What is the best replacement dish for mid Italy

pjgregory

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Hi

I live in Tuscany, Italy - about 90Km south of Florence. Last year I installed a 2.4m IRTE dish in the hope of getting Astra 2D with the BBC 1,2 etc. It never worked! I can get Channel 5 all the time and Channel 4 during the day, but no BBC.

Inspired agin by the new FreeSat stuff, I have been reading a lot of posts on this forum and it is already clear that I have made a number of mistakes.

1. When the dish arrived, two of the metal pannels were dented. Instead of sending them back, I hammered them back into shape and assembled the dish anyway. I now realise just how critical it is to have an exact parabola. With 4 lengths of fishing line fixed across the dish, I can see that the height difference at the center between the bottom and top strings is about 10mm, so the dish is warped. As I read in one post that errors greater that 2.5mm (wavelength/10) can be significant, this is clearly a problem.

2. I have a Pace DS445N receiver, which although great in the UK, is not the most sensitive around. This is easy to fix - I have just ordered a reconditioned Pace DS2600C1 which has been recommened several times as the best for fringe reception.

So what to do about a new dish? The best options so far seem to be:-

1. Andrews/ Channel Master 2.4m offset with 47.6db gain - gets many solid recomendations, but it is expensive (about £3000 including shipping from the UK). I am also not clear if it is big enougth for my location

2. Prodelin 1304 3.0m dish - 8 segment moulded dish with 49db gain. I can get this for about £1200 including shipping, but I have read a number of concerns about QC for Prodelin - are the dishes consistent in build quality, robust and easy to assemble accurately?

3. Patriot 3.1m dish - 8 segment steel dish with 48.7db quoted gain. The price from the UK is similar to the Prodelin and it has seperate steel ribs and rim so it SHOULD be easier to assemble accurately than my current IRTE pannel dish.

There are a number of post about "Portugese" dishes used in Spain, but I cannot find a source for Italy. There are other mentions of 2.4m solid aluminium dishes etc., but these seem impractical to transport to Italy, even if I could find a supplier.

Assuming I do go with a prime focus dish, then the Invacom C120 Quad LMB QDF-031 with Invacom adjustable feehorn ADF-120 seems to be the best option.

Please let me have your comments. What am I missing? I really do not want to buy another load of kit that doesn't work.

Many thanks

PJG
 

Coviello

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Dear PJG

I have got a Prodelin 1344 3.35 m dish - 8 segment moulded dish with 50.2 db gain. It took me a lot of time to mount it properly, but in the end I got an excellent performance from an excellent dish. I do not receive Astra 2d (as far as I know, nobody is able to catch Astra2d n Southern Italy, except, perhaps, near Otranto (Lecce)).
Before thinking about the brand of dish to buy, you should have a look at the Italian satellites websites. There are reports on some positive tests with a normal prime focus 1.80 dish near Trasimeno lake. But it might only be a partial reception for a limited number of hours after noon, as I could see in Assisi last year with a 1.80 m dish.
I live in Potenza (Basilicata), but I frequently visit my daughter and friends in Perugia.

Coviello
 

pjgregory

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Hi Coviello

Thanks for the reply. You say it took you a lot of time to mount it properly. Was this a problem with assmbling the dish and getting the rim level, or just the general problems of dealing with a very large (and very heavy) dish. Did the 8 segments fit together exactly or did you have to drill out any of the holes etc. to get it together.

Did you buy the Prodelin 1344 dish in Italy or ship it in. I tried a Google search for a good Italian satellite supplier, but without much luck. Do you have any web addresses.

Thanks

PJG
 

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pjgregory said:
Hi

I live in Tuscany, Italy - about 90Km south of Florence.
So what to do about a new dish? The best options so far seem to be:-

1. Andrews/ Channel Master 2.4m offset with 47.6db gain - gets many solid recomendations, but it is expensive (about £3000 including shipping from the UK). I am also not clear if it is big enougth for my location

2. Prodelin 1304 3.0m dish - 8 segment moulded dish with 49db gain. I can get this for about £1200 including shipping, but I have read a number of concerns about QC for Prodelin - are the dishes consistent in build quality, robust and easy to assemble accurately?

3. Patriot 3.1m dish - 8 segment steel dish with 48.7db quoted gain. The price from the UK is similar to the Prodelin and it has seperate steel ribs and rim so it SHOULD be easier to assemble accurately than my current IRTE pannel dish.

PJG

For Central Italy those dishes are nowhere near big enough - think of starting with something around 4m!
 

