Home generalAlign satellite dish - homemade in 6 steps

Align satellite dish - homemade in 6 steps

  • Two systems to choose from
  • Align satellite dish
    • 1. Which satellite "> 2. Satellite receiver
    • 2nd construction
    • 4. Rough alignment
    • 5. Fine adjustment
    • 6. Install signal amplifier
  • Quick tips

The satellite dish is a cheap and independent way to a large variety of programs on radio and television. Unlike the cable connection, a satellite dish can be placed almost anywhere. In addition, there are no monthly additional costs for cable connection fees on satellite TV. Many interested parties are deterred by the unsightly and complex technology. This guide will show how satellite dishes can be set up as simply as discretely.

Two systems to choose from

With modern and inexpensive technology, setting up and setting up a satellite system is no longer a problem even for laymen today. There are two systems available for satellite reception: the satellite dish is the classic device, which uses a parabolic mirror to focus the radio waves of the signal on a receiver, the so-called LNB. LNB stands for "low noise block" and is translated as "low-noise signal converter". An alternative designation is "LNC", which means "Low Noise Converter". This technique is proven and now very cheap available. Their weak point is a little the optics: The satellite dishes are very large with 80-120 cm diameter. They consist of sheet steel, which begins to rust after a few years. For the reception, these rust stains have only a small effect, but they are very shabby on a house.

As an alternative to the satellite dishes, the compact satellite antennas have been available commercially for many years. These combine the receiving surface and the receiver into a compact, generally rectangular module. This is not only much smaller than the satellite dishes, it also has a plastic housing. In addition, it can be easily painted or dressed in your desired color, so that it can be very discreetly mounted on a roof, the balcony or on a facade. Satellite antennas and satellite dishes are about the same in price. The antennas start at about 110 euros, the satellite dishes have a price range of 55-155 euros.

Align satellite dish

Steps for aligning the satellite dish are:

1. Select satellite
2. Select the recipient type
3. Installation of the satellite system
4. Rough alignment of the satellite dish
5. Fine adjustment of the satellite system
6. If necessary add splitter and amplifier

1. Which satellite?

The most important broadcasting satellite for television programs in Europe is called "Astra 1KR", also known as "Astra 19.2". He was launched into orbit in 2006 and is expected to serve until 2021. Its position is 19.2 ° East, but this has only partly to do with the alignment of the antenna. In addition, there are a few other satellites available.

2. Satellite receiver

The receivers are large satellite dishes or small satellite antennas. The large bowls are relatively cheap and easy to exchange. The satellite antennas are more discreet and a bit weatherproof. Both systems are sold in complete sets. However, if damaged, they can only be completely renewed. A rusty satellite dish, however, can be exchanged easily and inexpensively separately. The LNB can continue to be used by the old bowl.

For aligning the satellite receivers are needed:

  • Stable support structure
  • Stable fasteners on the building
  • cabling
  • Satellitenreciever
  • Connected TV
  • Sat-Finder as a device or app
  • 1 helper

The sturdy support structure is usually included with the satellite receiver. For satellite dishes, the support structure usually consists of a steel pipe, which is connected by suitable means to the balcony, the facade, the roof or simply to the ground. The bowl is mounted on its holding device rotatable and tiltable. It is important that there is a scale with graduation for the angle in vertical orientation on the tilting device. If the old satellite dish is rusted, it can easily be bought.

A set consisting of satellite dish and holding device incl. Standpipe costs about 20 euros. This is usually cheaper and easier than repainting the old satellite dish. The wiring must be suitable for satellite reception. Two key figures are important here: The shielding should be at least 100 dB and the attenuation at most 28 dB. This information is documented on the packaging. Up to 30 meters in length, direct cabling for a satellite system is not a problem. In addition, a signal amplifier should be switched between.

Of course, the separate satellite receiver is only necessary if the TV set does not have its own receiver for satellite reception. This is stated either in the operating instructions or can be recognized by the corresponding socket: Satellite sockets have a screw thread. The right connector on the cable is called "F-connector". If the cable itself is to be assembled, a suitable cutting tool for 10 euros is commercially available. It always gives very good results and is much more precise, practical and safe than when using a carpet knife to work the satellite cable.


2nd construction

The rough orientation of the satellite dish is south. The bowl must therefore be mounted either on the south side of a facade or free standing on the roof. A flat on the north side of a multiple dwelling is therefore connected to an existing, correctly aligned satellite dish. A separate satellite dish is not meaningful placeable for such a positioned apartment. This applies to all satellites whose geostationary orbit is located south of Germany. You can also find out how satellites are mounted in the neighborhood.

The ideal tool for accurately tracking a satellite is a smartphone app. These very comfortable programs offer extensive assistance in calibrating the satellite dish. Useful apps with an interesting amount of features and no annoying advertising costs from about 1.50 euros.

