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March 22, 2007

Fine-tuning a motorised dish

by Analoguesat
Here are our Five Top Tips for fine-tuning a DiSEqC motorised setup.  This mini-guide assumes that you have already set up your mounting brackets/mast, motor, dish, LNB etc. and have managed to tune in a least a few satellites. Your setup is far from ideal though, right? Poor signal strength and quality? Missing some satellites? Read on…   First - Make sure you have read and re-read the Satellite Help guide to DiSEqC motor installation so that you not only follow the procedures required for first-iteration setup, but understand the theory behind what you are trying to achieve. Sometimes your brain has to seemingly work in four dimensions to calculate which tweak has to be made to your dish/motor to improve things! Second - Mark everything before you start with a permanent marker. This way, the worst that will happen is you end up back where you started. Based on this premise, most anything you do should improve your arc-tracking! Third - Only adjust one thing at a time. This is important, otherwise you will never know which adjustment had which effect. You are probably dealing with a multitude of minor errors, so you need simple solutions. The only exception to this is a combination of elevation and declination. If the OVERALL elevation of the dish is already optimal for a given satellite, then increasing one will mean increasing the other to stay exactly on-satellite. Don’t forget that an increase in declination is a downward tilt at the dish scale. Fourth - Forget USALS. Use DiSEqC 1.2, because it gives you total azimuth control of the dish positioning. Once your dish tracking is near-perfect you can go back to USALS if you so choose, but once you have finished this process you may find that USALS will just not cut it any more. Fifth - This is what the first four tips have been building up to. Draw a map. Yes, a map. Draw a map of the theoretical arc, and roughly mark onto the line all the satellites you think you should be able to receive. Now, start with your dish in the middle of the arc and peak the first satellites’ signal using just the motor via the receiver menus. Record the actual azimuth setting that gives you the peak reading (you should be using 'GOTO x.x' format commands). Now flex the dish face up and down gently whilst checking the signal quality/strength on the receiver/meter. Note on your sketch whether the signal improves if you tilt the dish face slightly up or slightly down. Mark where the actual satellite appears to be on your diagram. Repeat this whole procedure (i.e. drive motor to peak signal, flex dish and then record results) for as many satellites as you can stomach. Now, using this information, and the actual azimuth figures you also recorded, compare the results to the arc-tuning diagram here: Satellite Arc Tuning The more readings you take, the clearer the picture will be. Be scientific about it, and you should be able to identify one or more of the erroneous conditions indicated on the chart. Finally, don't be afraid to move slightly away from the indicated settings on your motor mount and dish scale. The stamped scale on some brackets can be well over a degree out, whilst some dish scales seem to make no sense at all. It's also possible to have the mount slightly twisted on the pole, even if you have tightened the four nuts on the two U bolts equally. Remember - the alignment you have at the end of the theoretical phase is only a starting point for real-world fine tuning. Patience will get you there in the end - good luck!

March 16, 2007

Digital Switch Off dates announced for Whitehaven

by Analoguesat
The dates for the final phase of DSO have been announced for Whitehaven and the surrounding villages affected by the analogue closedown Early May - captions will appear on the analogue channels reminding viewers that they need to move over to digital 17th October - BBC2 will be turned off. ITV 1 will move to button 2 on the telly and BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC News 24 and CBBC ...

March 12, 2007

Arianespace begins its 2007 mission activity with a successful dual-payload launch

by Analoguesat
Ariane 5 underscored its mission capability and operational maturity with tonight's successful dual-passenger mission, which placed the Skynet 5A and INSAT 4B satellites into geostationary transfer orbit. Lifting off from the Spaceport in French Guiana, the Ariane 5 deployed Skynet 5A at 26 minutes into the mission, followed four minutes later by INSAT 4B. "With this first launch of the year 2007, Arianespace has once again demonstrated its leadership," said CEO Jean-Yves ...

February 8, 2007

Sky to launch pay tv service on DTT

by Analoguesat
British Sky Broadcasting today announced that it is developing plans for the launch of a subscription television service on digital terrestrial television (DTT) this summer. The new service will allow DTT viewers to receive some of Sky’s most popular programmes - including sport and movies - for a monthly subscription. Sky says this represents an attractive commercial opportunity, benefiting from existing investments in programming and infrastructure, and attracting new customers to ...

January 26, 2007

Digital switch over - ITV1 Border area heralds the new dawn in digital TV

by Analoguesat
A very special hello to anyone living in the ITV Border region. A reminder to you - digital switch over starts in our region (*) in mid 2008 when the Selkirk transmitter and its dependant relays are changed over and analogue is shut down. Caldbeck in Cumbria will follow in early 2009. If you live in the Borders and are still watching 4 or 5 channels you really need to ...

