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Open Roads Forum  >  Technology Corner

 > Directv: portable tripod dish or portable motorized?

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djousma

SW Michigan

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Posted: 06/18/12 09:25am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OK, time for better TV when RVing. I am a current Directv subscriber. Trying to decide how to proceed. both scenario's below are "portable setups", nothing mounted on the current RV.

What would you do? and Why?

Tripod mounted slimline 5-lnb dish
Pro's
  • receives HD
  • less expensive
  • no 12V power requirements
  • fully compatible with DirecTV systems
Con's
  • manual tuning
  • not easy to level
  • bulky to transport/store

Winegard Carryout portable dish
Pro's
  • easy setup
  • more compact than tripod setup
  • no muss, no fuss
Con's
  • more expensive
  • does not receive all directv satellites(no HD channels)
  • future compatibility?



'04 Layton 2940 30' GVWR 9900#
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Clay L

Palisade CO

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Posted: 06/18/12 09:55am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had a Winegard SK3005 installed because I want HD and as you said the Slimline dish and tripod is bulky and hard to store.
Also I am spoiled by ten years of having a manual SD dish on the roof. That was easy to set up - usually took less than five minutes.

I carry an 18 inch dish for use when the SK3005 is blocked by trees. That happens rarely in the western states but back east can be an issue.

I have never tried to set up a 5 LNB Slimline but a lot of people have posted that once you learn how it isn't hard and takes only ten minutes or so.

A lot of people recommend this guy HERE who sells a kit that lets you fold the arm and LNBs on the Slimline for easier storage. He also sells the 2 inch diameter tube heavy duty tripods and some aiming aids.


Clay (WA5NMR), Lee (Wife), Katie & Kelli (cats).

Fixed domicile after 1 year of snowbirding and eleven years Full Timing in a 2004 Winnebago Sightseer 35N, Workhorse chassis, Honda Accord toad

Keith M

Cle Elum

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Posted: 06/18/12 09:56am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Most people just go with the tripod set up. With a GPS or a smartphone app you can easily line up the satellites. It takes some practice and there are times when you get close to giving up. That is why the "cube boxes" are attractive. You should be able to find a cube for around $500. I bought a tripod and a used satellite dish for about $50 total. I have also been cheaper and just taken the dish off the house and traveled with it.

donn0128

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Posted: 06/18/12 10:11am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For about three hundred dollars you can get a complete DirecTV setup that will work for HD and an Align-A-Site. Once the alignasite is mounted to the dish and properly setup it takes about two minutes to locate the correct bird. I have an automatic dish on the roof plus a portable dish for those times when I cannot get a signal off the roof.


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djousma

SW Michigan

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Posted: 06/18/12 10:45am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

thanks all for the responses so far. so for the tripod crowd, how about high wind situations? A 5-lnb slimline has a large surface area. how to anchor to the ground, and sandy siutations. Also, except for the first post with the surveyor type tripod, how do you level those legs on uneven ground?

The "cubes" are only for Dish that I see. Nothing like that for Directv.

Another concern I have is that the Winegard motorized dish only sees 2 of the directv satellites. I checked, and while not hi-def, all the channels I want are on those satellites. When the day comes that Directv starts moving stuff around, what happens to the motorized dish? Do they get reprogrammed for other directv satellites?

schneid

In the Wind

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Posted: 06/18/12 01:10pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

"Another concern I have is that the Winegard motorized dish only sees 2 of the directv satellites"

Who told you that? The Trav'ler SK 3005 sees all five Slimline sats, 99, 101, 103, 110, and 119. It aligns itself using the 101 and 119 just as a human installer does. Maybe that's where the two came from. If you want HD, don't have Locals on the the 119, you can use a smaller SL3 LNB, 99, 101, and 103.

I use a TV4RV.com tripod as it is stable, EASY to level, and aim. I do a site survey with Dishpointer Android. I use my phone's combo compass and spirit level to level and aim the tripod. I pre-set Elevation and Tilt before I set the dish. I then use an Accutrac 22 Mk II to peak the signal for the 101.

For wind, I lash the TV4RV.com tripod eyelet to a 5 gal bucket filled with rocks or water. Water weekends, rocks weeks/months.

