ASK-ME 98.07.11 * Q&A by SAT-MidEast

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(PART II of ASK-ME 98.07.10)

Q: I had the CI 1,0 version and I had recently upgrade to the 2,3. With
the old version I had no problems with the upper band of my Cambridge
0,7 LNB (Universal, but I changed the upper oscillator to 10,750 because
of my analog Echostar 8700 receiver). Everything worked fine and the
high band channels were stored well, so the 22 KHz worked perfectly with
all configurations of the oscillator)

With the new software there is no possibility to store high band
channels, it seems that it recognises only the 10,600 oscillator. I have
made all possible changes in the red and blue menu, I asked NOKIA in
Athens, they reffered back to Sweden, but there is no solution. The
Swedish guy said that no changes had been made to the LNB
configurations. A friend had the same problem and changed with a
Universal 10,600 LNB, but I'm a half French and I dont want to loose the
upper analog Telecom channels on 5W.

Do you Know something about this problem? I know also that if changing
back to 1,0 version all works perfectly.

A: Yes, I have heard of the problem, and the results of my
investigations are the following:

NOKIA Sweden is 99.5 percent correct id they say that they didn't change
the LNB set-up menu. The programmer removed only a minor programming
error, which earlier made the CI 1.0 verison work in your set-up

Officially should the CI 1.0 and the CI 2.3 only be used with an
universal LNB with where the frequency split is defined on 11.600. This
behaviour is also known when DiSEqC is used. The older (CI 1.0) error is
even present in the 9200 FTA 1.0 software where.

There are a few things you could do: use one of those Global hardware
frequency shifters (down 150 MHz) which where used when the lower Astra
freqeuncies came in use (below 10.900). That stuff is frequently still
offered in the UK or Germany.

Secondly: stop using the switching capacities of the Mediamaster at all,
let the analogue receiver take care about it, and set the Mediamaster up
as a slave, which just decodes every incoming signal. (Actually it is
the method I use, while I'm having the LNB selction between C-and
Ku-Band via 12 Volt and the polarization via 13/17 Volt and no 22 KHz.

This is the simplest method, whereby you just change the switch-over
frequency in the Service Menu and also disable there the power submitted
to the LNB, which also causes a lot of trouble.

Furtheron: if you use a high quality universal LNB you should be able to
get all freqeuncies from 10.700-12.750 which includes the Telecom Bands.

Everybody does so, so why can't you ? The Echostar is easy to
configurate for 10.600 GHz split frequency.

Q: After Hot Bird 5 will be launched, will the Eurotica and Eros TV
channels be digital services or still be on MAC D2 eurocrypt ?
A: I have to estimate that they will be analogue in D2-MAC/Europcrypt.

Digital transmissions for these channels are only in planning. But it
can change day by day. If you like to buy a new decoder, think twice...
not even the poor programm makes it worth. There are NO guarantees on

Q: I live in Tel Aviv and I have a 1:80 dish. I have a great reception
of Canal Satelitte on Astra 1G and during daytime I can also receive the
Spanish and Dutch C+. Will I be able to get anything from Astra 1D 28,2

A: No unfortunately not, due to the more Eastwards position of the
satellite in orbit, is the beam more Westwards to Europe, in fact
actually focussed on the UK, for their BSkyB and BBC digital services.

It could change however, when the (temporary) Astra 1D is finally
replaced by the Astra 2A and later joined by the Astra 2B, they are a
new generation of Astra satellites, possibly with a little wider beam.
Personally I doubt any improvement, while the SES in Luxembourg no
particular interest has in Pan-European distribution of TV signals.

The only satellite which becomes interesting is the Astra 1K, which is
replacing Astra 1A, B and C, with a clearly expanded beam, reaching
(officialy) Turkey, so we will get at least a much improved analogue

There is much information on this satellite on the net, if you are
interested. If you are I can give you some more info, but the satllite
will not be there before 2000/2001 ! So a little patience...

Q: And my second question: I am getting weak signals from Telecom 5 West
but only in analoge. Is there a way I can get the audio package of the
French radio stations on 12711 ? On the SATCO chart they say its
MVR-128; what is this ?

A: Are these signals in the Ku-band ? I doubt it it is already very
difficult to get reception of the C-Band signals. The beam of the Ku
does not reach here at all, you can take a look at it here:


The MVR-128 is a type of transmission the encoded radio signals, which
can be received the special receiving equipment. Reception is not
possible anywhere in the Levante.

Q: I have a 2.4 m antenna and I receive Astra 19.2 East perfectly on
digital channels, but in the evening a few channels disappear.
Please advise why this happens ?

A: Your observation is correct, and unfortunately so, known by all
recepients of satellites which are actually living outside the advised

The same effect is observed by many in the Levant, that after sunset the
SQ (Signal Quality) on the Mediamaster drops bit by bit, until it is
under the treshold of the receiver, where it cannot establish a fluent
video stream anymore.

