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recommended kit for camping tv

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Ex Member
Ex Member

May 1st, 2007 at 2:50am  
I purchased a kit for receiving Dishnet Satellite TV and am awaiting its arrival. (receiver, dish, LNB, and pre-paid card)

I intend to take it with my RV for road trips.  Therefore I will be aiming a dish each time I set up camp and want to watch TV.

I am a retired engineer and feel proficient in the basic aiming issues---compass, angles, skew, etc. (Though I might have a rude awakening.)

I am looking at ads describing the Align-a-Site which is a protractor/buble level affair to set approximate azimuth and elevation.  I physically mounts on the dish.  Has anybody used this and found it worthwhile?

Is it worthwhile to get a "satellite finder" with meter and whistle to tweek the aim of the dish---something under $100---down to as cheap as $15.  I understand the problem of not being able to identify the satellite with something in this price range.  Any recommendations here?

(And hi to you, USN-RET.  I was a civil service electrical engineer for the Navy for 38 years.)
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Eric Johnston
Senior Member

Posts: 2109
Reply #1 - May 1st, 2007 at 9:07am  
If your dish mount has an elevation scale on the back bracket I would use that to set the dish elevation.    For polarisation there may be a scale on the feed throat at the LNB clamp or possibly behind the dish if the entire dish is designed to be rotated for polarisation (skew) adjustment.   For azimuth, a compass will be useful on cloudy days.  

If you have a laptop PC or some hand held PC type device this small screen web page:   Satellite Calculator can be downloaded and stored for use offline.  Before you go travelling, for known planned locations, you can check out the latitude and longitude coordinates here:  This page does require that you be connected to the internet to use it.  Write down the locations and lat/long coords using the degrees/minutes notation if you are going to use use the sf.htm calculator.

An inexpensive signal meter will be a useful aid if you cannot see the TV screen while adjusting the antenna.  If the wanted satellite is approx due south of you will quite likely peak up on the wrong satellite as you swing in azimuth, as several satellites will be at about the same elevation angle.  You need the receiver pre-tuned to the a known wanted TV programme, to recognise the correct satellite.

Most important I would say is to get some practice beforehand.  Make a note in a diary of the sites and the actual elevation angles after you are peaked up.  Soon you will be just setting the elevation scale for the new site and then boldly swinging the dish till you find the satellite in a couple of minutes.
Best regards, Eric.
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« Last Edit: May 1st, 2007 at 3:09pm by Eric Johnston »  
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