Upgrade tracvision tv4 and maybe other models too.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Marc Rainaldo, Feb 27, 2020.

  1. Marc Rainaldo

    Marc Rainaldo Active Member

    139
    Apr 18, 2019
    Netherlands
    Sea Ray 500 DA 1994
    Detroit diesel 6v92
    Hello all,

    One of the first and best DIY jobs of our new boat was the customization of the tracvision tv4 and I think it’s a good thing to post this here to help many others so that they can use their tracvision tv4 for many more years instead of buying a €13k new tracvision. (In my story I talk of the Astra 3 satellite but of course this is the same when you want to point the dish out to any other satellite with HD channels)

    The story begins on our new ship that arrived in august 2019 in the Netherlands. When we first inspected the ship we got a demonstration from the previous German owner of the tv system and at that moment the tracvision was pointed at the astra 1 satellite. The astra 1 satellite provides a lot of free to air channels (mostly German). It all worked great and at that point my knowledge of tracvision was poor and I thought when we arrive in the Netherlands I point the dish out to the Astra 3 satellite and it should work.
    Unfortunately it didn’t work at all :(

    I called some local distributors and KVH themselves and they all said it was impossible with a 45cm dish to receive the HD channels on the Astra 3.
    For those HD channels you need a high dB and with the small tracvision 4 dish that’s impossible. I had to buy the tracvision tv6 €13000,00
    Ouch that was a bummer since we like to watch tv and really don’t wanna spent 13k for that. On first I was so happy that we had a satellite dish on our ship and now it appeared that we only could receive German channels. That’s not gonna happen lol. Because I couldn’t believe this was the end of the story I went to a Dutch satellite forum and discussed the situation. Luckily there was a great satellite nerd and together we found out the solution :)

    The first thing you have to do with the tracvision tv4 (when you want to receive channels from another satellite) is reprogram the tv4 and adjusting the LNB. I am not write about this programming at this point since you can look this up in the manual of your tracvision.

    The main problem of not getting a high dB on the HD channels is the LNB. When you open up the dome you see a very big LNB. This huge LNB blocks a big space of the dish.

    I bought a ‘Black Multiconnect Dielectric twin LNB’ from Inverto. This LNB has very good specs. The golfpipe was a bit longer but fits in the dome. Take the housing of the LNB and use a saw to get the part around the pipe off.
    Take the old LNB out and put the new LNB in and the job is done.
    Cost €15,00!!!!
    My signal went up from 6.5dB to 9.8dB on the low dB HD channels.
    On the end of the pipe you can glue some microwave folie (as you can see on the original LNB), this is for protecting moisture in the pipe.

    When I arrive at a dock I tune my satellite receiver on a high dB channel and turn on the tracvision. When there is a ‘lock’ the tracvision stays adjusting and then I wait for the highest dB and turn the tracvision off. I don’t need to readjust at all and even when the weather is bad we have good reception.

    Unreal that KVH just want to force us to buy a new 13k dish, can’t believe they didn’t test a smaller LNB on existing models.
    Open up your dome, look if you have a big LNB, change the LNB and done.

    8583E6D0-9AED-40D1-BE4E-7017ACB8FEE6.jpeg 7A35113D-6DDB-4A1E-8150-E8DF1EEFAE7C.jpeg 25D40D74-D423-4A15-AED0-651242383F08.jpeg 3BF8C6FE-EC18-4E32-9594-C162D746B728.jpeg 720C9927-C17E-490E-AF0E-DAD73016CCE1.jpeg 135C8E9C-8DF4-419B-93F8-41F77B2458B7.jpeg 7700633B-0B49-4BED-8CA0-BA826C38D724.jpeg
     
    Third Edition likes this.
  2. Third Edition

    Third Edition Active Member

    409
    Apr 9, 2017
    NE Florida
    360 Sundancer 2002
    T-8.1L V-drives
    Great story, Marc. Thanks for sharing it and the photos.
     
  3. ZZ13

    ZZ13 Well-Known Member

    Nov 25, 2009
    Lady's Island, SC
    2001 400 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins 450 Diamond
    I only half understand what you wrote so here are a few questions.

    1) Are you saying that with the new LNB you can now Lock in on the HD satellite and get all the subscribed HD channels?

    2) When the SD satellite goes away does this mean I can just swap out the LNB on my TV1 and can then switch to the HD satellite? Although looking at KVH website, the TV1 is pretty small. It may not be big enough out of the box.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2020
    JVM225 likes this.
  4. Boat Guy

    Boat Guy Well-Known Member

    It's interesting that the LNB would block that much signal. Perhaps the new one has better tech as well.
     
  5. ttmott

    ttmott PhD in OCD GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 3, 2012
    Space Coast Florida
    2006 52 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins QSM11
  6. Marc Rainaldo

    Marc Rainaldo Active Member

    139
    Apr 18, 2019
    Netherlands
    Sea Ray 500 DA 1994
    Detroit diesel 6v92
    I don’t know the exact specs of your TV1 but to answer your questions I try with the knowledge I have discovered on my tv4
    1) with the new LNB we can lock the HD channels. When you have subscription for that HD channels you can watch them yes. Of course the new LNB is not a subscription hacker.

    2j it works on my tv4. There is even a smaller LNB (the Inverto Multiconnect Single LNB), maybe that’s even better in your TV1. The cost are so low so it would worth a shot.
    Before you try, open up the dome and look how your LNB is placed. On some models they placed the LNB behind the dish and then the size of the LNB doesn’t matter, the only thing that blocks the dish is the reflector. In that case only the tech of a new LNB will help. Just note the dB on a channel before and after.

    The KVH distributor in the Netherlands wouldn’t even talk about solutions for the TV 4 and simple stated that it is impossible?? They just wanna sell new dishes.
     
  7. ZZ13

    ZZ13 Well-Known Member

    Nov 25, 2009
    Lady's Island, SC
    2001 400 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins 450 Diamond
    Thanks Marc. Yes I just have a skinny collection tube in the center and the LNB is on the back. Oh well, it was nice to dream for a few moments.
     
  8. JVM225

    JVM225 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 8, 2008
    Farmingdale, NY
    2002 410 Sundancer, Monaco Edition.
    3126 Cats.
    All of this electronics stuff is above my pay grade. Sounds like a guy who really knows what he’s doing can make a few bucks on the side by upgrading these things for people like me........
     
  9. spikedaddy99

    spikedaddy99 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 11, 2008
    Prentice, Wi
    2005 500 DB
    QSM-11
    I wonder if this will work with TV5. I've been looking at HD antenna's all morning. Looks like KVH HD7 is the only one? Any other options people know about to get HD? Mike
     
  10. Marc Rainaldo

    Marc Rainaldo Active Member

    139
    Apr 18, 2019
    Netherlands
    Sea Ray 500 DA 1994
    Detroit diesel 6v92
    Srry mate, just looked it up for you and you have the dish with reflector on his front and LNB on the rear.
    AE35E75D-3467-4346-922D-832ECD6E973D.jpeg
     
    spikedaddy99 likes this.
  11. spikedaddy99

    spikedaddy99 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 11, 2008
    Prentice, Wi
    2005 500 DB
    QSM-11
    Thanks Marc. Shoot.
     

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