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Old 06-10-2013, 09:30 AM   #1
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Winegard Manual Crank Up Satellite Dish

Well, I finally got through the install process on my vip211K Dish receiver (boy talk about a learning curve) with my Single LNB 10 year old Winegard Manual Crank Up Satellite Dish.

I have cleared the Select Switch per Winegard's instructions and got to the 'aim dish' and couldn't get a signal track using the proper azimuth and elevation. I moved it by 2 degree increments, back and forth 10 degrees in each direction, stopping for at least 10-15 seconds to allow the receiver to recognize, and still was unable to find the 119 satellite, which is the only satellite I need since I have basic Dish service and only 1 LNB on the antenna.

So today I downloaded the Dish Pointer App and will go look to make sure the 119 satellite is not being blocked by trees. I don't believe that is an issue because a month ago I had the DISH tech come out, hook up his $500 satellite meter finder and we had no problems finding it, BUT, I think he was trying to find 129, not 119....

Then, I think I'll buy the 30-40 dollar satellite meter, which should immediately see a signal increase as I'm slowly moving the dish, unlike the receiver, which takes they said up to 15 seconds to see the signal.

Any ideas or thoughts?

Thanks!
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:43 AM   #2
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Meters

I bought one. It's useless. I was able to get a reading out of it ONE time. I use a compass and only sometimes a level. Be sure to keep the compass away from even small magnetic fields or it will mislead you. ( don't ask how I learned this)

There are a couple of problems with The meters. 1. They don't 'know' which satellite and will only show you 'a' satellite. 2. They have a sensitivity adjustment that is very difficult to use. 3. At least in my case it never helps. (Ok, counting isn't my strong point)

I have directTV and use the audible tones built into satellite setup for aiming. Rarely takes more than a few minutes. I always get the right sat. I assume that Dish has the same type of thing built in to their receivers.

Maybe your LNA is shot. At 10 years out in the open that's a real possibility. Check eBay - they are plentiful & cheap if it takes a standard RCA or Sony LNA.

Good Luck!
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:06 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muddypaws View Post

There are a couple of problems with The meters. 1. They don't 'know' which satellite and will only show you 'a' satellite. 2. They have a sensitivity adjustment that is very difficult to use. 3. At least in my case it never helps. (Ok, counting isn't my strong point)

Good Luck!
My 211K will tell me which satellite the dish is pointing at.
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:29 AM   #4
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Cool

Then there is probably no reason to 'blow' $30 on a handheld sat meter...... Just turn the volume up to where you can hear it.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:05 AM   #5
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I feel your pain. I started with this exact set-up. It took a few tries in different locations before I was able to aim the RM-DM46 with little effort.
Crank-Up Satellite Dish with Digital Magic - Winegard

I am assuming that the antenna is working, as you said the Dish Tech was able to make it work...

So, first - the ViP-211k does a pretty good job of telling you that you have hit a readable signal within a few seconds - if - you have the volume on your TV set so you can hear the signal "tone" from the receiver. The visual "bar" shown at the bottom of the set-up screen is less responsive during initial aiming.

The "elevation" (aiming for the up/down angle) is the first and most important first set. If that is off, you are wasting your time. The elevation number comes from the ViP-211k set-up screen, but it is up to you to get it right. I have their "digital magic elevation sensor" as part of my RM-DM46 which is standard equipment on that dish at this time. If you do not have that or are not using it, them you will have a big problem with set-up.

Next, reading the azimuth from the ViP-211k, you will turn the dish to the left and right in small movements...listening for the "tone" from the TV.

A trick is to look at where other SAT users are aiming. They usually will all be pointing at the same general area of the sky. Even stationary dish antenna's can be used for this quick check.

This should help you get an initial lock on a SAT. If while aiming, you found and locked on 110 or 129 instead of 119, then - at least - you know which way you need to move the dish (move the aim to the West if you have found 110 - move the aim to the East if you found 129).

After you have locked on 119, then fine tune the elevation first - then the azimuth to increase the signal strength. This fine-tune is where the on-screen visual bar is useful.

OR THERE IS AN EASIER ANSWER - Get a Tailgater antenna, like I did - it's fully automatic, locks all 3 SATS at once and switches between them automatically as you change channels! SO much easier!! And portable to avoid those evil signal sucking shade trees!

We have used the crank-up only 1 time since getting the Tailgater (for fear of having the tailgater grow legs and walk away) because it is SO MUCH BETTER.

