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Don't expect the installer to know anything about computers. Actually the customer is suppose to install the software on his own computer. The Installer is only suppose to get a signal to your computer and there ends the official responsibility of the Installer. However, you should encourage the installer to stick around until you have finished installing your software and running Websetup. This way the installer can verify that your system is indeed up and running. The installer can show you how to check your signal strength as well as do a couple of speed tests at DSLReports.

I recommend that you do not install your software until the Installer has your indoor adapters (Indoor Transmit Unit and Indoor Receive Unit - ITU & IRU) installed in your house and connected to the satellite antenna. Make sure you have a modem in your computer and it is connected to an active phone line.

Now, open up the huge box that your system came in. Take out the White box. It contains the ITU and IRU. Get a note pad and write down the serial numbers for the ITU and IRU. The number for the ITU is going to be something like this: T1AB459395-00000000. You will also see the serial number written on another sticker close by. The difference will be that the other number will be identical but may have one extra digit on the end and there will be no zeros. Now look on the back of the IRU and get that serial number. It will be something like this: R1CF18004-00703215. Although all digits are important, the last 6 digits, following the two zeros is the number the NOC wants during the cross polarization operation. Put the ITU and IRU back in the white box, if you want to, so that you do not loose anything. You actually could assemble the ITU & IRU by putting on the clamps, jumper cable, connecting the USB cable and Power Supply cable.

Next, take out the long cardboard box that is 24.5 inches long by 9.5 inches by 8.5 inches. It will have a sticker on the end of the box with RADIO ASSY, HNS-TCP printed on it. It will have a Serial number, also printed on it. That is the serial number of your entire outdoor assembly, which includes your LNB, Transmitter, waveguide and antenna. It is often referred to, by the NOC, as your antenna serial number. Write down that number. Also open the box and verify that the number on the outside of the box is the same as the number on the waveguide. On the bottom of the huge box, your system came in, will also be the serial numbers for your ITU and IRU. I would still open them up to verify the numbers. These numbers are critical and will be registered in your name, with the NOC.

Take these numbers and print them out on a piece of paper, in large 24pt. type. Have it ready to give to the Installer. It will just save him some time and he might really appreciate it. He will need these numbers when calling in for the cross pol. He will also need some other numbers that he will write down on that same piece of paper. Place that paper on a clip board, so the wind does not blow it away. IF you really want to impress the Installer, with your knowledge, print the words, Azimuth, Elevation and Polarization. Leave a blank space next to each of them for the Installer to fill in the information. Also, print your Name, Address with zip code, and telephone number with area code on that same paper. He will have to give all this information to the Cross Pol person.

Now just before your installer arrives, arrange so that a table (card table, picnic table, etc.) is close by where you plan on installing the antenna. This gives the installer a work area and makes life so much more pleasant. Have an extension cord with power strip so that it will reach up to where the antenna will be installed. If you are installing during the daylight hours, have a large box for the installer to put his laptop in, to shield the screen from sunlight. He will have to place his laptop as well as your ITU and IRU, USB cable, power supply, etc. next to the antenna during the installation process.

PLEASE HAVE A CORDLESS PHONE OR A PHONE WITH A LONG EXTENSION AVAILABLE. The installer will need it, at the antenna, during the cross pol process. If it is a cordless phone, make sure the batteries are fully charged. The cross pol MAY take as long as an hour, or more.

Make sure the installer grounds the transmit and receive cables, using a grounding block, to your house or building ground. You can drive a ground rod close to the antenna, but that ground rod must have a wire going directly to your whole house electrical ground. If not, you may end up with ground loop problems, which will never go away.

Next, make sure the installer uses the brace support rods that should have come with your system. If they were not included in the box, with your system, then call the installer immediately and have him bring some. They are white in color, made of square, steel tubing and come in a cardboard box about 24 inches long and 1 inch by 2 inches. They were mainly intended to be used when installing the antenna on a wood surface. However, because of the weight, of the RF head assembly, I strongly suggest they be used, even if you are installing on a concrete wall, roof etc. They help in keeping the mask from sagging or moving, during any kind of winds.

