New Astra 2F satellite

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Nigel
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New Astra 2F satellite

Post by Nigel » Mon 28 Jan 2013 09:17

Any more news on the reception of C5 and some ITV regional channels from Astra 2F. Has anyone got reception in all conditions and if so on what size dish and type of LNB etc

Thanks

montgolfiere
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Post by montgolfiere » Mon 28 Jan 2013 17:16

fraid not. still trying to resolve the issues.

Nigel
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Post by Nigel » Mon 28 Jan 2013 19:39

Please let me know when you have more info..ty

Herman Husselmann
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Loss of channels

Post by Herman Husselmann » Mon 28 Jan 2013 23:52

Hi we are they new guys that has taken over Skydigi and have been working on the loss of channel issue for the last month. We have now successfully resolved this. It means a bigger dish but we can give you more info, please ring us for advice and cost. According to the news on the Astra website it also seems that if you can view channel 5 now then the future loss of channels won't be a problem, and this is what we have archived.
Skydigi for Sky tv in France 04 68 87 18 30

Mrs H

Re: Loss of channels

Post by Mrs H » Tue 29 Jan 2013 10:30

Herman Husselmann wrote:Hi we are they new guys that has taken over Skydigi and have been working on the loss of channel issue for the last month. We have now successfully resolved this. It means a bigger dish but we can give you more info, please ring us for advice and cost. According to the news on the Astra website it also seems that if you can view channel 5 now then the future loss of channels won't be a problem, and this is what we have archived.
That's great news, will ring you next week

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Re: Loss of channels

Post by montgolfiere » Tue 29 Jan 2013 11:54

Herman Husselmann wrote: According to the news on the Astra website it also seems that if you can view channel 5 now then the future loss of channels won't be a problem, and this is what we have archived.
i would be interested to see where SES (who build, operate and therefore control the footprint of the Satellites) have stated that they 'guarantee that reception in the Languedoc for the UK FTA Channels will be the same from Astra2F and Astra 2E'.

Mrs H

Re: Loss of channels

Post by Mrs H » Wed 30 Jan 2013 09:11

Herman Husselmann wrote:Hi we are they new guys that has taken over Skydigi and have been working on the loss of channel issue for the last month. We have now successfully resolved this. It means a bigger dish but we can give you more info, please ring us for advice and cost. According to the news on the Astra website it also seems that if you can view channel 5 now then the future loss of channels won't be a problem, and this is what we have archived.
I'm a bit confused now.

According to another poster on this site the signal has worsened considerably since you posted this, is that true?

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Post by montgolfiere » Wed 30 Jan 2013 09:57

The signal dropped Monday / Tuesday to a very low level but has picked back up somewhat this morning (weds) but is not back up to its previous level.

(these signal levels were observed in more than one area of the region).

We would be most interested to hear from the ' New Guys' in Le Boulou if this was also the case down there.

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russell
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Re: Loss of channels

Post by russell » Wed 30 Jan 2013 10:00

Herman Husselmann wrote:We have now successfully resolved this. It means a bigger dish
That's interesting. What size dish are you proposing? Have you tested it in heavy rain.

Russell.

Herman Husselmann
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Loss of channels

Post by Herman Husselmann » Tue 05 Feb 2013 08:39

Hi everyone

The dish we installed was a 1.3m dish in North Perpignan. It restored all lost channels even through snow,bad weather and through the night. Astra also states that if you receive channel 5 now, you should be fine, when further channels move later this year. Please mail me on info@skydigi.fr for further detailed information. You can also follow/join us on Facebook where we will upload new information.
Skydigi will only post reliable sources of information and insure they provide their customers of the best service at all times.
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Sue
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Post by Sue » Tue 05 Feb 2013 09:37

Thats interesting Herman as other than the high winds we have had no bad weather unless you are counting the 5 minutes of snow we had one day and 5 minutes of rain another. Of course Perpignan Nord weather could be a lot different than that at Argeles. What planning permission would one need for a 130cm dish and how long would it take to obtain?
Dylan

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Post by Smiley G » Tue 05 Feb 2013 10:36

A Permis de Construire is required for any satellite dish more than 100cm in diameter. Up to and including 100cm is permitted on private property.
Anyone living in a residence governed by a Syndic de Copropriété will need their authority to proceed for either a new installation or the increasing in size of an existing dish.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

HH

Post by HH » Tue 05 Feb 2013 23:38

Smiley G wrote:A Permis de Construire is required for any satellite dish more than 100cm in diameter. Up to and including 100cm is permitted on private property.
From the information given, the new kids on the block appear to ignore existing regulations. Herman Husselmann, seems to propose an illegal 130Cm Dish.
Skyman seems to propose all his tests on a legal 1M dish. Personally I would support the legal venture of Skyman, he seems to have had a lot of satisfied customers in the past, like today's vote in the Commons I support, the status Quoi.

