Satellite Dish Antenna Installation Overview
The manual is organized into steps that need to be performed in the order presented.
Preparing for Installation
• Complete a General Site Survey – Visually survey your location to make sure it is suitable.
• Obtain Dish Pointing Coordinates – Use the on-screen menu system to obtain the exact coordinates (azimuth and elevation) for pointing the dish. Directions for using on-screen menus can be found in your receiver manual.
• Select the Precise Mounting Site – Use the dish pointing coordinates to conduct a precise site survey to determine the exact mounting site.
• Estimate Cable Requirements – Based on your mounting site, you will decide where you want the cable to enter your house, and measure how many feet of cables you need to complete the connection.
• Begin Dish Assembly – Attach the reflector to the support arm so that you can preset the correct elevation. • Set the Elevation on Dish – This is an important step. Making sure that your elevation setting is correct will help you to more easily obtain the signal later on. Mounting the Mast
• Mount the Mast – Step-by-Step mounting instructions for each mounting option. Completing the Final Installation • Level the Mast – The mast must be level to obtain the signal.
• Complete the Dish Assembly – Place the dish on the mast and connect the RG-6 coaxial cable to the LNB, and attach the LNB to the support arm.
• Route the Cables to the Grounding Block – Attach a grounding block to the house and route the cables from the dish to the grounding block. Also, route grounding wire from the grounding block to the central building ground.
• Run the Cables from Grounding Block into the House – Run the RG-6 cable from the grounding block into the house and to the back of the receiver.
• Make the Final Connections to the Receiver – Connect the RG-6 to the satellite input on the receiver, and make the phone line connection.
• Acquire and Fine-Tune the Satellite Signal – Use the on-screen signal meter to check for a signal. Once the signal is obtained, adjust dish pointing to achieve maximum signal strength for your location.
• Order Satellite Programming – Call the service providers to order satellite programming.
The Big Question: Should I Do This Myself?
While the installation is not difficult, it does require that you have some experience in electrical wiring and minor construction techniques. Also, you may have to climb a ladder, so you’ll want to be comfortable working with heights.
Question: Have you installed any of these home products or completed tasks similar to them?
- TV antenna outside your house
- ceiling fan
- basketball goal
- dimmer switch
- garage door opener
If the answer is YES, then you can be reasonably confident that you can install the Digital Satellite System yourself.
If the answer is NO, then this is probably not the time to learn. Consider contacting your local authorized DSS® retailer to recommend a professional installer or visit this website to locate your own installer.
General Site Survey
To get a signal, the satellite dish must be pointed directly at the satellite, with NO obstructions between the two. This means NO trees and NO buildings. Take into consideration future tree growth, house remodeling or additions and new construction in your area. The satellite signal WILL NOT PASS through leaves or branches. The satellite signal WILL NOT PASS through glass; don’t try to install your dish indoors!
Where Is The Satellite, Anyway?
The satellite is always located south of Texas. That means if you live in Miami, you must have a clear line of sight to the southwest; if you live in San Francisco, you must have a clear line to the southeast.
How High Up in the Sky is the Satellite?
Depending on where you live, the satellite will be at an elevation angle between 30 and 60 degrees. Southern states point more toward 60 degrees; northern states point more towards 30 degrees.
Finding a Clear Line of Sight
- Go outside and locate at least one site on your property that has a clear view to the satellite. You should be reasonably certain you are pointing toward Texas (unless you’re in Texas, in which case you should be looking due south). You may want to use a map.
- Imagine an arc ranging from 30 to 60 degrees above the horizon.
- Do you have at least one clear view to the satellite? Remember, no trees, leaves, buildings, or windows can be between the dish and the satellite.
- If the answer is NO, your site may be unsuitable for installing the satellite system.
- If the answer is MAYBE, you may want to contact a your local digital satellite dealer for information about having a professional installer conduct a thorough site survey.
- If the answer is YES, your site should be suitable for installing the system. Go ahead to the next section illite is here
Finding the Dish Pointing Coordinates
You need to connect the satellite receiver to your TV and use the on-screen menu system to find the dish pointing coordinates for your location. Connecting the Receiver to a TV For this task, you use the most basic connection to save time. After you have installed your system, you may want to consult the instruction manual that accompanies the receiver for more advanced connection options.
