Installing FTA as a part time gig? (1 Viewer)

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jerzstyle00

SatelliteGuys Family
Oct 30, 2008
67
0
dallas,tx
Im interested in getting in the business of installing FTA dishes/recievers as a part-time gig.I sort of know the basics of aiming the dish and running the cables but I know there's alot more to learn such as gain/ lose,which switches and dishes to use etc....Would anyone know a good site that's a good learning guide to installing FTA dishes?

Also, can I get an update on the top fta recievers these days? I know it changes on a daily basis.Thanks.
 
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Tron

SatelliteGuys Master
May 6, 2005
6,599
33
Metro New Orleans, LA
Are you located near a major city? That might get you more business installing fixed 97W setups for the ethnic programming. As far as learning goes, this site has probably the most comprehensive collection of satellite knowledge on the web. There's also a good equipment reviews section to answer your questions about receivers.
 

Dishman Dan

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 22, 2008
1,549
0
N/A
Also, can I get an update on the top fta recievers these days? I know it changes on a daily basis.Thanks.

:confused:

The SatHawk and the AZBox are the top receivers here! :up

Lots of great info on them is found here too!

The AZBox has a lot of updates but I do not think that it is everyday!

Only Captain Jack Sparrow was using updates everyday and that is pretty well

shut down! ;)
 

jerzstyle00

SatelliteGuys Family
Oct 30, 2008
67
0
dallas,tx
Are you located near a major city? That might get you more business installing fixed 97W setups for the ethnic programming. As far as learning goes, this site has probably the most comprehensive collection of satellite knowledge on the web. There's also a good equipment reviews section to answer your questions about receivers.

Im about half hour from downtown dallas.And your right 97W looks like a great satelite to aim to as it has a mix of middle eastern,african and vietnamese channels as dallas is very ethnic.Can you recommend a certain reciever ($200 or less)that would work well with this set-up?
 

rv1pop

SatelliteGuys Pro
My recommendation for a supplier is SatelliteAV dba Glorystar as he specializes on G16 97W.

One other thing to consider --- I am in WA. state: my insurance and business licences would run over $6500 a year as a separtate business. Therefore, it is not worth it for part time. As a ministry or doing favors for neighbors the cost is much less ---- BUT --- investigate liability insurance before doing anything for pay - including selling receivers. --- in WA. state. TX may be different. B&O tax on an STB is higher than the profit margin!
 

jerzstyle00

SatelliteGuys Family
Oct 30, 2008
67
0
dallas,tx
My recommendation for a supplier is SatelliteAV dba Glorystar as he specializes on G16 97W.

One other thing to consider --- I am in WA. state: my insurance and business licences would run over $6500 a year as a separtate business. Therefore, it is not worth it for part time. As a ministry or doing favors for neighbors the cost is much less ---- BUT --- investigate liability insurance before doing anything for pay - including selling receivers. --- in WA. state. TX may be different. B&O tax on an STB is higher than the profit margin!

Sounds like you know the business pretty well. Can you tell me what steps I need to take inorder to get started? For example, Im guessing I need to get my sbca certificate first? Then find a liability insurance and then apply for a business license? Also will a supplier sell you equipment without a business license? Thanks for the help.
 

rv1pop

SatelliteGuys Pro
I do not know the laws in Texas! I went to my banker's SBA officer who went over everything I did and did not want to know, and since it is a credit union, the information was free! However, after I got through with him, I decided a standalone money making business for this was not going to do it for me...

Did you know that a ground mounted dish can be called an "attractive hazard" for children and the installer can be held liable if one of the owners children gets hurt falling off of that Jungle Gym? And if the dish is roof mounted and the roof leaks in 25 years, the installer could be held liable? AT LEAST IN WASHINGTON! --- (Unions control the legal system).

