Advice Needed Aligning dish for freesat

Topcat33

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Is there any way to line my dish up without any special equipment
I am in mid France with t88 dish.
I have got the details from dish pointer but cannot seem to find the satellite

Thanks
 

mikeisyou

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If i was you, i would do a blind scan to see where the dish is currently pointing. For eg. if i was picking up channels like ZDF, Das Erste, Sport 1 etc the dish is pointing at 19.2e astra 1 which means i'll have to move the dish east by 9 degrees. Then repeat the process until you find what your after.

Anybody else got a better solution?
 

PaulR

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If you have a dedicated receiver such as a $ly Digibox then it's relatively easy. For many years I used a $ly Minibox with a portable TV to align dishes.

I don't have a $ly box now in the UK but from memory if you go into the services menu you can get the signal strength and, more importantly, the signal quality. There is also the background music which helps a lot when you need to keep your eyes on the dish to start off with.

Wherabouts in mid France? Down in the Vaucluse I also use a TD88, which is an 85cm dish, but find that gives very little margin for rain and I'm goig to replace it with a 1m dish soon.
 

Topcat33

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Thank you
I am in the limousin near bellac . My french neighbours seem to be on 60cm dishes
I have just been on dish pointer and got a good line of site from a more accurate dish location picture . My manhattan freesat box just says no signal lock.
I have just remade the connections to the lnb as I may have left the inner wire a little short.
Also I need to check the pole it is on is exactly level so I can get correct elevation
Ok I know basics right?
Will try again tomorrow
If it's all working are the satellites so close that I should pick something up ?
 
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Thank you
I am in the limousin near bellac . My french neighbours seem to be on 60cm dishes
I have just been on dish pointer and got a good line of site from a more accurate dish location picture . My manhattan freesat box just says no signal lock.
I have just remade the connections to the lnb as I may have left the inner wire a little short.
Also I need to check the pole it is on is exactly level so I can get correct elevation
Ok I know basics right?
Will try again tomorrow
If it's all working are the satellites so close that I should pick something up ?

1) get the pole roughly vertical (not enormously important when you're not doing polar mounts AND have a small dish).

2) get the elevation roughly right using inclinometer (cardboard with string will often do the job).
Remember, the dish should not be pointing at the satellite, the dish is a mirror reflecting the wavefront to the LNB, and the correct angle is the same as the angle between the dish face middle and the LNB. don't remember the TD88, but I would guess around 23 degrees.

2) hook up STB as described by other posters. Look at page saying "strenght / quality".

3) point dish roughly in the direction that dishpointer says. (And dishpoint can be several degrees out!)

4) slowly (SLOWLY) sweep the dish from left to right or the other way, making sure you cover a good bit of arc (say, 30 degrees)

5) if you get nothing, adjust the elevation up or down (pick one) a little bit, then repeate step 3+4.

6) once you get something, carefully align Azimuth until you get max strength.

7) Adjust elevation until you get max strength

8) Check on receiver if you can see any channels, Sky intro or Sky news are good beacons.

9) If no TV signal is displayed, you're probably on the wrong sat. But elevation is close. Try moving the dish (slowly) in direction of where dishpointer told you to look, and find another sat. Repeat 6-8.

10) Once you got it, skew the LNB a little (a few degress) to maximise quality.

I've done this many times in France with my FoxSat and a TD64. Best (luckiest) yet was near Orange, where I pointed the dish at where I thought it should be, and actually got a hit the first time!
 

timo_w2s

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I've done this many times in France with my FoxSat and a TD64. Best (luckiest) yet was near Orange, where I pointed the dish at where I thought it should be, and actually got a hit the first time!

Every time I set up a dish I play that game, just for fun to see how far off I was. Don't usually get a hit first time though!
 

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Dishpointer is a good starting point but it's not perfect, I find it can be out by a number of degrees either side of the sat, depending on where in the garden I stand (or set the dish on when using pc based version).

Where ever DP tells you to point the dish, try looking a little to the left or a little to the right
 

Topcat33

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Success!
Leveled the pole,Set dish to 30.5 as per dish pointer, then my elderly french neighbour came out with a marine compass climbed my scaffold tower and sat the compass on the lnb arm and took 28.2 from 180 south voila!
We now have 117 channels 77% signal strength and 75% quality .
The picture is crystal clear on hd and we did no fine tuning
Do you think we should fine tune or are those percentages good?
Thanks for all your help
My broadband satellite arrives tomorrow from ses so more fun in store
 

Lazarus

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Brilliant!

Albeit, the theory is by no means as simple as deducting 28.2 from 180: However, s*d the theory if the desired outcome is achieved.
 

Topcat33

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Is that not correct as 180 is south?
Should I leave it where it is with this signal and quality?
 
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Success!
Leveled the pole,Set dish to 30.5 as per dish pointer, then my elderly french neighbour came out with a marine compass climbed my scaffold tower and sat the compass on the lnb arm and took 28.2 from 180 south voila!
We now have 117 channels 77% signal strength and 75% quality .
The picture is crystal clear on hd and we did no fine tuning
Do you think we should fine tune or are those percentages good?
If it works for you, then don't fiddle. (but you probably won't have much rain margin)
If you just want UK TV, the don't fiddle.
Bt if you feel the itch to optimise, maximise, pluralise, then by all means fiddle!
Gotta decide what means the most for you.
 

Lazarus

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Is that not correct as 180 is south?
Should I leave it where it is with this signal and quality?


The practical outcome is correct, so if it ain't broke ................

But there are many factors which mean simply determining a compass bearing by deducting the Satellite position from 180 is generally not sufficient: Not least of which is that the actual required bearing depends upon your own position in the Northern Hemisphere - my 28E dish in N.England certainly won't point to the same bearing as yours in France. Then there are all sorts of factors due to the difference between True North and Magnetic North. etc. etc.

But the desired end was achieved, so that's actually all that matters!
 
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Is that not correct as 180 is south?
Should I leave it where it is with this signal and quality?
It doesn't quite work like that.
28.2E is degrees from center-of earth when compared to greenwhich.
Luckily, you are very close to zero meridian, so you can get results.
From where I am, 28.2E is more like 5E, as I am way further east than you.

BUT, as Tivu says - if it works, don't fix it.
 
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Every time I set up a dish I play that game, just for fun to see how far off I was. Don't usually get a hit first time though!
No, I have had a lot of hard work recently.
South-of-France was a lot easier...
 

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Picture was fine, and all where happy.
But then I resorted to fine tuning, and the signal improved drastically (albeit only from a number-perspective - family still happy).
 

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Lazarus

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Yes, but you gained more "rain margin".
 

Topcat33

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Thank you st1 and TiVu for that thorough explanation
Will leave it alone for now
All the best
 

Lazarus

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Absolutely, but this was Provence, so rain-margins don't matter that much...

I've just got back from a fortnight in Herault and we had a couple of massive thunderstorms, one of which went on for twelve hours (overnight, fortunately).
 
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I've just got back from a fortnight in Herault and we had a couple of massive thunderstorms, one of which went on for twelve hours (overnight, fortunately).
Ok, ok, ok. Rain margin matters anywhere (except Arizona and Antartica).
This is two days later taken from same terrace...
:cool:
 

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