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Author Topic: DirectTV Update..  (Read 1967 times)
NJT5047
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« on: July 10, 2006, 07:22:26 PM »

Found out an interesting item today regarding satellite input.  Just bought a DirectTV subscription.    I'll describe the following for those that may want satellite TV in their coach but have not taken the leap...those with satellite systems may have considerable additional information.   I went with DirectTV due to the higher elevation of satellite 101...and the fact that it works without phone cables...I have two units in my home and they work without phone lines.   Dish Network will also work without phones.  I know some people using it sans phones.
I've got a batwing antenna and a manual satellite dish on top of the coach.  Read somewhere that the satellite signal would not go thru the "cablevision" hookup located on the backside of the Wingard batwing amplifier.  It will.  Works fine.   As I think about it, maybe they were talking about the un-decoded sat signal?   That would be a problem I'm sure....but a decoded signal looks like a cablevision signal. And the batwing will work well in the barn...IF the satellite system is not turned on.  Somehow the amplifier prioritizes the signals...or the TV selects the strongest signal.  I dunno.   
Got an RG6 cable routed to the rear bay for cablevision and ran it to the satellite receiver after hooking a portable 18" dish to the system (the bus is inside the barn and I didn't want to move it just to see if the sat system worked).  The satellite works without rearranging the TV inputs.  Just put the TV on channel 4 and there's a perfect sat pix.   Takes maybe 15 seconds to signal up when totally disconnected and powered down.   The setup is displayed on the TV and isn't complicated.   Prior to aligning the dish, zip code input thru the remote will give the elevation, tilt (I don't need this..it's for the tri LNB Terk dish), and azimuth.   I set the elevation and went right to the correct satellite.  Used an old sighting compass from the boat to line up azimuth.  Using a little cheapo satellite signal meter that works fine...Ebay...$6.50.   Tripod with a level and folds was $38.  Got the tripod for when we parked under trees....which is preferred when there are trees.  Shade is good.
Went onto Ebay and found 18" Direct TV dual LNB dishes for $10-$12 bucks.  Bought two...now I've got the bus reciever working double duty in the barn.   Very easy to pull out and carry along.   Bought a small tripod that folds up for transport.  A few wing-nuts on the dish and it comes apart quickly without tools.   Found the satellite easy to find...I'm only using 101 since no HDTV or other bells and whistles.  Believe HDTV would utilize 119 also?   There are several degrees to both sides that the signal meter will pick up.  Satellite aquistion seems to work better if the elevation is accurately set, and only the azimuth is moved.  Keep the mast level and this is pretty repeatable.   I'll bet money that the manual rooftop dish on the bus won't be as easy to aquire a satellite....?  That'll be a situation where setting the azimuth and dinking with the elevation may work better??  We'll see.  Ideas are welcome. 
If anyone buys DirectTV service, but sure that you know what services you want.   I screwed up by not getting a DVR TIVO sort of thing...which would have been free at inception of the contract...now they want $200 bucks for a recording receiver.   I had not occured to me that Terri was recording all sorts of crap a week in advance from cablevision...oopsie!   Oh well, back to Ebay.  Looks like one could pull the card out and swap to a recording unit?  I'll soon find out.  There's a service charge for recording...about $6 bucks a month...that's plus the DVR.  Apparently the DVR requires its own incoming line.   That will take another LNB...unless someone knows another way?
The bus/satellite system works well and I believe it to be a worthwhile investment when camping in rainy or cold weather. 
I've prattled long enough!  Hope this helps someone!
Best, JR

 


     
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JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
87 MC9, 6V92TA DDEC, HT748R ATEC

"Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.”

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Beatenbo
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« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2006, 07:42:58 PM »

Don't worry about Tivo. Youcan't use it without phone line. The won't autharize unit. I have had directv about 7or 8 years on my buses. Started with trpod then had a couple crankups. take the reciever out of the hous when I leave. You can't use pay per view if they know it's in a motor home. As long as you take in a hook to a phone line every so often, it call the charges back thru a modem once a month. The other issue is local channels which is too much to get into.Nevever a problem getting signal as long as I new which way was north and could remember where Texas was. Couple years ago went to TracVivion in motion. Had a hard time turning that much change loose, but on the road 200 days a year it's been worth every dime. I have 2 reciievers 1 up front and 1 in the bedroom so I don't have to wath Home and Garden all the time. Sure beats the old days.
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Beatenbo
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« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2006, 07:46:51 PM »

Boy, my spellig stinks tonight  Shocked
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2006, 07:47:43 PM »

JR,

Lots of good info, Thanks.

Our DVR recievers work with one line from the dish. I have 1 Direct tv ultimate TV reciever, and 1 direct tv Tevo reciever in the bus and both record with 1 line.

Nick-
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
1989, MCI 102C3, 8V92T, HT740, 06' conversion FMCA# F-27317-S "Wife- 1969 Italian/German Style"
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« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2006, 07:52:00 PM »

Beatenbo,

Register your DVR's in your home first, then transfur them to your bus. Wala... I'v had mine in the bus since last august. works perfect.