Mrs H

Post by Mrs H » Wed 06 Feb 2013 00:35

HH wrote:
Smiley G wrote:A Permis de Construire is required for any satellite dish more than 100cm in diameter. Up to and including 100cm is permitted on private property.
From the information given, the new kids on the block appear to ignore existing regulations. Herman Husselmann, seems to propose an illegal 130Cm Dish.
Skyman seems to propose all his tests on a legal 1M dish. Personally I would support the legal venture of Skyman, he seems to have had a lot of satisfied customers in the past, like today's vote in the Commons I support, the status Quoi.
130cm dishes are not "illegal" they just require a planning permis. Plus it's all very well saying support the person who's doing all his tests on a 1m dish, but if you can't receive anything on it, what's the point?

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Post by montgolfiere » Thu 07 Feb 2013 06:54

I am most concerned about the size of dish and consequent wind problems.

My research is along the lines of testing all variations in a given size, make, model, lnb etc. before then moving up to the next size if the results are not acceptable.

Please do understand that the larger the Dish the more precisely it has to be aligned, and therefore more prone to being moved out of alignment, and of course the extra size will mean it is more prone to being 'battered' out of alignment by any high winds!!!

a bit of a Catch22. I imagine my being called out after every windstorm to 'tweak' the dish would get a. a bit tedious and b. rather expensive!!!

The signal varies enourmosly thru the region so a Dish that say works N of Perpignan, may or may not in fact work so well 30 kms south in the Border area.

I am sorry my research is slow but in reality 130 cm. Dishes will only be able to be installed in Low, Full Shelter positions, so i am desperately looking for a 'result' that uses the smallest Dish possible in any given area!! and doesn't in fact rule out many people who do not have such a sheltered place to site the Dish.

IT may be the case that 110/ 120 / 130 even 140 Dishes are the only solution, but until i have checked the smaller models i am not proposing to install anything othe rthan 'Test' Dishes.

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Skydigi

Post by Herman Husselmann » Thu 07 Feb 2013 08:20

Under no circumstances did Skydigi ever suggest that a 1.3m dish is ok to be fitted if illegal. You have to check with the local Marie, but most seem to not be bothered about the size. It is more of an issue when you are in a build up area or a complex with a candidate.
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Allan
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Post by Allan » Thu 07 Feb 2013 10:28

I hope this thread doesn't become a competition between satellite installers.

I sympathise with their plight, but from what I have read, the only solution to a weak signal ( assuming everything is set up correctly ) is a bigger dish. LNBs and other pieces of equipment make little difference compared with the benefits of a bigger dish.

The question is really, how much bigger?

As I understand it, the signal received is roughly proportional to the area of the dish so the signal from a 1M dish would be roughly 1.5 times as strong as an 80cm dish and with a 1.3M dish it would be 2.6 times as strong.

Can the required dish size not then be calculated from the signal strength of an existing 80cm dish .

I know from experience that if I get 80% signal strength during daytime and in good weather then I never lose the signal on that channel at night or in bad conditions.

So isn't it a case of looking at existing signal strength in good conditions and working out what size dish would be required to bring the weakest signal back up to that level?

I accept that if the signal has gone completely in good conditions then the above approach would not be possible.

Discussions on wind and permis are a bit irrelevant until the required size can be established
Last edited by Allan on Thu 07 Feb 2013 10:39, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by montgolfiere » Thu 07 Feb 2013 17:24

I am not in the business of competing with anyone.

I am solely offering my experience and observations to anyone interested.....

as i have done for many years!!!!!

The Skyman

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russell
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Post by russell » Thu 07 Feb 2013 21:52

Allan wrote: As I understand it, the signal received is roughly proportional to the area of the dish so the signal from a 1M dish would be roughly 1.5 times as strong as an 80cm dish and with a 1.3M dish it would be 2.6 times as strong.
Yes that's right. In fact if the efficiency of the dish remains the same the received signal power is exactly proportional to the dish area. However the received quality depends not only on the received signal but also on the noise received or generated in the equipment.
Can the required dish size not then be calculated from the signal strength of an existing 80cm dish .

