No matter how sturdy your tripod is, eventually Mother Nature will send a wind strong enough to knock it over if it is not properly secured. When a tripod is tipped over it can cause damage to the dish, usually the LNB or support arm, making it useless for receiving signals. This generally happens just moments before the big game you were waiting to watch.
To prevent this, we will discuss several ways to anchor your tripod securely.
First, each of our tripods come with a ground screw stake and a bungee cord. This allows you to screw the stake into the soil and attach the bungee cord from the stake to the hook located under your tripod. Generally, you should be able to get at least two wraps with the bungee so that there are two strands of the cord holding the tripod securely to the ground. In the event the cord is too long you can shorten it by tying one or more knots in the cord to take up the slack. It also helps to have cords of several lengths on hand to make it easier to adapt to the variety of setup situations you may encounter.
There will be times when the ground may be paved or just too hard to screw in the ground stake. On those occasions you can use a 5 gallon pail, filled with water, as ballast. Water weighs about 8 pounds per gallon, so 5 gallons will provide 40 pounds of ballast yet be very light when drained for traveling. We found an empty 5 gallon paint pail, with a cover, at our local recycling depot. It was easy to just rinse it out and we now have a leak-proof ballast pail. It also doubles to store odds and ends when not being used as ballast. Just use the handle to attach the bungee cord and you are ready to go.
One of the nice benefits of running this business is the helpful feedback and suggestions we get from our customers. We often incorporate these ideas into our products to make them even better. An example is the bungee hook on our Heavy-Duty Tripod. One customer felt the original hook was a bit light for the job, so he revised it to a heavier hook. He sent us a photo and we liked his idea so much we revised our design to include his hook.
I'm sure many of our readers have other suggestions and ideas for anchoring their tripods as well as other tips they have learned setting up their own dishes. We welcome any and all ideas and will gladly publish them in our newsletter each month. Email your ideas to TV4RVnews@tv4rv.com.