Installing a satellite dish yourself

This was originally posted by @Mat_Davies in another topic, Required:a Dummies Guide to Accessing UK TV in France.

I ordered this complete kit from UK : Link. The kit took about a week to arrive despite being told it would take 2 days and cost approx £105 ncluding shipping. The kit includes everything you need except tools.

The satellite dish was very easy to mount on the wall and not a problem from a short ladder. It required 5 holes to be drilled, 4 to mount the dish and 1 to run the cable.

I used Link to establish the alignment for the dish which can show you the alignment overlaying a aerial view of your house. Using the included signal receiver plugged into the dish it was simple to achieve the alignment.

All was going well up to this point and this is where the fun started…

I had correctly aligned the dish to the satellite using the signal tester, but I could not get a signal at the TV, the receiver showed absolutely zero signal.

So I tried again, and again, and again but still no joy.

Thinking the alignment was incorrect and that I was therefore incapable I contacted the original local installer to see they could align the dish for me, yes they could at a cost of 75 euro which I agreed to.

The installer arrived and checked the signal and was very puzzled, he confirmed there was a signal at the dish but not at the TV. After several attempts to get it working he suspected it was the kit supplied coax at fault and proved it by running some of his coax around the outside of the house and in via the front window.

The UK kit supplied coax was very thin and of poor quality which lead the to signal over 40m breaking down to nothing. The test piece of coax used by the installer was much thicker. The installer showed me via the markings on the coax the specification he recommends)

Having spent too much time on this already I assisted the installer to install new cable from the dish I had installed to the TV and everything now works very well indeed with a very strong signal.

The installer did charge me quite a bit more than his alignment price of 75 euro, as the price jumped to 230 euros - he spent a couple of hours with us and supplied 2x 40m of cable (I later found out that his price for this was horrific compared to the Brico for exact same spec ).

Frustratingly all of the problems I had were due to the poor quality coax from UK. The installer commented that the rest of the equipment was of very good quality.

Moral to the story - - -

  1. The kit supplied from UK is pretty good with reasonable delivery times - but the coax is shockingly bad.
  2. It was easy to install the dish
  3. Had coax worked it would have taken 1.5 hours to complete the job.
  4. Buy coax from Brico it is cheap but get this type:

Even with paying installer (at the time unknown expensive) cost for coax it has worked out cheaper by doing it myself but I wasted a couple of house messing about due to the poor cable. I saved approx 100 euro even after the extra cost. Had I simply mounted the dish, ran good coax from dish to TV then had installer do the alignment the saving would have been approx 250 euros.

Would I install a satellite dish again? - on balance yes I would using the lessons I have learned - but I would fully understand somebody simply paying someone else to do it as it would have been far simpler.

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Well done Mat!

Odd that they should supply 40m of cable which is too crap to get the signal from the LNB to the tuner.

More than you ever wanted to know about down lead coax here - http://www.satcure.co.uk/tech/cable.htm

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