Hands-On: Simple Satellite Setup with a Delsand PDQ
January 20, 2011
Filed under Gear Reviews
Setting up a satellite dish antenna that needs to be manually positioned can be challenging at best. The process becomes more complicated when adding an HD DVR to the system. Setup can be even more frustrating when dealing with uneven ground and, of course, that nemesis of the satellite user, trees. Using a Delsand PDQ Signal Stand eliminates the headaches associated with dish setup and pointing.
Most people who use a dish on the ground rely on some type of tripod. While there are many tripod choices, it’s usually necessary to use a compass and signal finder to locate the appropriate satellites, since most basic tripods are not equipped with a level or markings for azimuth settings. For HD service, it is also necessary to set the proper skew/tilt along with elevation and azimuth. And that’s the rub. Unless you get lucky, you can spend an inordinate amount of time setting up the dish so it provides a decent signal to the receiver.
The PDQ Signal Stand has been designed to be much more accurate with its built-in levels, compass, and azimuth setting knob and gear. And to make life easier, Delsand has added a unique line-of-sight tool that allows you to look through the device to pinpoint a clear, unobstructed pathway for your dish before the actual setup.
Once a clear line of sight has been established, you insert the PDQ Signal Stand mast that’s been pre-installed to your dish antenna. Next, you set the skew/tilt (for HD models), elevation and drop the mast onto the PDQ Signal Stand. By using walkie-talkies, we’re able to communicate the different signal strengths, and with a few minor adjustments a strong satellite signal is achieved, in most cases within five minutes. Once it’s set, we use two 10-pound dumbbells (recommended by the manufacturer but not supplied) to stabilize the stand.
The PDQ is easy to store, lightweight, quick to assemble on any terrain and has a high-wind tie-down kit to keep it from moving in bad weather. Virtually any dish is compatible with the Delsand PDQ Signal Stand.
Delsand’s website has a very good instructional video that can be used along with the instructions for assembly and setup. The company also offers excellent customer support over the phone or via e-mail, and Delsand will be happy to walk you through any difficulties you may experience while using the PDQ Signal Stand. The product is backed by a one-year limited warranty and retails for $250.
Delsand, 425-879-2929, www.delsand.com.