1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Just got hired as DirecTV install tech

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by Winston_Smith, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. Winston_Smith

    Winston_Smith Cool Member

    Jul 15, 2010
    Well I just got hired as an install tech for DirecTV, I ain't going to lie never done this before. But from some of the threads on here it seems like a lot of tech's just butcher everything. I don't want to be that way, I intend to do everything correct. I do have some other work experience that I think will help me out. I've worked as a roofer, so I know how to attach things to a roof so they won't leak. I've also worked in DC electronics for a 5 years until I got laid-off.

    My first step is actually buying quality tools, not just junk that will work. So here's what I've got right now, maybe somebody with more experience could let me in on some other things I need.

    Gatorback Toolbelt
    GearWrench Wrenches
    Snap-on Sockets
    Snap-on Screwdrivers
    Snap-on Nut drivers
    Greenlee L77 Mini Torpedo Level
    Paladin Cable Cutters
    Greenlee Fishtape
    Dewalt 18V XRP Li-Ion Impact Driver
    Dewalt 18V XRP Li-Ion compact hammerdrill
    Aska Coaxial mapper
    Suunto Inclinometer (W/rubber protector)
    18" drill bits (Had these sitting around)
    Dewalt Drill bit set
    72" flex bit
    1/4" magnetic nut driver for impact
    Sheetrock saw

    I've left out some small things, but this is the bulk of my tools.
    I've also built a slide out "assembly" station for making up the dish and setting the presets.

    Bottom line is I want to do things the correct way, not half ass. So any advice is really appreciated.

    Almost forget these, very important I think.
    Garmin GPS
    Wireless cell amplifier system (****ty cell service)
  2. sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    Sep 5, 2006
    Allen, TX
    My advice...If you ever need help on an install, then look &/or ask here. There's guys here that know A LOT!
  3. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

    Apr 23, 2002
    Welcome to the board, and best of luck in your new line of work!
  4. azarby

    azarby Hall Of Fame

    Dec 15, 2006
    One more thing, go to the Connected Home Forum and print out the diagrams for the various types of systems and put them in a notebook that you take with you on your installatoin jobs. There is also a thread (don't have the link) that lists all of the error codes associates with DTV receivers. Copy that and put it in your notebook.

    good luck
  5. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    Love the attitude...and wish you nothing but the best.

    P.S...bring some Tums with you... :D
  6. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    Nov 13, 2007
    I recommend a VERY secure tool belt or box to carry those overly-expensive tools in. Most techs use super-cheap China-mart tools, so when they are lost or stolen (they will be), you aren't out thousands of dollars.


    My two most valuable (not in dollars, but in use/value) hand tools are two Craftsman reversable ratcheting combination wrenches: one in 7/16 and one in 13mm (which does 1/2" great too). They look like the wrench on the bottom. Most similar-looking wrenches suck; Craftsman got their design right. Don't bother with anything else.

    DW-2505 "Rapid Load Holder"

    You'll want a DeWalt (and ONLY a DeWalt) "Rapid-Loader Holder" speed-swap for your drill. Again, other companies have similar designs, but none of the designs are as good as this one, but you wouldn't know unless you compared. Since I have, there's just no comparison.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The last tool that gets used on nearly every job is a Coax Pocket Toner. It's a super-simple tool: A screw-off speaker at the bottom and a main body that holds a small 12v battery and fits on an F-barrel connector. The speaker is used by itself all the time to detect which line is connected to the receiver, which will be pumping power down the coax IF the coax doesn't have splitters or shorts in the line. If you don't have a receiver on the line, the battery portion will provide the power, and the red LED on top will light if the line is shorted. Such a simple little tool tells you so much.
  7. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    I can testify to that...on two occasions, the installer (potentially) left several tools in different locations, forgetting to "take inventory" before he left. I made sure to check and assure he left with everything he came with. Had I not done that....
  8. Winston_Smith

    Winston_Smith Cool Member

    Jul 15, 2010
    I'm all about not leaving tools behind, I'm already working on a spreadsheet checklist so I can check my tools before I leave. I don't intend to be carrying all my tools at once anyhow. Mostly I'll have 2 wrenches, 9/16 and 1/2, Strippers, 30 in/lbs torque wrench, compression tool, impact driver (1/4", 1/2" sockets), 2 screwdrivers, 1/2 nut driver, aska and I think that's about it.

    The toolbelt I ordered should hold everything pretty well, you can see a video bit.ly/dBRfmR (I can't post url's yet so, add the www. to it)

    Thanks for the tip on the reversible wrenches. As for the quick change, both the drill and impact come with quick change chucks.

    I have a pocket toner, just didn't include it in the list.
  9. netraa

    netraa Godfather

    Mar 27, 2007
    go get yourself 2 more 7/16th regular ole cheapo combo box wrenches form harbor freight or somewhere. It never fails that your up on a ladder using 2 wrenches to loosen or tighten the fitting/barrel/fitting from a LNB to the drop and you send one down 28' to the ground.

    get a full set of impact drivers for spare to be left in the truck, 1/4 inch for flex clips. 5/16 for ground screws, 3/8 for self tappers, 7/16 for old lags and 1/2 for the new lags.

