King Dome Satellite TV antenna

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Dolphin Jockey

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Hi Folks,

My new Dolphin is coming with provisions for a King Dome satellite TV antenna.  Does anyone have any pros or cons about a King Dome?  Are they difficult to install, or should I leave it for the pros?

Best regards,
George
 

Tom

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George

The king Dome is relatively easy to install -  a few screws to hold it to the roof, a control cable, and coax(es). Why not have the dealer install it as part of your deal?

One issue we've found with the King Dome is that rain affects the signal much more than an open dish. Although the latter don't look as pretty, they don't appear to suffer from the same problem.
 

Dolphin Jockey

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Tom said:
George

The king Dome is relatively easy to install -  a few screws to hold it to the roof, a control cable, and coax(es). Why not have the dealer install it as part of your deal?

I tried that, after the deal closed.  Asked the salesman to give me his "best price" on one and that I'd pay for it separately.  He towed me out of the office area to where he couldn't be heard by anyone and suggested I buy it from Camping World because they can't compete with CW's price.  If they didn't want a sale, that was fine with me so I dropped the matter.  Camping World doesn't sell the King Dome, or at least it's not in their catalog or on their web site..

One issue we've found with the King Dome is that rain affects the signal much more than an open dish. Although the latter don't look as pretty, they don't appear to suffer from the same problem.

Thanks, my friend.  I'll take that into consideration.

Best regards,
George
 

BernieD

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George Mullen said:
My new Dolphin is coming with provisions for a King Dome satellite TV antenna.  Does anyone have any pros or cons about a King Dome?  Are they difficult to install, or should I leave it for the pros?

Hi George

We have a King Dome on our coach and are quite satisfied with it. I would think your best price on one would be the installers at an FMCA rally. The installation cost wouldn't be much more and you get people who "usually" :D know what they are doing.

Dome dishes are more prone to dew and rain tho we haven't had that much of a problem since it doesn't rain that much where we tend to go. I have heard that open dishes are prone to wind, so maybe you just have to choose your poison ;D ;D ;D

And congratulations on the new coach. We are sure you will really enjoy it.
 

Karl

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Wind does cause some problems with the external dish, but only when it's pretty gusty. Mine will occasionally slip a tooth on the locking gear, but that's only happened a couple of times and is easily brought back on the bird. Mine also has the round, local channel omni antenna (worthless), and the additional hardware up there rattles around a bit more than those without it. Spring and summer in Wisconsin can have a lot of rain, so the dome wouldn't be a good choice for me.
 

Tom

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George Mullen said:
Camping World doesn't sell the King Dome, or at least it's not in their catalog or on their web site.

That just shows how good my memory is George. I'd have sworn that I'd seen them in CW stores. As I'm sure you know,  CW occasionally has free, or nearly free, installation specials running.
 

DonJordan

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George,

Check out the Moto-Sat dishes.? The Executive, the MD-500, and the MHD-500 are open frame units but are extremely ruggedly built.? The mounting base on each unit is about a foot wide and over 3 feet long.? There are 14 screws holding it to the roof so it would taike a hurricane to cause any problems.? The gear systems are also very rugged and we NEVER have any problem with wind causing signal drop outs.? We have had wind gusts over 60 mph here in Yuma and the picture never wavered.? The MHD-500 is for High Definition TV on DirecTV and has 3? skewable dual LNBs.? The Executive is a non-skewable unit for use with a single satellite at a time while the MD-500 is a skewable dish that can receive two satellites at the same time.? They are NOT CHEAP but IMHO you can't beat them for quality.? Check them out at http://www.motosat.com/.
 

Dolphin Jockey

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For Bernie, Karl, Tom and Don,

Thanks guys for your inputs.  Really great information that will take time to digest.  Right now my biggest "roadblock" to the dish-on-the-roof issue is the one I sleep next to at night (and occassionally during the day).  She's under-impressed with TV domes; thinks they're ugly.  Add that to the fact that our Dolphin has a very clean roof line (no A/C units on the roof) and it will be an up-hill battle to get a roof-mounted dish.  Oh, well.

Again, thanks to all for your comments.  They're much appreciated.

Best regards,
George
 

Tom

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George Mullen said:
our Dolphin has a very clean roof line (no A/C units on the roof)

That's a very good reason not to add a roof-mounted antenna of any kind George, dome or otherwise. Sounds like you might be looking at a plywood mount.

BTW some folks paint their KingDome to match the paint on the coach. I had Monaco provide me with the paint, but it still has the original white color.
 

Jim Dick

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kkolbus said:
Wind does cause some problems with the external dish, but only when it's pretty gusty. Mine will occasionally slip a tooth on the locking gear, but that's only happened a couple of times and is easily brought back on the bird. Mine also has the round, local channel omni antenna (worthless), and the additional hardware up there rattles around a bit more than those without it. Spring and summer in Wisconsin can have a lot of rain, so the dome wouldn't be a good choice for me.

Karl,

It's true wind will affect a dish but my Motosat has only lost the signal once from wind in 6 years. :) I know the Hurricane dishes being installed by some dealers are very prone to wind conditions. We were in a very heavy wind storm in QZ two years ago where I could not walik fully upright. The dish never lost the signal!

 

Ron

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George,

Just my two cents here.  If I were to be in the market for a TV satellite dish I would not even consider a dome type of any make.  Little moisture as little as a little dew and you do without TV.  Even though we don't have a Motosat TV Dish, our coach came with a Datron which we do not even use now, The only TV satellite dish I would even consider if we were in the market is the Motosat.  I have been through their factory and I have seen the quality they put into them and IMHO they are second to none.  End of Story.



