The average person usually considers installation or realignment of a Satellite Dish best left to professionals, where any attempt to do this themselves would result in loss of all reception. This is why most people have their dish installed for them and where the only moving that dish would be doing is when it is time to take it down again.
In fact realigning a Satellite Dish is not much harder then tuning between your favourite stations on a Radio. As what I mean is that when pointing near a satellite you will get a signal which you then tune to best (strongest) reception. This means that anyone with a fixed dish can easily realign their dish to the next satellite along in less than five minutes once they have loosened the bolts.
And such a simple job as that would not need any of the equipment on this page, when all you need to know is what you should be seeing when you reach your target. That information you can always find here.
Now, when installing a new dish, or you wish to seek out some of the weaker satellites, then that is where this equipment becomes useful. As what with dozens of satellites available it is still rather a large sky. The two things you need to do in this case is to know roughly where you need to point the dish followed by using a Signal Test Meter to align to the exact satellite.
A Signal Test Meter makes the job easier, when this device would find any station within its frequency range (depending on L.O and Polarization setting of the LNB). This means you do not even need to know what stations are on a satellite to be able to find it.
This is also useful for those people already with an installed multi-satellite system, when receivers tend to look in just the small frequency band for the station that you specify. The problem here is that if the station is not where expected, then you could overlook the whole satellite.
And as a signal meter would test a much larger, or entire, frequency output from the LNB, then this is equivalent to searching for hundreds of stations at once. As the only problem then is getting your receiver to find out where in this frequency range this new station actually is. And as I know well, then when seeking to find one satellite you can first discover others that you were not hoping to find.
Hopefully, now people will think again about their dish, when usually what you see is just a small part of a much larger whole. Also I have to mention that most people's assumption that other satellites only have foreign language stations is also very false.
So go and see what else your satellite reception system can find. This I am sure is where this equipment would prove very useful.
Satellite Finder Kit
This low cost Satellite Finder Kit is an ideal complete pack for a first dish installation when it includes all that you require to assist with both a fixed dish and a full motorised dish installation. Beyond a very functional signal meter, supporting 950 to 2300 Mhz, to show when you have a satellite in range, even though your receiver may not yet show anything, then the second most useful item in this pack is the Lensatic Compass.
A normal magnetic compass is not recommended for satellite dish installation when such a compass would only point towards Magnetic North while the orbital location of all geostationary satellites are based on True North. So if you happy to be aware of your geography then you will know that the magnetic North pole of this planet happens to be about 5 degrees offset from the rotation axis.
That means that this Lensatic Compass not only shows Magnetic North but it also points towards True North with all following degree positions pointing to the respective orbital locations. There is more to pointing a compass towards a satellite than that, when you also have to adjust for your angle of view, but at least you will start on the right scale.
The other items in this pack just happen to be a 6 foot (1.828 meters) long coaxial fly-lead that can be used to connect the signal meter to the LNB, or for any other application that you may have, and a battery pack and connection cable to power the meter and LNB without the use of the receiver if desired.
The final item is a nice padded case where you can safely store these items when not in use. And last of all the technical details of these items are...
A. Signal Test Meter.
Frequency Range: 950 to 2300 Mhz
Sensitivity Control: 17dB
Operating Range: 52 to 60dB
Power Supply: DC 13-18v
Size: 100 x 65 x 40mm.
B. Lensatic Compass.
Direction Accuracy: + 5
Direction Indication: 2 / One scale
Size: 7.5cm x 5.5cm x 3cm.
C. Coaxial Connection Lead.
Length: 6 Ft
D. Battery Pack.
Battery Size: AA
Battery Qty: 10 = 15v
Size: 8cm x 7cm x 3.5cm.
E. Battery Pack to LNB Connector.
F. Padded Case with Instructions.
Ordering Code: SATKIT
Gross Weight: 587g
SatBeeper Satellite Meter
This SatBeeper satellite meter is an audiable signal meter that as you can see from reading the description of the next meter down works very much like the SAMM5 design. Sure enough this manufacturer soon figured out that by swapping the common needle meter for a tone signal, and by missing off the extras found on the SAMM5, then so could a popular and very low cost signal meter be made.
