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Old 08-11-2012, 02:34 AM   #1
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Default Satellite dish tripods - where to get 'em cheap?

Anyone know if there are any places besides the RV dealers that carry satellite dish tripods?
Like Lowes or Home Depot or Canadian Tire or Rona? Prefer mainstream Canadian retailers
with sticks and bricks locations, if possible.
It seems like I see them everywhere when I'm not looking for one, and now I'm drawing a blank
on where to get one, for the new home. As a temporary measure for locating signal around the
property. It's been suggested that a couple of trees are blocking line of sight signal from where
I'd like the dish placed, and I think the suggester is possibly mistaken.
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Old 08-11-2012, 10:47 AM   #2
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Default Re: Satellite dish tripods - where to get 'em cheap?

Maybe call The Source
http://www.thesource.ca/estore/produ...roduct=1509134
maybe they have a cheaper model.

You'd probably get some good off-the-air digital TV signals where you are if you're interested in that. You can enter your address and TVFool will tell you what to expect.
http://www.tvfool.com/index.php?option= ... 3&Itemid=1
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Old 08-11-2012, 11:35 AM   #3
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Default Re: Satellite dish tripods - where to get 'em cheap?

I saw that one at The Source and thought they were a bit expensive, too, having seen them somewhere for under $50 in the last year or two, including the mast. I'm thinking Home Hardware might have them. Or maybe Princess Auto. We have one of each here. I would cross the river and hit an old style "antenna shop" State side, but we had to surrender our EDLs to change the addresses. So we're undocumented aliens for a bit.
As for TVFool, how appropriate.

Update:
http://www.homehardware.ca/en/rec/index ... Ntt=tripod <<<<< $49 including mast according to HH website. Wonder if any of our HHs have one in stock?
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:14 PM   #4
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Default Re: Satellite dish tripods - where to get 'em cheap?

Home Hardware doesn't appear to stock them normally (which surprised me considering the lack of cable TV in the vicinity). I guess many more rural areas near here must get by with OTA TV.
So, gave up on that, and finally got the dish up and aligned and working after many installation "challenges". Using the equivalent of stone axes and clubs as tools didn't help.
It took around 8 hours, including trips back and forth to various area hardware suppliers.
It took less time to set up my RV trailer hitch mounting system.
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Old 08-12-2012, 01:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: Satellite dish tripods - where to get 'em cheap?

I'm "rural" here too. Cable just misses us so satellite and / or OTA is what it is. I have a to-be-installed Shaw dish and got a basic receiver from them. I have their PDF for self-install but might ask you some questions after you've settled in.

For OTA TV I use a relatively small Channel Master CM 4221HD. It pulls in the signals from 40 miles away for me. I knew the range capability I needed from the TVFool data. It was going to be temporary during the reno's as we were so busy but we got used to just having a few networks so it is here to stay. The digital picture is great.

The TVFoool site: http://www.tvfool.com/index.php?option= ... 3&Itemid=1 would be useful when we are camping. Nice to know what channels are in range.
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Old 08-12-2012, 06:56 PM   #6
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Default Re: Satellite dish tripods - where to get 'em cheap?

Fire away on Shaw Direct. I probably know as much about it as most of their techs now.

For an extra $100, they'll let you define your RV as a 2nd abode and supply you with another dish for traveling TV. You'd need a 2nd receiver, or you can just take your home one with you.