The only solution is to install an even bigger dish.

The unpleasant effect is caused by physicalities in the Earths various
(atmo)spheres, which I'm unable to explain in detail, sorry for that.

Q: I would like to know what I can receive here in Addis Ababa with my
3.10 meter dish ? Is it possible to receive also Ku-band programs in my
country ?

A: There are presently hardly satellites covering your country with a
Ku-band beam. Intelsat 803 at 21,5 West has Spotbeam 2 covering
Ethiopia, and the Middle Eastern Ku-Band spot from Panamsat 4, 68.5
East, can be received in Addis Ababa. Some reception reports have been
received of people receiving Hot Birds widebeam, although with very
large antennas.

C-Band reception comes from PAS-4, from the hemispheric beams of various
Intelsat satellites, Arabsat 2A, 2B, Nilesat 101, some Russian birds.

For a complete round up of satellites, freqeuncies and their programm
content take a look at http://www.satcodx.com/ and select there the
charts for the European or Asian satellites.

The future looks a little brighter for the African continent, as in the
near future several satellites with a central African Ku-beam will be
launched, e.g Eutelsat W4 in 1999.

Q: I am shopping around for a dish and receiver, but I can't find anyone
in the shops here who can help me with these questions, even when they
can speak English (not often). I would like to know what kind of
receiver I need to receive satellite broadcasts in English. How big a
dish do I need to receive broadcasts from: 1. Europe, 2. USA

I assume that I can get away with a smaller dish to receive from Europe
only, but if I wanted to catch US signals, how big a dish do I need?

A: Unfortunately I have to tell you that no US channels at all can be
received in Turkey. There are some encrypted feeds for news gathering
etc. but regular programming is not available. The last channel "NBC
Europe" ceased on June 30st. You can not tune in to a satellite with
whatever size of dish, while the US satellites are below the horizon !

You have to watch European or Asian TV at the time. (or be a member of
the US forces then you could get through them some the AFRTS network).

For satisfying video quality I recommend a turnable 180 cm (6 ft) solid
aluminium dish, with a Chaparral Corotor II plus feedhorn, to mount a
wideband Ku-LNB (10,70-12,75 MHz) with lesser noise than 0.8 dB and an
extended C-Band LNB (3,400-4,200 MHz) with lesser noise than 18

Connect both with a multiband low-treshold analogue receiver with
positioner, and a digital IRD. If no need for pay-tv packages is given
than a combination FTA receiver would do fine, such as the PRAXIS
DigiMaster 9600, however an additional positioner unit is required.

Check out: http://www.tele-satellite.com/tsi/9808/praxis.shtml

Q: Which satellites are viewable from Turkey? > 

A: All satellites between 30 West and 70 East, for names and contents
take a look at http://www.satcodx.com/ and select as region Europe !

If you are intersted in English programming only, you will be quite
dissapointed, there is not much free-to-air available, thanks to a
certain Mr. Rupert Murdoch and BSkyB... but that's my personal view.

Q: As I'm spending some times of the year in the Middle East (Gaza), I
want to prepare for TV per satellite in my flat over there. I know that
there is a possibilty to have free digital receiption and Pay- TV

1. which equipment I need without CAM , (which receiver)?
2. which equipment I need with CAM ?
3. which differencies in term of program selection are existing in case
of analogue and digital TV.

A: As you are coming to Gaza from France (I suppose), you are surely
aware that the offers on French TV are minimal, or you have to bring
your valid subscriber cards for the French Packages on Astra 1G and the
Hot Birds 2, 3, 4 and soon 5.

The problem lies in the encryption methods used, which are still bonded
to the various broadcaster. So for most of the French channels you would
need a VIACCESS CAM, for all local encrypted channels (and English
spoken PAY TV) you would need an IRDETO CAM.

Still there is not one single digital receiver able to fit both CAMs,
they have differrent port connectors. A VIACCESS module fits in the
NOKIA Mediamaster 9600, the IRDETO CAM goes presently in the NOKIA
Mediamaster 9200. You will have to make your selection at home, if you
not want to buy two MOGE-2 receivers, which are further internal almost
the same.

If you buy this equipment buy it abroad, which is much much cheaper, and
you get models which are not localized, and therefore better to re-sell
later. I have unfortunately no shop connections, whatsoever: Just buy
once an international Satellite magazine and you will find hundreds of

For analogue reception the market is very wide open, I can impossible
give you here any advise, it is too much good stuff on the market. You
will need however a receiver with extended IF 950-2050 MHz, it would be
good if it had two LNB inputs, and at least one decoder in/out. If the
receiver is equipped with scart connectors, then bring cabling, it is
here not always available in a good quality.

