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Portable Satelite Dishes

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The wifey and myself got a portable satelite dish to use with our motorhome. It says that it is Direct TV compatible, so we planned on just taking our Direct TV receiver from our house and using it, with the portable dish, when we camped.

Our problem is that we cannot get a signal at all on the portable dish. We set up the tri-pod with the portable dish in our backyard, plugged it all in, and aimed it where our existing dish is pointed (which gets a signal strength of about 92) and got absolutely no signal. So, we thought the signal receiver on the dish might be broken. We returned it and got naother, but still same problem; no signal.

I called Direct TV and they were just about completely useless in helping us. So, my question here is, Am I missing something? Is the dish THAT sensitive that it has to be absolutely perfectly positioned in order to get a good signal? When we tried it while camping, we had it pointed to about 187 degrees +/- probably 5 degrees (we did not have a compass and were estimating our position based on the highway we were camped next to which runs North/South). Or, is there something else I am overlooking in order to make it work right?

Thanks for the help. We're going to try again tonight at home using a compass to be more precise. But, like I said, I feel pretty confident that we should have had it positioned closely enough to get SOME signal..

Thanks,

Adam

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Yes, precise pointing is necessary. I think that to get the best signal you will need to be within about a degree. For comparison the moon is 1/2 of a degree. At 5 degrees off I'm not sure that you will get any signal at all.

I would keep trying it at home until you can get it working. Then you can try it somewhere else. Once you get the hang of it you will find that it is not too hard to get setup. Try some different cables in case you have a bad one.

You need a clear view of the satellite. Trees or any other obstruction will block the signal.

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Exactly precise positioning is a definite requirement as is the dish being level. You will have to use at least a compass. That being said it only takes me 10 minutes or less to set up my tripod wherever we go camping. once you get the hang of it it's no sweat.

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Exactly precise positioning is a definite requirement as is the dish being level. You will have to use at least a compass. That being said it only takes me 10 minutes or less to set up my tripod wherever we go camping. once you get the hang of it it's no sweat.

OK, cool. Thanks for the help. Like I said, we're going to try it again tonight with a compass and try to get 'er working. I guess I just figured that if we got it marginally close that we would get at least a LITTLE signal. But, like you guys have been saying, and as some co-workers told me as well, apparently even being a little off will get you no signal at all.

I just wanted to make sure there wasn't something else I missing here...

Thanks again...I'll let you know how it goes tonight...

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Also remember you cannot use the cable jack outside the trailer. You need a direct line from the dish to the recever.

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here is the deal, go to camping world and spend the 35bucks and ask for the signal finder.it sucks,its to eazy.it go's in between the dish and the cable going to the box. took me two days(it felt like)of a seven day trip to set mine up.

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Also remember you cannot use the cable jack outside the trailer. You need a direct line from the dish to the recever.

This is may or may not be true. A cable jack should not be amplified/boosted so it should work ok if the cable connection also doubles as a antenna connection and thus is amplified or boosted then it probably won't work as the booster or amplifier is what messes up the satellite connection. Definitely as you are practicing setting up at home use a direct connect. But if your trailer, as mine does, has 2 outside connections available I would try to see if one is a sat cable that connects to an inside port that bypasses the boosted antenna feed so you can still maintain a closed environment if you choose. After I established being able to setup up my dish with just a level and compass I tested the two outside connections. Sure enough one was a straight through to the inside connections and I can just plug my dish into the outside connection. Much more convenient than having to run the direct cable inside. Less tripping hazard etc.,

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This is may or may not be true. A cable jack should not be amplified/boosted so it should work ok if the cable connection also doubles as a antenna connection and thus is amplified or boosted then it probably won't work as the booster or amplifier is what messes up the satellite connection. Definitely as you are practicing setting up at home use a direct connect. But if your trailer, as mine does, has 2 outside connections available I would try to see if one is a sat cable that connects to an inside port that bypasses the boosted antenna feed so you can still maintain a closed environment if you choose. After I established being able to setup up my dish with just a level and compass I tested the two outside connections. Sure enough one was a straight through to the inside connections and I can just plug my dish into the outside connection. Much more convenient than having to run the direct cable inside. Less tripping hazard etc.,

Thanks guys. Our RV is an 89' and doesn't have the outsdie jack...but I am glad you guys brought up the potential problem. The wife and I were talking about getting a new travel trailer,, which likely would have one.

We didn't get another chance to test out the Satellite dish after properly aiming it, so we're going to give that a shot this weekend...wish us luck.

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Man...we got our dish to work finally, and I have to say that I am pretty amazed at just how spot-on the aim has to be. Even the most minor of movements would make it go from a signal stregnth of 90 down to 0..just by barely moving it. I had no idea they were so position sensitive. Lesson learned. Thanks for all the advice from those who replied to my original post. Much appreciated.

Adam

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For some reason, it gets a lot harder to aim that darn thing after I open the cooler. :applause: So I usually try to set-up the dish as soon as I get there :lol:

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Watch for others camping with their dish..... You can kinda quess-timate their direction for a starting point ..

Nick

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