Kriiing! Krrriingg!! Kengele imelia, wanafunzi njooni hapa!


Okay guys, got some time so lend me your ears.

Of importance before we commence is to recall that all satellites are positioned in a geostationary orbit far above (at an altitude of about 35,000km) the equator, an area referred to as the Clarke Belt, to maximize coverage over the inhabited portions of the earth. So for us whose country is around the equator, it’s relatively easy to nab some of these birds.

Let’s say, as a beginner for instance, that you were interested in receiving Tv & radio stations from Tanzania kwa mfano tu. What to do? The first step is to find out the satellite location of these stations. To do this you go to (Fig. sat1)

then click on the Free TV, Africa tab. This’ll open up a list of all African (or other continent) countries (Fig sat1a),

Clicking on your country of interest opens up a list showing their tv/radio channels and the satellites on which they’re located (Sat1b).

Clicking on the channel name or satellite name opens up a page (Sat1c) showing all the parameters/settings for that channel and satellite.

Ordinarily, as long as your satellite dish is properly aligned,you don’t have to enter these settings manually (unless perhaps for weak & unstable signals). Usually your FTA decoder is able to automatically pick up and store the settings when you do a blindscan.

Once we get our satellite details, we then open which’ll show us the footprint of our satellite of interest, i.e the region on the earth’s surface where the satellite beam of interest is pointed or focused at. Staying with our example above, we found EATV, ITV, Capital & TBC1 located on Intelsat 906 at 64.2 degrees East. The footprint for this satellite will appear as shown in (fig Sat2 below). An alternative to this is which’ll give us the beam as appears on complete with recommended dish size. Zooming in will show you that the West Hemi beam clearly covers Kenya, among other countries. Of importance here is to note that I’ve specifically selected the west hemi beam and not any other because this is the beam specified on lyngsat (the 1st column, beneath the tp/ frequency) as containing those TV & radio stations from Tanzania.

Having established that the beam covers our region/country, we then log into to get the parameters we require for our set-up, i.e stuff like azimuth, LNB skew, elevation, etc. On dishpointer (Sat3)

key in your location and satellite of interest to get the set up parameters. Staying with our example of IS906 and assuming a random location of Machakos town, then the Elevation=58.5°, Azimuth=87° and LNB Skew=86.6°. DishPointer Augmented Reality app is available from your respective phone’s app store, very handy.

This done, we then head online once again, download and instal a software called GorbTrack from .

This now will assist us to know if that satellite is receivable at your specific location. After installing GorbTrack, it’ll direct you to where to get the list of towns for your country of residence, in our case Kenya. It’ll also be able to tell you if the satellite signal is receivable at the place where you position your dish taking into account obstacles in your area such as buildings, walls and trees.

It’ll still be able to compute the azimuth, elevation as well as the LNB skew, as can be seen in the two figures above.

Once all this is done, you may now go ahead to assemble and install your equipment using those parameters in conjunction with a digital satellite meter.

Additional references:

Cc. @Meria Mata, @Giggz, @coldpilsner, @SnazzyKenyan, @kwido, @Kdawg254, @maks and other FTA enthusiasts.

Queries, clarifications, additions are most welcome.

Asante sana kwa ufafanuzi

Kwani bibi ameenda reserve? It’s a long time since you posted anything this involving. Nime-bookmark. Asanda.

:D:D:D:D:D It’s taken me almost 3hrs. Bibi yuko, anaelewa tu a man and his toys and passions lazima umpe nafasi. Let me add sth small in a comment.

Thank you very. What a small world were in.
which decoder and dish would you advise one to get so that I can grab station like Fox, Nat Geo, discovery science , in short to have the premium service of dstv?
Are there tech guys serious enough to do the job?

Thank you Don Lutero tukutame kesho kanisani.

There’re different types of decoders in the market,each of which has its own unique capabilities. Ensure you get a decoder that at the bare minimum has DVB-S2 capabilities (as an aside, just as terrestrial broadcast has evolved from analogue to DVB-T & the more advanced DVB-T2, so too has satellite transmission shifted from analogue to DVB-S & on to the more advanced DVB-S2 transmission). The most common and affordable DVB-S2 decoders in the Kenyan market are OpenBox V7, Strong SRT-4955, OpenBox V7, Strong SRT-4950 Series, SRT-4962L, etc. They’re good to start you off.

