Some Basic Satellite Reception Problems In RV’s

p-1600-1200-b4ff46f1-2592-4a45-8c6f-6fcd83676af6.jpegIn my recent journeys through RV campgrounds for service calls and differing problems for satellite reception, I’ve often been asked to help customers align their portable satellite dishes or asked why the automatic Dome on top of their RV doesn’t get reception. Whether you’re new to RV’ing or an old pro, I’m sure understanding the satellite technology has thrown you more than one or two curve balls. Some think receiving signals from a satellite is much like receiving signals from an off-air antenna, meaning “close” should be good enough. Honestly, nothing could be further from the truth and neither off-air or satellite reception is like it used to be.

Portable Satellite Setups are Common to many…

This isn’t really new information and portable satellite reception isn’t new either. Many of you have set up your own dish on a tripod or some other type of mount to get satellite reception in your travels. Although you may not have much trouble now (because you’ve had a lot of practice) your first time or two was probably a struggle.

Have you sometimes struggled to get Satellite Reception in your travels?

If you have sometimes struggled to get satellite reception at some time or other, relax… you’re not alone. More than one person has struggled to get reception from these type setups and had to ask neighbors in the campground area to help or, as a last resort, have called in people like me to come and check out why they can’t get reception. Unfortunately, when they call me (or someone like me) it is a service call plus parts and sometimes (depending on what kind of problems we run into) there are even extra time-on-site charges. Often, by the time I get the call from a customer, they are so frustrated they just want it fixed so they can “Watch TV” and they don’t mind the cost, as long as it is reasonable and not outrageous. (Believe me, I try to be as reasonable as I possibly can.)

There are generally two common problems with satellite reception…

Without going into great detail in this article, the most common problems I find in these service call instances is usually one of two things. The first is something obstructing the view of the the dish for receiving the satellite signals and the second is equipment failure. The first can usually (but not always) be corrected by finding a clear view to the satellite locations in the sky. The second is not always so obvious and because of different equipment for receiving signals, the servicers don’t always have the proper LNB or something they can substitute to verify the equipment failure although, generally, their meters can test for some equipment failures but not all of them reliably.

Permanently mounted dishes and domes…

Many RV’ers now have automated permanent satellite dishes mounted on their RV’s, made by different manufacturers and are quite happy with the way they work, (or maybe I should say they’re happy with them when they work the way they’re supposed to.) The problems arise when they pull into a location and can’t get reception. Because many don’t fully understand how the Domes work and how much different Satellite reception is than off-air antenna reception, they don’t readily recognize they have an obstruction blocking the reception of their dish. Also, since most of the satellite companies use more than one satellite to deliver their services to their customers, the obstructions to proper reception are even less obvious to the average RV’er.

Understanding Satellite location in the sky and Line-Of-Sight…

It is important to be familiar with where the satellites are in the sky when you travel from place to place. Generally, your satellite receiver can tell you the correct azimuth (compass heading) and elevation (degree of vertical height in the sky from horizontal) if you know the zip code you’re in. If you have a compass or a smart phone with a compass, you should be able to determine if you have an open shot in the sky to the satellite(s) for your provider. Remember, Line-Of-Sight is from your dish or dome’s eye-view not yours.

Let me say right here so there is no confusion. Yes, I do know some of the automatic domes can track the satellite locations as you travel down the road but even they can’t see through trees and other obstructions. (They also have to have time to move when you make sharp turns to retain reception and at times they do get lost (lose their ability to stay on given satellites) and then you have to reset them.)

An actual problem from a service call…

The problem I find most when I get to a site is a tree problem (or at least, some kind of signal obstruction.) Here’s a real life example from one of my recent and more interesting service calls.

I arrived to a site that looked to be open to both of the satellite areas in the sky. (This particular one was a Dish Network system. Dish Network has an Eastern Arc and a Western Arc. In our area we can receive good signals from both, although Dish prefers the use of the Western Arc.) Unfortunately, after checking a few things, I discovered the tree placement on both sides of the RV blocked reception from the satellites simply because of the way the Dome was situated on the roof of the RV. For several reasons, this person could not move to a better location and couldn’t move forward or backward enough to improve the reception. Out of six possible satellites, this person was only getting intermittent reception of one and it was very inconsistent because any light breeze would blow a tree limb and would block the rest of the signal from that one location. This person was out of luck for watching his favorite satellite channels, at least from the installed dome system permanently mounted on his RV.

To get this customer some reception for watching TV, I setup and explained his Antenna system for the local Digital TV channels and suggested checking into a TailGater portable satellite dish since he already had a Dish Network account and also had the proper receiver made to work with it. He did as I suggested and I’ll talk more about this in the next article entitled, “Three Reasons I Like Portable Satellite Dishes.”
See ya next time…

All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© March 1, 2013 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, The Norman TV Vantage,
All audio productions by and PodCastNorm Productions

A Message To Our Canadian Bell Express Vu Friends…

Sorry to take so long in posting this here, but, sometimes the time does get away from us… (Anyway, better late than never.)

