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· Hall Of Fame
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone able to recommend a good satellite finder (110, 119 and 129) for home use. I'm tired of E* trying to charge me another $$$ just to re-point the dish after a storm.

I've looked and found a ton of different models and am not sure which one would work fine.

Thanks for all responses.
 

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The best satellite finder is your receiver, a TV, and (if necessary) a friend near the TV with a cell phone. Use Dish's tools to see about where the satellite should be, then move the dish sloooowly left-right, up-down, until the increasing signal strength shows you where to point.

Once you get the dish pointed just right, make small permanent marks to let you know about where to return the dish when storms (?!) knock it around again. The second time you repoint the dish will go much easier.

If I can't convince you to take that approach, then any ol' sub-$10 eBay satellite finder ought to help. I used one once and after my considerable tweaking, it got me in the neighborhood of the signal. Otherwise, you're looking at buying a serious, professional tool for a whole lot more than $10.
 

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IF your pole is perfectly plumb AND your angles are all set properly you should be able to use a telephone at the television and a phone at the dish. Call the phone number of the phone you will have at the dish. Set the phone inside the house down by the television speaker (turn the volume up). You will be able to distinguish the pitch increases as you rotate the dish on the pole. Once you reach the highest pitch lock the dish down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Richard King said:
IF your pole is perfectly plumb AND your angles are all set properly you should be able to use a telephone at the television and a phone at the dish. Call the phone number of the phone you will have at the dish. Set the phone inside the house down by the television speaker (turn the volume up). You will be able to distinguish the pitch increases as you rotate the dish on the pole. Once you reach the highest pitch lock the dish down.
That's a very good idea King! I hadn't thought of that. I live alone and I don't like to bother anyone just to re-point my dish. Although, if anyone has any good experiences with some off-the-shelf satellite finders, I would appreciate their comments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
shadough said:
No doubt the best finder is the Birdog. However this is highly expensive for a 1 time use. I'd recommend getting an inexpensive $30 finder. It wont distinguise between sats but it will help to fine tune, or just use your sat receiver.....use the weakest transponder and try to get it stronger.
I'll probably be using it multiple times so I'll look it up. Thanks shadough!

EDIT: Just looked it up. It's way out of my price range at over $400.00.
 

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I have a cheapo $20 finder I picked up at Frys that I use to get my initial lock. Then I use the phone trick to fine tune on the weakest transponder for each Sat. The phone trick being I call my cell phone from the house, put the house phone next to my speaker with the point dish screen up, then put on my cell phone headset and head up to the roof.

It has always worked well for me. I don't do enough 'installs' to justify anything more expensive than that.
 

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lujan said:
I'll probably be using it multiple times so I'll look it up.
For the same dish, pointed at the same satellite, you shouldn't need to use that kind of a satellite finder more than once. After you peak the signal the first time, you can either make some permanent marks (recommended) to remember where it's supposed to point, or you can take some notes: Elevation just a smidge over the 42 mark, pointing about a degree to the right of the neighbor's evergreen bush. Or you can cheat :sure: by buying a compass and making a note of the exact apparent direction.

Me, I'm still wondering what kind of installation gets knocked around by storms that often. Or maybe I should be wondering about the kind of storms you get. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
FTA Michael said:
For the same dish, pointed at the same satellite, you shouldn't need to use that kind of a satellite finder more than once. After you peak the signal the first time, you can either make some permanent marks (recommended) to remember where it's supposed to point, or you can take some notes: Elevation just a smidge over the 42 mark, pointing about a degree to the right of the neighbor's evergreen bush. Or you can cheat :sure: by buying a compass and making a note of the exact apparent direction.

Me, I'm still wondering what kind of installation gets knocked around by storms that often. Or maybe I should be wondering about the kind of storms you get. :)
The last storm we got moved the dish pointing to 129 about 1/2 and inch (enough to lose the signal) according to the E* installer that came to re-point it. A bunch of snow accumulated on the metal roof and then when it started to melt, it flowed down the roof right to the dish and caused it to move. I like the idea about marking it with some good marker.
 

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lujan said:
The last storm we got moved the dish pointing to 129 about 1/2 and inch (enough to lose the signal) according to the E* installer that came to re-point it. A bunch of snow accumulated on the metal roof and then when it started to melt, it flowed down the roof right to the dish and caused it to move. I like the idea about marking it with some good marker.
I use a Radio Shack signal finder, about $40, every time I move to a new campground. I get the pole in the tripod plumb then set the skew and elevation and after that I sweep the horizon left to right and peak on the signal strength. I have a Dish 500 Pro.

If snow sliding off the tin roof is going to hit your dish you might look for a better place for the dish, or get the pole higher so the snow doesn't hit the dish, only the pole.
 

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For a reliable sat finder try the Eagle Aspen SF-99. You can get it off the web for around 20 + shipping. If you are going to buy it off ebay make sure description says it is a real Eagle Aspen SF-99 and not just a picture of one. I tried a cheaper one for 11 bucks and it was a peice of junk.

I used to do the receiver - point dish thing but the sat finder is way more accurate and easy. The receiver always seemed to be laggy slow to update on the point dish screen. The SF-99 can be dialed down initially find sats to home in on and then dialed up to get the last few db out by fine tuning and tweeking.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
netnerdvana said:
For a reliable sat finder try the Eagle Aspen SF-99. You can get it off the web for around 20 + shipping. If you are going to buy it off ebay make sure description says it is a real Eagle Aspen SF-99 and not just a picture of one. I tried a cheaper one for 11 bucks and it was a peice of junk.

I used to do the receiver - point dish thing but the sat finder is way more accurate and easy. The receiver always seemed to be laggy slow to update on the point dish screen. The SF-99 can be dialed down initially find sats to home in on and then dialed up to get the last few db out by fine tuning and tweeking.

Good luck!
Thanks netnerdvana, that's exactly what I was looking for by entering this post!
 

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I bought a cheepie off Ebay, and it works nicely for my needs. I've aimed/reaimed my Dish 1000(fixed the tilt the installer got wrong) and also aimed 2 FTA dishes. It cost me a whopping 3 bux plus shipping. Like this http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/SATE...tegoryZ50073QQihZ004QQitemZ140071728734QQrdZ1

The knob is for attenuation of the signal, it puts out this ear piercing shreek, and the attenuator adjusts the signal so it isn't so bad.
 

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I had an old portable hand held color tv lying around and used a pair of dilpexors back out to the dish and had myself the best portable meter complete with signal strength bars and audible tones. It was just an experiment and wasn't meant for everyday use, however it worked very well!
 
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