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DISH - Eastern versus Western Arc Satellites


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I am traveling in Maine. I have been having almost daily conversations with Dish technical support about why I cannot get a signal even when there are no trees nearby. I continually have been told the satellite is in the southeast, so I need to park in a spot where that direction is clear.

 

Background: I have been on the road with this satellite for three years, but nearly entirely in the south, Midwest, and West. This is my first trip to New England and I have been occasionally, but not regularly, been able to get a signal. Also, I REALLY LIKE TO WATCH TV!

 

I know that the farther north you go, the lower the satellite is on the horizon. My question last night was what was the angle that there had to be clearance, but got no answer other than a vague it depends.

 

So, the guy this evening finally gave me some information which I am hoping someone has had experience with. He says my Winegart Roadtrip Mini #RT8000S (http://www.winegard.com/kbase/uploads/2452241.pdf) is only compatible with the western arc satellite, which is what has caused my problems. He also said the only satellite I can get (the western arc) is southwest of me, not southeast, as I have been told multiple times! This is frustrating as I have been selecting sites over the internet so they are open to the southeast! Grrrr,

 

I just looked up and downloaded the manual for this dish, and it says it is compatible with the western arc and eastern arc, "depending on the receiver type and location." (I have no idea what receiver type I have. Bought it from stack at Camping World and they installed dish and receiver.)

 

He also told me the angle to receive the satellite is 18 degrees where I am located. I think I am clear of trees to this height especially considering it is mounted on the roof.

 

So basically, I have been getting what I think is conflicting information. Also, no one ever told me my satellite would not work in New England when I chose the model. The good news is that I will be headed back west in about two months, but I hate to miss TV for that time period.

 

Would a new receiver help? Or would I have to buy a new satellite? (The last option is not something I would do based on my not being here for very long.) Or is there another solution????

 

Thanks

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The limitation is in the dish, not the receiver. According to the Brochure is that there is a hybrid mode where the RT8000 uses satellites 119, 110, and 61.5. This is not the Eastern Arc (61.5, 72.7) using satellite 61.5 instead of satellite 129. This is not a complete set of channels but it should receive most.

 

Never have been as far north-east as Maine. In upper PA, we have been successful in getting all three WA satellites.

 

In Maine, the Azimuth angle will be in the 256 degree range which means the direction is almost due West for satellite 119. Satellite 129 is difficult to get in the far east because it is very close to the horizon, hence the usage of 61.5.

 

Note - the website says WA only.

 

Have you checked the switches as indicated in the Brochure. The Dish CSRs will have no idea of these switch settings, that is an area for Winegard CSRs.

 

After checking the switch settings, have you run the receiver Switch Check as indicated in the Brochure, that is a Dish CSR function. Did the Switch Check find satellites?

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Mark, look at the brochure again. It actually supports EA, WA, or the hybrid. The VIP receivers give you a choice upon setup of either EA or WA for this particular dish just like it does for the X2...............if the proper VIP mobile software is installed. I am not personally familiar with this dish, just going by the brochure provided by OP.

 

On edit, upon reading the manual further, it appears that the hybrid mode should be used when in Maine.

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The dish requires specific dip switch settings to use the western arc, eastern arc, or hybrid modes. Those switch setting are made under the dome on the roof, not at the receiver.

 

Yes, the brochure shows dip switch settings for Dish, Direct TV, Bell, and Dish Hybrid. They don't show any distinguishing switch settings between EA and WA.

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We had this problem when we came east this year {last year was no problem} DISH is dividing the country on eastern & western ARC. DISH said they did this because Prime Time Anytime can only work in HD and PA customers couldn't get the PTAT because of the western arc so they decided to make part of the country Eastern arc. We didn't know what to do either after talking to DISH so we decided to contact winegard who manufactures our DISH. He showed us how to go into the Winegard control box and change the arc to the 61.5 & 71. Once we did this, we put out satellite down {we have the DISH traveler which is permanently installed on the roof of our 5th wheel} and back up again which gave us the eastern arc & this allowed us to have our "local" channels back again. Coming east, Nashville, TN was western Arc but Knoxville was east-go figure.

Surprisingly, Ohio was western arc and some parts of Indiana are eastern arc & others are western so it will take a bit more time if we have to change to eastern arc at times. Hope this helps. Hugs, Di.

.

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Just what were the settings you used on your Trav'ler to get 61.5 and 72.7.?

 

When I set the Trav'ler in manaual mode and lock onto 61.5, 72.7 appears in the switch check but nothing could be received on 72.7.

 

There is nothing on the Winegard site thats says you can get 61.5 and 72.7 at the same time. Their is an indication that you may be able to lock on each individual satellite depending on the manufacturing date of the control box.

 

When did you get your Trav'ler?

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Thanks for all the help, everyone. I am getting satellite now because I am in a very open area. I am an older woman with bad knees and a bad back, traveling alone, so I am not climbing up on the roof. I will be back in home territory in a few weeks and staying there for the next year or so, and it is not worth changing settings, but I do appreciate knowing this.

