Adjusting dish to Hotbird using Sky mini dish

Eddles

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Hi all,

We live in Bristol, UK and moved houses 3 months ago. The house has a Sky mini dish and quad LNB with 3 cables already installed, but looks rather old, the dish has some light surface rust, but seems physically intact - there's no dents. The LNB plastic has deteriorated. There's no receiver and all 3 cables terminate in a cupboard under the stairs which is a little mystifying.

My wife's Polish and misses all the FTA Polish channels so we brought a second hand Samsung Polsat HD receiver with a decoder card that hasn't got an active subscription. My plan was to readjust the dish to point to the Hotbird satellite and use the Polsat box. Due to the age of the dish/LNB and lack of Sky boxes I don't know whether the existing system works or not. I'm aware a new dish and LNB is relatively cheap but I'd like to try to get this dish to work before binning it. I brought a satellite finder, connected the Polsat receiver box up and the finder shows a signal, although the Polsat receiver showed no signal unsurprisingly, as the dish, I expect, is still pointed to the Astra satellite. I adjusted the finder so the meter would point at 5.

Looking at dishpointer.com, based on where I live, I need to adjust the dish to 29.4 degrees elevation, 162.3 degrees azimuth with a LNB skew of -12.1 degrees. From here, the Astra satellite is 28.2 degrees elevation, 144.7 degrees azimuth and needing a LNB skew of -14.7. The difference is thus 1.2 degrees elevation, 22.4 degrees azimuth and 2.6 degrees LNB skew.

Looking at the elevation scale on the dish, it is rather imprecise and wasn't sure if adjusting for the elevation would make such a big difference, so I've not touched the elevation just yet. LNB skew is slight too, and the LNB skews rather freely around the mount, so I tried it in the original position and one click clockwise when looking from behind the dish. Also I moved the dish to roughly 162 degrees but I get nothing on the meter - I moved the dish past 162 degrees both ways but nothing registers on the meter, with the LNB skew in all possible positions. The polsat box says zero signal as expected. I tried placing a compass against the LNB arm but the arm or something else causes the compass to point west and not north.

So my questions before fiddling any further...

1) Would the Sky LNB pick up signal from the Hotbird? Or do I need a new LNB? I can't find a definite answer on Google, I found vague messages one way and other vague messages the other.
2) Is 1.2 degrees elevation that crucial? If so, how best to move up 1.2 degrees with such an imprecise scale? I was wondering whether I could use a spirit level, but I couldn't see any perpendicular surface.
3) How to measure the skew? The LNB has vertical sides, would using a spirit level on the sides give the correct reading?

I'd really appreciate any advice! Thanks!
 

Analoguesat

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Assuming the cabling and lnb are still in operable condition then yes the old Sky dish will work fine for 13E.

Mark the dish position up so you can quickly reset if you get hopelessly lost (pencil, tippex or the like)

As a ball park figure move the dish the width of the lnb and raise it half the diameter of the lnb. Move the dish to the left as you are facing the dish. This will put you in roughly the right area, although the dish may need slewing round a bit further... Once you find a signal see if it 13E. If not its probably 19E so go a bit further. Once you are locked onto 13E then peak the slew & elevation up for max signal.

The compass will be affected by the metal in the dish so you will need to move a little away
 

Eddles

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That did it, thank you very much! You were right, I came across 19E before I got 13E.

My wife is now extremely grateful of your help!
 

Copecchia

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Hi
Your post got my attention as I thought that getting Hotbird from UK with a zone 1 dish was quiet impossible but I can see that you have instead made it. I am looking to basically have the same setup, I am based in London and wanted to ask if would be even possible by using another LNB pointed to Astra 19.2. I am aware that offset for Astra 19 is quiet large, I have even taped one to the existing hotbird one on a bigger satellite dish. Would that still work on a mini dish?

Thanks
 

Eddles

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Yeah it's possible as the Hotbird satellite is actually closer to we are than the Astra satellite. The Hotbird is at 13 degrees E and 38,668km from me, and the Astra satellite is 28 degrees E, 39,117km away from me. I'm no expert on this, but I would expect you would be able to get Astra 19.2 with a Zone 1 dish.

I would recommend using http://www.dishpointer.com/ - an excellent website where you put in your co-ordinates, the satellite you want and it'll tell you what angle, etc to point your dish at.
 

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A few hundred km isnt going to make any difference these days - the satellites are chucking out so much power the difference is miniscule.
 

