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Tool recommendations for newbie

Discussion in 'General DISH™ Discussion' started by jjou812, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. jjou812

    jjou812 New Member

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    Nov 17, 2008
    Sat meter and inclinometer. Which ones do/don't you recommend? There are lots on ebay.

    Thanx
     
  2. jkane

    jkane Icon

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    Oct 12, 2007
    Protractor, string, weight (plumb bob), and a compass. That's all you need.
     
  3. FTA Michael

    FTA Michael Hall Of Fame

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    Jul 21, 2002
    Inclinometer - the degree markings on the side of your dish mount.

    Sat meter - the signal quality reading on your receiver.
     
  4. Bill R

    Bill R Hall Of Fame

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    Dec 20, 2002
    I agree with Michael. Other than common tools, that you likely have, nothing else is needed unless you are planning on going into the install business.
     
  5. boba

    boba Hall Of Fame

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    May 23, 2003
    If you are going into the install business your employer will have a list of required tools that they will sell you at a slight markup and arrange a payment plan they will deduct from your pay.:)
     
  6. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    Nov 13, 2007
    You haven't said if you were trying to be a pro installer, in which case investing in tools to do the job quickly is vital, or just trying to install your own dish. If the latter, it usually isn't cost-effective to buy a lot of specialized tools when you can trade man-hours instead.

    I have a list of tools I give to new installers, with a "must-have" and a "recommended" section. If folks are interested, I'll post it.
     
  7. Jason Nipp

    Jason Nipp Analog Geek in a Digital World Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Gold Club DBSTalk Club

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    Jun 10, 2004
    Northern...
    I agree with Mike.

    I have a Birdog, and that was a very expensive toy only to use once and awhile. Now I do maintain a sat farm.... if I didn't I would not even have that. A plumb disc level, compass, and a toner will do just fine.

    As far as toys, I do like this tool. It replaced my plumb level and compass. Not bad for $20.
     
  8. jjou812

    jjou812 New Member

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    Nov 17, 2008
    thanx for all the quick replies. i should have been more specific. yes i am getting into the install business as an independent contractor. the guy whose been training me has a sat buddy and a suunto. i thought i'd get more opinions before i bought anything.
     
  9. BUCKMEISTER

    BUCKMEISTER Cool Member

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    Oct 25, 2008
    Suunto combo is good. I use a Brunton L7 pocket transit. I also like the Acutrac 22 meter. It is cheap, and sensitive. My .02!
     
  10. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    Nov 13, 2007
    There's no way I'd work Dish without a Birdog meter. It supports DiSEqC switching (for DishPro and DishProPlus switches) and confirms you've hit the correct satellites. Having used other meters, there's no comparison. The only other good choice for Dish would be the Super Sat Buddy, but that's even more expensive.

    I can diagnose dish problems with a Birdog in a few minutes, without having to remove and replace the LNB constantly to move my cable to different ports on the LNB. Without DiSEqC switching, you're stuck with reading the default signal on whichever port you are hooked up to.
     
  11. nismo

    nismo AllStar

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    Jul 20, 2006
    Suunto (or similar) is recommended. Don't leave it in your back pocket as you may accidentally crack the plastic housing by sitting on it.

    Here's a tried and true method for peaking a 500 (119/110) or Standalone Dishes (61.5, etc)

    A battery powered meter such as the Channel Master 1007IFD and a DP Dual (or single)

    When peaking the 500 Dish, leave out the DPPlus Twin, and peak with the DP Dual. With a plumb mast, azimuth sighted, elevation and skew set, peak on the 119 side and 110 comes in perfect, every time. Lock the dish down and install the DPPlus Twin. The first few months on the job (before this technique) it was a learning curve, but once I developed this method, it has worked perfectly for 3 years now. I've even been to service calls and re-peaked other tech's installs and gain an average of 15%, even if the numbers were acceptable.

    If you're on a budget for now, you don't need to shell out $400 for a Birdog. It is a nice meter, and very helpful, but if you develop a technique, you can go without. I've recently replaced the 1007IFD with a the Dual Sat version (1008IFD) since my last meter slid off a roof onto granite and broke. I rarely ever use the dual sat feature--usually single like before. -Definitely miss the 1007IFD.
     
  12. Jason Nipp

    Jason Nipp Analog Geek in a Digital World Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Gold Club DBSTalk Club

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    Jun 10, 2004
    Northern...
    Agree, My Birdog has helped me out of many jams, especially on close orbits. Birdog identifies which satellite you are looking at and is flash upgradeable.
     
  13. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    Nov 13, 2007
    The problem is that you're going to be increasingly using either a 1000.2 or 1000.4 dish, both of which use switch-integrated LNBs that require DiSEqC signaling to switch, and neither dish can be used with a DP Dual. Even then, you many times have to aim a dish in such a way that the LNB isn't accessable without moving the dish. And the installation business is all about time savings, or you don't make any money. With a Birdog, no dish takes more than 2 minutes to peak, and you KNOW you are done and can put your ladder away.

    Before I had one, I didn't understand how important this was, but having had one, I regret not buying one sooner and wasting hours and hours of time that could have been "solved" by having a Birdog.
     

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