Satellite dishes

Nov 26, 2008
156
1
18,585
Visit site
Auto search satellite dishes for vans are very expensive. Being total technical idiots with modern technology (due to our age) we once bought a manual setting one and failed to set it up not even knowing which satellite to look for. So, my question is, how difficult is it set up an auto search one ? Our van is less than three years old and has an aerial socket and a satellite socket in the van.
We don't go abroad so only for UK use
 
Sep 4, 2017
592
53
10,935
Visit site
I am in exactly the same position. Went out and bought a "flat" dish and still have not being able to tune it satisfactorily. Too many variables. To start with placing the tripod on the ground can leave a fairly large margin of error. (If the ground is not level) and only 1 deg can cause you grief! The one I bought also has "vague" graduation marks for elevation so I never knew if I was in the right plane. Just this weekend I saw a guy with a better dish, a Maxview Dish as shown in the picture. To start with it has a bubble level on the base so that you know the thing is level (and the stand is exactly vertical). Then it has a graduation scale on the side as shown, with each degree marked. The owner said it was easy to set up.

Dish http://www.qis-uk.co.uk/Pics/Maxview_Dish.JPG

Elevation adjustment http://www.qis-uk.co.uk/Pics/Maxview_Dish_Elevation.JPG

However I also spoke to a guy this weekend who had a self tuning all singing and dancing dish on the roof of his van, he swore by it and said if it was not tuned withing 5 minutes they get worried.

I will have to research self tuning dishes and find one that includes auto adjust LNB as well!

So It's back to the drawing board for me, exactly the same dilemma as you, buy a better tripod dish and see how that works or go for the full hog and get a roof mounted self tuning dish? Any comments welcome.
 
Nov 26, 2008
156
1
18,585
Visit site
Thanks for your reply - glad we are not alone ! My initial research on auto set up ones see prices of £600 plus, even over £1000. which seems a lot of money. However you can take it from van to van. I was even thinking, Could you use in the house with the lead through the window on a small TV to justify the cost ?
We just have basic TV at home, no paid channels so using it at home as well could make it feasible.
I find most people who say they are are easy to set up are either under 40 or work in the IT industry !!
 
Jul 18, 2017
12,423
3,495
32,935
Visit site
Pinto said:
Thanks for your reply - glad we are not alone ! My initial research on auto set up ones see prices of £600 plus, even over £1000. which seems a lot of money. However you can take it from van to van. I was even thinking, Could you use in the house with the lead through the window on a small TV to justify the cost ?
We just have basic TV at home, no paid channels so using it at home as well could make it feasible.
I find most people who say they are are easy to set up are either under 40 or work in the IT industry !!

We bought a Satfi RV twin and it is now on its 3rd caravan. Expensive but well worth the expense as no issue setting it up when it is pouring with rain outside. We have used it as far down as Valencia in Spain for Sky channels although we cannot get channels like BBC, ITV CH5 but who cares as we hardly ever watch those channels. LOL!
 
Apr 19, 2017
361
2
0
Visit site
Grey13 said:
However I also spoke to a guy this weekend who had a self tuning all singing and dancing dish on the roof of his van, he swore by it and said if it was not tuned withing 5 minutes they get worried.

I have watched (with some amusement) plenty of 'self-seeking' dishes scanning the sky around-and-around; up-and-down for several minutes before giving up and folding themselves neatly back down :)
 
Mar 14, 2005
1,371
344
19,435
Visit site
We used to have problems but now use

Maxview dish 65cm on tripod £12.00 from e bay
Bush Freesat box £26.00 from Argos
Sat finder meter £12.00 from e bay
Also use Satfinder on phone,
Secret is to point dish in direction of satellite shown on phone, turn dish until meter shows at least 6 lights, then adjust elevation until meter shows more lights, and sound increases,biggest problem I have is that you need a clear line of site to satellite, trees can be a big problem, our set up works in Brittany and UK
 
Nov 11, 2009
20,568
6,348
50,935
Visit site
We had a freestanding sat system similar to the Maxview that Grey mentioned. It was very easy to set up as the tripod had good adjustability and the scale graduations seemed precise. The spirit levels helped to ensure accurate positioning too. Then using the small "squeaky box"" it aligned with the satellite very easily.
When abroad I used to print off the azimuth and elevation angles for the satellite as seen from each site that we stayed at. That was in the good days when a 50cm dish could still likely pick it up in southern France
One advantage I found having the tripod type system is that I could move it around the pitch if for example some trees were affecting the direct line of site to the satellite.
 
Jun 20, 2005
17,490
3,618
50,935
Visit site
Years ago Sproket introduced me to the primesat range. Mine is similar to this https://www.satellitesuperstore.com/satellitemeters.htm#primesatsf500

We use our home Sky a plus box with a dual LNB and Maxview 65cm semi elliptic dish
The Maxview tripod is stable. It is not critical to have it absolutely level as the angle of elevation can be varied easily.
The primesat is quickly plugged into the dish and the rest is idiot proof. Unlike watching the signal strength and quality on the tv screen which is painfully slow to react the primesat is instant both audio and visual out puts.
 
