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Fixed-Dish Multi-LNB Alignment

garym71

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My Satellite Setup
Pace TDS470N Sky+ Receiver, Technomate TM-5400CI+ FTA Receiver, Raven Gemini 70cm Mesh Dish with East & West offset LNB brackets, 2 x Inverto Black Ultra Single LNBs, Inverto Black Premium Quad LNB, Eurostar 4x1 DiSEqC Switch, Webro WF100 Cable
My Location
South Oxfordshire, UK
#1
I am just about to go ahead and order the satellite equipment I will need for a fixed-dish multi-sat system. As a complete novice, I was originally going to just order all the equipment from a local satellite company and get them to install and set it all up but I realised that I would get a better deal on the equipment and get exactly what I wanted if I purchased from an online supplier which is what I've now decided to do.

Although I'm a novice with satellite systems, I am more than competent at fixing up the dish onto the wall of my house and wiring up / routing the cables to the DiSEqC switch and receiver. However, what I'm not feeling so confident about is my ability to then align the dish and the 3 LNB's correctly to their respective satellites (Astra 2 [28E], Astra 1 [19E] and Hotbird [13E]).

The first question I have is that as a novice, am I likely to end up in a world of pain by even contemplating an attempt at the dish and LNB's myself? I have a rough idea about the Azimut angle and understand that the centre LNB should point towards the weakest satellite although I don't actually know which of Astra 1, Astra 2 or Hotbird is the weakest(??) I also have no real clue about what Elevation angle I will need. Is there anywhere I can find this out or calculate it based on my location (I'm in the south of the UK)? As for the Polarisation / Skew of each LNB, I also have no idea what this should be either so is there also a scientific way I can calculate these too? With a bit of help from the experts on here I would like to try and have a go myself first and only if it all goes badly wrong will I resort to calling out a local satellite installation company to complete the job.

Also, one of the options offered by the online supplier I'm buying the equipment from is that for £15 they will automatically program in channels for all 3 satellites before they send the receiver to me. This can apparently aid with the setting up of the dish/LNB alignment as there will already be channels in the receiver which I can use to check picture quality when trying set the alignments. Do you think this pre-programmed receiver option is something worth having / paying for?
 

rolfw

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#2
You'd be better investing the £15 in a little alignment meter, you don't need the channels scanned in, it can be done very quickly and easily. With the aid of a meter, it is not a ridiculously difficult process to align a multi LNB dish and I'm sure we can show you some examples and talk you through it. :)

There are dishes around which are very easy to setup for Trisat operation, the Visiosat Trisat is a doddle, but very expensive, the Raven Gemini 90cm with the purpose made Eastern sats bracket is a cheaper alternative.
 

garym71

Regular Member
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My Satellite Setup
Pace TDS470N Sky+ Receiver, Technomate TM-5400CI+ FTA Receiver, Raven Gemini 70cm Mesh Dish with East & West offset LNB brackets, 2 x Inverto Black Ultra Single LNBs, Inverto Black Premium Quad LNB, Eurostar 4x1 DiSEqC Switch, Webro WF100 Cable
My Location
South Oxfordshire, UK
#3
OK, I think I'll do without the pre-programming option and buy a meter instead. Might also help if I ever need to align to a different satellite for any reason. I assume the type of meter you mean is one like the analogue SLX one below?

View attachment 12798


The equipment I'm actually planning on getting is below:-

1) Transparent 85cm Dish with Triax 20 Degree Multi LNB Bracket
View attachment 12793

2) 2 x Single Output Titanium 0.2dB Universal LNB
View attachment 12794

3) 1 x Quad Output Titanium 0.2dB Universal LNB
View attachment 12795

4) 4-way DiSEqC Switch
View attachment 12796

5) Technomate 77552 VA2CI Receiver
View attachment 12797


I also found the online Satellite Dish Pointer / Alignment calculator which should help me set the Elevation, Azimuth and LNB Skew, however the dish elevation for each of the three satellites is different for my location in the UK (???). I can obviously only use one elevation for the dish so which would I use? Would it be in the middle of the lower and upper angles (i.e. 27.1°)?

Satellite Name: 28.2E Astra 2 (Sky UK)
Distance: 39087km
Elevation: 24.8°
Azimuth: 144.3°
LNB skew: -21.3°

Satellite Name: 19.2E Astra
Distance: 38803km
Elevation: 27.9°
Azimuth: 154.6°
LNB skew: -15.5°

Satellite Name: 13.0E Hot Bird 6/7A/8
Distance: 38665km
Elevation: 29.4°
Azimuth: 162.1°
LNB skew: -11.0°
 

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v9oly

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My Satellite Setup
Dreambox 500S & 7020s. Technomate 9100 & 1500. Force frontier fixed, Raven 90 fixed, Triax 90 motorised dish. Diablo & dragon cams.
My Location
South West
#4
Hi Gary,
Not sure on the performance of the transparant dishes but can confirm Rolfs suggetion of the Raven 90, have had one of these for a few years now with no problems (yet!) I would think it may be a bit cheaper too, you would also save mor if you were mounting it to a wall as those floor brackets can get a bit pricey.
The Raven also has the option to have a second LNB bracket to use for the (east/west) side your not using.. more lnbs in the future? I have mine set to exactly to the satellites your planning.
Not being nosey, but is there a specific reason you have chosen the technomate 77552 VA2CI Receiver? The 1000 series models seem to have much more support/software and (again assuming) a bit cheaper.
I wouldnt worry too much with angles at the onset, I concentrated on lining mine to one sat (19e) starting with the fixings loose - meter connected - dish almost flat with slight tilt and just moved it around until I heard a bleep and the tightened fixings a bit more and slowly fine tuned it. When I had a good signal QUALITY (say 80%+) on technomate, tighten bolts up, and position the other lnbs remembering that the lnbs go to the opposit side than they are in the sky. Read the excellent guides and advice on this site before you start, not trying to tell you everything just giving confidence that you can do this job yourself, it's a very satisfying feeling to get those satellites comming in!

