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Adjusting satillite dish pointing

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  • Adjusting satillite dish pointing

    In a recent thread regarding satellite reception the difficulty of making fine adjustments in dish pointing was brought up. It seems that a fine threaded multi-axis adjuster would be a useful HSM project. Does anyone have any suggestions or is it time to go to the drawing board?
    Byron Boucher
    Burnet, TX

  • #2
    Boucher....Excellent idea!!
    www.neufellmachining.com

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    • #3
      The low-tech but highly effective way: turn on the signal tone on your receiver (almost all sat sets have it) and turn the antenna 'till the tone peaks
      If the antenna is up in the attic like mine is, just leave a cell phone next to the set and bring another up in the attic with you.

      If that's too hillbilly for you, you can always type your GPS coordinates into AntennaWeb and it will tell you the exact compass heading to point your antenna to any TV tower.
      "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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      • #4
        That isn't possible with a satellite internet dish. There is no tone facility on the modem. Also, the pointing is extremely fussy. It is also illegal to point your own satellite internet dish unless you are certified to do so. The problem is that it is also an uplink and there is the possibility of interfering with other satellites if you get it wrong.
        Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Evan
          That isn't possible with a satellite internet dish. There is no tone facility on the modem. Also, the pointing is extremely fussy. It is also illegal to point your own satellite internet dish unless you are certified to do so. The problem is that it is also an uplink and there is the possibility of interfering with other satellites if you get it wrong.
          Ditto that as it was explained to me when I wanted to get one for my RV.
          - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
          Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

          It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Evan
            That isn't possible with a satellite internet dish. There is no tone facility on the modem. Also, the pointing is extremely fussy. It is also illegal to point your own satellite internet dish unless you are certified to do so. The problem is that it is also an uplink and there is the possibility of interfering with other satellites if you get it wrong.
            Ditto that as it was explained to me when I wanted to get one for my RV. How will they know it's you? They simply ask the dish who is calling them with a command or an esn.
            - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
            Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

            It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Evan
              That isn't possible with a satellite internet dish. There is no tone facility on the modem. Also, the pointing is extremely fussy. It is also illegal to point your own satellite internet dish unless you are certified to do so. The problem is that it is also an uplink and there is the possibility of interfering with other satellites if you get it wrong.

              I didn't know about the legality of re-aiming my satellite dish but I wouldn't doubt it. A few years ago, I had the house painted and the painter leaned on the dish up on the second floor outside of my bedroom. When he left, the tc would no longer bring in the satellite stations.

              I had my wife watch the signal testing section in the troubleshooring area while I was outside on the roof moving the dish. It took a few bumps with my hand to bring it back it.

              I can admit this since I understand that the statute of limitations on this crime is rather short. Nonetheless, if I am arrested, I intend to invoke my Fifth Amendment Rights (U.S. Constitution) and ask for a free attorney...oh, wait, I am an attorney.....I'll just represent myself. LOL.

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              • #8
                Probably Internet, but FTA (Free To Air) Sats are open to anyone.
                There are around 11 available in Canada, I have a motorized dish, I get about 5 or 6 where I am.
                Also the ability to pick up live feeds from Sports or news relaying back to the studio.
                Max.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by gnm109
                  .......................................... I intend to invoke my Fifth Amendment Rights (U.S. Constitution) and ask for a free attorney...oh, wait, I am an attorney.....I'll just represent myself. LOL.

                  You know what they say about those clients
                  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                  Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

                  It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Satellite pointing is fairly easy if you have an inclination protractor built into your mount. I have done it a few times as follows: First erect the support pole and make sure it is perfectly plumb. Then set the mount protractor to the proper inclination. With the antenna mounted, the only remaining degree of freedom is azimuth. You can set that pretty well with a compass - you should only need to rotate back and forth slightly in azimuth to capture the signal. The few times I have done it, I was able to get it above 94% without the need to hunt.

                    As for a project, only the inclination protractor needs to be built into the mount if it is not already there.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Your Old Dog
                      You know what they say about those clients

                      Yeah, I think I know what you mean...I doubt if I'll be needing my services for myself for the sattellite dish readjustment caper, though. There were no witnesses other than the wife and I can execrise my spousal privilege against her testimony in court (one of the few remaining priviliges I have with her. LOL. ) and the statute of limitations has probably run out as well.

                      I think it will probably just blow over.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bruce Griffing
                        Satellite pointing is fairly easy if you have an inclination protractor built into your mount. I have done it a few times as follows: First erect the support pole and make sure it is perfectly plumb. Then set the mount protractor to the proper inclination. With the antenna mounted, the only remaining degree of freedom is azimuth. You can set that pretty well with a compass - you should only need to rotate back and forth slightly in azimuth to capture the signal. The few times I have done it, I was able to get it above 94% without the need to hunt.

                        As for a project, only the inclination protractor needs to be built into the mount if it is not already there.

                        That's a good suggestion for one way to handle the problem. I just observed the signal strength on the test screen frmo Dish Network. By moving the dish around and having someone watch the screen, it's possible to peak the signal for either of the satellites (there are two)

                        The company did the original installation a few years ago and I presume that they had some electronic location equipment. As I mentioned above, my dish got moved by the painter and it was only a degree or two off so it came right back into position with little effort.

                        Your method would be more precise I suppose but I didn't think about it at the time.

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                        • #13
                          Is re-aiming your satellite dish (internet type) also illegal in the USA? I can't see why a receiving dish would be a legal problem if aimed by the owner since it isn't an uplink?

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                          • #14
                            There is no issue with receiving dishes. You may do as you like. Internet dishes are the problem. Satellite spacing is as close as 1/4 degree with military satellites tucked in there somewhere. Even if your internet dish isn't on the same frequency if you accidentally aim it at something else the signal can cause "desensing" of the receivers on another satellite which will impair sensitivity. Pointing is extremely critical on the Ka band dishes. If you do decide to try nudging an internet dish around to improve performance first scribe witness marks on all moveable parts. Then only move the dish the minimum that you can by lightly tapping it with your hand. If it does need repointing it will be only a very small adjustment from where it is unless it was grossly bumped.

                            Trust me....
                            Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                            • #15
                              Illegal? As there are actual laws against it? Or just the wishes of the satellite companys which are strongly stated to make it sound like it is illegal? Perhaps a stretch of some law.

                              I have worked with satellite dishes up to six meters so I do have some experience. The general idea is the larger the dish, the smaller the beam width and the stronger the signal in it's center. And of course the opposite for small dishes. If I remember correctly, even at that size dish (6m) the satellite spacing has to be more than 1/2 degree to prevent interference when uplinking. You probably need 10 or 12 meter dishes or even larger for that spacing and uplinks to ALL the nearby satellites from dishes that are under one meter WILL hit their ports with a considerable fraction of their maximum power. These closely spaced satellites would have to have excellent filtering to distinguish the desirable (military?) frequencies from the general commercial communication traffic on nearby birds. There must be thousands of uplinks on nearby birds, all chirping at once. So I would hardly think the average internet service satellite would have any chance of interfering at all. Even if you tried to. Even if you tried hard to. The only danger would be to other satellites that use the same frequencies, hence other internet service birds or others that use the same band(s). Anything out of band will have to be almost totally immune.
                              Paul A.
                              SE Texas

                              Make it fit.
                              You can't win and there IS a penalty for trying!

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