Jul 18, 2017
12,423
3,495
32,935
Visit site
Not sure why people should have issues getting a signal even if there are trees around.. We use Goole Earth and when actually on the site make sure that we have a reasonably clear line of sight south.
As little things amuse us, we then watch people trying to get a signal with their status aerial with it going around and around and up and down. :cheer:
 
Nov 11, 2009
20,568
6,348
50,935
Visit site
Buckman said:
Not sure why people should have issues getting a signal even if there are trees around.. We use Goole Earth and when actually on the site make sure that we have a reasonably clear line of sight south.
As little things amuse us, we then watch people trying to get a signal with their status aerial with it going around and around and up and down. :cheer:

Well I guess that there are sites with “trees around” and sites with “trees around”. If you read the link from Dustydogs post above you will see trees in a Belgian forest site which complicated the setting up of the system as they obscured the line of sight to the satellite. I guess it’s a question of scale.
 
Jun 20, 2017
166
0
0
Visit site
I watched a bloke walk in and out of his caravan on saturday trying to set up his portable dish, took about 2 hours.
You could feel his tension form where I was, quite amusing :)
Last dish I had was about 8 years ago, never had a problem setting up just by using a compass for the initial direction then a signal indicator to fine tune.
Dont bother anymore, bought a nice pure DAB radio so spend the downtime reading and listening to that.

Kevin
 
Mar 14, 2005
17,760
3,172
50,935
Visit site
When I think back to when I started caravanning, we only had the BBC and ITV tv channels, and they closed at night with the national anthem somewhere around midnight. No such things as universal home phones, often phones were supplied on a party line, no post codes, Push A & B button public phones, Computers were bigger than the size of caravans, and caravan lighting were gas powered! How things have changed!

We learned to make family entertainment for the evenings playing board or card games, reading and spending time together as a family. And we still do it at home when the family comes round. I would encourage all caravanners to try it, and feel the benefit of quality family time and social interaction.

When I see caravanners today, with television and computers and teenagers in tow, as more often than not they have their eyes glued to a mobile phone, or making such efforts to keep in touch using high tech devices. I do fear for social values these days. They seem so insular.

But its each to their own, and whilst they may be struggling to get a good signal, It's nice to watch whilst sitting and sipping a Pimms as the sun goes down casting glorious golden light and shadows.

Cheers
 
Sep 4, 2017
592
53
10,935
Visit site
Hey Prof, grand sentiment, but my wife and I find it difficult just putting up the awning without getting DIVORCED - she would never ever cope losing game after game over a weekend and she does not even play "chess" ! I'm afraid the TV stays old chap!
 
Nov 11, 2009
20,568
6,348
50,935
Visit site
Kevin2306 said:
I watched a bloke walk in and out of his caravan on saturday trying to set up his portable dish, took about 2 hours.
You could feel his tension form where I was, quite amusing :)
Last dish I had was about 8 years ago, never had a problem setting up just by using a compass for the initial direction then a signal indicator to fine tune.
Dont bother anymore, bought a nice pure DAB radio so spend the downtime reading and listening to that.

Kevin

Could have offered him hand, there might have been a glass of wine in it! B)
 
Oct 8, 2006
1,790
555
19,935
Visit site
Remember years ago at CMC Morn Hill near Winchester watching a famil sped a good hor or so trying to erect their brand new awning - inside out! The guy in the next caravan, like me was laughing his socks off, so we waddled down to the newcomers and fixed it for them in about 15 mins. RTFM hadn't been invented then either!
 
Nov 11, 2009
20,568
6,348
50,935
Visit site
Craigyoung said:
Satellite dish ! Im just happy going in to turn the TV on and it's already setup with all my channels on digital TV :p

Craig theee are some sites where even now with terrestrial digital at full strength you can’t receive a signal. We stayed at one in Newtonmore and to assist the owners had put tv coax bollards up. But could we get a signal to the tv. All we got was mush. So next morning I handed the long lead back to the owner and told him I though there was a bad connection somewhere as I tried three bollards. He asked if I’d got the tv tuned to analogue. I said no as UK was all digital. It transpired that the site had transformed the five main digital channels to analogue as it was easier and cheaper to distribute over the site. Motto? Don’t overlook the impossible!
 
Mar 14, 2005
17,760
3,172
50,935
Visit site
Dustydog said:
Goodness me Prof ,
I didn’t even have a tv never mind bbc and itv :whistle:

Oh Dusty :huh: :huh:
Logical fo-par without a TV you couldn't have had any stations, However it is possible to have a TV but no signal so no stations. :lol: :lol: :lol:

I realise I may have misled you , I didn't mean we had a TV in teh caravan we didn't, I was just trying to set the time frame.
 
Jun 20, 2005
17,490
3,618
50,935
Visit site
ProfJohnL said:
Dustydog said:
Goodness me Prof ,
I didn’t even have a tv never mind bbc and itv :whistle:

Oh Dusty :huh: :huh:
Logical fo-par without a TV you couldn't have had any stations, However it is possible to have a TV but no signal so no stations. :lol: :lol: :lol:

I realise I may have misled you , I didn't mean we had a TV in teh caravan we didn't, I was just trying to set the time frame.
B&W :evil:
 
Oct 12, 2013
3,037
4
0
Visit site
Clive , thanks for the tip sometimes when I do need to retune it will ask me analogue or antenna so that's handy to know. Thank you. We too also have a about 2o m of cable that goes from the back of the TV into the EHU if need be.
 

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts