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SammyReed

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Reply with quote  #1 

First of all, I'll have to warn you, this will be lengthy.

Lately, I have read up on what is available on C and KU band satellite nowadays. I'm astounded by all the unscrambled channels I see listed. Also, I realize that all the things I see listed are digital. The biggest difference I see is that on the back of today's satellite receivers is only one coax connection in from the dish, instead of the more-less 10 screws that you had to make sure had the stripped end of the right-colored wire wrapped around each one.

My fascination with big-dish satellite goes back to when I first saw those dishes in a few yards in 1983. In 1985, I walked to the back of an electronics store that had a big TV with a satellite receiver on top of it. It had The Disney Channel on it, running a 50's "Mickey Mouse Club" rerun. I turned the channel knob enough to see maybe a couple of other things, but quickly turned it back, since I shouldn't've been there anyway and I didn't want to get in trouble. The channel knob was like a radio tuning knob, turning smoothly back-and-forth, with a rectangular display that had drawings of little TV screens with channel numbers in them like TV band radios had. Like radio tuning displays, there was a "line" showing behind the channel it was on, moving back & forth when you turned the knob.

In 1986, the Kroger's where I live carried Orbit - oh excuse me, Satellite Orbit magazine, and I brought one home. I was fascinated with the diagram showing all the satellites and the channels on each of them.

In 1988, I ordered a subscription to another magazine called Onsat. It was then that I really looked into the listings at the different things that were on. I was surprised to see "Amos & Andy" listed as one of the shows!

In November, 1993, I finally got my own satellite system. I chose a 12-foot dish. If a 6-ft. dish was good, I figured 12 would be better. Looking back it was probably overkill, but back then, what did I know?

I was briefly upset when the guy who installed the receiver, after he hooked it to the TV, and while he was showing me how it worked, said "You don't have to worry about that KU band." - when I was wanting to watch C- and KU-band satellites (Indeed, there was only a C-band LNB on the dish). Oh well, I guess this dealership isn't "KU-friendly", guess I'm stuck with C-band. So I went along with it. I wasn't too disappointed, but I would've really appreciated seeing all the feeds and things I saw listed on KU-band - even more so when the PBS feeds, one of which included the coveted "CassieVision" as I called it, and eventually more and more horse-racing feeds, moved to KU-band. But other than that, C-band wasn't too bad.

I bought an occasional issue of Orbit since I felt it had more detail on what was on the audio subcarriers, but for detailed info on what was on what satellite & channel, when, I preferred Onsat. Onsat was weekly, and so was able to give those more-detailed listings in a magazine-sized guide.

In October, 2000, a cup of milk spilled into the top of the receiver, which was all-vent. In 1997, it survived a similar milk-spill, but this was one too many. And my satellite system bid me a rude goodbye.

I have many regrets about that time, mostly involving "Sammy, you idiot, why didn't you keep..." this feed, that interview, or suchandsuch live news report. Outside of various hangups I had at the time (Don't ask), a big reason I couldn't keep as much was that in 1993, VHS tapes weren't as cheap as they would get later on, so I was very limited in the amount of tape I had to record on. I'm very glad to have whatever audio & video snippets I was able to keep from this time. I had my occasional "road trips" through the satellites, where I found some things I didn't know about before, but maybe if I had those more often I might've found more things. Nowadays, with having to manually search through PID's to get things that scanning doesn't pick up, a "road trip" might be heck. And for gosh sake, manually checking each frequency? >gasp< Perish the thought! But I would be crazy enough to try that, at least once anyway.

I had problems with one of the trees in the back yard next door getting in the way of one of the satellites, where I had the least static during wintertime when there were the least leaves. At least 2 of the trees next door, and at least 2 trees in our back yard, have all gotten bigger since then, and I'm sure they're blocking all the satellites now, so having a system now wouldn't do me any good. Everytime after a storm, there are a few limbs and twigs from those trees that fall to the ground, and I'm hopeful that someday there'll be enough of those gone that I can have an unobstructed path to the satellites again. Until then, websites such as this one will serve as a "wish book" to the things currently up there.

