Thanks for the guidance. The more I look at it the less I think using any of the FTA Gear makes sense. It seems ShawDirect bundles their gear to make it relatively painless for the user so why muck about with other stuff.
I was originally going to go with a Bell system here. A Sister and some friends have Bell and I've toyed around with it, and so I read up on it in more detail. I discounted it when I checked the elevation and direction the Dish would need last winter. (I walked on the lake in early February, and with a crude transit figured we'd need a pole 124 feet high to clear the mountain behind the Cabin to get a shot at Bell's Birds
) The nearest neighbor with a Bell dish is over a Km away where the terrain is far less challenging.
I have looked at the neighbor's ShawDirect dish (in envy.... actually it is an older Starchoice Dish as I remember) but as he lives there year round, he's away working in Kamloops most days, and not about much to chat with. I'll look him up again on my next trip in a week or two. I don't know if he'd be interested in sharing his dish, or even if it's HD capable. (If I'm going to all this effort we want to be able to get HD. I've read posts where folks say the picture quality of ShawDirect in HD is better than Cable & Bell. Is this true?)
I've looked at the rear connections for the DSR505 and DVR530 (on the photos on the spec sheet), and noticed the DVDR530 has two F connections for the dish feed whereas the DSR505 has one. I assume the 2 feeds are so you can watch one stream while recording another. If this true I'd need to use 2 feeds from my neighbor's dish? That's probably unreasonable to expect. Maybe we'll supply a replacement dish with a quad LNB to put on his pole and then it would be more palatable.
One of my other neighbors has told me that no local (Kamloops) installers would bother with his install unless they gave them a blank check with no guarantees on results. I'm trying to do this as frugally as possible, and have time (and some relatives for labor) to get it done. (2 other Brothers are Electricians, and another has his PHD in Electrical Engineering => but we don't let him do any of the real work...
I did look up the Anik F1 & F2 footprints and it seems if we can see these Birds (around the mountains and trees) not much would be gained with the 75e as the Kamloops area is still in the strongest signal geography. Do you agree?
Moose, I also looked up the RG-11 cable. (Wow - a 14 AWG center conductor!) Not that I wouldn't love to have this type but I'd like to avoid this if at all possible, not only because of the costs, but it's very stiff and I don't have the termination tools like for RG-6. Doesn't inserting a booster midpoint introduce an extra connection / possible failure point? I was hopeful to run a continuous cable run (no joints) from the Dish to the Cabin Wall. From an amplification standpoint does the location make any difference? I'd think the output of the LNBs before any cable would be the cleanest signal to amplify (before any noise is introduced by connections / adjacent power lines /etc.). Comments?
I'm thinking of direct buried cable especially if we are using the neighbor's Dish /Pole. Anyone know of any tables suggesting cable type versus run length for Sattelite feeds? Does Shaw have any installer specs to work from?
Thanks again for helping me out with this.