    7/16 shield key..... invaluable for installing coax
  10. ndole

    ndole Problem Solver

    Aug 26, 2009
    Great news!

    If I have one tidbit of advice, carry spares of everything. A spare drill (and a corded one in case that one dies, and a long extention cord). Spare cheap wrenches, spare drill bits etc. There's no such thing as too many tools on the truck. You never want to end up needing something that's either died, or that you don't have, or that fell out of the belt in the crawspace.

    Some other things come to mind..

    -Carry a hacksaw. I won't elaborate further than "You'll need it eventually".
    -Buy a good post hole digger.
    -A quality studfinder.
    -A caulk gun.
    -1/4" driver (magnetic is better) for screw clips.

    I'll think of some more later.

    It's not as terrible a job as most make it out to be. (Joe) ;p
    Who do you work for? An HSP, retailer, Directv O&O, a contractor? That will make a pretty big difference in your employment experience. For a lot of people it's a stepping stone of a job, until something better comes along.. But, for some of us it really fits.

    Good luck! And if you need any advice, ask away!

  11. RobertE

    RobertE New Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    Small tools (wrenches, sockets, etc), buy the cheapest stuff you can find. Yard/garage/estate sales are great for that. Why buy cheap? You will lose them. You will leave at least one in a gutter somewhere. You will drop one in the 18" of blown in insulation in the attic. You will also drop one in the 3 feet of snow either from the top of your ladder or it will fall out of your belt without you knowing it. One will also fall out in the darkest corner of that nasty vermin infested crawl space.

    There's 4 right there. :)

    I've got the 5 pc version of this set http://www.harborfreight.com/9-piece-magnetic-quick-release-nutsetter-set-65806.html

    It will be the best $3 you can spend. Buy a couple of sets. You will lose some. :)
  12. Manctech

    Manctech Icon

    Jul 5, 2010
    I don't buy nice tools. I buy the cheapest ones I can get. Without fail I will leave, lose it, drop it in a crawlspace thats so disgusting that a stop at wal-mart/lowes/home depot is better than going back under to get it.

    Tbh I don't use a whole lot of tools. I carry 2 socket wrenches in my belt so I don't have to continuously swap from 1/2 to 7/16 plus it is a lot harder to lose an entire socket wrench than just a socket. 7/16 and 1/2 wrench, linesman pliars, cable prep tool, compression tool, phillips/flathead screw driver, and a 5/16 nut driver is all I use in my toolbelt.
  13. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    Nov 13, 2007
    We *so* share the same experiences! Were I in Cleveland right now, I'd offer to swap stories over a cold beverage... :)
  14. WestDC

    WestDC Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2008
    I suggest you get this tool for a Coax tracer


    This works really well in Newer Pre-wired Homes, you place the four colored ends in the rooms and hook up the Tester in the Smart box and you only havee yo go once to connect.

    This box will Send "tone" also so you can use a toner wand to find a Cable.
  15. Matt9876

    Matt9876 Hall Of Fame

    Oct 11, 2007
    I didn't see a signal meter listed anywhere,are they going to provide you with one or will you have to purchase it yourself.

    My SuperBuddy set me back $700.00,I've been out of a job for quite some time now and have had thoughts of maybe selling it.

    Good Luck with you new job and never use a customers ladder unless you like having a broken leg.:grin:
  16. Winston_Smith

    Winston_Smith Cool Member

    Jul 15, 2010
    Already have a 8 way coaxial mapper.
    This one
  17. Winston_Smith

    Winston_Smith Cool Member

    Jul 15, 2010
    I get a signal meter
  18. Winston_Smith

    Winston_Smith Cool Member

    Jul 15, 2010
    It fits me very well I have to say. I don't like working inside, I like to see my work completed in short times. I can't work on a project for months on end then finally see it completed, I get bored with it. I don't mind driving, I've done delivery work before so spending a lot of time driving is not a big thing.
  19. joe diamond

    joe diamond Hall Of Fame

    Feb 28, 2007
    Ever done any accounting?

    Somehow you are going to have to keep track of every receiver you touch.
    You need to note the RID, SN & AC # and the job number where it went in. This includes defective eq you take out and what replaces it. You should have a daily log of this.

    Find out which bank your checks will be written on and see if they have enough cash on hand to pay everybody each week.

    Find out who will be signing the checks and where they can be reached.

    Understand how you will be paid. Are you an hourly employee? When does your time start and stop? What items are you allowing to be deducted from your checks?

    Are you being offered piece work? How far will you travel before you have to turn down a job? How many hours per day / week will you work before you will refuse to work the next day?

    I could go on.....good luck....report back as things go forward.

  20. joe diamond

    joe diamond Hall Of Fame

    Feb 28, 2007
    Could be a great job!

    Joe.............7/16" = SD..............1/2" = HD (key to success)

Share This Page