Satellite installer tools of the trade.

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Snipr4x4

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Guru
Mar 9, 2004
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So what tools will I need I'm about to start working for a friend and wanted to start getting the required tools for typical DirecTV installs. I was a car stereo/Alarm installer before as well as a Service tech at a Honda dealership so I have a ton of various tools in my rollaways but I'll need to buy some for this new job.

which signal strength meters do you guys use & recommend ? I was told about the Birdog but its a bit pricey I may have to wait on that item.
 
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wobbie

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 22, 2004
569
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Accutrac works for me. About $140.00 with charger and case. Al;so get yourself an inclinometer, no installer should be without one.
 
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Snipr4x4

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Guru
Mar 9, 2004
127
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What length extension ladders do you carry on your truck ?
 
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wobbie

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 22, 2004
569
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I carry a 28 ft extension, but if you want to start cheaper a 20 footer should do. I also have a 13 ft combo ladder, either extends up 13 feet or opens into a 7 ft step ladder. Both are fiberglass.
 
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022266

SatelliteGuys Guru
Apr 25, 2004
124
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North Carolina
I love my Digisat II... But If I needed a new one I would probably go with the Acutrac 22 Pro... You can get all sats when you have the 101 & 119 lined up 110 hits automatically since its in between the 2...

If your only going with 1 ladder then I would get a 28'
I use a 20' and have a 32' and 6' step ladder,
get fiberglass!
 
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Snipr4x4

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Guru
Mar 9, 2004
127
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Cool thanks guys
I bought a Werner 24' fiberglass, 16' Fiberglass, 7' folding fiberglass & 2' plastic step ladder to be able to place the other ladders on top of my truck. Do you guys think the Acutrac22 Pro is real delicate ? I was told by a coworker that after one drop its a gonner.
 
mbarnes

mbarnes

SatelliteGuys Pro
For you Accutrak users, does the tone change volume or frequency respective to signal strength? I use a Bulz-I meter now. I can't detect the tone level changing on many cheap meters I have used (lousy hearing), but the Bulz-I changes frequency, the stronger the signal, the higher the tone. Much easier for me to hear.

Also, will the Accutrak somehow ID the satellite?
 
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sateliteinstaller

New Member
Jan 25, 2011
2
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MAINE
I would def go for the BIRDOG, I have tried other meters but keep going back to my trusty BIRDOG. Also you want a go inclinomter. SUUNTO is one of the best, but also kinda pricey
 
kjlued

kjlued

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 30, 2010
1,134
0
In your head
The first thing anyone needs before getting in this field is a psych evaluation.
If you fail, you are probably insane enough to do it.

lol

Other then basic hand tools that most people have. (1/2" and 7/16" wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers, wire cutters, etc)

I used the Acu22 when I did Wildblue because it was the only digital meter at the time that did WB and worked fine for Direct.
However, I would still recommend biting the bullet and buying the Birdog

Your ladders are more then sufficiently covered.
In fact, all I use is a 20 ft (little giant style Werner).
Goes from 5' to 9' a frame and up to 20' extension.
It also has a nice wide bottom so is very stable.
I get a little crap sometimes about how I need to get a 28 ft but the fact is, I have never walked a job because my ladder was too short unless it would have taken a 30-40' ladder.

Inclinometer is a must. Suunto as mentioned is the preferred one in the industry.
However, there are cheaper ones. But the few bucks saved may just not be worth it.

Cable toner or mapper (pretty cheap). You can get away without one if you want to plug receivers in and lick lines.
(don't do this with a power inserter unless you like pain lol)

Cordless drill (have spare battery)
Cordless impact (not a must but I wouldn't do the job without one and all those that I have convinced to get one has no idea how they got along for so long without it)

various dill bits wood/metal and concrete. Both long and short ones.
Flex bit

Post hole diggers and shovel

Fiber rods or fish tape (I prefer the fiver rods)

half a dozen hollow shaft aluminum arrows (yes I am serious).
Get them big enough to slide the cable in.
Cut the end off on a diagonal.
You can use them to run cables through hollow walls and find holes in floors without cutting away insulation

Various nut drivers both hand held and for the impact/drill
(Get hollow shaft for hand held ones)

There are tons of little tools and trick tools that different people use.
You will probably find yourself hitting the hardware store quit often in the beginning so set an extra couple hundred dollars aside for other tools and supplies.
 
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noelmem1

New Member
Jan 31, 2011
2
0
Baguio city Philippines
accutrac pro 22 MKII

So what tools will I need I'm about to start working for a friend and wanted to start getting the required tools for typical DirecTV installs. I was a car stereo/Alarm installer before as well as a Service tech at a Honda dealership so I have a ton of various tools in my rollaways but I'll need to buy some for this new job.

which signal strength meters do you guys use & recommend ? I was told about the Birdog but its a bit pricey I may have to wait on that item.


I have a meter like this but the signal reading dips as a satellite is hit. Aftersales service said there is no problem with this meter . Well they should have made the meter min hold so at least it will be useful. I do not recommend the model . Meter is no good - at least the one I bought , aftersales assessment is no good .

noelmem1 - in Baguio City - Philippines.
 
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noelmem1

New Member
Jan 31, 2011
2
0
Baguio city Philippines
finally got the meter working...the 22khz setting defaulting to OFF , with 22khz ON , now there is 3% increase in signal when the satellite NSS11 is hit, the analog peak meter is even better for shooting satellites than this. Get other meters .
 
kjlued

kjlued

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 30, 2010
1,134
0
In your head
I have had no issues with my Birdog other then that fact the ports kept coming lose.
I have had to pull it apart several times.
Others though do not seem to have this issue.
 

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