A trick for getting the angle of elevation anywhere in North America just needs your distance in kilometers to the 2 satellites. Shaw uses Anik F1/F2 over the Equator just west of Peru. It also happens to be the same longitude (approximately) as Albuquerque, NM if that helps figure out your approximate azimuth when aiming. There's a 90 degree vertical scale on the dish mount that sits on the arm, and you use the front edge of the metal facing the dish as the setting mark. I'll post a pic when I get a chance, but you'll find it and figure it out. You need the GPS coordinates of the 2 satellites loaded into your GPS device. Using off road settings (or your equivalent direct line of sight setting) and determine the distance between your location and the satellites. Divide that number by 100, and subtract it from 88 to give you the angle of elevation. Once set, slowly rotate the dish left and right along the line of sight azimuth that you already determined until you get sound/picture. For example, if the sats are 5500 kms. from your location, divide by 100, which equals 55, and subtract that from 88 which leaves 33. You need to elevate the dish 33 degrees vertical, and then pan to find the birds.
Or, you can use this website. It's pretty good too. You can use it to get GPS coordinates of the 2 Anik birds. Load 'em into whatever you use for GPS, and you're set to go from anywhere in NA.
http://www.dishpointer.com/
(hint: the satellites are over the Equator, so latitude is 0 degrees, longitude is 107.3 W)
Skew is determined by how far off 107.3 degrees west longitude you are. for that, i wing it, because it's not that important for regular digital channels. if you have an HD receiver, skew matters more.
Hope this helps more than confuses.
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Old 08-13-2012, 02:34 AM   #7
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Default Re: Satellite dish tripods - where to get 'em cheap?

Thanks for the info and link Mike. I checked it out. Looks like I'll have a clear line of sight.
Do you have a "Quad" LNB - labelled Sat A1 & 2 and B1 &2? Do I need only one run of coax to the A1 connector if I am using only one receiver?
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Old 08-13-2012, 12:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: Satellite dish tripods - where to get 'em cheap?

Sadly, that's a downer for satellite versus cable. One cable from the LNB on the dish to each receiver. The receiver powers the LNB and then retrieves the data it sees from the satellite. I have 2 receivers and may want to add a 3rd, so I ran a 3rd cable through the wall from the dish for future expansion. Could have run 4, but I don't think I'll add a 4th receiver anytime soon.
That's another (sort of) negative feature of satellite TV to some. The provider has to activate each receiver from their end before it will work. That means they know how many receivers you have, and usually charge a small monthly fee for each additional box. Shaw charges $4.95 + tax for an additional box. Each receiver gets exactly the same channels as the others, though. No extra fees per box for viewing all channels.
As for the labeling A1 A2 B1 B2, I'm not sure. I believe a quad LNB just tells you how many connections it has. Some more info.....
http://www.radioandtelly.co.uk/lnb.html
http://www.satcure.co.uk/tech/lnb.htm
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:52 PM   #9
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Default Re: Satellite dish tripods - where to get 'em cheap?

Mike...I just bought this one a few weeks ago

http://www.ebay.com/itm/220492368397...84.m1497.l2649

Ontario seller, free shipping....came to my house 3 days after I ordered it

BTW, as to the extra receivers....Shaw only charges extra if have the basic package....If you have the premium packages, no extra charge. I have 4 receivers, one is the HD box for the big screen at home. I also have a spare dish which I take camping using that tripod I bought. Sets up pretty quick usually...10 minutes or so
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:35 PM   #10
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Default Re: Satellite dish tripods - where to get 'em cheap?

Quote:
Originally Posted by poncho62
Mike...I just bought this one a few weeks ago

http://www.ebay.com/itm/220492368397...84.m1497.l2649

Ontario seller, free shipping....came to my house 3 days after I ordered it
Thanks for that. As I mentioned a few posts back, I'd already abandoned the tripod portion of
my dish installation project. I managed to use a ground spike and 4X4 post as a mount for the dish
assembly. Good info for others who may be considering using a traveling dish. Another (unconfirmed by me) note regarding traveling with satellite dishes - Bell Expressvu apparently doesn't allow use of their equipment anywhere outside of Canada. They have some sort of bilateral agreement with the 2 American dish providers. Makes no sense to me, but I've heard stories about people calling in for help while traveling with their BellEvu equipment in the States, and having their access turned off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by poncho62
BTW, as to the extra receivers....Shaw only charges extra if have the basic package....If you have the premium packages, no extra charge. I have 4 receivers, one is the HD box for the big screen at home. I also have a spare dish which I take camping using that tripod I bought. Sets up pretty quick usually...10 minutes or so
I assumed markopolo's "basic receiver" to be installed also meant he would be getting basic service, and would pay the extra for any extra receivers, if he got more.
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:52 PM   #11
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Default Re: Satellite dish tripods - where to get 'em cheap?