 

The important thing is understanding what is happening. I am upset with Dish tech support because in all the phone calls I told them my locations and asked them to verify where the satellites were, and I got the same wrong answer of southeast! It was only the last guy who actually looked stuff up gave me an answer that made sense.

 

And, Di, the reason for the two arcs is the type of quick fix that makes things more complicated, as you discovered!

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IMO, you would need to change your western arc LNB to an eastern acr LNB's

 

The split between them is greater then the western degrees.

 

110, 119, 128 = 10 degrees.

61.5, 72, 77 = not 10 degrees

 

Solo18 has a Winegard RT8000S roof mounted dome. No LNB change is needed, just dipswitch settings to change from western to eastern arc reception.

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One takeaway from Solo18's adventure, I think, is that Dish or DirecTV tech support is pretty worthless if you call them about getting a signal when using any kind of portable dish. Their people are using flip charts to find answers to your questions. If your situation is outside the normal issues - like being in an RV with a dome antenna - they are lost because their flip book doesn't address the problem.

 

Also, I think the brochure linked actually has the answer to the problem - it has maps showing what satellites can be received where and it has graphics showing which dip switches need to be changed to swap between the different providers and satellite positions. I have the same with my Carryout and when we were east a couple of years ago I switched over to the eastern arc for a month or two.

 

The advantage of the Carryout is that it's portable and can be moved around on the site. Also, I could open it up and change the dip switch settings without climbing up on the roof of the rig!

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One thing I learned last year is that when moving east or west significantly I had to call up Dish and change the service address (as distinct from the billing address) no matter eastern or western arc. The main symptom was that the dish behaved as if it couldn't see one or more sats even though there were no obstructions. A Dish TSR told me that some parts of the program guide sent to the receiver are location-based and being too far east or west of your listed location results in what appears as missing sats although the signal of each is fine.

 

I had to change the service address (just used CG address) once traveling between eastern Georgia and eastern Texas; cleared up the problem instantly.

 

Oddly, traveling the same distance north-south hasn't caused any problem at all.

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One thing I learned last year is that when moving east or west significantly I had to call up Dish and change the service address (as distinct from the billing address) no matter eastern or western arc. The main symptom was that the dish behaved as if it couldn't see one or more sats even though there were no obstructions. A Dish TSR told me that some parts of the program guide sent to the receiver are location-based and being too far east or west of your listed location results in what appears as missing sats although the signal of each is fine.

 

There's a way to check what satellites (and Arcs) are used before you call so you'll know what to expect -- see my DISH Western & Eastern Arcs.

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Thanks for all your help. I have decided that because I do not want to crawl onto the roof to change dipswitches and because I am only going to be in this area for two more weeks, that I would just manage as is. I will be back in Ohio and Michigan then and soon after headed to California and the Southwest for almost a year.

 

I did think about buying a second portable satellite, but will only do that if I decide to stay longer in this part of the country in the future.

 

It certainly has been a learning experience, however, and will affect what satellite I might buy in the future if the need ever arises.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This is going to probably be a pain, but could somebody post a real pic of the location of the DIP switches? My wife has been an electronics tech at a custom CNC machine tool company for 19 years, and she said if she had an idea of what they look like and the case involved, she might have a simple fix for DIP location that could be done at any true electronics repair shop for minimal cost. (Under 100 bucks, possibly a LOT less.) Trust me, she's good, I spent 3 days trying to get my 87 Fiero GT running after a custom engine and transmission swap even with help from the company that sold me the kit. (3800 SC built for 475 HP and a six speed manual out of the pontiac G8) She had it running in under 20 minutes. lol

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Remoting the dipswitch settings would not be a difficult feat in itself, but in this case, it would involve passing a multi-wire bundle through the roof to a more convenient location. Depending on the logic voltage levels and current involved, the added wire length could be an issue. I don't expect there would be any RF issues though. The dipswitchs are a standard pc board mounted 16-pin DIP format.

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Based on the fact that I would only be out of range for three weeks, I decided to live without satellite for that amount of time, rather than go through the process of changing switches and then having to change them back.

 

However, I did find this nifty website where you type in your location and then select your satellite dish and it shows you the correct line of sight to get a signal and a way to identify potential obstacles. It uses Google maps, and there is also a version available for mobile phones that you can use right on the spot. So far, I have just used the internet version, but it has really been helpful in selecting sites and making changes to upcoming sites. It is at http://www.dishpointer.com/

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  • 2 weeks later...

Pathway X2 solves that problem. It does both with software.

A couple of weeks ago I had a long chat with king controls about the new King Tailgater and they know that they are behind the times because they have failed to update their software to recieve the eastern arc but really didn't seem to care. I also informed them if my Tailgater quits I will buy a X2 not a outdated King Tailgater.

 

Denny

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Is there an OTA adapter that will plug in and work with the receiver included with the Pathway X2? That sounds like an attractive option for my parents who recently bought a small camper and need TV parts of the year. They would want to be able to add local channels where they are though, without having to call/change them every time.

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