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    Thread: Tips for getting DVB-S2 on small dishes

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      Tips for getting DVB-S2 on small dishes

      Many people seem to be having difficulty getting some or all of the DVB-S2 signals out there. I can get everything on Ku DVB-S2 here in MN on a 90x99 cm HOTDISH90 but not all of it is easy to do. But it is doable.

      First you must understand how DVB-S2 can be different than traditional DVB-S. In theory, DVB-S2 standard is designed to use less power and bandwidth for any given type of signal. Typically they are not as strong as DVB-S signals. The result you see on the receive end is that the DVB-S2 signals tend to be "narrower", meaning you have to be more accurate in your aiming. A good peak on a DVB-S transponder can be completely off a DVB-S2 transponder on the same satellite.

      Another big difference is the Forward Error Correction (FEC) method used with DVB-S2. It is much more efficient for a given FEC, meaning you can often get low FEC DVB-S2 with very little quality. I have watched DVB-S2 HD with a perfect picture with as little as 9% quality level. Higher FEC requires a higher minimum quality, just like any other satellite signal.

      Here are some tips to help you get DVB-S2 Ku on small dishes:

      1. Quality components MUST be used. That means a low noise figure and high stability LNBF, a quality constructed dish, and a sensitive receiver. Ok equipment is not going to cut it for most DVB-S2.

      2. As mentioned above, you will likely need to peak specifically for the DVB-S2 transponder you are looking for. Don't depend on peaking on a DVB-S transponder as you may not even be able to see the S2 transponder at that position.

      3. You will probably need to use DiseqC 1.2 positioning to fine tune and store the ideal position for many of the S2 transponders.

      4. AMC1/103W has a goofy offset skew that does not follow the rest of the arc. When standing in front of the dish, skew the LNBF 10 degrees or so clockwise. This should significantly increase you quality levels on AMC1 with little to no effect on the other satellites. The best way to do this is with a satellite meter. Offset the skew just enough to hit the quality peak on AMC1 but not a hair further. I use Pentagon Channel, 12100V 20000 to do this.

      5. Precisely set your polar alignment, motor elevation and declination (dish elevation) to ensure you are tracking the arc perfectly. If you are not tracking perfectly you are not presenting the dish efficiently (angle, reflector area and skew) to the incoming signal. You may think you are tracking good based on "fat" DVB-S signals but it may not be good enough for much of the narrow and weak S2 stuff.

      6. Be sure everything is tight and secure. Your motor cannot be sloppy and your setup cannot drift much in the wind.

      7. Eliminate all sources of unnecessary loss such as switches, diplexers, questionable cable ends, kinked cables, ect. It really can make a difference on the borderline signals.

      8. I notice time of day fluctuations in some DVB-S2 stuff, much more extreme than most DVB-S stuff. If you can't find a S2 signal, try again at a different time of day or night. As with all tuning, it should be done with clear weather, not in the middle of a snow or rain storm.


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