Hopefully, this guide will aid you with aligning your satellite dish in the quickest possible time, and also dispel some of the confusion surrounding what you require to do the job successfully.
Whether you are using a free-standing or roof mounted satellite dish, before you can align your system, you will first need to make sure that you can be in a position free of any trees or obstacles. A clear line of sight between the satellite and your dish, is crucial to receiving a strong enough signal for trouble free viewing.
The first step to setting up your dish is to point the dish in a South to Southeast direction, this can be achieved either using the position of the sun or using a compass (B2022).
Although the orbital position of the satellite is 28.2 degrees East of South, the actual compass bearing will be slightly different. To work out the correct compass bearing you will need to know the magnetic variation of the continent you are on. The variation needed for the UK is about 5 degrees, this will mean for the United Kingdom you will need to align your dish to a compass bearing of about 23 degrees east of south.
Now that you have the dish roughly aligned left to right with the compass bearing The second step is to align the dish vertically. The correct elevation of the dish will be dependent on the region of the world you are in. For the main part of the UK, the elevation is about 21 to 27 degrees. Supplied with each of the Maxview satellite dish pack’s, is a ‘Zone Map’. The ‘Zone Map’ will give you a rough indication of the elevation the dish will need to be set to.
With the dish now roughly aligned with the compass bearing and the elevation angle, you should only now need to fine tweak these settings to give you a picture.
The use of a ‘Sat-Finder’ (B5029) will also greatly help with locating the satellite signal. The ‘Sat-Finder’ will give you an audible indication of signal strength as you move the dish.
A further aid to successful dish alignment, especially to find the correct satellite, is to use the “Signal Test” menu that is built into the Sky Digital Decoder. To access this menu you will have to ‘press’ the “Services” button on the Sky remote. In the “SERVICES” menu you will then need to access the “SYSTEM SETUP” (number 4) then “SIGNAL TEST” (number 6).
The display will then show, from top to bottom: –
Signal Strength, Signal Quality, Lock Indicator, Network ID and Transport Stream.
Move the dish in slow discrete steps in order for the digital meter in the satellite receiver to respond correctly. You may need to consult the manufacturer’s instruction manual for more details.
Alignment is fairly critical and the dish will need to align until there is at least a quarter of the ‘Signal quality’ bar displayed. When there is sufficient signal quality the ‘Lock indicator’ will then show ‘OK’. The correct setting for the ‘Network ID’ for the Astra 2 satellite is “0002” with the ‘Transport Stream’ showing ’07d4′. If the ‘Network ID’ is showing any other details, you have locked onto the wrong satellite and will need to re-align the satellite dish and reset your Sky decoder. When you are receiving a clear signal, take care when tightening the dish mounting bolts or clamps, as not to move the dish position.
Troubleshooting Dish Alignment in Southern Europe
Programs on the Astra 2 cluster of satellites are “beamed” down to create three “Footprints”, north, south and UK. All of the Free-To-Air and Sky programs are received in these “footprints”: An up to date list of programs that are available on each footprint, can be obtained from (WWW.ASTRA.LU)