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Jonathan55

Dish while Boondocking

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I have a 12v TV, a 211z with hard drive and a playmaker. I pretty new to boondocking and sometimes watch movies on my laptop if I in someplace like a Walmart where there is not much to see. I sometimes stay on a friends land without hookups. I was wondering if it is possible to use the dish? No or Playmaker dish but with receiver and hard drive without running the generator?

Is it a crazy idea? The laptop is fine but I'm just wondering what others do?

 

Thanks for any thoughts?

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It is easy to do, but it will require an inverter large enough to power the 120 volt items you want to run and a large enough battery bank to allow you to run them for the length of time you wish.

In your case, running a dish box and small entertainment center items could be done with a smaller point of use inverter.  Two or maybe four six volt deep cycle golf cart batteries should be plenty for a few hours of TV a day (depending on how often you will have access to a charging source).

A power audit of the specific items you want to run will give you a more exact answer to your question.

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My 32" LED TV only pulls about 2-3 amps of 12V DC (through the inverter) but the receiver pulls 7-8 amps of DC.  You also need to add in 1-4 amps used by the inverter, depending on the size and brand of inverter.   Bottom line is that when running my TV through satellite (Dish network) I am using about 13-15 amps DC.   The simplest setup would be to buy a 300-400 watt inverter and wire it to the battery and then run an extension cord from the inverter to the TV & receiver. 

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1 hour ago, Jonathan55 said:

Thanks for the great answers! I'll look into inverters! I saw an inexpensive 300 watt one on Amazon and I'll try th

 

It would be well worth your time to check these people out.  Good quality stuff, good prices, good people that will gladly help when you call with a question(s).

http://www.donrowe.com/

Edited by jc2

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On 7/5/2017 at 5:38 PM, jc2 said:

It would be well worth your time to check these people out.  Good quality stuff, good prices, good people that will gladly help when you call with a question(s).

http://www.donrowe.com/

Thanks! I will check it out! I'm RV shopping at the moment and that's a whole other topic :)

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10 hours ago, Retiredin1993 said:

Keep in mind some electronics will no operate on a modified sine wave inverter.  Any thing digital will most likely burn up.

This is just not correct. While some items may be affected running on a modified sine wave inverter, saying all digital items will burn up 0r not work is totally wrong. Yes, some items don't like modified sine wave. But we have used one for 15 years to run our TV's, entertainment systems, satellite receivers, refrigerators, microwaves, DVD players and a host of other items. Some are still functioning today. Some small battery chargers will not work on a modified sine wave. While it is better to get a pure sine wave inverter, both can work. Chuck

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We have a modified sine wave inverter in our rig.  Would have preferred a true sine wave, but that's what the rig came with.  We run our satellite receiver on it with no problems (we spend most of our time boondocking, so the receiver very seldom sees power from a pedestal).  We also use it to charge phones and laptops without a problem. 

We do not use the inverter to run the refrigerator or microwave...the refrigerator runs on propane and, if we need to use the microwave, we turn on the generator.

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@chuckbear, hey it's your equipment, if one want to take that chance go for it.  I know I burned up two digital floor fans, a coffee maker with a digital timer, and I have heard that people using electric blankets with digital controls have lost them, also have heard that some residential refers want run on them MSW.  I happen to have a RR and it's digital and it has survived my MSW so far.  Read my post I said "Keep in mind some electronics will no operate on a modified sine wave inverter.  Any thing digital will most likely burn up".

 

 

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In 11 years of running with a MSW inverter for most of the electronics (all the PCs, digital clocks, and satellite equipment) in the RV including the household refrigerator with only one issue.  That was not a digital problem but the analog control of the ice door in the refrigerator.  The cheap power supply on the board did not like the spikes of a square wave.

Most digital devices today use a power brick to produced lower voltages and usually DC.  The power bricks are very immune to the square wave effects of a MSW.

With that said, for the couple of hundred bucks for a PSW over a MSW, I would have spent it at the time we got the trailer but it wasn't an option.  Even the Bounder we just bought came with a MSW inverter and no option.

I would insure that the power rating of the inverter have a margin over the expected load.  At the lower end of inverters you will see ratings like 400 watts, 800 watts.  Skip the peak rating.  The base rating should be at least enough.  And for devices with surge startups, like house refrigerators, enough power for the startup. 

 

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About the size of the inverter.  I suggest a 400 Watt to supply buffer of power.  A 300 watt may work.  All need to be hardwired to the battery.  Generally only a 100-150 watt will work OK on an RV cigarette lighter plug.  The wire size is to small to carry the current needed by a 300watt or larger inverter. 

We have a 300 watt MSW which came with the 2006 Winnebago which is mounted up by the TV.  I installed a 32" LED TV and use the Dish Network VIP722 DVR and the inverter runs those just fine.  However if I plug our two laptops into the outlet supplied by the inverter, the inverter starts dropping out from overloaded output. 

Note that our TV is a "LED".  If you have an LCD or Plasma TV they pull more power from the inverter.

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:wacko:You all lost me at the first Modified sine wave invertor??? And I worked in cable TV back in it's infancy!!

Simple questions here;

What's it gonna cost me to get my RV Dish ready?? Who does that kind of work? Do DISH installers do RVs too?? I can relate to the golf cart battery power source for off grid. Is it a simple process to change to electric when in a place with electric? Is this true - when you move from one place to another, is it as simple as contacting DISH online or by phone with a new location? Address?? GPS coordinates?? Is this also true - with Dish at home, I just take my home convertor box (what we use to call them) and hook it up to the TV in RV?

