am  
Hi all, and especially Eric Johnson and the captain USN retired,

I am thinking of setting up a dish for internet access in our moutain home in southern Greece (elevation 1000m, near a 2300 m ski center called Mt. Xelmo).

I had no idea this topic was so complicated (but as an engineer I kind of like it, like learning a new hobby).

Questions:  I will go through all of these forum questions eventually, but if there's a pre-installation checklist, to see what you need to determine to see if a dish is feasible, please let me know.  Rest assured I intend to get a professional to install the dish, even though I'm familiar with PCs and home construction, as I'm not a believer of reinventing the wheel.

Some questions:

1.  Apparently alignment of the parabolic dish is a big issue (makes sense, since parabolas only concentrate parallel rays to a point, and parallel implies you have to be aiming spot on to get a signal).  Is there a cheap way of detecting where the sat. bird is, prior to installation of a dish?  In other words--before I buy $6k worth of hardware, since our home backs into a mountain facing west, but has a unobstructed sky view of east and south east (though due south is a bit obstructed at one location, I want to see if I can spot the Greek-broadcasting satellite(s) (which apparently is either SE or S) by climbing on our roof before I start buying hardware.

2.  for $2k-$4k USD/Euro of hardware, does it make sense to buy a fixed dish or a motor-moveable dish?  In other words, once you install the dish, how often do you have to move it to adjust it?  If once every few years (remember there are severe earthquakes in Greece every 10 years or so), then it pays to get a fixed dish, but I like the idea of a adjustable dish too.

3. If there's a website that lists what satellites broadcast to Greece, and at what dB power levels, that would be great.

4.  If you're in the mountains, does it make sense to buy a bigger than 75 cm dish?  I notice the Serbia areas of the Balkans are designated as larger than 75cm dishes, perhaps due to the mountains there?  I don't mind "unsightly" dishes on my roof, just getting the job done is fine.  Might even build a tower if I have to.

Any answers to any of these questions appreciated.

FA
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Reply #1 - Oct 14th, 2006 at 9:35am  
I found at least one answer:  a program to find satellites by GPS coordinates or location:  http://www.arachnoid.com/satfinder/

FA
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Reply #2 - Oct 14th, 2006 at 9:31pm  
Before proceeding further into your endeavour, the nature of your question suggest  you think there's "free" internet access to be had simply by pointing at the right satellite. No one gets internet access for free, regardless of the medium.

Access to the internet via satellite should be considered as a last resort - that is, if/when no other means faster than telephone dialup are anticipated to be available in the near future. If that's the case, the next move is to find satellite internet access providers that serve your geographic area. For that, I recommend you start at http://www.satsig.net/ivsat-europe.htm. Once you have compiled a list of providers, you can then start the elimination process - to ultimately arrive at the provider that can satisfy your needs at the low cost.

//greg//
wxw
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« Last Edit: Oct 15th, 2006 at 7:07pm by Admin1 »  
 
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Reply #3 - Oct 16th, 2006 at 9:03pm  
Greg,

Thanks.  I will do more research as VSAT is more complicated than I thought (I assumed it was just pointing a dish in the general direction of a satellite, hooking up a coax to a modulator/demod box and then to your PC Ethernet card).

I am getting excellent technical information from a number of vendors as per this forum.

You are right that VSAT is a last resort it seems--right now the location I want serviced only gets dial-up modem service (if that, they just installed phone lines a few years ago--it's in the middle of nowhere).

As for pirated signals, I believe in paying for signals and I don't cheat, though in this neck of the woods pirated signal demodulators are pretty common for pay TV (and the end user pirates get busted every so often by the police, and have to pay a hefty fine, though no jail terms insofar as I can tell).  How the pirates get cracked code demodulators is "beyond me"*

*visiting a local sat TV shop, the store owner bragged "and if you want 'free' (pirate) sat TV I can supply you with the pirate demodulators, though if you get busted you're on your own"--now that's a bad example of the motto "the customer is always right!")

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Reply #4 - Nov 21st, 2006 at 11:57am  
hi
if dial up phone is available, you can try for one way (recieve only by dish) type internet whic is cheaper
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