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.