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Discussion Starter #1
Should I use 1 or 2 dishes?

This is my situation:

- I have an existing Bell ExpressVu 18” dish with dual-LNBs;
- The dish is aimed at Sat.91 (84% signal);
- Each RG6 coax-cable is connected to a separate 3100 SD-receiver;
- I’ve had this set-up for about 9 years, and it has worked well.

I now want to upgrade to HD.
Because I live in a remote area (actually in Metro Vancouver, but Bell says they don’t have an installer here), I have to do the upgrade myself.

I now have this new additional equipment on hand:

- 2 new 6131 HD-receivers (bought at Future Shop for $99 each on Dec.31);
- a new 20” dish (Bell mailed it to me with NO INSTRUCTIONS);
- 2 new dual-LNBs (mailed from Bell);
- a new SW44 switch with power-inserter & transformer (mailed from Bell).

I want to connect the 2 new 6131 receivers to get HD on 2 existing HD-capable TVs.
And I want to keep my 2 old 3100 receivers, to get SD signals on 2 other TVs.
A total of 4 receivers and 4 TVs.

I seem to have 2 options:

OPTION 1:
- Keep my old 18” dish with its dual-LNBs; don’t touch its alignment on Sat.91;
- Install the new 20” dish alongside (I have the space), and align its dual-LNBs to Sat.82;
- Connect the 4 RG6 coax-cables to the new SW44.

OPTION 2:
- Remove the old 18” dish and its 2 LNBs.
- Install the new 20” dish with a Y-connector and 2 new dual-LNGs;
- Connect the 4 RG6 coax-cables to the new SW44.

Which is the better option?
I am leaning towards Option 1, since I can leave the existing 18” alone, and then I would only have to align the 20” dish to Sat.82.
Having read how others have had problems with aligning a single dish for 2 satellites, I am tempted to go with the 2 dishes.
But is the existing 18” dish large enough for HD reception, or do I need the 20” dish for both satellites?
I don’t get much help from Bell on the phone. They don’t seem to know what I am talking about.
Can anyone advise me before I start climbing ladders?
 

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Option 1 with a little mod would be my suggestion.

Mount the new Dish, with it's 2 x LNBF's and run all 4 lines down inside the house, where you can add the SW44, set the Skew, then point it. This should be all you need but I would be tempted to leave the old 18" Dish in place for a while just in case.

I see no advantage for using 2 Dish's.
 

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I'm confused where you say dual "LNBs" above. Are you talking about 2 x LNB mounted side by side? If so, you can't align them to the same satellite (at least not efficiently).

Unless you have low signal in your area, there is no point in going with seperate dishes. In which case, just pull the 18" off the mast and pop the 20" in its place. Following the dish alignment thread, run the extra lines, install the SW44. Very standard / typical install.
 

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I think he referring to an LNBF with 2 outputs.
 

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(Bell mailed it to me with NO INSTRUCTIONS)
The instructions are in the 6131 manuals. Set the elevation and skew from the chart in the manual. If you are between major cities, the values can be extrapolated or a calculator from an online site can be used. After they are set. Take the old dish off the mounting post and mount the new one in it's place. Aim for maximum signal.
 

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Assuming the old Mast is Vertical of course, otherwise all bets are off.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Many thanks for all the replies.
I took your advice, and removed my old 18" dish, and replaced it (on the original mast) with the new 20" dish.

Yes, Scary, I had hoped that the 6131 User Guide would have some info to help in installing the dish.
But the User Guide has no such info. Nothing about dishes, nothing about alignment, nothing about needing 4 RG6 cables to connect a dish, nothing about SW44 switches. Nada.

So I've got everything working now, 2x3100 and 2x6131 receivers, and I phoned Bell to get the new receivers activated, and the programming came through within an hour.

The one thing that confused me was 'Skew'.
I went to the http://www.dishpointer.com site. And I made sure to select 'Multi-LNB Setups'.
However the Skew was given as 64.9deg CCW.
That didn't make any sense to me, I couldn't rotate the dish that much. So instead, I rotated it by 90deg minus 64.9deg equals 25.1deg. And that worked.
It helped that I had a look at my neighbour's dish, to see which way it was skewed. And I copied that by skewing my dish the same way: lower to the NE, and higher to the SW (that seems to be the convention in Western Canada anyway).

Thanks again. This is a great site.
 
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