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Jimsathome 2010-08-15 03:10 AM

Tico & All,

Sorry for my Tardiness.

I wrote a great post and went to submit it and it was gone. I don't know what happened but I'm miffed. It's tough being on Dial-up again...

Yes, I'm at the Cabin. I've been here about a week. The weather is fabulous. I bought a great ski boat off one of my Brothers and I've been ripping all over the lake. We are having a great time. ;)

I did get to check on the ability to "see" the ShawDirect Birds. Unfortunately is seems like a no go from the Cabin. I even stood on a step ladder by the water and used my crude sextant but all I saw was trees => and not the sky over Harper Mountain.:(

But all is not lost. My Brother in law built a new House next door to the Cabin (He lives here year round) => see previous photo =it's on the right. It's got a very high peak at the front. I talked him into checking for "sky" from it (He's a Steelworker and heights don't bug him at all :rolleyes:). He said at 150 degrees magnetic (I brought a compass) and using my crude sextant (level with a 31 degree slope) he easily sees over the mountain when sitting on the peak. He said if we mount a dish about 3 feet up there should be no problem if my data and instrumentation are correct.

He's a bit of a skeptic as both Starchoice and Bell in Kamloops had told him a long time ago (for his old smaller house) there was no way he'll get a Signal. He says if I can prove my premise he'll buy a ShawDirect Account and I can use 2 of the 4 outputs from the Dish for the Cabin. The Cable runs would be quite manageable compared to digging 300 feet down the road. (He's already bought 1000 feet of cable on a spool!) So I'll go looking for some cheap hardware for testing purposes.

I'll be back in Vancouver for a Doobie Brothers concert on the 21rst so it will happen after that. (Labour Day??)

By copy to Tico,

Can you advise any easy sightings I can do while I'm here to corroberate the info above? Is the Moon or Mars in the right part of the sky at night?

Thanks for the assist!

tico 2010-08-15 11:41 AM

Hey there Jimsathome - a quick peek at the planetarium reveals:

Best we can do tonight (A few degrees high, but worth a look if you are awake):
Aug 16 05:40 Montreal Time (02:40 BC Time)
Jupiter: 162 Degrees X 39 Degrees

Best upcoming:
Aug 25, 03:20 Montreal Time (0:20 BC Time):
Moon: 161 Degrees X 32 Degrees

** Few good nights of moon sightings starting around Aug 25 if you will be there.

lonnie 2010-08-15 03:47 PM

as we get closer to the end of september/ beginning of october the sun will be passing behind the satellites at around noon in your location, daylight savings time. all you would have to do then is look to see where the shadows are falling and that tells you not to put the dish there. for now you could guesstimate a few degrees below the sun at noon is where the satellite is

Jimsathome 2010-08-27 04:06 AM


I'm headed back up to the Cabin tomorrow. We attended the concert (It was Great :p) and my niece's wedding yesterday (the first Wednesday wedding I've ever been to :rolleyes:)

By the way, I have already said this is fine but the skeptics want me to confirm, can recievers from two separate accounts (ours and my brother in law's) share the same dish? (I see no issue here.) Can I put in a 4x8 Multiswitch off this dish so he can have 4 inputs and so can we?

I've got a 60e dish and a 505 receiver to see if I can get a decent signal. So wish me luck.:cool:

Pinza 2010-08-27 05:44 AM

Yes it is posible to feed multiple Receivers from multiple accounts off 1 Dish, providing they were all used on the same type of Dish/LNBF before, as I believe this is revelant with Shaw Direct.

987654321 2010-08-27 07:55 AM


Can I put in a 4x8 Multiswitch off this dish so he can have 4 inputs and so can we?
Yes you can. If you had your receivers hooked up to a stacked dish before (beer can LNBFs); you will need to call SD to get your maps changed to "non-stacked".

