Having the Proper Tools & 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.
Many of these tools – especially the specialized tools – can be purchased from Ground Control with our customized Installers Tool bag. We highly recommend this purchase with training, because tracking down the right tools for the job can sometimes be a challenge.
Tools – Dish Assembly
A Socket Wrench set.
A set of open end wrenches (7/16″ and 1/2″).
Assorted screwdrivers, both flathead and Phillips.
Di-Electric grease to coat O-rings (in case you run out). Commonly found at Auto Parts stores.
Concrete 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.
A set of Hex wrenches used for Allen bolts on the radio assembly.
Tools – Coaxial Cable Connections and Waterproofing
A bag of Snap-On F-Connectors for coax cables.
Rubber weather-sealing tape.
Wall-Plates for where the coax cables enter the server room.
A coax wire stripper.
Crimping tool for Snap-On connectors.
Tools – Cable Runs
A power screwdriver or drill.
A Hole-Saw bit to drill holes for the cable run.
A 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 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!
Twine or narrow string to help pull cables along ceilings.
A 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.
SpringSteel (sometimes called “Fish Tape”) is used to pull cables through walls or conduit.
Plastic tie-straps (ZipTies) 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 wire – Medium gauge. Ground Everything!
You will need wire connectors and assorted bolts and nuts. You may even need to drill your own holes.
Grounding Wire – Water pipe clamp. Water pipes are excellent grounds, because they go into the earth’s surface.
Coax 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 unit to find latitude and longitude of the installation location. Make sure that it has fresh batteries or is fully charged.
Super Buddy – used to confirm and fine-tune the satellite dish. Make sure this is fully charged before you go.
Inclinometer – used to determine angles, such as the skew angle of the radio, or the elevation of the satellite dish.
10′ length of coax cable used to connect the Super Buddy or Birdog to the satellite receiver – the LNB.
Cell 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
A clearly-marked cross-over cable, used to connect your laptop to the Gateway IDU for both Galileo and iDirect systems.
Loose RJ-45 connectors.
Scissors – Used to cut off the ends of the coax wires.
Bulk ethernet cable – you will need to make the cable to connect the gateway IDU to either the customers computer or router once on site.
Ethernet Cable crimper – most models will work for both RJ-45 (ethernet) and RJ-11 (telephone).
Other Helpful Tools
Rope – often used to lift a satellite reflector to the roof.
Extension cord for running your equipment.
Power strip, because one outlet is never enough.
Extra batteries for all of your battery powered devices.
Camera (or use your smartphone) for taking pictures of installation work. Helpful to GC support for troubleshooting problems, or for installation sign-offs.
Extension ladder, used to reach the roof if no external access is available.
Pocket Knife – always useful.
Window cleaner and paper towels for cleaning up the installation.
Packing tape in case you need to ship something back to Ground Control.