Now, if the Installer shows up with a spectrum analyzer amongst his tools, you may be in luck. He may be a better than the average installer. However, this is where you may want to be paying close attention. When he gets the antenna aligned with the satellite he will try to peak it to maximum signal strength. It used to be that 70 was the minimum acceptable by the NOC. Now, the NOC really does not seem to care. You need to have a minimum of 30 or 31 for the system to work. Of course the more you have, the more of a buffer you will have during stormy weather or rain fade occurrences. The signal strength will not affect your speeds or ability to browse, as long as your system is 31 or above. In other words, a signal strength of 35 will work just as good as a signal strength of 65.

Now, as I said before, the Installer will peak your antenna for maximum signal strength. When he calls in for a cross pol, chances are he will not have good enough isolation, unless he used a spectrum analyzer. The minimum accepted by the NOC is a cross pole of 10 giving you an isolation between vertical and horizontal of 30, on Galaxy 11. A cross pol of 4, with 36 as your isolation is a super good figure. I suppose a perfect cross pol would be 0 with an isolation of 40. However, a cross pol of 8 or 9 with isolation of 32 or 31, is fine. On the SatMEX 5 satellite, the minimum isolation accepted by the NOC is 39, with some NOC engineers requiring a 40.

During the cross pol operation, the installer will have to make further adjustments to the antenna. When he does this, the signal may very well drop. For example he might have gotten a maximum strength 57 to 60 during original peaking, but after the cross pol is completed it may have dropped to 47 to 50. If this happens, I would ask the dealer to stay on the line, with the cross pol engineer and re-peak the antenna for maximum signal, while the cross pol engineer is keeping an eye on the isolation. As long as the installer does not mess with the polarization and only with the azimuth and elevation adjustments then the cross pol should not change.

Okay, now you have a good cross pol and signal level. It is time to move inside to connect the adapters (ITU & IRU) to your computer, load the software and run websetup. However, it is not time to drink beer yet!

Do not have your computer networked, yet. Have it as bare bones as possible. Later, you can experiment with what ever else you want to.

Turn off any Firewalls, Anti-Virus protection software and go into your "Device Manager" and disable any and all "Network Adapters" you may have enabled. However, don't disable your "Dial-up Adapter" because then your modem won't work. Also it is a good idea to clean up your System Tray so that you don't have a bunch of software running while you are loading the Direcpc software. After the software is installed and you have run websetup, go back and enable any Network Adapters you really need. You can also turn your Anti-virus program back on.

It is a good idea to install your ITU & IRU so that you can see the idiot lights on the front of them. Stand them in a vertical position versus laying them down flat. Some users even prefer to not even use the clips and separate them for circulation of air. Also, I would recommend that you plug the IRU power supply into some sort of surge protector and have it being the only device plugged into it. There may be times, in the future, when you will need to power cycle your adapters (ITU & IRU) and it is a lot easier to turn off a switch then it is to unplug and plug in an electrical cable. Never, plug and unplug the power cable where it is attached to the back of the IRU. You always run the risk of bending those prongs.

Now, you are ready to pop the software CD into your CD drive. Make sure the USB cable is not connected to the back of your computer, yet. However your ITU and IRU must be on and connected to the satellite antenna. It will tell you, during software installation, when to plug in the USB cable. The rest is a normal step by step installation of software. Make sure you have your credit card handy. By the way, if you happen to have internet access, already, via a dial-up modem, then it is better to run websetup via the Internet. All you do is after installing the software it will ask you to restart your computer, if using 98SE. With Win2000 or XP, it doesn't do that. Go ahead and restart your computer. Then the websetup screen should appear. If it does, close it. If it doesn't, don't worry about it. Get online with your dial-up access, but do not open any browser. Go to Start, Programs, DirecPC, Websetup and then the window will open. Run websetup.

Expand got feedback?

by amersat See Profile edited by PetDude See Profile
last modified: 2003-09-26 11:50:19