Advice on Dish 500


New member
Username: Leobutters

Post Number: 1
Registered: Feb-07
Hi, I would like some advice on purchasing a Dish 500. I am looking on ebay to buy me a sat. dish but I see there are several variations of lnb's on Dish Network 500 sat. dishes. It is very confusing even after reading so much about the similarities and differences. I am looking to keep it very simple and purchase one dish, one VS Ultra, for one TV setup. I would really appreciate some recommendations on what I should buy or look for on a Dish 500. Thank you, and btw I am very much a newbie and would like to keep it very simple, even if it cost me a little extra.

Gold Member
Username: Prfrmnj

Post Number: 2184
Registered: Oct-05
Read in this thread and you'll find good info.

I'd go with the Dish500 and a DishPro Twin LNB. You get both 110 & 119 and no switches needed.

New member
Username: Leobutters

Post Number: 3
Registered: Feb-07
Thanks PRFRMNJ thats what I'll buy, the Dish500 and a DishPro Twin LNB, and the thread was very informative.

Gold Member
Username: Prfrmnj

Post Number: 2189
Registered: Oct-05
Leo - Post on that thread to keep it going for everyone.

Silver Member
Username: Ke5aqn


Post Number: 870
Registered: Sep-06
Leo.Butters ,

Please please do not buy a dish500. They are verry bothersome and a big wast of your $$. Furthermore they are free all over the usa so dont pay for one. I would spend my $$ (around 150 on fleebay)on a 30" dish, single LNB, and a motor. Then you can receive all the sat's, BEV and DISH..I have one and get over 700 channles on 6 sat's!!....

Gold Member
Username: Prfrmnj

Post Number: 2202
Registered: Oct-05
If all you are looking for is 110 & 119 the easiest thing to install is a Dish500. Set the skew and point in the right direction, add a DishPro LNB and all you need to do is run one cable per receiver and problem solved.

Recommending someone to buy a motorized dish - specially a newbie - is pretty much telling them to spend all their money on equipment and someone to install it. I guarantee he will not be able to install the motor. As a mater of fact I'm curious as to who or how you installed yours. Of course, I may be wrong and you could be an installer, but then if you are then you'll know just how easy it is to set up a Dish500 and DishPro Twin vice a motorized dish.

Gold Member
Username: Prfrmnj

Post Number: 2203
Registered: Oct-05
However in the interest of showing what it all takes to install a motorized dish - here ya go:

This is an option not offered by Dish Network or Bell ExpressVu but is familiar to those who remember C-band. Instead of having multiple dishes and LNBs for all the satellites, why not just have a single dish that moves between satellites? That's what a Horizon-to-Horizon (HH) motor is for.

There are two types of HH motors. The one pictured above is a DiSEqC 1.2 motor. The other one is the STAB /USALS motor (also called DiSEqC 1.3). Both essentially do the same thing: Move the dish using the remote control of your FTA receiver. This is done by connecting a standard coax from the receiver to the motor and a second coax from the motor to the LNB. The motor is powered by the receiver.

To install a motor, you need to know what direction is due south. This is not the same as due south according to a compass. You need to know the exact direction of the South Pole from your location. There are four ways to do this:

The first method is to use the sun. The earth is divided up into 24 time zones. In each of those zones, the sun is at the highest point in the sky (true south from the Northern Hemisphere) at exactly 12 Noon--1 p.m daylight savings time. There are some things to consider: First is that if you live on the eastern edge of your time zone, the sun will be at true south at 11:30 AM (12:30PM DST) and if you live on the western edge of your time zone, the sun will be at true south at 12:30 PM (1:30PM DST). Some time zones, such as the Alaska time zone, cover areas that would normally cover three or four time zones. This method would not be advised since the sun could be at true south as late as 3:00 PM if you live in far enough west.

The second method is using a compass and calculator. Find out the magnetic deviation of your location. The magnetic deviation is the difference between magnetic north and true north. Let's assume your magnetic deviation is 17 degrees. That means that true south will be 17 degrees off from magnetic south. Point your compass to magnetic south and your true south will be 17 degrees from that point.

The third method works if you live in the western or Midwestern US or Canada, where city streets are aligned according to a north-south/east-west grid. Many cities in western North America (with a few exceptions) have a layout that looks like a checkerboard. The main streets run either north, south, east, or west.. If you live in a city with that sort of a layout, you are at an advantage. True south parallels the nearest north-south main street to the south. If you live in San Antonio, Los Angeles, or San Francisco, this method might not be best.