One sign of the popularity of this meter is that I can already name two, not quite as good, clone models seeking to tap into the popularity of this SatBeeper meter. In any case here you will only find the original SatBeeper meter where I will now tell you how it works.
Using this SatBeeper signal meter is very easy, when you just connect it between the receiver and the LNB, where it can then allow you to monitor the signal strength of the desired satellite.
This signal strength is monitored by a change in the pitch of the tone, where the pitch will get higher with a stronger signal and lower with a weaker signal. And once at the ideal reception point for the newly discovered satellite then the pitch of the tone will only get lower no mater what direction you move the dish away from this optimum point of signal collection.
As is not unexpected this meter contains a headphone connection to allow you to clearly hear this tone signal. One thing that is nice about this meter is that it comes with its own earphone lead allowing you to get this meter up and running right out of plastic display case. I would recommend though that in more noisy areas that you make use of some good quality headphones instead when the better you can hear the tone the better you can align your dish.
So at the end of the day this low cost SatBeeper signal meter will prove to be extra useful if you prefer to watch your dish instead of the signal meter.
Specifications for the SatBeeper meter are...
Frequency Range: 950 to 2400 Mhz
DC Input: 20V 60mA
Impedance: 75 Ohms
Supply Voltage Range: 13 to 18 volts
Size: 55 x 60 x 15mm
This SatBeeper meter is powered through the RF line usually by the receiver.
Ordering Code: SATBEEP
Gross Weight: 48g
Retech SAMM5 Satellite Meter
The Retech SAMM5 is an audible satellite meter with a massive frequency range of between 500 and 2500 Mhz. This allows use with mostly all type of LNBs, which certainly includes types like the Universal LNB.
Using this signal meter is very easy, when you just connect it between the receiver and the LNB, where it can then allow you to monitor the signal strength of the desired satellite.
This signal strength is monitored by a change in the pitch of the tone, where the pitch will get higher with a stronger signal and lower with a weaker signal. Also once you have locked on to the satellite, then the Reset Tone button can be used to find the strongest signal. As once at the ideal point then the pitch of the tone will only get lower no mater what direction you move the dish away from this optimum point of signal collection.
A useful extra feature on this model is the On Beam light, which will tell you if the signal from the LNB (and therefore the signal received from the satellite) is strong enough to be usable by the receiver.
Also unique to this model is a headphone connection, which would allow you to better hear the change in the pitch by avoiding background noise like cars and people.
And so a very powerful signal meter that is extra useful if you prefer to watch your dish instead of the signal meter.
Specifications for the SAMM5 are...
Frequency Range: 500 to 2500 Mhz
VSWR. Typical: 1.5
Impedance: 75 Ohms
Supply Voltage Range: 11 to 20 volts
Size: 70 x 70 x 28mm
The SAMM5 is powered through the RF line usually by the receiver.
Ordering Code: SAMM5
Gross Weight: 66g
ProMax MS250 Satellite Meter
The ProMax MS250 is a great signal test meter, and the first in the professional class of signal meters, with a large frequency range to also allow detection of satellites carrying digital stations using higher frequencies than satellites with the usual low frequency analogue stations.
What this means is that any analogue or digital station within its frequency range will be detected depending on the LNB type used and current receiver settings. Since most modern satellite receivers tune in between 950 to 2150 Mhz, where there are very few stations in the top 2050 to 2150 range anyway, then so is this signal meter's tuning range of 950 to 2050 Mhz suited to being able to detect just about everything that is on the satellite.
Apart from the signal detection meter, the MS250 also combines in a basic voltage meter to help make sure that you are correctly powering the LNB in the first place.
Specifications for the MS250 are...
Frequency Range: 950 to 2050 Mhz
Detection Range: -30 to 5dBm
Impedance: 75 Ohms
Level Indicator: With external gain control.
