Finally bothering with Freesat

af123

Administrator
Staff member
I seem to have acquired a second hand Foxsat HDR which means I need to do something about getting a feed sorted at home.

I don't know much at all about satellite (apart from what Moftot has kindly taught me recently about polarisation etc.) so can anyone offer any advice about dishes, LNBs, cable etc.?

Looking at nearby houses, there seems to be a very wide range of outside equipment in use.
Does anyone have any experience with the Sqish? http://www.sqish.co.uk/technical.php
This looks interesting, especially with the camouflage sticker option.

Whatever I get will have a quad-LNB. Is it usual to run the drop cables in through the wall and terminate them at a wall plate? At my parents' house, the cables just come through the wall and straight into the equipment which seems odd to me.

Thanks in advance for any help or advice.
 

MontysEvilTwin

Well-Known Member
All Sky installations I've seen take the cables through the wall and connect directly to the satellite decoder. This is probably just for speed and cost. You could argue that fewer connectors are better, but one extra cut in the cable to install a wallplate with f-connectors probably won't have a significant impact on signal strength and quality. There are certainly plenty of satelite wallplates with dual f-connectors available, so use of a wallplate must be common practice.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
A wall plate will provide a measure of protection from any damp tracking through the cable to the receiver. Loop the cable down so that it comes in through the wall from a low point rather than a high one, and drill the hole through the wall so it slopes down towards the outside.
 

Trev

The Dumb One
That sound pretty premium prices to me. Tried eBay?
A wall plate will provide a measure of protection from any damp tracking through the cable to the receiver
He won't get any of that with WF100. It's the old air spaced stuff that acts a a siphon and takes out front ends.
 

Mike0001

Well-Known Member
What do you make of the description of the connectors here?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01DN7NQUC

You can buy long drill bits to penetrate a wall quite cheaply online, and mine have survived many drillings. Just remember to drill slightly uphill from outside to inside.

My advice is don't even bother. The Freeview signal is far more stable than satellite, especially when it snows or it rains heavily, when satellite just vanishes. Even with an oversized dish some idiot on here recommended I buy.

There is little on satellite fta that isn't on freeview, unless you regularly watch local news from other regions.
 
OP
af123

af123

Administrator
Staff member
It's more about playing with a Foxsat HDR than getting extra content to be honest, although my TV has a satellite input too which I might as well connect. Those cables would certainly make for a cheap run from the LNB to the boxes though I'm still inclined to use WF100 and do the job properly (assuming SWMBO buys into the plan - I'm getting some resistance!)
 
OP
af123

af123

Administrator
Staff member
You can buy long drill bits to penetrate a wall quite cheaply online, and mine have survived many drillings. Just remember to drill slightly uphill from outside to inside.
Definitely - the last few I bought from Screwfix were only a couple of quid each. For the amount of drilling I do they're perfectly adequate.
 

Mike0001

Well-Known Member
SWMBOs see the holes in the wall and freak out IMHO. If you can see the satellite from low down, that is a great advantage as it cuts the cable run and makes erecting the dish a lot easier. So does a signal detector.

The dish recommended to me had a lousy adjustment, which went out of line as you tightened the locking nuts. The only way I got a decent adjustment was to tighten the bolts on the wall plate to adjust up and down.
 

grahamlthompson

Well-Known Member
What do you make of the description of the connectors here?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01DN7NQUC

You can buy long drill bits to penetrate a wall quite cheaply online, and mine have survived many drillings. Just remember to drill slightly uphill from outside to inside.

My advice is don't even bother. The Freeview signal is far more stable than satellite, especially when it snows or it rains heavily, when satellite just vanishes. Even with an oversized dish some idiot on here recommended I buy.

There is little on satellite fta that isn't on freeview, unless you regularly watch local news from other regions.
I have lost my satellite signal once since 2008 (snow on the lnb easily removed with broom). Regulary have Freeview reception issues under high pressure uplift conditions. Your problem is no doubt due to incorrect alignment. I have 100% quality on all channels with UK spot beam transponders at 100% signal (Foxsat-HDR) and Pan Europe transponders at about 80% signal.

With someone watching the box diagnostics, gently press and hold the top of the dish to lower the elevation slightly. If the signal quality goes up after letting the tuner respond you need to lower the dish slightly. Repeat pressing top and bottom till the quality goes down for both. Repeat the above to optimise azimuth pressing left and right. If you can move the lnb in it's holder backwards and forwards optimise focus in the same way. Lastly optimise the skew (lnb twist).
 
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Mike0001

Well-Known Member
100% with no snow or heavy rain.

Redditch is milder than at 260 metres in Sheffield. We have been here before. You used to live here, and I used to live there, so we both should know.
 
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grahamlthompson

Well-Known Member
100% with no snow or heavy rain.

Redditch is milder than at 200 metres in Sheffield. We have been here before. You used to live here, and I used to live there, so we both should know.
What's the altitude got to do with it ? The rain can be at any height and it's just as heavy here as it is in Sheffield. My house is 160M above sea level, but large parts of Birmingham are above 200M.
 

Starbase

Member
Like you said it looks expensive for the parts to do the install, it may be cheaper from Toolstation if they stock what you require. They also do free next day delivery if your order is above £10.00
 
OP
af123

af123

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks for all the advice, I've overcome the first hurdle and now have permission to drill more holes in the house!

My second-hand foxsat arrived too and then my first real exposure to the box (and the custom firmware on there).
It was sold as not-working and, as expected, the disk had lots of problems including 47 pending sectors and a completely broken file-system on one of the partitions. Up and running now though for as long as it will last. The Foxsat CFW doesn't seem to have smartctl so I built a copy and it looks like the disk has been left on pretty much for over 5 years.. holding up quite well really:

Code:
ID# ATTRIBUTE_NAME          FLAG     VALUE WORST THRESH RAW_VALUE
  1 Raw_Read_Error_Rate     0x000f   099   092   006    163007389
  3 Spin_Up_Time            0x0003   097   097   000    0
  4 Start_Stop_Count        0x0032   091   091   020    9804
  5 Reallocated_Sector_Ct   0x0033   100   100   036    27
  9 Power_On_Hours          0x0032   044   044   000    49879
 12 Power_Cycle_Count       0x0032   096   096   020    4902
197 Current_Pending_Sector  0x0012   100   100   000    0
198 Offline_Uncorrectable   0x0010   100   100   000    0
 
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