Fixed Dish Installation

Choosing The Site for Dish Installation

The first thing you need to do is choose the installation site. The area must have a clear "line of sight" to the satellite. This means there can be no obstruction between the dish and the satellite. This includes buildings, tree branches, leaves, mountain, etc.

In order to receive a good signal, select an outdoor site with a clear, unobstructed view of the South, Southeast, or Southwest, depending on your location and the satellite you want to receive. If you install the dish in the winter, leaves that are normally on the branches,may not be present. A problem with reception may occur when the leaves grow back in the spring and summer.

The pole that the dish attaches to needs to be mounted vertically, perpendicular to the ground, otherwise it will complicate pointing the dish at the satellite. Mount this pole as level as possible.

To receive broadcast signals for Telstar (Intelesat Americas) 5 or any satellite, your dish must be positioned correctly. The exact direction that your antenna will have to be pointed at is dependent upon your location. The ELEVATION angle is the angle relative to the horizon, that the antenna must be raised in order to be able to receive signals from a particular satellite. The AZIMUTH is the compass bearing, left to right, that the antenna must be pointed toward in order to receive the satellite signal. Those two angles will help you determine if the location you have selected for placement of your antenna will permit unimpeded satellite reception.

This link will take you to a page on the internet where you can download a software program that will give you your Azimuth, Elevation and Polarization Angles: MPEG2DishAlignmentChart.htm

This link will take you to another Software program that allows you to calculate your angles using your Zip Code and also calculates the Magnetic Deviation: Satfinder

Once you have the Settings for the satellite that you are going to aim your dish at, hold the compass flat in your hand in front of you.

Ensure that you are at an adequate distance away from any metal object that may give you a false compass indication. As you hold the compass, allow the compass needle to stop moving. Once it has stabilized, the arrow or red end of the compass needle should point toward the north.

Gently rotate the compass so that the 0 degree mark on the compass scale sits under the arrow, or red end of the needle, pointing toward the North.

Since 0 degrees on the compass denotes North, you can now locate the compass azimuth bearing on the compass scale for the direction that you will need to point your dish at. You will probably note that the direction of the satellite, as indicated on the angle calculation or data sheet, is towards the South. That direction is the physical direction that the dish will have to be pointed.

Once you have oriented yourself in that direction, consider the elevation angle. Now make a judgment based on the elevation angle of where you live. Keep in mind that 45 degrees is halfway between 0 degrees and the horizon while 90 degrees is straight up. If while looking in that direction, given both the compass azimuth and the elevation for your location, if you do not see any obstacles, that location should be adequate for the placement and installation of your dish-antenna.

Dish Aiming Procedure

With the dish facing South and an unobstructed view of the sky, use a compass to find the location that you will need to aim the dish at. Try to move away from anything metal that may effect the compass reading.

Set your basic elevation angle. Refer to the elevation scale located on the elevation plate at the back of your dish. To set the correct elevation angle, loosen the bolts that connects the elevation plate to the dish just enough so that the reflector can move up or down without binding. Carefully set the elevation to the angle value of your area.

You also need to set the Polarization angle of the LNBF. The LNBF is the electronic piece that connects to the dish LNBF arm that goes in front of the dish that the coax cable hooks to. When the cable outlet is pointed straight down, this is known as 0 degrees. You will need to rotate the LNBF to the correct setting for your location.

Dish Alignment & LNBF Mount

Before the actual dish alignment can be done, it is necessary to connect a coax cable between the LNBF, attached to the dish and your receiver. Both connections use the standard coaxial F-connector. Now your dish will be in position to lock in on the satellite signal. You will need to have your receiver connected to your television.

It is recommended that you place your satellite receiver and television set close to the dish during the dish alignment procedure. If that is not possible due to where the dish is located, a second person may be helpful to relay information seen on the screen of the TV when the dish is being aligned. Do not turn the power on until all the cable connections have been made. There are two options when connecting the receiver to your TV or monitor. The receiver has both audio/video outputs as well as a regular coax output on either channel 3 or 4. Attach the appropriate cables according to the system you have. If you use the standard coax, channel 3 or 4 output, ensure that you select the channel, 3 or 4, that is not used in your area for local off-air broadcast television. Your television would have to be set to the channel you selected, 3 or 4, in order for you to receive the programming. There is a switch on the back of the receiver that can be switch to 3 or 4. If the audio/video outputs are used, your television typically would need to be switched to the Video Input mode.

Now turn on your receiver and television. Use the on screen menu to locate the Signal Strength and Quality bars on your television. Refer to the Manual of the particular receiver that you have.

If possible, have a helper watch the signal bars on the screen for indications that you are receiving the signal. Stand behind the dish, and holding the outer edges, slowly turn it a little to the left or right about 3 or 4 mm at a time to adjust the azimuth. pause a few seconds, giving the receiver enough time to lock in on the satellite signal. Continue turning the dish in this way until your have acquired the signal, then adjust the elevation and LNBF Polarization angle for maximum signal quality. If you do not get Signal when you are first moving your dish from East to West, then make a small adjustment on the Elevation angle and move the dish from East to West again until you obtain the signal.