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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Wild Blue Installers...question about necessary tools.


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32 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Soulweeper

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 06:19 PM

I'm doing my online certification course a little later this week, then it's my hands on class on July 17th, so I'm getting ready to order some tools and supplies, and need some advice.

I've narrowed my laptop/netbook choices down to a couple, but I have a question about the basic tools needed.

Aside from the laptop/netbook, I know I need ladders, which I already have(I'm currently a painting contractor), and a good cordless drill combo set, and am probably buying this one
http://www.amazon.co...m=ATVPDKIKX0DER
probably a little overkill, but with the extra tool promotion, it's too hard to turn down.

I heard a tandem compass/clinometer is very good to have, like this
http://www.ebay.com/...984.m1423.l2649
would anyone agree/disagree?
I shadowed a guy in my town for a day that I found out from doing my homework was trying to low ball me and pay me less than half the going rate for installs. Another retailer in town said not to learn from this guy, so I don't have a great resource for questions like this., and I don't want to bug this other guy. He basically said you don't really need all that many tools.

After the few things I mentioned, it's down to smaller hand tools, which is easy to take care of, and I most likely already have. I already have a compression tool, and assorted wrenches and whatnot, so my list should be fairly small, after purchasing the bigger items I've listed. Probably a post hole digger and a few other things I just can't think of, but if anyone can give me any advice, or at least tell me if I'm pretty much on the right page, I'd appreciate it.
Thanks in advance!

DIRECTV since '97
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#2 OFFLINE   urnote96

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 08:13 PM

tell you the things i carry are 13mm wrenchs and 1/2....thats about it....truely if you do directv or install satellite EXEDE by wildblue is super easy now, also a magnetic incloemeter (bad spelling)......for the old dishes an analog meter is the bomb......there is nothing really needed.
Exede Installer

#3 OFFLINE   Wire Nut

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 09:04 PM

Makita will not let you down, I'm a loyal Dewalt fan though. This is my impact driver:
Dewalt Brushless
Also have sawzall, rotohammer, and drill driver all 20V MAX Li-Ion.. Don't skimp on quality tools, you will regularly find yourself 60-130 miles from civilization.
As urnote96 says VS1100 setup is a snap compared to the old Wildblue. Only real trouble is mounting, very small list of approved mounts as you will find during training.

#4 OFFLINE   Soulweeper

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 09:54 PM

Thanks to you both! So, other than the smaller hand tolls, the stuff I listed above is good, yes?

DIRECTV since '97
HR44-500 (Leased)
HR24-200 (Owned)
HR24-200 (Owned/spare)

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#5 OFFLINE   samrs

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 03:03 AM

Thats a damn good price for a Suunto Tandem. I've been using one for twelve years. If you know what your doing you can put any dish on the satellite with one of those. The clinometer can also be used for the boom arm angle. Any 18v Lion combo impact driver/hammer drill will work Makita is good. Most of my Wildblues go on a Gator Pole.
Post hole diggers, shovel, pick and gopher bar.
Half inch deep well socket 1/4 inch drive.(for impact driver)
1/4 inch nut driver.(for impact driver)
3/8 inch nut driver.(for impact driver)
Half inch box and open end wrench.(ratchet prefered)
7/16 box and open end wrench.
#2 phillips.
flat tip.
Cable prep tools.
3/8" x 18" masonary bit.
3/8" wood bit.
HR20-100, HR20-700, HR24-100, HR34-700/AM21

#6 OFFLINE   Soulweeper

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 03:17 PM

Thats a damn good price for a Suunto Tandem. I've been using one for twelve years. If you know what your doing you can put any dish on the satellite with one of those. The clinometer can also be used for the boom arm angle. Any 18v Lion combo impact driver/hammer drill will work Makita is good. Most of my Wildblues go on a Gator Pole.
Post hole diggers, shovel, pick and gopher bar.
Half inch deep well socket 1/4 inch drive.(for impact driver)
1/4 inch nut driver.(for impact driver)
3/8 inch nut driver.(for impact driver)
Half inch box and open end wrench.(ratchet prefered)
7/16 box and open end wrench.
#2 phillips.
flat tip.
Cable prep tools.
3/8" x 18" masonary bit.
3/8" wood bit.

Thanks for the tips!
Yeah, my laptop will arrive tomorrow, and I'm ordering the Makita combo kit this weekend, Didn't get that particular Suuto Tandem. I'm watching a couple on Ebay though. Everything else I either already own, or is a Home Depot trip.

