Freesat

Last week, I received a bunch of stuff I had ordered from SatCure. Cable, F-Plugs, silicon paste, that sort of thing. They provide a easy to use shopping list grouping the usual stuff together, rather than you having to trawl the site looking for what you’re after.

Yesterday though, my region 2 dish with quad LNB arrived. It was pretty straight forward to assemble. No instructions came with it, but they can be downloaded from here.

I wanted to have a play with my kit, but it was a work night, there was only an hour of light left and I was not really in a position or the mind set to embark on the full installation. I set the dish up on a camera tripod and pointed it in the general direction of the astra cluster.

Previously I had spent some time looking at Dish alignment with Dishpointer to get my compass bearing and elevation. This is a great resource if you’re planning an installation. Before looking at this, my assumed best location for my dish was way off. Completely the wrong side of our house!

I hooked up a satellite finder and an old sky digibox that hadn’t been used for five or more years. I didn’t really expect much of the box, but figured that it would at least power the satellite finder. Sure enough, even on my dish and tripod test rig, it was reasonably easy to fine tune the position.

Again fore reading resources such as Martin Pickering’s eBook and these sites helped:

The digibox didn’t lock at first. This would usually suggest that I was pointing at the wrong satellite, but I was more confident with the orientation than I was with the state of the box. Being a a software engineer faced with a hardware problem, I went through a couple of power down cycles; sure enough a few minutes later I had a lock, 50% signal strength (with meter still in-line) and 75% quality. A pretty pleasing result for no more than an hour of tinkering, and that’s an hour from unwrapping, and getting all the kit together. Lining up took no more than a few minutes.

0This has definitely given me the confidence to proceed with the installation proper.

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