What are the tools as related to the FTA hobby that you can't live with out? (1 Viewer)

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Wms-Stargate

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We have quite a few test bench threads over on KLOV. Right down to pictures of everyone's test bench.
So I got to wondering whats on your test bench? These kind of threads really help a newbie decide what tools we really need to buy. Also the quality of the tools is very important too.

So what are the tools as related to the FTA hobby that you can't live with out?
 
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Magic Static

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FTA is a multi-faceted hobby. Many people are attracted to it for totally different reasons. Some people are after the unusual programming, feeds, etc. They are not that interested in the mechanics of the hobby. I like to tinker and work with the mechanics of the hobby and not that interested in watching TV. For me, the number one tool is a good satellite signal meter. I use an Applied Instruments meter. They make the best ones. I have the AI TurboS2. The next best tool is my digital oscilloscope / multi-meter. Being a retired mechanic and having all those hand tools really helps too. ;) Repurposing satellite equipment is fun too and I find a drill-press invaluable in refitting and making brackets and such. Of course you will want tools for making and running coax cables.
 

Wms-Stargate

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I wish I wouldn't have sold my 2335 dual trace. One of my girls cousins says he has signal meter. Not sure yet if it's a gift or a loaner. It wont be a cheap one tho, as these 4 brothers installed satellites for a living. They all now work for Verizon now lol. I have decent multi meter and a few logic probes. I almost bought a drill press a few weeks ago but opted for a welder and a small vise instead. Maybe in a couple weeks i will go back and talk to the guy on craigslist.

I am in the process of building a 2x72 beltsander out of an old treadmill. That's going to be sweet!

I was definitely looking for model & part #'s for-sure. Right down to good coax cable tools and measurement tools for pointing dishes.

Thank's for your post.
Bill
 

Magic Static

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A lot of people have a cat for those hard to find "birds" ;)

CatScan.jpg
 

Radioguy41

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I agree with the meter and some other stuff but to me the first good tool you need is actually 2 tools. First, you need a good compass, preferably a lenticular one, to find a true south starting point. Then I switch to a magnetic degree indicator to set accurately all the different dish and pole settings. Then the meter comes into the picture. ;)
 

Wms-Stargate

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I agree with the meter and some other stuff but to me the first good tool you need is actually 2 tools. First, you need a good compass, preferably a lenticular one, to find a true south starting point. Then I switch to a magnetic degree indicator to set accurately all the different dish and pole settings. Then the meter comes into the picture. ;)

Do you have any model numbers for these jeepguy?
 
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Radioguy41

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I have a WWII Army lenticular compass and the magnetic degree indicators can be found at just about any hardware/supply joint. Amazon has what seems to be a nice digital one (mine is analog). I'm thinking of getting one of these. Easier to get the numbers right with these old eyes.

Amazon product
 
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Titanium

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If you have a smartphone, several apps are frequently used on mine.

Dishpointer: overlays satellite positions over the camera and provides compass/elevation headings.

Stanley Level: The phone becomes a digital level (inclinometer)

Other useful tools

Coax stripping tool: similar to this for RG6 https://www.ebay.com/itm/231803475308

Compression fittings: model depends on coax type. Each type of coax cable has a different dielectric and jacket diameter. Example for quad shield RG6 - https://www.ebay.com/itm/291968767314

Compression tool: example - https://www.ebay.com/itm/252411333715

I also use an Applied Instrument Turbo S2 meter. Expensive, but worth it to me as I use it daily. The meter in the satellite receiver is fine for most, but lugging a TV to the dish location can be a bother if you are a frequent visitor to play with the dish. Linux Enigma2 based receivers have a smartphone/tablet app that can display signal readings and remotely control the receiver/dish. An option is to buy a quality "light duty" DVBS2 meter. I am sure that some members can recommend a good meter.
 

richyrich

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I use elbow grease; ladders; regular grease; various hand tools; meters are for new installs and dish programming; when no work has been done already. and then how to remember or push the parts together into a new working system. Keeping a system working after the work has already been done on equipment is really a test; because it already is working and these type adjustments are only needed to install new toys to the assembled and working system; the satellite dish is very high maintenance; and has many new types and brands to add to them; mpeg 4 or h.264 are just some of them. I always say; go bigger in dish size until you can go no bigger!

