How to Aim a Satellite Dish

How to Aim a Satellite Dish

Got sick of bad cable transmission? You might want to go the dish antenna way! Read the following article to find out how to aim a satellite dish to get the desired broadcast once you got and installed a dish antenna.
Hmm..... so your cable television service turned out to be not so good as the service provider had claimed to get your subscription, eh? Or is it just that you're constantly on the go and it's your vehicle that you spend more time in than your home? Whatever your reasons may be, the fact is that you've come to the conclusion that you need to get your very own dish antenna installed to access your desired communication or broadcast, independent of a third party service provider. OK, now, assuming that you've got and assembled your satellite dish antenna system, your present concern must be to aim your dish antenna in the right direction and at the correct angle so that you can catch all that satellite broadcast and get the transmission on your television set (or any other communication or data transmission device). In that case, read right ahead to find out how to aim a satellite dish functionally.

How to Point a Satellite Dish

It is very important to direct the receptor of a satellite dish antenna in the right direction in order to receive the right transmission and a clear, uninterrupted reception whose frequency does not get distorted during the course of transmission. Keeping these aspects in mind, here's a step by step guide on how to aim a satellite dish properly to get a clear reception of your desired broadcast.
  • Before you go ahead to align your dish antenna correctly in order to get a reception, you need to find out the azimuth and elevation of the satellite service provider whose broadcast you intend to catch and transmit on your transmission output device. Now, before you conclude that I'm speaking a foreign language, let me tell you that azimuth and elevation are nothing but two angles that denote the probable position of an object in space with relation to an observation point of the surface of the Earth. Here, the broadcast signal transmitting satellite will be the object in space and your installed dish antenna would be the observation points on earth. If you're installing a satellite dish for catching television broadcasts, the best way to find out the azimuth and elevation is to call up your satellite service provider and ask them.
  • Once you have the azimuth and elevation angles, turn the dish to face the relevant direction of the sky, either North or South. If you are located in the United States, you would be keeping the South sky as your satellite dish facing reference. In case you have difficulty in deciding the direction, use a compass.
  • Once you've turned the satellite dish in the desired direction, you need to adjust the angle in order to catch the transmission. For this, you need to turn on the transmission receiver and go to the satellite signal screen. Depending upon your specific receiver type, you can access this screen under setup or installation which are mostly located under the main menu.
  • Check for the signal strength and keep adjusting the direction of dish antenna's pointer accordingly. If your satellite dish is facing the correct sky region, chances are your receiver will show signals of varying strength. If your dish is facing the wrong sky region, you're unlikely to get any signal at all.
  • Once you start getting signals, adjust the dish in such a way that the signal strength is maximum. For this, you need to keep turning your dish antenna in various directions in the same sky region until you get a desired signal strength. Trial and error is the only way to arrive at the correct satellite dish pointing angle here.
If all this seems confusing or too much trouble, then the best and safest alternative is to call up a service person and get your satellite pointing done professionally. Actually, when you get the installations done by service persons, they usually do the dish antenna aiming and signal tuning themselves as part of the installation procedure. However, if you've done the installation yourself, it makes little sense to wait a couple of days before a service person shows up at your doorstep. You can also go through the tuning guide, alongside the installation guide, that comes with most satellite dish sets to get a general idea. Additionally, it would do you good to take the help of Google maps' satellite alignment calculator to get the exact direction and alignment angle.