What sort of satellite finder do I need?

This depends of two things. How much do I want to spend? And How much patience do I have?

The cheapest option in the BeTechie web shop is the SF9505A digital satellite finder. This finder is powered by your decoder (VAST decoder, FTA decoder etc) and will indicate on a bar graph display, when you are focused on a satellite signal. The only problem is it may not be the correct satellite. Satellites can be as little as 4 degrees apart from each other, hence with experience you can count the satellites the finder finds, and know which satellite you are on.

The next step up is the SF500 series of finder. These finders can be programmed to store the frequency, symbol rate, polarization etc. for the satellite you are looking for. Once this finder locks onto a satellite you know it’s the correct one. A couple of versions are available. Both are powered via the decoder (as above) or by external batteries in the case of the SF500, or by internal rechargeable batteries in the case of the SF600. These finders do not require a decoder to align your dish.

The third option is a much more expensive option but a more professional option. The Satking SK9000 is a satellite and terrestrial TV meter. This meter has the advantage of being programmed to any satellite signal, and will display any ‘free to air’ picture on its display. (Including the VAST info channel).  It offers the following features: -

  • 7" colour LCD screen
  • Built in speaker
  • High Definition
  • MPEG2/4 Compliant
  • MER,BER,C/N,dB Microvolts
  • 3000mAH Lithium ION battery
  • HDMI output
  • AV Input for aligning security cameras
  • AV output
  • 12V Power output for power CCTV cameras (there is a limit to the current output)
  • Can be used as a compact TV if you add a TV Antenna
  • Antenna power for powering mast head Amps
  • Backlit menu buttons
  • Built in torch
  • Multimedia functions via the built in USB port

Not only does it cover satellite channels, but can locate terrestrial signals throughout Australia. A very comprehensive meter.