testing peak signal strength on satellite dishes

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by aac9876, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. aac9876

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 9, 2006
    124
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    Anyone know what freq. are used by Wildblue satellite internet dishes..?? Anyone know where someone could find a used analog signal peak meter for testing those dishes..??
     
  2. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    15,815
    282
    Not sure you would get much result. The LNA has a fixed gain and would be much more useful for the measurement. The actual signal strength is minute - the satellite transmitter has an output power on the order of 1 watt. Effective power is greater thanks to a parabolic antenna, but the distance is something like 22,500 miles.
     
  3. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
    22,182
    1,728
    It's generally up to the 2GHz range. You'd need a signal level meter that was designed for satellite reception. A cable TV signal meter would not work; they're generally limited to around 870MHz.

    The company is undoubtedly leasing a channel on a satellite from a larger company.

    The newer smaller satellite antennas were made possible due to greatly increased power levels available on newer satellites.

    You don't really have to have a signal meter to verify that the aim of the dish is optimal; you can adjust the antenna position while looking at the display on a TV. It's very tricky to do, and if you're off by a small fraction of a degree, you'll lose the signal entirely. Then it's happy hunting for the dot in the sky. :rolleyes:

    The antenna mounts are pretty rigid, but you should be able to slightly flex it. While monitoring a TV connected to the satellite downconverter, try flexing the mount slightly left, then slightly right (azimuth check) using light pressure. If you're heavy handed, you'll disturb the mount and you'll knock it out of alignment. Don't warp the dish; if it's damaged in any way it will need replacement. You should observe the best picture when you are not flexing the antenna at all. Then try up and down (elevation check) - you should observe the best picture when you are not applying any pressure (centered on existing alignment).

    If the signal noticeably improves when the antenna is moved either in azimuth or elevation, your dish needs adjustment. Don't try to adjust both azimuth and elevation simultaneously unless you enjoy being frustrated. If you decide to attempt the adjustment yourself, I suggest using a fine-tipped Sharpie marker to mark the current azimuth and elevation settings, so that you can narrow the search area to find the satellite again when you move the antenna too far - it's VERY easy to louse this up.

    The first time you attempt this, it may take you several hours to effect any improvement. Chances of losing the satellite entirely are high if you haven't at least noted the exact azimuth and elevation settings that existed before you fiddled with it. Don't try it when you're tired, or if there is a noticeable breeze; either will make your attempts quite frustrating at least the first time around.

    If you don't have a TV on a cable set up by the antenna, don't even attempt it. Having someone inside the house yelling "Better - Worse" will lead to a rapidly worsening relationship with that someone, and you simply don't need that added frustration.

    If you mess the alignment up, you will need to have the installers come back out to re-align the dish. It could take several days for them to get out to your place, and they will very likely charge you. The Initial installation charge is $180. I have no clue what they might charge to re-align your dish; installers are subcontractors. Contact Wildblue to find out what this costs.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2008
  4. aac9876

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 9, 2006
    124
    0
    thanks for the info.. Wildblue internet and TV are different ..
    I need to hear from an installer what they do I guess. The meter that my installer used was a simple old meter of some kind.Maybe I'll look on utube for a video of it...
    If a Wildblue installer sees this..it would be great if you could post some pics and maybe videos of what you do to align the dish...again ,just for Wildblue internet...thanks
     
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