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Bud in Florida
I used to have a 5th wheel and it had a winegard satellite system that was great. All I had to do was turn it on and punch a button and it found the signal. Now I have a Class A and am looking at satellite systems. I know that I can get a dome system for about $1400 and have it installed. My question is this-- do any of you use a crank up dish with digital magic? I hear that it works pretty well. When I first started, I had a portable dish and it was nightmare to get locked on. Is the crank up a viable alternative to spending $1600. You can get it for about $289 and have it installed for about $250. That is an $800 savings, but not worth much if the system doesn't work. Thanks for any input.
RLM
Bud> My motor home has a roof mounted King Dome system which, at the push of a button, makes the under dome antenna look for and lock into a satellite signal. In addition to that, I have a back-up tripod mounted sat dish that I can set up outside of the rig. That external sat dish is for situations where the King Dome will not get a signal due to trees blocking the satellite signal. I can always move the tripod dish to a location that can get a signal.

Having used both systems for a couple of years, I personally prefer the portable dish. The reasons:

1-The dome antenna is ½ the size of the portable dish. That translates to received signals that are weaker and may cut out with substantial weather conditions or anything that is in the way of the satellite sending out the signal.
2-My external, tripod mounted, dish is what is called a ‘dual LNB’ meaning that I can connect two separate cables to it and run those cables to two separate receivers. Simply stated, I can have different programming on both the living room and bedroom TVs. That can’t be done with the dome system without some extra wiring.

Your comment about the “nightmare” of getting a portable dish to work is valid, but easily correctable. First, please know that most of the elevation and azimuth settings on an external dish will be the close to the same setting where ever you are unless you move from flat land to mountains or from NY to CA. Secondly, if one uses a compass to find the general direction and a satellite finder connected between the dish and the receive, the process will take about 5 minutes. Get a good compass and then go online and search for satellite finders. They can be purchased for $20 or less. Get one with a visual and audio signal.

The one advantage of a digital roof mounted system is that it doesn’t require one to drag the external dish and cables out of the rig to set them up. Sometimes that’s worth whatever you pay for it…especially on a one-night stop. Provided that stop isn’t under a mass of tree limbs that block your signal.
Browzin
On our last RV we had the Winegard crank up dish with the digital satellite finder. They are cheap because they are cheap. The biggest problem we had with it was when ever there was any wind at all it would wobble around and lose the satellite. The design of the system is terrible, we talked to others with it and found that they had the same problem.

With the motor home we have now we just use a portable dish. We found a few things that made it a snap to set up.

First, we got a satellite signal finder for around $20 from http://www.sadoun.com/Sat/Products/Accesso...ignal-meter.htm

Second, we downloaded a *Free* program that tells you where the satellite is, it actually gives you a aiming picture, it allows you to use either GPS or Zip Code location inputs to locate the satellite direction. It will work with any satellite TV, internet, weather, etc. Download the program from here; http://www.datastormusers.com/lookangle.cfm

Third, we were tired of the problems of the tripod, having to weigh it down to keep wind from blowing it over etc. so we built this little stand out of PVC an mounted the dish on it.

IPB Image



Yes the dish is flipped over 90 degrees, an yes it works just fine, it doesn't blow over in the wind or any thing else.

Here is a picture of every thing broke down an ready for storage/travel.

IPB Image

You will notice that I drilled out the spot welds on the boom arm and replaced them with 1/4" bolts so that it can be folded over for travel/storage.

For any one that is interested in using this base system, here is where I got the information on making/using it. http://www.bbrv.dreamstation.com/sat.html Cost around $10 to build your self.
gsbogart
I had one of the crankup weingard units on our motorhome and got rid of it. Sold it on ebay for $185.00

Went to ebay and bought a movin view system from weingard for $875.00 including shipping. Anyone with a limited amount of mechanical skill can install one of these, Just take your time, and follow directions. The best $690 net I have recently spent.

We used the same wires that were already in place(RG 6 cable and wire harness). We are very satisfied with the new system.

Problems we encountered with the old crankup:
wind vibrating while traveling
difficulty in locating satellite at times
just plain frustration trying to get the thing to bring in a picture.

Our crankup had the digital readout for azimuth and we used a compass for direction to point the dish.
riggarob
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RLM, it's very interesting to note that after a lot of research, and gabbing w/ others I came to the same conclusion as you ! I just read your post, and agree completly, and am looking on ebay for a dish, and assorted equipment (all very cheap) to add in addition to my roof top unit. Got any hints for the proven stuff, so I don't waste too much time and money? Any more info would be greatly appreciated from anyone. Also, does anyone out there use a TiVo unit, instead of the standard box. My home TiVo has a landline hook up to DL new TV guide info. What happens when you can't do this in your coach? Thanx for any info. unsure.gif
ddbradley952
QUOTE(RLM @ Jun 10 2007, 11:40 PM) *

Bud> My motor home has a roof mounted King Dome system which, at the push of a button, makes the under dome antenna look for and lock into a satellite signal. In addition to that, I have a back-up tripod mounted sat dish that I can set up outside of the rig. That external sat dish is for situations where the King Dome will not get a signal due to trees blocking the satellite signal. I can always move the tripod dish to a location that can get a signal.

Having used both systems for a couple of years, I personally prefer the portable dish. The reasons:

1-The dome antenna is ½ the size of the portable dish. That translates to received signals that are weaker and may cut out with substantial weather conditions or anything that is in the way of the satellite sending out the signal.
2-My external, tripod mounted, dish is what is called a ‘dual LNB’ meaning that I can connect two separate cables to it and run those cables to two separate receivers. Simply stated, I can have different programming on both the living room and bedroom TVs. That can’t be done with the dome system without some extra wiring.

Your comment about the “nightmare” of getting a portable dish to work is valid, but easily correctable. First, please know that most of the elevation and azimuth settings on an external dish will be the close to the same setting where ever you are unless you move from flat land to mountains or from NY to CA. Secondly, if one uses a compass to find the general direction and a satellite finder connected between the dish and the receive, the process will take about 5 minutes. Get a good compass and then go online and search for satellite finders. They can be purchased for $20 or less. Get one with a visual and audio signal.

The one advantage of a digital roof mounted system is that it doesn’t require one to drag the external dish and cables out of the rig to set them up. Sometimes that’s worth whatever you pay for it…especially on a one-night stop. Provided that stop isn’t under a mass of tree limbs that block your signal.


Most camper stores sell one made by wineguard. Regardong the portable dishes, I recomend the round PLASTIC dish over the metal one for several reasons. First, it's smaller and folds up easier, second, it is far more level than the metal ones thus more accurate, and then also it has the compass and level guage built into the base whereas on the metal ones the metal in the dish makes the compass spin wildly so you have no real idea if the direction is corect. Several other reasons, the plastic is better. If you look at both side by side you will see what I mean.
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