Things are different as a ministry, however, I can not sell the equipment with out paying B&O taxes on it.... If my customers order it from out of state and I just install the equipment for a donation to the ministry then I do not have that problem. I do not use ministry funds for personal use, (no paycheck) so that does not become a problem. Of course, most of my installs have been for people who can not pay anything so the install costs me money - for connectors, switches and coax, that they do not get with there order.
And in a way, that answers your last question as an "I do not know!" The ministry has a UBI that I could and do use, but again, that would depend on the states where business is done. Volume has more to do with supplier sales than the business license for most wholesalers that I have worked with, electrical, plumbing and the EPA governs refrigeration.
 

avg1joe

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 27, 2006
677
0
Southern Maine
rv1pop: It sounds like you are doing this as a break-even venture or even at a loss.

Are there any members doing this as a part time, for profit, business? Is there a demand for fta installs? If so, how many did you do in the last month?
 
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Tron

SatelliteGuys Master
May 6, 2005
6,599
33
Metro New Orleans, LA
Im about half hour from downtown dallas.And your right 97W looks like a great satelite to aim to as it has a mix of middle eastern,african and vietnamese channels as dallas is very ethnic.Can you recommend a certain reciever ($200 or less)that would work well with this set-up?

If you are targeting 97W for the ethnic channels, you won't need anything fancy (HD, 4:2:2, etc.)... For a solid SD receiver, I would recommend the Geosat line from SatelliteAV.
 

rv1pop

SatelliteGuys Pro
rv1pop: It sounds like you are doing this as a break-even venture or even at a loss.

Our Business card says"Helping People to Meet the Real Jesus".
Monitarily it is a loss. But "What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?"

My emphasis is on the "Religious Channels" on G-19. As such I am not trying to make a profit - though I wish and pray that I would! I am not 7th Day Adventist, and the local SDA pastor could not understand why I was willing to help him promote his denomination. My question back to him was, "Are you helping people to know and love the real Jesus?' and his answer was yes. Then I told him every one he introduced to the real Jesus was one I did not have to go after!

So my business model has a different 'profit' or 'prophet' target :);)!
POP
 

gdavisloop

SatelliteGuys Family
Mar 3, 2008
74
0
If you don't need HD or DVB-S2, you can probably find good FTA receivers for $99 or maybe a few cents more. My cheapest receiver is a Pansat 4500 and it works pretty well for what it does. The video color is too bright but other than that - it's even got blind scan and works as a DVR if you plug in a USB drive. (I see this receiver actually goes for $120-$150, but there are plenty of knockoffs that are even cheaper).As to insurance and licenses, hopefully Texas is a laze-fare state ;-) because you'll have a lot of trouble making money if you have to pay for those things, especially if you're competing with people who don't. And to find customers, post ads on Craigslist!--Gary
 

Mr Tony

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
295
43
Mankato, MN
sometimes doing an install for someone at a possible loss or break even might be worth it in the long run

There was a couple folks who I did a install of a FTA dish to get a college hockey team's games. Spent some time in the cold and rain to get the dish aimed properly and after I left I had enough money for gas and a decent meal. So I broke even.

Later that year the person e-mailed me that had some hockey tickets and if I wanted them they were mine. These were good seats and cost a fair amount of money and I got them for nothing....I have had that happen numerous times

Another example is I do some DBS installs of larger dishes for a friend of mine. I get gas money but he is also a Twins season ticket holder and once in a while if he can't go he'll give the ticket to me to go. hmmm...Twins play in a brand new beautiful outdoor stadium....I think I come out ahead in the long run :)
 

jerzstyle00

SatelliteGuys Family
Oct 30, 2008
67
0
dallas,tx
sometimes doing an install for someone at a possible loss or break even might be worth it in the long run

There was a couple folks who I did a install of a FTA dish to get a college hockey team's games. Spent some time in the cold and rain to get the dish aimed properly and after I left I had enough money for gas and a decent meal. So I broke even.

