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Tips and Tricks

Satellite Dish Tips

RedRock RV Park is at location at 44.604161°, -111.416449°

Today, many satellite TV options are automatic. From units that sit on top of your rig, to portable units you set on the ground, thanks to GPS many are just “push the button” easy.. The main challenge is to avoid placing them where the signal is blocked. Trees can block a lot of signal, just as mountains and your neighbors large rig. If your satellite TV system is automatic just make sure when you reserve that you inquire about sites that can easily have a line of sight to the south for good reception.

If you still have the manual setup antennas, there are several apps for your smartphone that will help you align your antenna using its GPS and compass. Google (or Bing, or Yahoo) “Satellite Alignment App” and download one to your phone. Also, it can sometimes help if you notice how a neighbor is pointing their antenna for a first step. Make sure they are using the same provider as you are using.

When aligning a dish, you need to know the angles such as the azimuth, elevation and LNB skew. Azimuth tells you the COMPASS direction to point the antenna. The elevation is the vertical (up/down) alignment, and the LNB skew is the polarization of the signal, or in other words by how much you have to rotate or tilt the LNB or dish. On the receiver, check the satellite signal strength and the network ID of the transponder; it needs to match the satellite for your service.

Move the dish slightly to the left/right and up/down in very small steps and very slowly and watch the signal strength bar on the receiver to do the fine-tuning. Finally, tweak the LNB skew for maximum signal quality.

For a multi-LNB setup, like on most HD antennas, the procedure is the same as the standard installation only you need to tilt the dish appropriately for each satellite you want to receive bearing in mind that the signal comes from a different direction than the one where the dish points to. This is a bit tricky but can be done with patience.

NOTE: I f you have serious setup problems that you or your helpful neighbors can’t resolve, the closest service provider for Dish or DirecTV is Big Dog Satellite TV, 208.552.1333 in Idaho Falls, Idaho. If you have a service contract, call DirecTV or Dish first and ask to have them send Big Dog here, otherwise you can call them directly and have a hefty service call.

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