Yeah, I have heard about the no US thing.....I went to Arizona a couple of years ago, saw all kinds of Bell and Shaw dishes set up.......We dont need no stinkin tech support......lol
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:06 PM   #12
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Default Re: Satellite dish tripods - where to get 'em cheap?

My cousin has Bell XPressVu, and he knows not to call for support, or at least to not mention where he happens to be, if he needs anything from them while in the USA. Even though Shaw is more relaxed, I don't think I'd bother them while on vacation. TV just isn't that important to us when we're away.
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:33 AM   #13
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Default Re: Satellite dish tripods - where to get 'em cheap?

Thanks for your help Mike. I got it activated today with a temporary install. Now that I know it all works I'll make it permanent.
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:02 PM   #14
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Default Re: Satellite dish tripods - where to get 'em cheap?

Adding wing nuts to some of the dish bolts involved in aiming, makes it a bit easier when you're working alone. I can aim it and get signal as long as I can see the TV and receiver in the Roadtrek from the dish location, which is usually possible with my trailer hitch mounting setup. I try to set the elevation angle first, after I do the GPS calculation. Sometimes a half degree up or down makes a difference. Then just pan it back and forth slowly (very slowly, maybe a 1/4 inch of dish movement at a time) to get the azimuth. My receiver has a signal light that glows red, until I hit the birds, and it quickly changes to green. Then slightly left/right or up/down to increase signal strength, which can be displayed in one of the receiver menu pages. Signal higher than 80 is good, but higher than 50 usually works, and an ECB level higher than 8 is also considered good, but usually any where above 5 works to get picture/sound.

I'm not sure if I mentioned it ealier in this thread but, Shaw is adding a new satellite, and a new LNB (an upgraded LNB) is required to see the new bird, along with the 2 existing ones. Ask your equipment supplier about it. You may already have the new model LNB. I'm getting mine upgraded later today.
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:36 PM   #15
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Default Re: Satellite dish tripods - where to get 'em cheap?

Hi Mike, I would be too quick on dumping the fourth cable. I only have three sets in the house, but when I got a new receiver I had to pull in another cable to the primary receiver as it has record capability. This allows me to watch and record different channels simultaneously. Or record 2 channels and go watch a program on another set. I have since found this feature very useful. Cable is cheap!
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Old 08-21-2012, 11:31 PM   #16
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Default Re: Satellite dish tripods - where to get 'em cheap?

I got coax today $8.99 for 50' of Philips RG6 in the clearance section of Princess Auto today
With only one satellite receiver box I'm using a wireless remote extender. I can change the channels or see the guide in a different room. All TV's show the same satellite receiver picture but some of my channels are duplicated on digital UHF so you can watch something else.

I'll get around to running the new coax but there are other things to do first. I'll run enough coax for the newer receivers.
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Old 08-22-2012, 01:12 PM   #17
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Default Re: Satellite dish tripods - where to get 'em cheap?

Thanks for the suggestions about extra lines Deryck. I'm not likely to go to anything more complex than our basic digital package with some ppv added channels. If need be, I can easily remove the caulk from the masonry and add a 4th cable.
However, while we're on the subject, my new LNB can't see one of our existing channels. The Shaw telephone tech support said the dish is probably misaligned, but I'm not sure about that. The installer that aligned it last week had a better signal strength than I had by around 12%, but there are 2 channels that can't "acquire". He said the missing channel is on Anik F2. When I get a chance, I'm going to swap the LNB with the spare travel one the installer gave me, on the off chance that one of the LNBs is bad. If that doesn't fix it, I'm thinking of dropping the missing channel, and replacing it with something else. I'm not moving the dish to get one channel, if that's going to be their suggested solution.
Alternately, I may go back to cable. Having satellite TV on the road was nice, but we didn't use it much because we move around a lot.
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