Installation of satellite TV system can be done by subscribers themselves. But to do so subscribers must possess some previous experience of doing tasks like installing a TV antenna outside, fitting a ceiling fan, installing a garage door opener and so on.

The various steps included in self installation of Satellite TV system are explained below:

General site survey:

Prior to installing Satellite TV system, subscribers must have a general site survey as to where the satellite dish must be installed. They should check with the following points:

  • Locate a site that has a clear view of the southern sky. Obstructions like trees, leaves, buildings, or windows must not be there in between.
  • Imagine an arc ranging from 30 to 60 degrees above the horizon.

Finding Dish pointing coordinates:

When subscribers are sure as to where the satellite dish has to be mounted, they must find the Dish pointing coordinates. To do this, first they must connect the satellite receiver to their TV and thereafter follow the on-screen menu system. The on-screen menu system will help subscribers to find dish pointing coordinates for their location. The process of connecting the TV to a receiver and using the on-screen menu are explained below.

Connect the Receiver to a TV

To Connect a satellite receiver to a TV, subscribers must follow the following steps:

  • Connect a coaxial cable to the OUT TO TV jack located on the satellite receiver and then to the Antenna IN jack located on TV.
  • Plug both the TV and the satellite receiver into an AC outlet.
  • Turn on the TV and the satellite receiver.
  • In case the satellite receiver has a CH3/CH4 switch on its back, tune the TV to channel 3 or 4 and if it does not have the switch, please tune to UHF channel 14 or cable channel 65.

Use the Dish Pointing Menu Screen

The satellite receiver consists on-screen menu that helps subscribers for having dish pointing coordinates in their own location. To navigate through the menu system, front buttons located on the front panel of the receiver can be used; otherwise the remote can be used for this purpose. To use the on-screen menu subscribers must follow the receiver’s manual and thereby they must find the dish pointing coordinates. When the coordinates are obtained, subscribers must further record the elevation and azimuth numbers. Elevation number is the up/down angle that the dish is pointed and Azimuth number is the side-to-side direction that the dish is pointed.

Precise site survey:

When the dish pointing coordinates are found, subscribers can proceed with the task of mounting the satellite dish. But prior to that they must again undergo a precise site survey to check whether the site selected for mounting the satellite receiver is the appropriate one or not. For this they must follow the steps enlisted below:

  • Go to the site (selected for installing satellite receiver) and hold a compass in the palm of hand and hold it till the needle of the compass stops moving. The dark or the colored half of the compass needle always indicates the northern direction.
  • Rotate the compass so that the dark part of the compass needle point the “N” (that denotes north) on the compass. The compass is now aligned with the northern direction. The edges of the compass have tick marks which represent the Azimuth degrees.
  • Locate the tick marks on the compass that corresponds to the Azimuth number noted earlier. This number is the Azimuth setting direction. The Azimuth setting direction is the direction in which the dish must be pointed to receive satellite signals.
  • Check that there are no obstructions in the signal path. This can be done by raising one arm up to the elevation angle recorded earlier.

Mounting options along with mounting instructions:

When subscribers are confirmed with the mounting site for the satellite dish, they must further select a place for mounting the mast. There are many options as to where a mast can be mounted. Subscribers need to mount the mast on their convenient places. The various options for mounting the satellite dish are explained below.

Mounting the mast on solid wood or lap siding:

For mounting the mast on a solid wood or lap siding subscribers need to have the following tools:

  • Electric drill
  • Bubble Level
  • Wrench
  • Pencil

The proceeding steps are to be followed to mount the mast on a solid wood or lap siding:

  • Locate the center of a stud to mount the mast foot.
  • Put the mounting foot in such a position that the center line is centered on the stud or wooden surface.
  • If the mast is to be mounted on a sloped or vertical surface, then check and confirm that the center line is perfectly vertical.
  • Before mounting the mast, mark the two center holes and four outside corner holes of the mounting foot with a pencil.
  • Remove the mounting foot and drill two 3/16” holes in the two center hole locations and four 3/16” holes in the four outside corner locations.
  • Loosen the nuts on the mounting foot so that the mast can be rotated to access both the center mounting holes.
  • Hold the mounting foot over the holes in such a way that the top of the mast will rotate and point straight up.
  • Insert two lag screws on the two center holes on the mounting foot and tighten them properly.
  • Put washers and insert screws on the four outside holes and tighten them securely.

Mounting the mast on the brick or poured concrete:

While mounting the mast on brick or poured concrete it must be confirmed that the wall has strength of at least 300 pounds of pull-out pressure.

