How To Install A Satellite Dish
Learning how to install a satellite dish can save a few bucks and time in getting your satellite system up and running. The process of installing a satellite dish is fairly straight forward and does not usually take a lot of time.
Materials and tools:
- Complete Dish Network or Direct TV Satellite System
- RG6 Coaxial Cable
- Satellite Signal Meter(optional)
- Magnetic or post level.
- 7/16" wrench
- Drill (cordless or electric)
- 1/2" nut driver bit (for drill)
- 2" lag bolts (6)
- Zip Ties OR Black Tape
- Find a good location for the dish. Find a location to mount your dish that has a clear line of sight typically to the south-west. You can use a neighbors dish for a reference. If possible find a location that does not show from the front of your home. This is good for aesthetic reasons.
- Attach the mast of the dish first. Once you have found the desired location, bolt the mast or pole down solid. Use a level to make sure the mast is plumb in all directions. This may be one of the most important parts of the job.
- Attach the dish. Attach the dish portion of the unit to the mast and tighten the bolts snug but not tight. There will be a need to move the dish position later.
- Running the cable. Run the RG6 cable through the dish and out the end to the LNBF (also known as the eye).
- Attaching the cable to the LNBF. Attach the cable to the LNBF & assemble the LNBF to the dish with the supplied screws. Tighten the screws but make sure not to over tighten or they can strip out.
- Setting the skew and elevation. The owner’s manual for the receiver should provide you with the skew and elevation necessary for fine tuning the physical angle and elevation of your dish installation.
- Check the signal. If you have a meter you can attach the other end of the RG6 cable to test the signal strength. If you do not have a meter you can do this through the receiver connected to your TV. The owner’s manual will provide instructions. If the signal strength is weak you may need to tweak or fine tune the skew and elevation of the dish.
- Finishing the final adjustments. Once you have adjusted the dishes pitch angle to the strongest signal, tighten all the bolts snugly. Keep the meter or TV on until finished to ensure the signal is not lowered or lost during final adjustments.
- Running the cable. Once you have optimal signal strength its time to run the cable into the house. Using zip-ties, cable clips or staples attach the cable from the dish to the location where the cable will enter the house. Space each cable attachment about one and a half to two feet apart. This helps the cable stay in place and provides a clean installation.
- Drilling into the house. Using a 3/8 long drill bit, drill from the inside of the house to the outside where the cable will enter. Many drill bits will have a small hole in the end to attach the cable to. You can then pull the end of the cable into the house easily.
- Attaching the cable to the receiver and TV. Following the instructions in the owner’s manual, attach the cable from the outside to the receiver and connect another cable from receiver to the television. These connections should be marked appropriately.
- Final testing. Following the instructions in the owner’s manual perform the necessary testing to receive the satellite signal to your TV.
- It’s a good idea to ground the dish with a ground rod or block to avoid damage from static electricity.
- Use silicone or caulk around the cable where it goes into the wall to keep bugs & water out.
- Do not puncture the cable when attaching to the house. This can reduce signal or cause weather damage.