Which method(s) do you use to point your dishes?

Discussion in 'Free To Air (FTA) Discussion' started by comfortably_numb, Dec 30, 2018.

  1. comfortably_numb

    comfortably_numb Topic Starter Dogs have owners, cats have staff
    Pub Member / Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    Posts:
    5,988
    Likes Received:
    5,837
    Location:
    Missouri/Kansas
    Just curious what my other FTA friends do when their dishes need to be re-pointed or you need to make a fine adjustment.

    I used to take a small TV outside to point my dishes. Then I started using a Slingbox connected to my Amiko receiver. I take an iPad outside and set it behind the dish.

    Another way I'm using is a Zmodo $30 wifi camera. Point the camera at the TV (inside the house), then load the app on the iPad.

    The Slingbox method has about a 5-7 second lag, which isn't horrible when I remember there is a lag!

    The Zmodo cam has a near-instant response time, so it's much easier to make fine adjustments with it.

    IMG_0221.JPG IMG_0220.JPG IMG_0217.JPG IMG_0216.JPG
     
    k.r., IntelPennny4, cee and 4 others like this.
  2. Magic Static

    Magic Static FTA Geek
    Staff Member HERE TO HELP YOU! Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    Posts:
    6,376
    Likes Received:
    3,299
    Location:
    Montana
  3. KE4EST

    KE4EST SatelliteGuys Is My Second Home
    Staff Member HERE TO HELP YOU!

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2004
    Posts:
    24,242
    Likes Received:
    4,568
    Location:
    EM75xb
    Same as Magic Static above. I use a meter specifically designed for finding satellites.
     
    Wescopc and Titanium like this.
  4. comfortably_numb

    comfortably_numb Topic Starter Dogs have owners, cats have staff
    Pub Member / Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    Posts:
    5,988
    Likes Received:
    5,837
    Location:
    Missouri/Kansas
    What does one of those cost?
     
  5. Magic Static

    Magic Static FTA Geek
    Staff Member HERE TO HELP YOU! Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    Posts:
    6,376
    Likes Received:
    3,299
    Location:
    Montana
    That one is older tech not available but still supported. I just updated the transponder list last week when they emailed me. It was about $800 back when. The new meter they have is modular. You only add the components you need. Very cool. Scott Greczkowski was selling his AI TurboS2, a real steal. Don't know if he still has it.

    But it all depends on how you look at it ;) Right after I bought mine I did some repoints for a couple roofers and a DTV employee and recovered a big chunk of my investment. :)
     
    raydio, KE4EST and comfortably_numb like this.
  6. Cham

    Cham VE4GLS
    Pub Member / Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Posts:
    2,105
    Likes Received:
    671
    Location:
    Boonies
    I use mostly EBSpro and my cell phone. I have also used the Amiko A3 with cell phone but it has been out of commission for quite a while now. I like to see the signal through my receiver chain (feedlines, switches, etc) when making adjustments. I also have a SatHero meter for aiming if I have no receiver to connect.
     
  7. comfortably_numb

    comfortably_numb Topic Starter Dogs have owners, cats have staff
    Pub Member / Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    Posts:
    5,988
    Likes Received:
    5,837
    Location:
    Missouri/Kansas
    Same here :)
     
  8. primestar31

    primestar31 SatelliteGuys Master

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    Posts:
    7,525
    Likes Received:
    3,691
    Location:
    Beta Omicron Delta III
    I can now usually eyeball it and get a signal pretty much immediately, especially on c-band. Then I can use either my Sathero, or my other older generic Chinese digital meter to lock it down. In the past I've done the camera and such, cranked up the tone and listened for changes, yell to the wife (worthless) or go in and out 10,000 times after a tiny move, (pure insanity, but can work IF you've done it enough).
     
    cee, raydio and comfortably_numb like this.
  9. comfortably_numb

    comfortably_numb Topic Starter Dogs have owners, cats have staff
    Pub Member / Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    Posts:
    5,988
    Likes Received:
    5,837
    Location:
    Missouri/Kansas
    :oldlaugh
     
  10. Titanium

    Titanium AI6US
    Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    May 23, 2013
    Posts:
    5,907
    Likes Received:
    5,751
    Location:
    Meadow Vista, Northern California
    I am selling my AI Turbo S2 with soft cover, shoulder strap and charger. Great condition! I'm just in the Christmas spirit! First $200 :biggrin

    Excellent support, frequent updates and channel lists.
     
    raydio, comfortably_numb and KE4EST like this.
  11. comfortably_numb

    comfortably_numb Topic Starter Dogs have owners, cats have staff
    Pub Member / Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    Posts:
    5,988
    Likes Received:
    5,837
    Location:
    Missouri/Kansas
    I wish it was tax season already!! :D
     
    Titanium likes this.
  12. raydio

    raydio K4ECP
    Supporting Founder Pub Member / Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    Posts:
    601
    Likes Received:
    424
    Location:
    Rio Rancho, NM
    I still drag the receiver and TV out to the dish -
     
    comfortably_numb likes this.
  13. raydio

    raydio K4ECP
    Supporting Founder Pub Member / Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    Posts:
    601
    Likes Received:
    424
    Location:
    Rio Rancho, NM
    Brian PM'd you -
     
    MikeI, Titanium and comfortably_numb like this.
  14. MikeI

    MikeI SatelliteGuys Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2004
    Posts:
    3,083
    Likes Received:
    123
    Sathero meter. Works for c and ku. Raydio, it saves a lot of time. I keep,mine plugged in 24/7 in kitchen for easy access to backyard when needed.

