How to Align a WildBlue Satellite Dish
By Ray Damon
Aligning your own satellite dish seems like a very difficult process but is, in fact, pretty easy. Doing it yourself also allows you to buy a dish that is not connected or affiliated with the usual services like DIRECTV or Dish Network. Even if you subscribe to one of these services, knowing how to align the dish yourself can save you money because you will no longer have to rely on their technicians to do it for you.
Pick a location where you plan to install the WildBlue satellite dish. Make sure the spot you choose faces south and is unobstructed by trees or houses. You will need a clear line of sight for the satellite to work at its optimum best.
Using the drill to fit the screws into the mounting plate and attach it to the location you have chosen. You may choose to attach it to your home or a flat area near the house.
Mount the satellite dish to the mounting bracket. Do not tighten the mounting bolts yet, as you will need to allow for some movement and swivel of the satellite as you position it correctly. Once you have positioned the dish, tighten the bolts down snug.
Run the coaxial cable from the satellite dish's LNBF to the receiver. This will run from the base of the satellite pole from under the dish up to the center of the dish. Connect the satellite receiver cord from the outside dish to the television set inside, then turn them both on.
Insert the card that came with your receiver. There should be an instruction manual or card that explains how to initially set up the dish and receiver. Follow the manual instructions directly. It will give you two main pieces of information to help complete the dish setup: the proper elevation code of the satellite dish and the direction you should be pointing. Make sure you write down the elevation number and take it outside with you.
Once you have the satellite pointing south in the right direction and the dish is well bolted, refer to the elevation number and tilt the dish to the mark on the swivel arm. Place the signal finder in the center of the dish to check for signal strength. Make the necessary adjustments to the elevation slowly until you achieve the signal strength that you want.
- Have someone inside looking at the TV to alert you of any changes.
- Look to achieve signal strength of 60 percent or higher.
- Try to use a signal meter to decrease the chances for mistakes.
- Make sure that your satellite dish is well secured. Any slightest movement can throw the dish signal out of line.
- Secure any loose cabling so no one trips over it. You may need to attach it to window or door frames to keep the area clear.
Ray Damon has been writing for newspapers and sportscasting since 1990. He has covered the NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA and NCAA. His recent work can be found in "The Sun Herald" and he also writes for the Regional Indoor Football League and the Sarasota Scorpions. Ray is the owner of the Regional Indoor Football League. He holds two degrees in the broadcast field.