On the occasion of becoming a sponsor of DishPointer, Sadoun is giving away one Sadoun Powertech DG280 Satellite Motor worth $89.95. There are also giveaways for the second and third winner. ****This competition is closed now, see below for winners***** 1st place winner:: Grand prize winner will receive the Powertech DG280 Satellite Motor. 2nd place winner: One SF95LK Satellite Signal Strength Meter Kit. 3rd place winner: One SF95LK Satellite Signal Strength Meter Kit. So how do you enter to win? Easy! Simply post a comment at the bottom of this message and say “I want to win!”, followed by whatever random banter you wish to include. Be creative, be silly, be serious, tell a fun story.. whatever. Just post something – the more positive and entertaining the better! At the end of February 3, 2008, the winners will be selected “randomly” and notified by email. Rules:
  • Limited to residents of Continental United States and Canada
  • Must be at least 21 years of age to enter
  • One entry per family/residence for each item
  • Multiple submissions automatically disqualified
  • Officers and employees, including their relatives, of Sadoun Satellite Sales are not eligible for entry.
  • Deadline: February 3, 2008 – 20:00 UTC.
  • Entrants agree by act of registration to permit their name to be posted on this site if they are chosen as the winner.
  • Winning entry selected at random. Odds of winning varies dependant upon number of entries. This is a free drawing. No purchase necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law.
  • Winner notified via email. Make sure your email is correct. If a selected winner is ineligible, fails to claim a prize no alternate winner will be selected.
  • Incomplete entries or entries with errors will not be processed. Entries submitted after deadline will be disqualified.
Good Luck! ************************* Update: 04 Feb 08 The competition is closed now. The winners, chosen randomly, are: 1st Prize Motor: Cy Edwards (#33) 2nd Prize Sat-Meter: Donielia Ward (#9) 3rd Prize Sat-Meter: Mark Scabar (#36) Congratulations to all three of you – you will be contacted shortly by email. And for all those who haven’t won, there will be another competition soon, so keep checking this place for updates. Alan

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We broke the 1 Million barrier last month. In total, 325,000 users made 1,094,016 dish pointing requests (on this site and the widgets combined) in December breaking all the previous records. This is fantastic but also came as a surprise to me. In order to keep up with the demand, I’m upgrading to a brand new server which should handle this sort of load quite easily. So over the next two days the migration should happen, hopefully without any or minimal disruption to the service. So, a big thank you and welcome to every visitor.

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I have just added a new section for technical satellite help and general usage of the DishPointer site. I hope this will help fixing satellite problems or satellite reception issues. Over the time, the section shoud hopefully expand a bit more.

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I’ve just added support for motorized dishes. In the dropdown box with all the satellites, you’ll find at the bottom an item called True South / True North and then various makes of satellite motors (Moteck SG2100, Satcontrol SM3D12 / SM3D22, PanSat PM900S, PowerTech DG240 and Stab HH90, Stab HH100, Stab HH120). You’ll need the True South (if you live North of the equator) or True North (if you live South of the equator) marking in order to setup your motor. When you choose the satellite motor, you’ll get the declination angle and also the dish elevation. If you want me to add different makes of satellite motors, just let me know. When installing a motorized dish, the key is that the pole is absolutely vertical. If it’s not then the motor can’t track the satellites along the clarke belt – you wouldn’t receive the outer satellites. If your motor and receiver supports USALS then the installation becomes a bit easier as you can plug in your latitude and longitude into the receiver and the motor is rotated to the correct satellite automatically. All you would need to do is then fine-tune the installation. Without USALS, you need to point the motorized dish directly at True South/True North (the line on the map) and then take it from there. I hope to post a full installation guide here soon.

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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.

Comments 13 Comments »