Welcome to the Home of the UPTURNED DISH

Now that my system has been granted a Patent, I am building upturned dish units for sale. Pointer, 56cm Dish, Lnb, Elevation guide, Stand £80.

Complete 'KwikSat' system, Pointer, 56cm Dish, Lnb, Stand, Elevation Guide, Tree clearance indicator, UK Azimuth/Elevation chart, Analogue signal meter, 10 Metres cable, 'F' connectors, Ground pegs, Setting-up Tuition £165.

contact me for further details

This site is to help people on the move such as caravanners and long distance lorry drivers who wish to have the pleasure of satellite television whilst touring both in the U.K. and on the Continent. For most people this will mean Sky Digital (Astra 2 at 28.2 East together with Eutelsat at 28.5 East) which enables them to receive all their favourite BBC and ITV plus many other programmes.

A quick and easy setup procedure will be described in the 'Satellite Location' page which has been developed over a number of years and should take no more than a couple of minutes to establish a picture.

Any dish arrangement can be used, homemade, (like the ironingboard left), tripod, whatever, but my preference is for a pivoted upside-down dish with hinged rear legs, because it is very easy to make minute azimuth, elevation and true vertical adjustments, without the need of level ground, tools or to handle the dish face. Being able to adjust for true vertical gives a slightly higher signal output than a tripod on sloping ground, this becomes very important when setting-up in a low signal area eg France/Spain

My objective in formulating the design was to get rid of the popular tripod vertical pole together with the crude ubolts and clamp fixing, which are OK for one off installations but I think totally unsuitable for daily setups.

The procedure uses an accurate computer-calculated 'look-up' table with settings for magnetic azimuth (compass bearing), dish elevation and LNB offset. A wooden pointer is used to retain the compass bearing instead of trying to remember its exact direction. There is an alternative in place of the paper chart for GPS owners using a hand held instrument which can be used to display Latitude , Longtitude and Magnetic Declination having arrived at the camping location. This information can be fed into a programmable calculator or a laptop to calculate the exact compass bearing, satellite elevation and the LNB setting. Alas, car based sat nav systems although outputting Latitude and Longitude settings do not provide magnetic variation data.

To make the elevation adjustment easier, an indicator has been designed which either sits on the face of the dish or the LNB arm and the pointer/plumbline gives a direct signal elevation reading irrespective of the slope of the terrain. The guide which sits on the dish face can be used with a slight mechanical adjustment on both UPTURNED and NORMAL mode dishes, (it is also an asset for setting up motorised systems giving very accurate elevation angles needed when adjusting the True south position) This was originally made for a 65cm Channel Master dish with a dish offset of 22.5, but has since been altered to suit dish offsets adjustable between 19 -26. The dish offset figure is the received signal elevation when the dish face (in NORMAL mode)is set to true vertical. The figure is usually quoted by the dish manufacturer in the supplied installation notes. Do not worry now if you do not have this information available. We will calculate it later in the 'First Time Setup' page.

Another useful aid is a set of 11 hardboard triangles each with a base length of about 10 cms (4") and angles of 15, 17.5, 20,22.5, 25, 27.5, 30, 32.5, 35, 37.5 and 40 which are used to see if clearance is available above trees in the path of the required satellite. Nothing can be more aggravating than siting the van only to have to move it later having found that trees interfere with the signal. Always check beforehand. This is even more important if your dish is not on a long wander lead but attached to your caravan. How many times have we all seen the game of musical chairs played by Motorhome owners with very expensive self seeking dishes having to change pitches to avoid trees to obtian a signal. I noticed a Dutch caravanner recently who had a portable self seeking unit on the ground (cost 2000 Euros) using a wander lead. Such is the lure of television for some of us when on holidays.

Below is a part of the UK mainland chart with just 6 towns listed. Settings are provided for 4 satellites. If a satellite is described as having a position of 28.2 East, this means that its position is 28.2 East of True South, and 5 West, is 5 West of True South. As our direction finding equipment has to be the simple compass, these figures must be converted to magnetic bearings which unfortunatly change with geographical position and also time. In the West of Ireland the difference between Magnetic South and True South is presently 7 degrees, this difference being greater than the angular separation of the satellites.

