This post was most recently updated on March 4th, 2019
The comparative advantages of using a Digital sat-finder to install a satellite dish package cannot be overemphasised. The world is evolving, new technology is making things easier by the day out. Gone are the days when you are restricted to using a standalone FTA satellite receiver to track a satellite tv package/ position. In the cause f this article, you will learn about the Importance of Sat-finders in Satellite installation with regards to tracking satellite tv channels.
With the advent of DVB-S/DVB-S2 satellite tv finders, you can now easily single-handedly track any satellite tv channels of your choice. Prior to this development, you can only track sat channels with the help of a receiver and only when there is electricity. Now you can track alone, track without electricity and track conveniently.
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What is a Satellite Finder/tracker?
A satellite finder (or sat finder) is a satellite signal meter used to accurately point satellite dishes at communications satellites in geostationary orbit. Sat-Finders are simple to operate and are designed to be used while you’re installing a new satellite tv package. They are ease things up so much so that you don’t have to check your signal strength on your television set during installation. There are both analogue and digital models available, both with and without internal power supplies.
Various Names by Which a Digital Satellite TV Finders are Called
Below are some of the nomenclatures of Satellite tv signal finders. This useful device has multiple names some of the notable ones are as follows:
- Satellite Signal Meter
- Digital satellite TV finder
- Bluetooth Satfinders
- sat meter
- Satellite Calculator
- sat finder
- some even call it satellite compass.
Importance of Sat-finders in Satellite installation
Many of us as installers are so used to using our satellite receiver as sat finder. Why I won’t blame such people, I can tell you with all confidence that bar financial constraints, you can now dump your receiver as a tracking device in favour of any good satellite finders. Why should I buy a satellite digital signal finder when I already have an FTA decoder that can do the same job? Well, you can get the answer to this question below:
- Mobility: You can hang a sat-finder on your neck and climb the ladder with it something you cannot do with a receiver. In other words, you can go everywhere with it.
- Electric Shock: Also, you can limit the risk or prevent electric shock from occurring if you track your satellite tv packages with a sat finder. You don’t need to connect wires and sockets everywhere as you would for a receiver.
- Convenience: For a Bluetooth sat Finder such as hellobox S2, you can carry your sat finder in your pocket.
- A good sat finder like kpt-698G can also be used to configure CCTV cameras
- You run little on no risk of damaging your device or electronics using a sat-finder. I have had a situation whereby an installer accidentally smashed to pieces his client’s flat screen tv because he had to bring the tv all the way out another to track some satellite channels. With a satfinder, you are insured. In fact, most household will not patronise you if you request for their tv before you are able to track the channels for them.
- Terrestrial channels are even easier to track with a compatible sat-finder.
- Satellite Orbital positions(deg) become easier to calculate with a great satellite signal finder. Actually, most satfinders now comes with an inbuilt compass.
- Track without electricity. You do not need to worry about where to get power from as most modern sat finders come equipped with their inbuilt battery. Also, you can use a portable power bank for Bluetooth satfinders.
- Furthermore, you can track any satellite dish at any time since you don’t need the tv to confirm anything. Even in the absence of your clients, you can do the job.
- Signal indicator is another feature that comes with Satfinders. The beeping indicators make it easier to know when to stop toggling your dish
- Finally, for those who always have problems with big dish, sat finders are way easier to get difficult positions on a big dish.
Steps to Use a Digital satellite TV signal finder to track Satellite TV Signals
Now that you know the undeniable Importance of Sat-finders in Satellite installation, the next question is how to use one?. Well, It depends on the one you acquire. Most analogue satellite finders require external power sources while digital finders like all the ones reviewed above come with an inbuilt battery some of which can last a whole day on a single charge. Be that as it may, the following instructions will help you use these wonderful devices.
First off, Connect one end of the coaxial cable to the barrel connector on the satellite dishes(LNB). Next, connect the other end to the satellite finder meter LNB IN. The LNB is the arm that faces the reflector dish.
Next, Loosen the nuts that allow the dish to be adjusted both along the horizontal (azimuth) and vertical (elevation) planes.
Now turn your sat finder to the “tv Mode” so that the LCD screen is activated for you to monitor events. However, if you are using a sat finder without LCD, You will need to now connect another wire from the satellite finder to your satellite receiver’s “TO DISH” or “LNBF IN” or “SAT IN” port. Furthermore, if yours is a Bluetooth satfinder, you need to connect it to your mobile phone at this time.
Take the satellite FINDER and put it on its highest sensitivity setting.
At this point, start moving the dish from side to side along the horizontal plane until you determine the position at which the satellite finder meter displays maximum signal strength. Continue with this cautiously until the sat finder starts beeping.
