TopTV and DSTV

Posted on Thursday, April 25th, 2013 at 8:24 am in

TopTV Dish

TopTV Dish

Picture of Thulani on the roof again. Useful to have a spannerboy when things drop to the ground. Anyways, to his left (picture right) is my newly installed, rusted and bent, 90cm dish pointing to SES-5 (also known as the TopTV satellite).

What a mission to get it going! No, not the holes in the chimney – Thulani took care of that. Not the 5th cable into the ceiling either. No, the frustration to get the dish aligned. I align my caravan-portable 35cm dish to DSTV in seconds, I’ve done it successfully many times over. I’ll write more about it in a follow-up, but here are some gentle pointers for TopTV (pun intended):

(1) The signal peak is going to be much sharper thank you think, and much sharper than DSTV. Yup, a single bump on the side of the dish will go from full signal lock to pie-in-the-sky nothingness. Make very small adjustments to the dish, otherwise you will miss it. DSTV is broad, man.

(2) The direction (azimuth) is slightly more to my left (from behind the dish; west) than what I though. I spent many hours with Google Earth and other spotter websites to get the exact direction, but they were slightly wrong by about 4 degrees or so. It might be the way my house lies on the stand, I don’t know. But keep on sweeping and you will find it. Elevation in my case was slightly more critical than azimuth.

(3) Make sure your LNB is 10700 or 10600 and set your alignment tool and decoder to that. It doesn’t work otherwise.

(4) The dish is going to point *MUCH* higher than you think is possible, and much higher than DSTV. I must have spent an hour on the roof pushing the poor dish completely out of shape getting nothing, nada, nilsch. Then I looked at the mounting bracket and it had an adjustment hole for higher elevations. First sweep and I had signal lock. It looks far too high on the photo but it works very well.

(5) Remember to turn your LNB to the new rotation, I left mine at 7 o’clock for SES-5 and it gives good results. DSTV is at 4 o’clock.

(6) A proper tool is worth every penny. Buy one, borrow one, whatever. You are NOT going to get it aligned without a proper meter. See 7 below.

(7) With DSTV the 22KHz signal is off and you can hear the buzzer quite loudly. That’s how the little DSTV buzzer works. It doesn’t work on other satellites or on TopTV. Nope, I tried it, don’t bother. Besides, the beam is so narrow you are unlikely to hear the blip anyway.

Having said all of that I am now the proud owner of two dishes watching TV on two monitors. Its going to give me a headache soon but it was fun while it lasted. My next venture is to watch some FTA (Free To Air) channels with my Strong FTA Decoder. If you have favourites – come-on … share please!