- Connect a coaxial cable to the OUT TO TV jack on the satellite receiver, and to the antenna IN jack on your TV.
- Make sure that the TV and the satellite receiver are both plugged into an AC power outlet.
- Turn on the TV and the satellite receiver.
- 4.If the satellite receiver has a CH3/CH4 switch on the back, tune your TV to channel 3 or 4. If the satellite receiver does not have a CH3/CH4 switch, tune to UHF channel 14, or cable channel 65.
Using the Dish Pointing Menu Screen
The satellite receiver has an on-screen menu feature for obtaining the precise dish pointing coordinates for your location. You can use the buttons on the front panel of the receiver to navigate through the menu system, or you can use the remote control. If you have not already inserted batteries into the remote, you can do that now.
Directions for using on-screen menus can be found in your receiver manual.
When you’ve obtained the coordinates, record the elevation and azimuth numbers below.
Precise Site Survey
Based on your general site survey, you probably already know where you want to mount your dish, but it’s a good idea to follow the procedures outlined in this section in order to make sure that your site selection is a good one.
- Go outside to your install site and hold a compass flat in the palm of your hand. Hold your hand still until the needle stops moving (the dark or colored half of the compass needle always points north).
- Rotate the compass so that the “N” (for north) is directly under the dark part of the compass needle. Your compass is now aligned with north. The tick marks around the edge of the compass represent azimuth degrees.
- Locate the tick mark on the compass that corresponds to the azimuth number you wrote down. This is the direction of your azimuth setting (the direction the dish will need to be pointed to receive signals from the satellite).
- Raise your arm to approximately the elevation angle recorded earlier to make sure that there are no obstructions in the signal path.
- Repeat this survey in several places on your property if necessary until you find the best mounting location.
A Final Site Survey
Now that you’ve conducted a precise site survey using the dish pointing coordinates for your location, you should double-check one more time to make sure you have a clear view to the satellite.
I Don’t have a clear view to the satellite.
If you don’t have a clear view to the satellite, then your site may not be suitable for installing the satellite system. A professional installer may have an alternative solution—consider contacting your satellite system dealer to find the name of an authorized satellite system installer.
I’m Not sure If I have a Clear View
If you’re not certain whether you have a clear view to the satellite, you have two choices :
- Continue with the installation and determine whether you have a clear view to the satellite by testing the system.
- Contact your satellite system dealer to find the name of an authorized satellite system installer who can help you verify that your property is suitable for installer.
I Have A Clear View to the Satellite
Your site should be suitable for installing the satellite system. Continue with the installation.
Estimating Cable Requirements
Now that you’ve decided on the exact mounting site, you need to decide where you want the cable to enter the house, and then figure out approximately how much cable you are going to need.
The diagram below shows you a “typical” installation scheme, outlining the cables that are needed. The information on the following page takes you through the cable estimating process step-by-step.
A Few Words About Grounding the System
Grounding the satellite system to the central building ground helps protect it and other components from lightning damage. Dish installation should comply with local codes and the National Electrical Code (NEC). Grounding the satellite system is something you can probably do yourself. But if you’re not sure, you should contact a qualified electrician.
Cable Estimate Procedure
- Locate the central building ground. You will ground the dish (via the cable grounding block) to a single point in the central building ground. The following is a list of acceptable building ground points:
- Grounded interior metal cold water pipe within five feet of the point where it enters the building.
- Grounded metallic service raceway.
- Grounded electrical service equipment enclosure.
- Eight-foot grounding rod driven into the ground (only if bonded to the central building ground by #6 or heavier bonding wire).
- Other acceptable grounding electrodes that comply with sections 250 and 810 of the National Electrical Code (NEC).
- Choose a location to mount the grounding block. The block should be as close as possible to the point where the cable will enter the house.
Decide where inside the house you plan to put the satellite receiver.
Estimate the amount of cable you will need for each of the following:
- One (1) RG-6 coaxial cable with messenger (ground) wire to run from the dish to a grounding block for each LNB output. The grounding block should be located near the cable’s point of entry into the house. Write that distance here: _____________.
- One (1) RG-6 coaxial cable (per LNB output) to run from the grounding block to each satellite receiver. Write that distance here:___________ .
