Use the Sun to Site New Satellite Dish

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by litzdog911, Sep 3, 2006.

  1. Sep 3, 2006 #1 of 20
    litzdog911

    litzdog911 TechKnow Guide

    12,027
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    Oct 18, 2002
    Mill Creek,...

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    Twice each year, in March and October, the sun is your friend when it comes to finding the ideal location for a new or upgraded satellite dish. In earch March and October, the sun sweeps across the sky in the same line as the earth's geosynchronous satellites, including DirecTV's satellites. This means that at various times during the day the sun will appear to shine from the exact locations of DirecTV's satellites. Once you know the correct times, you can walk around your house taking photos and looking for spots where there are NO shadows. The "shadow-free" areas mean that a dish mounted there has a clear line-of-site to that particular satellite. By taking photos at each of the exact times-of-day for each satellite location, you can compare the photos to find those shadow-free spots on your house at all of relevant times, indicating spots where your dish can "see" all of the desired satellites.

    Fortunately, there's a handy web site to determine the correct dates and times-of-day based on your location's latitude and longitude. Here's how to use it ....

    1. Surf to http://perso.numericable.fr/~gjullien/satellite.htm (you'll need Java enabled on your PC for this page to work)

    2. Find your latitude and longitude (Google makes it easy). Enter your latitude/longitude on the web page where indicated.

    For example, for my location in Seattle I enter Longitude = 122W, Latitude = 48N

    3. Enter the desired satellite. For DirecTV's newest 5-LNB dish (Ka/Ku AT9), you'll need to perform this step five times, once for each satellite location. Those satellite locations are:
    99.2W (new Ka-band satellite beaming HD Locals to certain cities)
    101.0W (SatA: main DirecTV satellite)
    102.8W (new Ka-band satellite beaming HD Locals to certain cities)
    109.8W (SatC: some MPEG2 HDTV channels)
    119.0W (SatB: international channels, local channels for some cities, some HDTV channels)

    In addition, for some cities you might also need or want additional dishes to receive your local channels or other international channels:
    72.5W (local channels for certain cities)
    95.0W (international channels)

    If you're not sure which satellites beam channels you require, check out this web site
    http://www.lyngsat.com/packages/america.html
    Just realize that DirecTV often moves channels between satellites (especially HiDef channels), so ideally you'll want a clear view of ALL FIVE of the main satellites.

    4. Press "Calculate first date". The table below will update with dates and times when the sun (or moon) will appear at that location in the sky. It will also provide the azimuth and elevation for the exact satellite location. For example, for my location in Seattle when I enter "109.2 W" and press "Calculate first date", I see the following ....

    Satellite position is: 163.77AZ, 33.65EL
    Tue, Oct 10, 12:01.48 PDT 2006 163.79AZ, 33.65EL
    Wed, Oct 11, 12:01:18 PDT 2006 163.79AZ, 33.98EL

    These mean that on either of October 10 or 11 at 12:01 local time (just after noon), the sun will be at almost the exact location where DirecTV's SatC 110-deg W satellite "beams" its signal from the sky. Any spots on my house NOT covered by shadows can "see" that satellite.

    5. Repeat step 4 for each of the desired satellites.

    6. On the specified dates and times, go outside with your camera. Hopefully the sun is shining! Simply take pictures at the correct times. Study them to find spots on your house without shadows. Those will make good dish mounting locations.

    By the way, these times and dates actually don't change much for a few days before and after the "exact" times/dates. So you have a bit of leeway if the weather doesn't cooperate on the exact days, or you can't be home from work.

    You'll also see that there are dates/times each month when the moon can be used for this. It's a bit trickier since the moon doesn't cast much shadow, but you can look straight at the moon without killing your eyes. So just walk around your house at night at the correct time/date and you can eyeball where the satellites would be located if you could see them.

    Hope you find this information useful.
     
  2. Sep 3, 2006 #2 of 20
    Phantom Gremlin

    Phantom Gremlin Active Member

    1,579
    5
    Jun 20, 2002
    Tualatin,...
    This is a great technique. I've actually done it in the past.

    Because of trees, I would need three locations to get 101, 110, and 119. Fortunately in the near future (about 1 year) most subscribers will be able to get by with 99, 101, and 103. That will make it much easier to site a dish. Now if only DirecTV could reduce the 30 pound weight of the dish and not require 4 coaxes running to the house.
     
  3. Sep 3, 2006 #3 of 20
    litzdog911

    litzdog911 TechKnow Guide

    12,027
    1
    Oct 18, 2002
    Mill Creek,...
    I'm in the midst of trying to combine some existing 18" dishes with the new AT9 Ka/Ku 5-LNB dish because of numerous trees. I think it will be possible to combine my existing dish aimed at SatC/110-deg and my existing dish aimed at SatB/119-deg with a new Ka/Ku 5-LNB dish receiving 99/101/103-deg satellites.

