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Re: [TowerTalk] Ham radio vs. satellite dishes

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Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Ham radio vs. satellite dishes
From: "K8RI on Tower Talk" <>
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2005 12:37:57 -0500
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I think I can field this one easy enough as I have an 11' C and Ku-band dish hooked to one receiver, a small "Dish Network" system with two receivers, and two UHF antennas (each with its own remote mounted preamp) between the 80 and 90 foot level on the tower.

To complicate things the satellite receivers, stereo receiver, audio tape decks, two VCRs, one DVD player, the TV set, and speaker system are all tied together through switching which allows recording and or playback to/from any of the recorders, or players. (it's a lot of wire plus the speaker runs)

The only interference I have ever seen was when using the south pointing UHF antenna which is about 20 feet below the 7L 6-meter antenna and about 35 feet below the 144/440 arrays. It turned out to be the preamp.
I have never had any on any band bother either the large or small satellite systems.

The cables for the C-band dish run inside the same conduit as the other cables from the tower. The dish is about 30 feet from the tower base.

The Dish Network dish, is located on the other end of the house.

I run the legal limit on 160 through 10 (756 Pro with Alpha 76A)with 100 watts on 6 (76 Pro), 160 watts on 144, and 35 watts on 440.

As to your RF proof home, you might, or might not find it works to your advantage with the remote RF connected receivers. The link is either going to be in the 400 MHz band for remote control, or possibly 2.4 gig. Inside an "RF box" Thiese things often behave as if they were direct connect. OTOH if they are in the 2.4 Gig range there might be interferrence between them and wireless computers or cordless telephones. This is something you'd have to check out.

A friend and ham, down the road had to change his phone to one of the new 5 point something gig phones as the 2.4 gig was taking out his web camera and network. Of course they were trashing his web cam so it all worked out even.<:-)) Changing the phone is easy. Changing the computer network may not and then again there may be no problem.

Roger Halstead (K8RI, EN73 & ARRL Life Member)
N833R, World's Oldest Debonair (S# CD-2)

Fellow Tower Talk members:

I'm considering changing from cable tv to one of the dish systems. Has anyone had any problems with RFI, etc. to dish systems vs. cable and HF or VHF transmissions? I use a 10 element log periodic at 50 ft. with a Collins 30-L-1 and a Kenwood TS 430S that I usually load to maybe 500 watts.

Some of the dish systems, that "advertise" giving you four digital boxes, actually give you only two and the other two sets are controlled via some type of RF link. My current QTH is so RF "tight" that cell phones don't work inside. Inside my house (built in 1983) my cell phone often shows "roaming, out of area, or no signal" and we live less than a mile from an AT&T cell tower in the middle of the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Oh your phone will ring inside my QTH, but to actually maintain a conversation you have to go outside.

Does the "dish" need to be located far from my crankup tower? I've dealt with cable rfi problems and have been able to solve most of them, like loose fittings from the pole to the house that leak cable signals and in reverse let in RF energy.

Fortunately my neighbors know how much I want to and do cooperate that they don't say anything any more, but if I hear through the grapevine that one of them is having an RFI problem I immediately offer my limited service and at least do a visual inspection. Like the time I found a varmint had chewed through the jacket, shielding, and dielectric on one neighbors cable leaving only several feet of bare RG59 copper center conductor showing. Besides my RFI, they were also receiving cable signals on TVs in their home NOT connected to cable on channels 2-13, no UHF TV channels. They'd get Showtime on Channel 2, Movie channel on 3, HBO on channel 6, etc. Yes this happened, I saw it and then did some tracking, at the homeowner's invitation of course, and found about 3 feet of RG59 or RG6 that was stapled along the edge of the house entirely stripped bare to the center conductor. What was amazing was how good a reception of cable signals on a TV with just rabbit ears was being received. I knew the area tech rep at the time for the cable company and he got a technician out and had their problem fixed in a hurry since he and I had worked around our town to resolve cable/ham RFI issues.

Unfortunately he's not with the cable company any more and their techs aren't always very knowledgeable about RFI issues, like the one tech who came to my house to fix a problem and just pointed to my 50 foot crank up tower and immediately said it was causing RFI, even before he checked his company's cable installation.

Also I notice most cable companies are going from the old RG59 to RG6 now for home service as they "say" the RG6 gives them better specs on digital signals.

73 de Tom, WW5L

bandwidth" for digital


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See: for "Self Supporting Towers", "Wireless Weather Stations", and lot's more. Call Toll Free, 1-800-333-9041 with any questions and ask for Sherman, W2FLA.

TowerTalk mailing list

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