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Anybody Know Anything About Satellite Internet?

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Hi folks I'm trying to open up a satellite shot on my place so I can get satellite internet in here. I have a patch of trees I consider expendable so I need to position the dish accordingly, otherwise I'll be removing valuable timber to the right of my proposed satellite path and I'm not interested in doing that at this point. I called Hughes Net yesterday trying to find out what heading (azimuth I guess) the dish needs to be pointing but the best I could get out of them was "southern sky".


I could mount the satellite dish on my house gable (the installer guy could) if the azimuth was no more westerly than 185°, if I need a more westerly azimuth than that I'm gonna have to go to plan B and set a post in the ground at another location for the dish. Huges Net doesn't want to do anything but sign me up for a plan and send an installer out. Their approach is to come out, install the dish, and let you worry about removing the trees afterwards which is fine but like I said above I need to do this without removing marketable trees so that objective will determine where the dish needs to be located. If the installer shows up and tells me I need 190° or something I've got a month's work to do removing trees and getting a post set up for him and he's gonna be pissed at me for not being ready.


I'm really not ready yet, I didn't call to order service at this point, I called to get the azimuth I need in order to get ready. I've tried to search around and figure out which satellite Hughes Net uses and I've found online calculators that you can plug your coords into, select a satellite, and it will give you the azimuth & elevation needed. Most everything I've found is 5 yrs old or more though and I don't trust it.


Does anyone here do this stuff for a living? I'm looking at the 5Mbps "Choice" plan if that makes a difference, can anyone tell me which satellite I need to be tracking and/or how I can come up with the correct azimuth at least maybe to within + or - 10°? I'm located in N. Idaho about 20 mi south of the Canadian border and 2 miles west of the Montana border.




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I don't really have much experience with satellite dishes but if it can't be mounted on your roof, maybe out in the yard clear of your tree situation. Hope you are not in a windy location. Satellite dishes tend to blow around and lose signals.

Still thinking about a new flightsim only computer!  ✈️

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However old, the mathematics don't change. If they were accurate 5, 10, 500 years ago, they still are. I'm a huge fan of math. Rocked it in school, both high-school and military ones. You can use Google Earth, and plug in your home's address to get you lat/long coordinates, which is part of what you need.

Do a Google search for " Don Bradner, lookangle calculator". It's the one located on Datastorm Users dot com. I can't post a link (I get in trouble when I do things like that). All you need to do is input your city name and it tells you which direction (East/West) and up/down (Azimuth and Elevation). You need to use it to locate the AMC4 satellite.

That will get you set for the installer, anyway. You can take a cheap compass outside and find the approximate direction the calculator points you to, to make sure there aren't any solid objects in the way of where on your roof you want it placed, or where you stick your post (sorry, I had to say it).

Is that what you needed?



Had a thought...then there was the smell of something burning, and sparks, and then a big fire, and then the lights went out! I guess I better not do that again!

Sgt, USMC, 10 years proud service, Inactive reserve now :D

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That's exactly what I needed, but are we absolutely sure Hughes Net is using the "101 DTV/AMC4" satellite? According to the program then I need 160.2 true and if that's the case I should be good to go for the gable mount, it's perfect - like too good to be true perfect. If I'd been given a choice of where I wanted the satellite to be I'd have chosen 160° true. That's scary right there, nothing ever goes that way without brute force and/or an a$$load of money so naturally I'm skeptical!


I have exact coords BTW, I just didn't post 'em because I didn't want you guys virtually flour bombing my house :) . I also have the boy scout compass with the gun sights on it. Subtracting magnetic from true the program gave me almost exactly the same magnetic variation I get off a sectional chart at SkyVector so I guess I must have gotten my coords in right. I see it's been a few years since I've adjusted the compass for magvar, it was off by about 4°, it's been 25 years I suppose, aarrgghh.


Thanks for the help.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Well as it turned out the the satellite is the EchoStar-XVII located at W107.1, the azimuth was 154° magnetic which worked out fine for the gable installation. The installer was excellent, did a very nice job, and as it turned out he was a snowmobiler so we hit it off immediately and even tested out the new connection watching some snowmobile vids on youtube, lol. I gave him 10/10 on the installer evaluation. :)


Speed-wise I've been seeing about 1.7-1.8 Mb/sec normally in a download. I'm used to seeing 180Kb/sec on a good day with Verizon. I guess I can double that speed for another 10$/mo and also double my "anytime" bandwidth allotment. That only works out to $5/mo more than I was paying with Verizon (after the equipment is paid for) so I may do that. I'm OK with the speed as long as it's reliable but the 5 Gb anytime data allowance isn't enough when you start clicking links to youtube videos, lol.


Currently I get 55 Gb per month, 5 Gb can be used any time, the remaining 50 are for off-peak use between 2:00 AM and 8:00 AM. It's wonderful because I usually get up at 5:30-ish so I've got 2 1/2 hrs to basically run amok on the internet every morning.


So far I've downloaded something like 40 Gb worth of goodies without a failure. Among those goodies was REX4 which I purchased in Jan 2014 but was never able to download previously. The file was 7.2 Gb, I downloaded it in a little over an hour without a glitch, that would have cost me $70 bucks in bandwidth alone to download with Verizon assuming no failures. I spent $200 at the Orbx sale, have it all downloaded and stored, that worked out to about 22.6 Gb. I also downloaded P3D v2.5 in it's entirety plus the SDK. Now I just need to find the time to get all this stuff installed!


Overall I'm completely stoked with the new internet, I wish I'd taken those damn trees out 5 years ago!

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  • 2 weeks later...


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