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Here are a few big dishes that are available:

Patriot 3.8m (aluminum): $2.295 from _w**.satellitedish.com
_w**.sepatriot.com

Comtech 3.8m (fiberglass): $4.800 from _w**.satellitedish.com
_w**.comtechantenna.com

DH 3.7m (aluminum): $2.050 from _w**.vincor.com
_w**.dhsatellite.com

Prodelin 3.7m (fiberglass): $1.932 from _w**.vincor.com
_w**.tripointglobal.com

True Focus 3.8m (aluminum): $3.000 from _w**.futurevisionsat.com/Export.html
_w**.anderseninc.com

Aerial Oy AS24 2.4m (aluminum): 864€ + VAT from Finland
_w**.aerial.fi/prod_ant_Satellite.asp
I have a Aerial Oy 2.4m; it is a fabulous dish. You can buy it direct from factory.

ASC Signal (ex Andrew) 2.4m (fiberglass): $1.610 from _w**.vincor.com
_w**.ascsignal.com

Laminas 2.7m (fiberglass): 2.698€ in Germany from _w**.satshop24.de
Laminas is Polish and can be found cheaper at a Polish dealer.
_w**.laminas.com.pl

Laser 4m (aluminum): 2.100€ from Turkey _h***://laserelektronik.org

All these dishes are excellent; only the Laminas and Laser I am not sure of the quality.

Shipping for a big dish from USA to Italy is around 400€.

Good luck in choosing and installing.
 

pjgregory

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Whow!

That is upping the game a bit. Combining the comments from Analoguesat and charly20, it would seem that I should be looking at about 3.8m - 4m in size and importing directly from the US! I will check my installation site (built into the side of a hill) for the possibility of larger sizes and look at the web sites tomorrow - then post again.

Thanks

PJG
 

Analoguesat

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Search through the forum - there have been some posts on this in the last week or so - the poster required a ton of concrete in the ground for the pole for his 3.7m dish.!
 

Analoguesat

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BTW - theres still no guarantee you will get 2D even if you jump up to a 4m dish!

Extreme fringe reception is very much a black art and signal strengths vary greatly over a few miles. You could find you need something quite a bit bigger - the only way to find out is to have an big dish expert install the dish very carefully, and see what happens.

Then again, signals may be stronger tahn expected and maybe a 3m would do..... Theres simply no way to tell until you try it.

If you can find someone with a spectrum analyser they may be able to tell you exactly just how low the 2D signals are on your existing equipment.
 

pjgregory

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Hi Analoguesat

Ok - I know there is no guarantee for fringe reception and in principle, the bigger the better.

I did pay to have an engineer from a local company who is an IRTE distributor come to try and set things up better, but he did not even check the dish accuracy with the string test, so I hardly think they can be called experts in fringe reception. That was 600euros down the drain.

After that, I bought my own spectrum analyser, to try and set up the dish myself. I eventually got a marginal improvement, but as far as I remember, I could not get any peaks in the Astra 2D frequency range that were above the noise floor - and of course, no digital lock.

I am very happy to try again, but what should I look for? Given that my existing dish is probably not giving anywhere near the 46db gain specified as it is warped, how can I determine what extra gain, and hence dish size, I require?

PJG
 

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I wouldnt know where to start PJ - if a signal is too low I just dont bother with it :D Maybe one of our big dish experts will chip in.
 

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Well, for what it's worth, I've been trying for 2D in Athens over a year now with a 3m channel master and Invacom and mti lnbs and pace digiboxes and an AD satmeter. I'm not getting much from 2D and certainly no lock. I'm going to try an SMW lnb and then call it a day. But this company in Turkey seems interesting to look into as it's "close" and maybe transport costs aren't too high. What the heck I say I'll go for a 5m laser. So I look into the informative pdf they have on their site, and the size of the thing starts to sink in. Even if it's 2 petals it's 2.5m tall to transport. The dish alone weighs 200kg. The stand 300kg. It needs 4.5m3 of concrete etc etc. Can you imagine if it doesn't receive 2D ??? Suicide or divorce come to mind !!
 

paul682

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hy my friend

PJ GREGORY

i try in these days with my prodelin 3,7 m fiberglass and

quad invacom
i live in " LE MARCHE REGION "

i inform all the forum

about the result with astra 2 d

thanks
ciao
:)
PAOLO
 

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koansrc said:
Well, for what it's worth, I've been trying for 2D in Athens over a year now with a 3m channel master and Invacom and mti lnbs and pace digiboxes and an AD satmeter. I'm not getting much from 2D and certainly no lock. I'm going to try an SMW lnb and then call it a day. But this company in Turkey seems interesting to look into as it's "close" and maybe transport costs aren't too high. What the heck I say I'll go for a 5m laser. So I look into the informative pdf they have on their site, and the size of the thing starts to sink in. Even if it's 2 petals it's 2.5m tall to transport. The dish alone weighs 200kg. The stand 300kg. It needs 4.5m3 of concrete etc etc. Can you imagine if it doesn't receive 2D ??? Suicide or divorce come to mind !!