The satellite dishes also vary in size, cost and type. There’re 2 main types: Offset
and Prime Focus dishes. The offset dishes tend to outperform prime focus dishes of the same size but setting them up is a bit more challenging in terms of where & how to anchor them as well as how to affix (multi-) LNBs, unlike the prime focus for which you only require a flat surface ya kuiwekelea. It’s important to mount your dish where there’re no obstacles e.g. tall buildings & trees in the ‘line-of-sight’. As a general rule, the bigger the dish the better it is in terms of signal reception and stability.

LNBs are what actually receive and transmit the signals to the FTA decoder for you to watch. They come from different manufacturers, avoid the very cheap ones. Yaani, your decision on which to buy should not just be informed by the price. For C-band reception, the common ones are Eurostar ES-21 Gold+, Pauxis PX-2000, Eurostar ESCDT-700 Dual, Supermax VH-777 Super, Eurostar ES51 plus and Eurostar ES21 in no particular order of preference; all are locally available. A good C-band LNB should have a noise level <17degrees. For Ku-band reception, the commonest are Stargold Fuji, Eurostar QP4 Gold, Samson Universal Twin LNB, Invacom QPH-031 0.3dB quad lnb & Inverto Silver Tech 0.2dB quad lnb. Of these, only Invacom in unavailable locally but can be imported e.g from or; a good Ku-band lnd should have a noise level <0.6dB.

The length of cable required depends on how far the dish is from your house or decoder. The longer the cable, the higher the signal loss. As a general rule, it should not exceed 30m (100 feet) from the LNB to your decoder or else you’ll require an in-line amplifier
to mitigate signal loss. For the same reason, avoid joints in your cable. The best cable is RG-6 co-axial cable. RG56 is cheaper but would work too if rg6 unavailable.

Then of course there’s the DiSEqC switch
which integrates signals from all your LNBs (you can have more than one LNB in a single dish as shown here: and here: ) prior to their reception by the decoder.

A DiSEqC switch makes it possible to combine and connect up to 64 sats to only one decoder.

F-connectors are what you use at every point where a joint is required.

If i may ask, how much should i invest in this setup?

Ahsante sana daktari Kwa matibabu yako, swali langu. I have a zuku satellite all installed, with a 90cm dish and fixed to the wall and of course aligned to ‘God knows’ satellite. What would the effect of me, throwing away their decoder and buying an open market decoder. Which channels should I expect to receive

There’s a reason I basically gave a list of the requirements: so that anyone can walk into the shops to enquire on prices. Else, I’ll call @Giggz over to give rough estimate.

Zuku is on SES-5 satellite @5°E, Ku-band. That sat alone will give you the likes of DW Tv, France 24, CGTN News, TRT World, AfricaNews (owned by same fellows as EuroNews on Nilesat 201 @7°W), RT News, NHK World and a generous selection of Christian/ Gospel channels.

Much appreciated Luther. I will be following though.

For dishes this are current prices
Eurostar 6ft-9k, 90cm-2k,130cm-5k, 8ft-22k (100cm,110cm and 120cm and 150cm are hard to come by for now)
Cband Lnbs
Eurostar Es21± 2k,Escdt 600-1500, Escdt 700-1900,
Supermax777 -1200
Pauxis 2000-2k, Pauxis combined C/Ku-2200
KU band Lnbs
Stargold Fuji for prime focus (Extreme high gain)
Single -1800, twin-2500,Quad-4000
Stargold twin for offset -1500
Inverto black single for offset- 1800, for prime focus-2000, inverto twin-3000, quad- 5000
Freesat V7 combo -6k, V7HD -4k
Strong 4955 or 4962L-6k
Disecq 41-400, 81-900
Astel Cable per metre-25bob
Rf connectors -@10/20/30bob depending on quality
Labour is dependent on many factors eg distance, complexity, quantity of work, extra work requested.

Maswali zile, assistant teacher ameland

Thank you so much dkt. @Luther12. Hii masomo naona inaingia sabamba.
Pewa chenye wewe hutumia…Bill wanitumie hapa statehouse.

Elimu ni ya ngumbaru hii. :slight_smile: Maswali yanakaribishwa pia.

:D:D:D:D Bibi yangu initially alikua anateta but now she got used, its a disease which once it hits you, we lose you :p:p:p

If you promise him a dish he will really appreciate :D:D:D:D collecting more dishes is intoxicating

Ahsante mblo. @NjuguNiTamu, njoo kidogo.

Hebu mwambie. I have scouts scouring the entire neighborhood and knocking on doors and gates wherever they find idle or unutilized dishes. Reports coming in swiftly.:smiley: