A few weeks ago, Google changed the accuracy at which United Kingdom postcode search results are displayed. So far it you would get results at street level but due to licensing issues with Royal Mail, Google had to pull that and offers only district level accuracy now. So, if you wonder why the UK postcode search puts you a few miles away, that’s the reason and by the looks of it, it’s meant to stay like this. I suggest to search by streetname and house number to pinpoint your location. If that doesn’t work (because Google doesn’t have your address in the database) then just search by city and then drag the marker to your location.

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For no apparent reason, the little overview map caused a problem with DishPointer today. I guess Google changed some of its code breaking my own code. So, the overview map had to go, at least for now, and everything is working fine again. Thanks to all those who pointed out the problem.

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You can now a DishPointer Lite widget to your website. Follow the easy steps on the widget page and then copy and paste the generated code into the HTML of your website. On my UK satellite blog you can see how the widget is implemented on the site (on the right sidebar). This will give you an idea what you can do with the widget. There are several options to choose from to seamlessly integrate the tool into your site. The DishPointer Lite version is absolutely free but if you have a business critical website, one with high traffic or would like to have a fully customised widget together with e-mail support, performance monitoring, features such as dish size calculation or channel and satellite data, then please contact me for the Plus version of the widget.

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Due to several requests I have now added pointing information for multi-LNB dishes, starting with the popular US satellites Dish Network and DirecTV. There is now support for the DirectTV 5-LNB dish AU9 and the 3 LNB dish as well as the Dish Network 500, 1000 (1000plus), Superdish 105 and Superdish 121. In addition to the pointing direction, the magnetic azimuth, elevation and the dish skew (also called dish tilt) are given. The dish skew is according to the scale on the skew plate for the particular dish – Dish Network and DirecTV use the opposite scale, e.g. 90 degrees means all dishes are horizontal, 120 degrees for a Dish Network dish and 60 degrees for a DirecTV dish both mean that the dish needs to be rotated 30 degrees clockwise (standing behind the dish). Hope it makes sense but as a rule of thumb, rotate the dish in the direction of the pointing line. The multi-lnb setups are in the dropdown box. Scroll all the way to the bottom and select the one you need. If you like me to add a configuration, just drop a comment below with the list of satellites and stating which satellite sits directly over the LNB arm.

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The satellite look-up angles now include the magnetic azimuth which you will need if you are using an uncorrected compass to align your satellite dish. The magnetic declination or variation is calculated for every point on earth using the world geomagnetic field model.

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There has been a major addition to the site. For each location, not only the available satellites (i.e. the ones above the horizon) are shown but also the required dish size based on the footprint and the relevant EIRPs together with the number of TV, radio, and data channels. The dish size depends on the geographic location of the user and is calculated individually for each location. In addition, all channels for a given satellite are displayed together with the footprints and the required dish size. All channel information are courtesy of SatcoDX. This is all beta at the moment. I know that channels from major Pay-TV operators (such as DirecTV or Dish network) are missing and will work within the next few weeks to tweak everything a bit. As always, comments and suggestions are appreciated.

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I’ve just added an image to the main page showing a diagram of the elevation, azimuth and LNB skew. The illustration was done courtesy of Juan who is a webdesigner and who has an excellent illustrated guide on how to setup satellite dishes on his own website. Hope this helps a bit to understand the technical terms and thanks again to Juan for the great work.

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The following is a list of international media and blog websites where dishpointer.com (or uksatellitehelp.co.uk) has been mentioned.

Article in October 2007 issue of “What Satellite and Digital TV”: What Satellite and Digital TV Article
Satleo (Greece) Chip (Germany) Voice Of America (USA) La Tele en Clair (France) Tech.Blorge.com (USA) Googlemaps Mania (Canada) Wotsat (UK) Mapperz (UK) Lifehacker (USA) Satellite Magazine (Netherlands) Hackszine (USA) Greg Hughes (USA) jkOnTheRun (USA) Korben (France) Googlexxl (France) Discourse (USA) Googlekarten (Germany) Paperblog (France) … plus many more in forums in Brazil, Middle East, Vietnam and Australia.

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Some users pointed out quite rightly that there is a bit of an information overflow with the huge list of satellites. To ease the selection, I have just added a list of popular satellites which wholly depends on the address you put in. Quite interesting to see which satellites are being watched in which country (just type in a few country names – the list is updated dynamically, thanks to Ajax) and see for yourself. Just a note, there might be a one or two false ones in the lists as I have not verified everything yet. But overall it should be right.

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Looking at visitor stats I see that you guys are actually coming from every country on this planet. Owing to this fact, the default location of Broadway New York is probably for many of you a bit useless. That’s why last week I added a free IP and location recognition tool to the system. The effect is that when the page has finished loading, the map will zoom straight away to your location. Well, most of the time at least. Because the ISP has a bit freedom in allocating the IP to different servers scattered around the country, it can happen that your location is thought to be a few thousands miles away from you – but still in the same country though. The accuracy of the free version is also not that brilliant but given it’s free still amazing. The pro version is a lot better in terms of accuracy but it costs a whopping $350/year which I can’t afford. But luckily, I had (and still have) a donations button on my UKSatelliteHelp Blog (on the front page bottom right – in case you’re going to be looking for it). And indeed, thanks to a few very generous donations I was able to obtain a pro license yesterday. This means, from today on, all IP and location recognitions are based on this tool.

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