How to Find Azimuth & Elevation for a 99-Degree Satellite for DirecTV
By James T Wood
To receive a signal from one of the DirecTV satellites you need to aim your home dish to line up with the angle and orientation of the satellite orbiting the earth. The orbiting satellite is in a geosynchronous orbit, which means that it orbits at a speed identical to the rotation of the earth so remains in the same relative position when viewed from the ground. Azimuth is the term used to describe the rotation of the receiver dish, and elevation is the term used to describe the tilt. An azimuth is defined by the compass, so a setting of 180 degrees azimuth would be due south on the compass.
Log into the on-screen setup menu on your DirectTV receiver and select the option for Dish Pointing. Your receiver is designed to give you the azimuth and elevation necessary. Alternatively, you can get the specific coordinates for the 99-degree satellite by going to the Eman Technology website (listed in the Resources section of this article), then enter your zip code and select the satellite from the drop-down list. Write down the azimuth and elevation.
Use a compass to find the azimuth required. Rotate the outer ring of the compass until 0 degrees lines up with the needle pointing north. Keep the needle pointing north and at zero and then find the degree marking that matches your azimuth and rotate the receiver so that it points in that direction.
Use a protractor with your receiver to set the angle. Ninety degrees would be if the top of the receiver was directly above the bottom. With the satellite at 90 degrees, line up the protractor so the dish is in front of the 90-degree mark. Without moving the protractor, tilt the receiver to the required elevation angle.
- Many smartphones have a compass application and a level application that you can use to determine the azimuth and elevation.
James T Wood is a teacher, blogger and author. Since 2009 he has published two books and numerous articles, both online and in print. His work experience has spanned the computer world, from sales and support to training and repair. He is also an accomplished public speaker and PowerPoint presenter.