Has anyone successfully DIY aligned their satellite dish?
I got a kit on ebay that came with a cheap meter, I have put the dish up
and pointed it roughly in the direction of my other dish.
Then put the meter on it and set it to where I get the best reading, and
done this numerous times reducing the sensitivity as I went.
It certainly appears to be aligned to a satellite and if it isn't the one
I want it is the only one I can find, but the receiver box shows 0 signal.
I'll pay for someone to sort it if necessary but I had thought it would
be a piece of piss.
It's certainly easy enough to DIY, I used this site
there is also http://dishpointer.com
With the cheapo meter, you do realise you have to turn it down until it
doesn't make a noise/deflection, then aim dish until you find a
satellite and it starts making a noise again, then turn it down again
and make finer alignments, rinse and repeat (some advocate half-covering
the dish with a damp cloth in the final step).
A compass is helpful to determine which satellite you have pointed it at
and a cheapo meter with acoustic feedback ( a whine that gets higher
with increasing signal is less faff than reading a meter - or having
someone else read it and say better or worse).
Make sure you are pointed at the satellite you intended first - they are
pretty crowded along the equatorial line.
I wonder what you have got? I didn't have much bother - aligned by eye
using a compass got me something and then I optimised from there...
I set the altitude based on knowing my latitude which reduces it to a 1D
search in azimuth. Then tweaked the altitude slightly afterwards.
The first time I aligned mine I had problems getting the correct
satellite. In the end I mounted it on a workmate placed where I could
see the TV. I then moved the satellite watching the read out on the TV
until I got the correct satellite. I then adjusted it in the horizontal
plane, took a compass reading finally adjusted it in the vertical plane,
then made a gauge out of a bit of cardboard, mounted the dish in its
final position using the compass and the gauge. Fine tuned then using
the meter. A bit of a faff, but worked for me. Now that I know its
position I have managed with just the meter to et it up.
One thing to add is that some cheapie kits from last year (Ross) had
mismarked elevation angles that complicated setup. I realised the
problem wasn't me as I had set up a well made triax dish the year before
and it had been a piece of piss by comparison. On azimuth alignment I
found going to a map based alignment site and finding a landmark to line
the boom up with was a far easier than using a compass (which would be
affected by the metal boom if used too close).
I used http://www.dishpointer.com
Easiest way I found is to first look up the azimuth of the satellite you
want as it appears from your location, then print off a Google maps
satellite view zoomed in on your house. Plot the azimuth line on the map and
note any landmark points it goes through that you can see from your
satellite dish (my required azimuth goes right through a lamp post). Then
align the azimuth of the dish by using the dish boom as a boresight through
the landmark(s). Lock the dish azimuth so it is stiff but not locked. Then
adjust the dish elevation up and down while peaking the meter, followed by a
final tweak of the dish azimuth.
Worked for me, anyway.
Yes, dozens of times in fact every time we use the caravan and it takes
just a few minutes to set it up. Looking at another dish can only get
you pointing in roughly the correct direction. Check the existing one's
aim with a compass, then get your second one to point the same way. A
piece of wood with a bit of sting, a nut for a weight and a pencil
mark, should allow you to get the vertical aim the same.
Finally tweak the adjustment for strongest signal with the meter.
It's just that when we are asked by people to align their new dish
("I've tried and tried...") quite often they are miles out with the
elevation because they expect the dish face to be roughly the same as
next door's, which might not be the same geometry. Also people line up
on one satellite, but it isn't the right one, and don't realise they
have to adjust the elevation quite a lot if they've found (say) 5W and
they want (say) 28E.
Another thing is, 28E is quite a low elevation (look angle) and people
don't always realise how trees etc can be in in the way.
I used a Silva TD15CL compass and got an assistant to do a back-bearing
to the dish/LNB using the sighting mirror, then the test tone in the
receiver to work on the elevation. It works well enough for receiving TV.
Yes, people do it all the time. I have an entire section of my
website devoted to it. From the tone of your post, I suggest that it
would benefit you to read the General Intro before trying to use the
calculator page linked previously by Andy (thanks, Andy):
Satellite dishes have to be aligned with far greater accuracy than
conventional TV Aerials. With an aerial, unless conditions are
unusually difficult, anything within a few degrees of the
transmitter's actual direction will almost certainly get a signal.
With a satellite dish, you have to align to within about a degree or
less before you'll even get a signal to help you make the final, fine
adjustments. Thus looking at neighbouring dishes is not really more
than a very rough guide, especially as, although most will be pointed
to 28.2E, there's no guarantee that any one that you happen to be able
to see will be - if its owned by a family from some ethnic minority,
it may be aimed at a satellite serving the country whence came their
BTW, for those interested, my site also has a similar section on DIY
TV aerial alignment.
Please always reply to ng as the email in this post's
If you can just check that your SAT receiver is OK first on a known good
satellite receiver aerial..
Unless you know for -certain- it was working OK elsewhere..
Otherwise a bit of patience and only move it in very small increments
they need a bit of time to respond;!..
If its a Sky receiver there is a built in test scale can't remember it
now as we use a differing RX for Sat use but ISTR it was option 4 and
prolly 4 again somewhere in the setup menu....
It's easy and you seem to be doing it correctly, except that you have
probably found the wrong satellite(s).
Go to www.dishpointer.com
Type in your full address including postcode.
Select 28.2E Asrta 1N, Astra 2A, Astra 2B, Astra 2D
On the map drag the end of the green line to the position on your house
where you are mounting your dish.
As a starting point, assuming a Sky/Freesat minidish, the arm holding
the LNB should be horizontal. You can then move it slightly up/down.
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