Thank you for choosing our newest and most innovative satellite identification and alignment meter. This device far exceeds the capability of any alignment tools we have offered to date.
While most pointing devices only give you a general idea that there are indeed satellites in the sky, the BirDog® takes you one step further by positively identifying some satellites. This meter was specifically designed and intended to assist in simplifying the HughesNet alignment procedure; however, a secondary advantage lies in its ability to identify some other satellites as well.
The BirDog® satellite menu can be reprogrammed to include only the satellites you are interested in or to search for satellites which are not found in the default menu. The procedure for making the modification is discussed in this document.
Please note that this manual was current at the time of publication and applies to BirDog meters with Ver 3.0 software ONLY. The latest news and updates are available at www.birdog.tv.
Intelligent Charger (UL approved) with delta V delta T detection
LNB supply voltage
LNB supply current
LNB short circuit protection
RF input range
Input dynamic range
Universal charger input range
Battery Run time with full charge (single LNB):
Number of satellite data lines available in memory:
Approximate unit discharge time (idle state)
Fast charge, then Trickle
13Vdc for V/R, 18 Vdc for H/L
up to 400 mA @ 13Vdc
~ 500 mA limit (battery capacity variable)
950 to2150 MHz
-65dBm to -25dBm
100 Vac to 250 Vac
up to 3 hours
64 lines (64 sats, one polarity)
Warning: the neck strap can present a choking hazard. Use only when falling or slipping is not a possibility.
Do NOT expose this meter to rain or moisture!
In The Box!
Your BirDog® is supplied with this manual, the meter, a protective case, an auto charge cord, an A/C charge cord, one PortSaver and a computer USB interface cord.
Attach and securely tighten the PortSaver to the "INPUT" jack on the BirDog. All coax wiring connections should be made through the PortSaver fitting. This fitting should REMAIN attached to the BirDog at all times to avoid wear on the "INPUT" jack. The PortSaver fitting will eventually wear out and is easily replaced.
Charging The Battery
The meter's battery will not be charged when you receive it. We recommend that you charge the unit overnight to fully energize the batteries. Overnight charging will allow some trickle charging which Ni-MH batteries need to come up to full performance.
The batteries will need to be recharged occasionally even if the unit has not been used. Recharge batteries approximately every three weeks to keep the battery pack charged.
Note that it is not possible to use the BirDog* when the batteries are being charged.
Charging with the A/C cord
Open the flap on the back of the BirDog® to access the A/C charge port. Plug the A/C charger cord into this port and into a standard 110 Vac outlet. The battery is fully charged when you see the words "Trickle Charge" on the screen.
Charging from a Vehicle (D.C. Auto charge cord)
The Vehicle (12 Vdc) charge port is on the right side of the unit. Plug the 'D.C. Auto Charger cord' into the socket and then into a 'lighter' socket in your vehicle. In most cases the vehicle must be running to provide sufficient charge voltage. The 'D.C. Auto Charger cord' supplied with your BirDog® is the only lead to use for car charging. The use of any other lead can damage the meter and will void the warranty.
The BirDog can remain connected to either power source, in a "Trickle Charge" state, for an extended period of time without damaging any internal components.
To Turn The Meter On
Solidly connect a good quality RG-6 jumper from the BirDog® PortSaver fitting on the front of the meter to the LNBF on the antenna. Note that a poor connection here can cause the meter to malfunction. Now, generally point the antenna in the azimuth (magnetic) direction specified by the software in your satellite receiver, or in the case of a HughesNet installation, a laptop, or customer's PC.
The second screen indicates the software version number and battery strength.
The meter scrolls to the next screen automatically.
The third screen indicates the name of the satellite selected, the longitude of the satellite, raw signal received, battery strength and "Searching" since the satellite has not been found yet.
On some files the satellite's description or intended use is displayed.
Selecting A Satellite
Find the satellite you are interested in by scrolling through the stored memory. In this example, the DirecTV® satellite located at 101° is selected. Note that, due to space limitation, the polarity is not indicated in this selection.
The display indicates a weak raw signal "S" and the text message "Searching". Keep scanning the sky until the "S" increases and the "Q" bar appears.
Aligning the Dish On The Selected Satellite
Getting close, the dish is pointing at the edge of the DirecTV® satellite. Note that the word "Found" appears. Keep moving the dish until the "Q" and "S" levels are maximized.
"Q" is now maxed out,
"S" is maxed out. That's it......
You are done.