I'm assuming the 18" masonry bit is for when you need to get cable through a foundation??? Just guessing. :)

DIRECTV since '97
HR44-500 (Leased)
HR24-200 (Owned)
HR24-200 (Owned/spare)

Samsung HLP5063


#7 OFFLINE   Wire Nut

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 03:39 PM

You won't be getting through a poured foundation with a drill/driver, even with hammer function, you would need a purpose-built roto-hammer. The masonry bit is for brick and mortar, cinder block, and grout. 99.99% of the time it is not necessary to drill through structural concrete so I wouldn't say every installer needs a roto-hammer. Corded roto-hammers can be found cheap in pawn shops from time to time, worth a look and good to have as insurance. Also as "elective" tools I would add the following:
Flex Bit
Glow Rods

#8 OFFLINE   Soulweeper

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 04:48 PM

You won't be getting through a poured foundation with a drill/driver, even with hammer function, you would need a purpose-built roto-hammer. The masonry bit is for brick and mortar, cinder block, and grout. 99.99% of the time it is not necessary to drill through structural concrete so I wouldn't say every installer needs a roto-hammer. Corded roto-hammers can be found cheap in pawn shops from time to time, worth a look and good to have as insurance. Also as "elective" tools I would add the following:
Flex Bit
Glow Rods


Thanks!
Yeah, I was thinking cinder block too, but just guessed foundation :grin:
Some of this is new to me, as all I've done is my own Directv stuff. I don't know it like the back of my hand yet, so I appreciate the tips. I'm going from painting contracting to this, so there aren't too many parallels. :)

Those glow rods are pretty slick, it looks like to me. I know a fish tape is pretty standard for an installer as well, but would you recommend the glow rods as standard, or in addition to a regular fish tape?

DIRECTV since '97
HR44-500 (Leased)
HR24-200 (Owned)
HR24-200 (Owned/spare)

Samsung HLP5063


#9 OFFLINE   Soulweeper

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 05:37 PM

Thats a damn good price for a Suunto Tandem. I've been using one for twelve years. If you know what your doing you can put any dish on the satellite with one of those. The clinometer can also be used for the boom arm angle.


I have what I hope isn't a stupid question. Is the tandem compass/inclinometer overkill, or is just a compass sufficient? That is the impression I got from this guy I shadowed for a day, yet he used it at all 3 jobs to check line of sight. I guess the big thing with this is looking through the sights for obstructions, yes? Just curious. This guy said the elevation is on the w/o and you set it when assembling the dish, but obviously checking for obstructions when there isn't wide open sky is pretty important. I was also told by at least two people, not to try and learn from this guy.

DIRECTV since '97
HR44-500 (Leased)
HR24-200 (Owned)
HR24-200 (Owned/spare)

Samsung HLP5063


#10 OFFLINE   Wire Nut

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 09:32 PM

Depends really on the fish tape, I carry one because I'm an electrician as well and need it for conduit. It is pretty rare to come across conduit during sat installs but I guess it wouldn't hurt to carry one.
Glow rods are invaluable when routing cable under decks, and they come with a hook attachment so you can grab cable in otherwise inaccessible partial basements.
My main use for a flex bit is when a customer has hardwood floors, I take the cable down through a cut-in box in the wall. If they have carpet, peel it back a little and drill down right by the baseboard, don't drill through it unless you can afford to replace it.
The particular compass/inclinometer you purchased will help when setting the skew of the WB/Exede dishes as well as finding LOS, so yes you will use all it's functions.
I worked as a painter for years with my dad before becoming an electrician and can sympathize with your desire to leave that industry;) Good luck, pay attention in training and don't be "that guy", do a good job for the customer.

#11 OFFLINE   Soulweeper

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 10:21 PM

Depends really on the fish tape, I carry one because I'm an electrician as well and need it for conduit. It is pretty rare to come across conduit during sat installs but I guess it wouldn't hurt to carry one.
Glow rods are invaluable when routing cable under decks, and they come with a hook attachment so you can grab cable in otherwise inaccessible partial basements.
My main use for a flex bit is when a customer has hardwood floors, I take the cable down through a cut-in box in the wall. If they have carpet, peel it back a little and drill down right by the baseboard, don't drill through it unless you can afford to replace it.
The particular compass/inclinometer you purchased will help when setting the skew of the WB/Exede dishes as well as finding LOS, so yes you will use all it's functions.
I worked as a painter for years with my dad before becoming an electrician and can sympathize with your desire to leave that industry;) Good luck, pay attention in training and don't be "that guy", do a good job for the customer.

Thanks man.....appreciate the support. :)

Yeah, I've been painting a long time, and I take pride in anything I do, and I'm known for the quality of my work, and that will always stay with me. I'm very conscientious. The painting trade can pay well, at times, but I'm tired of it, and trying to compete with illegal aliens, and then the fact that I've worked about a month out of the last six. It's just gets old....you know the drill.

