How to set up a portable satellite

Written by marshal m. rosenthal
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A portable satellite dish can be used to acquire satellite TV in any location where it has an unimpeded view of the orbiting satellite. Setting up a portable satellite dish, for example, in a trailer park where your RV is staying for the night, or in a summer home where you will be staying for a few weeks, requires a few tools, supplies and satellite reception equipment. The procedure is straightforward and does not require any mechanical or electrical skills.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Satellite dish tripod
  • Coaxial cable, 50 feet
  • Compass
  • Satellite receiver
  • TV
  • HDMI cable
  • TV remote
  • Satellite remote

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  1. 1

    Open the legs of the satellite dish tripod. Stand the satellite dish on the ground.

  2. 2

    Loosen the bracket at the top of the tripod's pole with your fingers. Place the portable satellite dish on the pole. Tighten the bracket.

  3. 3

    Look at the compass. Make a note of the direction that matches that of the satellite feed. You can get this information from the satellite provider in the manual that comes with the satellite receiver as well as on their website.

  4. 4

    Rotate the portable satellite dish in the general direction of the satellite as discovered by using the compass.

  5. 5

    Loosen the horizontal and vertical knobs on the bottom of the portable satellite dish. Raise and aim the satellite dish toward the sky in the general direction of the satellite. Finger-tighten the horizontal and vertical knobs so that the dish remains in the position you have just placed it in.

  6. 6

    Screw an end of the coaxial cable into the coax output on the portable satellite dish. Run the coaxial cable over to the satellite receiver that has been placed next to the TV that will be used for viewing.

  7. 7

    Screw the free end of the coaxial cable into the coax input on the back of the satellite receiver. Plug an end of the High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) cable into the HDMI output on the back of the satellite receiver. Plug the other end of the HDMI cable into the HDMI input on the TV.

  8. 8

    Turn on the TV. Press "Menu" on the TV's remote. Select "Video." Select "Video input" from the menu below. Choose "HDMI" from the list of choices beneath or to the right of "Video input." Press the "Menu" button to return to the TV's main screen.

  9. 9

    Turn on the satellite receiver. Press "Source" on the satellite receiver's remote until "HDMI" appears on the front LCD panel.

  10. 10

    Press "Menu." Select "TV settings." Select "720p" or "1080p." Select "Widescreen" or "HD" from the "Aspect ratio" menu. Press the "Menu" button twice.

  11. 11

    Select the "Satellite reception" menu. Have another person go stand by the portable satellite dish. Have the person loosen the two knobs on the satellite dish.

  12. 12

    Monitor the "signal strength" meter bar on the TV screen as the person angles and adjusts the position of the portable satellite dish relative to the sky. Tell the person to stop adjusting the portable satellite dish when the bar is displaying a green line that is at least at or above the "75" mark on the bar.

  13. 13

    Have the person tighten the knobs on the portable satellite dish and return. Press the "Menu" button. Press the "Up" and "Down" arrows on the remote to go to different television channels now that your portable satellite dish has been set up to receive satellite TV.

Tips and warnings

  • Satellite TV cannot be received if you are not a subscriber to a satellite TV service.
  • Put the portable satellite dish away if there is a thunderstorm so as to avoid any possible lightning strike.

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