After the strength of the wall is confirmed, subscribers must have the following tools for mounting the mast on the brick or poured concrete:

  • Electric drill
  • Bubble Level
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Wrench
  • Pencil

The following steps are to be followed while mounting a mast on brick or poured concrete:

  • Hold the mounting foot over the mounting surface.
  • In case of vertical or sloped surface, check and confirm that the center line is also vertical.
  • Mark the four outside holes on the mounting foot.
  • Drill four holes on the marked location.
  • Insert four double-expansion anchors.
  • Loosen the nuts on the mounting foot so that the mast can be rotated to access both center mounting holes.
  • Insert and tighten the machine screws.

Mounting the mast on a hollow or cinder block wall:

While mounting the mast on hollow or cinder wall it must always be taken care of, that satellite dish doesn’t come under an eave or overhang because that would block or partially obstruct the dish from clear view of southern sky.

To mount the mast on a hollow or cinder block wall subscribers must have with them, the following tools:

  • Electric drill
  • Bubble level
  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • Pencil

The following steps are to be observed while mounting the mast on a hollow or cinder block wall:

  • While installing the togglers in cinder blocks it must be noted that they are positioned in the core of the block. To position the foot of the mast on the wall, measure 7-1/2” from one edge of the block and mark the center of the block.
  • Place the mounting foot of the mast on the marked place.
  • Level the center line of the mounting foot using a bubble level.
  • Mark the four outside corner holes.
  • Remove the mounting foot and drill holes on the marked places.
  • Install the togglers. The installation includes the following steps:
  1. Fold one end of the metal channel along with the plastic strap and carefully slide it through the hole.
  2. Pull the ring so that the metal channel rests flush behind the wall. Now hold the ring tight and slide the plastic cap along with the strap till the cap is flush with the wall.
  3. Push the straps so that they snap off with the wall.
  4. Repeat the same process for all four holes.
  5. Loosen the nuts on the mounting foot so that the mast can be rotated to access both center mounting holes.
  6. Insert and tighten the machine screws.

Mounting the Dish on a pole:

While mounting a dish on a pole it must always be noted that the installation is not done in wet or marshy areas and the pole must go at least 3 feet below the surface. The pole which replaces mounting foot and mast assembly must be grounded.

Before mounting a dish on a pole subscribers must have the following tools:

  • Bubble level
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Hacksaw
  • Post hole digger
  • Pencil

To mount the satellite dish on a pole the following steps are to be followed.

  • First dig a 36” deep and 8-12” wide hole at the mounting location.
  • Cut a 45 degree angle at the bottom of the pole to prevent it from rotating in the concrete over time.
  • Level the pole using the bubble level. Level the pole at two different locations that are at right angles to each other.
  • Fill the hole with quick drying cement. Pour cement up to two inches from the top of the hole.
  • Mount the dish on the pole when the cement is completely dry.

Mounting the mast on a roof:

The Roof should be the last resort for mounting a dish because many problems may arise over time. However a dish must be mounted on a dry place of the roof and not on wet places, slate etc.

To mount a mast on the roof subscribers must have the following tools:

  • Electric drill
  • Bubble Level
  • Wrench
  • Ladder
  • Pencil

The mounting of a mast on a roof includes the steps enlisted below:

  • Locate the center of a rafter where the mounting foot of the mast need to be placed.
  • Hold the mounting foot in a position so that the center line is centered on a rafter.
  • Make sure, that the center line is perfectly vertical.
  • Mark the six holes in the mounting foot.
  • Remove the mounting foot and drill holes in two center line locations as well as the four outside corner locations that were marked earlier.
  • Fill all holes with small amount of roof sealant.
  • Hold the mounting foot over the holes in such a way that the top of the mast will rotate and point straight up.
  • Insert and tighten all the screws.
  • Seal the mounting foot with roof sealant.

Leveling of the mast:

When the mounting of the satellite receiver is accomplished, subscribers can move on with the task of leveling the mast.

Leveling the mast is one of the most important tasks in the installation of Satellite TV system. Leveling of the mast include leveling in both Side-to-side and front-to-back direction. These two types of leveling of the mast are explained below.

Leveling side-to-side:

To check whether the mast is leveled side-to-side or not, subscribers must place a bubble level on the mast. The bubble must be centered in the level’s window.

Leveling Front-to-Back:

To level the mast in Front–to–Back direction, subscribers must let the mounting foot move freely. Subscriber can do this by loosening the two bolts and thereafter check the Front-to-back position by placing the bubble level. Subscribers must also check that the bubble level is centered. After this, subscribers must secure the mast to the mounting foot by tightening two bolts.

