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Vol. 5 - No. 11


Each Fall we notice an increase in the sale of replacement parts for our tripods.  This is generally due to high winds damaging un-anchored or poorly anchored tripods.  Previously, we had newsletters to reinforce the need for proper anchoring, but this time we want to take it a step further.  In this issue we will give more detailed setup instructions for each anchoring method.


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The anchor point method you use will vary, depending on setup conditions.  When the ground is soft enough, the easiest method is the Ground Screw Stake that comes with your TV4RV Tripod.  Once you find the setup location, screw the stake into the ground to the point the ring is about 1" above ground.  Then, grasp the handle of the stake and pull upward.  If the stake easily comes out of the ground, the soil is not adequate to hold it for a firm anchor.   You should use a weighted anchor in this instance.

If the ground is too hard to use the Ground Screw Stake the next choice would be the 12" SPIKE ANCHOR.  This anchor consists of two 12" galvanized spikes, easily obtainable at Home Depot for about $2.00.  Drive one spike into the ground at a 45 degree angle, leaving about 2" above ground.  Place the ring of the ground screw stake over the spike.  Insert the second spike into the ring at an opposing 45%uFFFD angle and pound into the ground like the first spike.  This will provide a very firm anchor,  much like THE CLAW, which is another anchor device from a different manufacturer.

On hard surfaces, like concrete or brick patios and pads you will be unable to use a ground penetrating anchor and must use a weighted anchor.  Our choice for this anchor is a 5 gallon pail with a cover.  These are easily obtainable at any hardware or paint supply store.  You can even pull a used paint pail out of the recycling dumpster and clean it up. (Now THAT'S recycling!)  When filled with 5 gallons of water, the pail weighs about 45 lbs and provides a solid anchor point.  The handle provides a handy point to attach the anchor connector.

Now we will discuss the methods of connecting the anchor point to the tripod.


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The bungee cord that comes with your TV4RV tripod is the most versatile device for anchoring the tripod, but there are pros and cons.  While the bungee easily adapts to a variety of setup conditions it will weaken over time due to weather and it does stretch - so proper use is essential.

When using the bungee cord we prefer to connect with the anchor point using double strands of the cord as shown in the photo above.   The bungee should be stretched to its full capacity to prevent movement from wind gusts.  If there is slack in the cord, this can be removed by wrapping the cord around the anchor point as shown, or tying a knot or two in the cord to shorten it.   When the bungee has been properly installed you should be able to grasp the tripod's top platform and apply a pulling motion to a leg and not have the leg easily lift off the ground.  If you are able to easily raise the leg you need to create a better anchor connection, as a high wind can topple the tripod, especially when using a larger, DirecTV Slimline dish.


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The Anchor Chain consists of 20" of #12 jack chain with an S hook at one end and a turnbuckle to take up the slack and apply proper tension.  This method has some advantages over the bungee cord since it is weather resistant and does not stretch.  When using the anchor chain, hook one end of the turnbuckle to the screw eye of the tripod and attach the link end of the chain to the other end of the turnbuckle.  Wrap the chain around the anchor device a few times, as shown, and attach the S hook to a chain link so there is no slack in the chain.   Tighten the turnbuckle to apply proper tension to the chain and provide a firm anchor.  There should be little or no movement to the leg of the tripod when side movement is attempted.

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The Strap Connector is used in much the same way as the Anchor chain.  Like the chain, it is weather resistant and does not stretch, like the bungee cord.  The strap connector can also serve to secure items to your truck or RV when not in use as an anchor device.  This strap has a fixed short end, about 18" with a hook to connect to the tripod.  The other end is 12' long with a hook at one end.  Rather than cut it short, we simply rolled up most of the 12 foot length and secured it with a rubber band, leaving the hook and about 18" exposed.  The winching shaft of the winch handle is slotted, so we simply make a fold in the strap and insert it into the slot.   Give the winch a few wraps to get it started and attach the hook to the anchor and apply proper tension.

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Another method to create a more stable setup is to use the adjustable leg feature of your TV4RV tripod to the best advantage.  Extend each leg about 1/2 way outward.   Then create a larger-than-normal spread of the legs.  The normal spread is approximately a 30” - 36” diameter circle.  Try to create a 6 foot diameter circle.  If the legs tend to slip outward, you can restrain them by installing a length of jack chain around the feet.  If your tripod did not include the High-Wind-Option, page three of the instructions detail how to make this modification.

We hope these instructions prove helpful in preventing damage to your satellite dish setup.




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