Aligning a Satellite Dish

What You'll Need
Satellite dish
Satellite receiver
Mounting plate
Coaxial cable
Signal finder
Someone to help you

Learning how to align your own satellite dish can save you money, as you will not have to rely on the technicians from your local cable company to come out and do it for you. By aligning the satellite dish yourself you can use any satellite dish as well, not just the one that is affiliated with your cable provider. This process can be learned in minimal time and have you watching television with a clear and crisp picture in no time. Here's how:

Step 1 - Select a Location

The first thing you want to do is select an appropriate spot for your satellite dish to be mounted. Ideal locations include those that are free from or contain the fewest amount of obstructions. An obstruction is anything at eyelevel from the location such as trees, houses and telephone poles. Look for a location that is not blocked by any of these things and select a spot to mount it. Best locations for a satellite dish are either a roof or on a railing.

Step 2 - Attach the Mounting Plate

Use your drill and screws to attach the mounting plate in the selected location.

Step 3 - Attach the Satellite Dish

Use the manufacturer's directions to attach the satellite dish to the mounting bracket. Do not screw the bolts all the way in yet, as you are going to want to be able to both swivel and tilt the dish at this point.

Step 4 - Connect Cables

Attach the coaxial cable from your satellite dish's LNBF so that it runs to the receiver. Go back into your home and attach the satellite receiver to your television and turn both devices on.

Step 5 - Set Up Dish & Receiver

Insert the card you received with your receiver and use your instruction manual to properly setup the dish and receiver. In doing so, you will receive some data on the proper locations of your dish based on your particular location. You will need to write down both the direction you should be pointing and the recommended elevation level.

Step 6 - Align the Dish

Using a compass placed in the middle of the dish, move the dish slowly to the left or right until it is aligned properly based on the specifications from setup. Tighten the bolts at this time. Using the elevation number that you received during setup, tilt the dish to that mark using its swivel arm.

Step 7 - Find a Signal

Using the signal finder, hold it to the middle of the dish to check signal strength. Slowly adjust the elevation until you are receiving a strong signal that you are satisfied with. Use your helper to stay inside and look at the television to tell you how the signal strength looks. Adjust the bolts to tight now.

Step 8 - Secure Cables

Be sure to secure the cables both inside and out, as just a minor movement can cause lost or degradated cable signals. Once everything is in place and your signal is strong be sure to properly secure all cables.