How to Install a Satellite Dish
By A.J. Andrews
Installing a satellite dish is a simple but laborious process that requires knowledge of the coordinates of the orbital path of the satellite and the coordinates of the structure it is mounted on. Several websites and applications provide coordinates for a home or structure, and the satellite service provider supplies the direction to aim the dish. A satellite signal meter allows for fine-tuning of the dish. Consult your homeowner’s association for any guidelines or restrictions concerning mounting a satellite dish on the home before beginning.
Consult your satellite service provider for information concerning the position the satellite must face to receive the signal.
Determine the coordinates of the structure on which you will mount the dish. This, along with the location of the satellite’s orbital path, tells you on which wall you need to mount the dish.
Drill through the wall to reach the outside of the structure; drill the exterior hole lower than the interior hole to prevent water and precipitation from entering.
Mount a fixing bracket to the exterior wall. The fixing bracket supports the mast that holds the dish. Line the bracket up with a level and secure it with anchor screws.
Check that the mast is straight with a level on both vertical sides.
Secure the dish to the mast. Do not tighten the bolts completely, as you will need to skew the dish to fine-tune the signal reception.
Connect a satellite coaxial cable to the LNBF -- the eye of the dish.
Assemble the LNBF and connect the other end of the coaxial cable to a satellite meter. Adjust the vertical alignment of the dish and skew the dish slowly left and right as needed until you receive the strongest signal on the meter.
Tighten the bolts to hold the dish in place after you locate the strongest signal. Leave the meter connected to the other end of the coaxial cable to ensure the dish remains in its ideal positioning when tightening and then remove the meter.
Run the coaxial cable from the exterior of the house through the previously drilled holes and connect it to the receiver. Connect the receiver to the TV with a coaxial cable.
Turn on the television and receiver and proceed with the channel setup according to the owner’s manual for your satellite dish. Most satellite inputs for the satellite cable are marked "Satellite In."
- It's a good idea to install a ground block somewhere in the line to prevent static electricity from damaging your receiver.
- Use silicone or caulk around the cable where it goes into the wall to keep bugs & water out.
- Don't puncture the cable with staples. It will reduce signal strength and over time moisture will damage the cable beyond repair.
- Be careful not to stay up too late watching TV & miss work the next day.
A.J. Andrews' work has appeared in Food and Wine, Fricote and "BBC Good Food." He lives in Europe where he bakes with wild yeast, milks goats for cheese and prepares for the Court of Master Sommeliers level II exam. Andrews received formal training at Le Cordon Bleu.