 

John From Detroit

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There is another consideration with roof mounted antennas, and this is the reason I'm considering TWO systems.

If you are parked in the campground's "overflow" area where the shade trees are going to be planted.... Some day... And there is no rain or dew or other interference... They work great

If you are parked in the shady well overhung spot where you can't even see the sun at high noon.. They work not at all

Where as a tripod mount might be able to get a clear view from one end or the other of the site

Now.... That is the major argument in favor of tripods

Now an argument in favor of domes... Dew is not usually a problem at 55mph, tends to dry off quickly

And most of the domes will let whomever is not driving watch (or record) their favorite dramas while in motion
 

Dolphin Jockey

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Don,

I checked out the Motosat MD500 and it appears to be a good choice, expeciall given Ron's testimonial (Thanks, Ron).  There is one critical specification I've not found yet.  Does it have a single LNBF feeding one TV, or does it have dual LNBFs which can feed two TVs?  I *must* have dual LNBFs; otherwise, it's no sale.  Need one to feed Jean's TV (the big one above the dash; the other, to feed the TV tuner for my notebook.

Best regards,
George
 

Ned

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George,

According to the Motosat web site, the MD500 has dual RG-6 coax feeds, so that would imply dual LNBFs.? See http://www.motosat.com/products/specs/index.html and click on MD500, the Specifications.

The MD500 needs 2 coax feeds due to the dual satellites required for Dish-500.  You will probably need a multiswitch to feed both receivers from the one antenna.
 

DonJordan

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Ned said:
George,

According to the Motosat web site, the MD500 has dual RG-6 coax feeds, so that would imply dual LNBFs.  See http://www.motosat.com/products/specs/index.html and click on MD500, the Specifications.

The MD500 needs 2 coax feeds due to the dual satellites required for Dish-500. You will probably need a multiswitch to feed both receivers from the one antenna.

Ned, the MD-500 has internal multiswitches and feeds both the 110 and 119 Dish satellites to BOTH COAX OUTPUT CABLES.  In other words, either coax feeds the complete DISH line up of channels to two separate receivers if you so chose.  As a matter of fact the MD-500 doesn't NEED to use both coax outputs.  Either one will work.  As a matter of fact, as supplied, there is a rubber cap over one of the coax output connectors.  It is without a doubt the most sophisticated automatic RV satellite antennas available.  It ships with the Nomad controller which is also a pretty neat and sophisticated unit.  It has only two push buttons on the front: Seek and Stow.  It uses the new DVB satellite identifier system.  It's programmed internally to start looking at an average elevation and scans back and forth raising and lowering the elevation on alternate scans until it hits a satellite signal.  It checks the DVB signature against its internal data base and then if it's not the correct satellite (programmed into the unit by DIP switch setting on the rear of the unit) it continues looking.  Once it locates the correct satellite (119 for DISH) it then fine tunes the pointing for strongest signal and then finally skews the dish to maximize the 110 satellite signal.  The first time you use it it can take as much as 10 minutes to present you with a picture.  However the next time you move and then set up again the time will be much shorter (a couple of minutes or less) as it remembers its last coordinates and starts from there.  This really cuts the search time unless you are moving clear across the country without using the antenna  ;D ;D .

Do you think I'm a happy camper with this new unit?  You bet your sweet bippy I am <VVBG>  ;D ;D ;D
 

Jim Dick

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kkolbus said:
Jim,

If I had it to do over again, I would go with the Motosat - much beefier. Interestingly, my DirecWay tripod wiggles around during heavy wind, but has never lost the connection yet, and it's much more fussy - or so I thought.

Karl,

I've been very satisfied with my Motosat and would get another if needed.

 

Jim Dick

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George Mullen said:
Don,

I checked out the Motosat MD500 and it appears to be a good choice, expeciall given Ron's testimonial (Thanks, Ron).  There is one critical specification I've not found yet.  Does it have a single LNBF feeding one TV, or does it have dual LNBFs which can feed two TVs?  I *must* have dual LNBFs; otherwise, it's no sale.  Need one to feed Jean's TV (the big one above the dash; the other, to feed the TV tuner for my notebook.

Best regards,
George

George,

I'm not familiar with the model number but I believe any dish can accept a dual LNB. I recently changed my single for a dual when I went with TIVO. I've seen them for around $30. I would not doubt you can order it with the dual.

 

Dolphin Jockey

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Ned said:
George,

According to the Motosat web site, the MD500 has dual RG-6 coax feeds, so that would imply dual LNBFs.  See http://www.motosat.com/products/specs/index.html and click on MD500, the Specifications.

The MD500 needs 2 coax feeds due to the dual satellites required for Dish-500.  You will probably need a multiswitch to feed both receivers from the one antenna.

Hi Ned,

I found the specs your referenced.  Had been to the site earlier today but missed the "2 x" portion of the cabling specs.

As for the multiswitch, I'm using a DISH 500 antenna on a tripod mount and it requires two multiswitches to feed my two receivers.  Each multiswitch is needed to feed the outputs from a 119 degree LNBF and a 110 degree LNBF on a single line to one receiver.  Same story for the second receiver.  I would imagine the Motosat MD500 is set up the same way, except that the multiswitches are integral to the antenna system.  Don also had a good explanation.  Thanks, Don.

Best regards,
George
 

Ned

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Don,

Thanks for the detailed info on the MD-500.  Another excellent design from Motosat, it seems :)  I didn't see any of that explained on the web page.

The Nomad technology will be incorporated in the next Datastorm controller as well.  The current model, the D2, has just the 2 buttons but doesn't have the DVB capability.  That will be in the next model, making the Datastorm usable with any satellite system, not just DirecWay, and not dependent on the modem for signal strength when pointing.
 

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