For those of you that used to get Bell Express Vu in our area, you will no longer be able to receive information from that Satellite system anywhere in Florida (and many other locations you might have been able to in the past.) This is because the signal foot print has been moved far North and cannot be seen at all in our location. (In fact, it isn’t available any place we know of in the SouthEastern United States.)

We already know many of you have already discovered this for yourselves but we did want to mention it for those of our friends that may not know about it yet. If you have questions about this, we do suggest you communicate with Bell Express Vu. They can answer your questions, we can’t…)

You can receive DirecTV and Dish Network in our area as long as you have clear view of the Southern to Southwestern Sky, (Dish Network also has their Eastern Arc in the SouthEastern sky.) Most all of the RV Domes and temporary Dishes get them quite nicely. In fact, if you’ve been wondering about those temporary Domes like the Tailgater and the Winegard Carryout, we know they work very well also. (Shaw is also availble but you have to deal with them directly for equipment and services. Our experience with customers of theirs in the last several months has yielded very good reviews from their customers’ experiences with them. In fact, some companies we know of could take a few lessons from their Customer Service Department… but that’s a whole other story in itself…)

As always, you cannot receive very good signal (if any at all) through trees or other obstructions. It does help to know where your satellites are located in the sky, especially with the multiple satellite locations that exist for the companies these days but we’ll let you know more about that in some up and coming articles.

Stay tuned to our site because we have some very good informational articles coming in the next days, weeks and months specifically aimed at reception through the RV satellite receiving equipment of all kinds and your off-air antenna reception in our area. We think you will enjoy them and also find them informative and educational.

Like we’ve always said, this is your place for great information on Antenna and Satellite reception and we intend to make it even better in the near future… Check back with us soon!!! We think you will be pleased with what you find here…

Visit us next week to find out why we like the newer portable Satellite Domes. Get the full details next week, right here at the Norman TV View…

Just Want to Watch Television? There’s a New Day Dawning…

Go ahead… think back just few years… do you remember when Cable was new and Satellite was just beginning (and expensive?) You know, people had that big dish in the yard (usually 10 ft across diagonally, or larger, in this area), and people wondered why anyone would need more than 5 channels? (Even at that, if people got more channels than their neighbor from their antenna, they would brag to everyone about how many channels they got.)

Okay… maybe that’s going back a little too far.

How about, you used to get 36 channels from your cable company and wondered why anyone would only want to watch the locals on their TV while you could get CNN, ESPN, HBO and a bunch of other channels (whether you watched them or not.) You know; it took a couple of minutes to scan through all of the channels you were getting instead of a few seconds?

Well… I’m sure you know what’s happened since then and it is beginning again. New methods of delivering programming are becoming visible all the time and, I have to be honest, it is sometimes hard to keep up with all of it, (even for those of us directly involved in broadcast and reception.)

All of these changes raise more than a few questions, like:

  • What do you really know about watching TV from the internet on your TV (as opposed to watching it on your computer screens)?
  • Do you know what ways of receiving programming are available rather than just Cable or Satellite?
  • Have you purchased a TV lately and found it has an ethernet connection, a USB port, SD card slot and a whole host of inputs you have no idea what they are?

Well… if so, then you know exactly how confused some people are and you may even have some unanswered questions of your own. If that is the case, the next few articles here at the Norman TV View will, hopefully, bring you up to speed and remove some of your confusion.

You see, technology is changing whether or not you keep up with it. No matter what you think, and how positive or negative you feel about it, it’s going to continue to do so and the only encouraging news I can tell you about it is, fortunately, they are making it easy for the consumer to use so you don’t have to be a “Geek” to watch what you want when you want. (Now, come on, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to learn something new along the way.)

Over the next several articles, I want to give you some usable information so you can begin to understand more about this new technology and the delivery of information and programming to your television (and not just your computer screen…)

If you thought  Digital, HD and 3D was the the biggest and best thing to happen for the viewers of content of all kinds and the end-all of the changes that are coming… think again… Trust me when I tell you, those are just the beginning. So tune in right here next time to the Norman TV View and find out more.

Remember, this is just the beginning of several articles on the newer modes of delivering programming to you…

Next time, we’ll talk about some things you may, or may not know about your TV (especially those new ones…) and what some of those new inputs, ports and slots you’ve never heard of before do for you.

See ya next time…
All views expressed are solely the opinion of the writer
© February 24, 2011 – Rusty Norman and Norman TV & Video Systems
(All audio and video productions by and PCN Productions)


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This is the direction we’re headed in the new year… Netcasting and blogcasting to the future…
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Coming Soon!! The Norman TV View begins looking at different modes of delivering programming to your TV !!!