Have you meanwhile contacted the major serious sat installation companies in Greece ? At least Antonis Zacharioudakis based in Iraklio/Kriti has experience with Astra 2D all over Greece, suppose also for Athina. No wonder, more than 25 years installations of huge dishes. And if not, there are some other companies with big dish installation experience as well which one can find for example in the sat magazine Doryforika Nea. With such an interest for British TV i cannot believe that there isn't anybody that cannot tell you for sure if a 5m will be sufficient. The big question is, how good are these Laser dishes made in Turkey ? And by this i mean not their initial performance after installation but if they stay such good for the next say 5-10 years.

Although we speak here of Central Italy, the problem is much the same in Athens, that's why i posted here.
 

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I think that the BBC should put some popular channels on Hot Bird 13E and then make contracts with local satellite providers in different countries like Sky Italia, Nova, Yes, Showtime, etc. so that they can offer these channels to their subscribers.
The transponders that TPS will be vacating soon can be leased by the BBC, unless they are already taken.
The same thing they have been doing for years with BBC Prime, BBC World and recently several BBC channels in the Polsat package.
I am sure that they can make huge profits from this idea.
Alternatively, Sky Italia for example can put a huge dish and receive all the channels on Astra 28.2E, if the BBC won't uplink them also to Hot Bird 13E.

All this messing about by individuals with huge dishes like 3-5m is really very costly and time consuming.
 

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A good idea HB13DISH but as long as BBC thinks BBC Prime is enough, i don't see any chance that this will change. The german ZDF instead has no problem to offer the same national station as it is over PayTV platforms like Digitürk at 7E or Multichoice Africa at 68.5E. But i can understand people that have a chance to get Astra 2D investing in huge dishes. Of course you never have a guarantee that the reception will last for ever. Surely if this worst case scenario becomes real, you can always transform your stationary dish into a DX monster but i think that only few Astra 2D enthusiasts belong to this category of people.

The longterm solution would be that each station including the BBC would offer a highquality multicast stream by payment for anybody living outside the UK. This is my hope. Maybe then we will be able to subscribe also to american, canadian, australian, new zealandic, south african channels and much more.
 

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Hi All

I fully agree with the idea that the BBC should offer subscriptions to people outside the UK who want to recieve BBC1,2 etc, but I fear that this will not happen any time soon. It all seems to be related to sports rights. The BBC buys rights for the UK only, which is why they are doing everthing possible to limit coverage.

In the mean time - back to the big dishes. Analoguesat mentioned trying to measure the signal from Astra 2D with a spectrum analyser. This is currently below the noise floor of my Spectrum Analyser with the existing dish and LBM.

I have had one idea which is to look at the signal strength of Channel 4 at intervals during the day. As I said, I lose this in the evening, so I should be able to work out what is the minimum S/N ratio for lock with my existing dish.

If my 2.4m IRTE dish gave the specified 46db gain (which I very much doubt), then I could work how much extra gain, and hence how big a dish I would need to get Channel 4 all day long.

Channel 4 is on Astra 2A North Beam Tp24 at 12.168GHz. According to the reception map from Astra, I should be able to get all of the 2A North beam signals with a 1.2m dish - but here I am having problems with my 2.4m dish! Could it be that the 10cm misalignment due to the warpinging is reducing the effective size to below that of a 1.2m dish?

So these are the two questions

1. Has anyone measured misshapen dishes and worked out just how much gain you can lose?.

2. Has anyone measured how much weaker Astra2D is compared with Astra 2A north beam in any location near me?

If I can get answers to these questions, then I can start to assess the dish size needed for 2D reception.

PJG
 

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pjgregorey,

I have read your stoy above and from my experience of 1.2m and 1.8m dishes all i can say is that even a small dent will reduce your signal so from the sounds of your warped dish ,,,,You need a New Dish and preferably a pole concreted into the ground,,,totally vertical and I,d recommend either an ASC SIGNAL 1.8m satellite dish with an MTI 0.2 lnb ,,,,corretly pointed of course ,,,,regards steve
 
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