This post was most recently updated on December 22nd, 2018
A satellite frequency type is important to the selection of your LNBf and dish. More often than not, the frequency predetermines the type of dish and LNBf to be used. For one, if you want to track a c-band frequency, you will receive no joy using a Ku band LNB and dish for such. I am happy to inform you that in today’s article, our focus shall be on how to spot the Difference between KU Band & C Band. Additionally, I shall be talking about ways by which you can identify(at a glance, the difference between a Ku Band frequency and its, C band counterpart.
- How to spot the difference between an offset and a prime focus dish
- Definition of LNB Skew and LNB clock methodology for beginners
- [Full Guide]Within Decoder LNB settings for Cband and Ku Band LNB
What is a Ku band?
The Ku band in telecommunications is the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum in the microwave range of frequencies from 12 to 18 gigahertz (GHz). The symbol is short for “K-under” because it is the lower part of the original NATO K band, which was split into three bands (Ku, K, and Ka) because of the presence of the atmospheric water vapor resonance peak at 22.24 GHz, (1.35 cm) which made the center unusable for long-range transmission.
What is C-band in telecommunications?
According to wiki: The C-band is a designation by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for a portion of the electromagnetic spectrum in the microwave range of frequencies ranging from 4.0 to 8.0 gigahertz (GHz); however, this definition is the one used by radar manufacturers and users, not necessarily by microwave radio telecommunications users. The C-band (4 to 8 GHz) is used for many satellite communications transmissions, some Wi-Fi devices, some cordless telephones, and some weather radar systems.
Before you can be an expert in the field of satellite tv installations, one of the basic things you must know is TPs/frequencies. I mean you need a profound knowledge of the Ku band and C-band frequencies. Many Free to Air satellite TV newbies usually struggle to know the difference between Ku band and C band frequencies. But today I will explain how to spot the Difference between KU Band & C Band. It’s obvious that Satellite communication is used for a wide range of applications like Vsat and Weather Applications and lots more. However, in this context, I shall be limiting myself to Satellite TV reception only.
Difference between KU Band & C Band
Features of C band frequency
- Below is a typical C band frequency:
4103, 3096, 3085…
- Also, C-band frequencies only have four digits.
- The C band frequency range is 3.7 – 4.2 GHz (or 3700 to 4200 MHz) GHz and MHz stand for Gigahertz and megahertz respectively.
- The polarity of a C-band frequency usually comes as L or R(Although a freq with H or V can also be C-Band so, please check the satellite description to disambiguate)
- And because of the low frequencies, C band waves have longer wavelengths.
- As a reminder, you cannot use a KU Band frequency and LNB on a Mesh dish. You need a C-Band here
- Since we are talking bigger wavelengths, then a bigger dish is required to receive such frequencies.
- Prime focus dishes are used to receive C band frequencies.
- By extension, a C-band LNB is needed to receive C-band frequencies
- The smallest commercially available Prime focus dish is 1.8 metres.
Basic characteristics of Ku band frequencies
- Like the Cband below is a typical Ku band frequency:
12522, 12245, 11708 and so on
- They have five digits, one more than C band frequencies. This is the most noticeable difference.
- Typically, most Ku band frequencies come in H or V polarity. I am yet to see a Ku band frequency description with L or R.
- The Ku band frequency range is 11.7 – 12.2 GHz (or 11700 to 12220 MHz) Notice how these frequencies are higher than the C band frequency range.
- Because of the higher frequencies, Ku band waves have shorter wavelengths.
- Shorter wavelengths mean that you need a smaller dish to receive these frequencies.
- Offset dishes are used to receive Ku band frequencies.
- The smallest commercially available Offset dish is only 65cm in diameter.
Important notice: A free to air decoder like qsat, tiger, strong, gsky and so on can help you pre-determine the frequency types. To get this, scroll to your satellite list under installation and any frequency with letter “C” is c-band while the ones with “K” or “Ku” are Ku band.
Recognizing either a C-band or a Ku Band frequency at first sight
Now we are going to get into more details about reading frequencies provided by a satellite TV company. The two frequencies I have mentioned above are supplied by Intelsat 20 satellite positioned at 68.5 degrees East. This satellite has both C band and Ku band transponders. You can receive the C band TV stations by installing a 1.8-metre Prime focus dish.
Now if a satellite TV company provided you with something details, in this case, you have a Ku frequency Band):-
- 11801 V 27500 or
- 11801 Polarity, V Symbol Rate 27500 or
- 11801 V 27500 ¾
From the above first batch of numbers is the frequency. In this case, it is 11801. The next thing that comes is the Polarity (either V or H for Ku band) and lastly the symbol rate. Although not needed some TV providers usually provide the FEC Rate like the third freq above.. (FEC rate stands for Forwarding Error Correction rate)
This is another Frequency that may be provided, in this case, a C band frequency:
4137 R 5530
Notice how the Polarity is now R. (C band frequencies can either be V, H, R or L)