Archive for the Installation Guides Category

In the past week or so the BBC have been moving some of their channels around their frequencies as part of a cost cutting / expediture saving programme, as mentioned in a previous blog

As part of these changes BBC News, BBC Alba and BBC Parliament have moved to other BBC frequencies.

This should not have affected Sky box or Freesat box users, as the channel information on their Electronic programme guide (EPG) should have automatically updated to the new frequencies.

However, if you are using another type of digital satellite receiver, then you wil have to manually add the channels to your channel list. If you do not do this then the receivers will still be looking at the old frequency and will be unable to receive those three BBC channels.


A new satellite, Astra 1N, will soon be located with the other Astra 2 satellites to provide UK satellite TV.
Astra 1N was launched earlier this year, and has completed testing and is slowly moving into its required location, and, according to SES Astra, is expected to be operational from mid October.

It will join the existing Astra 2 satellites (Astra 2a, Astra 2b, Astra 2D) and Eurobird 1 at the 28 degrees east location.

SES Astra say that Astra 1N will be providing “additional” and “temporary” capacity at that location – presumably as the current satellites are close to capacity, and with more and more High Definition channels coming online, there is a need for more satellite capacity. It may also mrean that some UK satellite TV channels that are currently “free to view”, may become “free to air”, meaning chanels like Five* and Five USA may join Freesat shortly.

Astra 1N will also be there to assist with frequency changes when the three Astra satellites are due for replacement – from late 2012 to 2114.


When fitting a new LNB to your satellite dish, you need to make sure the skew is correct.

This skew is the rotation angle of the LNB. And is very critical, and can be the difference between receiving channels or not. In some fringe reception areas, like Spain, and southern France, this LNB skew is very critical, and even the smallest amount of change in skew can make channel reception better.

The skew will be determined by a variety of factors, such as which satellite you want to receiver, are they “east” or “west” satellites, your location. The farther away the satellites are from “due south” the greater the LNB skew will be.

Many Sky TV satellite dishes and LNBs used in the UK come with the LNB skews set at the correct angle already.

But other dishes, or caravan or motorhome users, may have to set theirs manually. There are some channels, such as Sky Sports News, that are very LNB skew sensitive, so you can use the reception of this channel as a guide to the best skew angle.

The tool helps give an LNB skew angle, although very small adjustments to this angle will be required.

Low Noise Block downconverter – or more commonly known as LNBs, are the “eyes” of the satellite dish.
These LNBs are the box of tricks that site at the end of the support arms facing the dish.

Basically they collect the signals and send them to the satellite receivers via the satellite coax cable.

More complex, they actually convert the relatively high frequencies received by the satellite dish into similar signals carried at a much lower frequency, with less attenuation, so that there is more signal available for use by satellite receivers.

There are various types of LNB, which are determined by the satellite dish you have and the type of signals that you want to receive.


It is always a good idea to keep an check on the condition of your LNB – the signal receiver located on the arms on the front of the dish.

Firstly, ensure that the plastic cover is still intact. If it is not, then an water, like rain, can enter the LNB and cause a short in the system. It can also allow insects and debris to enter the LNB, again not a good idea.

Secondly, also ensure that the connection between the LNB and the cabling is also protected. Many times I have been to satellite dishes to see this connection left exposed to the elements. I even heard an installer from a rival company saying they do this as they know they can charge for a callout to repair the damaged LNB!

Many LNBs come with rubber “boots” to cover the connection; some LNBs have a small plastic pull down cover, all to protect that cable connection.

The holiday season is starting to get under way, meaning many people will be travelling around France and Spain and Europe in their caravans and motorhomes.

Many of them will take a small satellite dish with them, like a 60cm or 80cm dish, and spend a fair number of hours with their beeper unit and adjusting the satellite and trying to find the UK TV satellites, Astra 2a, Astra 2b, Astra 2d, and Eurobird 1.

Well the further south you go in Europe reception of some channels will get harder and require a bigger dish, but many people just want a bit of news, just to keep them in touch with the world.

As many campsites have WiFI available, then using a satellite location tool like Dishpointer will certainly help in locating the correct satellites quickly.

Not only is there this version but you can also get a version for your phone – an iPhone App or Android version.

This tool has been very useful, and is well known by many caravanners and motorhomers, but can also be used for the DIY enthusiast also who wants to install his own satellite dish.

“I put my post code in and the result was almost instant.” –

There are some channels on UK satellite TV whose reception can be affected by outside interference.
Some of the UK TV channels on the UK TV satellites operate on frequencies that are used by other electronic devices.
This can result in the loss of pixilation of these channels.

These channels include True Movies and Chart Show TV. In fact these channels actually run “infomercials” about these problems.

It is usually caused by a “wireless” DECT phone, you know the ones with a base unit and a “walkabout” phone. Well it is the frequency that the base unit uses to talk to the handset that causes interference.

The solution is simple. Move the base unit further away from the satellite receiver and cabling.
I have also noticed this happening on some wireless internet routers also.

Universal Satellites Automatic Location System (USALS), and also known (unofficially) as DiSEqC 1.3, Go X, can be used with motorised satellite dishes. Using the longitude and latitude of the satellite dish, USALS can calculate the position of the various satellites, and move the dish to the desired satellite.

As long as the dish is installed correctly, and the users longitude and latitudes are input into the receiver, then the receiver does all the work and makes moving the satellite dish / motor to the desired satellite simple.

When installing a satellite dish, normally it is a static satellite dish and you just have to align the satellite dish to the correct satellite, probably using a “meter” or a tools like “Dishpointer

However, when installing a satellite dish on a motor it is sometimes best to do things a bit differently. (more…)

Whenever you are installing a satellite dish it is essential that your support it installed not only on a good strong wall or bracket, but that the support post is also vertical.

This is especially important if you are want to have a motorised dish system.

For motorised dish systems, a 100% vertical pole is essential so the movement of the dish by the motor is accurate when tracking the satellites. If the support is not vertical then not only does it make it harder to align the dish in the first place, but when the dish moves you will not get the full range of satellites from the dish due to the movement of the dish not being in sync with the “satellite arc” or “Clarkes belt” where the main TV satellites are located.

And also be aware of any obstacles in the area that may affect the signal reaching the dish, or that the dish can hit when it is in motion. I have been to one installation where the dish was installed but when moving the dish, the edge of the dish scraped against a wall!