- Grounding wire (#10 copper or #8 aluminum) to run from the grounding block to the central building ground. Write that distance here:___________ .
Note: You must use RG-6 coaxial cable from the satellite dish to the SATELLITE IN jack on the receiver. Other types of coaxial cable, such as those used for cable television (RG-59) do not work for the digital satellite system. If your total RG-6 coaxial cable length from the dish to the receiver is more than 112 feet, you may need additional installation component, such as a line amplifier, to compensate for the longer cable length.
Dish Assembly Overview
Use this page both as a parts lists for your satellite antenna, and a general overview of how the parts fit together; but DON’T ASSEMBLE THE DISH YET
If your reflector looks like the one, you should have:
- Mounting foot and mast
- Satellite dish reflector
- LNB (Low Noise Block converter)
- LNB support arm • Hardware packet
If you have a Sony reflector like this one, you should have:
- Mounting foot and mast
- Satellite dish reflector
- LNB (Low Noise Block converter)
- LNB support arm
- Hardware packet
Partial Dish Assembly
1.Locate the reflector, the support arm, and the hardware packet.
2.Attach the reflector to the support arm :
- Metal Reflector: Pass the bolts through the reflector, and then place the reflector on the support arm by inserting the bolts through the holes on the support arm. Use a wrench to secure the four self-locking nuts.
- Sony Reflector: Align the screw holes on the LNB arm holes and reflector bracket holes. Screw in the machine screws,tightening the LNB support arm to the reflector bracket. Do not over-tighten.
Setting the Elevation on the Dish
After you have securely attached the reflector to the support arm, you need to set the dish to point up toward the satellite. This is called “setting the elevation.”
- Loosen the two elevation nuts so the support sleeve can rotate.
- Rotate the support sleeve so that the elevation indicator lines up with the tick mark corresponding to the elevation setting you recorded earlier.
- Tighten both nuts.
Mounting the Mast
Now that you have selected your site, and estimated your cable needs, you need to select a mounting option and mount the mast. Take a moment to look through the available options and select the one that best suits your installation site. After you have selected a mounting option, and successfully mounted the mast, you can go on to the final section of this manual to complete the installation
Mounting The Mast On Solid Wood Or Lap Siding
- Make sure the wooden surface is structurally sound
- Do NOT mount the dish where someone might use it as a handrail.
- Do NOT mount the dish on any type of aluminum or vinyl siding.
- Do NOT mount the dish on any type of composite paneling, such as fiber board, particle board, or strand board.
- Do NOT mount the dish under an eave or overhang that may block or partially shadow the dish.
AVOID Power Lines! When following these instructions, take extreme care to avoid contact with overhead power lines, electric lights, and power circuits. Contact with power lines, electric lights, or power circuits may be fatal. It is recommended that the dish be located more than 20 feet from overhead power lines.
- Locate the center of a stud where you want to mount the mast foot. Make sure you locate and secure the mounting foot to the center of a wall stud. Do not mount the dish near the edge of a stud.
- Hold the mounting foot in a position so the center line is centered on a stud or solid wood surface.
- If you are mounting on a sloped or vertical surface, use a level to verify that the center line is perfectly vertical.
- Use a pencil to mark the two center holes and the four outside corner holes of the mounting foot.
- Remove the mounting foot and drill two 3/16″ holes in the two center hole locations and four 3/16″ holes in the four outside corner locations.
- Use a wrench to loosen the nuts on the mounting foot so that you can rotate the mast to access both of the center mounting holes.
- Hold the mounting foot over the holes so that the top part of the mast will rotate and point straight up.
- Install two 5/16″ x 3″ lag screws into the two center holes on the mounting foot. Securely tighten the screws.
- Put washers on the 5/16″ x 2″ lag screws, insert the screws into the four outside holes and securely tighten them.
- Go on to the next section, “Final Installation,” to complete the installation process.
Installing a Spacer
When the mounting foot spans two pieces of siding, it should be positioned so most of the foot is on the top board. A spacer should be installed to help hold the bottom of mounting foot in place. The spacer can be made of either solid wood or plastic.
Mounting the Mast on Brick or Poured Concrete
- The wall anchors used must have a strength of at least 300 pounds of pull-out pressure. B4015 or equivalent double expansion anchors are recommended.
