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jimboeau

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 5, 2004
463
0
Western WI
I'm going to be swinging my 61.5 over to 129 shortly. Does the SF-95 that I see all over ebay for $10 - $12 bucks do the job? How does it tell you whether you are on let's say 121 or 129? I noticed there are SF-99's for sale as well. What's the difference? Thanks...
 
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volkodav

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Nov 16, 2005
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i used it twice you just have to get feel for them they are very touchy. and you have adjust gain just right for max signals
 

KE4EST

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jimboeau said:
Is the 99 model better than the 95 model?

No not really neither one have a clue to what sat your on. You need to at least know sorta where you are and what your angles are. Move the dish till it peaks on the meter and go and check receiver to see if it has the Sat you want, if not move it a little more till you find another one, and then repeat above steps. If you do it right you have a meter built into your receiver just takes a little more effort. And you won't have to buy a meter.
 

Stargazer

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Sep 7, 2003
16,561
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Western WV
The best advice to give you after dealing with these sort of meters for about six or so years are the following ...

When you are not getting a signal in (when it shows it between 0 and 1) then move it to 5 with the adjustor. This will show you the more sensative signals.

Make sure that the mast/pole is plumb to make your numbers true. Set the elevation and skew at the numbers that the manual/Point Dish Signal Screen tells you to for the dish that you have at your zip code.

When it starts showing the needle going over towards 10 adjust it down to around 5 again. If it goes towards 10 again adjust it back down towards 5 while moving the dish. It takes time to get used to doing this. Move the dish to the left and right using the meter until you get it as good as it will go. Lock it down.

Now movie it up and down and get the best according to the meter that you can get. Listen to the pitch of the audio from the tv screen. A pair of walkie talkies with the VOX functionality (automatic voice detection) will help. You can also get a pair of cordless phones to do this.

If you point your dish towards a building/structure/tree then it will act like it is getting a signal in when it is not. The meter will tell you when you get a satellite signal even if it is not the one that you are looking for. Keep this in mind. If you read your compass for the azimuth or look around the neighborhood at where the other satellite dishes are pointing, then you should have a good idea of where the dish should point.

If you do not see the needle between 0 and 1 and not lit up (if it has a built in light) then you may have an issue with the receiver or most likely in a wire or connection. This is how you can test to see if you got a problem between the receiver and the dish before you even begin trying to tune a signal in.

If you put your signal meter on 5 and wave your hand in front of the lnbf then the needle should move over towards 10. This tells you that most likely your lnbf is functioning properly (and tells you which lnbf you have hooked up on the dish).
 

jimboeau

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 5, 2004
463
0
Western WI
Stargazer said:
The best advice to give you after dealing with these sort of meters for about six or so years are the following ...

When you are not getting a signal in (when it shows it between 0 and 1) then move it to 5 with the adjustor. This will show you the more sensative signals.

Make sure that the mast/pole is plumb to make your numbers true. Set the elevation and skew at the numbers that the manual/Point Dish Signal Screen tells you to for the dish that you have at your zip code.

When it starts showing the needle going over towards 10 adjust it down to around 5 again. If it goes towards 10 again adjust it back down towards 5 while moving the dish. It takes time to get used to doing this. Move the dish to the left and right using the meter until you get it as good as it will go. Lock it down.

Now movie it up and down and get the best according to the meter that you can get. Listen to the pitch of the audio from the tv screen. A pair of walkie talkies with the VOX functionality (automatic voice detection) will help. You can also get a pair of cordless phones to do this.

If you point your dish towards a building/structure/tree then it will act like it is getting a signal in when it is not. The meter will tell you when you get a satellite signal even if it is not the one that you are looking for. Keep this in mind. If you read your compass for the azimuth or look around the neighborhood at where the other satellite dishes are pointing, then you should have a good idea of where the dish should point.

If you do not see the needle between 0 and 1 and not lit up (if it has a built in light) then you may have an issue with the receiver or most likely in a wire or connection. This is how you can test to see if you got a problem between the receiver and the dish before you even begin trying to tune a signal in.

If you put your signal meter on 5 and wave your hand in front of the lnbf then the needle should move over towards 10. This tells you that most likely your lnbf is functioning properly (and tells you which lnbf you have hooked up on the dish).

Thanks guys.... I picked up an sf-95 on ebay for $10 and plan on swinging it over to 129 this weekend.... Do I need to do the check switch after I get it peaked using the meter? Then peak it with the receiver even further. What transponders on 129 should I peaking to? Thanks again.
 

Stargazer

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 7, 2003
16,561
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Western WV
Yes you will need to do a check switch after you get it peaked using the meter. You might have a difficult time with 129 though. It might now show up in the signal strength screen as a satellite to choose from. If you hit 119 you might hear it go from the beeping sound that tells you that you have no signal in to a pause which means it is saying that it is searching for available satellites and you have to wait then it might have 129 show up after that then you would try to get 129 in after that.

If you have 129 already listed then that is a lot of hassle out of the way. Having a Dish1000 helps as you can peak it on 119 then do a check switch.
 

volkodav

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 16, 2005
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0
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ralfyguy said:
So what was the Installer doing on my install when he used a lnb with a short wire in his hand as he tightened down the dish outside?

he was aiming the dish and when he was done he should of taken it out
 
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Anole

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 22, 2005
11,819
12
L.A., Calif.
cheap meter is great

I've got a couple of the cheap meters and have learned how to use them.
Much as described above, I keep adjusting for about 8 on the meter....
If the signal goes above 10, turn down the gain to 8...
If the signal goes below 5, re-aim or adjust the knob for about an 8-reading.
Much easier to do than to describe.

When you do find a strong signal, it's wise to check your receiver to make sure you're on the right satellite, and then tune for maximum smoke.
I'm pretty careful about using a compass (and compensating for local magnetic offset) so I hardly ever "find" the wrong bird.

Once you are used to using the meter, you may find that a plumb pole is no longer even a consideration.
I once aimed a Dish-500 using a 15 to 20 degree off-plumb pole with the meters, and it didn't take very long.
Worried the heck out of me 'till I was done.
Having done it once, I'd never hesitate again.
Having said that, please -do- start with a plumb pole.... at least 'till you have the feel for it.

Your mileage may vary.
:)
 

SimpleSimon

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Feb 29, 2004
5,692
3
Florissant, CO
Anole said:
I once aimed a Dish-500 using a 15 to 20 degree off-plumb pole with the meters, and it didn't take very long.
Worried the heck out of me 'till I was done.
Having done it once, I'd never hesitate again.
Having said that, please -do- start with a plumb pole.... at least 'till you have the feel for it.
Right with ya, dude!

Once you understand what's going on, and if you HAVE to, off-plumb upsidedown (but NOT backwards ;)), is just fine. I've seen pics of some rough installs where it just HAD to be done.
 
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