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VSAT technology and installation >> HughesNet and Hughes HX VSATs >> Newbie doing self install

Message started by freak007 on Jun 28th, 2006 at 5:06pm

Title: Newbie doing self install
Post by freak007 on Jun 28th, 2006 at 5:06pm
Hello, I am in the Army and currently serving in Iraq. I have recently recieved a Hughes satellite system that I will be installing myself. The parts and pieces have been tricling in over the last 2 months, so I am not sure if I have enough to start assembling and using this so I will start with telling you what I have recieved so far.

1.2M Prodelin antenna with 2 watt radio and mount
DW7000 Modem with power supply
Tx/Rx (for lack knowledge of correct term) cable

I also have various networking equipment as this will be a shared connection for ~75-100 users. If it makes any differance this will be a mixed network with both wireless and hard wire. My main concern at this time is getting the basic system operating. Once it is working properly it will be networked.

I have no experiance with satellite internet at all, I have never even used it, let alone installed it. I have skimmed the DW6000 operators manual found here: , I will read it more in depth later tonight.

I know my lat/long co-ordinates, but I do not know what satellite I am aiming for, I *think* I need NSS 6 which is a 95E, but I do not know how to confirm that. I do not have an OPI meter. Is this required to properly configure the system? in order to get a clear LoS I will have to mount the antenna on a 12-15' platform (concrete explosion barrier), is this good or bad? Will it cause problems in setup?

I know I am being very vauge here, but can you guys give me any tips/tricks that will make this easy for me, as I said I have never done this before so if you could use laymens terms (or explain the technical ones) it would be very much appriciated.

Any help you guys can offer will be greatly appriciated!!


Title: Re: Newbie doing self install
Post by USN - Retired on Jun 29th, 2006 at 1:44am
You are absolutely dead in the water until such time as you select a provider of this internet service. You can't just point at a satellite and start browsing. Your signal goes up to a satellite and transponder assigned to you by your service provider of choice. Said service provider then provisions your account to support the requested number of end users. From that point, the service provider makes the connection that permits you final access to the actual internet itself.

Warning; 75 to 100 end users on a Direcway consumer grade system is pushing the envelope far beyond its design concept. What you've described so far is roughly the equivalent of buying a mini-bus to transport the LA Rams.


Title: Re: Newbie doing self install
Post by freak007 on Jun 29th, 2006 at 6:51pm
This is not a consumer grade system, this is their professional grade system. I am fully aware that I can't just "point and browse" I have a provider already through OIFNET, and the equipment is from them as well. However I am responsible for installing and maintaining the system.

Any help on my other questions?

How do I know what satellite to aim for?
Am I going to cause any problems mounting this 12-15' in the air?
Do I need a OPI to properly configure this system?

Anything else you can think of that is relevent?

Title: Re: Newbie doing self install
Post by USN - Retired on Jun 29th, 2006 at 8:08pm
The equipment you identified is most definitely consumer grade stuff. You might have been sold some kind of SERVICE that had the word "professional" attached - but it in no way/shape/form will what you described ever measure up to proper commercial grade service. And for 75-100 users, you NEED commercial grade service.

1. as previously stated, you get this satellite location and transponder assignment from the provider - which apparently is OIFNET. Never heard of them myself, but that's neither here nor there. Personally though, I wouldn't/couldn't trust - or do business with - a provider who makes the customer install (and maintain) his own system.
2. yes, wind. On these sloppy consumer grade systems - and depending upon the accuracy of the original point - as little as a quarter inch dish movement will degrade the signal, more than half and inch can drop the connection.
3. whereas an OPI is a definite help to accurately pointing the equipment (see 2 above), it can be done without - by professionals. Sounds like you're going to need all the help you can get, so I do recommend investing in an OPI.

Sorry if this isn't what you want to hear, but there are a LOT of opportunists over there. You've got to be VERY careful what you spend your (and your friends) money on.


Title: Re: Newbie doing self install
Post by Eric Johnston on Jun 29th, 2006 at 9:00pm
You need a pair of dedicated carriers or similar of about 2Mbit/s download and 1 Mbit/s upload.   Cost will be in the order of $12,000 to $15,000 per month.

If you can use a larger dish like 1.8m or 2.4m diameter you might get the monthly cost down using 8QAM or 8PSK.  Think in terms of around $10,000 for the initial equipment spend.

Contact all the services providers here: and here:

You also need some bandwidth management box like a GuardianBox to stop abuse by some of your users. ref: . It is critical that you don't let any user get a virus or allow abusive MP3 downloading, video streaming or similar.