- Do NOT mount the dish under an eave or overhang that may block or partially shadow the dish.
- Hold the mounting foot in position on the mounting surface.
- If you are mounting on a vertical or sloped surface, use a level to ensure that the center line is vertical.
- Mark the four outside holes on the mounting foot.
- Remove the foot and drill four (4) 1/2″ holes in the locations you marked.
5. Insert four (4) double-expansion anchors.
6. Use a wrench to loosen the nuts on the mounting foot so you have easier access to the mounting holes.
7. Hold the mounting foot over the holes so the top part of the mast will rotate and point straight up.
9. Go on to the next section, “Final Installation,” to complete the installation process.
Mounting the Dish On A Pole
- Do not install the pole in wet or marshy areas.
- The pole must go at least 3 feet below the surface.
- If the length of pipe above ground is too long, guy wires may be needed to increase the stability of the mount in windy conditions.
- You will need to ground the pole in addition to the dish and coaxial cable.
- The pole that has been secured in the ground with concrete replaces the mounting foot and mast assembly that was supplied with the dish. The dish is held on the pole by the sleeve of the LNB support arm.
- Dig a hole 36″ deep and 8″ to 12″ wide at the mounting location. The depth of the hole must extend at least 6″ below the frost line. For most installations, a pole 6′ long is sufficient, since this allows 3′ of the pole to be below the ground and 3′ above ground.
2. Use a hacksaw to cut a 45o angle at the bottom of the pole. This will prevent the pole from rotating in the concrete over time. Top view of pole Put level in 2 places at right angles to each other pole Level Not Level 45° cut
3. Place the pole in the hole and use a small amount of dirt or stones to hold the pole upright. You need to attach guy wires to help keep the pole upright.
4. Level the pole using the bubble level. Level the pole at two different locations that are at right angles to each other.
6. Let the cement completely dry before you mount the dish on the pole.
7. Go on to the next section, “Final Installation,” to complete the installation process.
Mounting the Mast on a Roof
IMPORTANT Use the roof mount only as a last resort. You can easily damage the roof by walking on it or cause leaks by not properly sealing the mounting holes. Problems with roof installations increase with the age of the roof and the type of roofing materials.
- Do not mount the dish on slate or shake shingles.
- Do not mount the dish on an overhang.
- On a flat roof, do not mount the dish in a place where water collects.
Step-by-step Instructions for Mounting the Mast on a Roof
- Locate the center of a rafter where you want to place the mounting foot.
DANGER AVOID Power Lines! When following these instructions, take extreme care to avoid contact with overhead power lines, electric lights, and power circuits. Contact with power lines, electric lights, or power circuits may be fatal. It is recommended that the dish be located more than 20 feet from overhead power lines.
2. Hold the mounting foot in a position so the center line is centered on a rafter.
3. Use a bubble level to make sure the center line is perfectly vertical. Yes No Sealant Level on center line of template Level Not Level
4. Use a pencil to mark the six holes in the mounting foot.
5. Remove the mounting foot and drill a 3/16″ hole in the two center line locations you marked.
6. Drill four 3/16″ holes in the four outside corner locations you marked.
7. Fill all six holes with a small amount of roof sealant.
8. Use a wrench to loosen the nuts on the mounting foot so you have easier access to the mounting holes.
9. Hold the mounting foot over the holes so the top part of the mast will rotate and point straight up.
10. Use two 5/16″ x 3″ lag screws in each of the center line holes to attach the mounting foot to the roof. Secure the four outside corner holes with four 1/4″ x 2″ lag screws. Securely tighten all six screws.
11. Seal the mounting foot with roof sealant. When applying the sealant, make sure you seal the areas shown in the figure below.
12. Go on to the next section, “Final Installation,” to complete the installation process.
Leveling the Mast
Leveling the mast is one of the most important steps in installation. If the mast is not level, the elevation and azimuth settings will not be accurate. This will make it difficult to obtain the satellite signal. The mast must be level in both the side-to-side and the front-to-back directions. Side-to-side leveling determines whether the mounting foot is level. Front-to-back leveling determines whether the mast is level.
1. If you mounted the mast on a vertical surface, such as a wall, you leveled the mast side-to-side when you mounted the mast foot. Skip to “Leveling Front-to-Back” on the next page.