Once you need to test a system that is or is not working; then a knack for electricity and how meter's work; and causes for something to need a "fix" or "repair" like receiver needs reset/programming or the tree that grew 2 feet got in the way; that is what the cause is in repair; is what needs fixing usually is needed to be found (like water in cabling; or water in lnbf; or snow on dish; or ice from roof fell onto dish) I use many types of meters; from basic signal to ohm meter and digital DVB-S/S2 meter; and spectrum analyzer's and USB cable/laptop/internet and so many other tools; like welders/ but of course; I also use my hands on my computer at the bench the most these days.

These days; if the dish moves even 1/4 inch from where it was since new; the system quits working or performing its required duty (my house sways to the wind more than this every day of the week; but continues to stay on the property) are the most common problem a satellite dish has; let alone other weather phenom's; like car wrecks, dog jumps and bends little dish or eats the remote; or other daily events (hard rain) that occur every day of the week...Fires in S. Cal ;;;neighbor shoots dish with shotgun/multiple times; car plows through fence into dish and home;;The alien spaceship broke into our property and stole the dish;;;; water running into house through cable hole;connector needs replacement; connector loose on receiver/switch; lnbf broken; you really need a pro to do the work to make it last a while; and after about 5 years of doing all this work daily; you will amass what I call "the touch" and have gained "the feel" and professional ethics with the required tools and safety protocol and procedures to do a very detailed effort in satellite tv; let alone how long it lasts depending on it. What you perform as a daily chore is the practiced pro stuff you can and do at your home; for your home; and you have practiced until it is second nature. Any plans, add-ons; need the proper practices to be performed; and it is this work that needs the proper tools to be used perfectly every time to accomplish them; then what is not in the instructions (details, details, details) that the feeling is, planned, practiced, then done!
 
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Wms-Stargate

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Here is a tip, don't buy the dishpointer droid app from the author's web site as it's abandon ware now. I should have known better and I wasted my money. However if i had bought it from the google play store i might be a lot better shape. Then at least when I sign into my google account it would update what ever device I am on. It's hard lesson to learn and I am still debating if i should buy the darn app again thru the playstore. I know the app fired right up on my little droid phone and it still works but I highly doubt it's accurate. As it says birds that are supposed to be west of me are showing east and all kinds of other bs.
 

KE4EST

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Yes, it is sad the guy has abandoned it. :( I have tried contacting him for months with no response. The last time I did talk to him he said he doesn't have the time anymore, since he got married and such....that was about 2 years ago. We had a dedicated support forum on here for him also. We finally took it down, since he stopped logging in.

However, I find it to be pretty accurate, and one of my favorite satellite applications. Make sure you calibrate your phone, if not it will be off.
 

Wms-Stargate

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He should at least pull the app from his website. I feel I got ripped trust me. There should be some kind of warning for this or possibly in some of the sigs here at SG.us, it's just not right. Anyway no more soap box on this matter from me. I will just man up and buy the darn thing again.
 

KE4EST

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I'll give you a tip also. Once you get it from the Google Play store and get it working. Great!

Tip:
When you get ready to buy a new phone, make damn sure to deregister it from the phone, while it still has internet access.
There is a place to do this in the settings.
Then when you get your new phone install the app and then go in and put in your name and password and code, and you will not have to buy it again.
If you forget and de-activate the phone you will have to buy it again.
The owner of the app can go in and do it for you, if you forget...BUT since he is no longer on board, you will have no choice but to purchase it again if you really want it.​
 

Wms-Stargate

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Pain in the butt man that's for-sure! Lesson learned about the registration / deactivation process.

What is it exactly that an android device needs for it to work properly? Google play store said it would work with my phone however it did not or should i say it was not accurate at all. No matter how we calibrated it.
 

Wms-Stargate

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Dec 9, 2016
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East Coast
I have a WWII Army lenticular compass and the magnetic degree indicators can be found at just about any hardware/supply joint. Amazon has what seems to be a nice digital one (mine is analog). I'm thinking of getting one of these. Easier to get the numbers right with these old eyes.

Amazon product



I just picked up an old army compass from the 60's off fleabay. I was on youtube checking out some of the reviews and everyone likes this one. Thanks for the post!

 

Titanium

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Are compass and level apps accurate on the phone? Uses the same sensors as the compass and level. Have read that there are some Android phones that are horrendous with apps access the shared hardware / OS data.
 

Wms-Stargate

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Dec 9, 2016
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Are compass and level apps accurate on the phone? Uses the same sensors as the compass and level. Have read that there are some Android phones that are horrendous with apps access the shared hardware / OS data.

That's a great idea man. I will install some of the other types of apps and see where i stand across 3 different devices. Then I can make a decision if I am going to buy dishpointer again.

Brian I have looked all over for the Stanley app you mention. You must have an iphone?
 
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