January 22, 2007

Satellite news from Stateside

Well, the struggle for satellite supremacy is still being fought out in the US, and maybe the satellite guys finally have a chance to ruffle a few feathers in the cable-provider's boardrooms. Times are tough though, and piracy is rife - with the Nagravision 2 encryption system barely holding together. The pay-TV is generally good value there though, and the two big companies offer crazy giveaway deals to try and attract new ...

January 20, 2007

TV for a foreign wife

by Analoguesat
Now as far as I know this service is more or less unique to our forum. No its not marital councelling, (but could be similar!) If you have a foreign partner no doubt she would like to watch tv channels from her home country. We already have provided valuable info for people who have Finnish, Czech and Polish wives. So if you are in a similar situation and want some peace ...

January 5, 2007

Happy New Year, and Happy Birthday!

We hope you all had an enjoyable festive period, and that going back to work isn’t as bad as you imagined it might be ;) Well, we had some laughs at Satellite Help over the holidays, including a New Years Eve chase around the globe. Not sure how many midnights we watched, but a few beers were consumed. The forum also had its first birthday in December, and it’s ...

December 22, 2006

Sky Sports to show Super Bowl in HD

Sky Sports will broadcast one of the world's most spectacular sports events - the Super Bowl - in high definition for the first time next February. Super Bowl XLI will be the first US sports event and the sixth sport to be screened in HD by Sky Sports with the first Super League match in HD also on 4th February 2007. Super Bowl XLI will be the climax of the busiest ever ...

November 22, 2006

Digital TV Changeover

This week, I’ll be banging on about the change. No, not that change! The change. The digital TV changeover or ‘Digital Switchover Programme’. As I’m sure you’re aware, there’s a worldwide effort in progress to get from the crazy mixed-up analogue and digital soup that we currently have, to an all-digital terrestrial broadcasting platform. Each country is busy with their own plans, but these must all ...

November 16, 2006

New Channels

by Analoguesat
We have started a new section on the forum. Im going to be taking screen grabs of new channels as they launch onto the satellites in the skies above Europe, and posting the info on the forum. Now - we arent aiming to cover every channel launch on every obscure satellite - just the most of the interesting ones on the main satellite clusters. The new secton is here:,38.0.html Come and ...

November 13, 2006

Feedhunting for non feedhunters

by Analoguesat
Satellite feedhunting for non feedhunters Feedhunting is a strange world. You just never know what you’re going to turn up on a satellite feed, and I guess that’s part of the attraction. The feedhunter is a committed individual. Whether they are tracking down feeds for their own enjoyment or for the benefit of others, they have a nose for finding the interesting, sought-after or just plain bizarre live satellite transmissions that Joe Public were just not meant to see. Feeds can take many forms and cover many things. More often that not, they are located on the deliberately shifting sea of weaker transponders on satellites that have maybe moved on from full DTH commercial service. They are hidden from public view only by their unusual placement in the crowded digital skies and often little else. Most are simply Free to Air, or maybe just encoded in 4:2:2 format. Keen feedhunters have the equipment to cope with 4:2:2 though. It could be as simple and inexpensive as a Skystar2 PCI card. Some satellite feeds are encrypted however. Some employ systems which have been ‘hacked’ - i.e. the encryption system has been compromised, whilst others are secure. This all adds to the mystery and suspense. There is also a good deal of competition between recognised feedhunters to find and publish top feeds like Premiership football and other live sporting events etc. before anyone else. But most of the top guys don’t have any fantastic secret weapons in their arsenal. Sure, they have nice satellite kit, large dishes and fast-scanning receivers, but nothing that you can’t go out and buy on a reasonable budget. And that’s the whole point. For those that want to have a go, it’s well within your reach. All you’re lacking is their experience, but don’t let that hold you back!  Top tips for getting started and having some fun Limit yourself to one or two interesting satellites to begin with, and if possible, setup a dish large enough to receive signals from the weakest transponder. If you just want to use your existing dish, that’s fine too, but we reap what we sow ;) Have a look at Lyngsat/Flysat/KingOfSat etc. to find all the commonly identified ‘feed’ frequencies, and punch them into the transponder list in your receiver. Really, it’s best if you delete everything else on your chosen satellite, otherwise it can get a bit busy. Use the PC-based channel editor for your receiver if there is one. It will speed the process up considerably. Check the feed boards for details of previous feeds, and punch them in too. We have a great satellite feeds section here at Satellite Help. You will need to register to join the fun. An alternative to the above is to utilise the ‘Blind Scan’ facility of your receiver if it has one. If you just want a quick play then try this, but if you want to find the most interesting feeds, then setting up and maintaining a good set of feed transponders is the way to go. Receivers contain devices called tuners, this being one of the most critical internal components. It’s where the signal received by your dish/LNB is translated into something your TV can understand. Whilst some of them are very sensitive, others are far less so. The more sensitive the better for hunting down those often weak feed signals, but hey - you probably have your receiver already. If not, ask on our satellite TV forum to find the most suitable boxes.  Feed hotspots, which satellites should I be looking at? The top-ten feed-carrying satellites over Europe are probably: 16E - Eutelsat W2 12W - Atlantic Bird 1 22W - NSS 7 7E - Eutelsat W3A 10E - Eutelsat W1 & Eurobird 10 1W - Thor 2/3 & Intelsat 10-02 5W - Atlantic Bird 3 8W - Atlantic Bird 2 & Telecom 2D 15W - Telstar 12 5E - Sirius 2/3 Why not have a go? Post your findings on our feeds forum , even if they’re of a bizarre nature. It can be quite amusing to see famous TV presenters scratching their bums and swearing at the crew just before they go live on ‘public’ air!