Tighten the mount bolts.
To Turn The Meter Off
To turn the BirDog® off, press and release the upper (OFF) button. The display will indicate "Shutting Down" and then the display screen will go blank.
The BirDog® must be turned off to access the optional setup screen.
To access the optional features, momentarily press the UP arrow. You will see this screen.
Press down or up arrows to select the required function. The traveling bar will indicate the selected item. The "Clicking" adjustment is selected in this example.
More menu features are available, continue pressing the 'down' arrow to access more pages of selections. Ten individual preferences are customizable.
The language (English), RF presentation, Bit Error Rate (BER) and presentation when the satellite is "Found" can be modified to suit your preferences. The RF bar graph presentation can be change to micro volts "dBuV" or "Linear" graphs. The "Found" indication can be changed to the BER scientific presentation or just the word "Found" and the "Q" bar can be changed to a logarithmic scale or a linear bar graph scale.
To Change and Save a Feature
In this example we have selected the "Sleep" timer adjustment and changed the "Sleep" mode to 15 minutes.
To save the selection(s) you have made, press the up arrowhead button to position the traveling bar on "Exit", then press the right (or left) arrowhead.
To return all adjustable options to their original factory setting, select "Defaults" and press the right arrow or left arrow. Then, scroll to "Exit" and press the right or left arrow again.
To Reduce the Raw Signal "S" Bar Graph
If the "S" (raw signal) bar graph is maxed out, press the bottom (ON) button once.
The screen will then indicate "Auto Ranging" where the bar graph was located. The meter will now re-center the raw signal strength.
(Attenuated Display Sensitivity)
When the bar graph reappears, it will be reduced in length allowing for more accurate dish alignment. The Auto Ranging feature only works if the satellite has not been "Found".
Signal to Noise Ratio
If you would like to look at the signal to noise ratio, the BirDog® can provide that information. With the satellite "Found", press the bottom (ON) button once.
The "S" changes to a "C" and now reflects the C/N or signal to noise ratio in db.
The V indicates inverse Bit Error Rate after error correction.
You can change the pre-loaded satellite list which is currently in the memory of the BirDog® by going to www.birdog.tv. The instruction set which follows in this manual, "How To Download from the Website", was current at the time of this manual's printing but is superceded by any revisions found on the website.
Note that the BirDog may not be able to positively identify the correct location of satellites other than those in the default menu. Some of the satellites available for download from the website do cause the BirDog to indicate "Found" in one or more locations. You may download any of these other satellites but they are to be used with the understanding that misidentification may result. A thorough knowledge of the magnetic heading to the satellite you are attempting to positively identify can help you resolve some of the duplicate satellite locations.
The default satellite list which is pre-loaded at the factory will be overwritten by any uploads you perform. However, the factory default list is also available from the web site and can be reloaded if desired. Note that the satellites you choose need to be selected in the sequence that you want them to appear in the BirDog®. If, for example, you select a satellite located at 119° and then select one located at 101°, the 119° satellite will come up first as you scroll through the list of satellites in the stored memory. This can be handy knowledge as you may prefer to have the satellites you use most, located at the first of the list.
You can load from one to sixty four satellite data lines in memory. The fewer lines you select for your custom list, the quicker you can find the one you want when lining up antennas. Just keep in mind, only one list will be retained in the BirDog® memory. The previous list is overwritten by the next upload you do.
We HIGHLY suggest that if more than one polarity is indicated on the website for a particular satellite file, that you load both polarities in your BirDog. See page 6 "How to Download from the Website" for an example.
Computer Requirements for Download and Upload
This feature requires a Microsoft Operating system of Windows 2000 (with all current updates) or later. You will also need an Internet Service Provider (ISP) connection to the internet and a USB port connection on your computer.
Please note that Perfect 10 will not advise you on how to modify the software or bios settings of your PC. Contact your computer provider if you have any questions concerning USB ports.
When the BirDog is first connected to a PC, special software drivers need to be loaded. Go to page 9 for detailed instructions on loading these drivers.
How to Download from the Website
To change the satellite menu in your BirDog, go to "www.birdog.tv" and press the "News" button to see if any current news will affect your download. Then press the "Configure" button. Scroll down the page until you see a screen similar to the example below. Note that satellite names and locations change often so don't expect what you see on the website in "Available Satellites" to be a duplicate of this illustration.
Select the satellite files you want in your list, in the order that you want them to appear in your Birdog. As you select each satellite, press the right arrow key to insert them into the list on the right side. Remember, you can pick the sequence they will appear in the BirDog at this time.