I decided to give this thread the general title of "Pre-Digital Big-Dish Memories" so other people can put in what they saw & heard then as well. I'd be very interested in reading your memories, and I hope to write more of my own here soon.


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Former C-band dish owner (1993-2000) with a scant few video souvenirs of those days, and a LOT of fond memories
boblop

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Reply with quote  #2 
S4 channel 7 for C band sat gambling. Bingo played via ones C band sat dish. Still up there via U Tube. 

After that was gone sat tv just went to the dogs mostly. Ok us hobbiest are still using backyard sat tv.

Some of the joy of rebuilding a 30 year old sat dish comes from remembering the days when I could not afford such nice sat equipment. (free I can afford) I still "cling" on to a DX Antenna sat receiver which now can only watch 3-4 analog tv channels. ($1000) I just finally cut up and burned the 55 inch rear projector tv wood cabinet I bought at the same time as the DX receiver. ($1800) (never throw any thing away) I still have the electronic circurt boards from the tv. The $800 10 foot unimesh sat dish sits in storage as better dishs have replaced it now.

Once it was a "status" to have a large sat dish in ones yard. Today it is a sign that I seldom throw anything away! I just never meet a sat dish that I did not take home and then want to show off to friends. (I have more dishs now than I have friends) Perhaps if I painted them to look like trees? They do make a little shade in the yard and the birds are building nests in them all the time. I plan to "grow" a few more dishs in the yard this summer. I really need more shade on the lawn! 

A rummor about the "sky going dark" appears to not be true. Once a million homes had a big sat dish. I plan to give all those now unwanted dishs a pasture to retire in.   

 


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Skip

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Reply with quote  #3 
I can only thank Rick's help, his website and the many wonderful and helpful posters on the forum for the continued use of my dish.
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Since then life has been gravy ever since.
virginiap20007

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Reply with quote  #4 
Well Sammy Reed:  My Dish and reciever was a birthday present from my wife. She got the "package" deal from Radioshack: Memorex SR-2014 Reciever, 9' mesh H to H dish with Cal Amp feed horn and lnb. A friend helped me put it together, but I dug the 3' x 3' x 3' hole to support the pole and dish.  There was still a lot of stuf that was free. About a month later I updated to a Ku set up; another lnb[ku] and another c/ku feedhorn.  A few months later my friend brought over his module[he had subscription], and I bought my first sub from "Turnervision".  About this time I also started a subscription to; "Satellite Weekly".  4dtv came along, and I bought a "General Instrment" 920 reciever.  I also found that there was a lot DVB out there too.  I bought my first DVB reciever for a little over $400.  It was a "Satcruiser Dig/Anl/Mover" Found the necissary info on "Lyngsat" and programmed  the ch's in.  There was no "blind"search at that time, all info had to be entered manualy.  I have up-graded over the years.         Hope you can find some way to get back into this hobby Sammy, or at least give us a post now and then.  Jess out in California
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9ft.button hook mesh HtoH mount; 4dtv922 C/KU feed horn w/ slaved AZ prem, looped pan 9500, and a Manhattan at the end.. Got a philips suround sound in there and SONY BRAVIA TV
SammyReed

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Reply with quote  #5 
I am glad to announce that the aforementioned tree, which got in the way of the S3 (?) satellite in the 90's, and made watching PBS A-D and America-One difficult for me, unless it was fall or winter when it didn't have as much leaves, was finally cut down on Wednesday! I guess a friend of the next-door neighbor cut it down for who-knows-what reason.
Now - If it was 1993-2000, I could give half a darn - Actually, at that time, i'd be ecstatic! But sure enough, other trees over the years have taken over the slack, and I don't think I could get a clear swap at the other satellites.
But, I'm a tad bit closer.

