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New installer essential equipment

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by SWMForYourLife, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. SWMForYourLife

    SWMForYourLife New Member

    Aug 30, 2010
    I'm just getting into the business and already have my tool belt assembled with strippers, crimpers, gear wrenches, etc. but several big purchases remain and was hoping to solicit some informed decisions before dishing out any hard earned cash.

    I, by chance, ran into a guy who has left the business and is willing to sell me his old birdog. Unfortunately, he doesn't know much about it except that it was the higher end model when he bought it (2008), usb, and cost him around $400. He wants to give it to me for $275. I think its version 4 but hopefully someone who knows more about it can piece the jigsaw together.

    The other equipment I'm looking at is a drill and ladder. For a drill I'm considering the $279 ridgid x3 18v mostly for its lifetime warranty or the v28 milwaukee kit for $379 at amazon. The ladder will most likely be the multi purpose 22' warner so it can fold into the back of my truck, removing the need for a rig.

    I appreciate any advice. I want to get my equipment as close to right the first time as I can. I hate spending redundant money.
  2. Manctech

    Manctech Icon

    Jul 5, 2010

    • You really want to get a Hammer drill.

    • 22' isn't very tall for a ladder. I have a 16' and a 28/32' on my van.
    The Bird dog is a good meter, make sure it has the SWM Meters. http://www.satinstalltraining.com/meter.html
  3. SWMForYourLife

    SWMForYourLife New Member

    Aug 30, 2010
    Will even an older model birdog be SWM compatible if I give it the appropriate configuration files?

    Forgot to mention both drills mentioned were hammer drills. I'm really not sure on the ladder. May go for a 24' but it's hard to find one that compresses down much larger than that. May end up just springing for the rig. My truck is so light I'm hesitant to put anything on it that would make it top heavy. Accident waiting to happen.

    Thanks for the tips.
  4. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    Nov 13, 2007
    There's a big temptation to spend a lot of money on nice tools. Resist it.

    Go to Home Depot and buy a Ryobi drill. They are a lot better than the price would indicate, but definitely not as nice as a drill you'd pay 3x the price for. But *when* you drop that drill off a 2-story house, or *when* it is lost or stolen, you'll thank me. Also, the 18v Ryobi batteries will work in a whole range of handy tools that you'll start picking up as time goes on.

    The same with your hand tools. Klein Tools makes GREAT stuff, but I promise you you'll be better off with some Harbor Freight tools, because you WILL lose those wrenches. Any sat tech will tell you. The only "nice" tools I recommend are Craftsman reversable racheting combination wrenches, in 7/16" and 13mm" (the latter works great on 1/2", but also works on the International dish's 13mm bolts).

    You will need a 28' ladder. I also recommend a "Little Giant" type (but not necessarily brand) 17' ladder, which you will use exclusively on 80+% of your jobs. The 22' version is too heavy and too tall to use inside.

    Finally, treat your Birdog the same way you'd treat five $100 bills wrapped in a rubberband. Pull it out of your truck right when you need it, and put it back immediately when you're done.
  5. SWMForYourLife

    SWMForYourLife New Member

    Aug 30, 2010
    Its a version 3.0 usb. You all reckon that's worth $230?
  6. xmetalx

    xmetalx Godfather

    Jun 3, 2009
    I don't 'reckon' anything. However, I 'think' that it's an ok deal. :)

    Haha, sorry had to make fun of the southern slang ;)
  7. jflyn

    jflyn Cool Member

    Nov 16, 2008
    Good Luck to ya. :D
  8. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    Nov 13, 2007
  9. GTS

    GTS Member

    Mar 4, 2007
    Welcome aboard,

    Are you planning on installing multiple setups, Directv, Dish, Hughes, etc., or stricly Directv? I only ask because there's a new meter that just came out for Directv setups that looks pretty interesting. It's called the Advanced Installation Meter. It will provide information on all transponders off of all six Satallite positions, 95, 99, 101, 103, 110, 119. Haven't gotten my hands on one yet, but maybe someone here has and can share their opinion. The drawback as I see it is that it is Directv specific, but looks like it will do everything but the install itself.

  10. Justin85

    Justin85 Legend

    Jun 16, 2010
    +1 for Ryobi, I love their Lithium 18v line (ONE +), they make everything from drills to power painters, weed wackers to fit those batteries. Not to mention Ryobi is repackaged Milwaukee, all owned by TTI http://www.ttigroup.com/
  11. joe diamond

    joe diamond Hall Of Fame

    Feb 28, 2007
    You need a notebook..........record the numbers of all eq you touch
    RID, AC, SN & the account # or WO # where it was
    installed or picked up.
    Copy every check you get and note the bank it is drawn
    Justify every job you do with your pay stubs. Cash all checks promptly........do not work if the checks are late or are dishonored by your bank
    Insist on a signed copy of any contract with a rate of pay
    or line items.
    You need the name and address of the business owner who is paying you. If the corporation is out of state to you they must have a charter representative. Find out who that is.

    Discover who is renting the depot you are working from.

    Know who you are working for. When you sue them for nonpayment ask the courts for collection costs. File promptly and try to get the courts to arrest their funds until there can be a court date.

    Buy cheap tools.......you will loose most of them and find an equivalent number in crawl spaces and on top of e-meters.

  12. matt

    matt New Member

    Jan 11, 2010
    I remember reading on here once to get the common tools like wrenches at a pawn shop. Someone here mentioned they are much cheaper that way, and they got to look down the cashiers shirt when buying them. :D
  13. joe diamond

    joe diamond Hall Of Fame

    Feb 28, 2007
    That could have been been me..........you can get used 7/16" & 1/2" wrenches for about a quarter a piece. Electrical eq & tools are probably best purchased new. They are a good source for used baseball bats.....best tool to keep checks coming on time!

    Don't just look down her shirt...The tats a lady has says much, as does her selection of where they are placed. Ass cleavage with decorations like Harley Davidson or an MC club name informs. Tit tats are my favs.

  14. Matt9876

    Matt9876 Hall Of Fame

    Oct 11, 2007
    I found out a nice trick that makes the older Birdog meters work with all the new stuff,just add a power pass splitter and let the power inserter or receiver power the LNB, let the Birdog meter just monitor the non powered leg of the splitter.

    New life for my old meter setting up 1000.4,1000.2,Dish 500+wing and DirecTV LNBs :)
  15. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    Nov 13, 2007
    To be fair, that "trick" (for pointing SWM LNBs) is well-documented on the Birdog website and is part of DirecTV's training. :)
  16. samrs

    samrs MANC

    May 30, 2004
    Flat Branch, NC
    A 28 foot ladder will improve your completion rate and cut down on cable cost.

    If your going to spend 300 dollars on a drill you might as well get a kit. 18V Lithium Ion hammer drill and impact driver. The impact driver gets a lot more use than the drill. Home Depot has a nice Makita a friend of mine has that he likes a lot. I have Hitachi, the same drill, impact driver and batteries for over two years with no problems. Much better than the multiple Dewault 18V XRP's I used for years prior.

    Any old Birddog will work, so long as you use it right.

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