Acoustic Indicator: Frequency varies with signal level.
Size: 82 x 64 x 39mm
The MS250 is powered through the RF line, usually by the receiver.
And most useful must be the on/off check switch to turn off the acoustic detection noise when you have temporarily finished detection.
So should you desire a satellite signal test meter, on the starting end of what a professional satellite system installer would use, then here is the meter that you seek.
Ordering Code: MS250
Gross Weight: 154g
Digiair Terrestrial Meter
This digiair model version 2.3 may be the current most expensive model on this page but that does not mean that this meter is not worth this cost and more. The most obvious difference between this and other models found here is that this is a Terrestrial Meter and NOT a Satellite Meter. So for those people seriously into FreeView and TopUpTV installations here in the UK, or other Terrestrial TV services found in other countries, then here is the most popular terrestrial meter currently available.
To now highlight why this mid-range professional meter is worth the price then this model is simply not a signal meter when it is an entire portable computer as well. As sure enough the 40 x 21mm LCD display is the interface of this computer and I can already say that the wealth of menu options is going to make this a long review.
To start with the signal meter aspect first then this meter handles this signal meter display in two possible different ways. The first way is as a bar graph where your single channel bar will go up with a stronger signal and down with a weaker signal. Also on this single channel graph it mentions the channel number, channel frequency in MHz, and the signal level as a number as well as the maximum signal level recorded.
Even more impressive is that you can set up this meter to watch six desired channels at once on a six bar graph page. And if that fact is not impressive enough then you can also watch up to a maximum of 18 channels at once over a series of three pages. In other words this is plenty enough to watch the signal strength for every possible analogue and digital signal in the region of choice.
The other method in this signal meter area is the spectrum mode. As in this second mode the whole frequency range can be scanned and where each spike on this spectrum graph represents a channel. Once the scan has completed then you can zoom in on these spikes in order to switch the system to the single channel detailed bar graph mode.
Also I just have to point out that this manufacturer makes several reduced models of this meter and where some of these meters that you will find on the market will be locked to the single video format mode. Naturally I would not want to stock such a restricted model which is why this very model supports the full range of...
PAL I, PAL BG, PAL BH, PAL DK, PAL II, Secam BH, Secam DK, Secam BG & Secam L
So as you can see this very model will certainly go around where these video formats cover a whole host of countries where this model will work perfectly. The UK is PAL I by the way and the rest can look up their country's default video format if required.
When dealing with this model's menu then three buttons are available to move up and down and to select the items in question. Two of these buttons also double as the power on/off buttons just by holding down the button for at least one second.
Most useful to an aerial installations is that this model can supply +5V or +12V to the aerial if desired in order to power attached equipment. Just remember to turn this option off after use when it would be unhelpful to apply 12V by mistake to a device that supports 5V.
The last main option is that this meter can act as an audible meter should you desire to keep your eyes on what you are doing instead of the meter reading. You can also turn this sound off if desired. Also helpful in this area is that this model comes with a carrying cover that allows attachment to a belt or wrist strap and I can say that due to the clear front of this cover then this device can be operated just fine.
The last item is the setup menu where you can adjust aspects like the LCD's contrast and the inactivity time limit before this meter auto-powers-off.
Now that the computer aspects of this model have been covered then I just have to mention how this model is powered. To begin with then this model comes with a rechargeable NiMe battery built-in which allows this very portable model to work for hours without needing a recharge. And when you do desire to recharge this battery then this model includes two methods to do so. The first method is to make use of the included 15V 150mA power adapter that comes plugged for 230V UK and European use. And the second method is to make use of the also included adapter to power this device from your vehicle's battery via the cigarette lighter socket.
Beyond the eight A4 pages of English-language instructions then I am sure that you will now agree that this Swedish made model is certainly worth my price and where this meter is the ideal tool for terrestrial TV aerial installations.
Ordering Code: DTM
Gross Weight: 644g