I have service with Directv and I am hoping to get feedback on how the Slimline HD dish tripod setup has worked for you. My current setup is an 18” legacy dish on a 5’ aluminum tripod which only takes about 10-15 minutes to set up utilizing a Winegard SF-1000 satellite signal finder meter. I would like to upgrade to HD however, according to DTV tech support, a Slimline dish on a tripod will NOT function. I was told it wasn’t possible because in addition to azimuth and elevation, there’s tilt to consider; which you cannot acquire while the dish is mounted on the tripod. I was advised that I would have to invest in a $200 satellite signal finder meter and to be prepared on spending from 1 – 2 hours just to set it up. Additionally, I was also warned that even if I did find the satellite signal, a slight movement of just 1mm could throw off the alignment and that it wouldn’t be worth the investment or the trouble. The DTV tech did mention the Winegard Trav'ler DirecTV Slimline Satellite Dish but it’s definitely not an avenue I’d take.
Please let me know of your experiences in different environments; if there are some minor difficulties or if it’s as problematic as the tech continued to emphasize. Thank you in advance for all advice.
KAMPING KRAZIES San Diego, CA 2010 Keystone Springdale 267BHS 2005 2500HD Chevrolet Silverado
HD is not much harder to do. I have a tri-pod with a slimline dish and can set up in usually ten minutes or less. Here's what I do.
1. Find your settings by entering your zip code into the DTV receiver.
2. Set the tilt and elevation on the dish using those settings.
3. Mount the dish on your tri-pod. IT IS CRITICAL THAT IT BE LEVEL IN ALL DIRECTIONS. I use a bubble level on the top of the mast to make this easy.
4. Swing the dish in the general direction of the compass setting and hook up your signal meter.
5. Set your receiver to the signal strength setting and have your spouse watch the settings after your signal meter starts to indicate you've found the 101 satellite.
6. After you've peaked the 101 satellite, fine tune the others (if needed, I rarely have to do this if I'm dead level).
Mark & Cheryl
2008 Bounder 36D
2013 GMC Terrain Toad
Another example of DTV not knowing anything about RV'ers. I use a tripod and slimline dish all the time and agree with all that chezhead said except I use lat-lon vs zip code. I found a 5 degree difference one time and was looking in the wrong place for sat 101.
I use the heavy duty tripod system from TV4RV.com and it works great. My current set was done in early October last year and I have never had to reset it and it was missed by 1/4 mile by a tornado a month ago so it will stand up to pretty good wind. I do hang a half a cinder block under it to help keep it stable. So far that works great.
If you set your tripod up perfectly level using a bubble level, you can find sat 101 very easily. I have actually hit it first attempt with a 95% signal and I don't use a meter at all since I have the SWM system and none of the cheap meters will work.
What was that tech smoking? Never believe what a CSR tells you. Listen to the people who do it all the time here. HD is no harder or really any different than SD. The dish is bigger so you need a more stable tripod and you need set the Tilt which requires zero skill. As you managed to get here and post, you have already earned your official DirecTV Tilt Setting Certificate.
You can't beat a TV4RV.com HD Combo Kit for value and function. Trust us!
ALL meters will work with DirecTV's newer SWM on dish technology. No need to worry about that unless that is what you are using. The issue is that SWM on dish requires 21v to power it. Receivers only feed 18v so a gizmo called a Power Inserter (PI) is added to the mix. When using "less-expensive", $5 - $100 or so, a glorified splitter, an ASL-1, is used that has connections for the dish, the meter, power for the meter (if required), the 101, and the 119 (if required). $20 and helpful but not really necessary as edatlanta said.
I recommend duplicating what you have at home when starting out. Monkey see, monkey do. A SWM dish will have only one wire port on the dish while a non-SWM has four. SWM on dish will feed eight tuners over one wire while non-SWM will feed four over four wires. DVR's have TWO tuners. Have more tuners you need what I call "old" SWM which are gizmos labeled SWM-8, SWM-16, SWM-32 or combinations for installs supporting multiple receivers.
Tell us what you will use:
SWM or non-SWM Slimline?
What DVR's/receivers you want to take on the road?
and we will help you go from there.
If you have $1600 Winegard sells an SK-3005 roof-mount which will automatically find the birds. It does not work in-motion. If you park under a tree it goes kaput too.
As stated, TV4RV.com builds and sells great portable tripod kits. About $150. Bring your own Dish. People claim you can do it cheaper but you won't have EVERYTHING needed nor his clever leveling and aiming systems or mast assembly.
Setting up in ten minutes or less requires knowing the settings for the locale, a plumb mast, and a dead-on shot at the 101. Do that and you will have signal. Cut a corner and you will loose beer-drinking time.
Don & Louise
2000 Coachman Catalina 330 MSB /F53
2008 Impala- Remco Lube Pump , Blue OX tow bar & Brake Buddy
Winegard Bell Expressview HD tv
SL3 HD- TV4RV tripod Direct HD or Dish VIP211K / external Hard drive
If you have an iPhone or Droid, get DishpointerAR. It super imposes the sats on your camera when you point it at the sky. Very helpful in finding a hole in trees, etc.
I agree it is just a tad harder than the old single LNB dish. I bought a surveyors tripod for $40 (that is all they cost), mounted the dish to a 12" X 4" 1/4 thick aluminum plate with j-bolts and mount it to the tripod with a big eyebolt upside down. Total cost under $50.
I already had a meter, compass and a bubble level.
If you buy an align-a-site, you don't have to level the tripod.
I have the Slimline HD. I made a little stand out of PVC pipe. It takes about 5 minutes to complete the process. I don't use a satellite finder or other locating equipment. I just point the dish South and then slowly rotate it until the signal is acquired (based on the TV screen).
The only way it could be easier is to get a fully automatic satellite dish.
2011 Chevy 2500HD CC/SB 4x4 Victory Red
2003 Crossroads Cruiser CF27RL
Champion Screamer, Reese 16k, and a Blue Status Symbol
according to DTV tech support, a Slimline dish on a tripod will NOT function.
Hmm.. must be a sales gimmick. He is right about one thing.. a bit of wind will mess with the signal more than the SD dish.
Is it easy to set up? Well, after the first dozen times, maybe, yes. But it does take a bit of getting used to as it's more precise aiming.
your experiences in different environments; if there are some minor difficulties
Making sure the tripod is on good solid footing is probably my hardest chore. Many times I'm on soft dirt (not a plowed field, but like fill dirt) Where the tv4rv tripod legs will spread if I push down on the top plate hard enough. So I dig little holes with a claw hammer, set the legs, push down until it's solid, aim up, then wrap a chain around the 3 legs.
Leg in hole:
Chain around legs:
* This post was
edited 03/11/12 11:16am by 2oldman *