In this article, I will unravel a misery surrounding satellite position and the right size of dish to use. In other words, i will give you hints on how you can know the right size of this to buy for a particular satellite position /package. For example, how do you know that a 60cm dish can be used for eutelsat 36e in sub-sahara Africa? How do you know that for hotbird in Nigeria, you will need at least a 3meyter (300cm dish).
Before I go ahead with this guide, I will love to take use through some basic equipment that can be used with a satellite dish and also some terms used by satellite installers
- Satellite dish: A satellite dish is a dish-shaped type of parabolic antenna designed to receive electromagnetic signals from satellites, which transmit data transmissions or broadcasts, such as satellite television images and more explanations here. This the the biggest and the most important item to be considered while tracking satellite channels
- LNBF KU Band & C band: Stands for “Low noise block Feed” converter. Is that part of the dish that sticks out on the arm back to the dish It converts the hi freq sat signal to a lower block frequency pictures below:
- LNB Cable: The abbreviation LNB stands for Low Noise Block. It is the device on the front of a satellite dish that receives the very low level microwave signal from the satellite, amplifies it, changes the signals to a lower frequency band and sends them down the cable to the indoor receiver. therefore the “LNB CABLE ” that rope usually long and black that the nb uses in transmitting signals from satellite to the receiver. Pictures below:
- Diseqc Switch: (Digital Satellite Equipment Control), pronounced “Die-Sec”, is a special communication protocol for use between a satellite receiver and a device such as a multi-dish switch or a small dish antenna rotor. Pictures below:
- F connector: The F connector is a coaxial RF connector commonly used for “over the air” terrestrial television, cable television and universally for satellite television and cable modems. without this connector, you wont be able to fasten your lnb cable to your lnb and your receiver.See picture
- satellite signal splitter: We have 2 ways, 3 ways four ways spiltter. the job of this is totally diffrenct from that of a diseqc switch because it split the signal from one dish among various receivers. It is ideal for houses where we have many decoders and it minimize how many dish you install to watch one satellite package picture below:
- heavy duty actuator / Jack / motor for Satellite dish: A linear actuator is an actuator that creates motion in a straight line, in contrast to the circular … Typically though, the term “hydraulic actuator” refers to a device controlled by a hydraulic pump. … Air actuators are not necessarily used for heavy duty machinery and instances where large amounts of weight are present. Since big dish are typically heavy especially the one made of steel from 2meters and above, you are adviced to use a jack. see picture below:
- SATELLITE FINDER (Sat-finder): It is an electronic device used in finding satellite tv signals and tracking them. some of them even comes with a compass that helps you to detect the location you are facing it is also known as DIGITAL SATELLITE SIGNAL METER FINDER It works for DIRECTV DISH. Some pictures below:
OTHER IMPORTANT TERMS
The following terms has to do with the non-visible aspect of satellite tv installations and configurations:
- dBW: The expression dBW refers to the power radiated from the satellite in the direction towards the contour line 45 dBW is the same as 10^(45/10) = 31622 watt transmitter feeding an omni-directional antenna. dBW is unit of EIRP
- EIRP: In radio communication systems, equivalent isotropically radiated power (EIRP) or, alternatively, effective isotropically radiated power is the amount of power that a theoretical isotropic antenna (which evenly distributes power in all directions) would emit to produce the peak power density observed in the direction WHEN I EXPALIN WITH PICTURES YOU WILL UNDERSTAND ALL OF THESE BETTER.
- Frequency, polarization and symbol rates: In layman’s language Frequency; Early satellite television was broadcast in C-band radio — radio in the 3.7-gigahertz (GHz) to 6.4-GHz frequency range. Digital broadcast satellite transmits programming in the Ku frequency range (11.7 GHz to 14.5 GHz )symbol rate, also known as baud rate and modulation rate, is the number of symbol changes, waveform changes, or signaling events, across the transmission medium per time unit using a digitally modulated signal or a line code. The symbol rate is measured in baud (Bd). Polarization; For example vertical polarisation is when the electric field is vertical. When people talk about polarisation they are referring to the electric field vector. References to ‘vertical’ and ‘horizontal’ are frequent since terrestrial antennas are normally vertical or horizontal relative to the ground. Check out the following illustration: Dstv eutelsat 36e has the following frequency, polarization and symbol rates; frequency = 12245, polarisation is H, Symbol rates = 27500.
