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Satellite Meter

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It really depends on what you are willing to spend. The cheapest is just the simple Sat Finder meter for $15-$29 by Winegard.

This is what I have always used along with a phone app called SatFinder Pro. I also like one called Satellite AR. Both have a transparent view mode where it uses the camera to show the sky/trees where you point it and superimposes the satellites track over it so you can see what is blocking which satellite.


Some better meters I have been interested in such as the Accutracs but so far, I have not been willing to spend the money. The hardest part is just getting it all exactly level and vertical and then pointed exactly at the right spot. After that, the meter is helpful to fine tune the aim. Here are a bunch of discussions on this and meters that various people like: http://www.rvnetwork.com/index.php?app=core&module=search&do=search&fromMainBar=1


Personally, I switched from my 211k to a Hopper and never turned the 211k on, again. The difference is so dramatic that the effort to setup a 1000.4 is miniscule compared to the returned enjoyment and being able to simultaneously record 3 things at once plus the Prime Time Anytime (PTAT) feature. With the 2tb storage capacity I no longer have to keep weeding out the stored stuff. The PTAT stuff just goes away on it own after 8 days (unless I say to save a show/series). After the $219 I spent for the Hopper and 1 Joey plus the Solo node my monthly costs are the same as just with the 211k but the enjoyment and convenience is Waaaaay beyond that.


I did modify a standard steel tripod by putting long threaded feet on it with plastic knobs to make it easier to fine tune. I also replaced the fixed nuts on the azimuth and skew locking bolts with similar knobs so I don't have to have 2 sizes of wrenches to make adjustments. I replaced the nut on the elevation adjustment with a thumb screw/nut to also make that easier. I use a magnetic torpedo level on the pole to get it perfectly vertical and then start fine tuning.


It is helpful to use your hand occasionally to block the outer LNBF heads to be sure that you are aligning on 119 (if WA) with the center head. Beyond that, it is just about patience and realizing when you need to do an actual TEST SWITCH.


Some people think a Hopper is overkill but I only have 1 TV and rarely will watch anything live just because of the inconvenience of the timing. There is very little that I ever feel I need to see live. I would rather see it when I will actually enjoy it more. Football games I have not see are a particular delight to have on a back burner for when I feel like it.

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I use a Birdog meter. It is quick and easy to sight in the satellite. Birdog is used by many satellite installers. I purchased my unit from a Craigslist listing. It was offered by a fellow who was no longer an installer. These units are around $450 new. I bought mine for a $100. Look for a unit from a former installer to get a good deal and he/she will often show you how to use it.


The seller emphasized the most important thing to remember for easy sighting was to make sure the dish was on an absolutely vertical axis.

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I use the Align-A-Sight with my 1000.4. Once I set it up per the directions....the tripod does not have to be level.

Really not a valid statement. If the mast isn't vertical, then any changes in Azimuth with change the Elevation and the Skew. You are working in three planes and while the Align-a-Sight helps a lot, that is too many changing adjustments to do.


I have been using an Align-a-Sight for 9 years now and it is a great tool but you always need need a vertical mast with a multi-headed dish. Only a single headed dish does not need a vertical mast because there is no Skew to align the multiple heads on the same orbit.


Either modify your tripod like Budd did or get one ready to go from TV4RV.com. Adjustable legs are the only way to get a vertical mast.


I first had the Align-a-Sight for my HughesNet dish which had a Dustyfoot tripod which had no capability to get the mast vertical. Even though that was a single LNBF dish, having Elevation change with Azimuth changes was a killer.


But I found the Align-a-Sight to be a great tool for finding holes in the trees, first by walking a round and looking through the periscope, and then on the dish for seeing the tree limbs that are in the way.


I used an Accutrac 22 Pro (about $90) for several years because it had the feature of generating a 22KHz tone which allows selecting the aiming LNBF (119 WA) without the receiver. If the 119 LNBF isn't selected, you can be aiming with any of the 3 LNBFs. Often, If I am using the tripod, I am also a fair distance away from the receiver so I cannot rely on the receivers tone for aiming. I tried wireless earphones in the early days but the range often wasn't far enough.


Today I have a First Strike FS1 (about $150) that locks in only on the satellite I am aiming for.

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Buddy gave me the Winegard.

With the Hopper - the signal strength display is slow.

Since I wanted something easy, I took 2 Red-solo cups lined with foil and place over 110 and 129 LNB's.


On Hopper - satellite setup signal

Sat LNB 119

Transponder - 11

Install the Sat meter, plum the tri-pod, pre-set antenna

Move side to side

watch meter, adjust, move, adjust meter

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Your system works because you set the receiver properly. With the receiver set properly, the cups over the LNBFs do nothing.


And if the receiver is not set properly, the cups will do no good.


Without the receiver selection the 1119 LNBF, and of the three could be electronically connect, often the default being 110. With 110 selected and foil of the 110 LNBF, you get almost no signal.

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One other thing, too, is that the transponder one needs to use may change from sat to sat. For instance, on 119 right now, it needs to be on 16 or higher. On 129. transponder 19 or higher. 110 usually works above 12. Used to be 9+ but not now. These change for a lot of reasons. the main thing is that if you are having trouble getting a strong enough signal, switch transponders and let the sync and see what is giving the strongest signal for your location. With the simple tone meter, this is done from the receiver (Hopper, VIP211?, etc.) but it is worth the effort to be sure you are on the best transponder if you are struggling

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