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My Satellite Setup

Starting out with a single Bell Dish and one LNB I decided to keep expanding my setup till it was large enough to handle every television in the house. Now with 2 satellites and over 700ft of cabling it's almost done. I decided to go with the Dish Pro setup since it was the simplest and cheapest to rig up 3 satellites in the sky to 8 recievers in the house. Sure I could of gotten the DP44 but it includes a power inserter and costs about 200 bucks for one. I got 2x DP34's for 35 bucks. That decision was easy to make.

What is Dish Pro and why do I care ?

Dish Pro is Dish Networks Proprietary Solution to solving the problem of "How do I get more then 2 recievers working off one Satellite dish?". By removing the requirement of voltages to operate the satellite system the Dish Pro LNB can handle 200' coax runs (compared to 100' on the legacy) and is able to split upto 12 recievers off one feed from the satellite. This is called Bandstacking. Im pretty sure you could keep adding DP's and it would still work but it is not officially supported. Each Dish Pro 34 has 3 inputs and 4 outputs and 3 "extention" plugs. They call it a DP34 because it has 3 inputs and 4 outputs. 34 ... DP ... 34 ... it all makes sense right. These switches look a little different then the Diseqc's or the SW21's most people have.

This is a picture of one of my DP34's connected up. Dish Pro uses bandstacking so I can put both V and H down a single line of coax. This saved me about 200' of coax alone. I mounted the switches to a piece of plywood I had hanging around to keep things neat and organized.

How does it all work ?

It's really very simple how it all works but to make things easier to see I made a file in AutoCAD that is a little more simplified.

As you can see I got 2 satellite dishes with one feed for each satellite going to my DP setup. 91/110/119 all go into the DP34 to be split off. Nimiq 82 goes to a SW21 so one reciever can get all 4 satellites. Using a legacy SW21 on a Dish Pro system is really not supposed to work. It does work but switching can take 5-10 seconds. When your watching TV it's quite the long time. Usually the rule for DP systems is if it doesn't have a DP logo on it it probably should not be used. It's okay cause 82 is not worth the extra 300 dollars it would of cost me to get a DP44. If you notice I got "viewsats" on all of the feeds but one. The B3V 3100 reciever is only for power. It sits on top of my setup and provides a well needed 750mw of power. Without this reciever running the DP setup crashes and does not function properly. Sure I could go buy a power inserter but why fix somthing that is not broken. My setup looks somthing like this AutoCAD drawing. I placed all my stuff on a piece of plywood I had floating around. This keeps things neat and tidy. There is alot of cables all unlabeled and it would be a mess if I didn't have it.

As you can see my entire setup is grounded to that one light switch. Sure this is not enough grounding to stop from lightning but it does stop some switching issues due to lack of grounding. My plan is to put AWG6 on my satellites and ground them properly to some cold water pipes.

My Dishes

I have 2 20" Bell dishes with Dish Pro Quad LNBF's on them. Because Dish Networks satellites are the exact same distance apart 82/91 or 110/119 I can use the same hardware for both satellite systems. Due to trees in my yard im unable to run both satellites off my house. Because Bell is more eastern then dish network im able to perch it right on the side of my house and get good signal.

I painted both of my dishes a generic gray. I don't need a dish that says Bell ExpressVu I think gray works perfectly fine. What's nice about this is the BEV dish is right above the hose faucet. Cold water lines are perfect grounding points. Plus being so close to the house there is alot less cable to run and the dish is easy accessable. The only downside is because the dish is hidden so well from the elements the wind doesn't keep the snow off it in the winter. It's the only dish I have to sometimes go outside and knock some snow off the roof. I thought about putting a pole in the ground and mounting the dishes to that but decided not too. Those LNBF's are worth alot of money and I don't need anyone stealing my stuff. Sure people don't usually steal satellite dishes but you never know.

This dish took alot more time to setup and got the cops called on me. The tree it's sitting on now is going down next year so it was just one of those temporary solutions. Surprisingly alot of people told me not to mount a dish on a tree but I did it anyways. The only time it causes any problems is when it's VERY windy outside. I live in northern ontario and it usually is not windy. Even when it is windy it doesn't completely lose the signal, just some artifacts once in awhile. In the winter time the tree actually freezes and even in the most windy weather the dish keeps perfectly still.

The problem with this is that some branches hanged just on top of 119w so when it was windy or rained I completely lost my signal. It sounded simple right ? Cut down about 3-5' of this branch that's in the way and problem solved. Well aparently the neighbours don't like you going on there shed at 9:00PM to cut down a branch hanging over their property. Well the cops where called and yeah ... but I got the branch down. I had to run about 100' of cable for that dish and it was hard buring that cable with a root every 3". I managed to get it done tho. Plugged it all in and it worked 100%.

Mounting the dish turned out to be very easy. At first I thought about putting a small board then mounting the board level with the tree and the dish on that. I tried the more direct route and just screwed it directly in with tapcon screws. Yes I used concrete screws for a tree and it works very well. By balancing the load on all of the screws I was able to level out the dish and keep enough force on it to not move. The dish is sturdy as can be, while the tree is the one that moves.

So ?

Well hopefully this page gives you some ideas on how to go apon your satellite setup. Of course my setup is over kill but why not right. If you know what your doing why not have more of a good thing. Sure I would love to setup like 10-15 dishes but realisticly where I live it's not going to happen. Way too many trees on the south and these are TALL trees too. I could cut them down and that is the plan but really I think 1000+ channels is enough for me now. Where it begins to get complex is getting more satellites to all these recievers. What I lernt is don't cut down neighbours trees late at nite without asking them. Also ... ignore people and do what you want to do. Alot of people told me not to mount a dish in a tree and I did anyways with cement screws and it works perfectly fine.


If you have any questions or comments on my projects just toss an email to


(c) 2011