My very first dabble into satellite TV fitted to a motorhome involved making use of an Oyster 85 cm self-seeking satellite system. This was supplied and fitted by Robert Jackson at Wakefield. As a side issue to this thread, I was very pleased with Robert’s work, and when I changed the motorhome, Robert removed the Oyster and fitted it to my next van.
Important information – many of the satellite footprints changed in 2012 and 2013. Consequently, the information on this page cannot be relied upon for reception details.
The Oyster 85cm did exactly what it said on the wrapper – seek out the satellite, lock on and job done. The system was used overseas and at the time, BBC, ITV and Channel 4 were all available at Lake Garda, Italy. During times of bad weather, the TV picture did however “break-up” whilst pitched at Garda. The Oyster and I parted company when the van was sold on privately.
The next van appeared, the Kontiki 679 low line as featured at the start of this thread. Initially, I had a Camos 40 centimetre self-seeking dome fitted. The dish was supplied by Roadpro and installed by one of their approved installers. The Camos is great in the UK and of course, the design of the dome makes it wind proof. Conventional Self seeking satellite systems must be lowered in. Overseas however, BBC, ITV and Channel 4 are not available at Garda – this was December 2008. Of course, the Camos is a smaller dish at just 40 centimetres.
I was a bit disappointed at the lack of TV in Italy so I sold the Camos and purchased the Kathrein CAP 900. When the 679 low line was part exchanged for a Swift Kontiki 679 highline, the Kathrein was removed and refitted. This confirms my “liking” of the Kathrein CAP 900. Our product review of the system is available here. The Kathrein worked well at Garda – various visits – and somehow worked under trees in the south of France! I have no idea how, but it did. The Kathrein also worked well into Southern Italy too – BBC, ITV and so on. The Kathrein CAP 900 is of course a traditional style dish and as such, must be lowered in windy weather. However, having man handled the Kathrein, it is a sturdy and heavy piece of kit. In my opinion, “feels” more robust than the Oyster.
Now it must be added that satellite frequencies are changing again soon, moving from the present Astra1N to the new Astra2F. In fact, Channel 5 and the other “Fives” have already moved, and so past reception is no guarantee of the future reception.
Self seeking satellite system – our latest one
Since writing this article, our latest Kontiki is fitted with the latest Self seeking satellite system. This is a Crystop 100 centimetre dish, with twin LNB and auto-skew. The skew is crucial to TV reception when overseas. We have been able to watch Emmerdale and Corrie at Garda, whilst all those around us with 85 centimetre systems have failed!
A full product review of the Crystop 100 cm dish will be available soon at the Motorhome Voyager!