I have modded my dish a lot. I am using a SWM SL3s mounted to modded arm, to a "Dish" 1000.2 reflector, and a DirecTV Phase III backplate/mast assembly. Much smaller, lighter, easier to store, and handle.

My dish here

Align-a-Site's are effective but expensive. I have one but only use it when in a heavily wooded area.

Beware of meters between $100 and $500. They do no better than those under $100. At $500 plus, are the installer grade ones.

djousma

SW Michigan

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Joined: 06/16/2004

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Posted: 06/18/12 01:21pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

schneid wrote:

"Another concern I have is that the Winegard motorized dish only sees 2 of the directv satellites"

Who told you that? The Trav'ler SK 3005 sees all five Slimline sats, 99, 101, 103, 110, and 119. It aligns itself using the 101 and 119 just as a human installer does. Maybe that's where the two came from. If you want HD, don't have Locals on the the 119, you can use a smaller SL3 LNB, 99, 101, and 103.

I use a TV4RV.com tripod as it is stable, EASY to level, and aim. I do a site survey with Dishpointer Android. I use my phone's combo compass and spirit level to level and aim the tripod. I pre-set Elevation and Tilt before I set the dish. I then use an Accutrac 22 Mk II to peak the signal for the 101.

For wind, I lash the TV4RV.com tripod eyelet to a 5 gal bucket filled with rocks or water. Water weekends, rocks weeks/months.

I have modded my dish a lot. I am using a SWM SL3s mounted to modded arm, to a "Dish" 1000.2 reflector, and a DirecTV Phase III backplate/mast assembly. Much smaller, lighter, easier to store, and handle.

My dish here

Align-a-Site's are effective but expensive. I have one but only use it when in a heavily wooded area.

Beware of meters between $100 and $500. They do no better than those under $100. At $500 plus, are the installer grade ones.


Thanks for the reply. I am speaking of the Winegard dome dishes - GM-1518, not the Motorized SK-3005. I am really struggling between ease-of-use(GM1518), or full HD function(tripod with slimline dish). for my current use, the SK-3005 just wont work, because my RV is older, and I dont want to mount it permanently. Maybe on my next rig I would reconsider.

schneid

In the Wind

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Posted: 06/18/12 05:22pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Got it.

azandy70

Green Bay WI

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Posted: 06/24/12 04:33am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a carry out. It does see only two Direct tv satellites. That is because it is only SD.
It does work ok. Not much power though. Very hard to shoot through anything. A regular dish will shoot through or past a tree branch or work in most weather.
This carry out will not. And when it gets "lost", It will keep switching back and forth tring to lock on to something. Like it did this morning at 3:00 am outside my bedroom window. I ended up going outside and un plugging it again.

We had a normal dish years ago. Have been fighting with this for three years now.
I use my android sat app to make sure I position the dish in a good spot.
I think I am going to invest in the traveler roof model. It is automatic and can get HD. I'll keep the carrout or get a normal dish and tripod for when I get treed in too much.
I personally would not spend the money for either for normal camping, but I live in here part time while working out of town.
jmho


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djousma

SW Michigan

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Joined: 06/16/2004

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Good Sam RV Club Member


Posted: 06/25/12 08:30am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

azandy70 wrote:

I have a carry out. It does see only two Direct tv satellites. That is because it is only SD.
It does work ok. Not much power though. Very hard to shoot through anything. A regular dish will shoot through or past a tree branch or work in most weather.
This carry out will not. And when it gets "lost", It will keep switching back and forth tring to lock on to something. Like it did this morning at 3:00 am outside my bedroom window. I ended up going outside and un plugging it again.

We had a normal dish years ago. Have been fighting with this for three years now.
I use my android sat app to make sure I position the dish in a good spot.
I think I am going to invest in the traveler roof model. It is automatic and can get HD. I'll keep the carrout or get a normal dish and tripod for when I get treed in too much.
I personally would not spend the money for either for normal camping, but I live in here part time while working out of town.
jmho


thanks for the real world experience. I was camping this weekend, and saw another camper that had the regular slimline dish on a TV4RV tripod. I am leaning that direction.

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