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Old 10-26-2009, 07:29 PM   #21
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Default Re: Thinking of replacing the OEM TV in my RT

I've been debating what to use as replacement for my old (1995) 12" TV. Since I generally have my laptop with me, I bought a Hauppage 950Q Hybrid TV stick which simply plugs into a laptop USB port. After loading the software, I was able to scan for and play channels received via antenna, analog cable or (unencrypted) digital cable. It works like a charm and I now have the old TV cabinet available as extra storage
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Old 10-26-2009, 10:31 PM   #22
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Default Re: Thinking of replacing the OEM TV in my RT

Someone else on here suggested a setup like that, but we only carry a 9.8" screen netbook with us
on the road. It must be a popular alternative to TV, because someone at Best Buy also mentioned
it recently. I guess a 15"+ laptop screen wouldn't be too bad to view. Only 4" smaller than
our new Sharp. I guess you can watch outside your van if you can't get a decent signal off
your van antenna? That would be useful, some additional flexibility.
One problem we found is that the built in roof antenna wasn't able to pick up much sometimes,
depending on where we stopped earlier this month. We do tend to be places where OTA signals
are few and far between. So we sort of decided to look into the satellite option for the home,
with the ability to take it on the road if we wanted. I also like to keep in touch with certain
news/business/financial channels on a regular basis, and OTA doesn't cut it in that regard.

So, we have the new TV, we have the satellite receiver, we just need a signal grabber rig.
I've sent some emails in the last couple of days, and have got some good leads to follow up on.
As always, I'll try to keep anyone interested, up to date on my progress.
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Old 03-11-2010, 07:41 PM   #23
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Default Re: Thinking of replacing the OEM TV in my RT

Well, it's done and it seems to work, after a bit of fiddling.
It's not perfect, but my combination of parts and (many) wing nuts was assembled and
receiving satellite TV this afternoon in a church parking lot on top of the Niagara escarpment
near us. It's got a fairly clear view of the southwestern sky, and there's not usually anyone close
enough to it to bother us when I'm playing with the van. The dish and house support were given
to me by the guy who installed our home satellite. I could have bought or made a tripod type mount
for camp ground TV viewing, but I'm convinced I'd eventually forget about it, and drag it for a few
miles before I noticed the scraping, clattering noise behind the van. This setup gives some
limited capability to move around at low speeds without taking the dish mounting system apart.
It took me about 10 minutes to set up my dish mounting system, and another 10 minutes or so
to locate the satellite signal. I would imagine It'll get quicker as I get more practise doing both.
The spare tire mount only blocks the driver's side rear door from opening. The passenger side
rear door just clears it.

So here are the pics of the some of the parts and installation stages.






Some follow up odds and ends.
I still might add some plastic shims to the hitch mount, to stop the slight side to side wobble.
I'm not sure if it will affect reception yet, but I'll carry at least one empty w/w fluid container
so that I can cut 2" wide pieces for the shims.

Although I was able to get 70% signal strength when I finally (manually) located the "bird", I wasn't
able to get all the channels I get at home, with the same Motorola DSR 209 receiver, with less signal
strength. I have no idea why. Some channels were perfect, and some just blank screens with
"acquiring satellite signal". Any of the satellite-gurus have any ideas?

Maybe thinking about getting a sat-finder, to speed up location of signal. I found a website called
"dishpointer.com" which is great, but I'm not always internet connected when we stop. It took me
about 10 minutes using just a compass for azimuth, and no elevation details. It was a bit of a pain,
but it was possible. DW was a huge help, as she sat in the van and gave me verbal info from the
receiver's satellite tuning screen.

My setup isn't truly mobile, in that I couldn't drive the van very far on the highways without losing
most of my mounting hardware and dish, but it could be moved at low speed short distances.
The main purpose was to give us some additonal options for evening TV on the road when the ATSC
tuner just can't grab us anything nearby.

Any questions, post up, or PM me.
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File Type: jpg RTmobilesatellite 004.jpg (128.8 KB, 2556 views)
File Type: jpg RTmobilesatellite 009.jpg (142.7 KB, 2556 views)
File Type: jpg RTmobilesatellite 010.jpg (142.2 KB, 2555 views)
File Type: jpg RTmobilesatellite 011.jpg (135.5 KB, 2555 views)
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:50 AM   #24
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Default Re: I replaced the OEM TV - and added mobile satellite too

Just a thought, If someone wants to compare prices before they join a discount club ie. sams, costco try checking their websites like you were shopping there. I really don't know if local stores have different prices but it may be a start.
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Old 03-16-2010, 12:58 AM   #25
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Default Re: I replaced the OEM TV - and added mobile satellite too

I said
"Although I was able to get 70% signal strength when I finally (manually) located the "bird", I wasn't
able to get all the channels I get at home, with the same Motorola DSR 209 receiver, with less signal
strength. I have no idea why. Some channels were perfect, and some just blank screens with
"acquiring satellite signal". Any of the satellite-gurus have any ideas?"

