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Old 03-15-2010, 04:07 AM   #1
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Correct Azimuth for Dishnetwork

Where can I find the correct azimuth for pointing my dish?

I have been going by what the receiver pointing screen tells me for my home setup, but the azimuth setting for my Astronomy club's viewing site is approximately six degrees off

I have been having problems setting up my dish to the azimuth setting for the zip code at our camping site, so this weekend I checked the actual direction that the antenna was pointing when I finally got a signal from the satellite and it was almost 6 degrees off

My home zip code setting called for 235 degrees and the camping site calls for 236 degrees, but the actual setting at the campsite was 241 degrees. No wonder I'v been pulling my hair out trying to get a signal at 235 or 236 degrees

We haven't done any long distance traveling since we changed to Dishnetwork but I am now wondering what kind of problem I will have trying to get a signal if the pointing screen tells me the wrong azimuth.

I'm wondering if this could have caused a change in the azimuth NASA - Did the Chilean Quake Shift Earth's Axis?

Thanks,

Ron
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:48 AM   #2
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Are you you correcting for the difference between true north and magnetic north? Maybe that's what's responsible for the discrepancy in your reading.

I haven't manually set up my tripod dish in a long time; but when I did, I only used the compass to get close. Level the tripod, set the elevation (and skew, if applicable), point in the general direction your compass indicates is correct, then slowly swing the dish along the azimuth until you get a signal. Make fine adjustments to elevation and azimuth to peak the signal, then lock it down.
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:57 AM   #3
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True North or Magnetic North

Is the Dish Network pointing screen giving me true north or magnetic north?

My declination in Florida is approximately 4 Degrees.

Ron
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:19 PM   #4
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Don't know about Dish but the Direct azimuth is as the compass says. I would be surprised if Dish is different.

This is a copy of an email I received from Direct.

"Dear Mr. Lansdown,

Thank you for writing. I appreciate your question and I would be more than happy to answer it. According to the information that I have the Azimuth is Magnetic North. There is a strong possibility that there may need to be a little tweaking of the dish to maximize signal output. Our installers generally use compasses to align the dish and make necessary adjustments. I do believe this information will help you with your setup.

Thank you again.

Sincerely,

Jermane S. W2268

DIRECTV Customer Service"
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Old 03-15-2010, 03:28 PM   #5
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Go to www.dishpointer.com it will give you the correct settings for any satellite system at any location in north america.
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Old 03-15-2010, 03:49 PM   #6
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I always set my portable Dish network dish to what the setup screen specifies for my zip code, then slowly turn the dish until I get the best signal. If turning doesn't work, I may tweak the leveling of the tripod a bit. I have no idea how accurate my method is, nor do I really care what the actual setting is ...but once I get the signal and have a happy DW inside, I am finished!!!
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Old 03-15-2010, 04:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lllkrob View Post
Go to www.dishpointer.com it will give you the correct settings for any satellite system at any location in north america.
Thanks for all of the help

The information I got from the link above has narrowed the direction down quite a bit. It list my setup at 238.3 degrees which is a much better starting point than the original 235 degrees from the pointing screen.

The only problem is I don't have internet when on the road

Ron
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:45 PM   #8
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While this is likely not the information you would like, the information you were given was correct. How is that possible you ask? Installers know that the information provided is the "general" direction and it's up to the installer to get the rest of it correct. Installers know that the information provided will generally get them within 10 degrees + or - and with that kind of information they will be able to have the system pointed in just a matter of minutes. If you take any of the information that you are presented with as Gospel then you will never watch TV via satellite.
Get the post plumb, get the skew and elevation right and then use the compass heading as a good starting point. 10-20 degrees left and right is all that is necessary (but it is necessary) if everything else is correct. Still didn't get it? Raise the elevation by 1 degree and start again. No? Try 1 degree below the target. Unless you have something really wrong somewhere else you should have found the satellite by now.
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:24 PM   #9
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Ron & Dee,

The compass headings given to a satellite, are magnetic compass headings.

The local zip code gives you a true course, adjusted by a plus or minus magnetic variation (sometimes called declination) factor, hence magnetic compass heading.

I see your in Florida- The magnetic variation for most of Florida is -5 degrees.

Example
True course (TC) +/- Variation (declination) = Magnetic course (MC). Magnetic course can be affected by a compass error, called deviation.

241degrees TC, -5 variation = 236 degrees magnetic (assuming no compass errors).

The compass your using may be affected by many factors, ie, electrical fields, metal close by, etc. As others have explained "close" is good enough.

If you have a factory compass installed in your car, most have a manual procedure (operator input required) to adjust them for magnetic variation as you travel across the country. If exact accuracy is required you will need a very expensive compass system and you are affected by many earth bound factors that airplanes don't encounter.

Airplanes are usually flown to a (one) degree magnetic tolerance + or - the wind factor.
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Old 03-16-2010, 03:30 AM   #10
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Thanks for all of the above information, it is very interesting and useful

I still will be glad when I can go back to Direct TV, in about a year, because it is much simpler and less frustrating to set up.

I have said this before but here goes again; with Direct TV I never worried about plumb or level, just the gerneral direction of the satellite. I would pick up the antenna and wave it around in the air until I heard the first tick from the receiver, set the antenna on the ground, fine tune it, and I was good to go. That was a little exaggerated, but it was so easy a cave man could do it

Ron
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AFChap View Post
I always set my portable Dish network dish to what the setup screen specifies for my zip code, then slowly turn the dish until I get the best signal. If turning doesn't work, I may tweak the leveling of the tripod a bit. I have no idea how accurate my method is, nor do I really care what the actual setting is ...but once I get the signal and have a happy DW inside, I am finished!!!
This is the method I always use. The compass readings just get me close, and the slow turn finds the bird. I can't even read my compass within +/- 5 degrees.
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:35 AM   #12
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Try this LINK

You will need Google Earth
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