Why don't installers like octoLNBs?

T

techguy

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Bucks, UK
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Freesat FTA, two dishes pointed at 28.2E, 1 with quad LNB and one dual LNB feeding one Panasonic DMR-XS380 and one Samsung S7800 with spare feeds for one other room.
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When I was ringing round for quotes from local installers for a Freesat install that would provide 6 feeds (3 rooms but would support PVRs) I did a little research beforehand and found there was such a device as an octoLNB.

When I rang them I asked whether they could quote for setting up the dish with one plus the cabling.

Both said 'errr no we wouldn't use those, we'd use a multiswitch although its a bit more expensive'

I asked the second one why they would only use a multiswitch rather than an octoLNB 'cos it's too heavy for the arm'

Both quoted me £650-£700 including VAT which seemed a bit steep and I didn't really want additional electrical components in the chain as it would be something else that could go wrong.


I ended up ringing Freesat themselves for advice and they directed me to a company they use for installations who also said no to an octoLNB but offered a two dish solution but insisted I get a letter of authorisation from the local council's building control/planning office before they'd do the work but the price was much better at £375.

My question is though folks, what's up with octoLNBs?
 
Analoguesat

Analoguesat

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Nothing - Ive got my ex analogue circular 60cm dish set up with an octo for the multiple feeds I needs and its just dandy (although I installed it all myself of course)
 
Lazarus

Lazarus

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Nothing.

The arm on a Sky dish is so short that

a. The turning moment caused by the not that substantial weight of an Octo should cause no more than minimal deflection

and

b. Any deflection can be counterbalanced by raising the dish to compensate.

Electronically, there's no specific reason why they should be inherently more unreliable than eg Quads, but occasionally individual outputs on multi-output LNBs do fail: Not a significant issue, though, in the big scheme of things.


I suspect the objections come from cowboys who haven't the time or skill to install cabling in such a way that it doesn't bear weight on the dish. It isn't exactly difficult.
 
rolfw

rolfw

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I've fitted loads, no problem with fitting one on a minidish, although I have heard of problems with Freesat PVRs not working on all ports for unknown reasons, so installers have had to fit a secondary dish for a third receiver to work.

Generally though I've never had a problem.
 
Huevos

Huevos

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One other option if you are using 4 humax PVR receivers is a Unicable LNB and one cable down from the dish. Split down to each receiver and run each receiver in loop through from tuner A to tuner B.
 
Riverblue

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I fitted one on my freesat setup in June, no problem at all. Just required a bit of cable management/tidiness. Not a lot of room to wrap self amalgamating tape around each F connector though, luckily my lnb has a pull down cover as well
 
satelliteman

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It's a money issue, your installers wanted to get the most out of the job. Fitting a multiswitch would of achieved just that.
As above, no problem with using an Octo on a zone1 dish.
 
T

techguy

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Messages
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Location
Bucks, UK
My Satellite Setup
Freesat FTA, two dishes pointed at 28.2E, 1 with quad LNB and one dual LNB feeding one Panasonic DMR-XS380 and one Samsung S7800 with spare feeds for one other room.
My Location
Bucks, UK
It's a money issue, your installers wanted to get the most out of the job. Fitting a multiswitch would of achieved just that.
As above, no problem with using an Octo on a zone1 dish.
Firstly thanks for all the replies folks.

I think the thoughts about cowboys and profiteering echoed my own at the time, the second local guy I spoke to tried to 'seal the deal' after hitting me with the price by saying 'our staff really are very good' to which I thought 'for 700 quid they should be bloody excellent!'

I would have liked to have done the job myself but as I am a wheelchair user due to my limited walking range and not being able to stand for long ladders are a bit of a challenge and I wouldn't have been able to move a cherrypicker into the required installation area!
 
Huevos

Huevos

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It's a money issue, your installers wanted to get the most out of the job. Fitting a multiswitch would of achieved just that.
As above, no problem with using an Octo on a zone1 dish.
Got to agree with that, but just out of interest, what would you say is a ball-park figure for fitting an Octo and doing the three additional cable runs?
 
Captain Jack

Captain Jack

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Why don't you post in Installer Needed section? There are a few members who install sat systems near to you who I am sure will be more than happy to help.
 
satelliteman

satelliteman

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Yes, or there is the installer site
http://installers.satellites.co.uk/
 
Channel Hopper

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Nothing.

The arm on a Sky dish is so short that

a. The turning moment caused by the not that substantial weight of an Octo should cause no more than minimal deflection.....
My experiences have been slightly different (though I have not offered multiswitching as an alternative). The build quality of the plastic clamp on the Zone 1 / 2 dishes is such that the Octo LNB - and the earlier quads - weight pulls the feedhorn into a position that is just outside the designed focal point. Raising the elevation is only a partial solution but the performance is still not as a blueprint installation.

My solution as below is to fit a non Zone 1/2 dish, but one of the independant manufacturers, and round here would go for an 80cm dish to offset the mismatch of the eliptical feed to the alternative dish.

I would also suspect a heavy bird sitting on the front end of the dish in cold weather can break the clamp when a heavier LNB is used.
 
B

BlindFaith

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Besides mechanical mounting problems these octos and even quads are less reliable and prone to glitches when other users are switching through the channels. Recordings in particular will suffer from errors. Quattros and a MS is a much better solution.

I'm not an Installer :D
 
J

jacko

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hello,
have a octo lnb fitted on a 1 metre dish to pick up abu dhabi sports channels on nilesat,
paid 45 pounds for it and has been working 2 years with no problems.
 
rolfw

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There is no doubt that a quattro and a multiswitch is a nice reliable solution, but it's using a sledge hammer to crack a nut, I cannot remember a case where an Octo or quad LNB has suffered from switching problems.

The Mk4 brackets and lighter Octos are pretty solid on the dish and don't tend to move.
 
Huevos

Huevos

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Personally I'd prefer the Unicable option. There's already a cable to each room so it just means fitting the LNB to the dish and splitting the output to the three downleads. Unicable LNB, comes with a splitter and the pair cost about 40€. And it runs up to 8 tuners just fine, with only a single cable needed at each point.
 
D

daro2096

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I find a lot of installers won't touch a non sky satellite dish installation and when do find one that will install a big dish they want at least £200 and a whole day to do the job.

It is like the knowledge of putting up non sky dishes(ie old fashioned 60cm+ multi lnb/motorised dish) is being lost as time goes on and now they only know how to put up those oval 45cm dishes.
 
Lazarus

Lazarus

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Then they are not Installers, but Ladder Monkeys.
 
S

speculatrix

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just to add an anecdote about octal LNBs. I bought a decent Inverto one in February 2011, fitted it about a month later and it failed nearly exactly five years on - all ports are stuck on vertical polarisation! The ports can switch band still.
I do wish it had stuck on H, because it means that FreeSat doesn't work properly.

I fitted the dish myself and the LNB, and it was a pig to install because the connectors are quite close, so fitting the F plugs and wrapping in tape was quite difficult.
 
Lazarus

Lazarus

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Did it not have a pull-down rain cover?
 
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