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Looking to purchase a sat finder. Need some advice!

Discussion in 'DISH™ High Definition Discussion' started by 2psnapod2, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. 2psnapod2

    2psnapod2 New Member

    11
    0
    Mar 25, 2012
    I have a mobile HD SMW Directv dish set up as an RV'r. I am in need of buying a satellite finder meter that is good and simple to use. I don't have a lot of cash but I want to get one that will work well. What one do you suggest?

    Before when I asked initially some said the Accutracpro2. Is this still a good one to use or has it been upgraded?

    I see also that I can get a Birdog that is refurbished for about $250, should I go that way?

    Any help will be appreaciated,
    Michael
     
  2. jsfisher

    jsfisher Cool Member

    22
    0
    Mar 23, 2003
    Dish pointing is more a matter of technique than equipment. I'd invest in a simple magnetic inclinometer (aka, magnetic angle locator, $9.00) one of those cheapo satellite meters ($15.00), and a reasonable compass ($10.00).

    The technique is basically
    1. Set the dish skew to its proper value based on your location. Set it and forget it. Do not adjust this later.
    2. Set the dish elevation according to your location. (We'll fine-tune later.)
    3. Get the mast as close to vertical as possible. Use the inclinometer (or a bubble level, if you must).
    4. With the dish loosely mounted on the mast, sloooowwwly scan the sky east to west in the general direction of the satellite(s) you ssek.
    5. If the elevation is anywhere close and the mast vertical, you will eventually find a signal.
    6. After getting the best signal according to the meter, tighten the mast bolts a little.
    7. Torque the dish with your hands, top and bottom, then adjust the elevation accordingly for best signal.
    8. Torque the dish, left and right, then adjust the azimuth for best signal.
    9. Repeat the last two steps as needed.
    10. Tighten all the adjustment bolts.
     
  3. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    21,192
    183
    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    I'm not convinced that the inclinometer is necessary much better than a bullet level or refrigerator (round "bullseye") level. What is important is that you start with a plumb (not just close) mast and use the best available elevation and tilt numbers. How you get to plumb depends on whether your using a tripod or a plate/plywood base. Some of the nicer tripods have a refrigerator level built in.

    As for meters, the <$10 finders on ebay work well enough with a DISH dish. With some experience, it takes just a couple minutes to start dialing the dish in with the receiver's meter.

    If you're using one of the newer HD dishes, they have vernier adjustment screws that make peaking a whole lot easier.
     
  4. jsfisher

    jsfisher Cool Member

    22
    0
    Mar 23, 2003
    I prefer the inclinometer because it is (1) magnetic so I have both hands free for adjusting purposes and (2) the pointer is a bit more precise than a bubble. You are right, though. A $4 bullet level is more than sufficient.

    I think, too, that the most important point for the original poster is that he doesn't need to spend a pile of cash on equipment. Basic tools are quite adequate: a compass, a level, and a cheap signal meter.
     
  5. chaney

    chaney Cool Member

    34
    1
    Oct 25, 2012
    topeka ks
    as a dish installer i have experience with both bird dog, and super sat buddy, in my experience the Super sat buddy may cost a bit more but is a much better signal level meter, because A: it can tune in to any satellite companies equipment whether it be DTV, Dish, Kban, the list goes on and on. It is very simple to use. first select service provider, select dish model ie dish 1000.2, dish 500, etc. then select lnb, then if you want a specific Sat just choose it. then peak your dish until you have signal, if your unsure if you have the right sat, just select ID and it will verify which sat your on, or scan to see which one you hit. Then just tweak until you have the best signal. B: can detect drift in an LNBF so you know if the LNBF is on its last leg or is fine. Very versatile meter, shock and water resistant and has a very good battery that last a long time. also is updatable to the newest sat info via a usb connect to pc.
     
  6. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    21,192
    183
    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    The Super Sat Buddy is an awful lot of money (~$700 new, ~$400 used) to pay for a meter destined to be used with a single dish setup; especially one that will work pretty well with a $5 satellite finder.
     

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