Satellite finder - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-04-2011, 06:42 PM   #1
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Satellite finder

I know most every one here camps, and has little interest in watching television. But, for those that do watch television when camping, and have a Dish or Direct TV, do you use a satellite finder to line it up? What kind do you use? Is it difficult to use and how do you do it? My home dish is out of alignment and I refuse to pay $100 for them to come out and re-align it. I can get one on Amazon for $12, which includes shpg. or go to Radio Shack for what appears to be the same thing for $40. Any one able to enlighten me, please?
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Old 06-05-2011, 12:07 AM   #2
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Sorry, I can't help as I have a VuQube and simply set the elevation and then use the remote to sweep left and right for the satellite.

Manually moving a dish is why I opted for the VuQube. Quick and easy.
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Old 06-05-2011, 06:46 AM   #3
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I install these as part of my job.
All meters really work the same way and the idea is to "Peak" the signal with the meter.The problem with the setup is the tiny signal coming from 23.000 miles away so the ideal window is critical but with practice can be mastered fairly simply,like anything.

All receivers feature a test tone that will make a tone through your TV speakers and if there can be a receiver and TV close enough to the dish you can use this built in audio meter too?
If not the cheapo meters work as well as the pricey ones ad I have seen the exact same meter sell for $100.00 one place and $10.00 at another so your cheap find will work OK I suspect.
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Old 06-05-2011, 06:51 AM   #4
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You need a compass. In the set up section, you type in the zip code and it tells you the compass heading. It also gives you the tilt setting (up and down) and how much the dish must be rotated. A signal meter helps alot. You have to play around a lot in tweaking the settings to get a good reading on the signal meter. At times, this can be frustrating. A problem I encountered is you need a clear view of the southern sky. Many of the campsites are surrounded by trees and this is impossible.
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Old 06-05-2011, 01:07 PM   #5
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I made a satellite sighter (thanks Gene for the idea). I use it in a campsite to see if there is a clear view of the southern sky. It has a level on it - to it hold level, a compass - to set the degree off of south and a sighter that has degrees - to set the elevation.

It works well for finding a campsite with a satellite availability if I want one. I've walked around loop A at Bullards Beach SP in Oregon to locate all the sites that have satellite availability. So when I make reservations for the 2 week stay I can reserve a nice site with an open view for the satellite signal.

Oh, and I have a small mirror that I hold at the bottom end of the sighter (which is 1" square aluminum) to look through, so I can hold the mechanism comfortably and level.
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Old 06-05-2011, 01:52 PM   #6
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We installers all use one of these,

Suunto Tandem | Suunto

which does what Joys rig does basically.

One thing to realize is that while you do need the Southern view open it will not really be at the angle you think.
The dish points straight up a lot more than you imagine it will and I have only had a few times where I could not get it Dialed In even though a quick look can make it look like it will be a problem.

I ca pretty much get them aligned without any aid if I am busy with them but if I don't do one for a while I seem to loose the touch.
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