In addition to the basic orientation to the south, care must also be taken when setting up the satellite dish that the reception area is not overshadowed. Between satellite and bowl must be absolutely clear view. Even a leafy tree can already make transmission of the signal impossible. The rule of thumb for a bowl is: half distance of the next object = maximum height of the object. So if there is a house, tree or tower 50 meters away from the place of installation of the bowl, it may only be 25 meters high.

The overshadowing can also be decisively decisive as to which satellite is even eligible for a reception. This can be found out very comfortably with the smartphone app.

4. Rough alignment

When the satellite is selected and the dish is mounted, you can start aligning and connecting the satellite dish.

First, set "Azimuth" and "Elevation" of the bowl. "Elevation" is the tilt angle of the dish, the "azimuth" is the exact horizontal orientation of the dish to the direction of the satellite.

The app's graphical display now helps align the dish as accurately as possible. For larger cities, the information in the manual is documented. On the corresponding Internet pages, the information for tilt and rotation angle can also be researched. The elevation, the tilt angle, is set across the scale at the attachment of the satellite dish. But it is not completely final yet, so the screw should not be tightened completely. Now the whole bowl is turned. It is important to turn only the bowl and not the holding tube. The bowl is brought into the exact angle of rotation by means of a compass or the Satfinder app. Also, the rotation angle must still be readjusted, so the screws are tightened only hand-tight.

5. Fine adjustment

The satellite dish is then connected to the wiring with the TV set. At the satellite receiver, the targeted satellite is set and the "DiSEqC" function deactivated. The "Digital Satellite Equipment Control" is for signal amplification and can be reactivated after setup. To achieve the most accurate alignment of the bowl, the DiSEqC "function is therefore temporarily disabled. With "signal strength" and "signal quality" rashes are now observed.

While the helper now carefully turns the bowl to the left and right, the levels in these displays are closely monitored. The signal strength should be above 7.5 dB . This will still receive enough power from the satellite in rain and snow to get a trouble-free picture. When the optimum signal strength is achieved, all screws on the bowl are tightened. The screwing of the LNB will now be checked again.

Supplementary work

It is important that the cable, which leads from the LNB to the receiver, can not come loose. For this purpose, it is ideally attached to the bowl with cable ties. Always leave the cable with enough radius to avoid kinking. It has to be as relaxed as possible. A properly laid cable is not only safe, it also looks better.

When passing through the building, a small hole below the window can help. Do not drill through the window itself, this usually causes great damage! The bushing is then glued with silicone. So no moisture or insects can penetrate and the cable receives additional protection against slipping.

Ideally, the wiring is laid under the wall plaster. But until the next major renovation of the apartment also clean laid cable channels are sufficient. But be careful not to produce tripping hazards. The satellite cables can be laid very discreetly via roller shutter boxes, under wooden ceilings or behind wall units. At the end point of the cable should always be a permanently mounted box. This can also be laid on the surface for now. If there is already a cable or antenna connection in the house, the existing wiring can be used. However, it happens very quickly that the wiring for a consistently sufficient signal is too long. A signal amplifier in this case restores the full quality of picture and sound of satellite reception.

6. Install signal amplifier

There are two reasons for installing a signal amplifier:

  • the cable is too long
  • The satellite dish is supposed to supply several households

If reception on the TV is not satisfactory, it may be due to the wrong sized or too long cable. In both cases, a small signal amplifier can improve the picture and sound quality. Before investing, you should first check whether the DiSEqC function is reactivated on the Reciever. Only if this does not deliver a better picture after switching on, the installation of an amplifier makes sense. Cheap signal amplifiers cost from 8 euros. These get their power from the satellite receiver itself. More expensive devices offer more power. They cost from 45 euros and are powered by an external power supply. The connection of the signal amplifiers is simple: The satellite cable is cut and equipped with two new F-connectors. The amplifier is now simply switched between.

If the satellite dish is to supply several devices or households, a splitter is necessary. These modules are also ground into the cable. Inexpensive devices divide the signal from the satellite cable into two or three strands. They cost from about 8 euros, but must be highly modulated again usually with a downstream amplifier. If all apartments are to be supplied by a multiple dwelling with a single satellite dish, this solution is not enough. For this purpose the trade offers so-called "multi-switches" with up to eight connections. These cost about 50 euros. The high-quality devices have an integrated amplifier. They are mounted close to the bowl but in the house to protect them from the weather. Mostly they are mounted under the roof.

Ideal solutions for apartment buildings

Multi-switches are ideal for multi-family homes in many ways. The number of satellite dishes is significantly reduced. Not only does it look better, it also reduces the risk of falling reception desks. Together, you can invest in a higher-quality facility. Also, the targeting of different satellites would be easier to do. The result is a higher reception security and possibly a wider range of available stations.

Quick tips

  • Use cable with correct shielding
  • Only mount the bowl on the south side or on the roof
  • Identify available satellites with app
  • Supply apartment buildings with multiswitches
  • Use special tool to make the cables
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