I went for the first interview with Directv last year, but didn't get called for the second, which was disappointing, but I knew it would be very easy for them to find someone that already had the hands on experience. So, I've had an interest in this kind of work for a while. I've done my own installs and whatnot at home, been around the trades all my life, and while not an expert in this by any means, I'm not making THAT drastic of a change.

I cold called a local installer one day when I was home with no work, thinking "maybe he needs a helper", and I can at least get some hands on experience and training, and maybe have myself more qualified if I get another shot at Directv down the road. Long story short.......the guy said he wasn't doing that much Directv stuff, and that Wild Blue was going nuts, and it was actually much simpler to install....in that it's one satellite you're picking up, and one modem. Makes sense......but I know that some will be easy, some will be hard. What I like is that it's an industry that isn't going anywhere, and seems to be almost recession proof.

But, this guy I called tried to tell me that he was paying $60 an install, and I had no idea what it paid, but I did a little "homework", because something didn't seem right, and turns out, the fulfillment center he gets his work from pays twice that, and I could simply get the work from them. I heard from a few people that they a little flaky with paying, so I called another local guy, and he pays more than them, and he's a retailer. He just said to give him a call once I get certified. He also suggested I get certified to do Hughesnet after a bit, and that is going to explode in this area soon. Something about them launching a new satellite or something....can't remember every detail.

But yeah, it's scary to make a switch.....just the fear of change......pretty much human nature, but I will pay attention, and I like doing things right the first time, so I go for the hands on class on the 17th.

DIRECTV since '97
HR44-500 (Leased)
HR24-200 (Owned)
HR24-200 (Owned/spare)

Samsung HLP5063


#12 OFFLINE   Soulweeper

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 10:24 PM

.
The particular compass/inclinometer you purchased will help when setting the skew of the WB/Exede dishes as well as finding LOS, so yes you will use all it's functions.


Yeah, I didn't get that particular one, but I'm watching a few more. Wanted to make sure it wasn't overkill first, so thanks!

DIRECTV since '97
HR44-500 (Leased)
HR24-200 (Owned)
HR24-200 (Owned/spare)

Samsung HLP5063


#13 OFFLINE   samrs

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 04:24 AM

I wouldn't call it overkill. Its a precision instrument. You can work without one but you wont have the same warm fuzzy feeling. If you have a smart phone you can also use an app. I don't consider them as accurate since the science isn't as old and there are way to many factors involved.

This guy said the elevation is on the w/o and you set it when assembling the dish,

The only time I use the elevation on the work order is to check for line of site during the site survey. To set the dish up boom arm angle is much more accurate and eliminates any human error caused by slightly out of plumb masts.

To set boom arm angle you can use a clinometer or an angle finder(whoops forgot) available at Lowe's, Home Depot or our trainer recommends the one at Sears.

Something like this.

Sears
HR20-100, HR20-700, HR24-100, HR34-700/AM21

#14 OFFLINE   Soulweeper

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 07:58 PM

I wouldn't call it overkill. Its a precision instrument. You can work without one but you wont have the same warm fuzzy feeling. If you have a smart phone you can also use an app. I don't consider them as accurate since the science isn't as old and there are way to many factors involved.

This guy said the elevation is on the w/o and you set it when assembling the dish,

The only time I use the elevation on the work order is to check for line of site during the site survey. To set the dish up boom arm angle is much more accurate and eliminates any human error caused by slightly out of plumb masts.

To set boom arm angle you can use a clinometer or an angle finder(whoops forgot) available at Lowe's, Home Depot or our trainer recommends the one at Sears.

Something like this.

Sears


Thanks! Yeah, turns out the Clinometer is actually required....and they supply the installer with a bracket for it at the hands on class. The tandem unit is also highly recommended, so I guess I'm getting both.

Just completed the online courses, and enrolled in the hands on class. Some of that stuff was a little overwhelming, but it's a lot of new information that you're trying to digest in a few hours per course, then take a test. I can honestly say I can't remember a fair amount of it, but I know when I take the class, it will most likely all come back, and make more sense. Nothing beats actual hands on.

DIRECTV since '97
HR44-500 (Leased)
HR24-200 (Owned)
HR24-200 (Owned/spare)

Samsung HLP5063


#15 OFFLINE   Soulweeper

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 03:16 PM

I wouldn't call it overkill. Its a precision instrument. You can work without one but you wont have the same warm fuzzy feeling. If you have a smart phone you can also use an app. I don't consider them as accurate since the science isn't as old and there are way to many factors involved.

This guy said the elevation is on the w/o and you set it when assembling the dish,

The only time I use the elevation on the work order is to check for line of site during the site survey. To set the dish up boom arm angle is much more accurate and eliminates any human error caused by slightly out of plumb masts.

To set boom arm angle you can use a clinometer or an angle finder(whoops forgot) available at Lowe's, Home Depot or our trainer recommends the one at Sears.

