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Vsat Installation and Maintenance Training

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Sep 12th, 2007 at 9:56am  
Hi ALL,

Pls i need information on the best firms worldwide that offer training and certification on Vsat (satellite) installation and maintenance.

Pls forward such traning providers contact details to me.

Thank you in advance.

Ime
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Reply #1 - Sep 12th, 2007 at 12:38pm  
Just read the installation manuals !
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Reply #2 - Sep 12th, 2007 at 12:47pm  
I have not acquired any nor about to install any. all i need are trainers on vsat installation. i guess there are manuals on all aspect of IT but that doesn't eliminate the need for instructor led training.
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Eric Johnston
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Reply #3 - Sep 12th, 2007 at 1:20pm  
Anyone getting a VSAT terminal can install it themselves.  The instruction manuals are good and there is plenty of advice and support freely available here on this web site and forum.  Service providers and hubs should provide excellent verbal and email support to customers needing help with configuration, antenna alignment and polarisation adjustment.  Just call the hub and ask the hub technician who can see your remote on their screen and spectrum analyser.

I'm not happy with the notion that only 'qualified' installers are skilled enough to set up VSATs.  I would emphasise that the task is not that difficult to do and no customer should be discouraged from trying to do it themselves.

While I am in the mood, let me also say that I am not happy with operators who don't let customers talk to the teleport hub.    Customers want to talk to a friendly technician at the teleport who can investigate any problem immediately.  In particular, they don't want robotic intermediary call centres.  

I dislike anti-competitive operators who try to make VSAT installation a "closed shop".

Go to this link for VSAT installers in Africa.

See here iDirect VSAT hub and remote VSAT training for a link suggested by pgannon about iDirect VSAT and hub training.

Best regards, Eric.
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« Last Edit: Nov 17th, 2014 at 8:25am by Admin1 »  
 
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Reply #4 - Sep 13th, 2007 at 1:20pm  
Eric Johnston wrote on Sep 12th, 2007 at 1:20pm:
I'm not happy with the notion that only 'qualified' installers are skilled enough to set up VSATs.  I would emphasise that the task is not that difficult to do and no customer should be discouraged from trying to do it themselves..
Excellent points Eric, it would be nice if there were corporate level eyes reading this topic. But I'm not personally ready to jump on the self-install bandwagon. Throwing up a receive only satellite TV dish is one thing. But to install a satellite dish that is capable of radiating, we'll let's just say that's the particular wagon I'm not yet ready to ride. Yes, there are some customers out here who are almost certainly more qualified to complete a competent self-installation than some of the so-called "certified installers". The idea that providers like Hughes/WildBlue/StarBand will technically not permit you and me for example - to perform our own installations - is patently absurd.

Besides basic mechanical skills, the foremost qualification in my mind is to understand WHY you're doing WHAT you're doing. Two of the biggest WHATs are transmitter isolation and grounding. That said, there are also too many so-called "certified instructors" running loose out here that don't have a clue about WHAT they're doing, much less WHY they're doing it. The providers actually charge them a fee to sit through a video tape question and answer session, then give them a piece of paper that says they're "certified" to install the product. Oversight from that point borders on pathetic. In my mind, this "certification" has less to do with quality control at the installation level than it does with inventory control at the provider level. Many employers have been known to send one potential installer to "the class", then use the resultant documentation to "self-certify" the otherwise untrained balance of his minimum wage installer crew.

Three very important pieces of the self-installation puzzle are needed before I'm ready to lend support; a meaningful installation document, appropriate signal quality tools, and aggressive installation post-installation oversight. The providers must publish an installation manual that tells the customer not only WHAT to do, but WHY they're actually doing it. The currently proprietary signal test devices must be made available as part of the self-installation package. Each and every self-install must be subjected to immediate scrutiny from a QA/QC perspective, to avoid mutual interference from the masses. Minimum waveform standards must be displayed before an installation can be commissioned. Within a week of successful commissioning, a TRULY qualified installer should make a site inspection to certify the actual hardware installation.

So. The providers need to clean up their own house first. That is, they need to do some hard work on truly meaningful installation instructions and in-house training. They need to provide signal quality tools that will not significantly increase the package price. And they then need to aggressively weed out the bad installers. Those surviving the cull will then constitute a new installer/certifier force; to perform competent installations for those customers NOT electing to self-install, and to perform followup quality control certifications for those that do.

//greg//
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Reply #5 - Sep 13th, 2007 at 3:33pm  
Well, I think reality is bit complicated, without a clear cut here.

On the one hand, I usually say that we are not magicians and this is not magic; and with good instructions and professional support most customers can take care of the installation by themselves. Especially if we are talking about small Ku systems..

On the other hand, I've seen lot of problems caused by non-professional installation:
Mostly, we are talking about causing interferences - as Greg mentioned, to install a TV dish is really not the same as installation a system that also transmits. I'm sure we all have bad experience with interferences, usually caused by non-professional installers, transmitting in the wrong polarity or failing to calculate the L-band frequency they should work at. (Or failing to find the right satellite!).
Also, non-professional installations can also cause problems to other satellites - for example, Apstar 2R and LMI are near each other; installer that fails to point the dish to the center of box will have not only poor performance but also will cause some noise at the other satellite.

Another issue is the real damage that a non-professional installer can cause. We are all humans and make mistakes, but I've seen a 2.4m dish falling from a 25m building and I dont want to see this again, from the simple reason that it was a pure miracle nobody was hurt. and I've also seen several damaged IDU as a result of bad judgment of the installer.

The thing is that this is a crazy market. If you have a tiny link that cost lets say $400 a month and located around the end of the earth, it will be crazy to send your best installer. If you will send a quote to your customer including the installation, the customer will probably ran away to another service provider. This crazy market also cause service providers to try and cut their expenses. The result is also poor technical support.

I guess that the best solution is somewhere in between. Get your best installer when possible, this way you can be quite sure that a link that was installed professionally, will be a good and stable link with a good and satisfied customer - and not a customer that calls the CS every couple of days because he has some problems with his connections. This way, service providers can have less CS agents - becaues their network is more stable.
When you cant dispatch a professional installer, make sure you have the most *EXCELLENT* support desk, with people with lot of practical experience that can guide the customers over the phone, over the internet and whatever. Im sure we all know service providers with excellent backbone connectivity and great satellite platforms, but the poor level of their customer service is the weak link.
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Reply #6 - Oct 28th, 2007 at 5:18pm  
Ime

Where are you located?   

Depending on your worldly location I might can connect you with training/certification in US or Europe.
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Reply #7 - Nov 5th, 2007 at 1:21pm  
Hi.

I am located in Abuja, Nigeria. I don't necessarily need a trainer in my locality but if there is one you can get to come here or one that is here already, do let me know.

Thanks
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Reply #8 - Nov 28th, 2007 at 4:04pm  
Global VSAT Forum offers a great training.  They were the company requested to give training at the 2007 Houston VSAT conference.  It cost about $1600 all together and most of it is virtual online.
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Reply #9 - Jan 8th, 2008 at 9:55pm  
In my opinion hands on is the key to learn VSAT installation. I know some people in Nigeria who never took any classroom training but they can compete with any so called certified technician. If you have $ 1600 or Naira 192000 to spend just for a simple training then go ahead otherwise you can find a lot of people out there in lagos who will take you to the site and that will be the best training for you with a much less fee.

Thanks
Vineet
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