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freesat and connecting up to 12v in the van

4868 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  GerryD
I recently bought a swift gazelle which came with a girt big electric dish on the roof - and I have a meos lcd tv which has built in freeview. But I suspect I need to buy a freesat receiver OR buy a decent freeview aerial.... all I really want is to get the bog standard tv stations in the uk.

I'd value opinions - do you reckon I should keep the satellite dish for its "resale value" even though I don't use it, and get some sort of freeview aerial as well, or is it fairly simple to get and install a freesat box like the grundig one that is mentioned on this forum. I'm a clumsy technophobe so would want it to be as simple as possible to install and use!!

One other fundamental question - the TV came with a "cigarette lighter" output lead for 12v, but the socket marked 12v in the wall of the van isn't like that at all. In fact it takes a (male) aerial lead, which seems odd. The "cigarette lighter" is in the dash in the cab, miles away from the tv point. Can I get a lead that will plug in to the 12v output and thence to either the tv or the digi box and is this a standard 12v "socket". At the moment I can't see how to plug 12v devices in to the 12v output....
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If the dish is working, then a freesat box or any other 12V satellite box will be the easiest option as it will save the hassle and expense of having an aerial fitted. And until full switchover you are more likely to get a signal from satellite.
For 12V on freesat you will need one of the Grundig, Goodmans, Bush or Alba HD boxes as these are 12V straight from the box. Any of the SD boxes will need an inverter.
Your 12V connection sounds likea Hella plug, which is like a small version of a cigarette lighter plug. A photo would help to identify it.
Make sure you dont confuse freeview with freesat...

If you have a satellite dish on the roof, you need a satellite (DVB-S) receiver. If you want a 12v box, you need to go for something like the Maxview MXL020, which will get you all the free digital channels via satellite, plus works on any other satellite, so useful for if you are outside the footprint of Astra2.
Looks like a 12v freesat box then.

So then there remains this odd 12v supply point. It says 12v on the socket (which is next to a standard 13 amp plug socket for mains power) but the tv aerial cable will plug in to it. The tv aerial socket however is a later fixing nearby (and connected up to the satellite dish).

Gerry - can you plug a tv aerial cable (the "male" plug fitting) in to a hella plug?!! (Hope that question makes sense). And if so can I get a freesat box which I can plug in to it.....or some sort of adamptor so I can plug the TV or box in to it for 12v power...

I'll try and work out how to take and post a picture otherwise.

Thanks guys for your help.
Aldi are selling one for about £65. with all you require.

Our local aldi say they are getting some freesat boxes in on thursday so I'll take a look.

Just realised I was being dumb about the 12v socket :oops: Its a tv aerial socket with a two pin socket next to it, I had not realised that this little sign that said 12v sat between two square holes was actually a two pin socket. I shall slink off and hide. Now all I have to do is find a two pin plug... (there seem to be some about) on t'internet.
Need to understand a bit more about your wiring. Now that you have sussed the 12V socket, we need to check your satellite wiring. Is the dish connected into the aerial socket in the MH or is there a separate connection or socket.
The wiring from the dish to a satellite DVD-S set top box would normally terminate both ends in a screw-on "F" type connector. This will definitely be the connection on the box.
If necessary I would recommend that you have the satellite equipment checked if you have never used it.
kvin said:
Our local aldi say they are getting some freesat boxes in on thursday so I'll take a look.
The Aldi/Lidl/Maplins suitcase kits are generic FTA boxes and not official Freesat ones.
Scuse my ignorance but what does "generic fta boxes and not official Freesat ones" mean in practice - if I buy one and plug it in do I get moving pictures. (I favour the simple approach).

The cable from the dish terminates in a white box in the cupboard beneath, with power and an on off switch. From there a screw in plug connects what looks like aerial cable which runs to an aerial type socket....and there's me thinking if I plug an aerial lead in to that and put the other end in to a freesat box then connect that to my tv it would work. I guess if it was that simple many tv engineers and experts would be out of work.

If it isn't ever that simple (and I'm beginning to suspect the worst) I guess a trip to my local motorhome dealer would be better than shelling out for bits which may never function together!
I would recommend getting it checked out before use. One thing this site cannot do is to test the equipment for you and if you do not feel confident in doing that yourself then it may be cheaper in the long run to pay someone to check it.
Once it is checked and you are aware of what you have then the experts on this site can guide you on the equipment that you need.
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