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MotoSat D2 Satellite System Direct TV Mod’s

When I bought my Dutchstar motorhome, it came with a Motosat D2 satellite internet system. The previous owner was kind enough to leave the Dish TV LNB and mount attached. That got me thinking…which is usually dangerous… I have Direct TV HD at my home in Idaho, and I really didn’t want to pay for another system, so I decided to install it on my RV (temporarily) and use it on the road when I travel. It Works, but pointing the dish took some time to work out I was expecting this! I want to note up front that you will need some understanding of how Satellite TV works, a good understanding of TCP/IP networking, and the will (or time) to work out the location of the satellite you want to point at. My background includes a stint as the operations manager for a group of radio stations where I learned through book reading, talking to the engineer, and trial and error how the satellites work. I’ve also been working in Information Technology for 35+ years, so there you have it. You never know how your past experiences will wind themselves together to provide you with a skill set that you can use. How it works: In my case, I have a newer DTV receiver that uses the triple LNB. This made it so much easier. Also, there is a clamping mechanism that holds the LNB to the dish mounted to my house, so it is super easy to remove. The mod I made below doesn’t interfere with the clamp. Mounting the LNB on the existing mount was pretty straightforward forward, but I knew that it would not be in the same place as the old one. There was a metal tab that mounted the old LNB to the arm that I used to mount the new LNB. Wanting to modify the LNB as little as possible, I drilled a 3/16″ hole through the mount and secured it with a #12 bolt. There is a metal ridge cast on the bottom of the LNB that aligns it in the house mount that I didn’t want to remove that restricted where I could mount it. I just crowded it up to the edge of the metal tab. It’s not ideal, but it works pretty well. You can’t mount the LNB to the bottom of that metal tab as there are plastic tabs on the mounting support arm that make it not work. I knew from the beginning that mounting the LNB here would change a few things… The key here is to get it tight as possible. You can’t see them in the picture, but there are scratches on the metal tab that the LNB is mounted to that help with alignment when I move it from the RV to the house and back. Also since I am considering this as temporary because, eventually, I am going to scrap the old feed horn and replace it with the DTV LNB. Currently traveling on a contract job and don’t have the tools to accomplish this. My logic was that although not exactly the same angle as the old LNB, using the D2 to point at DTV’s 101 satellite should be pretty straightforward and get you close enough that you can find it. This D2 had internet from SatMex5 @ 117 degrees, and the mounting arm on the dish was already set at 101 degrees. All I needed to do was allow the unit to auto-search and lock on SatMex5, and DTV 101 would be close by. I don’t have a subscription for Hughes, but it will still lock on and report no subscription, so once it is locked in, I started the search for 101. So there are some really good tools out there that are available at the user’s forum that allow you to control the D2 and point it anywhere you want. They also have satellite look angle calculators (which are handy) and all kinds of other RV satellite info. So I just fired everything up, and using the ‘Datastorm Administrator‘ application from the website, I set the system to auto-search for SatMex5 and watched the signal strength meter. At the same time, I fired up the Direct TV receiver and navigated to the signal strength meter’s page for satellite 101. It’s in the system settings menu on the DTV receiver Through trial and error I discovered that the new mounting location placed the center of the feed horn on the new LNB about 4 degrees higher and 3 degrees east of the old one, so now it is cake to point. Using the sat angle calculator, I get the location, add the change in LNB location and manually point the dish while watching the signal strength meter on the DTV receiver. Do a little manual signal strength tuning, and voila DTV that I can move between the house and RV. Now yea, yea, I know I could have bought a bunch of stuff that did this for me, but what fun would that be? My next mod is to scrap the existing feed horn and modify the mount to accept my LNB, but that will have to wait till I am home again. Then it is just a matter of again figuring out the difference and then pointing to the dish with the correction added. Your results may vary…

For more great maintenance ideas, check out these articles on my website:

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