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Former C-band dish owner (1993-2000) with a scant few video souvenirs of those days, and a LOT of fond memories
Mike

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Reply with quote  #6 
OMG. I could write for an hour. 1st dish $600 used. 10 ft dish from a dealer going out of business for spas in Peoria Arizona. Dish installed Oct 4th 1988. $150 a month for 4 months in college installed at the parents house. Wires into my room. Echosphere motor separate from the dial receiver.

1st feed, Dr Gene Scott on Westar 5. Installers loved him. 1st sporting event that I can remember was Prime Ticket on F1 with Gretzky his 1st year. RSN's not scrambled much except for HSE until 1989-1990. Twinsivision on Telstar 301 before MSC for backhauls. MLB started scrambling backhauls in '88. 
Would watch cbs NFL games on 301 and 302. No Ku yet for NBC on K1/K2. Chickie for the Lakers with Stu. Stu started around that time.
1st NBC backhaul was one on G4 cband. NFL game with Enberg/Olson.
I always watched shows before they were on the network, Cheers, 90210 and Coach on Sunday mornings.
Lots of memories. Lots on tapes. NBC 1st going digital for the Olympics. Late 90's I believe
Chickie not getting the openings right with that stopwatch and yelling at Susan in the truck. 
Peter Jennings yelling at someone to give him a pencil on the gstar ku satellite.
ABC Bowling with Schenkel on Gstar.
Fighting Sioux North Dakota hockey which you couldn't get anywhere else on AMC 2 after Primestar left.
AFRTS
New England Cable News Sports show with Pidto and Mike Adams.
Sportstickers on the Sports Channels during the day.
CBS off and on scrambling but rarely for a west coast feed.
NBC test scrambling the cband feed but not the ku feeds during daytime gameshow programming 1989. More people now have ku then cband.
ABC scrambling fulltime in the early 90's except during breaking news.
NYPD Blue on T301 at 7am Pac time on Fridays the weekend before being on the air the following week   
Al/Frank/Dan worrying about the bird killer knowing the Pro Bowl was the only chance to hear them during commercials.
Charlie Jones always saying hi on satellite to us listening on the football backhauls on sbs 6.
TNT/Jefferson Pilot feeds on sbs 6.
Listening to the audio of the White Sox and Astros games on F1 on the videocypher channel audio as the audio was not scrambled. After Sportsvision moved from F4. Nolan Ryan 7th no hitter this way.
Wed night RSN blackouts because of ESPN's new MLB contract in 1990. Backhauls mostlu fiber now 
Gordy Coleman, George and Chris on Sportschannel Cincinnati as the Reds televised from Dodger Stadium but the Dodgers in those days rarely televised  Running the cable through the window and taking the tv outside to watch Reds/Dodgers on a weeknight crashing my parents pool early 90's. Dish was still at home. Sportschannel Cincy F4 Tr 15/16?? 
Hawaii football on G25. ESPN basketball on G25. ABC NFL playoffs wild cards on T4 Ku.
Superstations scrambled on S3. I subscribed to almost everything on the videocypher.
Don Majkowski abc backhaul on the opposite of t301 cband where the MNFgame was on the cband side. ABC had to cut the mics at the house because it was getting rowdy. Last game of the year, Packers needed a scenario to get into the playoffs. House feed was cool!  
Any game with Criqui and Trumpy, Musburger.
Lots of memories. Still lots to watch now but just not the cable type channels     
eastexhorn

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Reply with quote  #7 
 If you have not changed satellites with a trailor type crank by hand jack.  And changed polarity with a OTA rotor on a tripod feed, then you are not a early big dish guy.
techjunkie02

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Reply with quote  #8 

ZDTV starts broadcasting

My biggest sattellite TV memory, was discovering the slate for this, and watching it every day, until finally, they started broadcasting.. It immediately became my most favorite thing on TV, along with early Sunday morning feeds of the X-Files.  Once these 2 things left, in my opinion, TV started going down hill.

http://news.cnet.com/2100-1023-211074.html



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SammyReed

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Reply with quote  #9 
That last post stirred me to at least talk about something else I remember:

In 1994, there was a continuous shot of people in a studio with words on the screen that the TV Food Network was starting on suchandsuch date. There was no sound, or maybe they had music running, I forgot. This same live (?) shot of people walking in and out of this studio, sometimes stopping and talking about stuff, kept on for months (seemed like months anyway) until the channel began.

