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Old 27-02-2011, 09:29   #1
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Satellite TV questions.

At te local Corpus Christi Munitipul Marina, I noticed several boats with a traditional small apature satellite dish for satellite TV mounted on the pullpit of the vessels. The vessels were pointed roughly south, with the dishs pointed in aproximently the right direction to pick up TV signals for a satelite TV.

It appears to be completely non-stabalized in any fashion. The boats didn't appear to be tied off special in any way that I could determine. There were also several boats that had the set up, so I assume it must work, at least a little bit.

Does anyone know how well this works? How often do the boats shift so that the satellite dish doesn't point correctly?

And as an asside, if anyone knows the owner of Emerald Eyes of LA, I was very impressed with the way their yacht looked.
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Old 27-02-2011, 10:02   #2
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Re: Satellite TV questions.

I saw the same thing on yachts in Malaysia and finally bought one myself. I had to point it 69 degrees above the horizon and a heading of 267 degrees. When we moved from Borneo Malaysia to peninsula Malaysia I had to change the heading a little but once pointed I never had to re-adjust it though the boat would move on the lines to the dock some.
The receiver had a channel that displayed signal strenght on the TV screen and I would go for the strongest signal with my wife's direction from inside the boat. The strongest signal I could ever get was 67% but had a clear picture and sound. I brought the unit with us in hopes I can get something similar in the Med.
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Old 27-02-2011, 10:36   #3
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Re: Satellite TV questions.

My understanding is that there is a 12 degree "circle" from the satellite carrying the TV signal where the satellite signal is strongest. If the dish is aimed correctly, it should be centered in this circle giving a movement tolerance of plus or minus 6 degrees horizontally, vertically, or any combo. The satellite elevation here is 41 degrees, azimuth 132 degrees magnetic.

We use an inexpensive portable folding RV dish which we place on our swim platform at the stern of the boat. No permanent mounting, the dish just sits there. The dish is weighted down with a container of large fishing weights if the weather forecast warrants.

I've found the boat movement in the slip does not affect the picture. We typically have a signal strength of about 92% if centered in the "circle". Since the Sat TV signal is digital, you either have a clear picture or the picture freezes and "pixelates". We've only lost the signal when a heavy rain is between the dish and the satellite and then only a momentary loss.
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Old 27-02-2011, 10:54   #4
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Re: Satellite TV questions.

The arc the dish still gets reception is a function of the shape of the dish and not a function of the satellite, except for the power of the signal being transmitted from the satellites. It's a function of how perfectly the dish comes to being a perfect parabolic shape and how closely the receptor is to the dishes focus. The further it is from being a perfect parabola, the greater the reception arc but then the lesser the gain. That is the compromise. That applies to all highly focused antennas.

It seems for a boat you would want a dish that is less of a perfect parabola to allow for the boats movement at the dock. The downside is it would be more prone to losing reception when a big storm cloud passes over.

I aimed the satellite dish on my house and it only had a tolerance of perhaps a degree or two. It was ultra-sensitive to its aim. I could knock out the reception just by pressing lightly on the dish. On the other hand it is probably less sensitive to heavy storms.
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Old 27-02-2011, 16:01   #5
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Re: Satellite TV questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randal Johnson View Post
I saw the same thing on yachts in Malaysia and finally bought one myself. I had to point it 69 degrees above the horizon and a heading of 267 degrees. When we moved from Borneo Malaysia to peninsula Malaysia I had to change the heading a little but once pointed I never had to re-adjust it though the boat would move on the lines to the dock some.
The receiver had a channel that displayed signal strenght on the TV screen and I would go for the strongest signal with my wife's direction from inside the boat. The strongest signal I could ever get was 67% but had a clear picture and sound. I brought the unit with us in hopes I can get something similar in the Med.
Was this the typical, normal, satellite dish we find on a persons house, or a special design that offers a wider view?
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Old 27-02-2011, 17:36   #6
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Re: Satellite TV questions.

Viribusunitis
Yes it was the same as used on houses. I was surprised it retained the signal on the boat but we never lost it except for short periods during a rain storm as was mentioned. We installed it on the railing anytime we were at a dock.
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Old 12-07-2014, 21:22   #7
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Re: Satellite TV questions.

Are there any laws in other countries in regards to using satelite tv? Just wondering? My husband said 10 yrs ago that you couldn't use one in Mexico. And he had heard that even longer than that. Thanks


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Old 13-07-2014, 20:25   #8
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Re: Satellite TV questions.

Only in places like Iran. But Directv and Dish do not want you to use it outside of the country where you have an account. And the former sells marine programs out of Puerto Rico.
I used the follow me tv device, but it kept breaking down


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Old 13-07-2014, 20:48   #9
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Re: Satellite TV questions.

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Originally Posted by dohenyboy View Post
But Directv and Dish do not want you to use it outside of the country where you have an account. And the former sells marine programs out of Puerto Rico..
Although Direct TV does not want you to use their service outside the country where you bought it, their only means to enforce that is the signal pattern of the transponders you are subscribed to. With a bit of luck you can get a good signal in Baja using a USA suscriber card, or same in the BVI with a card meant for USVI.
If you want something that works almost globally and is stabilized I suggest you look at KVH equipment and service. It is not cheap though!
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Old 22-07-2014, 07:50   #10
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Re: Satellite TV questions.

ViribusUnitis did you every find the owner of Emerald Eyes? John is a good friend of ours. I'm 90% sure that the boat isn't for sale yet, but will be in the future.
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