Later that year the person e-mailed me that had some hockey tickets and if I wanted them they were mine. These were good seats and cost a fair amount of money and I got them for nothing....I have had that happen numerous times

Another example is I do some DBS installs of larger dishes for a friend of mine. I get gas money but he is also a Twins season ticket holder and once in a while if he can't go he'll give the ticket to me to go. hmmm...Twins play in a brand new beautiful outdoor stadium....I think I come out ahead in the long run :)

One thing I don't understand is why would an installer do an install for no profit or even at a loss (unless its for a friend or something..). I'm not yet in the business but If I do get into it I would have an asking price for an install.
For example, If a customer is interested in 97W my asking price would probably be $400-$500.
My costs: $100 for the dish, $150 for the reciever,$50 switches,cables etc..
Profit would be between $100-$200.
The only question to me since Im not in the business is the demand for dish installations and risks for not having a business license.
 

Mr Tony

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
295
43
Mankato, MN
Doing it as a business is one thing. I do it as a real small time hobby.

The ones I did for the hockey games I didnt charge much because of word of mouth. One person that I did it for told 2 folks about how cool it was to get the games so they bought the equipment and I installed it.

If I did this as a job I'd charge more. Another "word of mouth" way to make a fair amount is if you have a big ethnic area. Word travels fast. Did that at my last job. Had a lady who wanted channels from her home country (I forget but it ended up being those persian/farsi channels). Installed one for her and didnt charge much and within a month I had 4 or 5 more installs of friends of hers who wanted the same thing. They bought the equipment and I installed it.
 

singkwan2004

SatelliteGuys Family
Apr 21, 2009
69
0
texas
One thing I don't understand is why would an installer do an install for no profit or even at a loss (unless its for a friend or something..). I'm not yet in the business but If I do get into it I would have an asking price for an install.
For example, If a customer is interested in 97W my asking price would probably be $400-$500.
My costs: $100 for the dish, $150 for the reciever,$50 switches,cables etc..
Profit would be between $100-$200.
The only question to me since Im not in the business is the demand for dish installations and risks for not having a business license.
I am close to Dallas and I was in business before retired. YOu will need to register a business in your county, then have a tax number from state treasury if you intent to sell as well. You can find supplier which provide them your business name and tax number, you are ready to go for order from them.

Don't be expect you profit for large sum of $$, your profit on equipment is limit, but you will pocket the installation $$ depending the job, sometime I charge more and sometime don't, some job is very easy and sometime very difficulty. use your experience to judge an installation cost. Liability insurance foir million dollars will run about $2000 to $2500 a year. Don't make those cost on equipment, you will get the total cost on the system, plus the shipping on average, this is your cost, and add or charge 25 to 35% over the cost, this is your profit on equipment, don't expect you can charge whatever you wanted to charge, peoples has a sense of how much other dealer will sell the same product .

If you intent to just do the installation, well, you can ask for cash or check only, doing part time on this is no big deal and sometime good side income. I use guarranty my work for 90 days.
 

rv1pop

SatelliteGuys Pro
One thing I don't understand is why would an installer do an install for no profit or even at a loss (unless its for a friend or something..). I'm not yet in the business but If I do get into it I would have an asking price for an install.
For example, If a customer is interested in 97W my asking price would probably be $400-$500.
My costs: $100 for the dish, $150 for the reciever,$50 switches,cables etc..
Profit would be between $100-$200.
The only question to me since Im not in the business is the demand for dish installations and risks for not having a business license.

My responses have been aimed at starting any BUSINESS and for the most part have to do with the state of Washington.

That being said... Licenses and insurances are manitory as far as I am concerned. Texas has the same type of police action for unlicensed businesses as Washinton does, according to relative in CC. $250,000 fine for operating without a business license and the reporting party gets half the fine as a reward for reporting. Each county in Washington has (at least) 2 secret shoppers who call unregistered businesses to get work done, then after they pay the bill they serve them with an arrest warrant and --the beat goes on. A report to the IRS and Social Security is filed while the person is still awaiting arrainment and by the time they get home, they do not have one.