I have a few memories of the "TV Food Network" itself. I remember Gail Gardner, formerly of NBC Sports, being one of the handful of first hosts on the channel. I watched the "James Beard Show" reruns a lot. Nowadays, James Beard is considered to be just some old dead guy they named an award after, when I think they aughta let their current audience see the man at work when he had his own show. And there was a new show later on called "How to Boil Water", which was hosted by this Emeril guy. Of course, he went on to have a life of his own with his own show, and "How to Boil Water" went on to have a nominal life of its own as well, with other hosts along the way.

[EDIT] And how the HECK could I forget Mrs. Fields?! Daaaang. >ahem< That's all I'll say right now.

I hope to get around to writing more about my satellite memories, because there's a lot more where this came from.

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Former C-band dish owner (1993-2000) with a scant few video souvenirs of those days, and a LOT of fond memories
fafhrd2

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Reply with quote  #10 
I recall that for kinda a long time (weeks, I think) before the startup of the Sci Fi channel, they showed nifty computer-generated animated graphics, psychedelic-like, along with mysterious futuristic music.  No idea when or on what sat. I had a 10 foot mesh and a receiver with remote with only a few buttons--but motorized, and I later added a 2nd 9 foot dish with the hand crank!  Late 80s to early mid 90's.
Chuck35

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Reply with quote  #11 
Sammy,
If you have an android phone or tablet, there are apps thet let you look across your yard (in real time) and see the satellites in the sky (or trees)
"Dishpointer" comes to mind.
Maybe things aren't as bad as you think!
techjunkie02

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck35
Sammy,
If you have an android phone or tablet, there are apps thet let you look across your yard (in real time) and see the satellites in the sky (or trees)
"Dishpointer" comes to mind.
Maybe things aren't as bad as you think!


One of the most wonderful things about this hobby is you can just point your dish and see what you get... sometimes it's more fun to be surprised at what you get, rather than disappointed because someone, or something told you something was there, but you can't get it!!

If the dish(es) are already set up and working...just point and shoot, and see what comes down [wink]

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dcalebaugh

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Reply with quote  #13 
I still remember sitting out in my yard in the winter inside of my old Isuzu Trooper with my Toshiba TRX1800 receiver hooked up with a short cable through the window to my dish trying to find my first signal. When I did I had to look in my friends OnSat book hoping to figure out where the heck I was. Must have been around 1994. All I had was a paper from Skyvision telling me where my west and east most sats were.

Dave

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danderson400

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Reply with quote  #14 
first thing i saw on dish was both alcs and nlcs with Al Michaels and Keith Jackson on t301 then Baylor Texas A&M game in 1986 from abc on t301 then switching to nbc backhaul for world series Corey McPherrin and Lynn Swann were at College Station and Vin Scully and Joe Garagiola were at Shea first nfl game was the next day on nbc with Charlie Jones and Jimmy Cefalo at Arrowhead  usually picked one nfl backhaul each week got dish in 1986 because parents were retired from work and they bought it with their salary
danderson400

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Reply with quote  #15 
always watched shows before they were on the stations for example
"American Gladiators" and the soaps and "On Scene: Emergency Response" this was in the early 90s
"On Scene: Emergency Response"
"On Scene: Emergency Response"
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Fellow Members, your posts are welcome here! Do not worry about posting everything perfect. Different receivers and LNB's will give you different Frequencies and Symbol Rates. Some set top boxes, PCI cards and USB receivers, Do Not Require all of the same information that others may need. It is not Required to post everything that others may need to tune in a feed. It is just most important to share the find. We can always adjust the Frequency and Symbol Rates and try the various Modulations and FEC's on our own receivers until we get a lock and then give a polite reply with what works for your receiver, as that information might help others as well. We all appreciate the efforts and energy of the Posters!

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