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Satelite Dish - Is Size Important.........?


hfc
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Hi

 

we bought a cheapish portable satellite "suitcase" set (Aldi) about 4 years ago, but it only has a small dish. Its usually takes a little while to find the satellite and get a decent picture, but I was wondering if having a larger dish (60 or 80cm) would make this easier??

 

Cheers

 

Si

Edited by hfc
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We use a 30cm dish with success for years from top of Scotland to the south of France. (you may just make it out on my pic on the left). Setting up is much easier with a sat finder like in the Aldi kit and if you have a smartphone the satfinder app.

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A Zone 1 Sky dish is equivalent to a conventional dish of 43cm, so a quick measure of you Aldi dish will tell you if it is OK. Since the footprint change earlier this year a Zone 1 dish will now work anywhere in the UK - no Zone 2 (55cm) for the Borders or Scotland any more.

 

However France is a different matter. If you look at http://www. ddelec. com/image/general/astra2F-beam. jpg you will see what the footprint now looks like. Those visiting France (like me) in the past have always found 60cm good enough, and indeed if you are north or east of about Marseille reports are that it will still work albeit with some alignment care needed, but go west of that or south of about the northern end of the Girande estuary and you will find it difficult. The picture suggests that Alsace won't work, but at the northern tip of there in May I got a stronger signal than at home but it sure took some finding! You will find it easier to align if you have SatFinder and Satellite Director on a smartphone, neither of which need to have a data connection to do it - just your GPS and the built-in compass active.

 

If you want a 60cm dish get one from Leroy-Merlin or Bricodepot/Bricoman in France where you will find them cheaper. You can get a Konig lightweight tripod for about £15 over here, or a worklight tripod (without lights) over there for about 12€, both of which work well. Remember a dish will work at ground level if it has a clear view of the sat - it doesn't need to be in the air!

 

And in respect of your original question, a bigger dish may help in weak signal areas but it has a much narrower beamwidth (think of a torch beam being more pointed for a bigger dish) so alignment is a bit more difficult.

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Basically, once past Brittany and Normandy you are going to need a bigger dish and the further south you go, the bigger dish you are going to need.

 

Along the Riviera you might even need a 1m - 1. 1m (wide) dish.

 

Strangely, the experts tell us that the larger the dish, the more difficult it is to align however, I have in the past, used both a small "suitcase" dish and an 80cm dish and always found the larger one to be the easiest!

 

Some years ago, I devised a way to speed up the exercise by accurately setting the elevation before you even need to switch on the TV which then leaves only the azimuth to worry about.

 

Take a look here (device 1).

 

Vin Blanc

Edited by Vin Blanc

It is sometimes better to say nothing and be thought a fool, than to speak out and have it proven!

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Tripod mounted 57cm "Arcon Multi" prime focus dish - Humax Foxsat HD Recorder.

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Or we could all go to Iceland looking at that picture should get a good signal there!!

 

 

Phil.

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