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Old 03-17-2019, 02:35 AM   #1
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Easiest Way to set up DirectTv antenna

WIth all the phone apps out there now what it the easiest way to get it aligned, using an antenna on a tripod. I see some people out there forever and some for a couple minutes.
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Old 03-17-2019, 02:54 AM   #2
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I am a bit tricky. I have a simple IP camera that I aim at my television screen for the signal strength.

However, Dishpointer or the Winegard app is excellent to start and then level the tripod as close to perfect as possible. Swing right and left slowly until you get some signal. Up and down is critical and even putting pressure on the dish can change the level to zero accidently. Right and left movement is far more forgiving.
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Old 03-17-2019, 06:11 AM   #3
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Satfinder Pro version app.....If you have an outside tv also, and can move it, use the meters on it to zero in.....if you want a meter, check on Ebay.....just found one on there, like new, $100 less .....you can pre-set tilt (skew) and elevation on the dish, using the app.....just got a meter for the SWM system, checked it against the setting where this dish is aimed, it's right on...if you want to read a little, google Satpro's web site, and you'll find a manual there on the tripod setup they're selling, that you can open and read....
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Old 03-17-2019, 06:29 AM   #4
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I don't know the technical details of DirectTV, I assume it only uses one satellite. If this is true, then pointing will be a little easier than it is for Dish. The Dish system uses three satellites that are all received by the same antenna, so pointing needs to be a little more precise.. I use a $10 meter that shows signal strength.

This is an article I wrote for using my home Dish receiver.

Using our home Dishnet VIP222 receiver while on the road – 1999 Southwind 35S

I have a Dish antenna on a tripod, the concept should be identical. Dish uses three satellites, 110, 119, and 129. When I aim, I force it to look only at the middle one, 119. I do this two ways: I cover the two outside LNBs on the antenna so they can't see anything. These normally look at 110 and 129. I also force the receiver to switch to the center LNB only in my SETUP page. The antenna can now see only one satellite and it will only be seen by my center LNB.

AIMING THE ANTENNA

I lookup the pointing parameters for my current location, SKEW, ELEVATION, and AZIMUTH, I then assemble the antenna and make these adjustments on the antenna mount. The SKEW is the antennas tilt and is what allows it to see three satellites.

LEVEL THE TRIPOD. For Dish, This is the most important step. If the tripod isn't level, the angle adjustments made on the antenna mount are meaningless. For DirectTV that only looks at one satellite, this will not be critical.

I use one of those inexpensive beeper meters connected to get signal strength. This connects at the antenna for pointing. When finished pointing, I remove it and connect the cables together with a connector.

I place the antenna on the tripod and point it in the general direction of the AZIMUTH setting. I slowly rotate the antenna back and forth a few degrees until I hear the signal on the meter. I then need to go inside and look at my receivers SETUP page. It will show me what satellite it sees. I should be seeing 119. If I see 129 or 110, I know I'm about 10 degrees off and go out side and move the antenna in the appropriate direction by 10 degrees and 119 should be there.

Once I find 119, I peak the antenna a tiny bit in all dimensions to peak the signal. I tighten everything up, remove the two outer LNB covers. The receiver is now ready and should see all three satellites.

It usually takes me about 10-15 minutes to set up and point the antenna.

NOTE - Three satellites and SKEW. When we're in the western US, Arizona, when looking at the satellites, 110, 119, 129, they tend to be next to each other in the sky. However, when we move to the eastern US (Florida) the satellites tend to be more one above the other. I
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:01 AM   #5
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Direct also uses 3 birds....but they're closer together, so if you zero in on the 101 sat, the 99 and 103, if you've got the skew right, are really easy....and if all your programs come from the 101, you don't even have to mess with skew.....the meter I got was a want, not a need....
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Old 03-17-2019, 09:58 AM   #6
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I use the Satellite Director app on my android phone. First I level my tripod, calibrate my phone's compass and then start the app. Once it sees my location I click on the Satellite tab to tell it which satellite I want to I want to find, the 101 satellite in my case, and then click the Director tab. There it tells the required skew, elevation and azimuth. It also starts my camera. I hold my phone above the dish so I can see the arm that holds the LNB, rotate my phone to where the signal is found and point my dish until the arm points to the satellite as seen on my phone. Then I adjust skew and elevation to get signals from all three sats. This usually only takes a few minutes. Here is a link:
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Old 03-17-2019, 10:04 AM   #7
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I just went from DTV to Dish last week. I agree that setting up the tripod for the Dish is a lot harder than DTV.

