View Full Version : Satellite TV Tripod

10-30-2011, 10:58 AM
I know this is a shot in the dark, but have any of you folks seen plans or pictures of a tripod for satellite tv that is made with fine adjustments?
WE travel around in the rv a bit now and I am sure someone has made a decent adjusting system for tuning in the satellites?
Thanks in advance for any info.

10-30-2011, 02:28 PM
I have never seem plans for what your looking for but I have a portable satellite dish on a 3 leg home made tripod like a photographic tripod. The problem I have had with a camera tripod is the legs do not spread apart far enough to keep a heavy satellite dish from falling over or the wind from blowing it over. If your setting up a tripod in a spot that is fairly flat you don't need adjustable legs. You might get by with 1 adjustable leg but 3 adjustable legs are best. A camera tripod has a swivel lock that allows the camera to rotate 360 degrees then it can be locked in place. The easiest thing to do is copy a camera tripod design and build your own. Here is a link to a camera tripod on ebay it has a good picture so you can see how it is made. Build a tripod with 3 ft long legs that spread 3 ft apart with 6 inches of adjustment on the ends. Set it up level then rotate the dish left and right to find the satellite. A camera tripod has a way to tip the camera up/down do the same thing for the dish tip it up/down then lock it in place. A camera tripod has legs that telescope out to about 6 ft long I decided my dish tripod did not need to be complicated so the only thing that telescopes in the tip 6" for setting it up level.

I have another satellite dish bolted to a 24" round plywood circle that is a scrap piece from a wooden wire spool. I level it by putting rocks under the plywood in 3 places. It works great but the thing takes up a ton of space in the camper.

You might be able to modify this $12 ebay tripod so the legs spread apart enough to keep the dish from blowing over in the wind.


The Artful Bodger
10-30-2011, 03:33 PM
I suggest forgetting about photography tripods which are lightweight or expensive (and still too light), much better to buy an instrument tripod from the hardware store, I have a de Walt one that is quite sturdy compared to any camera tripod I could ever afford.

But, does the dish have to be of the ground? My thought would be to sit the dish on a bean bag.

10-30-2011, 09:04 PM
Nah, A gitzo studex would do it. The legs will splay out almost flat. And they are mega strong. Or an older manfrotto/bogen video tripod.

10-30-2011, 09:16 PM
They are commercially available here in Australia , bsaically a piece of 50mm pipe with a mount with three pivoting legs which are adjustable over about 40-60 mm range on each leg .It collapses into a 120mm x 120 mm x 650mm size for transport .
I will have a search for who supplies them and put it up later .

Bruce Griffing
10-30-2011, 10:56 PM
Satellite aiming is easy if you know the correct azimuth and bearing from your current location (easy to find on the web). You need a level, a calibrated azimuth scale and a compass. Using a level, make sure your tripod is plumb. Adjust the azimuth to the correct reading and mount your antenna on the tripod. Then the only adjustment is bearing. You can get pretty close with a compass. But the only adjustment you need to make is a rotation about the vertical axis of the tripod (the bearing). Most satellite antenna mounts have a calibrated azimuth.

10-30-2011, 11:06 PM
Thanks for the quick replys, I have built a nice heavy duty tripod that is quick to set up and does not move in the wind, thanks to a bungee pegged under it.
My problem has been once the satellite is found to fine tune it so that both or all three satellites are brought in for HD. loosining the setscrews will allow it to slop about. not much of a problem in the Compass heading but more of an issue in elevation. I was thinking of a sort of gear lock so it could be moved in very small increments?
Thanks for all the replies, what a great resourse this is.

Bruce Griffing
10-31-2011, 12:11 AM
Thanks for correcting my term - when I said azimuth I meant elevation. In my experience, if you have a good protractor elevation adjustment, you should not have to fine tune the elevation - assuming your tripod is plumb - HD or not.