You dish should be from 150-180 cm for Ku-band, if you like to receive
also C-Band you should have a dish of 180-240 cm. It should be driven by
a 18-24 inch actuator. LNB's should be low noise: for Ku better (lower)
than 0.8 dB and wideband: 10,700-12,750 MHz. For C-Band better (lower)
than 18 K, and extended frequency range from 3,400-4,200 MHz.

LNB's should be mounted on a Chaparral Corotor II-plus feedhorn, with
polarizer. Check about some DiSEqC LNB switching gear, while here hard
to get and expensive.

With the above full installation you will be able to reach satellites in
Gaza from 140 East to 30 West, in Ku-and C-Band, Analogue and Digital,
which is in quivalent around a 500-600 channels.

Q: I'm a teacher and living in Nasr city and I have a 2.4m american dish
(Anderson), feed horn C/Ku (Chaparral), LNB wide California 0.6 dB, and
another one 20 K(elvin) (C-band), Nokia 9200-S, Winersat 903.

I'm receiving 36 channels (digital), 33 encrypted and the rest are 2
german (the same) and 1 Canale satellite. Can I receive more? if yes,

A: I believe you are talking about the Astra 1G reception only here. It
is true that most channels are encrypted, you have to get the smart
cards and then they work fine. It is up to any individual how to get
these cards, check with foreign friends and collegues...but most of the
time they are quite expensive.

The german channel is PRO-7 and the verison are not complete the same,
the advertising is different. Canale Satellite has only the promotional
channel open. But there are on 12.574 GHz H, SR 22000, FEC 5/6, BVN TV
from Holland. There is also on 12.692 H, Austrian Travel Channel TW1
with SR 22000, FEC 5/6 and PIDs 166/167. If circumstances are good and
then only during the day you get the whole Astra Service package on
11,837 H, SR 27500, FEC 3/4.

Q: Why can't I receive any digital chanel from Turksat 1c & 1b (someone
told me he have all the channels from Turksat 1b)

Q: At Eutelsat 2f2, I can only receive Kral TV only and the rest no,

A: Question 2 & 3 I like to answer together while they are very much
related. The Eutelsat II-f1/f2 and f3 are basicly identical in
construction with the Turksat 1B and 1C. They use a very low transponder
amplifier power of only 50 Watt, compared to the present Hot Birds of
around 120 Watt per transponder.

Beside that are the footprints of those satellites not covering Egypt
whatso-ever, we are just getting the overspill, especially in the case
of the Turksat's where already analogue reception is difficult at times.

The third negative point is that many of the transponder of these
satellites can be split in two halves, narrowing the bandwidth and most
of all important for us reducing the transmitted power by at least 5dB.

In case of digital transmissions, where already only 80 percent of the
equivalent analogue power is used, we almost get no signal. I get Kral
only with plenty of interruptions, I never be able to watch it.

You can check the SQ (Signal Quality) by enabling it in the Service
Menu. All signals below 60 are basicly below the treshold of the
receiver and get interupted. It is a little more complicated in fact,
but it doesn't matter so much here.

Q: I am not receiving any digital channel from Amos 4, Why ?

I assume you mean Amos 1 ? There is no Amos 4 satellite until now. There
are only two encrypted educational channels, from where you sometimes
can hear the sound. Not more than one or two times a week, in the

Q: I have download FTA 2.0 for Nokia in my PC. Do you advice me to put
it in my Nokia Mediamaster or not & why?

I advice you to use it, while it is an update of FTA 1.0 and it is the
official NOKIA software. I would be happy to have it installed myself,
but I can't manage while I don't have a compatible PC.

If you are heavily using the debugger menu (RED MENU) than you should
know that it has been taken out of the version FTA 2.0, but therefore is
the Message Mode, Parental Block and the CD-ROM (for laser video disks
or DVD players via the SCSI port) enabled or updated. Beside that it has
several errors corrected which were in the earlier version.

For all hundert percent receivable channles and the data used see my
site: http://www.sat-net.com/sat-mideast/listings/digital.html

Q: Could you please send me some information about any Erotica channel
transmitting to the Arabian Gulf through any satellite weither it is
digital or analog.

A: It is the easiest way you check the current locations and frequencies
yourself, while these channels regularely change their satellites and
transponder. I don't keep record on the constant move of these channels

For the Gulf Region the satellites in question are the following: (just
click on the URL and you will get the complete channels of this
particular satellite loaded for your convenience...)


All other satellites where from eventual the required programms are
broadcasted are unfortunately not yet receivable in the Gulf. I know for
instance of one, while it is broadcasting from 15:00 CET until 05:00
CET, so almost the whole day on tp 39, 11,658 GHz, V. This channel uses 
Eutelsat II-f1, which does not have a spot beam on the Gulf area. This
will be the case from November 1998 when -Insh'Allah'- this satellite
will be replaced by Hot Bird 5.

