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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Bringing Together All My Satellite Woes

For those of you who have been following my travels since last January 1,when I made my first attempt at blogging,you probably noticed that in most of my campground photos,I would have at least one of the 2 satellite dishes showing in the shot.Like the one below which is my internet dish.The Starchoice(now called Shaw Direct)is behind the trailer in this shot out of sight.(Taken at Lakelse PP near Terrace BC)


Here’s the both together at Twin Lakes government park in the Yukon,between Whitehorse and Dawson City.IMG_0506

And in that dusty crowded RV park in Whitehorse,where I was surrounded by the big boys.362

Well! I made a decision when I got home from that trip,that setting up 2 dishes each stop was ok, as after awhile it becomes second nature and I could have both of them up and running in as little time as 30 minutes total on a good day.Just means an extra half hour or so before I open that first pop.(aka Coors Lite)

Some days,not so good,like last July, when I tried in Inuvik,just 50 miles below the arctic ocean,and really out of the signal footprint for internet, and too low to the ground for Star-Choice.All I got for that frustrating hour and a half of trying,was a multitude of black fly bites.They didn’t bother me until a few hours after,then pow!I thought the no-see-ums in Mexico were bad.I carried the itch from that day for a month…..anyway I digress.


So what I did when I got home in August, was purchase a “Bird on a Wire”which is the name for that Starchoice TV LNB perched on the graduated bar of my internet dish(above).Now when I bring in my internet signal,the TV signal is automatically there also.I was so amazed when I first mounted it,with the fact that I had a good TV signal with no adjusting,even though later, I did adjust for a stronger signal which should be maintained from here on.

I find it easier to locate the internet satellite because I have a meter right at the dish called an “OPI”(outdoor pointing interface)and it tells me when I have the right satellite, then gives me the peak numbers as I adjust.So its an added bonus now to automatically have Starchoice without any other setting up.There will be times in the tree’s when I will have to get the star-c dish out,but hopefully this will be on rare occasions.

As long as I don’t trip over all the wires,as I’ll have 2 for each as I travel with a DVR.Below is my Hughes modem and wireless router(shown in my shed right now).This goes in the trailer for travel,along with the new printer/scanner…..WOW! I love being connected….I spend a lot of time boondocking where there is no wifi or aircard signal,so this suits me well.


The other change I made since my last trip,was to change satellite providers,from an account with Hughes,to an account with Galaxy here in Canada.Now I have the ability to get my satellite assignments changed for when I enter Mexico. Because I’ll require a change for the more southerly footprint.This also means a slight adjustment to that star-c bow for the new settings.

All these changes came at an added cost(some would say the guy’s crazy)but its what I wanted.The most frustrating part was when I got Hughes to shut me down and end the account….they locked my modem for a 6 week time period as a hold in case I wanted to reconsider,so I had to purchase another modem from Galaxy or wait 6 weeks….You get the picture.And a odd thing….I couldn't make contact with Hughes anymore to do anything about it, as their phone service kept directing me away from what I wanted.More money than brains you say?No not really,I just like my toys.And to be without internet for 6 weeks?Cut off my arm.


  1. That's a great setup you've got there Willy - I'd never heard of that before, pretty amazing stuff. I'd sure like to know more about the OPI device you mentioned. Is it separate from the Bird on a Wire thing? If so, is it an expensive item? I'm with you on the Internet too - 6 weeks? No way!

  2. Your set-up looks identical to our Hughesnet/StarChoice system we had up until the end of last November when the modem crashed near Silver City NM. We never did understand what happened but it did. Know what you mean by the frustrations with Hughesnet because we got the same kind of garbage from them you did. Glad to be free of that company but it took time....& money!!!!

  3. Yes the OPI is a tool that comes with the internet system and only recognizes the Hughes satellites.
    A device called the Bird dog can be programmed for all satellites including star-c but are about,(gasp)$500.

  4. Al;Yes its exactly like the photos of yours that you sent me.That's why I tried to buy yours before ordering one from the states.LOL!
    I thought you had a contract with Galaxy also?My original account was directly with Hughes but they dont recognize tri-poders and I had a phoney U.S.address and that always made me feel uncomfortable.Now through a Canadian VAR who use the Hughes satellite's,its at least legit.

  5. LOL "Internet Addict"

    Who'd a thunk it :)

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