Jimsathome 2010-08-27 12:03 PM


Thanks for the insight. The Dish I'm using is a 60e with the standard Quad LNB:

to go on top of his house - the blue house next to the brown one - see arrow:

His recievers will be brand new ones - maybe a 630 to start. All that is to be decided after the system viability is confirmed =>at my risk and his peril climbing to the peak of his house and mounting the dish. (I'll be the ground guy ;))

I think we'll need about a 3 foot extension to the standard mount so we'll have to find something on the fly (Home Depot or ?). Do you folks have any other installation tips as I'm a Rookie at this?

tico 2010-08-30 01:48 PM

Installation tips -- if you've got access to steel pipe, (2" I think, but better to check on the dish itself, maybe it's 1.5"), you can do away with the original base altogether and put something really solid together - with guy wires or angled braces. If you go through the roof, make sure to spread some roof tar (from a tube) on your lag bolts to avoid future leaks - even better if you can stay on top of the overhang.

Important is to get the mounting pipe level on all sides, that way your elevation marks on the dish mount remain accurate as you sweep through azimuth side to side to peak the thing. It's critically important with a motorized dish, but it'll save some headaches on a fixed dish if you get it straight up and down the first time.

joshuals 2010-08-30 04:34 PM


2" I think, but better to check on the dish itself, maybe it's 1.5"
I recently mounted a new Shaw Direct 75e dish.....the pipe was 2" outside diameter, and the mounting bracket fits very snugly over it, and there is not a whole lot of "take-up" in the clamp. I was in hopes to mount the new dish on my old mast which was 1-3/4".....but nope.....couldn't get it tight enough.

Jimsathome 2010-09-01 03:07 AM


I thought I'd give you an update while I'm still here at the Cabin (We go home tomorrow.) I'm on dial up so I can't post photos until I get home.

My Brother in Law did mount the dish and we extended the mast about 3 feet. After trying to "find" the Birds for hours I gave up for the day.

The next morning I went to a neighbors (far left in the photo - the Tan House with the motorhome in front) who too wants Sattleitte TV. He's got an old (but workable) Transit, so I asked him to help check out where the Sats were hiding. We "shot" the Bird in front of his house by the lake (no luck => just trees), in front of our place (ditto) and my Brother in laws (ditto!!). It seems my brother in law did not hold the sextant I made level => even though I had him confirm it twice when we checked it out on my last trip. :rolleyes:

We went across the road and shot from there but still were 2.5 degrees low. Shaw (and Dishpointer) state elevation at 31 degrees. We needed 33.5 instead of 31 degrees to clear the Ridge above us on Mount Harper. My neighbor and Brother in law both wanted me to calculate how high the pole would have to be on the dock, or on the roof, to catch the Sats. I spent hours figuring out some logical way to estimate it and took some reference measurements (angles, elevations, and distances). My conclusions are the pole heights are rediculous in either case (about 75 feet). Does this sound accurate?

My neighbor wants to take a chain saw and cut down 3 dead trees that are blocking the Sats (Pine Beetles have killed lots of forest areas out west ) even though I figure (from Dishpointer) they are about 450 Meters away, and look to be 60 feet tall!!!

Instead I went to talk to the neighbor four doors west of us who has a Starchoice Dish (see previous photos) with a sinlge LNB. He was very cordial and said we could share his dish, or his pole, or mount his new dish and share it. He's got a 60e and an HD contract with a new LCD TV but has been too busy to install it. He's a mechanic and not into electrical much it seems. He said his dad (who owned the House before he bought it) put in the Pole and Dish about ten years ago. He said he only gets about 60 signal strenth because he thinks some trees have grown in the way. As we were there I decided we'd shoot his installation just for reference. I noticed before his pole was tilting back and off to the side about 1/4 inch at the top of the pole. So his dish seemed a bit skewed. Looking at 149 (Magnetic) the Dish was focused on some tall trees just behind his neighbor's house by the property line. He said he thought that was the case, and he'd already asked permission from the owner to top the trees, but was declined. He's also worried they might come down on his house in a wind storm. :(

