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Shifting from Tailgater to Regular DISH


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I am considering changing from my Tailgater to a regular Dish type setup. For some reason Tailgaters no longer access the satellite (61, 69 or one of those 60ish satellites) that has HD local channels.


Anyway, what type of setup should I get? Right now I have the Tailgater and the VIP211k. This is all new territory for me so I don't know any specific questions to ask. If you need more info let me know. This will be portable. I do not want to attach it to my rig.


We are in a 5th wheel and spend 3-5 months in stationary spots from Wyoming to North Carolina with the southern US thrown in. Don't know if that makes any difference or not...

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Guest Pensauncola

The Tailgater will only work on Western Arc satellites 110, 119, and 129. Most locals west of the Mississippi are in HD on WA sats so you probably want to acquire a 1000.2 WA or 1000.4 WA dish to replace it.

 

In the East, many of the locals HD have been placed on the Eastern Arc satellites 61, 72, and 77. So, in North Carolina, you would probably need a 1000.2 EA or 1000.4 EA dish to get HD locals.

 

That may be your problem presently. You may be in an area where the locals are in HD only on the EA satellites, which the Tailgater is incapable of receiving. Where are you and what locals are you getting?

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Most locals west of the Mississippi are in HD on WA sats so you probably want to acquire a 1000.2 WA or 1000.4 WA dish to replace it.

 

in North Carolina, you would probably need a 1000.2 EA or 1000.4 EA dish to get HD locals.

 

That may be your problem presently. You may be in an area where the locals are in HD only on the EA satellites, which the Tailgater is incapable of receiving. Where are you and what locals are you getting?

I am near Gatlinburg, TN. We are getting the locals out of Knoxville, TN. Is there an antenna that gets both the WA and EA feeds?

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Guest Pensauncola

The Knoxville locals are in HD on the EA and SD on WA, so you would not get HD locals on the Tailgater. http://www.satelliteguys.us/thelist/index.php?search=dnall⊂=true&market=Knoxville,%20TN

 

The only automatic satellite dish that I'm aware of which can be used on both Arcs is the Winegard Pathway X2 shown here http://www.winegard.com/pathway/x2-dish.php

 

You can get a 1000.4 dish and buy both EA and WA lnb's and just swap the lnb when you need to. Of course, this would be a manual setup as opposed to the Pathway X2 which is an automatic dome type.

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So what I could do is buy this 1000.4 dish with the EA lnb. In addition I would buy this WA lnb.


Then as I travel from NC to WY I would switch out the lnbs when we get to the western part of the country. Am I reading you corrrectly?


I haven't heard of other RVers doing this. Is that what users do who have the "regular" looking dish antennas?


BTW - thanks a lot for your help on this. I had no idea it was so involved.

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I got a 1000.4 WA a year ago. Great Dish! Much sturdier than the 1000.2 (piece of tin by comparison). Also has much nicer adjustments.

 

I get HD all the time. Best thing about the 1000.4 is that it really does a better job of pulling in marginal signals and in bad weather the difference is noticeable.

 

I also sprung for a Hopper. Got a remanufactured Hopper and Joey for about $219, IIRC. The best way to go. Need to get a SoloNode, too. This will let all 3 tuners pull in everything the way you want it once the dish is setup.

 

Run 1 cable from the Hopper or VIP211K to the SoloNode which then connects to 2 of the LNBF feeds (it has 4) and handles the switching between the 3 LNBF heads as needed for each tuner being used.

 

We only have 1 TV so the Joey was not really necessary but it was free with the Hopper I bought.

 

Be sure that you get the newer Hopper that has the Wifi built into it. On earlier models, that was an addon as is the OTA tuner.

 

Combined with DISH Anywhere, you can watch, program and switch any content to/from any TV or device (smartphone, tablet, etc.) to anywhere else no matter where in the world you are.

 

It just doesn't get any better than this...

 

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Guest Pensauncola

 

So what I could do is buy this 1000.4 dish with the EA lnb. In addition I would buy this WA lnb.
Then as I travel from NC to WY I would switch out the lnbs when we get to the western part of the country. Am I reading you corrrectly?
I haven't heard of other RVers doing this. Is that what users do who have the "regular" looking dish antennas?
BTW - thanks a lot for your help on this. I had no idea it was so involved.

 

 

Those are the correct components and the 1000.4 is the best dish. You would also need a good tripod that is easy to adjust and make plumb. Here is one example http://www.tv4rv.com/sunshop/

 

That is the setup I use, although I only have to swap lnb's twice per year. Takes about five minutes. I can't speak for other RV'ers.

