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Bigger dish for Sky Digital???

Bob the Boss

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#1
Hi everyone,

We had some bad weather here in Stockport tonight, and my Grundig Sky Digital system just kept breaking up and then reporting no signal. It has recently been checked for alignment and had a lower noise LNB fitted. My question is basically, can I get a bigger dish fitted by my local specialist (D&C Satellites, Disley) in order to get less problems with inclement weather? I was thinking that I could get a 60cm or 80cm conventional dish fitted to boost my signal, and get around the poor signal in bad weather problem. Is this possible without going down the full motorized 1m route? Thanks for all your help everyone.

Cheers,
John :)
 

BGonaSTICK

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#2
Very much so. Hardware shouldn't cost you too much. The call-out fee will probably be more!

You'll need another new LNB too (different, 40mm fitment), and maybe a stronger bracket.

The standard dish is barely adequate in good weather.

If you're going to the bother, then I'd go 80cm.
 

BGonaSTICK

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#3
.... or of course it could be your receiver breaking down.... :eek: !!!

Mine did recently... but that's a sore subject...
 

rolfw

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#4
With this torrential rain, it is likely even with a bigger dish that you may get some breaking up. The Grundig boxes are known for power supply failure and frequent loss of signal is one of the symptoms.
 

BGonaSTICK

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#5
Rain? It's still sunny here on the south coast! :p
 

rolfw

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#6
It wasn't here for about an hour today, came down in buckets. :)
 
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#7
I've been bothered by rain fade on a Zone 1 (~50cm) minidish in Essex & have installed a Raven 70x60cm offset dish. Too early to say if it will get rid of the problem entirely, but signal strength/quality on the default transponder have gone up from 60%/70% to 70%/90%, so it must help.

Pet theory is that only part of the rainfade is due to the water falling through the air, the rest being the drops that get left on the LNB cover....
 

Bob the Boss

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#8
bish said:
I've been bothered by rain fade on a Zone 1 (~50cm) minidish in Essex & have installed a Raven 70x60cm offset dish. Too early to say if it will get rid of the problem entirely, but signal strength/quality on the default transponder have gone up from 60%/70% to 70%/90%, so it must help.

Pet theory is that only part of the rainfade is due to the water falling through the air, the rest being the drops that get left on the LNB cover....
Hi again, thanks everyone for your help! Okay, where might be the best mail order place to get a bigger dish from, as my local specialist only deals in the standard Sky issue dishes for Sky Digital installations nowadays. Thanks again, guys.

Cheers,
John
 
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#9
Bob the Boss said:
Hi again, thanks everyone for your help! Okay, where might be the best mail order place to get a bigger dish from, as my local specialist only deals in the standard Sky issue dishes for Sky Digital installations nowadays. Thanks again, guys.

Cheers,
John

John,
I use Satcure. www.satcure.co.uk - best by far in my opinion!
Keith.
 

PoloMint

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#10
A zone 2 mindish might help you. (if you don’t already have one where you are, they’re 60cm rather than 40whatever of the zone 1 ones) but perform very well for a dish that size. Up here in Scotland they are the standard (because of the distance north, not because of the weather ;) ) but Scotland is also familiar with rain and a properly set up zone 2 dish should hold out in most weather conditions, and that is further north than you.

Just a thought as they are quite cheap. And all your neighbours with zone 1 dishes will be in awe of your dish which is just like theirs but considerably bigger.
 

Bob the Boss

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#11
PoloMint said:
A zone 2 mindish might help you. (if you don’t already have one where you are, they’re 60cm rather than 40whatever of the zone 1 ones) but perform very well for a dish that size. Up here in Scotland they are the standard (because of the distance north, not because of the weather ;) ) but Scotland is also familiar with rain and a properly set up zone 2 dish should hold out in most weather conditions, and that is further north than you.

Just a thought as they are quite cheap. And all your neighbours with zone 1 dishes will be in awe of your dish which is just like theirs but considerably bigger.
Thanks for all of your help, guys! You've helped me a lot, and I'm definitely going to go down the zone 2 or 70cm Raven dish route now. I'll keep you posted once I get it all sorted.

Cheers,
John
 

rolfw

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#12
Have a chat to your local wholesaler and see if he has a zone2 minidish John, nearly all of them do, but may not use them for standard installations.

If not, then almost any of the online retailers will stock them, you should be able to use you current LNB with it as well.
 

PaulR

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#13
Even in Zone 1 areas Zone 2 dishes seem to be used for installations in pubs. Any pubs closed down near you lately?

PaulR
 

Bob the Boss

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#14
I've been mulling this over, and basically I'm planning to get an 80cm dish with a 0.3 universal LNB. Will this be fully compatible with Sky Digital? My partner seems to think that the dish HAS to be oval, but I'm not convinced. Any help with this final query before I take the plunge would be really appreciated!

:)
 

PoloMint

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#15
The dish doesn’t have to be oval, oval (offset) dishes are cheaper to make than round prime focus ones, they have some other advantages also. Even if you get what some call a ‘round’ 80cm dish it will probably be offset, slightly higher than wider, just not as noticeably oval as a minidish.

I think a 0.3db LNB is going a bit too far, most of the cheap 0.3db ones perform no better than a good 0.6/0.7db one, spending a fair amount on a good 0.3 one for a Sky setup in the UK is a big excessive and unnecessary.
 

Likvid

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#16
Oval dishes are called elliptical dishes and they are good if you want to receive several satellites with one dish that lies several degrees from each other.

The offset dish would suit just fine for your purpose.
 

Bob the Boss

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#17
Okay, thanks to all of you for your help, and I've ordered an 80cm standard offset dish with a Manhattan Universal 0.6 LNB. I know this may be like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut, but if it improves my Sky Digital reception, then so be it! I'm not daring enough to try and install it myself, after my experiences of trying to fit an old 60cm Amstrad dish back in '92, where I could never quite get rid of the dreaded "sparklies"! I feel like I've been bitten by the bug again, to be honest, and can feel myself ordering another 90cm or 1m dish and a patio mount to have a play around with, along with a cheap digital receiver.... What have I started?!

Thanks everyone,
John
 

Bob the Boss

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#18
Hi everyone,

I got my new 80cm dish and 0.6 lnb fitted yesterday, along with new cable, and the signal strength is now at 90 - 100%! It used to be at 40%. The signal quality is around 60%, which the engineer told me was because of my old Grundig receiver. He thought that a new box of some description would see the quality rise significantly. The dish does look huge, but it is on the back of the house anyway, which means I'm not getting ear-ache from the mrs!
 

BGonaSTICK

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#19
Good news. Nothing worse than not knowing if you're going to get a decent picture based on the weather!

Come back and see us when you're shopping for your new kit (...and you know it would be really cheap to just motorise your 80cm!).