Upgrading for Astra 1D (analogue)

First written November 1996 before Sky Digital

Astra 1D is the fourth Astra satellite. The satellites sit together in a tight cluster out in space (see the promotional video if it is still being broadcast).

Each satellite broadcasts 16 or more channels. Each satellite transmits these channels within a certain band of frequencies.

Astra 1B 11.464 - 11.686 highest
Astra 1A 11.214 - 11.436
Astra 1C 10.964 - 11.186
Astra 1D 10.744 - 10.950 lowest

The old, standard LNB is designed to amplify channels in the upper three bands. Most can also amplify channels in the lowest (1D) band but the tuner in your old receiver probably can't tune low enough to receive them. (Some receivers can just about tune down to the TOP channel of Astra 1D but no further).

There are several ways of getting to watch these 1D channels:

Some receivers can't tune lower but they can tune HIGHER. If the numbers in your tuning display go up to 11.900 then you may be in luck. (Some receivers omit the first "1" so 11.900 appears as "1900"). An "Enhanced" LNB not only amplifies the 1D channels but it also sends ALL channels down the cable at a higher frequency. It effectively shifts them all higher by a count of 250.

So if you fit an "Enhanced" LNB to your dish and tune EVERY channel higher by 250, you should be able to receive every channel listed, or at least from CNBC near the bottom of 1D up to CNN International near the top of Astra 1B band.

For example, with your standard LNB you will find CNN tuned to approximately 11.627 but with an "Enhanced" LNB you must retune to 11.877 - that is 250 higher. Do this for every channel and the job is done.

Examples of receivers which will work with an "Enhanced" LNB are:

Most Pace SS9200 and derivatives (GIRD3000, SAT1600, BUSH IRD150). Any Pace PRD800 or 900 which has "2GHz" on the serial number label underneath.
Any early Pace PRD800 or 900 with a minor internal modification. Any Amstrad SRD510/520 with internal modifications (kit available from SatCure). Any Amstrad SRD540, 545, 550 or later.
Almost any receiver whose tuning display goes to 11.900 or higher. Receivers built in 1995 or later. You may need to change the Installation Menu LNB frequency from 10.00 to 9.75 (or 09.75 in the case of Grundig GRD150/250).

(Some receivers such as PRD800/900 can have "Enhanced" software fitted so that the frequency display is correct with an "Enhanced" LNB. In addition, a PRD800 can be given 199 channels instead of 120. This is also true for the Amstrad SRD510).

Even if your receiver will not tune high enough, you can still use an "Enhanced" LNB but you will lose the higher channels, such as Sky Sports 1 & 3, UK Gold and CNN.

However, you can get these channels back by fitting a "Global ADX Plus" channel expander. (If you subscribe to SKY they will sell you one).
When it is switched ON it shifts all the channels DOWN by a count of 500. So it counteracts the effect of the "Enhanced" LNB which has shifted them UP by 250.

The "ADX Plus" connects between the satellite receiver and the LNB cable. There are various ways of switching it ON and OFF, dependent on your satellite receiver. More about this later; just assume that you use the ON/OFF switch on the "ADX Plus". With a paperclip you have to push in a little internal switch when you first fit it.

With the "Enhanced" LNB fitted to the dish, tune ALL channels 250 higher, except channels which are above Sky Movies in the frequency range. Tune these top channels 250 LOWER.
To watch these top channels you will need to switch the "ADX Plus" ON. For the rest of the channels switch it OFF.

You CAN watch Astra 1D channels if you use a Standard LNB. You have to fit an ADX which will shift the channels UP by a count of 500 when it is ON.
All your existing channels remain tuned the same with the ADX off. You don't need to alter them. Starting with a channel number higher than those already in use, you can tune in the Astra 1D channels. With the ADX switched ON, tune all the Astra 1D channels by a count of 500 higher than the magazine frequency listing. Switch the ADX ON when you want to watch these channels. Switch it OFF when you want to watch your existing channels. (In fact, you don't really need to tune in extra channels for Astra 1D. When you switch the ADX on you will find that they appear instead of some of the existing ones).

The main drawback of using your old standard LNB is that it was not designed to amplify the Astra 1D channels. Some channels may be so sparkly as to be unwatchable.

Some receivers can work the ADX Plus channel expander automatically or semi-automatically. Automatic operation means that you can pre-program the receiver to turn the ADX on for each 1D channel. This allows timed video recordings to be made if you want to. Otherwise, you would have to select the channel and the ADX manually and leave everything set before and during the recording.

The Amstrad SRD520 will work it automatically if you push the ADX connector into hole 14 of the socket marked "Decoder". In the channel menu for each 1D programme, set "dish B" instead of "dish A". The Amstrad SRD510 can easily be modified to work the same way.

The Pace SS9000 and SS9200 can be modified to work in a similar way.

Note: The ADX Plus channel expander has an internal slide switch. Take the covers off and push it away from the side if you use an Enhanced or Universal LNB. Push it towards the side if you use a standard LNB.

Send this page address - CLICK HERE - to a friend !

Back to Index