Satellite Installation Tools and Equipment

Having the Proper Tools and Supplies for a VSAT Satellite Dish Installation

Having ALL of the right tools and supplies at the installation will keep you from turning a 1-day install into a 3 day install. Please pay close attention to the tools you will want to have on site as an installer.


Tools – Dish Assembly

tools_socketsA Socket Wrench set.

tool_open_wrenchA set of open end wrenches (7/16″ and 1/2″).

tool_screwdriverAssorted screwdrivers, both flathead and Phillips.

tool_dielectricDi-Electric grease to coat O-rings (in case you run out). Commonly found at Auto Parts stores.

tool_brickConcrete bricks to hold down the non-pen mount. Be sure to bring more than you think you’ll need – better to have too much weight than too little.

Hex_Wrench_SetA set of Hex wrenches used for Allen bolts on the radio assembly.

Tools – Coaxial Cable Connections and Waterproofing

tool_snaponA bag of Snap-On F-Connectors for coax cables.

tool_rubber_tapeRubber weather-sealing tape.

tool_electapeElectrical tape.

Wall platesWall-Plates for where the coax cables enter the server room.

Coax wire stripperA coax wire stripper.

WirecuttersWire cutters.

tool_snapon_crimpCrimping tool for Snap-On connectors.

Tools – Cable Runs

Power screwdriverA power screwdriver or drill.

Hole-SawA Hole-Saw bit to drill holes for the cable run.

Masonry Drill BitA Masonry Drill Bit will be needed to drill through brick or a solid wall. This bit needs to be long and wide enough to penetrate the wall for all three cables.

Silicone CaulkingSilicone Caulking is used to reseal exterior holes after cable runs are finished. Be sure to seal every hole you make into the exterior of a building!

TwineTwine or narrow string to help pull cables along ceilings.

Long Drill BitA Long Drill Bit (10 inches or longer) is used to create a pilot hole through a wall for the Hole-Saw. The whole saw should be used on both side of the wall for a clean looking wall penetration.

SpringSteelSpringSteel (sometimes called “Fish Tape”) is used to pull cables through walls or conduit.

Tie-strapsPlastic tie-straps (Zip Ties) are used to keep cable-bundles neat and orderly. Use plenty! Use Black Tie Straps match keep the cable run low profile.

Tools – Grounding Equipment

Grounding WireGrounding wire – Medium gauge. Ground Everything!

Wire ConnectorsYou will need wire connectors and assorted bolts and nuts. You may even need to drill your own holes.

Water Pipe ClampGrounding Wire – Water pipe clamp. Water pipes are excellent grounds, because they go into the earth’s surface.

Coax grounding blockCoax grounding block, used for grounding the coax just inside the point of entry into the building.

Tools – Aiming and Cross Polling the Dish

GPS Handheld UnitGPS handheld unit to find latitude and longitude of the installation location. Make sure that it has fresh batteries or is fully charged.

Super BuddySuper Buddy – used to confirm and fine-tune the satellite dish. Make sure this is fully charged before you go.

InclinometerInclinometer – used to determine angles, such as the skew angle of the radio, or the elevation of the satellite dish.

Coax cable10′ length of coax cable used to connect the Super Buddy or Birdog to the satellite receiver – the LNB.

Cell phoneMobile phone for calling Ground Control support, or for making the required call to the NOC for the Cross-Pol. Make sure it’s charged!

Tools – Making Ethernet Cables

Here’s how to make ethernet cables.

Cross-Over CableA clearly-marked cross-over cable, used to connect your laptop to the Gateway IDU for both Galileo and iDirect systems.

RJ45 ConnectorsLoose RJ-45 connectors.

ScissorsScissors – Used to cut off the ends of the coax wires.

Bulk Ethernet CableBulk ethernet cable – you will need to make the cable to connect the gateway IDU to either the customer’s computer or router once on site.

Ethernet Cable CrimperEthernet Cable crimper – most models will work for both RJ-45 (ethernet) and RJ-11 (telephone).

Other Helpful Tools

RopeRope – often used to lift a satellite reflector to the roof.

Extension CordExtension cord for running your equipment.

Power StripPower strip, because one outlet is never enough.


BatteriesExtra batteries for all of your battery powered devices.

CameraCamera (or use your smartphone) for taking pictures of installation work. Helpful to GC support for troubleshooting problems, or for installation sign-offs.

LadderExtension ladder, used to reach the roof if no external access is available.

Pocket KnifePocket Knife – always useful.


Window CleanerWindow cleaner and paper towels for cleaning up the installation.

Packing TapePacking tape in case you need to ship something back to Ground Control.

Do you need any more help?

If you're planning a VSAT satellite dish installation, we hope this guide was helpful. If you are looking for advice on the best hardware and airtime for your project, please feel free to get in touch with the Ground Control team for impartial, expert advice.

Either call or email us, or complete the form, and we'll be happy to help.