In this example, I have selected DirecTV 101 as the FIRST satellite to appear and SatMex5 will appear next.
The BirDog memory can hold a maximum of 64 satellite files in the sequence, however the more files you load, the longer it will take to scroll through them, so choose wisely.
IF you have web filters installed that prevent downloading an .exe file, simply check the "Create zipped. exe file" box and a .zip file will be sent back to you.
This screen will appear. Click on "Download your File".
This screen will appear. Click on the "Save" button.
A screen similar to this will open. Decide where you want to store the download. In this example, the file will be stored in a "Temp" file.
After you have made your choice of the storage point, press the "Save" button.
This screen advises you that the file has been downloaded and lists the location where the file is now stored.
Press the "Close" button.
This completes the "Download" or Configuration process. The next step will be uploading the new menu into the BirDog.
You might want to keep track of the executable file name just in case you want to download a different satellite list from the website at a later date, the file name will be different each time. That way you can pick and choose from the previous downloads that you have already stored on your computer.
This example, 'radFC6AC.exe' has only DTV 101 and both polarities of Satmex 5 in it. I might have more executable files previously downloaded and stored on my computer. Each would have a different file name and could contain a completely different list of satellites.
How to Upload the new Menu into the BirDog
Find the .exe file you just downloaded from the website and double-click on that file.
This Text Will Appear if the connection is complete
Press the "Transfer" button and a progress bar will appear.
Download is complete. Press "OK".
Installing USB drivers
Note: Before your start please ensure that you are using Windows 2000 (with all current updates) or above and that you are connected to the internet. You will only need to do this once on the PC that you wish to use for BirDog website downloads. During the driver installation process and while connecting your BirDog for programming, the display will flash and the sounder will beep, this is normal and indicates that communications are being initialized.
On connecting your BirDog to your PC the USB device detection will begin. Most computers will automatically load the USB drivers. Info balloons like the 3 shown below will appear 1 at a time in the lower right of the desktop and chartthe progress of the automatic download.
If the USB drivers don't automatically load, then the "Found New Hardware Wizard" will appear. Select 'Yes, this time only'
The first stage of the driver installation is now complete, your computer will now proceed to download the additional driver required.
Click the "Finish" button.
Your PC will now indicate that a new USB Serial Port has been found.
To complete the installation of the new additional driver for the USB Serial Port click the "Next" button.
While your PC is searching for the drivers a window like this will appear.
The BirDog USB Driver installation is now complete. You can now visit the www.birdog.tv website for downloads.
Note: In the event of experiencing problems during the driver installation process, or you wish to download the drivers and install manually, please visit the www.birdog.tv/usb web site for more information.
Basic Operation and Characteristics
The BirDog® was specifically designed as a measuring device to greatly simplify the HughesNet and DirecTV installation processes. You will find this instrument does an excellent job of identifying HughesNet satellites and optimizes the installer's ability to complete the "cross-pole"in a timely fashion.
The BirDog® looks at several data stream features broadcast from the satellites. Some satellites (like HughesNet birds) transmit data which is unique and identifiable. The "Found" response is a positive indication of the satellite's identity. However, there are a few broadcast satellites which have exactly the same data stream and are not unique. In that case, a "Found" indication can be the desired satellite or one of several duplicate satellites. The BirDog can still be helpful on duplicate satellites as your knowledge of the magnetic azimuth to the satellites will be the key to sort out the duplicates. Please refer to www.birdog.tv for the most current information on duplicate satellite transmissions.
There is no "constant" maximum signal number you should try to achieve. The LNBF, antenna and geographic location will vary the maximum signal level. Each installation is unique with variable conditions.
The BirDog®does not control polarity motors like those found on C-band dishes. If there is a polarity motor on the feed horn of dish you are aiming, use the receiver to set the polarity of the rotor motor, or, manually rotate the LNB and horn to the proper polarity before attempting to find the satellite. The BirDog® does control circular polarity voltage controlled LNBFs like those found on DirecTV and DishNetwork antennas via its internal voltage driver control.
The 'Backlight' feature draws more current from the battery. Therefore, this should only be turned ON when it is needed and normally left in the OFF to preserve run time. See "Other Features" on page 4.
You must have a clear shot at the satellite for the BirDog® to work. Trees and buildings violate the rules. Try to have a clear sky shot initially so you can identify the satellite's true location. Then you can work on manipulating the hole-in-the-trees shot for the tough installations.
