Receiving SES 5, Eutelsat 7A, Amos5 on one dish

One 65cm Dish, Two LNBs And 3 Satellites Received


Combining Eutelsat 7A, SES5 And Amos 5 On One 65cm Dish

Important Update: Amos 5 satellite is no more. it disappeared from outer space on 22nd November 2015.

These satellites have the following orbital positions respectively 7 degrees East, 5 degrees East and 17 degrees east.  All these satellites use the Ku band technology. There is no need of having multiple satellite dishes to receive satellites that are very close together. This is a cost effective measure of having free entertainment but at a much lower installation setup cost. In the photo above I used a 65cm dish because the footprints of these 3 satellites are strong that it permits it. You can also use a 90cm dish. The other advantage of using one dish is that it saves space. I did this setup (from photo above) in Parklands in Nairobi.

By now you already know that you need a DiSEqC switch to do the job.

What else is required?

  • 2 Ku band LNBs
  • Some Extra F-type connectors
  • Enough length coaxial cable
  • And a good HD MPEG4 free to air satellite decoder
  • Some Aluminum wire

How to go about it

Fix the dish firmly and make sure it has a clear view in the western direction. Now aim the dish at Amos 5 satellite at 17 degrees east and maximize the signal quality to the highest percentage possible.
After this lower the dish until you get a balance of 5 degrees East and 7 degrees East. Do a blind scan and save the channels under the appropriate satellite name.

Return the dish to Amos 5 at 17 degrees East and make sure that the signal quality is at its best by tweaking the LNB. Fix it firmly at this position, the dish will not be touched again.

Now connect the DiSEqC switch and run the cable to the two LNBs. The other cable from the DiSEqC switch should go to the other LNB that we will suspend soon. Make sure that the decoder is unplugged from the mains to avoid damaging the DiSEqC switch.Assign the two LNBs their respective DiSEqC ports on the decoder. Remember we also did a blind scan on SES5 and Eutelsat 7A.

Fix the Aluminum cable to the extra LNB like the image below shows. This is the method I use. Note that Aluminum is the best cable to use because it’s very responsive. If you bend or twist it will remain in this position unlike Iron wires which are springy. This is the finished Aluminum cable on the LNB. Notice that the cable is long.

Twisting Aluminum wire on LNB

Tune your decoder to any channel on SES5 or Eutelsat 7A. I normally use DW TV for SES5 and Muvi TV for 7E. Suspend this LNB about 5 to 7cm above the primary LNB and play about with it on this position until the channel is receivable. Note that you can use a satellite finder but that will make the work more difficult, that’s why I asked for a SES 5/Eutelsat7A blinds can before.

This process may take like 5 minutes and using this position you can now tie the other end of the Aluminum cable to the LNB holder like so. The work is not yet done tweak the LNB at this position until you receive DW TV (SES 5) and Muvi TV (Eutelsat 7A) at acceptable signal levels. Once you get the balance, just leave everything like it is, too bad if you used the satellite finder then you will need to untie it and tie the cable directly, thus compromising the set up again.

Important note

At the end I had to interchange the two LNBs because the Strong SRTL736 LNB has a lower gain and thus could not receive the 7 East Africa beam. The Eurostar P8 GOLD + was a much better LNB to be suspended.
Also in all setups of this nature I have done I noticed that the Open view HD promo and Star TV promo Transponders never came up. You have to sacrifice the signal qualities on 5East and 7East and some transponders for the set up to work.

All transponders on the Eutelsat 7A (7 East) Africa beam were received.
All transponders on the Amos 5 (17 East) East-West Africa beam were received.
Not all transponders on SES 5 (5 East) Sub- Saharan Africa beam were received although the main transponders carrying DW TV, CCTV News and I24 English were present.