Set It And Forget It

This is a phrase coined by Ron Popeil, an inventor and marketing personality. Surely you remember the Showtime Rotisserie where Ron or one of his aides would stuff a chunk of beef into the rotisserie and encourage the audience to repeat that infamous phrase, “just set it and forget it“.

Another marketing hit is the phrase, “so eaay a cave man cold do it“, coined by GEICO to describe how easy it is to use their website.

The idea goes on in this YouTube video showing how easy it is to hook up a Winegard Satellite antenna.

We decided to purchase a Winegard Carryout satellite antenna because it was $1000 less then the Winegard Traveler. The idea of a portable satellite antenna made sense to us because several of our RV buds have roof mounted antennas and carry a portable as a backup. For us that was not an option.

After tons of research, the decision was made to get the Carryout. Today is the day I hook it up. After morning chores and breakfast I tackled this challenge. The video runs for just a little less than 3 minutes. That looks pretty simple. I did exactly what the video showed and then played the wait game. I read that once the antenna is powered up, it will make noise as it searches the sky for the appropriate satellite. It did just that. In my service panel outside, I have a place to connect a satellite antenna cable. That was pretty easy. Next I am inside and find the other end of the satellite connection (I think). After powering up the VP112K receiver it came on came on as expected. The TV even displayed a Welcome to Dish screen.

IMG 0149At step 3 of 5, the receiver asked me to check to connections. Apparently it was not able to complete the action. So I check the connection, then reconnected, then rerouted the cable, and finally ran the cable directly from the antenna to the receiver through a window in the RV. Now, keep in mind that it took about 35-40 minutes for the receiver to get to the same place in the configuration. Just before I gave up, I decide to remove the dome cover to see what direction the dish was pointing. OOPS. Up is not the correct direction. The satellites are located in the southern sky just above the horizon. At least that is where my phone says they are.

So, I unplug the power from antenna, move the dish by hand to make sure it is not stuck, then reapply power. This little dish responded like R2D2, it whirred, and hummed, it spun and moved up and down looking for home. As it swept across the southern sky I heard it say, “Whoa! There it is.”

Then it moved back and forth as well as up and down in continually smaller increments. Finally it stopped. I cold almost here a sigh of relief.

You know what is really amazing to me? This little dish can find a signal 23,000 miles a way. That is amazing. Maybe one day our computers will find our Verizon MiFi signal as easily.

Back in side, I reset the receiver. This time it moved passed the point where it previously got stuck. Yea! Finally Step 3 is complete and the receive has received appropriate information from the mother ship. Great!  Now in step 4 it begins looking for a phone or ethernet connection. Oh crap! I have neither. Instead I have cell phones and wireless network. After another long wait, the receiver announced it had completed configuration and was fully operational. Cool.

Now for the real test – select a channel from their program guide. I opted for The HallMark Channel because it was showing the Waltons. I thought it was odd that the time was one hour behind our time. Then I noticed the guide was broadcasting KHOU and KPRC. These are Houston channels. I must have the local broadcasts from Livingston, TX near Houston not our neighborhood (Atlanta or Chattanooga). At least we have multiple channels now, not just the three we pick up from the batwing antenna.

Next test. Disconnect the cable from the receiver and reconnect it outside at the service panel. Then connect the receiver to the wall plug in the RV. Everything worked as expected. That is cool. All I have left to do is figure out which hard drive I need to purchase so I can get DVR functions, then see what can be done about getting local broadcasts from Chattanooga or Atlanta, not from Houston area.

Was the process as easy as the video showed? NO. Maybe now that the receiver is configured, it will be. I’ll let you know.

Thanks for stopping by.

2 responses to “Set It And Forget It

  1. I'm worn out just reading that…lol. We have direcTV — we do not get local channels. As fulltimers we get both East coast and West coast programming. If we miss something from the East, we can get it later from the West.

  2. We've had cable tv here in Branson. I guess we're going to have to figure out the satellite thing in the next couple of months… Glad to know the traveller worked, even if it took a little doing…

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