Magazines such as 'What Satellite' and 'Tele Satellite & Numerique' (when in France) provide many FTA (Free To Air ) channel listings for all satellites together with setup details (transponder frequency, polarisation H or V, Symbol Rate, Fec etc). A better source for this information is now www.lyngsat.com which is a must for all users of Free to Air (FTA) receivers, who often have to add transponder information deficient in the incorporated receiver software and also in order to keep up to date with added channels.

  1. 28.2 East (Astra 2A,2B,2D) together with Eurobird 1 at 28.5 East is the home of Sky Digital. It is thought that Eurobird 1 is the choice of the BBC for their new FREESAT system due to broadcast in March 2008. This could make the purchase of FTA receivers a better buy than the Sky digiboxes because of the larger footprint of Eurobird 1 if programmes are transmitted in the clear(FTA)

    click for astra footprints>

    click for Eurobird 1 footprints

  2. 19.2 East is the Astra 1 position used previously by the old Sky Analogue system. For those of you with analogue receivers lying in the attic, please note that programmes are still transmitted freely such as Eurosport in English, CNN and CNBC. This is also the satellite that users of the Comag Camping Satellite System using the SL65/12 receiver have to select for software updates which should be done annually.

  3. 13 East is the Eutelsat satellite which has both Analogue and Digital broadcasts mainly for continental users.

  4. 5 West (Atlantic Bird 3) is the home of the FTA French analogue (with an excellent teletext service) and now digital services, transmitting all the French Terrestial TV channels offering good Weather Forcasts and Sports programmes especially Rugby Union, Tennis and Soccer. I have this system permanently setup at home and am able to watch many French and English International football matches unavailable in the UK because of Sky's monopoly of sporting activities. There is a downside to this if you are tuned in to the analogue system and only have a Pal I U.K. standard television set which on a Secam Standard broadcast produces perfect sound but a black and white picture. If you are lucky enough to have a multistandard television as sold in the French Supermarkets then you will see Secam in glorious technicolour. This site is also excellent for students of French. Many programmes have subtitles, so if your written French is better than spoken, following the theme will be easier. The French television booklet 'TeleZ' available at any Maison de la Presse gives full weekly listings.

    Click for Atlantic Bird 3 foorprints
  1. Instant deployment when rear legs opened and dish placed on ground.
  2. No assembly, joints tightened by thumbscrews or panel wheels.
  3. Light weight, complete unit with 60cm dish weighs only 2.75Kgs, easily carried.
  4. Dish face not handled for azimuth or elevation adjustment.
  5. Suitable for sloping ground up to about 30, can be set up on river banks.
  6. Very accurate alignment achievable, 1mm change on rear legs causes 0.1 change in dish face.
  7. Elevation range can be 0 to 90, usually up to 71 depending on dish Offset value.
  8. When folded for storage frame do not extend beyong dish outline
  9. Frame design can be applied to any size of offset dish
  10. Suitable for class 2 listed buildings where dish cannot be attached to building
  11. More stable in high winds than tripod system, also suitable for motorised systems
  12. Suitable for use in exposed areas with gale force winds with additional side bars added
  13. Very cheap and easy to manufacture, DIY plans will be available shortly.
  14. NB. The design is Registered and protected by Patent.

  15. ...........60 cm folded.....................................snow/sand cover..............................motorised.......... folded cover motorised

    .....................step....................................sloping ground...................................stormbars................ folded cover motorised

    ..............39 cm comag..............................comag folded ...............................comag step................. folded cover motorised

    The 'look-up' table for the U.K. mainland has about 140 locations listed, which are arranged on a regional basis similar to the BBC Digital 5 day Weather Forecast, (this makes the selection of the nearest site easier). Other country 'look-up' tables have about 65-80 locations listed and are presently available for France, Spain & Portugal, Italy, Germany, and with self updating, they should last many years.

    With a little practice the following 'Satellite Location' procedure will ensure a speedy picture taking just 1-2 minutes after all connections have been made, which will be a great help especially when it is raining and your favorite programme is about to start. In addition, this site looks at the various equipment options for a low cost installation giving the greatest flexibility.