2. To check whether the mast is level side-to-side, place a bubble level on the mast as shown in the figure below.
3. Is the bubble centered in the level’s window?
- If YES — Continue to “Leveling Front-to-Back”.
- If NO —
- a) If the bubble is not centered, determine which side of the mounting foot needs to be raised.
- b) Unscrew the lag or machine screws from that side of the mounting foot.
- c) Place washers between the mounting foot and the mounting surface. Use enough washers to level the mounting foot.
- d) Secure the mounting foot with the lag or machine screws.
- Loosen the two bolts securing the mast to the mounting foot so the mast moves freely.
- Place a bubble level on the mast as shown in the figure. Move the mast so the bubble is centered in the level’s window. Rotate
3.Tighten the two bolts securing the mast to the mounting foot.
Final Dish Assembly
1.Place the dish-LNB arm assembly on top of the mast (or pole).
2.Find the length of RG-6 coaxial cable with messenger (ground) wire that will extend from the satellite dish to the cable’s point of entry into the building. If your total RG-6 coaxial cable length from the dish to the receiver is more than 112 feet, you may need an additional installation component, such as a line amplifier, to compensate for the longer cable length.
3.Separate the messenger (ground) wire from the coaxial cable. Separate only the amount required to install the coaxial cable through the LNB arm. (Sony dish owners skip to next step.) Push only the coaxial cable through the bottom of the mast and out the top. Pull about 2 feet of cable out of the top. Loop the cable and push it through the LNB support arm as shown below.
4.Place some silicone grease on the LNB connector and connect the end of the coaxial cable to the LNB. (Sony dish owners: clip the coaxial cable to the LNB arm and skip to step 8.)
5.Insert the end of the LNB into the end of the LNB support arm (push any extra coaxial cable back through the support arm).
6.Locate the special hex retainer nut and insert it into the LNB mounting hole on top of the LNB support arm.
7.Locate the phillips head screw and insert it into the LNB mounting hole from the bottom of the LNB support arm. Tighten the screw with a screwdriver
8.Locate the grounding hardware (bolt, star washer and nut).
9.Insert the bolt as shown below and attach the messenger (ground) wire to the foot of the mast (you may want to trim the extra messenger wire before attaching). You will connect the other end of that wire to the grounding block at the building entry point.
Acquiring and Fine Tuning the Signal
Now that you have installed the satellite antenna and routed all of the cable, it’s time to acquire and fine tune the signal. Before you begin, you may want to go outside and double-check the azimuth and elevation settings on the dish.
- Make sure that the elevation indicator (the edge of metal, not the washer or the bolt) is aligned to the correct elevation.
- Use a compass to verify that the azimuth setting on the dish is correct.
When you are confident that the settings are correct, bring up the “Dish Pointing” menu again and use the signal meter to see if you are getting a signal. Once you have acquired the signal, you’ll want to make some fine-tuning adjustment to the dish in order to obtain the highest possible signal.
Refer to your receiver manual for dish pointing information.
If you are not receiving a signal, you need to incrementally adjust the azimuth setting on the dish. After you receive a signal, you will want to continue to adjust the azimuth to try to get the best possible signal.
Adjusting the Azimuth and Elevation Settings
- Using a compass, rotate the dish so that the LNB arm points to the correct azimuth heading. Loosen the support sleeve nuts as needed. (Sony dish owners loosen the mast clamp screws.)
2.If you do not hear a continuous tone from the signal meter, use the following procedure to adjust the dish until you hear one continuous tone:
• At the top of the mast is a piece of tape with evenly spaced tick marks. Carefully rotate the dish one tick mark to the right and pause for 3-5 seconds.
• If you do not hear a continuous tone, rotate the dish back to the original position and then one tick mark to the left and pause for 3-5 seconds.
• Continue rotating the dish one tick mark at a time further right and left from center (making sure to pause for 3-5 seconds at each position) until you hear the continuous tone, and the highest signal meter reading.
4. After you get a signal, continue adjusting the azimuth by rotating the dish in small increments left and right until you achieve the highest possible strength.