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I also sprung for a Hopper. Got a remanufactured Hopper and Joey for about $219, IIRC. The best way to go. Need to get a SoloNode, too. This will let all 3 tuners pull in everything the way you want it once the dish is setup.

 

We only have 1 TV so the Joey was not really necessary but it was free with the Hopper I bought.

 

Combined with DISH Anywhere, you can watch, program and switch any content to/from any TV or device (smartphone, tablet, etc.) to anywhere else no matter where in the world you are.

 

Thanks a lot, Budd... You just had to muddy up the water, didn't ya :)
Ok. So now I get the 1000.4 WA or EA. No question there. Do you have two lnbs - east and west or do you stay primarily in the west?
Like you, I only have one main TV. There is another one in the bedroom, but we seldom use it.
After reading your post I did some reading. My understanding of the Hopper, Joey and solo node is that it is a DVR system. Is there another benefit to it if we are not interested in recording?
Does DISH anywhere enhance a single TV installation like mine? In reading, it looks like it allows me to watch TV on mobile devices, which again, is outside my interests.
I think your set up supports a more widespread use than I am looking for. BUT, if I have missed something, let me know.
Thanks for sharing.
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I think I have my system figured out. Now for a couple, and hopefully final questions. If I change my equipment do I need too to do anything with my DISH service?

 

Given my very basic system needs, is there a better box than the VIP211k? If so, what is the difference and reason for being better.

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My Wineguard Carryout searches automatically and will do both eastern and western arcs (also Directv). When it quit working last summer I bought a 1000.2 and started learning to use it. I've now set it up around 12 times and, frankly, it's no walk in the park to use. The learning curve is pretty steep. On one hand, I'll say that I've never failed to get the satellites. On the other hand, I confess that it's taken me up to 2 hours to pull it off!

 

Last time I actually hit the satellites right off but my receiver was somehow mixed up and wouldn't show that I had 129. After a lot of fooling with it I gave up and went inside to see what channels I would be missing due to the missing satellite. To my surprise I had all the channels. I went back to the setup screen and it now showed that I did, indeed, have 129 along with the other two.

 

All of this to say that it isn't as easy as you might think.

 

Once again I think I've figured it out and I'll get a chance to try it out again in a couple of months. (Meanwhile, the Wineguard is working again so I now have a choice.)

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Thanks a lot, Budd... You just had to muddy up the water, didn't ya :)

 

After reading your post I did some reading. My understanding of the Hopper, Joey and solo node is that it is a DVR system. Is there another benefit to it if we are not interested in recording?

 

Does DISH anywhere enhance a single TV installation like mine? In reading, it looks like it allows me to watch TV on mobile devices, which again, is outside my interests.

 

I think your set up supports a more widespread use than I am looking for. BUT, if I have missed something, let me know.

 

Since you only RV 3 - 5 months, don't want a DVR, and don't need DISH Anywhere, I'd stick with your 211 receiver.

 

However, you may want to rethink the portable 1000.4 tripod. It's also "more" than you need. You could get by with a Pathway X2 which is essentially is a Tailgater that can acquire both Eastern and Western arc sats. Plus, you could hook two, 211 receivers to it.

 

If you're comfortable with aiming a triple LNB portable dish, then go for it because it's a cheaper option than a Tailgater.

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Given my very basic system needs, is there a better box than the VIP211k? If so, what is the difference and reason for being better.

I think your only other options are a 722 or a Hopper. Both of these are DVRs and won't work with your Tailgater (or the X2).

 

For a 722 or Hopper you'll need a Winegard Travler (or an RF Mogul) or a portable like a 1000.4.

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I think your only other options are a 722 or a Hopper. Both of these are DVRs and won't work with your Tailgater (or the X2).

 

For a 722 or Hopper you'll need a Winegard Travler (or an RF Mogul) or a portable like a 1000.4.

Thanks Zulu. My needs are about as basic as one can get: One TV and no recording. After your post, I looked at the 722. It is more than I need. I think I'll start with my 211 and see what happens. Thanks for your info, tho.

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Thanks Zulu. My needs are about as basic as one can get: One TV and no recording. After your post, I looked at the 722. It is more than I need. I think I'll start with my 711 and see what happens. Thanks for your info, tho.

If your needs are that basic why not just stay with your 211 receiver, it will work both on a portable or stationary dish. Also keep your trailgater so when you get feed up trying to point your standard dish you can go back to the trailgater.