- Satellite degrees briefly explained: If you have something like Eutelsat 36e it means your dish will face east and if you have “W” you are facing west
HOW CAN I KNOW HOW BIG A DISH I NEED TO GET A PARTICULAR SATELLITE CHANNELS IN MY LOCATION
Often at times when you are reading articles on this page , you must have been hearing stuffs like track dstv with 90cm dish, track hotbird 13e with 3meter(300cm dish, track canalplus 22w with 60cm dish and things like you cannot get hotbird in Uganda, you cannot get canal reunion in Nigeria and so on. My dear readers, we don’t just come about all this measurement and calculations by guessing. they are well calculated. The first step to receiving a satellite signal in a particular location is the strenght of the beam(dBW) and the footprint of such satellite. Now even if the footprint reflects in your area but the eirp is weak, it means you will need a very big dish to get signals from that particular satellite. before using some know examples, let me illustrate with a picture as follows:
I already explained EIRP above. The term is, the larger the eirp value, the smaller the dish required to successfully track channels from that satellite all other things being equal. From the above, the grey areas stands for the eirps, the yellow areas stands for the smallest dish you can use to get any channel on that satellite, the red background represents dish size which can stable receive signal while the blue area stands for dish size which can get very good signal. In a laymans language, if you have a satellite dish which covers your area and has 35dBW, it means the least dish you can use to get it is a 3meter(300cm) dish while the best dish to use is 480cm dish.
HOW DO I FIND THE FULL DETAILS ABOUT MY SATELLITE PACKAGE AND ITS EIRP??
All thanks to lyngsat. You can get general information about satellite on www.lygnsat.com while you can get specific information including eirp, dish size and so on on http://www.lyngsat-maps.com. For any map and eirp you want to get for any satellite, all you need to know is the satellite name and the degree. even if you do not know the degree, just make sure you know the satellite name. then point you search to www.lyngsat.com. you will get the map containing the footprint and the dish size required to get the signals. To search, just type the satellite name and infront of it put the site name you want to search from. For example when i was searching for Eutelsat 36e, i used the following search terms “EIRP for Eutelsat 36e www.lyngsat-maps.com” and i got the following: http://www.lyngsat-maps.com/interactive/Eutelsat-36B-Sub-Sahara-Africa.html.%20The%20map%20from%20the%20above%20is%20as%20shown%20below:
Brief explanations on the above piture:
The above is a map for Eutelsat 36B at 35.9°E on lyngsat maps. from the get go, you can see many information about the satellite position. We are meant to realsized the followings:
- The highest beam / eirp for the satellite is EIRP 48dBW
- The largest dish required to receive this signal is 190cm to 240cm dish
- we are also meant to know that the footprints does not extend to orth African countries like egypt and so on. this simply means even if you have a 800cm dish in Egypt , you wont receive any channels on eutelsat 36e.
Similarly, i search for hotbird which is tagged “WIDE” meaning, with a big dish, you can receice it outside eurrope even though its is suposed to be located in europe. This is the reaosn while hotbird is the best fro any iks or sks solutions. It has a leaked beam. http://www.lyngsat-maps.com/interactive/Eutelsat-Hot-Bird-13C-Wide.html
I search canaplus SES 4 at 22.0W is here: http://www.lyngsat-maps.com/footprints/SES-4-West-Africa.html
And the list goes on and on.
NOW HOW CAN I HAVE OTHER DETAILS LIKE FREQUENCIES, CHANNELS LIST AND SO ON?
Using the tips from above, if you want to get full details about a satellite tv like the packages, channels , frequency and so on, you will need to search on www.lyngsat.com and not lyngsat-maps.com. you are still going to use www.google.com as your search engine thus; “eutelsat 36e www.lyngsat.com” or dstv africa www.lyngsat.com …. and you will get results similar to the one below, clink on the package you want and you are good to go.
IMPORTANT NOTICE AND CONCLUSION
The above guide is for educational and developmental purposes only. The application of the above is strictly to be undertaken by professional satellite installer. If you are not one, please do not attempt to even go and buy the items above yourself let alone trying to do the installations. If you wish to be an installer, first learn it from your loca installer then you will be good to go. Do not forget to share this post, happy weekend.