Best of luck
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:17 PM   #6
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Amazing, I am going through this exact same exercise. I am as noob as they come in regards to satellite.

I bought a cheap $7 sat meter from Amazon. It helps a little, but as mentioned, doesn't tell you what satellite you're seeing. So far (now that I have spent some time in the learning curve), I have had very little problem aiming the dish to find a satellite using that cheap meter and the receiver's aiming help, and I don't have the Digital Magic. The # of CW cranks as listed in the Winegard manual is pretty accurate for me.

So far, I have "found" 110, 119, and 129. It was knowing I needed 119 when I was looking at 110 that I learned over the weekend. Regretfully, I couldn't get 119 where I was because it was directly behind a huge tree. That will be the biggest drawback of using the roof-mount dish. But we aren't in the RV enough to justify the $300+ for the tailgater and I don't want something else I have to find a place to store. In the future, perhaps, but not right now.

So, where I am at right now is getting the 211k to update its software. Still haven't seen any TV on it, but I'm hoping I am just about there. Got it aimed at 119 now (in my home driveway), followed the manual to run the switch test once it crapped out of the step 2 of 5 of the setup, and sent it back to the setup. It was resuming as I left for work this morning. Will be interesting to see what it says when I get home.
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:20 PM   #7
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Most of the meters will not tell you which satellite you are aiming at. Still I use one when aiming gets difficult. Believe it or not my hearing aid will start screaming when I hit a satellite. Probably as reliable as anything.
Be sure to test all your connections, A compass is necessary. Trees are a satellites worst enemy.
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow520 View Post
Amazing, I am going through this exact same exercise. I am as noob as they come in regards to satellite.

I bought a cheap $7 sat meter from Amazon. It helps a little, but as mentioned, doesn't tell you what satellite you're seeing. So far (now that I have spent some time in the learning curve), I have had very little problem aiming the dish to find a satellite using that cheap meter and the receiver's aiming help, and I don't have the Digital Magic. The # of CW cranks as listed in the Winegard manual is pretty accurate for me.

So far, I have "found" 110, 119, and 129. It was knowing I needed 119 when I was looking at 110 that I learned over the weekend. Regretfully, I couldn't get 119 where I was because it was directly behind a huge tree. That will be the biggest drawback of using the roof-mount dish. But we aren't in the RV enough to justify the $300+ for the tailgater and I don't want something else I have to find a place to store. In the future, perhaps, but not right now.

So, where I am at right now is getting the 211k to update its software. Still haven't seen any TV on it, but I'm hoping I am just about there. Got it aimed at 119 now (in my home driveway), followed the manual to run the switch test once it crapped out of the step 2 of 5 of the setup, and sent it back to the setup. It was resuming as I left for work this morning. Will be interesting to see what it says when I get home.
We are in the exact same spot Shadow. I couldn't get anything to come through yesterday afternoon when I was aiming it. I had a huge learning curve, didn't know squat about the dish, how to crank it up, or where, or even if I had the right coax cable hooked in to begin with. Anyway, I had to learn everything the hard way and I got back yesterday and cleared out the 129 check switch and was doing the point satellite function and just simply could not get a lock on anything, BUT you have given me a good idea, go back and raise the volume on the tv, I could very well have been missing it all along.

I thought the volume was up loud enough, but certainly could have been mistaken. Good point, will check it.
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Izzyblueye View Post
Most of the meters will not tell you which satellite you are aiming at. Still I use one when aiming gets difficult. Believe it or not my hearing aid will start screaming when I hit a satellite. Probably as reliable as anything.
Be sure to test all your connections, A compass is necessary. Trees are a satellites worst enemy.
Yes, I was concerned about that, and indeed, downloaded and paid for the Dish Pointer App, checked it when I went home for lunch, and it appears there may be some interference from the neighbor's silver maple.

I went on the driver's side of the coach and activated the Dish Pointer App and it looked like it was clear of the top of the trees, in any event, I am not sure of anything right now until I troubleshoot and make sure the volume is up while aiming.
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Old 06-10-2013, 01:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarab0088 View Post
I feel your pain. I started with this exact set-up. It took a few tries in different locations before I was able to aim the RM-DM46 with little effort.
Crank-Up Satellite Dish with Digital Magic - Winegard

I am assuming that the antenna is working, as you said the Dish Tech was able to make it work...