    Sent from my VS995 using the SatelliteGuys app!
     
    raydio and comfortably_numb like this.
  15. Brct203

    Brct203 SatelliteGuys Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2016
    Posts:
    653
    Likes Received:
    570
    Location:
    Connecticut
    For a while I did Skype between iPhone and iPad but the lag was annoying and there was of course no way to control the receiver through that. So I usually end up taking the receiver out and connect it to a computer monitor via an HDMI-DVI cable. No audio but works great, just a bit difficult to see in full sun.

    I have a motorized 10-foot Winegard for C and Ku, and a motorized 120cm for Ku (using an old Orbitron polar mount). So I also bring out the positionner(s) if needed. I have a waterproof connection box on each dish pole, where I can connect the receiver. I also have "aviation-style" connectors for the actuator and servo lines, so I can easily plug and unplug as needed. Bringing all that stuff out to the dish is still a pain and a bit time-consuming though.
     
    raydio and comfortably_numb like this.
  16. comfortably_numb

    comfortably_numb Topic Starter Dogs have owners, cats have staff
    Pub Member / Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    Posts:
    5,988
    Likes Received:
    5,837
    Location:
    Missouri/Kansas
    Would be neat to see photos of your setup sometime :)
     
  17. pacificrim

    pacificrim SatelliteGuys Pro
    Pub Member / Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Posts:
    1,019
    Likes Received:
    886
    Location:
    West Coast Canada
    Like KE4EST, I also use a AI S2 Turbo meter.
    It makes pointing so much easier - and to a decimal point vs using a set top box.

    I did a complete repoint on my 10 ft KTI on C and Ku dish today. So much easier!
     
  18. danristheman

    danristheman SatelliteGuys Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    Posts:
    2,897
    Likes Received:
    945
    Location:
    85w
    I just use the buildings across the parking lot. They line up with the satellites.
     
    raydio likes this.
  19. ancient

    ancient SatelliteGuys Pro

    Joined:
    May 12, 2014
    Posts:
    280
    Likes Received:
    102
    Location:
    USA
    If I am repointing a dish at a new satellite I hook up an old receiver inside the house and stand out at the dish and move it while someone else is inside watching the signal strength, and they just call out the signal quality numbers to me using our cell phones (before cell phones we used walkie-talkies). It's a little laggy but it can work if you take it slow. I have also taken the receiver out to the dish in the past.

    However, if I can already receive the satellite but the signal is getting weak, such as after a windstorm that moves the dish slightly, I just start recording a currently-playing program in Tvheadend. Then I take my tablet computer out to the dish and bring up Tvheadend's status page, and watch the two bar graphs for that channel. By making small and careful adjustments, keeping in mind there may be a 2-3 second lag, I can peak the signal using those bar graphs. This only works if you already have the a channel on that satellite scanned in to Tvheadend, and you have to be careful not to completely lose the signal for more than a few seconds or Tvheadend may give up and stop recording, and then the bar graphs will disappear. So this method is really only good for peaking an existing signal, and only if you are using satellite tuner cards rather than a standalone receiver (unless the receiver can show signal strengths via a web interface). The biggest problem with this method is that you can't hold the tablet in a place where the dish is between it and the WiFi router, otherwise the Wifi connection strength takes a big drop and you might lose the connection to the tablet. So if you have someone else that can hold the tablet for you, it's a big help.

    I know some people will say that the graphs in Tvheadend aren't accurate and I agree with that to some degree, but they do show a relative signal most of the time and usually it's accurate enough to peak the dish. If you have tuner cards installed in a computer but are not using the Tvheadend software, but you can see the graphs in a screen on the program that runs on the computer (as opposed to in a web page as in Tvheadend), then you can probably set up remote desktop sharing on your backend computer and then run a VNC client on the tablet or your phone to see what is happening (I think one such client is called TrueVNC). Just keep in mind that there will likely be a noticeable lag between moving the dish and when the bar graph changes so make slow, small moves, especially when you're trying to get that last 1% bump.
     
    Brct203 and comfortably_numb like this.
  20. beavs2112

    beavs2112 Addicted to Legal FTA
    Pub Member / Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2010
    Posts:
    813
    Likes Received:
    244
    Location:
    London Ontario Canada
    I use this meter XR3_HeadOn-1conn-001.jpg It has a wifi option so I can connect it in the house and use the Android app on my phone outside.
     
    raydio, Titanium and comfortably_numb like this.

Separate names with a comma.

More...