Note that the BirDog® is very frequency specific on the LO (local oscillator) of the LNB. You must be using common LNBFs for the device to work. If, for example, it is a C-band bird you are trying to identify, use a common 3.7—4.2 LNBF with an I.F. of 950—1500. It may be necessary for you to install a common LNBF to identify the satellite, then install any 'special' LNBFs when you have finished aligning the antenna.
DISEqC commands can be selected and generated by pressing the "ON" (down arrow) button any time you have a satellite search window showing. A menu will appear with four choices. Selecting one of the four DISEqC command lines and pressing the right or left arrow sends the DISEqC signal to the LNBF.
Really cold weather conditions affect the performance of this meter. The rechargeable battery pack's available stored charge is greatly reduced in cold weather, this is just a fact of life for batteries. Additionally, if the temperature is down into the 20's (F), the LCD display crystals can freeze and cease to function, the display will remain "blank". The LCD is not damaged by this characteristic and when warmed up again the display will work fine. Just remember that when it's cold try to keep the meter in a warmer environment until time for use.
The Ver 3.0 BirDog has the capability to control the DishPro dual or quad LNBF. You must download the "DishPro 110 West" and/or the "DishPro 119 West" satellite lines from the "Configure" page on the www.birdog.tv website. Note that the BirDog CANNOT control the DP34 or DP21 switches as the current demand of the switch and all connected LNBFs can exceed the performance range of the internal battery. If these switches are, or will be, in the system, bypass them initially and connect the BirDog directly to the DishPro LNBFs on port #1 for identification and alignment. Once the alignment is complete you can connect, or reconnect, the DP switches.
The BirDog will recall and restart on the LAST SATELLITE SELECTED when it is powered up again.
The BirDog meter has a design temperature range of 32°F to 100° F at humidity levels less than 85%. Beyond these limits the meter may not operate properly. At temperatures below 32° the internal battery can lose up to 60% of it's rated capacity; additionally, the LCD (liquid crystal) display can stop displaying information. It is very important that, in cold weather conditions, the meter is kept in a dry and warm place prior to use.
Satellite selections which utilize left hand circular polarization demand more power from the battery than selections which are right hand polarized. Specifically, LHCP requires 18vDC and RHCP 13vDC.
The manufacturer suggests that, in cold weather conditions, the meter be kept warm, fully charged, and connected solidly to the LNBF before attempting to turn the meter "ON".
Two of the error codes you might encounter with the BirDog meter are "Empty Table" and "I2C Error".
The "Empty Table" text display indicates that the download from the website is faulty. Re-select the desired satellites from the website and download the file again.
The "I2C" Error indicates that the internal electronics are not receiving correct communication with the internal tuner. This can be caused by low batteries (typically in cold weather), a high amp demand from the LNBF/switch set, loose connections between the meter and the LNBF or switching to LHCP with a weak battery.
Replacement Part Numbers
A/C Charger Cord...........................AW993USP Protective Case................................AL001BK
USB Interface Cord..........................AW998USB Rechargeable Battery Pack.............BP7233-2
D/C Auto Charger Cord..................AW992CIG Port Saver..........................................PVFIX
Utility of this Device
The satellite programmers have complete control of the data stream information. They change the data stream methods and technology at will and for their own purposes. Perfect 10 has no control over the evolution of data streaming. While we will make every effort to provide you with current satellite identification downloads, this device could eventually lose its ability to identify specific satellites by the evolution of technology.
Perfect 10 Satellite Distributing will, at our option, repair or replace any BirDog meter found defective in manufacture within a warranty period of one year. This warranty period is determined from the date of purchase. Keep your receipt as proof of purchase date. Otherwise, the warranty is determined by date of manufacture. This warranty does not apply to damage caused by accident, misuse or tampering with the unit. Removal of tamper seals attached to the meter or installation of replaceable battery packs not provided by or approved by either Perfect 10 or Horizon Global Electronics Ltd. (the manufacturer) will void this warranty. Connection cords and cables provided with the meter are warrantedfor ninety (90) days.
Perfect 10 Satellite Distributing 3901 Progress Street North Little Rock, Arkansas 72114 1-800-205-8620
© Copyright, 2006, Perfect 10 Satellite Distributing. No part of this document may be copied or reproduced without the written consent of Perfect 10 Satellite Distributing, 3901 Progress Street, North Little Rock, Arkansas.