FTA Free To Air TV

Brooke Clarke 2010

Background
Antenna System
    Choosing the LNB
DISEqC Digital Satellite Equipment Control
4 LNB Switch
Post/Mast
Satellite Signal Strength Meter
DVB-S Digital Video Broadcast - Satellite   Computer PCI bus Receiver
Another FTA system from Mike Murphy
Related
Links

Fig 1 Kit of Parts
FTA Free To
              Air TV kit of antenna parts

Background

I live where there is no off the air TB and a couple of miles past where there is cable TV and cable internet access.  Subscribing to satellite TV does not make since you need to pay a lot to get the few channels that have anything worth watching.  So I'm looking into this Free To Air (Wiki: FTA) TV so see if any of the few channels available is worth watching.

The antenna kit arrived with the dish bent because of poor packaging (the 4-way switch had come out of it's taped shut box and the dish was loose in a box that had one end partially opened.

This system also may be able to work with a DVB-S PCI card receiver (see below).

Antenna System

As received (Fig 1) there are a number of parts to be assembled.

Choosing the LNB

This kit came with three Linear LNBs and one Circular LNB.  The polarization of the feed needs to be matched to the satellite you want to watch.
Sat
Pos
West
Name
Service
Polarization
Transponder
Az
True
El
Pol
83
AMC 9
Retro Television Network H/V
126.8
29
-38
87
AMC 3
NASA TV
H/V
131
31
-36
89
Galaxy 28
BYU, ABC News
H/V
133
33
-35
97 Galazy 19
GlobeCast World TV H/V
142
37
-28
97 AMGTV
101*
Dish


147
39
-25
101
AMC 4

H/V
103
AMC 1
NBC, Pentagon Channel H/V

150
40
-23
110*
Dish



160
43
-16
118.7
Dish


173
44
-5
119*
Dish



173
44
-5
121
FTA



177
45
-3
123
Galaxy 18
Vets, Daystar


180
45
0
125
AMC 21
PBS Satellite Services
PBS
V
V
22
24
183
45
2
* all three needed for HD TV, i.e. triple feed dish
DGL-900D
                Linear LNB
DGL-900D LNB

KU Band LNBF
Linear Polarization
RF: 12.2 - 12.7 GHz
IF: 950 - 1450 MHz
LO: 11.25 GHz
Gain: 60 dB
NF: 0.5 dB


DGL-1189S
                Circular/Linear Polarization LNB
DGL-1189S LNB


Ku Twin LNBF
Circular/Linear Polarization
RF: 11.7 - 12.2 GHz
IF: 950 - 1450 MHz
LO: 10.75 GHz
Gain: 60 dB
NF: 0.6 dB

DISEqC Digital Satellite Equipment Control

Wiki: DISEqC - The specs starting with 2 add the ability of the remote devices talking to the receiver.
EUtelsat: Specs -

Switchs & LNBs

a DISEqC LNB can have the following controlled:

GD-41A DISEqC 4 LNB Switch

GD-41A DISEqC 4 LNB Switch Marked:

Digiwave GD-41A
Freq: 950 - 2400 MHz
IL: 3 dB
Pwr: 500 mA Max
DISEqC 2.0



Post/Mast

The supplied post/mast is 1-5/8" O.D. tubing (smaller than the 2-3/8" O.D. tubing used on the Starband VSAT system.
Possible sources of a replacement post/mast are:
Chain Link Fence posts - NO, 1-1/2" or 1-3/4" are the closests sizes
Metal Electrical Conduit - NO, 1-1/2" or 1-3/4" are the closests sizes
Automotive exhaust pipe -
Chain Link Fence posts - A friend found this one.


Chain Link
                Fence Post used for Free To Air (FTA) satellite dish
Chain Link Fence Post used for Free To Air (FTA) satellite dish

Red device is a three way level used to plumb the post while the concrete was wet.

at the lower left is the top of a ground rod.
Free To Air (FTA) Dish on Fence
                Post
Free To Air (FTA) Dish on Fence Post

Short F-type cable installed getting ready for signal strength meter.
Back of Free To Air (FTA) Dish
Degree marks enhanced w/Photoshop.

Clamp Bolts to prevent movement in azimuth not yet installed.
Free To Air (FTA) Back View showing
                Mount Factory mounting tubing and brackets.