Q: Why it is always recommended to leave the smart card into the
receiver, and is there any harm to the card when taking it out and
insert it again.

A: Satellite Pay-TV broadcaster recommend to leave "their" particular
smart card always in the IRD, while they then can update your
subscription information via the satellite signal.

This means in clear words, they can switch you off or on as they like !

There is no harm done by removing/inserting the card, if you not bend it
or damage it physically in any other way. You should not touch the small
golden square on one side of the card too much, its electronical parts
may get damaged, but it is still unlikely too happen.

Personally I change in the moment three smart cards several times daily,
and have had no problems so far.

Q: What is the lowest LNB noise factor available in the Middle East
market and what is the brand for that? I have a 3.6 M dish antenna at
Jeddah would the LNB with a low noise factor help in receiving some of
the satellite that we are out of their footprint ?

A: The LNB noise factor is a much over-rated factor in the chain of
microwave reception. It is true that you should have the lowest possible
noise, but it is quite impossible for ANYBODY to proof to have 0.5 or
0.7 or 0.8 dB noise. These figures are so minimal that with the
slightest change in temperature the figure will change, and thereby is
the figure different all over the freqeuncy spectrum. The measures are
made in an optimal (inside) environment with pre-set freqeuncy ranges.

If you buy a well known brand-name like Chaparral, California Amplifier,
Swedish Microwave or similar, and buy one with an measured avarage LNB
noise of less than 0.8 dB you have an excellent Ku LNB.

For the C-Band is the same valid, but the figure to aim for lies around
16 K(elvin).

The real gain is achieved by the size and accuracy of the dish. You
should always go for a solid, thick aluminium dish, when possible only
in one piece, in order to get the correct shape. Buy the biggest one
available, is allowed and you can afford. Remember that a mesh dish is
only worth 70 percent of a solid dish.

Try to use a H-H (Horizon to Horizon, possibly from Jaeger, Germany)
mount instead of an actuator, while being much more stable and precise
in its movements.

Q: Do you know of anyone in the Middle East (KSA) who has tried to get
these Astra sats. I was looking at the beam coverage and with a 120 cm
dish one can receive it in Cyprus.  So I was wondering if a larger dish
may work in Dhahran.

A: In the KSA? Forget it, no way ! Not even with a >10 meter dish. At
least not pictures you would like to watch. You have to be aware that
when a DX'r says he/she is receiving the channel, it means that he is
receiving a signal! And that is by far not a watchable picture, and most
of the time no sound.

I'm talking only about video and audio in a usable quality (no more than
15-20 percent sparks, little or no noise in the audio), otherwise it is
no entertainment, more a torture.

In the Lebanon you need already a seven meter dish to get a decent
signal. And it depends really what satellite you are looking at. The
footprints of the Astra satellites are quite differentiated. Most of the
Astra satellites have four different footprints (V1 & V2 / H1 & H2).

The only ones who come close enough for Cyprus are the Vertical
polarizations of Astra 1E & Astra 1F (and then only from the western
antenna), and the Astra 1G beam (western antenna only).

In Egypt already is only Astra 1G receivable, due to the reception of
the digital signals, which present a quality picture, even when received
in a low level signal. Constant reception is however only on a few
channels possible, while the other are fading in after sunset.
Personally I have four FTA channels from Astra only, and a few with a
paid smartcard (Multichoice - Holland).

Q: About Eros TV  promotional channel (21-24) on Hot Bird ? Is it active
and can I get it by using analogue receiver?

A: The European Entertainment TV "Eros TV" is broadcasting daily in PAL
from 17:00 (Oman Times) until very late at night (05-06).

Unfortunately are the clear transmissions NOT on the Hot Bird, they are
on 11.658 V on transponder 39 on Eutelsat II-f1, which widebeam cannot
reach Muscat. You will have to wait until November to get a glimps of
this popular programm. 

Btw: It's a lot of cheap advertisemnents, with telephone numbers to call
from the different countries for so-called "telephone services". Even
the action scenes I have seen are quite poor, any copied video would do
better. All interesting scenes are still encrypted.

TV1000 in OMAN
Q: Could TV1000 on Intelsat 707, 1.0 West, 11.054 V, be viewed in Oman ?
In fact I took a look on footprint, but I didn't understand.

A: No there is no chance of that. On the Ku band there is only the
Israel spot (Spot beam 3) coming to the Middle East, with one
transponder, split in two halves 111X A & B, around 11.000 GHz. Not
receivable in Oman

If you look at the footprint map: you can receive in Oman: Global Beam,
C-Spot beam, North East-Zone beam, East Hemi Beam.

Nothing worth the trouble as all availble channels are here much easier
to receive from other satellites. Meaning: forget about it !

Best regards,

Henk C. Room / Cairo - Egypt
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