How to set a dish antenna

Written by billy kirk
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How to set a dish antenna
(antenne satellite. image by Bruno Bernier from

Setting up a dish antenna is often left to a satellite professional. However, it need not be, because you can perform this installation in your own home and on your own time. With a friend to provide a little assistance, and with access to your satellite receiver, hand-held level and wrench, you can set up your satellite dish antenna with relatively little headache, so long as you practice patience with the elevation and azimuth adjustments of the dish antenna.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Hand-held level
  • A/V cables
  • Helper
  • Wrench

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  1. 1

    Make sure the mounting area for your satellite dish antenna is free of any obstructions, both on the ground and in the air. This means checking to ensure the mounting area is flat and free of debris, and that there are no objects, such as trees or power lines, blocking the satellite dish antenna's path to the sky. When putting your dish in place, use a hand-held level. Place it along the dish's mast and measure to make sure the dish is mounted flush to the mounting surface and is level.

  2. 2

    Point your satellite dish antenna toward the southern sky. All you need at this point is to ensure it is pointed toward the general southern sector of the sky.

  3. 3

    Connect the satellite receiver that comes with the satellite dish antenna to your television. Locate the A/V cables that shipped with the satellite receiver. In their standard configuration, these are red, yellow and white in colour. Note that there are connectors on the back of your TV and the back of the satellite receiver that correspond in colour to the red, white and yellow A/V cable prongs. Match these colours up between the connectors and prongs and connect them accordingly. Then, connect the coaxial cable that runs from the satellite dish to the satellite receiver. To do this, locate the port on the back side of the receiver that is labelled "ANT IN." Connect the coaxial cable to this port.

  4. 4

    Turn on both your television and your satellite receiver. A menu will appear. Select the "signal meter screen," and return to the satellite dish antenna. Have a buddy stay with the signal meter screen.

  5. 5

    Set up the dish antenna by setting the elevation. Adjust the elevation by using a wrench to loosen the nuts located near the elevation bolts. If you have an issue locating these nuts, your satellite dish antenna's manual will provide a visual diagram to assist you. With the elevation nuts loosened, make slight up/down adjustments (elevation) to your dish. After each adjustment, wait for a report back from your buddy at the signal meter screen, and make further adjustments as necessary.

  6. 6

    Set up the dish antenna by setting the azimuth, which is the left/right orientation of the dish. Do this by loosening the LNB dish arm nuts with your wrench (your manual will again provide visual help in case you need it). Make slight left/right adjustments, and after these, make sure you wait for reports back from the meter screen. Once the signal meter screen provides an optimal reading of 70 to 80, your set-up is complete.

Tips and warnings

  • If mounting your satellite dish to an area on your roof, watch your footing and stay focused at all times. When utilising a ladder to reach the roof, have a friend hold the ladder at its base to provide stability.

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