The fourth method involves using Microsoft Streets and Trips or some other electronic atlas program. This is actually the easiest if the three others fail.

Let's assume you live in Healy, Alaska, which would be an awful city to use the third method.

Make a pushpin at your house. With the Location Sensor active, determine your exact Longitude. In this case, it is 149.021 West.

Using the address finder feature, select the Lat/Long tab and type in "0" for the latitude (the Equator) and your longitude, expressed as a negative number.

A pushpin is placed on the Equator at exactly the same longitude as your house. Zoom in on the pushpin as far as you can and draw a line all the way from that point to your house. You can zoom out and continue the line over the Pacific Ocean and zoom back in when to connect the line to your house.

When you have finished drawing the line, you can now see where true south is from your location.

Now that you have determined true south from your location, here is the reason why it is important to line up with true south:

Once you locate your true south, this is the zero point of your HH motor. Of course, if you aim your dish at that point, you may or may not get a signal because there may or may not be a satellite at that location.

What you need to do after determining your zero point is determine which satellite is closest to this point. This is entirely dependent on your longitude. If you are fortunate enough to live at 91 west or 119 west, then you have it easy. But most people are not that lucky. Most people need to locate a satellite that requires a Ku linear LNB.

The map below shows which satellite you must point at that is closest to your zero point:

The red satellites can be seen with a DirecTV/Dish Network type of LNB and an 18" dish (30" in Alaska/Hawaii). The green satellites require a 30" dish (1.2 m in Alaska/Hawaii) and a Ku linear LNB.

Ku satellites are located at the following positions:

K6 AMC-6 72w
B6 SBS-6 74w
K5 AMC-5 79w
K9 AMC-9 85w
K3 AMC-3 87w
XB Galaxy 11 91w
L6 Intelsat Americas 6 93w
X3 Galaxy 3C 95w
L5 Intelsat Americas 5 97w
K4 AMC-4 101w
K1 AMC-1 103w
105 AMC-15 105w
M5 SatMex 5 117w
121 Echostar 9 121w
X0 Galaxy 10R 123w
X9 Galaxy 13 127w
L7 Intelsat Americas 7 129w

Find the satellite closest to your zero point and subtract that value from the longitude of your zero point. For instance, your zero point (site longitude) is 149.5 and your nearest satellite is 148. 149.5 -- 148 = 1.5.

In this case, you would need to manually set your motor to 1.5 degrees away from the zero point. Since 148 is east of 149.5, you need to set the motor 1.5 degrees to the east of the zero point on the motor. These values are not shown on the motor so you will have to estimate.

When you have your motor set to the correct deviation from true south, you can now go outside and try to tune that satellite in the same way you would try to point for a fixed dish. Leaving the elevation bolt loosened enough to move the dish up and down; and leaving it loose enough on the pole to move it left and right, steer the dish until you get a signal. Remember that it is very important not to operate the motor while you try to locate this satellite!

Once you have a strong signal and have verified that the signal is indeed your "pointer satellite" and not some other satellite nearby, you can then tighten the bolts to hold the dish firmly in place. Hook up the motor to the FTA receiver and manually move the dish motor to see if any other satellites come in as the dish pans the arc.

If you do not get any other satellites, then you have probably done something wrong and you might even have to repeat the pointing process over and over again. Remember that dish pointing is not an easy thing to do. That's why installers get paid $100 to do it. Pointing a motorized dish is even more difficult and frustrating. It can take hours or days to do. The reward, however, is well worth the effort.

Gold Member
Username: Prfrmnj

Post Number: 2204
Registered: Oct-05
Images were removed because they are to large to upload, but anyone interested let me know.

Silver Member
Username: Pffft

Ya Right

Post Number: 151
Registered: Jan-07
Well!. i was thinking about trying to install a motor, but after that nice post PRFRMNJ, i realized that i am not ready for that. time to go buy another dish

New member
Username: Leobutters

Post Number: 4
Registered: Feb-07

Thanks for your advice FTA TESTER but that's to advance for me. I was just looking at satellite finders on ebay so that should tell you how much of a newbie I am. For now I am going to start off by purchasing what PRFRMNJ recommended and then maybe later on I might upgrade. Thanks anyway FTA TESTER.
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