Nick-
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« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2006, 07:53:51 PM »

Niick, You had that tivo hooked to a phone line for directv to authorize didn't you?  I bought one at circuit city and directv woun't do it without phone line I put in a DVD recorder instead. Charlie
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Beatenbo
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« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2006, 07:57:13 PM »

Don't have a land line now. Cell only Sold my house, fulltiming in bus til get my house built. Thanks for the info
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
1989, MCI 102C3, 8V92T, HT740, 06' conversion FMCA# F-27317-S "Wife- 1969 Italian/German Style"
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« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2006, 08:00:21 PM »

Beatenbo,

I think you would just need someones phone line to do so. Maybe a relitive while you are visiting?

Good luck
Nick-
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NJT5047
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« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2006, 05:18:51 AM »

Don't have a need for TIVO in the bus...could do it in the home.  Still have landlines in the home...for now.  Rarely use it.   RV pay per view is avail without phone lines....just call and they'll shoot it right to you.  There's an extra $2 charge for the service.
That low profile KVH looks mighty tempting...that's sometihing for next year.  In motion sat dishs are an evolving concept.  Who knows what will be avail next year?   Still need the portable dish. 
Cheerio, JR
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JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
87 MC9, 6V92TA DDEC, HT748R ATEC

"Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.”

Ayn Rand
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« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2006, 07:02:35 AM »

JR
  If your manual roof mount antenna is a Winegard, they make a digital readout elevation gauge that installs inside your coach. As you crank up your roof mount antenna, this gauge shows the elevation. We have one of these on our antenna and would be lost without it. We have found that unless the bus is exactly level, as you rotate the antenna, the elevation changes. By watching the gauge as I rotate the antenna, I can make small changes to maintain the correct elevation.  Hope this helps, Jack
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« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2006, 11:22:29 AM »

Thanks Jack,
Haven't seen the "add on" readout thingy yet....saw the same antenna with the dig readout as part of a package.  Added about $100 dollars to the cost of the manual dish.   Did you add yours after your manual dish was installed?  How does it monitor the orientation of the dish?  My dish isn't precisely level.  And the bus is rarely precisely level. 
Reckon where one might find a digital add-on device?  Campingworld? 
JR
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JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
87 MC9, 6V92TA DDEC, HT748R ATEC

"Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.”

Ayn Rand
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« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2006, 11:56:13 AM »

OK. Now I've seen what the dig readout unit looks like. Appears to have its own wiring harness??!  That ain't gonna happen.  Way too much trouble to run another lead thru the roof.  Undecided
Looks like and excellent idea, but in my un-raised roof bus, the wiring is in the ceiling...in the foam. 
Hope I can find the sat without it!  The dig sender is a little box bolted to the side of the dish arm. Apparently it has a pendulum actuated resistance unit that is rather accurately calibrated.  The unit only gives elevation...is this correct?   With a little experimentation, I can get to the correct elevation.  There's a chart with said turns of the crank indicating proximal elevation.  Huh
I saw a comment in the dish install manual that indicated hooking the standard antenna into the "antenna in" on the sat receiver would work as a switch between sat service and local antenna...not a good idea as most of our batwings and whatever have a separate amp that must be fed with the analog antenna.  The amp would be removed from the circuit if Wingard's instructions were followed.
We are headed out first weekend in August for 5 days...I'll post how difficult the sat aquisition project goes.
Cheerio, JR  Cool
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JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
87 MC9, 6V92TA DDEC, HT748R ATEC

"Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.”

Ayn Rand
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« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2006, 04:14:28 PM »

Yes, the digital readout is elevation only.You still use the degree wheel above the crank for the azimuth. I have found the sat. by using a compass the align the degree wheel, point the compass at the correct azimuth, then slowly crank the antenna up until I get a signal, then fine tune both elevation and azimuth. The problem with counting cranks is that the chart is based on the bus sitting level. If not level, as you rotate the antenna the elevation changes. The more off-level, the greater the elevation change.  I will be glad to help you with it at Dalls & Cat's on October.  Jack
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« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2006, 05:51:54 PM »

Thanks Jack,
If you see the portable dish sitting outside, you'll know that I found (exceeded) my limits with the rooftop dish.  My dish is not mounted exactly vertical.  That could be fixed without major surgery.  We'll try it like it is and see what happens.  What I thought I'd do is get outside, find the mag north, orient to the bus, and set the "North" pointer on the azimuth on the rooftop...then it should be "relatively" ( Huh) easy to find a signal.   Charlotte is 210* and and 42* for 101.  I can set the portable in the barn and walk outside, level the unit, aim it at 210* and the signal will be there.   
Don't know how much the azimuth and elevation changes with distance, but they are probably the same for 100 miles in any direction...plus or minus a touch.   The portable dish will pick up over several degrees of sky...doesn't have to be absolutely on...easy to peak once the signal is heard.   
See Ya'll at Dallas'
BTW, recieved my BCM mag today...read the whole thing tonight! 
Cheers, JR
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JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
87 MC9, 6V92TA DDEC, HT748R ATEC

"Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.”

Ayn Rand
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« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2006, 04:17:29 AM »

When I install Wingard antennas on buses, I get the "wedge" they sell as an option. These are available at Camping World in the parts department and probably from most RV Sales and Service places. This wedge made of plastic and is designed to fit under the antenna base plate to compensate for the curvature in the roof. I would try it first, if it works, great, no need to bother with the wedge.  Jack
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http://s682.photobucket.com/albums/vv186/OBS-JC/
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