If you’re using an analog meter, you will find this position in increments. First, adjust the gain knob so the meter’s needle reads half strength. As you move the dish closer to its optimal position, the meter may exceed maximum. If this happens, readjust the gain lower and continue to move the dish until you determine the position where maximum signal strength is received.
Finally, raise and lower the dish along with the vertical plane until you determine the elevation at which the satellite finder meter displays maximum signal strength. If using an analog meter, you may have to adjust the gain as in the previous step. Once you are done, you will need to scan the channels on your receiver. You can also first do this on the satellite finder.
Note: a cheap meter is a cheap meter. It will indicate the signal level from the LNB and nothing else. So Buy only branded meters. A good brand name is Satlink and KPT, Freesat and hellobox S2.
Types of Digital Satellite TV Signal Finder/Meter
This is subdivided into two groups namely Analogue satellite finders and Digital. We will focus our attention on Digital sat finder. There are various types of sat finders as follows(note Some call DVB-s2 MPEG-4 or HD while DVB-S is called MPEG-2 t2 is terrestrial channels that do not use parabola dish but internal or external UHF / VHF antenna):
- Bluetooth Sat-Finder
- DVB-S FTA Sat finder
- Also, we have DVB-S2 Sat FTA finder
- DVB-S2 and DVB-T2 Sat finder
- We also have DVB-S2 and HD sat-finders
- DVB-S2, T2, HD Sat finder
Which Sat-Finder is the Best For Me?
First off, It depends on who you are. I mean are you a professional satellite tv installer, a freelance installer,or a personal user?. Whatever you go for(so long money is not a constraint) should reflect the following;
Furthermore, If you are a professional and you want to be ahead of your competitors at all times. Buy a sat finder with DVB-S2(Note; DVB-s2 will get a signal from DVD-s but not the other way round), T2, and HD.
For example, Hellobox S2 Bluetooth satfinder can be used professionally and privately. If you buy a satfinder with an LCD but without a compass, you may need to buy a compass separately or install a compass app on your mobile phone. Examples of Satfinders with such feature is as follows:
Hellobox Smart S2 is similar to its predecessor Hellobox B1. However, Hellobox Smart S2 has more advanced features than Hellobox B1. Some of the features of Hellobox Smart S2 has been highlighted below:
- This is the most efficient and most compatible device/dongles that work with DVBPlayer
- Most importantly, without hellobox S2, it is impossible for DVBPlayer to display satellite TV channels on your Android.
- Also, Hellobox Smart S2 can be used as a digital satfinder just like hellobox B1 before it.
Satlink WS-6979 DVB-S2 & DVB-T2 Combo Digital Satellite Finder Spectrum Meter Analyzer.
- Fully DVB-S/S2/T/T2, MPEG-2/MPEG4 compliant, MPEG-2 / H.264 Hardware decoding
- Digital meter for signal strength and quality, Constellation analyzer
- Supports scan of Auto, Blind, Manual or NIT. Supports DiSEqC 1.0/1.1/1.2, 0/22khz Tone
- Sound and Light Alarm for Locking Signal. Auto Calculate Angle of AZ ,EL
- Support both AV out and AV in
- If you are a professional installer with a tight budget and you want to be able to track the most basic channels you can buy Satlink ws-6933, ws-6920, ws-6916 or any other within the range, Just any good DVB-S2 /MPEG-4 Sat finder will suffice. Note: Any MPEG-4 sat finder will be able to get the signal of HD channel but you will have only the audio on the device, not the video. Pictures of such sat finders are below:
- *3.5 Inch High definition TFT LCD Screen which Can Play Channels(DVB-S)
- *Live FTA Digital Picture and Sound
- *AV Output and AV Input function
- *Shows strength and quality readings
- *LED digital tube：Synchronous display<br> *Sound and Light Alarm When Lock Signal.(DVB-S/S2 MPEG-4 ABS-S)
- Satlink WS-6933 DVB-S2 DVB-S HD 2.1″ Digital LCD Satellite Signal Finder Meter.
- 2.1 Inch LCD Screen Display
- Connector: F Type
- Input Frequency 950~2150MHz
- Fully DVB-S/S2, MPEG-2/MPEG4 compliant. MPEG-2 / H.264 Hardware decoding
- Support Auto Scan, Preset Scan, Accurate Scan and Network Search
- Support DiSEqC 1.0/1.1, 0/22khz Tone
- LNB short protect
Where can I buy a Good Satellite TV Signal Finder/Meter?
Luckily, I still sell satellite Tv components as well as receivers that are not preloaded with pirated content. Therefore, you can contact me via email to place your purchasing order. If you are outside Nigeria, you can check aliexpress, Amazon or eBay for any of credible satellite TV finder that you choose to buy. You should, however, know that the more features it has the higher its price. You can also get these online.