It appears that the receiever has a v-code setting that tells the satellite what channels I can
have and it does depend on the type of LNB and dish I've got hooked up to it, according to
Shaw Direct (who were quite happy to help). They said they can tweak the receiver's code
when we go on the road and then tweak it again when we get back so it will work at home again,
or, we could register the RV for $99 and they'll ship me an extra elliptical dish which would be
the same as our home dish, eliminating the need for "tweaking" the receiver all the time. It
will think it never left home.
I think I'll get the second dish for traveling.
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Old 03-20-2010, 01:57 PM   #26
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Default Re: I replaced the OEM TV - and added mobile satellite too

The dish arrived Thursday and I put it together and it's in the van. The instructions
didn't come with it, so I had to work from the downloadable version, and finally climbed
up the side of the house, mostly to see which nuts/bolts went where.
The weather isn't cooperating too well today, our sunny days are behind us it appears.
We 'may be off tomorrow night and heading south. Will try it when we next stop over and have
time to set it up, and I'll post up any further results and problems when possible.
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Old 10-02-2010, 01:00 AM   #27
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Default Re: I replaced the OEM TV - and added mobile satellite too

I recently tried the satellite rig I've created with the trailer hitch mounted dish system.
It works, but as expected, and suggested by Deryck (Hallibagger), it took some time for me
to hit the "birds" manually. I'm interested in getting a portable auto-aimer dish like VuQube or
Winegard's Carry Out, but they don't make one for Shaw Direct satellites yet. So I'm thinking
of switching to Bell ExpressVu. Problem with that is Bell support and service sucks (in my
experience with them) and they are apparently a bit eccentric when it comes to users doing things
that they don't like. Like they supposedly want you to deactivate your home location before you
take your sat TV stuff on the road. Or, they will shut off your receivers if they find out you're
using the dish/receiver anywhere but the billing address.
Anyone have any experience with Bell ExpressVu or know of any other pitfalls of dealing with
them? If I want to simplify my satellite signal acquisition, they may be my only choice for
satellite service in Canada. If there was a way to make a VuQube or Winegard Carry Out
work with Shaw Direct, I might be willing to spend a few bucks to modify one.

Any thoughts or comments appreciated.

I've since found a website that describes a procedure to assist in aligning dishes using
a Garmin nuvi GPS unit.
The website, if anyone else hasn't already figured this out, is
http://www.qsl.net/ve3lgs/cansat.htm
It's pretty simple and it looks like it works.
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Old 11-16-2010, 12:57 AM   #28
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Default Re: I replaced the OEM TV - and added mobile satellite too

Tried setting up my satellite dish on the trailer hitch mount that I assembled for us to get
TV on the road. Took me about 10 minutes to assemble the hardware and connect the
electronics.
Well, the Garmin GPS and the formula for figuring out the angle of elevation towards the
satellites worked perfectly. When we were in Bryce Canyon, it took me almost a half hour
to find the sats with a compass. Last weekend, in the Grand Canyon campground, with my
Garmin nuvi 855 preloaded with the Shaw Direct satellite coordinates, and using the simple
math formula for getting the elevation angle, I had the thing on the birds within a minute.
My wife and I enjoyed road TV that evening, and then again with our morning coffee, after
moving the van to the parking lot to brew our coffee, and it was still easy to reacquire the
satellites.
Very satisfying results.

The math formula is, take the distance in kilometers from where you are to the Shaw (Anik F1/F2)
satellites, and divide by 100 (example, 5500 km from the satellites/100 = 55) and subtract that
number from 88 to get the angle of elevation to the satellites. There's a angle of elevation gauge
on the back of the satellite mounting bracket (that fits onto the gray vertical post in my pictures)
that I then adjust to that number, and then it's just a matter of slowly panning the dish to the left
and right until you find/get the signal.
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Old 11-16-2010, 12:50 PM   #29
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Default Re: I replaced the OEM TV - and added mobile satellite too

Something else that will help in aiming satellite dishes is the EazyAim device; an optical hand-held aimer that can then be slipped into a mount at the top of the dish to get you there even faster, Milke. I'd include a picture of mine, but it now lives in Alaska.
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Old 11-16-2010, 01:29 PM   #30
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Default Re: I replaced the OEM TV - and added mobile satellite too

Hey Vern,
It lives in Alaska now? I'm not gonna ask.
Is this their website? Looks like they may have moved there, too.
http://www.ez-aim.com/
Alaska may be our next target for a lengthy trip. My DW has been talking Alaska for well
over a year as a POI for her. It's about 4500 miles one way from where we live. Maybe we'll
pay a visit to Ms. Palin and her turf sometime next year. We'll see when we'll see, I guess.
BTW, we may have been in your neck of the woods last week. Our latest trip was originally
to see the Discovery launch, but that fell apart pretty quickly. Seems like it's got more cracks
than Humpty Dumpty in an earthquake. So we hit I-10 west and spent 2 days at Grand Canyon
where I was able to test the Garmin/satellite procedure. Unfortunately, Utah and Arizona in
November have a high possibility of snow in the forecast, so we bailed, and headed back east
where the weather seemed to be warmer. Since we were dawdling back along I-40 in no rush,
we did another 4 State Capitols. Tell me when you see something that looks familiar....


Attached Images
File Type: jpg ustripnov10 374.jpg (142.5 KB, 1688 views)
File Type: jpg ustripnov10 378.jpg (142.9 KB, 1688 views)
File Type: jpg ustripnov10 410.jpg (126.1 KB, 1688 views)
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