Satellite TV??

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steph

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We are interested in putting in satellite tv on our Class C motorhome.? We don't need the ones that can work while you are going down the road but do want one that automatically obtains the signal once we are stopped.
Anybody have any advice and/or recommendations on what kind of satellite?? ????? We will be using Dish Network and a receiver we already have if that makes any difference.
Thanks!!!!!
 

Bob Buchanan

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steph said:
Anybody have any advice and/or recommendations on what kind of satellite?? ????? We will be using Dish Network and a receiver we already have if that makes any difference.
Thanks!!!!!

While in Gila Bend, AZ earlier this year, I installed a King Dome system. I'm a certified Starband Internet Satellite dish installer and trainer -- so got a bit of a deal from the dealer I work through, plus I did the install myself. FWIW, the install is not very difficult so some dollars can be saved by doing it yourself.

There are a number of models to choose from, but three general types of KD systems. Mine is one step below the one you describe. Yes, there is a model that you just push a button and it finds the right bird for you. The one I have has a remote. I first push a button that rotates the dish until it finds the correct Elevation that I have obbtained from my TV -- or my list of positions that I maintain on all the places I've ever been and used Sat TV. I then push another button and it finds the correct Azimuth.

I am told that this type of unit will get the RVer to the right bird quicker than the fully automatic dish -- but I have never witnessed a test between the two types. Also, the pricing on the dish that stays with the bird during travel would be the ultimate, but for me was price prohibitive. I am a solo RVer with TiVo. It would be great to grab my favorite stuff during a days travel vs. having to stop to record it.

Finally, my KD has a feature that remembers the previous bird if on Dish network - so can move back and forth between the two if necessary. I am a DirecTV person so only deal with one bird.



 

steph

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Thanks Bob.? I will look into those.? My husband will? install hisself.? ?I will give him the info you gave.? The one you have sounds nice too.? The one that goes while you drive would be nice but more $ then we want to put in right now.?
Have a great day!
 

Ned

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I have never seen the advantage of a fully automatic satellite TV antenna.  We have the Winegard manual antenna with the Elevation Magic and it rarely takes me more than 1 min.. to find the satellite and peak the signal.

The dome antennas are more subject to rain fade due to a smaller effecitve reflector and also are subject to loss of signal due to condensation on the dome itself.
 

steph

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Thanks for the info.? Please keep it coming.? We are not very familiar with these types of satellites.?
This is our first RV. (and boy we have enjoyed it- rving is great)
 

John From Detroit

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Ron said:
If I were to buy a TV automatic Satellite Antenna it would be a Motosat. 

I did, it is :)

And for Ned.  Every mount has it's advantages, In the case of TV antennas there are 4 mounts and I'll list them and their advantage

1: Tripod.  Lowest cost, and possibility of moving tripod out from under the tree you are parked under (MAJOR ADVANTAGE THERE) Every Sat-Tv motor home owner should have a tripod dish Even if they have one of the following, for this reason.

2: Manual roof mount, Easier to store, Easier to set up, and not much different cost wise than a tripod, However there is that stupid signal eating tree you are parked under

3: Automatic roof mount,  Easiest set up and storage of all Push a button, it's done)

4: Fully automatic tracking roof mount.  Can track the satellite whie in motion, works well save for when you drive under something Bridge, the above mentioned )(!*)@(!*&[email protected] Tree) Mountain) and allows a DVR/Receiver to record the Mrs's daytime dramas as you move from CG to CG.  Most expensive of all options and yes the tree gets in the way

and for NED:  Now you know why I have a DOME

Motosat domes are least affected by rain... What this means is that when it starts to rain the first to loose signal won't be a Motosat, in fact it will be last.
 

steph

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Thanks John for that great information.? Gives me a comparison of all the choices.?
So I take it Motosat is the best?? How long have you been using it??
Thanks again. :)
 

Ned

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If you really want an automatic antenna, the Motosat products are the premier choice, but there are others to choose from, both domed and dish type.
 

ChinMusic

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With the automatic tracking types, do you lose the signal everytime you go under an overpass?  If so, how long does it take to find the bird again?
 

John From Detroit

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Yes, you loose the signal when you go under an overpass. The "Lost signal" message pops up and by the time you read it you have signal back, the dish controller knows about bridges... now here in Michigan we have a few "Tunnell bridges" these are bridges but instead of a cross road it's a park over 100 yards wide, these tunnell bridges are long enough they have lights on inside them day and night.    I suspect I might well loose lock when I go through one of these but frankly have never checked.  Normally the only place you find something like that is near an airport.  Or on the Interstate 696 international speedway here in Michigan (Ok Ok, it's a regular freeway 60mph limit but tell that to the guy ticketed twice in one week for 105mph

Some find it too annoying,,, i did not/do not
 

Bob Buchanan

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John In Detroit said:
2: Manual roof mount, Easier to store, Easier to set up, and not much different cost wise than a tripod, However there is that stupid signal eating tree you are parked under

3: Automatic roof mount,? Easiest set up and storage of all Push a button, it's done)

You left one out, John -- as described in my post below.  The semi-automatic.  I believe most vendors carry such a model. There is a two button set up vs. one -- and about $3-500. difference in price than the one button automatic. One can usually find them at just under $1,000. The dealer I bought from sells that King Dome model for $995. installed, if I recall correctly.
 

