dish pointing

Discussion in 'RV Tips & Tricks' started by wildcat, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. wildcat

    wildcat New Member

    I would like to take my bell expressvu on the road once in awhile rv'ing. What are the basics for dish pointing?I have purchased a sat. finder ($30.) from -JUNK. Is there a fool proof way of picing up the signal? I have the longitude degrees and was instructed to point south, too general!! Any help would be great
  2. jc2

    jc2 Junior Member

    RE: dish pointing

    We have DirecTV and go to this website and get the Elevation and Azimuth for the location we are at by entering the zipcode. I then raise/lower the dish to the correct elevation and use a cheapo hand compass to set the azimuth. It helps to have someone inside the RV to watch the satellite setup screen on the TV and let you know when your correct. I would think that Dish has a similiar site. :)
  3. TexasClodhopper

    TexasClodhopper Senior Member

    Re: dish pointing

    ... and don't minimize the efforts of others around you, either. Look around at where everyone else has their dishes pointed to get close. (At least you won't be pointing north when everyone else is pointing south! :clown: )
  4. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Re: dish pointing

    I am guessing that you must be Canadian since Bell satellite TV service is only sold there, as far as I know. I have been told that Bell is not RV friendly, but that is hear-say. I can tell you that with either of the two companies that sell such satellite TV services in the USA it isn't at all difficult to do and I suspect that the process is similar with your service.

    There should be a menu key on your remote that comes with the satellite receiver. The first step is to select that. From that menu there should be some choice such as "install" or similar title. Select that you should have some choice like "set-up" on that menu. Look through that set of selections and there should be one that gives you information for elevation, azimuth and possibly skew.

    Elevation is a setting on the dish and azimuth is the angle that the dish should be pointed in to find the satellite, assuming north to be 0 degrees. the azimuth will be generally south (180 degrees) but it will vary depending upon where you happen to be and could range from around 170 to 200 degrees, quite commonly. The best thing is to sweep the sky from about 15 degrees either side of the compass position called for, when you get to that step.

    Once you have these settings you need to set up your dish getting the mast it is mounted to as nearly vertical as possible, using a bubble level to set it up. The more closely you level your mast the more easily the satellite signal can be found. With the mast level and the dish mounted and elevation set to what was called for, select the signal strength choice from the set-up menu. With it there will be a display on the TV which will tell you the strength of the signal found and if you should find a signal from the wrong satellite, systems I am familiar with will say "wrong satellite" below the signal strength indication.

    In most systems the signal strength will move from left to right and it will turn green and say something like "Signal found" when you get the proper one for TV. You should adjust the dish to get the signal as strong as possible, then you will be ready to watch TV.

    It seems complicated when you first start, but with practice it does get easier to do. That signal finder that you bought can help, but all that it does is to measure the strength of the signal and it don't tell you if you are looking at the wrong bird. Only your TV or an expensive meter will do that.

    As one who uses satellite internet and who is a certified dish installer, I carry a meter that does identify each satellite as my dish detects it and so make it far more easy to know what you are doing, but the meter I use also costs about $450 today. Should you want to get one, it is called a Birdog.

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