We set up a very temporary Dish 5 feet away fro his and got a signal with not too much fussing about. (I'll post a photo) The best signal we got was 70 but only for a moment. Typically it would hold at 63 to 68 - depending on the wind. Channels 299, 284, 351, 354, etc. all worked. But I couldn't tweak the dish to get anything above this level. Are any of these channels on Anik F2, or are all of them on F1R? Is there a listing of what channel is on what Bird? All the passer's by wanted to know what we were doing so we started telling them we were surveying for a Skytrain line or a new Freeway...:p

One of the folks, who was walking his dog, said he too was on Shaw Direct (in the Condo's further west), but he couldn't get HD even though his signal strength was in the 90's. Is that possible? He said he had an installer come in (they will come to the Condos for installs - just not any further down our side of the lake), tweaked his dish, put on a new LNB, and say he was hitting trees and couldn't hit the HD Bird. So they took back his HD Receiver. This seemed very strange to me. Are all HD Channels on a different Bird than standard definition channels?

Anyway, I spent 3 afternoons trying to get this to work. We went back across from my brother in laws near his dock and tried the set-up that worked just 3 houses away. Those dam trees are still there...

Today it rainded most of the day, and frankly I was tired of trying to get the system to work when the geography is not cooperating. My perception is if you can't "see" the location for the Sats unobstructed, then there is no pole that can help you unless the foliage is a couple feet high.

I'd appreciate any and all comments and tips. Thanks.

tico 2010-09-01 09:53 AM

Hi there Jimsathome,

According to this thread:

Channels in the 701 to 710 range (french) are on the secondary sat (with the HD content). Even if you are not subscribed (not sure if they come in anyways), tuning to them should allow you to view the signal strength.

Also important to note is that the receiver must be set up by Shawdirect for the dish and LNB type as they have different types of outdoor hardware (stacked vs. non stacked). If your receiver is setup for stacked LNB's and you are trying to use the newer quad output LNB it will not "see" the second bird no matter what you do; it will be looking for it at the wrong frequencies.

Where did the receiver you are using come from? Was it connected and working on both sats? What kind of dish? -> these are some critical Q's you need to know the answers to prior to spending more energy on this.

If you find that you have an existing setup incompatible with the dish hardware - get a signal on the primary bird (able to tune channel 299) and then a call to shaw direct with your Serial or UA# and they will remap it for you.

Sirius Guy 2010-09-01 10:28 AM

ask the condo guy name of installer and call him, pay him cash for a site survey and install if possible. Best $150 you will spend.

joshuals 2010-09-01 04:42 PM


He's got an old (but workable) Transit
Hey-hey!!! an old retired surveyor, I'm sorry I didn't suggest this to you's just that not everyone has an old transit lying around....


It seems my brother in law did not hold the sextant I made level
Alas.....just like a scope on a rifle....a little bit off at the scope means a long way off at the target....


I spent hours figuring out some logical way to estimate it and took some reference measurements (angles, elevations, and distances). My conclusions are the pole heights are rediculous in either case (about 75 feet). Does this sound accurate?
Well, it's just trigonometry, but the accuracy of your result depends a lot on the accuracy of your estimation of the horizontal distance from your location to the top of the ridge. It's safe to say that trying to "raise the pole" to overcome an object that is hundreds of meters away is futile. Raising the height of the pole to overcome a close object is doable, but under your conditions, I'm skeptical. I'm sure you have already envisioned the extent to which you would have to "guy-down" a 75' high pole in order to make it stable enough to withstand even a moderate wind.....and that's not taking in to account getting it plumb and then getting up there to point the dish. I would advise you not to spend much more time on this option....