Final Dish assembly:

After leveling the mast subscribers can proceed further with the step of final dish assembly. To do this, subscribers must follow the steps enlisted below:

  • Place the LNB arm of the satellite dish on top of the mast or pole.
  • Push the coaxial cable through the bottom of the mast. Loop the cable and pass it through the LNB support arm.
  • Put some silicone grease on the LNB connector and connect the end of the Coaxial cable to the LNB.
  • Place the end of the LNB into the end of the support arm.
  • Locate the special hex retainer nut and insert this into the LNB mounting hole located on top of the LNB support arm.
  • Locate the head screw and insert it into the LNB mounting hole from the bottom of LNB support arm and thereafter tighten the screw.
  • Locate the grounding hardware namely bolt, star washer and nut.
  • Insert the bolt and attach the messenger (ground) wire to the foot of the mast. Connect the other end of the same wire to the grounding block.

Cable estimate procedure:

After assembling the dish, subscribers must proceed with the task of routing and grounding the cable. The subscribers must decide as to where they want their cables (for Satellite TV connection) to enter their homes. They must also configure roughly how much cable they really require for the connection. For this subscribers must check with the points enlisted below:

  • First locate the central building ground. In central building ground the satellite dish must be grounded via cable grounding block to a single point. The following is a list of suitable grounding points of a building:
  1. Grounded interior metal cold water pipe which must be within five feet from the point from where it enters the building.
  2. Grounded metallic service raceway.
  3. Grounded electrical service equipment enclosure.
  4. Eight-foot grounding rod driven into the ground(this must be bonded to the central building ground by number 6 or heavier bonding wire).
  5. Other grounding electrodes that comply with sections 250 and 810 of the National Electrical Code (NEC).
  • Now choose an acceptable and convenient location to ground the cable grounding block. The grounding block should be placed closer to the place where the cable would enter the house.
  • Decide a suitable place for the satellite receiver inside the house.
  • Once the place for the satellite receiver is decided estimate the amount of cable needed for each of the following:
  1. One RG-6 coaxial cable with ground wire to run from the dish to a grounding block. Separate coaxial cable must be provided for each LNB output.
  2. One RG-6 coaxial cable (per LNB output) to run from the grounding block to each of satellite receiver.
  3. Grounding wire to run from the grounding block to the central building ground.

Routing and grounding the cables:

For routing and grounding the cables, subscribers need to follow the steps enlisted below:

  • Attach the grounding block to the side of the house closer to the coaxial cable entry point. Anchors, togglers or wooden screws may be needed for the purpose.
  • Route the coaxial cable and messenger (ground) wire from the bottom of the mast to the grounding block.
  • Put some silicone grease on the connector and connect the coaxial cable to the grounding block.
  • Locate the central building ground.
  • Attach the grounding wire to the grounding block by placing it through the wire hole in the grounding block and tightening the screw.

Route the grounding wire from the grounding block to the central building ground and connect to the central building ground.

Running cable inside the house:

While running the cable into the house, the following steps are to be followed:

  • Drill a hole in the place where the coaxial cable would enter the house.
  • Connect the RG-6 coaxial cable that will extend grounding block to the receiver.
  • Route the coaxial cable through the house to the back of the receiver.
  • Use a silicone sealant to seal all outside connections and the holes drilled for the entry of the coaxial cables.

Final cable connections:

The following steps are to be followed for accomplishing the final cable connection:

  • Connect the RG-6 coaxial cable to the SATELLITE IN jack located at the back of the receiver.
  • Take a phone off the hook to prevent electric shock from incoming calls.
  • Connect a phone cord from the back of the receiver to a phone jack.

Acquiring and tuning the signals:

After the completion of installation of satellite dish and routing of cables, subscribers can finally carry on with acquiring and tuning satellite signals. For this, subscribers must follow the steps enlisted below:

  • Double check the elevation and azimuth settings.
  • Check and confirm whether the elevation indicator (the edge of metal, not the washer or the bolt) is aligned to the correct elevation or not.
  • Verify the azimuth setting on the dish with the help of a compass.
  • Check if proper satellite signals are received or not.
  • When subscribers get proper signals, then some fine tunings adjustments to the dish must be done to receive the highest possible signal. For dish pointing information refer to the receiver manual.
  • When subscribers are sure that the satellite dish is receiving proper satellite signals then the last step that they need to follow is to call the program providers to order for TV programs. Subscribers also need to read the satellite receiver’s instruction manual for more information and instructions about how to use the various features offered by the Satellite TV providers.

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