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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 2010-09-12, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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HD Upgrade path & questions

I have an older Starchoice setup, originally installed in 2000. Now that the 630 HD/PVR is out (and appears to be getting reasonable reviews), I'm ready to start updating. So, working from the dish, here is my plan (and questions). If you see any wrong steps, or have any advice, please feel free to chime in.

Dish & LNBF
I have an elliptical dish with a circular/stacked LNBF. The stacked LNBF is great for multiple receivers, but I think it will have to go. I'm assuming I need to replace the circular/stacked LNBF with the new Quad LNBF.
Q. Will the new LNBF fit on my old dish?

Coax Cable
I currently have one run of RG6 from the LNBF to a splitter. I assume I will need 3 additional runs into the house. So, two lines to the 630, and one line to two older receivers.
Q. One of the locations I want to put a receiver has RG59, behind cedar walls. It would be impractical to open the wall; but I could probably get at it from the basement and shorten the amount of RG59 down to about 3m (i.e. the last 3m up to the jack in the wall). How much RG59 (if any) can be tolerated by an older receiver and still function?

Splitter
I currently have a satellite splitter. I assume I'll need to eliminate this. For now I think I have (just) enough runs (as per above), but if I add receivers, or convert older receivers to HD, then I will need a multiswitch.
Q. Any benefit to buying the multiswitch now vs. later?

Vendors
I see various packages offered by ShawDirect, *****, etc. but the prices all seem to be about the same. I bought my system from *****, but the shipping from Montreal to Invermere (small town in BC), will be discouraging.
Q. Are there any hidden benefits/penalites of buying from ShawDirect direct, or from a retailer?

Any other gotchas?

Thanks,
Jake
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 2010-09-12, 04:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Q. Will the new LNBF fit on my old dish?
YES, they fit interchangeably.
Sounds like you do not have the DUAL stacked, just a single, so a QUAD is needed (or DUAL Stacked) to get both satellite.



Quote:
Q. One of the locations I want to put a receiver has RG59, behind cedar walls. It would be impractical to open the wall; but I could probably get at it from the basement and shorten the amount of RG59 down to about 3m (i.e. the last 3m up to the jack in the wall). How much RG59 (if any) can be tolerated by an older receiver and still function?
Each line from a QUAD contains everything you need, so 1 line per tuner is required.
Since a QUAD tops out at 1450MHz, unlike the stacked that tops out at 2150MHZ, a short run of RG59 should eb OK.

I've spliced 2'" of RG6 outside into 30' of inside RG59 to a SD rx and it worked fine.
You distance shouldn't be a problem.


Quote:
Q. Any benefit to buying the multiswitch now vs. later?
Possibly that your can run 4 lines from the QUAD to the multiswitch and then distribute the lines out to the receivers as needed.
If you go direct and than later add a multiswitch, you may have a lot more reconfiguring to do.


Quote:
Q. Are there any hidden benefits/penalites of buying from ShawDirect direct, or from a retailer?
No personal experience there, but many of the big box stores that carry SD should be able to economically ship to you.

Try a FS or BB in Calgary maybe.
Compare that against SD.
Usually the retailer has a better price deal.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 2010-09-29, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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Here is a progress report.

The 630 and LNBF arrived yesterday, but it was raining so no activity outside.

Today I ran the 3 new lines of RG6. I got 500' of RG6 c/w Quad Shield, at Princess Auto for $50 +GST; BUT the snap 'n seal connectors I have are for RG6, not RG6 QS, so I have ordered some new connectors.

Then I attempted to install the LNBF; unfortunately the form factor at the end of the arm is slightly different. I talked to the retailer (KxSat in Montreal) and they agreed to send a new arm.

On a curiosity note, I measured the dish. It is 80 cm across and 40 cm tall. Now I'm a bit puzzled; cause I thought at least one of those dimensions would be 60 or 75. I bought it in 2000, so no trace of paperwork. Can anyone take some measurements on the 60e and the 75e and post here? Thanks!

Jake
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 2010-09-30, 02:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eejake52 View Post
Here is a progress report.

The 630 and LNBF arrived yesterday, but it was raining so no activity outside.

Today I ran the 3 new lines of RG6. I got 500' of RG6 c/w Quad Shield, at Princess Auto for $50 +GST; BUT the snap 'n seal connectors I have are for RG6, not RG6 QS, so I have ordered some new connectors.