Is there a listing of what channel is on what Bird?
I still haven't figured how, or if, we are allowed to post links on this forum, but here's a somewhat cryptic link:

Go to: www--dot--lyngsat---dot---com
Then: /packages/shawf1_chno.html
And: /packages/shawf2_chno.html


All the passer's by wanted to know what we were doing so we started telling them we were surveying for a Skytrain line or a new Freeway...
This is a very old surveyor's may not make for good public relations, but it's a great way to tell nosey people to mind their own bleepin' business......


ask the condo guy name of installer and call him, pay him cash for a site survey and install if possible. Best $150 you will spend.
After all you've been through, I like this suggestion. In this economy, it's hard to believe an installer wouldn't travel a little ways further to pocket a little cash....

There is one other "bright spot" pun intended. As I pointed out back in June, you can use the "sun" at transit time, and as one other poster pointed out, enough time has elapsed since my post on sun transit that you will be able to check out this aspect in the fairly near future.

Apologize for all the misplaced humor, but I'm out of suggestions on this hard case....I do wish you luck in getting this resolved, though

Jimsathome 2010-09-02 04:07 PM


I got home about 8 last night after 8 hours of cleaning the Boat, the Garage, and driving 350 Kms. So I just unpacked and watched my Shaw Cable until bedtime. :rolleyes:

Today I decided to muck about here with the apparatus. I realised in my haste to unpack I left my camera with the photos in my Mom's minivan. So the pics will come later.

Tico, I borrowed a 505 from one of my brothers who's got a ShawDirect account to make sure we could get the system to work. The Dish I'm using is a 60e with the standard Quad LNB (Non-Stacked) - the same as my Brother's. (Isn't this the standard today? See previous photos.)

This morning as a lark I decided to see if I could set it up by myself in my front yard as it faces the right direction. I made a raised flower garden years ago near the house so I screwed the mount into the top 4X6 timber and shimmed it plumb with some cedar shakes I had in the garage. I used the same pole with the ~4 foot extension we jammed in at the Lake as I thought it would be a pain to remove. I then set the elevation @ 32 degrees or so, and the skew to 90. I mounted the dish on the pole loosely and started to scan about 145 Degrees (magnetic). In less than half an hour I was all set up and getting 92% signal on channel 284 (NBCHD).

I still don't know what channels are on what bird, and if I'm seeing both birds, but if I squint I can see the 14 inch TV I'm using in the Bright Sunshine out there today!

I'll post again with the revised plan for the Cabin soon => hopefully with some photos.

tico 2010-09-02 09:06 PM

Hey Jimsathome,

The standard today is as you have indicated. I was only trying to rule out a variable (maybe you were using a "test receiver" borrowed from a neighbor at the lake who is still on the stacked variety). Rule that one out.

I have a 530 which, by accessing the secret menus, allows me to see more details about the tuning status:

Channel 299, we know is on the primary bird. My 22kHz signal (which I know from my FTA receivers to be switching the LNB to between sats) is OFF for channel 299.

Channel 284, we both suspect to be on the secondary bird. My 22kHz signal is ON when tuned to this channel seemingly confirming our beliefs.

Initially, I couldn't get find anything on lyngsat, but I tried a few more times thinking that joshuals, who posted the info couldn't be out to lunch on that one. Here are the direct links: (I was clicking on the satellite name instead of the provider name after navigating to /packages).

That will clear up at least part of the which channel / which bird issue for sure.

Now, next thing to ponder for a while. To clarify which bird is which:
107.3 F1 (primary)
111.1 F2 (secondary)

Now, we know that due south of your position (true, not magnetic) will be the sat with the same longitude as yours. This will also be the highest in elevation Kamloops is about 120 degrees west longitude.

As you go further east / west from that satellite, the elevation decreases in an arc, until you are so far west or east that the satellite is below the horizon from your location.

Following that logic, 111.1 (Anik F2), the one with channel 284 on it is HIGHER in elevation for you than is 107.3 (Anik F1). unless the mountain has a funky shape to it right there, and you are sooooo close...?

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