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Anyone using a water filled weight to anchor portable sat tripod


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Low tech quest:

It seems to me that the easiest solution for anchoring a portable sat dish is some sort of water filled collapsible container(s) system.

 

Of course, it would also help to have a collapsible mount or tripod with a much wider stance than what one typically can find.

 

A 5 gallon water bag weights about 40lbs+ and I figure with the right stance 3 of these should keep a tripod upright in some pretty strong gusts. I don't want anything that penetrates the ground or requires a relatively flat horizontal surface for obvious reasons.

 

Right now, I am using 3 cat litter plastic buckets filled with water but they really look tacky. They really do better than anything else I have tried. I just don't want to lose the space they require when we move.

 

Is anyone using any kind of water filled bags for ballast? I have seen a few on Amazon and elsewhere, but they are not too friendly as anything but dead weight to lay on top of something else.

 

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I used two 5 gallon Lowes/Home Depot buckets filled about half each for the Hughesnet Dish and two filled about a third filled each for the Dish tripod. I used two instead one full bucket for stability.

 

The handles made for easy connection with bungee cords. The dishes have stood through 60 mph winds.

 

The buckets stack and I put some sundry loose stuff inside for traveling.

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I used surveyors tripods for my dish bases with 5 gallon plastic jerry cans for weight. I found that in gusty winds the tripod base would shift and throw the alignment off (Hughes was really picky) and rain would sink the legs. I tried a couple things until a friend came up with a really nice base design made from 1x4 and a hinge with a removable pin. I added some tie-downs so I could lash it to the tripod and some reinforcement around the leg mounting holes to reduce splitting.

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A lot of places we stayed wouldn't allow any stakes in the ground so we had to find something more universal.

 

Level was often an issue too, with the surveyor tripod it was a simple matter to get the head perfectly level.

 

We had tried chaining the legs, that did keep them from spreading but if you got a gusty wind into the dish the front leg would walk in and flip the dish over on its back.

 

This is a not very good photo of our setup.

 

photo10010_v1_zpsukren7i9.jpg

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To continue this Bucketology . . .

 

After a really good wind off the Sierra Nevadas, the handle on my Lowes bucket gave up the ghost and the bucket full of water dropped off the dish. Then, of course, the dish went over:

homedepotbucket11.jpg

 

So a hardware store visit & a few beers later . . .

homedepotbucket21.jpg

 

The hardware alone should now keep the tripod steady.

homedepotbucket3.jpg

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I don't have picture, but will try to describe our method. We purchased three punching ballons (sold in party supplies at the dollar stores). They were easy to fill and empty with water and were reasonably durable. We put each balloon into double bagged plastic grocery bags. We had the Winegard type tripod with three horizontal braces from the legs to the center post bracket. We put a heavy duty spring clip on each brace and hung a bagged balloon on each. It was a system that took up virtually no room when stored.

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Now have a "carry out", so don't worry about it any more. Finally discovered when we had a surveyor tripod, that you could just lay the legs out flat and it couldn't blow over. Sometimes had to use a couple of blocks to raise a low lying leg to level it out.

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