Why do we do this helping for free???? instead of as a business? For me and some others, because we like helping people, because we want people to get involved in the viewing and satisfaction etc. of getting WHAT THEY WANT!
AND this is a hobby to many of us. Hobbies are the most fun when they are shared. Also for me and my wife, there is the reward of someone bringing us a dozen organic eggs every week for helping to save their marriage because they get positive CHRISTIAN TV in their home every hour of every day.:angel::up

POP and MOM
 

avg1joe

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 27, 2006
677
0
Southern Maine
I'm not sure that there is enough of a demand to do this as a business. That is why I was asking what other peoples' experiences were as installers.

Stage 1: Instead of $500 that you get to keep $100 of why don't you try working with used gear. Hunt down used boxes for $25. Find free dishes. Sell the package in your local classifieds for $50, and offer an installation kit (cable, etc) for $25. Tell them you will teach them to aim it once they have it mounted for $50. (I'd demand that they mount it within reach of the ground to avoid liability on your or their part). Their total cost is $75-$125 and your profit is $25-$75.

Stage 2: Find a way of keeping contact with them and once you have established good will let them know everything they can get with a more advanced package and maybe they will upgrade to a newer box, a motor and maybe a better dish to be compatible with the motor. You won't make much profit on the gear, but this will open the door for another install fee.

I'm no lawyer but I think you could do Stage 1 without a business license, just as a personal sale and as a friendly hobbyist. It would be a good way to get experience installing and build a reputation for yourself.

One thing I don't understand is why would an installer do an install for no profit or even at a loss
Sometimes I fix other people's computers for them. If they ask what I charge I often say, "Let's get it fixed and then if you have too much money you can give me some of it". Some folks let me do it for free but others quietly slip me more than I would have asked them for. If computer service was our primary household income I would not be able to afford doing this. If I sell a computer to someone I try to sell much cheaper than everyone else and I set the browser homepage to a site that has a daily Christian message.

Why do things for free? Because you are excited about your religion, or (to a lesser extent) your hobby and want to share the good in your life with them.

If I thought there was steady money to be made installing fta in my area I would already be doing it. I have a hard time finding anyone interested in it for free. They always want their favorite sports or news channel and if satellite doesn't have it, then they aren't interested. If you make a go of it please keep us advised of your adventures and misadventures.
 

jerzstyle00

SatelliteGuys Family
Oct 30, 2008
67
0
dallas,tx
I like your stage1 method but I think I would have a hard timing trying to find people not wanting there 30" dishes.Now finding cheap recievers I should have better luck on that one.
As for finding customers, I'd like to do this as a word by mouth as from what I read doing it as a business can be costly. I already have a job but can use the extra income these days to catch up with the bills. Since my customer interest would be ethnic, I think I should be ok finding customers who would be inetrested unlike like you said sports and news which is mostly cable and subs.
 

avg1joe

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 27, 2006
677
0
Southern Maine
Dish network super dishes and many of the dishes once used for home satellite internet will work for what you are doing. Around 3' in only one direction will often work (oval). There are many threads here about dish hunting and oddball dishes.

Be careful of your reputation though. Fta has a reputation for dish network piracy and using a dish network dish, for legal channels, could lead to misunderstandings.
 

jerzstyle00

SatelliteGuys Family
Oct 30, 2008
67
0
dallas,tx
Dish network super dishes and many of the dishes once used for home satellite internet will work for what you are doing. Around 3' in only one direction will often work (oval). There are many threads here about dish hunting and oddball dishes.

Be careful of your reputation though. Fta has a reputation for dish network piracy and using a dish network dish, for legal channels, could lead to misunderstandings.

They do work? I recall a known member'Iceberg' with this quote "you can use the receiver to get 97W but you need a 30" or larger dish and linear LNB. Those pizza dishes have the wrong LNB type and are too small". So now my question is if a dishnetwork dish can be used to catch 97W, which dish would it be because I didn't know dishnetwork had dishes big as 30 inches.
A pic of the dish would be nice if possible thanks.
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