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Hi
Your post got my attention as I thought that getting Hotbird from UK with a zone 1 dish was quiet impossible but I can see that you have instead made it. I am looking to basically have the same setup, I am based in London and wanted to ask if would be even possible by using another LNB pointed to Astra 19.2. I am aware that offset for Astra 19 is quiet large, I have even taped one to the existing hotbird one on a bigger satellite dish. Would that still work on a mini dish?

Thanks

You will be better off with a 60cm region 2 mini dish for 13 east & 19.2 east much better rain fade than a 45cm mini dish,
Bottom in this set up is a 60cm dish for 13 east central Lnb 19.2 east offset LnbDSCN0785[1].JPG
 

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I link them via a 4 way DiSEqC switch with 28 east from a quad output from a 45 cm mini dish with 1 spare atm a new 100cm dish arrives tomorrow as the dish farm expands :)
DSCN0784[1].JPG
 

Copecchia

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You will be better off with a 60cm region 2 mini dish for 13 east & 19.2 east much better rain fade than a 45cm mini dish,
Bottom in this set up is a 60cm dish for 13 east central Lnb 19.2 east offset LnbView attachment 78235
I thought the bottom one was a zone 1 minidish, isn't that a 53cm in diameter?
 

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I thought the bottom one was a zone 1 minidish, isn't that a 53cm in diameter?

No the exact size of this elliptical zone-2 mini dish is 71cm wide x 58cm high.
 

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You will be better off with a 60cm region 2 mini dish for 13 east & 19.2 east much better rain fade than a 45cm mini dish,
Bottom in this set up is a 60cm dish for 13 east central Lnb 19.2 east offset LnbView attachment 78235
Sorry, there is an issue with the post maybe or me. I tried to reply
No the exact size of this elliptical zone-2 mini dish is 71cm wide x 58cm high.
Oh I see, just as a curiosity, how big is the one on the top?
 

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Sorry, there is an issue with the post maybe or me. I tried to reply

Oh I see, just as a curiosity, how big is the one on the top?

78cm wide x 88cm high
 

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One last question from me in regards to this please.
We learned that a mini dish seem to be enough to receive 13E and 19.2E, If I try to use 2 separate LNB's with Diseqc mixer to receive both do you think I would waste my time or would be worth have a go?
Thanks
 

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Providing you use a region 2 60cm Mini dish it will work,
I have tried a 45cm for 19E + 13E & the offset channels 19.2 east were terrible so go with the region 2 mini dish.
 

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60cm is the height isn't it? Would the wideness be around 78cm?
 

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60cm is the height isn't it? Would the wideness be around 78cm?

Almost the dish is elliptical my dish is approx 71cm wide x 58cm high the size does vary it all depends who supplies it.
See the picture in post #7
 

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Thanks, would you be able to point me to a link where such size is provided? All the ones I have found are 78cm wide and is exceeding the size of the zone 1 I had previously and that the landlord would allow me to reinstall again. 71cm would definitely be a good compromise as is not quiet as large as the 78cm when comparing it to the zone 1 dish.
 

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You would be far better off buying a "circular" dish - AFAIK nobody makes a multiple lnb holder to fit Sky dishes so that would have to be either a "bodged" standard one or a DIY home made one.
 

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I have accomplished a multi-lnb system with a Zone 1 Dish using the same LNB bracket I was using on the 80cm dish but by reducing the lenght so to hold 2 LNB's instead of 3 as previous dish and I had an unexpected result.
Reception is pretty good on Hotbird even with bad weather only 1 or 2 channels missing, no big deal but the funny result is that I tried to mimic a separation of 6 degrees to accomplish for the second LNB to the right of the one in the center in order to grab Astra 19.2 channels and instead I am getting an excellent reception on Astra 28.2 which for now is okay but my goal was to get Astra 19.2.
At this point my understanding is that the typical 6 degrees is calculated upon the size of the dish used and as the dish get smaller the distance between 13E and 19.2 reduces to what I believe could be a 3 degrees instead.
I could not work this out as basically the collar of the sky minidish lnb holder has the screw locking system on the same size of where the other LNB should be placed and so I cannot get this aligned close enough to the center LNB.
I have seen on ebay that there are some 3 degrees monoblock LNB available but I would not want to buy one without first knowing that 3 degrees is what I need exactly to achieve this setup.
Is there a fixed schema to calculate the right degrees factor based on the size of the dish used?
I mean, with an approximate 6 degrees I get two satellites which on the 80cm dish I could only get by considerably separating the 2 LNB's to get 13E and 28.2. Do you think with a 3 degrees separation from the center LNB on 13E would I be likely to get 19.2E also?
 
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