5. Tighten the support sleeve nuts so the dish won’t rotate left and right.
6. Slightly loosen the elevation nuts on the LNB support arm so you can adjust the dish up and down.
7. Adjust the elevation of the dish upward and downward until you achieve the highest possible signal strength:
• Move the dish upward one tick mark, pause for 5 seconds, and check the signal strength.
• Move the dish downward (back to the original elevation setting) and then move down one tick mark, pause for five seconds, and check the signal strength.
8. When you achieved what you believe to be the highest signal strength (peak signal), tighten the elevation nuts on the support arm.
Can’t Pick Up the Satellite Signal
Most problems with signal acquisition can be traced to one of these points: improper cabling and connections or inaccurate positioning and pointing of the dish.
Cabling and Connections Problems
- Make sure you’re using the proper type of RG-6 coaxial cable to connect the LNB to the grounding block and the grounding block to the satellite receiver. Standard Cable TV coaxial cables (RG-59) will NOT pass the satellite signals properly. Important: Do NOT connect the RG-6 cable from the dish or grounding block to any existing TV cable in your house. Do not use conventional TV splitters. They will not pass the satellite signals.
- Make sure the access card is fully inserted into the access card slot.
- Check all cable connections to make sure they are securely fastened to the proper connectors, from the TV, to the satellite receiver, all the way out to the dish LNB. Make sure the coaxial cable connector center conductor is not bent or broken.
- Make sure the cable from the dish to the receiver is connected to the SATELLITE IN jack on the back of the receiver (NOT the ANTENNA IN jack).
Dish Positioning and Pointing Problems
- Verify that you are using the correct azimuth and elevation for your city by using the dish pointing menu.
- Make sure the dish is physically set to the correct elevation according to the dish pointing menu.
- Make sure the dish mast is level.
- Make sure the elevation indicator (edge of metal, NOT the washer or the bolt) is aligned to the correct elevation.
- Use a compass to verify that the LNB support arm is pointed toward the correct azimuth reading (number) as indicated by the dish pointing menu. Nearby metal objects may cause a compass to give an inaccurate reading.
- Make sure there are no obstructions (trees, buildings, windows, your body or hands, etc.) that might be blocking the satellite signal.
- Slowly rotate the dish left or right (one tick mark at a time) pausing at each for 3-5 seconds until the on-screen signal meter produces one continuous tone.
- If you can’t acquire a signal by rotating the dish left and right, readjust the elevation of the dish.
- Return the LNB support arm to the original azimuth (left-to-right compass direction).
- Loosen the elevation nuts on the LNB support arm and position the dish upward or downward (one tick mark at a time). When finished, retighten the nut.
Temporary Satellite Signal Loss
If you lose the satellite signal temporarily, the problem can usually be traced to one of these points:
- Rain Fade. Rain fade is a normal, temporary loss of a satellite signal due to the inability of the satellite signal to penetrate unusually heavy, rain-filled clouds, rainfall, or snowfall. Rain fade tends to be brief, lasting only as long as the heavy cloud condition persists. To minimize rain fade effects, maximize your signal strength. Then, when rain fade occurs, you have the best chances of having a signal that is still strong enough to view. Make sure the dish is mounted securely. The strong winds that often accompany heavy rainstorms can move the dish out of position if it is not mounted securely. Also, heavy/wet snow and ice build up on the dish can block the satellite signal until the build up is removed.
- Overheated Components. The satellite receiver must receive adequate ventilation to work safely and properly. If the receiver overheats, the satellite signal may deteriorate until adequate ventilation is restored. Do not stack VCRs or other components on top of the satellite receiver.
Download these instructions in a PDF file from the source: Download
General Informational and Instructional Links:
- What satellite TV system I can use to view the free to air FTA channels?
- All FTA Ku-band channels in English available in USA
- Free To Air Satellite TV Channels List
- Worldwide Free-To-Air Satellite Channels
- Satellites List North South America Atlantic
- Look-up Latitude and Longitude – USA
- Channels FTA Free To Air Satellite TV
- What is the Satellite Antenna Dish size required or recommended?
- Over-the-Air Reception Devices Rule
- Finding a Professional Installer in your area in USA
- General Satellite Dish Antenna Installation Instructions
- Installing a Motorized Satellite System with an HH-Mount Motor, DiSEqC & USALS Compatible Motors