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Old 04-26-2012, 01:31 PM   #1
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Location: Northern Alberta
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Help with Televisions Canada - USA

Hoping that there is someone out there that can help me with a minor(major for grandkids) problem I have run into. We live in Canada and wife and I just purchased last month a 2004 Fleetwood Southwinds 37C which we picked up in South Carolina and drove back up to Canada. We have finally managed to get thru all the red tape inspections etc. and after correcting a few minor problems, we have arrived at the televisions. The motorhome has a dome on top along with a Winegard Digital Elevation sensor. It had either a Philips Directv Receiver Model DSX5500 or DSX5540 which the seller removed but left me the direction book. I would like to get the TV's working and haven't a clue as to what steps to take. Has anyone out there run into this problem and have any suggestion on how to get this system up and running in a relative inexpensive manner. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

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Old 04-26-2012, 01:49 PM   #2
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Unless u get a subscription to Direct that dome is pretty much useless. Cheapest fix 4 me, Shaw Direct subscription, receiver, dish & tripod, works in Cda. as well as USA!!!!

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Old 04-26-2012, 05:14 PM   #3
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Yes, you will need a satellite reciever that is compatible with the dish. You MAY be able to get the antenna re=programmed by either jumper arrangement, or by any competent technician.
Some antenna, like mine a KVH, had to be re-programmed, cost $125, had to meet a tech on the road to get it done., It had been Dish, iIuse Direct. Not really a problem.
As far as use, it will work about anywhere, if it is automatic, after you set up, and switch on your reciever, turn on the antenna, it will find the correct satellite. If NOT automatic, you will need to know the co-ordinates, again, not a problem, these are supplied with your reciever, as a matter of consumer information.
The actual satellites are in GeoSynchrnous, (spelling!), over the equator, 22,500 miles out.
They stay at the same place, all the time, which is why you are able to find them, if you know the co-ordinates, no matter where you are, at least on the North American Continent.
You have a nice antenna, shop around, find a service that meets your needs.
Some will serve ONLY Canada, others, both Canada, and U.S.
There are dozens of your neighbors that winter in the park we are in, in central Florida, and quite literally, ALL of them bring their TV, and satellite recievers with them...
Back to a 5'er after 4 yrs fulltime.
Pulling with a '14 2500 ram, 6.4 Hemi.
Montana High Country 31RE
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:02 PM   #4
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Sounds to me from your description that you have a manual crank up satellite dish. It will have a single LNBF, and is probably quite similar to ours. As it is, it will work with any procider you decide to subscribe to . We use DISH and are quite happy with them. The roof top dish is relatively easy to set up. On our system, we enter the zip code of our location and the DISH receiver tells us the elevation and compass heading to point the satellite dish. The elevation meter has a switch you push, then gives you the elevation as you crank up the satellite dish. You then rotate the dish until you have found the signal. You will be able to use the screen on your tv from the receiver that will show you signal strength. Once you are on the right satellite, you lock the roof dish, and your basically set. I suspect the other providers have a similar set up. You should also have a manual TV antennae that will get local stations, and some sort of TV switch box that can be set to Antennae, Cable, Satellite, Auxilliary. It should also allow you to send a different signal to the back TV from the front TV. Hope this helps. If you find your system to be sinilar to ours and need more information, just ask.

Jim and Lynda, (Sophie, Jake, attack trained killer Shi-Tzus :-))

2003 Fleetwood Expedition 38N 2005 Saturn Vue
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:10 PM   #5
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The simplest thing to do is ignore that now useless to You device. Either leave it or remove it and patch the hole in the Roof!