Something like this.

Sears


Thanks!
Yeah, I may just order that one, or maybe this one
http://www.amazon.co..._pr_product_top
only because I'm placing an order with Amazon anyway, and like free shipping. I guess they are all about the same....as long as they have a magnet to stick to the bracket, yes?

I completed the hands on class......they make sure you pass, which is good, but a little annoying at the same time. It's weird.....they rush you through everything that day. There was only two of us, and we assembled a dish, then pointed and peaked it in the parking lot, but after the other guy did it, the instructor started taking it down, and I had to ask if I could do it too.....that's how you learn. No biggie.......just kind of rushed. The real learning is in shadowing someone for a few days anyway.

I just sent my application for my BEAR license(required in California), and I have a Suunto compass/inclinometer on the way, and I have a few of the small hand tools to round up, but that's easy.

The new equipment is all software driven, and uses the tones to point and peak, but the instructor said that on the older equipment, if you have to point and peak them, you need a basic satellite meter. He said he uses some $10 meter, something like that, but can someone point me to what they like and use, because I guess I'll need to have that for service calls and whatnot. They gave us the Antenna Pointing Aid after the class, and the attenuators, but I still need some type of meter, If I'm not mistaken.

DIRECTV since '97
HR44-500 (Leased)
HR24-200 (Owned)
HR24-200 (Owned/spare)

Samsung HLP5063


#16 OFFLINE   samrs

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 04:10 AM

When I first started installing DirecTv in 199x I used one of these for lots of years.

channel master.jpg

Today I have a Birddog, AIM, Super Buddy and some others. The original Channel Master is also in my van(still working after all these years). I was pretty shocked when our trainer showed us what we would use to allign Wild Blue, and then just smiled, since I wouldn't need to buy one. The Super Buddy can also do Wild Blue but is likely out of your price range.

http://www.ebay.com/...=item19d3de99ae

It's fortunate that Wild Blue dishes come with the assembly directions inside, my hands on class didn't include all that. Since the first one, if the customer is hot and asks to help, I always let her read the assembly directions...if she can.

Edited by samrs, 02 August 2012 - 04:22 AM.

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#17 OFFLINE   Wire Nut

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 09:29 AM

They gave us the Antenna Pointing Aid after the class, and the attenuators, but I still need some type of meter, If I'm not mistaken.

The Job Aid shows a Channel Master meter very similar to the one samrs posted, I use the exact meter from the Job Aid. Never used a SatBuddy but have been told they work as well. In a pinch you can use the Birdog Ultra, no APAs, attenuators, or modem power required, but I can always get it just a bit better with the analog.

#18 OFFLINE   Soulweeper

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 11:42 AM

Ok.....thanks to you both! Yeah, if I had a bunch of extra cash laying around, I might get a Super Buddy or Birddog, just because, but it seems a little overkill at this point. Unless I saw a deal that was too good to resist.

DIRECTV since '97
HR44-500 (Leased)
HR24-200 (Owned)
HR24-200 (Owned/spare)

Samsung HLP5063


#19 OFFLINE   Soulweeper

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 12:21 PM

The Job Aid shows a Channel Master meter very similar to the one samrs posted, I use the exact meter from the Job Aid.


Yeah, maybe I'll go for the one samrs posted, as the exact one in the job aid seems hard to find.

So, the Super Buddy just makes life easier in that it eliminates the attenuators and APA, correct? If I was doing Directv as well, I'd definitely have a reason to justify it, but right now it just seems overkill.


EDIT: The one in the job aid (1007IFD), has been replaced by this (1007A)
http://www.summitsou...07a-p-6944.html

which I can get cheaper here
http://www.ebay.com/...984.m1423.l2649

and this seller said he used it for pointing and peaking Wild Blue service before the ViaSat-1 upgrade and no longer needs it, so is this still overkill, and I should just gte the one samrs linked to? Maybe I'm overthinking it now......just want to get the right stuff, one time.

Edited by Soulweeper, 02 August 2012 - 12:55 PM.

DIRECTV since '97
HR44-500 (Leased)
HR24-200 (Owned)
HR24-200 (Owned/spare)

Samsung HLP5063


#20 OFFLINE   samrs

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 01:54 PM

The one I posted used to be the cheapest version. They likely arn't made anymore. I only saw one on Amazon and the fella thought it was worth its weight in gold. If you can get the one on e-bay for less than twenty that would be a good deal.

To get a Channel Master Cheap check out their web site.

http://www.channelma...Meters_s/29.htm

The battery and tone are overkill for wildblue since you don't need them but for forty bucks(they wern't charging me any tax, I didn't check shipping) its got to be one of the best meters on the market.
HR20-100, HR20-700, HR24-100, HR34-700/AM21




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