 

Denny

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Tripod mounted dishes need not be difficult to use. Once I determine the location for my tripod (thank you, DishPointer app!), it rarely takes more than 10-15 minutes to unload, assemble, and aim my 1000.4 dish. Add a couple of extra minutes if I need to switch from the EA to the WA LNB or vice versa. My dish has been modified to make setting it up a no tools needed process other than a small screwdriver to swap LNB's. My tripod is a low cost roof mount tripod that's been modified by adding leg levelers made from standard hardware, and also requires no tools to set it up other than a bubble level. Aiming is done with a relatively low cost meter that identifies the satellites. Our current coach also has a Winegard manually aimed single LNB roof mounted dish that we sometimes use for overnight stops, but I've also set up the 1000.4 frequently for overnights in order to clear sight line obstacles, or when we want to use the Hopper instead of the 211k.

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Thanks Zulu. My needs are about as basic as one can get: One TV and no recording. After your post, I looked at the 722. It is more than I need. I think I'll start with my 711 and see what happens. Thanks for your info, tho.

 

Oops! I meant to say 211.

 

If your needs are that basic why not just stay with your 211 receiver, it will work both on a portable or stationary dish. Also keep your trailgater so when you get feed up trying to point your standard dish you can go back to the trailgater.

 

Denny

 

You know what they say about great minds... Your suggestion is the I plan I came to: Stay with the 211 and tailgater plus the basic 1000.4 with EA and WA lnbs. The tailgater for mobile use and the 1000.4 set up for long term use.

 

As to the difficulty of setting up the stationary system, got my fingers crossed it won't be so bad.

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Guest Pensauncola

As Dutch noted, a tripod mounted dish need not be difficult to use. It takes me about fifteen minutes to set mine up. It takes the receiver longer than that to go through finding the sats and downloading the program guide.

 

The secret to proper setup is getting the mast plumb. Once that is done, set the skew and don't change it after it is set. Set the elevation, but don't tighten the bolts completely. Then, just rotate the dish until you find the proper satellite (119 or 72). Confirm this on the receiver. Then, tweak the elevation and azimuth to that one satellite (I use a $10 meter but you can just listen to the receiver). Tighten everything up and watch TV.

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One thing that seems to throw a lot of people is impatience. There are delays in all things DISH/DTV and if one is not proceeding slowly enough then they think that it is not right and keep moving things around before they can get synced. That breeds impatience and soon, they are making changes faster and more often than can ever be met with the receiver tuning feedback.

 

One other item that seems to be non-intuitive is in the LNBF switching between heads. Depending on the Channel, the head that is used may change. If that is happening while trying to setup the DISH it just adds to the frustrations. If using the POINT DISH as your only signal monitor, allow at least 15 seconds between changes before you change anything, again. This is particularly true on the VIP211K. It is slower to react than the Hopper.

 

This is where the cheapo meter helps. It goes inline at the dish to directly monitor the signal coming in from it and reacts immediately as you move the dish angles. However, the receiver still controls the switching between the heads and if it still has the wrong head selected, the readings on the Cheapo meter will not be correct. Sometimes, it takes a reset of the receiver before it gets back in sync with what you are doing.

 

I always test on 119 (WA) and periodically check to be sure that the center head is the one being used. Just put my hand in front of each head in turn (from the bottom) to be sure that I am only getting the signal from the center one. If not, then the aiming is off or the wrong head is selected so reset.

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  • 4 weeks later...

In the park we were at until the 1st couple had just bought a new Pathway X2 and were having trouble getting it to work. They were trying to get the eastern satellites and were having trouble, I used my sat finder app on my phone to show them that he had trees in the way, I moved to the front of the rig and showed him he had a good view of the western sats. After he moved it I played with it some and showed him how to check signal strength and sats available. We were only a couple of sites away and he was getting about the same signal strength as our Tailgater, but when checking different sats I did notice that it was slower switching between them. The one thing I'm wondering about is what they did to keep the dirt out of the pivot seams. Anyone that has spent time in the desert SW will know why I'm asking.

 

Denny

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  • 2 weeks later...

Kevin-

 

One thing to watch for: The Tailgater should be raised up off of the ground somewhat; say, 12-14" due to the fact that it has a number of small holes in the bottom of it. We had a Tailgater that was 13 months old ( note: one month beyond the warranty) and it stopped working. Seems that in Missouri where we had been, that had a lot of rain, and had mowed the grass, and the Tailgater had sucked up the water and grass clippings in through the holes and slowly ground to a halt, burning up the unit.

 

I had it check out and was told "So Sorry!" We ended up purchasing the Winegard Pathway X2 and the stand. So far it has worked great. Of course the Tailgater did too until it cratered.

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