Putting a dish exposed up on top of a concrete explosion barrier is dangerous considering you will need to spend several hours up there adjusting it.   You don't want to assemble a dish, exposed on the top of a building or similar in an area where gunfire is heard unless you do it on a really dark night. Put the dish on the ground, fixed with rawlbolts into concrete.

Best regards, Eric.

Title: Re: Newbie doing self install
Post by freak007 on Jun 30th, 2006 at 3:59pm
USN- here is a link to the equipment we have:

The service plan we have is not listed but it is an account based system (each user has a unique login) with a 125MB daily limit per user, it is rated at 2048kbps/1024kbps. There was no charge for equipment (not even shipping) and no contract requiring  us to use the service for any length of time.

Title: Re: Newbie doing self install
Post by freak007 on Jun 30th, 2006 at 4:13pm
Here is a copy of the instructions included with the equipment:

"This will allow you to lock on to the satellite. The elevation, azimuth, and polarization are specific to your lat and long.
Please complete the following items (some may be done already):

1-10 -DELETED TO SHORTEN MESSAGE- assembly of dish/routing of cables
11.)  Set the rough angles.  The angles are:
Elevation:  34 degrees.  
Azimuth:    229.78 degrees
Polarization:      -39.5 degrees.  The bezel that holds the radio has angle marks on it.  You imagine a center line down through the radio as the axis and rotate the radio on this axis counter clockwise.  Set it to a (negative) -39.5 degrees.  Positive is clockwise and is for another satellite.
12.)  Connect a laptop to the DW7000 via the Ethernet cable.
13.)  Make sure your laptop is set to obtain an IP address automatically.  Do this by following these steps:
           a.)  On your desktop locate Network Neighborhood
           b.)  Right click and select properties
           c.)  Find LAN Connection, right click and select properties.
d.)  In the new window scroll down to TCP/IP and double click which opens the properties window.
e.)  Make sure the two selection buttons for "Obtain an IP address automatically" and "Obtain DNS Server Automatically" are selected.
           f.)  Save and Close by selecting OK.
13.)  Once you have powered up the DW7000 then we need to access the main menu.  You can do this through Internet Explorer.  You will need to navigate IE to
Go to “setup” on the bottom left, click manual commissioning.
Then you should be in. If you have a firewall it might block you so you may need to turn it off if it does not auto-configure.
Then follow the instructions to set your parameters on page 9 from the instruction manual using Manual Commissioning.
Here is how your parameters should look when properly entered.


Once you have entered all of the parameters Save the configuration.  The DW7000 will reboot at this point.  Once it has cycled through its boot sequence log back in through internet explorer.  Go back to setup and choose “antenna pointing”, click next until a box pops up with signal strength.
The next step will be to point the dish.  
Make sure you move the dish very slowly in increments of 1 degree at a time in the azimuth.  Scan left about 4 degrees off center, then back 2 degrees right off center.  Adjust down 1 degree in elevation and scan the horizon again.  If you still haven't found the signal go above the original elevation by 1 degree and scan left to right.
Be patient the signal is there and you will find it.
14.)  Once you have signal lock all we will need to peak the signal by optimizing the polarization.  Just rotate the radio one direction or the other to peak the signal.  Once you have peaked the signal lock the radio down.
Your site is currently blocked.  Once you have a signal lock please let me know.  I will then open a ticket with Hughes to have the site unblocked.  Then all you have to do is wait for the system to download software and keys and then to auto-activate."

A few things I am not clear on: is if the elevation spec he gave is 34* on the scale, or 16.5 on the scale due to the offset, also which direction am I facing while setting the polarization (IE the incoming signal or the reflector).

is there anything else you would like to add?

Title: Re: Newbie doing self install
Post by USN - Retired on Jun 30th, 2006 at 7:45pm
Now that you've provided a few of the more critical details, I'm starting to get the picture now. There is no such service as you describe from HughesNet/Direcway, and you provided no information on the actual provider. So now it appears that you have selected a provider who just concidentally employs a HughesNet/Direcway modem in his equipment chain. Be advised, you'll likely never see a true 1024 uplink. Somewhere in your contract you'll probably find the words "up to". Depending upon the FEC employed (the modem uses ramped FEC to compensate for weather conditions) you'll likely seldom see more than about 800k. In poor weather, the FEC change will drop that to 500 or less. If you want at least 1024 up all the time, you'd have to get a 2048 contract.

This might help. Hopefully it's the right manual, I selected it because it's a 1.2m Prodelin Ku- with a 17.5 degree offset.


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