Thursday, June 21, 2012


"Simple" said the packaging, get wonderful HD channels beamed right to your home with only a few hours of work installing your own satellite dish. Hmmm, I thought as I read the box, looks easy and it's been reduced to £40 too. Television in our house has not really progressed past the Freeview stage so I felt strangely excited at a bit of a foray into satellite technology, it must have shown too at the checkout where a overly familiar member of staff decided to inform me o the best channels. I have to say he was well into something called Babestation and promising me untold entertainment shows of the finest order...

So yesterday I set to and unpacked the extensive bits and began the long process of attaching A to D using 3xR's fastened to G. Eventually I assembled two parts, one the satellite dish and receiver the other being the bracket for the wall. The cable went in perfectly, the bracket was mounted on the wall and the said satellite dish was added and secured.

I used a basic approach to find the satellite Astra 2a, at 10:50am I had thoughtfully placed a stick down in the direction of the sun, which at that time of day was exactly at 144 degrees the same as the satellite I was trying to pinpoint 22,000 kilometres away. Finding anything at this distance was always going to be tricky, not only did I have to get the direction right but also the angle and rotation, tricky stuff when you don't have any equipment to do it so I improvised. Using an old protractor and two sticks I mocked up the 23.7464545 angle I needed, a handy cardboard circle gave me the -12.645 degree rotation and using these two and a compass to check things I set up the satellite and rushed inside to enjoy the overwhelming TV entertainment I was promised.


Totally blank with a little bit of white text "No Signal".

Imagine the hands of a clock whirring round as many hours passed. I checked the cable, degree settings, power, angle, TV, receiver and oodles of other things over and over again. Stupid £40 satellite dish, I was on the cusp of swinging from its bracket and using it as an elaborate fruit dish when I noticed something.

The dish was being pushed out of alignment by the wall it was mounted on. A quick check revealed that the wall was infact angled at 142 degrees meaning the satellite dish could only move to 144.7 degrees, a small amount but enough when you are trying to target something so far away.

Unfortunately this mean moving the whole thing another six foot so anyone passing the garden around 4pm yesterday would have heard some delightfully colourful language as I attempted to get the well fixed bracket out of the wall ten foot off the ground. Once moved though the signal changed from its sombre 'No Signal' to a delightful colourful bar that whacked it up to full strength.

Great! I thought and waited with anticipation as the 69847 stations rolled up the screen. Surely I can only be moments away from TV heaven...

It finished and flicked up its first offering!

Northern Birds. OMG

Nooooooooo! What have I done? I'm scarred for ever, please tell me it gets better... Please!

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