How To Install and Aim/Point a Satellite Dish

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Every satellite dish is a little different and the specifics of each are too much to cover in this how-to article. However, I will talk about

some basics of installing. It is important that you read your instructions manual very carefully. Not doing so could result in you losing your warranty for failure to follow instructions. To begin, you will need a compass, a level, a socket wrench, and someone to watch the television screen while you play with

the dish. Your specific dish may require other tools – again, read your instructions to find out.

Now, keep in mind the satellite calculator is designed to give satellite elevation, azimuth, and Earth position information to determine the line of sight (LOS) for optimal signal. The calculator determines this information based on a given city and state. The person at the television needs to enter the zip code. You will be given your latitude and longitude, which is your elevation, and your azimuth, which is the direction that the antenna needs to point.

You will need to follow the assembly instructions for the dish mount. Each of these will vary, so you need to read the directions within your manual.

Once you have assembled your mount, you want to attach it to your roof. It is best not to attach it to any loose structures like a chimney or any kind of weak brickwork. A strong gust of wind would tear your dish off fairly quickly in those cases. When you attach it, be sure to leave the nuts loose enough so that you can adjust it to find the best signal.

After you have attached the mount to the roof, raise the

arm that the dish sits on and make sure it’s level. Use your compass to find the direction you need to point the antenna (your azimuth). Once you find it, point your antenna in that direction. The person at the television should see the signal level change from ‘0’ to something higher. You want to get it to 90+ on the meter, so some fine tuning will be necessary.

Keep in mind that trees will hinder your communication signal, so when installing be sure that you adjust for them, as well. Once you’ve found the position with the highest signal level, tighten the nuts to keep the antenna positioned. You can mark the position if you like; however, it is probably not going to serve as anything but a guide should you need to realign. As the satellite is in constant motion because it goes the same speed as the Earth’s rotation, the signal may be in a different spot when you go to realign the dish.

It will take a bit of work to perfect your signal, but there is no need to fear. Once your dish is properly located, your effort will be well worth it.

Further Reading and Additional Resources

Another short how-to guide at Kolias.com

Much more detailed approach at eHow.com

Very cool software you can download that will calculate where you need to point your satellite dish to align it

5 COMMENTS

  1. How would you suggest one overcome their fear of heights before installing the dish? 😆

    All in all, this is very quality information and may be put to use here in about a month or so should we decide to go the satellite route.

    Regards.

  2. “…As the satellite is in constant motion because it goes the same speed as the Earth’s rotation, the signal may be in a different spot when you go to realign the dish….”

    Did I misread that, ,,or is it absolute bilgewater?

    The satellite stays in the same spot in the sky. That’s why you can use a dish.

    Who wrote this?

  3. I agree with Old Jim. Most of the rest was good but that comment the satellite will be in a different spot is incorrect.

  4. sound like the same guy that installed my dish. he said it took a little time for the signal to go back and forth to the satellite because it was 25000 miles up. i started calculating. radio waves travel at 186,000 miles per SECOND,so it really shouldn’t take too long for the signal to go there and back. my wife and i have laughed over and over.

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