    More information, photos and diagrams here ....
    http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?t=62223
     
  4. Sep 3, 2006 #4 of 20
    bguppies

    bguppies New Member

    179
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    Jun 29, 2003
    Charleston, SC
    OK, I put in my address on Google earth and get this as my address.
    32"57'26.21" N
    80"03'38.92" W

    So which numbers do I input in that applet?
    (it only takes 4 digits in each blank)

    I have been having trouble with my Atlanta locals (I think on the 119 satelitte) and I wanted to check whether I have a tree growing into an obstuction for that satelitte.

    Bill
     
  5. Sep 4, 2006 #5 of 20
    litzdog911

    litzdog911 TechKnow Guide

    12,027
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    Oct 18, 2002
    Mill Creek,...

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    Bill, you need to convert your latitude from "min:sec" to decimal. For example ....

    32"57'26.21" N = 32.95-deg N
    80"03'38.92" W = 80.06-deg W

    There are several handy converters you can find via Google, including ....
    http://www.fcc.gov/mb/audio/bickel/DDDMMSS-decimal.html
     
  6. Sep 4, 2006 #6 of 20
    bguppies

    bguppies New Member

    179
    0
    Jun 29, 2003
    Charleston, SC
    Thanks a bunch for the quick answer.
    Anxious to try to verify my dish alignment and whether I need to find a way to get an excuse to "move" that tree.

    Bill
     
  7. Sep 4, 2006 #7 of 20
    OLdDog

    OLdDog Reformed Druid

    2,384
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    Dec 15, 2001
    Just so you know the SD Atlanta locals are on the 101 SAT not the 119.

    As far as a "tree" problem: Can you say "Chain saw 2:30 AM oops!"?
     
  8. Sep 4, 2006 #8 of 20
    SeattleCarl

    SeattleCarl New Member

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    Nov 10, 2005
    A local (Seattle area) Judge did that a couple of years ago to improve his view. Cost him a whole bunch of money in the long run (like hundreds of thousands of dollars).

    Carl
     
  9. Sep 6, 2006 #9 of 20
    Mars

    Mars Member

    320
    3
    Sep 13, 2001
    Traverse...
    Phantom, is Dish planing to move all of the services? I just started using Dish this summer with my camper, setting up the satellite dish every time I move. I currently use 119º for most pgms, and 110º for the local channels. The 119º sat is hard to get because it is so low to the trees here in Michigan.
     
  10. litzdog911

    litzdog911 TechKnow Guide

    12,027
    1
    Oct 18, 2002
    Mill Creek,...
    Dish Network/Echostar uses 110 and 119 for their service, while DirecTV mostly uses 101, with some channels on 110, 119, and their new MPEG4 HDTV channels on 99 and 103-degrees.
     
  11. Phantom Gremlin

    Phantom Gremlin Active Member

    1,579
    5
    Jun 20, 2002
    Tualatin,...
    Right now sats at 110 and 119 are still important. But once DirecTV puts up two more sats at 99 and 103 next year, I think that 110 and 119 become superfluous. Of course, they will need to keep those slots for a few years for legacy MPEG2.

    Within a year DirecTV will have 4 Ka sats at 99 and 103 plus at least two Ku sats at 101.

    In a rational world DirecTV would eventually relinquish 110 and 119 sat slots. But I'm sure they will instead contrive to hold on to that valuable "real estate in the sky".
     
  12. litzdog911

    litzdog911 TechKnow Guide

    12,027
    1
    Oct 18, 2002
    Mill Creek,...
    The dates in October are getting closer :)
     
  13. phxbruzer

    phxbruzer Viva La TiVo!!!

    846
    0
    Mar 8, 2002
    Gilbert, AZ
    Thanks litzdog911, I've been trying to convince my roommate the the dish LNBs don't point at the sats, and that the sats are actually much higher in the sky. This actually shows that they are actually almost directly above head for us hear in Phoenix. Now just have to wait until Oct. 7th at 11:30 for sat at 101 and Noon for HD sat at 110.
     
  14. litzdog911

    litzdog911 TechKnow Guide

    12,027
    1
    Oct 18, 2002
    Mill Creek,...
    Good point! It really confuses a lot of people when they see a satellite dish seemingly pointed at trees when actually the satellite is well above where the dish points.

    Good luck with your roommate!
     
  15. litzdog911

    litzdog911 TechKnow Guide

    12,027
    1
    Oct 18, 2002
    Mill Creek,...
    Folks in the Southern US will find ideal times starting this week.
     
  16. poppagene

    poppagene User

    798
    2
    Dec 29, 2001
    Thanks for the heads up. Now I've got some information to help redirect placement of the dish on my roof.
     
  17. litzdog911

    litzdog911 TechKnow Guide

    12,027
    1
    Oct 18, 2002
    Mill Creek,...
    Glad it helped!
     
  18. Syznic

    Syznic New Member

    31
    0
    Oct 17, 2003
    Sticky!
     
  19. phox_mulder

    phox_mulder I get paid 2watch TV

    6,003
    193
    Feb 23, 2006
    Salt Lake...
    It's pretty much over now.
    It'll be close for a week, but not dead on anymore.

    Spring will be the next opportunity.


    phox
     
  20. litzdog911

    litzdog911 TechKnow Guide

    12,027
    1
    Oct 18, 2002
    Mill Creek,...
    Not worth being a sticky. But I'll bring it back in March when the time is right again.
     

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