October 30, 2006

Rumour mill has Sirius 2 moving from 5° E to 23.5° E

Sirius 2Rumour has it that the Sirius 2 satellite will ultimately be shunted across the arc to join forces with Astra 1D and Astra 3A at the orbital location 23.5° East to provide additional capacity for DTH services. Sirius 2 is owned by the Scandinavian enterprise Nordic Satellite AB (NSAB) of which Astra SES is the 75% majority stakeholder. NSAB is currently preparing for the launch of ...

October 12, 2006

Moving web hosts is so long-winded!

For something so logically straightforward, I've spent nearly twelve hours switching hosts today. Serves us right for having a portal, blog and forum I suppose, as each has a different set of complexities. Actually, I haven't minded doing it at all. Twelve hours of fun as opposed to hard graft, but I've had enough now... need a rest! :D The easiest to do was the blog. OK it's pretty simple internally with only ...

October 7, 2006

Microsoft warns software pirates

Microsoft Corp's upcoming Windows Vista computer operating system will include technology that is designed to prevent pirated copies from fully functioning, the software giant said. Reduced functionality is already a part of the Windows XP activation process, but Windows Vista will have a reduced functionality mode that is enhanced, Microsoft said on its Web site on Wednesday. Microsoft said the upcoming releases of Windows Vista and also Windows Server "Longhorn" will be ...

July 31, 2006

I know the satellite world’s a little slow right now, but really…

Hang on, what are these guys up to? Is this first fella actually cutting up a perfectly good satellite dish? What? Is there some new kind of dish-hatred fetish that I've missed out on? OK, so it wouldn't be the first fashion that just blew right past me without even registering on the old satellite-help-o-meter, but come on... Minus 90 ElevationAnd ...

July 7, 2006

How cool is that?

It's not very often that I like something that Sky comes up with. More often than not, I have to refrain from even talking about Sky until after the kids have gone to bed because of the colourful language that's scattered liberally throughout my rant. This time though, I have to hold my ...

June 30, 2006

BBC edges into World Cup lead as Celts tune in

Almost as many football fans are tuning in to the World Cup in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as in England. Ahead of today's first quarter-final between host country Germany and Argentina, figures for the opening 56 games of the tournament show that more than three-quarters of people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have tuned in to at least one match. In England the figure is 81%. Altogether nearly 45 million ...

June 17, 2006

Astar 1KR declared operational at 19E, Astra 1B to be deorbited.

by Analoguesat
Technical tests completed / Further strengthening of ASTRA fleet SES ASTRA, an SES GLOBAL company (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG), announces today that its new satellite ASTRA 1KR has been deployed at the company’s prime orbital 19.2° East and is now operational. The satellite was successfully launched from Cape Canaveral on 20 April onboard an Atlas V rocket and has now completed extensive testings of its hardware and broadcasting ...

June 10, 2006

BBC HD transmission info? FTA World Cup Feeds?

This month at Can't find the World Cup game you're after? Then you need our brand new feeds section! Satsid has joined us from one of the biggest satellite forums to run our feeds section, so come and check it over and see if you can track down that elusive match. Loads of other interesting and funny feeds posted too, including plenty of international sport. Satellite TV Feeds HDTV ...