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Vol.1 - No. 1

This is the very first edition of the monthly newsletter that you signed up to receive.  Each month we will offer helpful tips and suggestions to make your mobile satellite TV setups easier and quicker.  We will also be offering a monthly special on the products we sell on our website.  We hope you will find this information helpful and informative.

Steel vs the Compass

When I first started bringing my TV satellite dish camping, I had a difficult time aiming it at the satellite.  Each time I would bring the compass close to the dish to point it at the correct azimuth, the compass needle would move off the setting.  I quickly realized that since my dish was made of steel it was attracting the magnetic needle of the compass.  This led to the development of my first tripod (our Standard Duty model), which is constructed entirely of aluminum and plastic.  By mounting the compass onto the tripod, I could aim the tripod in the correct direction without any needle deflection.  Then I mounted the dish to a reference point and found I was pointed very close to the exact azimuth bearing.   This system worked fine until we camped at a site that restricted where I could place the satellite dish.  I needed to set it up near my truck due to trees blocking the signal in other areas.  I noticed that the needle of the compass moved as I positioned the tripod closer to the truck.  I ended up solving this problem by moving the truck until I could set up the tripod.  A similar result happened when setting up near the RV.  The closer I got to the RV the more the needle deflected from the true bearing.  I recorded a deflection of as much as 20 degrees.  This can make setting up the dish much more difficult.  I now try to avoid setting up the tripod anywhere near a large, steel structure for this reason.  On those occasions where I have no other option, I make sure I place my body (and anyone else I can round up) between the compass and the steel structure to minimize the effect of the steel on the compass.   Not the best solution, but sometimes you have no other choice.  I am also aware that I may not be pointing the dish as accurately as I usually do and then will swing it in a wider arc to find the signal.

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