So, first - the ViP-211k does a pretty good job of telling you that you have hit a readable signal within a few seconds - if - you have the volume on your TV set so you can hear the signal "tone" from the receiver. The visual "bar" shown at the bottom of the set-up screen is less responsive during initial aiming.

The "elevation" (aiming for the up/down angle) is the first and most important first set. If that is off, you are wasting your time. The elevation number comes from the ViP-211k set-up screen, but it is up to you to get it right. I have their "digital magic elevation sensor" as part of my RM-DM46 which is standard equipment on that dish at this time. If you do not have that or are not using it, them you will have a big problem with set-up.

Next, reading the azimuth from the ViP-211k, you will turn the dish to the left and right in small movements...listening for the "tone" from the TV.

A trick is to look at where other SAT users are aiming. They usually will all be pointing at the same general area of the sky. Even stationary dish antenna's can be used for this quick check.

This should help you get an initial lock on a SAT. If while aiming, you found and locked on 110 or 129 instead of 119, then - at least - you know which way you need to move the dish (move the aim to the West if you have found 110 - move the aim to the East if you found 129).

After you have locked on 119, then fine tune the elevation first - then the azimuth to increase the signal strength. This fine-tune is where the on-screen visual bar is useful.

OR THERE IS AN EASIER ANSWER - Get a Tailgater antenna, like I did - it's fully automatic, locks all 3 SATS at once and switches between them automatically as you change channels! SO much easier!! And portable to avoid those evil signal sucking shade trees!

We have used the crank-up only 1 time since getting the Tailgater (for fear of having the tailgater grow legs and walk away) because it is SO MUCH BETTER.

Best of luck
I am SO CLOSE to going to get the Tailgate, BUT, I can't justify it and don't want to haul something else around that needs to be set up when I have one on top of the coach. Also, can you tell me how you hook yours up? Did you run a new line or do you hook it up to the park cable in the utility bay?

But I MAY be going to the Tailgater if I find my existing roof mounted antenna is needing repairs or replacement, which is still a possibility....
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In Memoriam: Katie, Spencer and Zoey
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Old 06-10-2013, 01:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lincolnboy2 View Post
I am SO CLOSE to going to get the Tailgate, BUT, I can't justify it and don't want to haul something else around that needs to be set up when I have one on top of the coach. Also, can you tell me how you hook yours up? Did you run a new line or do you hook it up to the park cable in the utility bay?

But I MAY be going to the Tailgater if I find my existing roof mounted antenna is needing repairs or replacement, which is still a possibility....
In my RV, I have what Damon called "SAT Prep", so I had an extra coax run from a front bin to the entertainment cabinet.

But, you CAN use the RV park coax line run - just move that cable to the input on the back of the SAT receiver. And remember, it is a single purpose cable, unless you buy 2 "Diplexers" (one for each end) to run cable TV and SAT on the same coax line.

Or, you can add a new coax line from an external RF connector in a bin or on the external wall: Rv TV Outlet Colonial White#

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Best of luck
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:32 AM   #12
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I got mine working last night. It had completed the software update and rebooted. It was off when I got home from work, so I turned it on and it started step 4. Since I didn't have it connected to a phone line/internet, I had to call Dish to have it activated. They sent a signal and a couple seconds later, the receiver moved onto step 5, then completed!

I did have to reboot it one more time so it got the correct program guide, but I was watching satellite TV in the motorhome after that!

Of course, now the key will be can I find the satellite the next time I head out in it? Since the addition of the cheap meter and knowing how to get the aiming help from the receiver, I'll try it as is for now. Seemed easy enough the past few days with those tools that I'll try that for a while before plunking down more $ on the Digital Magic or a Tailgater.
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:30 AM   #13
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Evil signal sucking shade trees!



And those darn trees are the reason I carry a 'manual' dish.

Strangely enough there's a beach location we go to once in a while where the KVH alsolutely refuses to work every time. No obstructions at all.

Funny thing: I've had much better luck setting azimuth first and then elevation. But I usually don't even use a level.
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:51 AM   #14
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I had a manual Winegard antenna on my coach and had many problems getting the right signal. I found it a lot easer when I look up the settings on the tuner (Direct TV) and fount if I set it at 19 turns up (elevation) and 220 degrees azimuth. Now I don't need any signal meters and do not have any problem getting a picture.
Some times we make things harder than they are.
Hope this is of some help.
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