Then sign up for Shaw Direct, get a Tripod or Construct a suitable Stand for the Dish (72 cm) . Download all the various coordinates and Skew Adjustments. Head anywhere in Canada, The USA or Mexico. After a short learning curve setup takes about 10 Minutes or Less!
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:49 PM   #6
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Emmi....unless you can find someway or someone willing to get you a subscription to DirectTV you are SOL with this set- up. As the other Canadians who have responded to your post suggest...the easiest & most effective solution is a Shaw subscription and portable dish. We have used Shaw for years and the service is good throughout Canada, the USA & Mexico. If you are willing to spend some money you can install a Weingard "auto" Dish which you can wire to feed two separate TV's and also pull-in HD reception.
Jack & Maggie
04-Rexhall Roseair (37)
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:09 PM   #7
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I agree will the comments of others here. We have what sounds like the same Winegard dish and elevation meter. It is compatible with Direct , Dish Network & Bell Expressvu.
We use our's with our Bell Expressvu home reciever and it has worked fine every where down to the Mexico/US border. However, we don't tell Bell when the receiver is on the road with us or they could turn it off. Also, rumor has it, Bell may put up a new satellite who's signal will be aimed at Canada only as is thier current HD Nimiq 82 satellite. If you travel alot and in the US, Dish Network has a pay-as-you go service.
I have checked into this a bit and it seem all they require is proof of RV ownership(registration) to sign up and the purchase of a Dish Network receiver. It would work with the dish on the roof of your RV , but one catch is Dish's TV packages
are split between 2 different satellites 9 degrees apart , so one may have to move the
dish slightly to pull in certain channels. Bell Expressvu is nice in that all the normal SD channels come from one satellite, Nimiq 91.
Unfortunately, Shaw uses a different broadcast signal requiring a different model of
Winegard RV roof dish which is quite expensive. If you go with Shaw as others have
suggested, the easiest and least expensive way is to use a portable dish ( regular Shaw home dish on a tripod or stand). Many times while camping trees block the satillite signal to to roof of the RV anyway , so a portal dish allows you to move it to the spot you need to pick up signal. May people, including us, carry a portable dish to solve the problem of trees blocking the signal. We changed the external cable input
to connect to a "A/B' switch next to the satillite reciever. I then connect the portal dish to the rear outside cable input, then flip the A/B switch to connect it to the receiver.
Ellen & Greg
05 National Dolphin 5342
Workhorse W22 FMCA # F431548
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:32 PM   #8
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I had Directv on my Alberta registered coach as I had a US address and SSN. Nothing but trouble. You can't register as a mobile user because of the Canadian plate, and they would let you pick up the "local channels" (meaning the main network channels) in HD only if you called and changed the address every time you moved the coach. They didn't work in Canada.

You might be able to change the receiver arm on the dish and re-use it, but two things to think about:
1/ You need a LARGE dish to work up in Canada for HD. The small round ones and the little in motion domes are not good enough.
2/ If you dish is on your roof, and there is something like a tree or a building in the way, you have to relocate the coach to get a signal. A dish on a tripod can help with this.

I was told that Bell DirectVu were disabling reception below the 49th, but I have not tried it, I have been told that Shaw lets you use it in the US.
2006 Patriot Thunder
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:37 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by RobRV View Post
The simplest thing to do is ignore that now useless to You device. Either leave it or remove it and patch the hole in the Roof!

Then sign up for Shaw Direct, get a Tripod or Construct a suitable Stand for the Dish (72 cm) . Download all the various coordinates and Skew Adjustments. Head anywhere in Canada, The USA or Mexico. After a short learning curve setup takes about 10 Minutes or Less!
Times 2
Just living is not enough, One must have sunshine, freedom and a RV.
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:01 AM   #10
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Not sure if I am doing this right but to all that answered a big THANKS. I have Shaw service at home, so after reading a lot of the posts, I saw the local Shaw guy here and he borrowed a dish and locater to me, I took our receiver out of the bedroom and hooked it into our Southwind, put the dish in an arm chair, aimed it and all worked great. Shaw guy says that5 it will work all the way to Gulf so looks like I am ok. Again thanks for the replies.
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Old 04-28-2012, 04:39 PM   #11
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Your dish will work with Bell TV and you will have no problems getting sats 82 and 91. Sat 82 has the HD programming. You will need a Bell tv subscription and a receiver either HD or standard depending if you want the HD. I don't know if it would work with Shaw but others might be able to help.

09 Journey 39Z
Southern Ontario
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