I had it locked for about 1/2 hour yesterday, running fine on my Hopper 3. Then I got the dreaded "complete signal loss" message.

Never got it back after trying for a couple of hours.....noticed the feed horns for the LNB were very warm. Not sure if that's normal. Maybe they failed?

I even tried the tin foil trick on 110 and 129 eyes....didn't help. Never could find the 119 bird. I have one tv and no joey's. Satellite cable connected to input 1 on LNB.

Any ideas out there? Very frustrating. I used to be able to do the DTV in 10 minutes.
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Old 03-17-2019, 10:20 AM   #8
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Egwilly, If you are using a 1000.2 antenna, western arc. Its vitally important that the mast is level. If it isn't level, finding the sats is a crap shoot at best..

I cover the two outer LNBs, then select 119 and transponder 11 on the AIM SAT page. This forces the LNB internal selector switch to use the center LNB.

I set mine up a few times a year as we travel across the U.S. The entire process generally take 10-15 minutes. The task of getting the mast level is the time consumer. Read through my article, its very detailed on how I set up and aim my antenna..

Using our home Dishnet VIP222 receiver while on the road – 1999 Southwind 35S


I find that I can aim much faster while on the east coast because the sats are above and below 119.. When on the western US, 110 and 129 are beside 119 so its easy to accidently aim at them instead of 119.. The AIM Page will tell you what sat its recieving. ..
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Old 03-17-2019, 05:11 PM   #9
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DishPointerPro for iPad / iPhone

AIM (1.5) Direct TV Signal Meter.

The DishPointerPro will show you where the birds are in the sky, and then you can connect the dish to the AIM and get the signal skewed in (by the dithering process), to get 99, 101, and 103.

If you are just looking for signal from 101, you can get by with a cheap meter, but the clock is ticking on DTV and the SD programming on 101.
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Old 03-17-2019, 05:35 PM   #10
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Thanks Waiter21....tried all your suggestions, no go. Mast is dead Nu*s level.

Ran multimeter on the LNB....no voltage coming out of it. Now have to send it back to Solid Signal for another one. I think it's a bad reman unit.
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Old 03-17-2019, 06:20 PM   #11
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If you are going align the satellite antenna to the Ku signals then close (one degree in each direction) will give you a good signal. If you are going to align the antenna to the Ka band signals, you need a good signal meter. The antenna must be peaked to about 1/6 of a degree. I recommend a Satlooklite signal meter. Its internal batteries will power the antenna's LNB for about 20 minutes (21 volts DC). You can set the meter to lock on to only one sat's signal and ignore all other. By the way DirecTV has 13 satellites in equatorial orbit. The ones most used are the 3 in the 99 galaxy, 4 in the 101 galaxy and 3 in the 103 galaxy. All SWM LNBs can receive all 10 simultaneously. I set my meter to the D-8 in the 101 orbit, set my tilt if I am within 300 miles of each coast; however, 90 degrees tilt works great in the center of the US - I guess at the elevation (it is close to the 90 degrees minus the latitude) and start a sweep of the south while listening to the signal strength tone. When the LNB locks on, the signal goes to a beep and signal strength and signal error rate are displayed on the meter. Just tweak the elevation and azimuth to max signal strength and lock down the dish. Run the RG-6 for the coach to the antenna and turn the HR-54 on and open some liquid refreshment. I do use the cellphone app to find the antenna position when shooting through the trees.
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Old 03-18-2019, 04:52 PM   #12
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I've been using my Align-a-Site for years with my DirecTV HD dish. No leveling needed and usually only takes a few minutes. They don't make them anymore but that are usually a couple used ones on Ebay.
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Old 03-19-2019, 04:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeisurePursuits View Post
I've been using my Align-a-Site for years with my DirecTV HD dish. No leveling needed and usually only takes a few minutes. They don't make them anymore but that are usually a couple used ones on Ebay.
I saw that online before...how does it work and how long does it take?
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Old 03-19-2019, 04:53 PM   #14
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I used an Align-A-Site for years. Neat thing about it you dont need to level the tripod. The unit has bubbles and three angle gages. Set it for your location per sat providers information, mount it on the dish, tilt swivel to center the bubbles, turn on your receiver to fine tune. It also has a site so you can check to be sure the dish has a clear view of the sky.
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