Bob Buchanan

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Ned said:
I have never seen the advantage of a fully automatic satellite TV antenna.? We have the Winegard manual antenna with the Elevation Magic and it rarely takes me more than 1 min.. to find the satellite and peak the signal.

The dome antennas are more subject to rain fade due to a smaller effecitve reflector and also are subject to loss of signal due to condensation on the dome itself.

Your coach is leveled automatically the same way every time -- whereas a Class C w/o jacks isn't. I could land in the same place 5 times, and find the signal off by several degrees each time. If off far enough to not grab a little of the signal, it meant cranking up and down trying to figure if it was to high or too low or whatever. Also, the 3 or 4 hand cranked dishes I had on various rigs all came off the signal on windy days.

If the manual dish can not be mounted on the centerline of the coach -- and shims are not placed properly, the angle can be different according to the direction parked. In contrast, with my King Dome semi automatic, I land, pour a glass of white wine, settle back in an easy chair and relax while I press a couple of buttons to watch the evening news.

King Dome sells a product described here that I have not tried as yet. Have not had much rain since installing the dome. Other dome users tell me it works well for up to a year -- but cannot say for sure until I try it myself. OTOH, your point is well taken about fade due to moisture in the atmosphere.
 

vlady daddy

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MotorHome Tech tip for RV Satellite Dome Maintenance.....

"Rain Repellent

Dew or rain can occasionally pool on top of the satellite dome, located on the roof of most coaches. While this moisture will usually be dispersed when the vehicle is in motion, it can disrupt the signal while the vehicle is at rest, This issue can be minimized with two approaches;

1. Using a hose, spray the dome with water to remove the dew from the dome surface.

2. Periodically apply liquid dish detergent to the dome surface. Wipe the full-strength detergent on the dome and allow it to dry. This treatment will provide a film that will help moisture bead up and roll off the dome. I was also told at the Service Center that this procedure could also be done with a product called RainX. This is a glass treatment that is a polymer coating that causes rain to "bead up" and roll off surfaces."

Click here for more info

 

Ned

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Bob,

The Elevation Magic is independent of the leveling of the RV, it reads elevation relative to the horizon.  My antenna used to be affected by high winds, but Winegard has a kit to fix that.  The other night we had thunderstorms with high winds for over an hour.  When it was over, my signal was exactly the same as it was before.

On the rare occasion that I have to do a bit of hunting for the signal, I think about the $$$$ that I saved over an automatic antenna.
 

steph

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Is there any reason why you could not have an automatic dish on a tripod?? Seems to me that would be the best of both worlds.? Not having to try and hunt to find the signal and having the ability to move it around the trees that may be in the way.
???
 

Bob Buchanan

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>> The Elevation Magic is independent of the leveling of the RV, it reads elevation relative to the horizon.  My antenna used to be affected by high winds, but Winegard has a kit to fix that.  The other night we had thunderstorms with high winds for over an hour.  When it was over, my signal was exactly the same as it was before.
====

Glad it works for you, Ned. I surely had bad luck with the crank ups for many years. Not mentioned in my last note were the times I returned to the driving position the wrong way and got the cables tangled that required a trip to the roof -- or the ones that were very hard to turn at all, especially in one quadrant or another. The one in the Tioga was on the side of the roof over the dinette -- so I had to stand on my toes to turn it. When one starts talking in an angry voice to a satellite dish -- it has gotten out of hand.? ;)

>> On the rare occasion that I have to do a bit of hunting for the signal, I think about the $$$$ that I saved over an automatic antenna.
====

Hmmmm. On these occasions, do you have the energy left to raise your auto Internet dish via the pushbutton?? ??? :)
 

Ned

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You may have had a bad installation.  It's nearly impossible to stow it incorrectly, and it should turn evenly through all 360d.

When I push the Datastorm search button in the pouring rain, I think about all the money I'm saving on antibiotics to cure the cold I would get setting up a tripod in that weather :)  And the Datastorm is a business expense, the TV antenna isn't.
 

steph

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? ???? ? ?Do you guys have a lot of problem getting your signal due to trees?? I see most campgrounds have both open and tree sites.? We talked to someone local who said they have a lot of time when they can't even use their dish on the roof because of interference from trees on other sites.?? I was just wondering if that was the norm?
We had also thought about an automatic on a tripod.? Has anyone done that?? Can you do it?? We just don't want to spend most of our time trying to line the thing up.? That can be a pain.? Been there done that with the house sat don't really want that to become part of our vacation time.
Thanks.
 
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