Satellite Television System

Submitted: Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 22:00
ThreadID: 124545 Views:4101 Replies:6 FollowUps:3
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We are considering the purchase of a satellite televion system. Require advice on the pros and cons of such a system, including load on batteries/solar panels/ reception/etc and any other information that we should know including the problems. Greg & Joy.
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Reply By: The Hob - Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 23:43

Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 23:43
We are also interested in such info.

Does anyone use Vansat package from Mackay?

Thinking about getting it through SIM for new van.

Alan and Barb
The Hob

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Reply By: Kiwi1 - Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 05:07

Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 05:07
We had a bit of an unpleasant start when we bought a satellite package from a guy who touted them on a few forums including this one (he had a BT). He set it up for us at his Gold Coast home and blithely dismissed what we later found were on-screen warnings that Optus was going to switch pirated systems, as we found ours to be, off.
True to its word, Optus later rendered our hard-wired receiver redundant. We and others were left carrying the can.
We got in touch with SatPlus in Melbourne who had few kind words to say about our forum friend but were super-helpful in getting us a new decoder with a legal Optus card. SatPlus has a website and will ship stuff to wherever for you. You can buy the components cheaper on e-bay but you'll find it not much more expensive to get a package and have somebody who will help you if you have problems.

To answer your questions -

The pros: very quick and easy to set up once you have the hang of it. We no longer bother with the satellite-finder that aids tuning. Wherever you are you will get crystal-clear free-to-air channels, so long as you have a clear view to the satellite. Power lines can kill the signal, even if not directly in line with your dish. The channels will include SBS and ABC in all states, plus a couple of commercial channels. The availability of different time zones lets you juggle your SBS/ABC viewing (choose NSW's ABC if you want to watch the 7pm news at 5pm in Perth while your solar panels are still at work, for instance).

The cons: none, really. You have to cart the dish around, of course. And you have to mount it securely. We had an extra jockey wheel clamp added to the A-frame and slip a 50mm aluminium pipe into the clamp, then mount the dish on top. The pole is long enough to enable the dish to clear the van roof if the satellite happens to be behind us. Once it's in place it is rock-solid - important in windy weather. A tripod will give more flexibility in avoiding obstacles but is easily bumped or blown out of line and might find a new home in the night. You also have to store the tripod somewhere. Dish size matters: the bigger the dish, the less likely that reception will vary if a stray tree branch can't be avoided or if the weather turns nasty.
Most self-sufficient set-ups of three or four batteries and solar panels will cope. You will probably have a 240V decoder so will need a small inverter to run it from your batteries. But don't expect to watch TV from dusk to dawn without draining a lot of power. As with anything electrical (or alcoholic, LOL), you should keep an eye on consumption.

Hope this helps.

Michael
AnswerID: 574665

Reply By: Kiwi1 - Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 05:22

Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 05:22
I've just seen a new post on the TouringOz forum ( groups.msn.com/TouringOz/general.msnw) re satellite TV, with somebody else sounding pretty happy with the SatPlus mob. There's a bit more info amongst the replies that you might find helpful.

Michael
AnswerID: 574666

Follow Up By: Kiwi1 - Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 05:55

Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 05:55
I think I made a mess of that. This might work better (might not tho', LOL).....

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Reply By: NIK `N` OFF - Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 06:21

Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 06:21
Probably not of any use as they are Perth based but I deal with

www.accessantennas.com.au/

Jamie is a nice helpful guy, at least read some of the info on the site so that you have a better understanding of it all.

Storm are a reputable mob who make the decoders and they now do a 12v model.

Cheers
Mick & Vickie

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Follow Up By:- Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 17:11

Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 17:11
For "Storm" as above read "STRONG 4654X". These are the boxes to get for a Bushtracker.

Ern
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Follow Up By: NIK `N` OFF - Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 21:23

Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 21:23
Correct Ern, a silly typo error [lets call it a brain freeze moment] on my part :-)
Cheers
Mick & Vickie

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Reply By: Jacmar - Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 19:01

Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 19:01
We have vansat system purchased thru richard at vansat as sim did not sell them at the time our van was built,we found richard one of the most helpfull of all the people we have dealt with, sim did a very good job of installation as van was being built, we chose this system at the time as it was the only one we could find that did not require an inverter which is not the case now as mentioned with the 12v strong box . I have found vansat system very easy to use and all instructions and charts very easy to follow when first learning how to use the system. Our 90cm dish i have mounted uder the lift up island bed so that it is never in the way when not in use and our tripod fits in the draw system of the troopy, mounting the panel under the bed required the divider to be cut down in height approx 50mm from memory which i did after van was built. Our van has 4 panels & 4 batteries and copes with all power usage easy, the sat system uses very little power at all and vans with less batteries should cope easily.
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Reply By: Uncle Dodgy - Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 19:21

Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 19:21
We also purchased the Vansat through Richard at Mackay.
I could not possibly recommend his initial and after sales service highly enough.
The only problem i had (Silly me) there was a brach of a tree in the road of a clear signal from the Sat.I thought at set up that the signal was more on an angle from the Sat but it wass closer to verticle where we were. Richard talked me through it over the phone & i felt a bit of a ninny when I found out what the problem was.
If memory serves me right & it doesn't always, I think he trades as Ardvark Electronics.
He has a web site at www.vansat.com.au

Regards to all
John & Sharyn
Takin' the long way home - Towing a Bushtracker

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