I'm beginning to think that TV satellite dishes are a lot like neckties. I have a
closet full of neckties. Since retiring, I seldom wear them except for weddings and
funerals. I have narrow ones, medium ones and wide ones. I never throw them
out as I believe that eventually that width will be back in style at some point.
When we purchased our
present home in Southern Oregon in 1996 the former owner had satellite TV as there is no
cable TV in our area. He left the equipment, a huge 10' dish like the one in Fig.
1. Not exactly a dish I would bring along in the RV. Several years later the
smaller, 18" dishes were introduced which made it very convenient for RVers to bring
their equipment on the road. Winegard came out with a clever, folding satellite dish
for compact storage (See Fig. 2.). As satellite technology progressed, the dishes
grew a bit larger with the introduction of more channels and multiple LNB's. This
led to even larger dishes with the addition of High Definition TV. Some of these new
dishes are almost twice the size of the original 18" dish.
What will the
future bring? Smell-a-vision - with a 6' dish? Maybe Touchy-Feel TV - and
we will be back to the 10' dish? Now you see why I think TV satellite dishes are a
lot like neckties - wait long enough and they come back in style!
Needless to say, as
these dishes get larger, storage in the RV becomes more of a challenge. To make that
job easier we developed several kits that allow the LNB arm to fold up. In
researching that product we found that the only folding LNB arms were in Europe, where the
dishes were already larger (See Figs. 3&4). With the popularity of satellite TV
in RV's I can't imagine why our U.S. dish manufacturers haven't come up with similar
dishes for RVers.
We offer two kits to
allow the LNB arm to fold up against the face of the dish. This feature allows for
approximately 50% less storage space. One kit is designed for certain models of the
DirecTV SlimLine dish. It involves replacing just a few of the existing parts of the
dish with our kit. The other kit is designed for the remainder of the satellite
dishes out there. Installation involves some cutting with a hacksaw and drilling
holes in the metal arm. If you are even a little handy with tools it is not too
difficult - and well worth the effort.
here to see these kits on our website. Also, check out our valuable coupon below
and save some $$$$.
New HIGH-WIND OPTION PACKAGE
last month's issue of the newsletter we discussed setting up the Heavy-Duty Tripod to
withstand high winds (above 50 mph). We offered some suggestions for improved
stability and anchoring. While these were originally intended to be a Do-it-Yourself
project, we received several inquiries to purchase the components for the project.
(The chain, ratcheting tie-down strap and 12" spikes.)
have decided to offer these items for sale as a package - in two options.
option - when purchasing our Heavy-Duty Tripod you can add the High Wind Option Package
and we will drill the necessary holes in each leg foot for the chain, and supply the
chain, ratcheting tie-down strap, and two 12" spikes and complete instructions for
option - if you already own the tripod, you can drill the three, 7/16" holes yourself
(just need a hand drill or drill press) and we supply the other components - $19.95.
here for more information on our new, High-Wind Option Package. Also, check out
our valuable coupon below and save some $$$$.
the November issue we discussed the problems encountered receiving U.S. satellite TV when
traveling beyond the borders of the U.S.
of our readers, Ken T., noted an error in the article regarding travel into Mexico and
sent this correction:
Just 'discovered' your newsletter and subscribed today. While reading the Nov. 2009
issue I noted the following;
'We were able to get about a 55% signal in
San Carlos (about 250 miles south of the US). Geo satellites can be placed in other
locations other than over the equator and the TV signal does NOT get stronger the farther
south you go.'
The original author is wrong! All
geosynchronous satellites are positioned above the equator! All satellites orbit the
earth's center of gravity which is at the center of our planet. This simple fact
means that the only position that appears stationary from the ground is directly over the
equator at a distance that produces an orbital period of 24 hours.
The reason that received signals get weaker farther south is because the transmit antennas
on the satellite are "aimed" to achieved a desired coverage and not waste
transmitted power sending signals to unwanted areas.
We've been full time RVers for over 6 years and I've built a couple of 'different'
One was an inverted DirecTV dish that was very portable but it tended to vibrate in strong
winds even after I filled the PVC pipe with gravel. Presetting the dish with the
proper elevation was impossible! I now have a Dish 500 mounted to a very low profile
tripod. It has 3 feet made from 3.5" length of 2 x 4. The feet are spaced
as a 36" equilateral triangle with the pipe at the center of the triangle.
Ken! It's helpful feedback like your's that make our newsletter more valuable to our
readers. We recently improved our newsletter archive. You can now view past issues
of our newsletter, complete with photos, directly from our website. Simply click here and select the issue you wish
to view from the archive list.