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I currently have a Directv receiver. What kind of dish -and stand- will give me the least amount of grief...and is under $150.00?

If you are speaking of a non-HD system, a simple single LNB 18" dish mounted on a tripod will work just fine. You can find used dishes at garages sales, flea markets, even Directv installers. The dish I use came from a Directv installer "Free" saved him the trouble of tossing it in the trash bin.

Tripods are available at Radio Shack etc. or you can build a stand of your own.
We have DirecTV, and used the tripod that came with it, I guess.
My man got the unit before I arrived.

Anyway, we'd put 8" big nail-like stakes thru the holes that go into the ground,
and the darn thing would still tip over. Last time it broke some,
and I broke one of the brackets trying to close it up at one time.

We finally got big screw lag bolts, and my man drilled them into the ground with his corded super-drill jackhammer drill.

But after having a DirecTV guy come to our place while he was in the park,
a REALLY nice guy with tattoes, in the Lavon/Dallas area,
REALLY nice guy,
he suggested we go to Radio Shack and get their model,
and we won't be having as many problems.

We took his advice, and still use the lag bolts, but it's sturdier,
looks better, and is easier to set up and break down for travel.
I have dish and use the dish that came with the system and a short wingard tripod. The trouble with tripods is they blow over with strong winds. I have seen the regular mounts used to mount the dish on the house mounted on a piece of plywood about 3X3 feet with a large rock on it. I have yet to go to that but it seems less expensive than a tripod and better too.
We have been using a cheap Radio Shack tripod for years now in those locations where the rooftop under-the-dome antenna is inadequate. We use it with both the 18" Dish 500 antenna and the 34" single-LNB dish we use in Mexico and Alaska.

8" nails in the ground are sufficient in most cases. In a couple windy areas I have braced it with nylon lines, but that's only about three times in well over six years.
QUOTE(kmccool @ May 18 2009, 03:48 PM) *

I currently have a Directv receiver. What kind of dish -and stand- will give me the least amount of grief...and is under $150.00?


Do I need to get a compass for set up purposes?

Yes you will need a compass. A Satellite signal finder is a handy item also.

If you go to and scroll down to item #12 you will find a neat little kit. It contains compass, Satellite finder, and a battery holder so that you can use it with out the coax being connected from the receiver.

I purchased a Bullseye TV dish mounting system about 6 years ago and have used it continuously for that time without one problem. I see they have sold the company and someone is starting it up again. For the money and the ease of use I would suggest at least contacting them and ask when production will start. I can have the Bullseye in the ground and the dish aligned in minutes, without all the issues I watch other go through. It is worth a look. Bullseye
QUOTE(kmccool @ May 20 2009, 01:49 PM) *

Do I need to get a compass for set up purposes?


I don't usually use one if I can see other folks' antennas to get the general direction of the satellites, though. I hook the satellite finder up to the dish and point it in the right general direction. I wave it around until I get a strong signal, then go look at the TV display from the receiver to see which satellite I found. If it's the wrong one, I move it in the appropriate direction toward the one I want. It takes a couple minutes.

With a single-LNB dish, you don't need to worry about getting the tripod plumb (level). Eyeball it, and if it's close to straight up and down you are good. Even when I use our twin-LNB Dish 500 antenna, that's good enough unless we are near the Canadian or Mexican border.

A satellite finder will make setup easy. Some folks call them "marriage savers."

If you really want to invest a few bucks, the Align-A-Site comes in handy for finding a place to put the tripod when you are in the trees. It will allow you to find that little hole between the limbs where the satellite is lurking.
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