Good luck,
Ollie
:)
 

garym71

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My Satellite Setup
Pace TDS470N Sky+ Receiver, Technomate TM-5400CI+ FTA Receiver, Raven Gemini 70cm Mesh Dish with East & West offset LNB brackets, 2 x Inverto Black Ultra Single LNBs, Inverto Black Premium Quad LNB, Eurostar 4x1 DiSEqC Switch, Webro WF100 Cable
My Location
South Oxfordshire, UK
#5
Hi Ollie,

The reason that I'm swaying towards a transparent dish is because I have a South facing house and my only realitic option is to mount the dish directly on the front of the house so I'm not keen for a 90cm black or white dish there as it will be a complete eyesore. At least with a transparent dish it will (hopefully) not stand out quite so much. I'm not actually getting a floor stand as shown in that picture...just a wall mount. It was the only decent picture showing the transparent dish with multi-LNB's on it.

I was looking at the Technomate 77552 because IMO it's a nicer looking box than the 1000 series models (I'm not really that keen on the round displays on of the 1000 series models) and it seemed to have a few more features for possibly being a more future proof option. When you talk about more software/support, what exactly do you mean? Isn't updated software/firmware in the box just supplied and available for download from the Technomate website? Is there some type of additional third-party "add-on" software that can be installed or something? Please excuse my ignorance but I don't really have any experience of FTA satellite receivers...only the bog standard Sky ones which are pretty much locked down anyway.

I'm sure I'm going to have a few more questions before I actually place an order for any equipment because I do want to try and get it right first time if I can and not end up wasting money on something which isn't suitable for my needs.

Thanks,
Gary
 

rolfw

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#6
If you have a standard pitch on the roof, you can mount the dish on the back to look over the roof, a much neater solution. You can always hire a mini tower for the day to put it up.

The third party software is what makes the Technomate so popular, as otherwise they are in my opinion no better than most others on the market. Do a forum search on receiver patches.
 
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#7
I'm just putting up a multi lnb setup on a flat... with a modified Lydl garden tool rack and some old lnbs (seriously) ...
.. starting at 19e - should 28e be nearer to the dish or further away and ditto 13e ....
and should they turn in too at an angle to the 19e lnb not parallel
and is an arm better if it is curved? all this is mainly for retaining focal points..
13e,19e,28e are all very big signals so its ok if there not all optimised... but if one of more is one of the weaker sats then its far more important, (I suppose you could go one step further and optimise a feed horn/ scalar rings to suite the offset angle on the dish too on a weaker sat)
I'm going to sit down and work it out one of these days-
 

v9oly

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My Satellite Setup
Dreambox 500S & 7020s. Technomate 9100 & 1500. Force frontier fixed, Raven 90 fixed, Triax 90 motorised dish. Diablo & dragon cams.
My Location
South West
#8
Hi gary,
Yes the technomate 1000 series can take 3rd party software (patch) which is freely available, this software is model specific, and the one you have mentioned (77552) there is very little, if anything for this receiver, you probally end up using a cam, which is more expense and hassle.
I'm not being biased, but the 1500 ci+ (when patched) is extremely good value for money, and a good entry level for a beginner.

Regards,
Ollie
 

garym71

Regular Member
Messages
92
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My Satellite Setup
Pace TDS470N Sky+ Receiver, Technomate TM-5400CI+ FTA Receiver, Raven Gemini 70cm Mesh Dish with East & West offset LNB brackets, 2 x Inverto Black Ultra Single LNBs, Inverto Black Premium Quad LNB, Eurostar 4x1 DiSEqC Switch, Webro WF100 Cable
My Location
South Oxfordshire, UK
#9
OK, I've now done a bit of research on patching and can see why one of the TM-1500 range models is such a good option to go for so I'm now having a rethink and will probably end up going for one of the 1500's with more readily available patches rather than a 7755.

Thanks advice guys :)
 

tesla

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Lost in the night
#10
garym71 said:
Also, one of the options offered by the online supplier I'm buying the equipment from is that for £15 they will automatically program in channels for all 3 satellites before they send the receiver to me.
rolfw said:
You'd be better investing the £15 in a little alignment meter, you don't need the channels scanned in, it can be done very quickly and easily.
I agree with rolfw. I think it's very ridiculous to charge £15 for channel scanning.
 

garym71

Regular Member
Messages
92
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My Satellite Setup
Pace TDS470N Sky+ Receiver, Technomate TM-5400CI+ FTA Receiver, Raven Gemini 70cm Mesh Dish with East & West offset LNB brackets, 2 x Inverto Black Ultra Single LNBs, Inverto Black Premium Quad LNB, Eurostar 4x1 DiSEqC Switch, Webro WF100 Cable
My Location
South Oxfordshire, UK
#11
Yeah I agree too and am now going to invest the £15 in one of the cheapo analogue satellite finders instead :)