Then I attempted to install the LNBF; unfortunately the form factor at the end of the arm is slightly different. I talked to the retailer (KxSat in Montreal) and they agreed to send a new arm.

On a curiosity note, I measured the dish. It is 80 cm across and 40 cm tall. Now I'm a bit puzzled; cause I thought at least one of those dimensions would be 60 or 75. I bought it in 2000, so no trace of paperwork. Can anyone take some measurements on the 60e and the 75e and post here? Thanks!

Jake
I just ran out side at 10:45 in my pyjamas and quickly measured a 60e across the face of the Dish (not the back). It's approximately 80 by 46 CM.

By the way the OEM (Channelmaster) has this number cast on the back of the dish as I remember.

I hope this is helpful.

Regards,
Jim
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 2010-09-30, 11:46 AM
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If you are upgrading from a single stacked to a quad you will have to get a new support arm as the ones for the singles were about 2 inches shorter. Way off on the focal point-you will lose 30-40 percent of your signal. Just out of curiosity, are you win a self install area? Shaw will update the dishes for free now if you are adding an HD box to you system.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 2010-09-30, 12:29 PM
 
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Shaw will definately do the upgrade for free if you get a 630. A neighbour in Windermere just got the free rental/$199 upgrade and it included running the new lines as she just had the 505 before and plans on keeping it as well.

Sony KDL-52XBR4,SD DVR530/630,Tosh HD-A2 HD-A30, Pana DMP-BD65, Pio VSX-1015,Energy C3,CC100,ESM-4,S8.2, Engenius WAP
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 2010-09-30, 12:40 PM
 
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Cool

Would it be possible to order the 630 from Future Shop as a system with a Dish. They offer free shipping on orders over $39.

Regards,
Jim
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 2010-09-30, 01:01 PM
 
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re: rg59

One of the lines in my house is probably rg59 from the basement up to the 2nd floor. It works fine for my 505.

It wouldn't hurt to see if it would work before u replace it.

Peter

Panny 47wx52, DMR-e80*C DSR500x2, XBOX 360, Toshiba 26hf84, LG 37LC2D
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 2010-09-30, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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JimSatHome - Thanks for doing the pajama dash - I checked the back of my dish and it is indeed a 60e.

Eazy27 - you are absolutely correct about the arms being different lengths. I spotted the local Starchoice installer just as he was finishing a job up the street, and he agreed to give me a new arm out of his truck. Wish I had known about the free installation before I started. Will StarChoice send their installer even if I bought the LNBF & HD receiver elsewhere?

Meanwhile, I put the new LNBF & new arm on the dish, and now I can't get any signal at all. Tried using a tv & receiver right at the dish, and also tried a radio shack sat finder - nothing. I've done satellite aiming a dozen times, so I'm pretty sure it isn't me. I suspect the LNBF still isn't quite at the focus point of the dish, but I don't see how to prove/disprove that. I put the old arm & LNBF back on, and everything works as before (but not HD of course). Any ideas or suggestions are welcome.

Jake
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 2010-09-30, 10:47 PM
 
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by eejake52 View Post
JimSatHome - Thanks for doing the pajama dash - I checked the back of my dish and it is indeed a 60e.

Any ideas or suggestions are welcome.

Jake
Jake,

Setting these up once the mounting pole is plumb (in both planes) is really not too tough. This is especially true if you run an extension cord to the reciever and TV near the dish. But make sure you've got the mount 100% vertical, and solid, before putting the dish on.

It is pretty much a simple follow the instructions in the manual (see link below) to get a signal.

http://www.shawdirect.ca/english/sto...Manual_Eng.pdf

Please advise how it goes.

Regards,
Jim
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 2010-10-01, 11:22 AM
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The alignment of a single dish and a quad are quite a distance apart-a few degrees if I remember correctly. Shaw will install the dish doesn't matter where you purchased it. That is what Simple Satellite was all about
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 2010-10-06, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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It's all working now.
Here is the summary:
- new quad LNBF requires a different offset arm than older circular/stacked
- apparently the skew changes between single/dual satellite installations
- re-aiming the dish is easier if you know the (secret?) command to do a factory reset (this gets back to factory state, not just power off/on)
- Shaw charges $100 to install a HD receiver c/w new coax runs; BUT, if you do the coax yourself, they will come out and re-aim the dish for free
- apparently you can use a lot of cable; I have one receiver (DSR401) on 30m of RG6, followed by about 15m of RG59; works fine

Thanks for all your help & suggestions.

Jake
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