Site Survey Phone App?

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Greg Mueller

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Munich Oktoberfest
Mar 3, 2006
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Datil, NM
I don't have a Smart Phone but my wife does......:)

A friend showed me an app on his smart phone that would identify constellations. You just held it up to the sky and panned it around and it would tell you what you were looking at.

I was just wondering if anyone has written one for doing a site survey for C-Band or KU.
Seems like it would make figuring out were to put your pole pretty easy.
 
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navychop

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Interesting. Got a name for that constellation app?
 

radio

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There are some apps out there, some people here will swear by them. I swore AT the ones I tried, they didn't seem to sync well to GPS location, so the arc was not correct for me, but it's supposed to do what you want, using the camera's phone. It may have been that my phone was too old, I'm still on a Galxy note 3 from Samsung....but look in the app store(s) for satellite alignment or similar wording, quite a few will pop-up. Personally, I miss the old clear lucite simple device with level we used in the 1980's selling birdview...with the arc on the back of the lucite and the user simply looking through it.
 

Brct203

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I tried SatFinder Lite and SatellitePointer.

The apps are fine for elevation. The azimuth is the challenge. The problem is that while the phones are very good at determining location, the compass is a very different story. Maybe it's some magnetic interference at my location, but I tried several phones (iPhones and one android) and on all of them, the compass is very inaccurate, jumping by 10-15 degrees randomly in both directions, even if I make sure it's not withing 3 feet of a metallic mass. Add to that the fact that one of the apps did not seem to take the magnetic-geographic declination into consideration...

So for elevation, which depends only on your location, those apps are perfect as they can be very helpful in determining line-of-sight clearance. But for a serious site survey, they can be useful only if you already know for certain where the south is compared to where you are standing, and use that knowledge to validate (or not) what the app is telling you.
 

harshness

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What app you use may depend on what type of phone you have. It is my understanding that at least one of the apps, Dishpointer, doesn't run under iOS 11.

The same apps used for Ku may also apply to C-band.
 

harshness

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The apps are fine for elevation. The azimuth is the challenge. The problem is that while the phones are very good at determining location, the compass is a very different story. Maybe it's some magnetic interference at my location, but I tried several phones (iPhones and one android) and on all of them, the compass is very inaccurate, jumping by 10-15 degrees randomly in both directions, even if I make sure it's not withing 3 feet of a metallic mass.
At least one of the apps has a setup feature where you can calibrate the device's GPS system.

If you're using an app to shoot through a dish-sized hole in a major obstruction, you're going to suffer.
 

Greg Mueller

Thread Starter
Munich Oktoberfest
Mar 3, 2006
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Datil, NM
I have a wide open area to choose a location from. Compared to WA, NM is paradise.
All the trees are a maximum of 12' tall (if that) Pinon and Juniper and I have 38 acres to pick from (minus the house location).

For azimuth I like to use the north star. Tie a long string around the pole and go out at night and use the pole as a pivot point. When the pole is directly under polaris I pin my end of the string to the ground and that is about as north south as you can get.

The only thing I have to think about then is maximum coax run, whatever that is.
 

Greg Mueller

Thread Starter
Munich Oktoberfest
Mar 3, 2006
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Datil, NM
Before I quit using my BUD I found an Ajax H to H mount that I fixed on and got to work back and forth although I never got around to using it.
I am hoping to use it in Datil......:party
 
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wvman

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I have a wide open area to choose a location from. Compared to WA, NM is paradise.
All the trees are a maximum of 12' tall (if that) Pinon and Juniper and I have 38 acres to pick from (minus the house location).

For azimuth I like to use the north star. Tie a long string around the pole and go out at night and use the pole as a pivot point. When the pole is directly under polaris I pin my end of the string to the ground and that is about as north south as you can get.

The only thing I have to think about then is maximum coax run, whatever that is.
I wouldn't get too concerned over distance on coax. I use RG6 Quad Shield and I have added a 1000ft roll between the dish and receiver as a test and still got a good signal, but most installations are under 300 feet. Regular RG6 will handle that just fine. As for locating the satellites, a good inclinometer and compass will work just fine, but you must remember to figure in the difference between true and magnetic north.

DishPointer will give you the azimuth and elevation to the satellites. Satellite Finder / Dish Alignment Calculator with Google Maps | DishPointer.com Here's an example:

Address
: Broadway, New York
Latitude: 40.8100°
Longitude: -73.9620°

Satellite: 91W GALAXY 17 (G-17)
Elevation: 39.7°
Azimuth (true): 205.1°
Azimuth (magn.): 218.0°

If you enter your address and the satellite your looking for, it will do the rest. The example only shows the town and state, but you can enter your 911 address and it will find it. I use it all the time.
 

Greg Mueller

Thread Starter
Munich Oktoberfest
Mar 3, 2006
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85
Datil, NM
I noticed a spool of quad RG6 at HD a few years back that was marked WAY WAY down so I scooped it up knowing that I would want it when we finally got to move to NM.
Never used it but heard it's a little hard to mess with. I use those compression fittings for coax.
 

KE4EST

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I like the dishpointer app the best. However, it is 20 bucks and no longer supported. Does not mean it will not work, but may not work with newer versions of software. Works fine here with the newest version of Android, but I do not know about iOS. If your phone appears to be off you need to calibrate it and remember not to be near any metal structures or in any heavy RF environments. In other words, don't stand right up against your dish, back off from it a bit.
 

skysurfer

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Dec 1, 2006
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You will get 34.5 to 135 if you position it right. That's what I get here in NM.
Or you are like me up near the Sandias and my arc gets cut off at about 50 deg W due to mountain and tall 20-30 foot trees (no scrub brush here like our forum friend from Datil!)
 

harshness

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The Android apps work on both tablet and phone. Calibrating a tablet's location system can be a little more aerobic. ;)
 
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