Satellites that carry broadcasting signals are generally in a geostationary orbit above the earths equator at 0deg. If you're in the northern
hemisphere, when you first adjust your dish, you'll use your southern most satellite relative to your longitude as it will be highest on the
“arc” . When your in the southern hemisphere, you'll use the satellite that's located closest to your due north.
Just like everything else, (USB etc) standards have been created to make things just as easy as possible.
In the case of motorized satellite alignment, it's called USALS (Universal Satellites Automatic Location System)
Here are a few tips that may come in handy when setting up your dish, and a short 10 min video I found that will help you visualize what I'm talking
about. This setup looks very much like mine.
Obviously, along with your new satellite dish and motor, you're going to need a way to mount it. You can either permanently install a 1-3/4 “ -
2” pole at least 4' long (depending on your view of the southern/northern horizon)into concrete, or you can do what I do and use an umbrella stand.
The most critical thing is to make sure it's perfectly plumb, so check it with a level.
Once you have your dish/motor assembled, make sure that your motor is set to 0deg, and that the whole thing is perfectly straight using your eyes.
Make sure the dish looks like it's 90 deg from the motor when it's mounted on the shaft. Most setups will have bolt holes and through bolts to make
sure this is the case.
Then, using the U bolts, mount the motor/dish onto the pole, but leave the bolts loose enough so that you can adjust it from side to side. If you're
in the northern hemisphere, you'll want the whole assembly facing due south when the motor is at 0 deg.
Once your motor is mounted, you're going to want to adjust it for up/down according to your latitude. Normally, this will be marked in degrees on the
sliding swivel between the motor and the pole. Usually this will be close enough to get a signal and can be adjusted for quality later.
Now you're going to need to know your longitude and get out your compass. Depending on where you are, you're going to have to take into account
Magnetic Variation. Ideally, you will want your motor and dish facing exactly south (if you're in the northern hemisphere) when the motor is at 0
degrees. The reason for this is because your dish won't turn simply left or right, but will cover the sky from east to west in an arc, with the dish
aiming the highest in the sky when it's due S.
Here's a map of the magnetic variation in North America.
For instance, if you're in Ohio, you'll want to add 6 degrees, and you'll want your dish facing to the point on your compass that reads 180+6, or
186 degrees (with the motor at 0 deg). If you're in , say, Reno, you'll want to subtract 15 degrees etc. Pretty simple really.
Next, you'll want to get your receiver and a TV.
What I like to do is bring the receiver and a small TV right out near the dish, using a short length coax cable, for the process of getting it
Obviously, you'll have to refer to your receiver's manual to become familiar with the user interface, but here are the general things you'll need
to determine which satellite is closest to your due south that is broadcasting a KU band signal.
Program your latitude and longitude into your receiver through the user interface.
(note, since receivers will differ on how to do this, I'll give you a quick example of how to do it with a Pansat3500, as it can be a bit hard to
find without being familiar with your box)
For my particular receiver, I have to choose “Installation”
then “Antenna Setup”
Choose your southern most KU band satellite from the left pane, then scroll down to “Positioner Setting”
(note, G25 isn't my southern most sat, just using a pic from the one I'm watchin)
Hit the left arrow until it says “USALS”
Then hit the enter button again and it will bring up the box where I can put in my latitude and longitude.
Usually this only has to be done once, and not for every satellite.
The reason I added this little walk-through, is that it can be a bit confusing to find... it is on the Pansat anyway. Again refer to your use manual
for the details.
In the pictures above, you'll notice I have my LNB set to standard, and the LNB local freq sets to 10750 by default. If I had “Dish-Pro” or
another LNB selected it would automatically choose 11250 for a local freq.
In the section next to TP, you'll notice mine says 12152 H 20.000, that's the transponder it's seeing on satellite G25. “Level” indicates
the connection between my box and the LNB, and “Quality” indicates the signal It's seeing from the satellite.
Most receivers ship with known transponders setup for getting a signal from the satellites they come pre-programmed with, but I've found out that it
isn't always the case. But don't fear, because once you have it locked in, you can do a blind scan and it will see any that are currently
transmitting and they will be added to the list on your box. It's just finding that initial transponder while you're setting it up the first time
that can be iffy.
Your receiver and motor should come with complete instructions , and you probably won't even need to refer to this.
Anyway, this is getting long-winded, but if you have any questions...feel free to ask.