Satellite Signal Strength Meter

Sat Finder Satellite Signal Strength Analog Meter
Designed to work with 12 Volt LNBs (not the Starband 24 V LNB)
Sat Finder
        Satellite Signal Strength Analog Meter

DVB-S Digital Video Broadcast - Satellite   Computer PCI bus Receiver

Got this in the hope it would work with my extra Starband dish, but it's 12 Volt not 24 Volt.  But it might work with this FTA equipment which is 12 V.

Supports DiSEqC .0/1.2 protocol which can drive a DiSEqC 2.0 switch.
Supports LNB with 13/18 V < 400 ma.
DVB-S Digital Video Broadcast -
              Satellite Receiver Computer PCI bus The cable shown plugged into the PCI card is the IR remote sensor.

The red and green LED are marked READY and WORK.

The two type-F connectors are marked LNB IN and LNB OUT.

Mini CD-ROM not shown in photo.  Has:
Driver
Application
rDirect X 9
It turns out that my desktop computer after upgrading the power supply still has marginal capacity so no new hardware will be added to it.  Maybe it's time to get another desktop computer?



Another FTA system from Mike Murphy

The problem with the above system is that it would require installing another card into my desktop system which now has just enough power supply capacity to keep running (after installing the largest power supply I could get for it) so no more add-ons are going to be installed.  Maybe I'll use the first FTA system on my next computer.

This is a complete FTA system purchased from Mike Murphy.
Free To Air (FTA) Satellite TV System
The receiver is a Traxis DBS4000
It has the Easy Find system that should make pointing the dish easier.

Not shown but included is a remote, instruction booklet and set of cables.
Free To Air (FTA) Satellite TV System
DMS International USA - lots of FTA info
Twin Ku LNBF
p/n: JSC322
RF Freq: 11.7 to 12.2 GHz
LO Freq: 10.75 GHz
IF  Freq: 950 to 1450 MHz
NF:  0.2 dB
clamp size: 40mm

They now have the Spitfire 0.1 dB NF LNB p/n spitfire
and they have the DBS4000 Receiver

This LNB uses the DISEqC Digital Satellite Equipment Control and in addition has the Easy Find feature that blinks an LED on the LNB to indicate signal strength and that you are pointed to the correct satellite.
Free To Air (FTA) Satellite TV System
Radio Shack 15-1218 Passive 3-way Splitter i.e. A, B C Switch
The idea is that you can select one of three RF sources to feed a TV set that does not already have it's own input selection capability.  For example Off Air Antenna, Cable or VCR.

Don't know if this splitter works with DISEqC Digital Satellite Equipment Control in terms of DC paths or frequency response.
Free To Air (FTA) Satellite TV System
Cables and hardware package
Free To Air (FTA) Satellite TV System
Dish mount bracket
Free To Air (FTA) Satellite TV System
40mm LNB support
Free To Air (FTA) Satellite TV System
1 Meter circular dish.

DISEqC type SG-2100 Dish Positioner (Motor)

The motor has a couple of type-F connectors, one to the receiver and one to the LNB.
On one side of the mounting bracket is a L attitude scale and on the other side an elevation angle scale, either will work.
For me at 39N the elevation angle is 90 - 39 =) 51 degrees.

The declination angle that needs to be set on the dish bracket is down 6.14 degrees.  This is because the satellites are not at infinity but rather close to the Earth so instead of zero declination angle you need to look down a little.

The 4 bolts that hold the motor to it's bracket were missing.  They are M8-1.25 x 20mm with associated flat and lock washers. 
The mast U-bolts may be the same size.


DISEqC type
                  SG-2100 Dish Positioner

DISEqC type
                  SG-2100 Dish Positioner



Related

Home Theater - 8 speaker sound and large screen TV set (really monitor)

Links

FTA-Gods - forums
LyngSat - America -
Mike Murphy (if you're in the S. California area - 97.0W,Galaxy 19 where Mike has his pointed
Defcon 16 - $atellite Hacking for Fun & Pr0fit!.pdf
http://feedhunter.com/en/ -
A Feed Hunter's Visualization Tool
Sat Beams - Footprints


Back to Brooke's Products for Sale, PRC68, Alphabetical Index of web pages, Home web page

[an error occurred while processing this directive] page created 27 Mar 2010.