I know from experience that if I get 80% signal strength during daytime and in good weather then I never lose the signal on that channel at night or in bad conditions.
This gets more difficult. We don't know exactly what the Sky box is measuring. Is it voltage or power or something else?

Given signal strength in the air it is of course possible to calculate the required dish size if we know a few other things such as the LNB noise figure and the desired maximum percentage of time with no picture. Yes' we would like good reception all the time but that is next to impossible. When I was acting as chief engineer for a cable TV network we used 2.5 m dishes and we still had occasional outages but not enouth to worry our customers.

Here is a simplified spreadsheet which I have written to allow one to calculate the required dish size:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3521093/SATCALC.xls

You just have to input your latitude and longitude, the maximum rain attenuation 'more on this later), the antenna diameter and efficiency, the satellite EIRP in your area, and the LNB noise figure. It will then tell you if the signal to noise is good enough for the system to work. You can then try adjusting the dish size.

The satellite EIRP can be found here:http://www.satellite-calculations.com/D ... tprint.jpg The scale is rather large and it is labeled "experimental" but seems to be reasonably accurate.

It is difficult to find rain attenuation statistics for this region. The following is for London but shouldn't be to far out:

Code: Select all

Minutes/month	Attenuation
(worst month)	    (dB)
10                   7.8
30		             5.0
100		            2.5
300		            1.2
1000		           0.5
Personally I would opt for 1.2 dB which will give good reception for 99.3% of the time and could be achieved with a 1.2 m dish over most of the PO.

Finally remember that LNB's have their "typical" noise figure quoted. They never quote maximum for good reason :(

Russell.

Allan
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Post by Allan » Thu 07 Feb 2013 22:32

That's really interesting Russell.

Where does the fall in signal strength that takes place at night fit into the equation?

Is it unrealistic to use a professional quality dish in a domestic situation.

Do you know where you can buy them?

Jo-Anne

Post by Jo-Anne » Thu 07 Feb 2013 22:41

Sounds all very technical, or we're going round and round in circles and been through this before!!?? :lol:

Any chance of you guys coming up with a difinitive conclusion any time soon?? :o

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Post by Allan » Thu 07 Feb 2013 23:02

Jo-Anne wrote: Any chance of you guys coming up with a difinitive conclusion any time soon?? :o
Which guys might that be Jo-Anne?

As Russell very clearly explained, there is no definitive solution but I'll try and simplify it. If you do nothing then you will lose some channels some of the time. If you buy a huge dish then you will still lose some channels now and again but not often enough for it to be much of a problem.

A 1m dish will improve the situation, a 1.3m dish would improve it a lot more. Russell has calculated that a 1.2m dish would work for more than 99% of the time.

The bigger the dish, the more susceptible it will be to wind movement/damage and above 1m requires a permit from the Mairie.

Loads of other factors can have an effect on your reception, so it is not a case of one size fits all.

In the past it was easy because lots of people had dishes and there was a general consensus of what works in any area but we are now in a new fluid situation.

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Post by DaveM » Thu 07 Feb 2013 23:42

Hi Russell,
I am intrigued by your rain attenuation table which appears to show greater attenuation (in dB) the less rain there is (minutes/month). Or am I reading this wrongly?
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Allan
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Post by Allan » Thu 07 Feb 2013 23:46

DaveM wrote:Hi Russell,
I am intrigued by your rain attenuation table which appears to show greater attenuation (in dB) the less rain there is (minutes/month). Or am I reading this wrongly?
Dave
I'm sure Russell will enlighten us but I read it as the number of minutes of lost signal that you are prepared to accept. So the fewer minutes you are prepared to lose then the higher attenuation you have to factor in.

I could of course have misunderstood.

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Post by russell » Fri 08 Feb 2013 08:48

DaveM wrote:Hi Russell,
I am intrigued by your rain attenuation table which appears to show greater attenuation (in dB) the less rain there is (minutes/month). Or am I reading this wrongly?
Dave
Sorry, I didn't make that clear. It is the number of minutes per month that the given rain attenuation is exceded. It is used commercially for calculating the availability of satellite communication networks.

