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Old 05-17-2016, 08:27 AM   #1
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New To Satellite TV

Hi All,

I signed up for Direct TV for the house last weekend. Install is this coming Saturday.

So I will have an account with THEM!

I also have a strong background in electronics, radio, TV and computers.

However, I am clueless on the ins-and-outs of actually dealing with a satellite TV provider. And what to even ask about for adding a portable rig for the RV.

There already is a cable/satellite inlet on the trailer and too many wires next to the TV.

So, any help on what to buy/rent/steal for a portable setup will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 05-17-2016, 08:51 AM   #2
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If you will be "borrowing" your Direct TV box from the house when you go camping, then you dont need to deal with Direct TV for that. You will need a portable dish setup available on-line everywhere, ebay etc. If you want to go HD then the dish is a little bigger and a little more complicated to set up but both are fairly easy.

Bring your box and dish and you're set.

There are tutorials online on how to set up HD and non-HD dishes and there are a few ways to do it. In some cases depending on your box, you can use your TV as a signal meter to align the dish. Down side is you need to be near the TV. The other option is to buy a signal meter. For HD the need to be a little more elaborate and are more expensive. I use a birdog meter and it works great,

James
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Old 05-17-2016, 09:14 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by mike837go View Post
Hi All,

I signed up for Direct TV for the house last weekend. Install is this coming Saturday.

So I will have an account with THEM!

I also have a strong background in electronics, radio, TV and computers.

However, I am clueless on the ins-and-outs of actually dealing with a satellite TV provider. And what to even ask about for adding a portable rig for the RV.

There already is a cable/satellite inlet on the trailer and too many wires next to the TV.

So, any help on what to buy/rent/steal for a portable setup will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Mike
The FIRST question you should as yourself is if you need/want HD programming in your RV. If you can do with SD signals, there are a few portable, automatic setups along the lines of what Dish users have available that pretty much anyone could do the first time out without issues. BUT, if you need/want HD programming, then your in for a little bit of a learning curve.

In order to receiver HD with a "portable" setup, the only option is to purchase a tripod setup with a Slimline dish. The website TV4RV.com is a great place to start. They would have everything you would need to get going and are very helpful answering any questions you may have. If you don't already have parts/pieces, you are probably looking at 250/300 bucks. You can do it cheaper by shopping around for parts/pieces but if you don't "have a clue" about what you will need, then that website is the place for you. I would even suggest you give them a call. The few times I have had to, they were glad to help.

And don't let the fact that you will have to manually align the dish, with your background you should pick it up in no time. Just remember that the most important aspect is making sure that the tripod/mast is PERFECTLY level or as absolutely close as it can be. That will make the aiming of the dish a LOT easier and faster.
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Old 05-17-2016, 10:24 AM   #4
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"...borrowing your Direct TV box from the house when you go camping...."



Why didn't I even consider that option?!?!

Thanks!

No separate anything except an antenna, tripod and source of 120VAC for the receiver and TV.

Clear view of the southern sky will be the biggest problem.

Manually aligning the dish should not be a problem. I was asked several years ago to help a neighbor. When the receiver was tuned to a particular channel (showed % of signal being received) an LED on the LNB blinked at the same percentage. 30 seconds of little nudges (after loosening some nuts) got it to 99%.

Do they still have an indicator on the LNB? Is it still called an LNB?
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Old 05-17-2016, 10:49 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by mike837go View Post
"...borrowing your Direct TV box from the house when you go camping...."



Why didn't I even consider that option?!?!

Thanks!

No separate anything except an antenna, tripod and source of 120VAC for the receiver and TV.

Clear view of the southern sky will be the biggest problem.

Manually aligning the dish should not be a problem. I was asked several years ago to help a neighbor. When the receiver was tuned to a particular channel (showed % of signal being received) an LED on the LNB blinked at the same percentage. 30 seconds of little nudges (after loosening some nuts) got it to 99%.

Do they still have an indicator on the LNB? Is it still called an LNB?
Sounds like your already ahead of the game and yep, they still call them LNB's but I have never seen one lately that has the signal indicator on the LNB itself. You either need to use a signal strength meter or use the screen in the receiver itself. You might want to play close attention during your upcoming install and ask the tech questions if you have any doubts on aligning them.

And as for alignment, a simple compass and possibly an app or two on a smart phone will get you the alignment you need. Everyone has their favorites, but I use one called Satellite Dish Pointer on my android. It not only gives you the Azimuth, elevation, and Inclination numbers based on GPS (you can also get them from the receiver when you rerun the sat setup) but it uses your camera on your phone to allow you to "peak" thru tree cover and locate the approx. position of the 3 main DirecTV sats. At a campground we stayed at recently, I had to setup the dish about 30 ft from the trailer because that was the only hole in the tree cover. Hit a hole in the trees that wasn't more than 10 ft wide.
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:14 AM   #6
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"Hole in the tree cover"

Yup, that's probably going to be the hard part. But SWMBO had an area cleared last Fall for the house she wants to build up there. Of course the campsite is south of the house site, so the dish will be at the far end of the clearing. Lots of COAX along with the 'portable' dish antenna.

One more app on the phone...

Somebody is going to have several new toys to play with soon...

Thanks everybody!
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:38 AM   #7
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[QUOTE=mike837go;408835 Lots of COAX along with the 'portable' dish antenna.[/QUOTE]

If your coax run is near 100' or longer, you may need a SWM amplifier.

Sonora SWMA2-T Sing Input SWM Amplifier 940 To 2150 Mhz (SWMA2T) from Solid Signal amplifier

Good Luck and have fun!
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Old 05-17-2016, 01:17 PM   #8
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If your coax run is near 100' or longer, you may need a SWM amplifier.

Sonora SWMA2-T Sing Input SWM Amplifier 940 To 2150 Mhz (SWMA2T) from Solid Signal amplifier

Good Luck and have fun!
I expect I'll have to go about 30'-40' north of the campsite to get a good view of the southern sky. At 100' from the campsite, the ground drops off rather sharply...
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Old 05-23-2016, 03:07 PM   #9
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Got the house all wired up and the Direct TV is working fine there.


I wont be swiping a box from the house anytime soon. The frigging things are all interconnected now.


Start shopping for a separate portable system that'll be an additional TV on the account....
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Old 05-25-2016, 08:04 AM   #10
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15 months ago I got tried of always trying to find the sat with my manual dish and got this rooftop mounted auto dish.. I have been real happy with it so far...
RF Mogul: Mobile Satellite Systems - RV Television - Internet - SNG - DSNG - USA
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