The CM 3010 Stealth-tenna– We Presently Recommend It For Off-Air Digital Reception in Our Area

Because several have asked us about the antennas we recommend lately, I am re-airing 2 episodes of the Norman TV View from last year on the CM-3010. (Don’t worry, I’m working on updating them and will post them very soon…)

[content_container max_width=’500′ align=’center’]Click on the play button below to catch our first issue of the NTV View.[/content_container]

(This is just the beginning of great things to come!)


The demo of the CM 3010 tutorial is coming soon…


click on comments below and leave a comment with

© March19,  2009 – October 15, 2010

Norman TV & Video Systems and Rusty Norman

All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer

Merry Christmas



Click Play below to watch this video CHRISTMAS CARD… from Us to You…

(If you are on dial-up, Please be patient… It should start in 3-4 minutes.)

CLICK HERE for Link to YouTUBE

(for viewing on iPhones and others)

Words by Rusty Norman

All video and picture media by Rusty Norman

Music – “My Piano” by Mike Stewart– Two Buck Themes (re-edited by Rusty)

The Latest Most Asked Question to the NTV View Concerns Lamps (Light Bulbs) for DLP TVs

Although there are others that come close, probably the most asked question we get lately is people asking about lamps for their DLP television sets. At Norman Tv we do not stock any lamps. We think least expensive place to purchase those lamps is from the internet.

We don’t stock any bulbs (lamps) for DLP Tvs at all and for good reason. There are too many possibilities. We do have some friends locally that do stock a few of them but not many.

** Just remember…just because your bulb (lamp) has blown does not mean it is the only thing wrong or that replacing it will guarantee your Tv will work. There are several things that can be wrong to cause the bulb (lamp) to blow and quite often it is not because it was ready to blow. IT IS POSSIBLE YOU MAY NEED A QUALIFIED TECHNICIAN TO MAKE THE PROPER REPAIR FOR YOUR SET.

A close second to the Lamps is whether or not they should spend the money to fix their old TV or just junk it an buy new. There is no good and fast answer. If you have a Tv problem, you need to decide whether it is time to move on to the new technology or repair your old. ONLY YOU CAN MAKE THAT DECISION.

The best way to shop for a new Tv is to compare the picture quality on Tvs. That is usually accomplished at a place that has a lot of Tvs on display with the same pictures on most or all of them. I suggest you also compare pictures with lots of fast movement across the screen. This will show you how well the Tv handles fast movements. If you see pixelling or traces following the moving object, look for another Tv with a better processor. Believe me, you won’t regret spending a little more for the improved picture quality. It is worth it.

See ya next time …

© July 2009 – all rights reserved

The NTV View – Norman TV & Video Systems  and Rusty Norman

So, How are YOU doing with the Digital Transition?

I Just have to ask…How do you like the Digital Transition so far?

I’ve heard a few complaints but for the most part everybody seems to be adapting well. At least, those that still continue to use their antennas. Some that used to have antenna switched over to cable or satellite and the main complaint about that is the monthly fee. (They’re adapting to paying for something they used to get for free.)

Most people seem to be happy with their satellite systems, but most I heard from were on satellite before the transition and were already getting their locals from satellite. Same goes for those on cable before the transition.

Some have taken the opportunity to change their systems over to HD and they are loving the improved  picture quality.

Trust me, if you are experiencing problems, I understand the frustrations from all sides. Antenna, Satellite and Cable all have drawbacks in some form or other. I love my Dish Network satellite system and one of my good friends loves his DirecTV satellite. The only thing I hear about Cable is that it is good and their HD stuff looks good, too. (Mostly they like the speed of their internet.)

Some have had problems with their digital reception from cable and, just like everyone else, it seems they aren’t exempt from problems either.

I haven’t had any problems with satellite but Some people have had to add new dishes along with their new receivers.

There have been a few situations I have had to deal with concerning off-air reception from antenna. Overall, and everything considered, most installations are looking and working pretty good for now.

Well, whatever the situation or problems with your reception, whether from Antenna, Satellite or Cable, for now you will have to deal with it as best you can because the transition is here to stay. Rest assured that eventually everything will settle in.

We will re-visit the DTV subject whenever it is necessary but for now the Digital Transition for high powered Tv broadcasts is complete and it is time for us to move on to other situations and problems at hand.  So, tune in next time for the Norman TV View … (that’s the NTV View for short.)

See ya next time…

© June 2009 – all rights reserved

(all views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer)

Norman TV & Video Systems and Rusty Norman

S3 Media Player Software and Subscibers Only Music Training Website

The Digital Transition is DONE

If you are seeing nothing but snow on your TV, you are NOT ready for the Digital Transition. Now there is no need to panic, but you do have a few things to take care of before you will be able to watch your local channels off of your antenna.

If you have questions about the transition, we have plenty of information right here on the Norman TV site and we hope it is helpful to you. If you have questions that are not answered here, just leave a comment be by clicking on the Comments link below this article or:

  • give us a call at 239-481-6611
  • (local calls only for now – but it is your nickle if you call long distance)

Thanks for stopping by…I appreciate it

Rusty Norman – Norman Tv & Video Systems