I need a RV TV Tech 101 guide. I am an admitted TV junkie and will be travelling solo - TV is good company for me and a must for me. (and I've heard all the arguments about not missing it, but a sports fan as well, and I don't miss events like World Series, NCAAs, Masters, etc.) When reading about RV TV , I get lost in the electronic tech jargon. But having worked in cable TV, I get the basics, and know it can't be that difficult.

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2 hours ago, Missouri Mark said:

:wacko:You all lost me at the first Modified sine wave invertor??? And I worked in cable TV back in it's infancy!!

Simple questions here;

What's it gonna cost me to get my RV Dish ready?? Who does that kind of work? Do DISH installers do RVs too?? I can relate to the golf cart battery power source for off grid. Is it a simple process to change to electric when in a place with electric? Is this true - when you move from one place to another, is it as simple as contacting DISH online or by phone with a new location? Address?? GPS coordinates?? Is this also true - with Dish at home, I just take my home convertor box (what we use to call them) and hook it up to the TV in RV?

I need a RV TV Tech 101 guide. I am an admitted TV junkie and will be travelling solo - TV is good company for me and a must for me. (and I've heard all the arguments about not missing it, but a sports fan as well, and I don't miss events like World Series, NCAAs, Masters, etc.) When reading about RV TV , I get lost in the electronic tech jargon. But having worked in cable TV, I get the basics, and know it can't be that difficult.

Yes, simple one line questions.  However many of the the questions don't have simple one line answers. 

For the TV and Satellite TV questions I strongly suggest you go the "Satellite TV and Radio on the Road" section in this forum. Once there start reading the topics in that section.  Not all of the topics will pertain to what you want to know, but many of them have the answers to your questions. To find this section, as you are reading this reply, scroll up to the top and look for "Home-RVing Forums-Satellite TV and Radio on the Road"  Click on the "Satellite TV and Radio on the Road" and you will see a listing of the topics in this section. 

As far as batteries and RV electric systems here are links to two websites to get you started on understanding RV electrical systems. 

http://www.marxrv.com/12volt/12volt.htm

http://www.marxrv.com/12volt/12volta.htm

If/when you have specific questions about what you read, start a new topic with your question and there are lots of people here to help you.  It works best if you limit a new topic to just one or two related questions. 

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18 hours ago, Missouri Mark said:

What's it gonna cost me to get my RV Dish ready??

Depends on what you already have.  You'll need a satellite dish of some type -- either a roof-mounted dome or an open-faced, multiple-LNB dish such as the Winegard Trav'ler, or a ground-mounted portable dome or open-faced, multiple-LNB dish on a tripod -- and it will need to be wired to the location of your TV.  You'll also need a satellite receiver.  How much this is going to cost depends on what you already have and, if you have to purchase a satellite dish, which way you plan to go (portable, roof-mounted, dome, open-faced, etc.).

18 hours ago, Missouri Mark said:

Who does that kind of work? Do DISH installers do RVs too??

It's doubtful that anyone from Dish will install on an RV, but you can always ask.  If you were in Quartzsite, I'd recommend Satellite Advantage.  Most RV service centers *should* be able to do the work (Camping World, etc.), or contact a satellite dealer in your area.

18 hours ago, Missouri Mark said:

Is it a simple process to change to electric when in a place with electric?

Yes, it's simple.  When you arrive at an RV park, simply plug your electrical cord into the park's electrical outlet.  Voila! You have electricity!

18 hours ago, Missouri Mark said:

 Is this true - when you move from one place to another, is it as simple as contacting DISH online or by phone with a new location? Address?? GPS coordinates?? Is this also true - with Dish at home, I just take my home convertor box (what we use to call them) and hook it up to the TV in RV?

Yes, you simply call (or use Chat on Dish's website) to change your SERVICE address in order to pick up the locals in your current location.  I'm not sure the CSR's can handle GPS coordinates -- I always give them the address of an RV park in the area even if we're not staying there (we mostly boondock).

If by "convertor box" you mean the satellite receiver, then the answer is "yes," you can simply take it from your home and put it in your RV.  It's what we do every winter when we head south.  Of course, as mentioned above, you'll have to have a satellite dish of some sort wired to your TV location (or, if you have a portable dish, you could just run the cable through a window to your satellite receiver).

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On 8/7/2017 at 3:44 PM, Missouri Mark said:

:wacko:You all lost me at the first Modified sine wave invertor??? And I worked in cable TV back in it's infancy!!

 

First ditto everything LindaH said.  I went to Dish For My RV.com and they had a portable dish inside a plastic dome that you can set on the ground and a reciever (the Hopper,) that powers the dish through a coaxial cable. I then bought 50' of coaxil cable from Amazon. In the end I had trouble with the Hopper and the Wingard  tech I talked to said that the portable dishes like the 211z which Amazon and other dealers sell.

My TV runs on 12v so will run off of the RVs batteries. My receiver will not hence my original question. The answer seems to be to get an inverter.

That said when I get to a campsite that has power I plug in the RV and plug the receiver into a 110 outlet, set the Dish (I bought the Playmaker,) outside in a tree free area, connect to coaxial cable and connect to receiver to the TV though HDMI cable. 

Through onscreen graphics I tell the receiver what State I'm in and It spends about 10+ minutes searching for the satellites and then downloads the show schedule.

That all said I was surprised at how many over the air HD programing I got in some places through the 12v TV and antenna.

Sorry for the long sentences :)

Jonathan

Edited by Jonathan55

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