Russell.

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Post by russell » Fri 08 Feb 2013 09:03

Allan wrote:That's really interesting Russell.

Where does the fall in signal strength that takes place at night fit into the equation?
That's an interesting point. I have not come across this before so can only give an educated guess or two:

One possibility is the movement of the satellite. It"s position is not stationary but moves a little as a result of the gravitational pull of the moon and sun. Long term drift is corrected by on board thrusters but this short term movement would use too much fuel to correct. The movement will have a period of about 25 hours like the tides.

Another possibility is weather related. In the evening the temperature drops so the air, particularly in the upper atmosphere, cannot support so much water and it condenses out into small droplets which join up and grow. So we have something like rain attenuation. It doesn't have to be rainiing where you are, just somewhere along the path to the satellite.
Is it unrealistic to use a professional quality dish in a domestic situation.

Do you know where you can buy them?
That's something that our installers can perhaps answer. I'm rather out of touch with the market. We used to buy our dishes from Andrew Antennas in Scotland but they were bought out by Channel Master and later by someone else so I don't know if they are still available or of the same quality.

Russell.
PS. It's best to download my spreadsheet and then execute it from disk. If you try to execute it directly from Dropbox it comes up as read only.

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Post by Allan » Fri 08 Feb 2013 09:16

I believe the same dishes are now made under the name of Raven by a company called Skyware Global
http://www.skywareglobal.com/images/Typ ... R004.3.pdf

I have used your suggested EIRP figure but could you explain what it is actually measuring.

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Post by russell » Fri 08 Feb 2013 11:50

Allan wrote:I believe the same dishes are now made under the name of Raven by a company called Skyware Global
http://www.skywareglobal.com/images/Typ ... R004.3.pdf
Yes, these dishes are also sold as Raven. I have emailed Skyware Global to see if they can quote efficiency figures although I somehow doubt it. They do have a distributor in France which is good news. The mount at the back looks a bit flimsy. I suspect the dish would distort in high winds.
I have used your suggested EIRP figure but could you explain what it is actually measuring.
It stands for Effective Isotropically Radiated Power and is a concept used to make the propagation calculations easier. It is equal to the power that would have to be radiated, equally in all directions, by the transmitter to achieve the field strength observed in a particular direction. This is getting a bit technical. Perhaps if you want a more detailed explanation you should PM me.

Russell.

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Post by Satbloke66 » Fri 08 Feb 2013 18:13

I think it's important to remember that, at this moment in time nobody really knows what will happen when SES launch Astra 2E in the spring. There is a real possibility that the slight transmitting dish imperfection causing the so called Barcelona null zone will be in a different place, meaning that this area would probably be able to receive all the current Astra 1N programming on a 100cm dish. There is also a popular theory that the powerful 1N high band transponders are overwhelming the automatic gain controls on the satellite receivers (I am in contact with several people who are in the process of making a low bandpass filter) and tests have made significant improvements to reception.

So if you want my advice.... wait and see.

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Post by russell » Fri 08 Feb 2013 20:41

Hi Satbloke66 and welcome to the forum.
Satbloke66 wrote:I think it's important to remember that, at this moment in time nobody really knows what will happen when SES launch Astra 2E in the spring.
This is only partly true. The designers and builders of these satellites know what they are doing and in fact Astra 2E will be identical to Astra 2F. They were made by Astrium not far from here in Toulouse.
There is a real possibility that the slight transmitting dish imperfection causing the so called Barcelona null zone will be in a different place,
Sorry but slight imperfections in the transmitting dish cannot produce a local null. They will only reduce the antenna gain slightly. Barcelona should be seeing an EIRP of about 35 dBW and thus require a dish of about 1.6 m diameter for good reception 99% of the time. A 1 m dish could work in clear weather but would be very marginal.
meaning that this area would probably be able to receive all the current Astra 1N programming on a 100cm dish.
Certainly but for what percentage of the time?
There is also a popular theory that the powerful 1N high band transponders are overwhelming the automatic gain controls on the satellite receivers (I am in contact with several people who are in the process of making a low bandpass filter) and tests have made significant improvements to reception.
The receivers would have to be very poorly designed for the AGC to fail like this!
So if you want my advice.... wait and see.
Good advice but there will be a tremendous scramble for new dishes when the BBC channels transfer to 2E. Will the suppliers and installers be able to cope?

Russell.

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