These antennas allow to extend the reception of free or paid channels of televisions from all over the world. Installing a satellite dish is simple: you just have to find a correct point for the support (on a wall, a terrace or the roof) and follow the steps to capture and tune in a good satellite signal.
Install a satellite dish: parts and components
When installing a satellite dish we find a series of pieces that are disassembled and we must be able to identify. We tell you what they are and what they are for:
The dish or parable. Within the parts of a satellite dish, the dish is responsible for receiving all satellite signals and centralizing them at one point to be able to transfer them amplified to the satellite receiver.
The satellite dishes are not all the same: some do not even have a parabolic shape. The most common are 60, 80 and 100 cm in diameter. Its design is also very important because it can determine the power and quality of reception.
In addition to the type of antenna, another important point is the size: the lower the quality of the satellite signal in our geographical area, the greater the plate should be.
These are the most common types of dishes:
- Primary Focus Antenna It has a perfect parabolic shape, with the focal point in the center of the plate; That is why it is where the LNB is mounted. It is usually a large antenna, about 1.5 meters. It is the ideal antenna for areas where there is no very good signal: its size allows receiving signals outside the normal footprint, but it must be installed very precisely because its beam is smaller in width.
- Offset antenna. They are the most common today. They have an ellipse shape and their focus is shifted down. That is, the LNB is located outside the surface of the antenna so that it does not cause “shadows” in the reception of the signal. To orient it, follow tables provided by the manufacturer, to compensate for the deflection of the focus. They have a good performance in almost all geographical areas of the country.
- Flat antenna. Still little extended, but very useful when building or community regulations prevent the placement of other types of antennas, since. They need very little mounting space and are very visually discreet. They should only be used with very powerful satellites and in areas of optimum reception, and must be perfectly oriented towards the central footprint of the satellite.
The LNB This device (Low Noise Block, literally translated as a low noise block) is used to process the signals emitted by the satellites and convert them into a lower frequency so that they can be distributed smoothly to the receiver. The image quality on the screen will depend on its quality. These devices can be:
- Universal: with the capacity to receive the signal from a satellite in a full bandwidth; that is, from 10.70 to 12.75 GHz, which allows digital televisions to be received. The old LNBs had a bandwidth of 10.70 to 11.70 GHz. The device usually indicates “universal” or “full bandwidth”.
- Monoblock: with them you can perfectly receive the signal from two satellites at the same time, with a single socket for the coaxial cable. The device is already defined for each specific satellite. In Spain it is usually Astra and Hot Bird or Eutelsat.
The support of the LNB. It is the arm at whose end the LNB is placed stably so that it can be oriented according to the reception parameters. It is attached to the wall bracket, to the mast of a collective antenna or to the mast of the floor of a terrace, usually by means of U-bolts or very resistant jaws. It is also used to place the plate anchors and the height adjustment systems of the plate.
The height regulator It allows to orientate the height of the plate for the correct reception (according to the satellite). It has some through screws with nuts that can be loosened and tightened to adjust the orientation.
The azimuth regulator. The wall or mast support (usually a cylindrical tube) is the axis that allows the azimuth to be adjusted with respect to the satellite, starting from the north cardinal point or the magnetic north. To do this you have to rotate the structure with the plate around it. Its manipulation allows to capture the satellite signals, combining it with the height of the parabola. The azimuth adjustment is made clockwise or counterclockwise.
The wire. When installing a satellite dish, it is essential to use the correct cable. You must use a coaxial cable of satellite quality, somewhat thicker than the one used inside, with its corresponding connectors. In the cable sheath you will find information about its uses.
The satellite receiver It is the device that transforms the signal received by the antenna so that it can be seen on televisions. It is the point at which the coaxial cable arrives from the satellite dish, and from which the cable that goes to the TV comes out. It is best to make this connection with HDMI, so that there is no loss of sharpness in the image. In addition, with a cable or wireless connection you can receive Internet services that are contracted with the telephone company.
The parabolic, in the home automation network
Does your building have a home automation network and do you want to install a satellite dish? The installation wiring can be used to channel the antenna cable to your home, if they give you the corresponding authorization. In a single-family home, you will only have to attend to the possible urban norms.
WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?
We tell you step by step
Satellite dish assembly: how to assemble the parts
Once each part of the kit has been identified, it is time to mount the parabolic and then install it at the appropriate point. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions in detail. In general, the steps are as follows:
Step 1.1: With the help of the kit instructions, start by assembling the arm to mount the device that processes the signal received by the dish, the LNB, and joining with the dish or parabola of the antenna. Fix the anchor legs of the support to the back of the plate: normally it is placed with four through screws and four nuts.
Step 1.2: Connect the plate with its fasteners to the height-adjustable mast that supports the LNB. Do it with their corresponding screws and nuts.
Step 1.3: At the end of the arm, fix the LNB support. Tighten the screw with a flat wrench. Put the LNB, but do not tighten at all until regular.
How to install the support of a satellite dish
Before installing the satellite dish on the wall of any common element of a community of neighbors, you must inform yourself if it has specific rules for its placement. Normally it only affects aesthetics, but in some cases (in historical buildings, for example) the regulations may be stricter. You should also inform yourself before placing it on the street, in case the city council imposed conditions.
The final step when installing a satellite dish is to put it in place. The process is as follows:
Step 2.1: Measure the height and width of the space where you are going to place the antenna to calculate the installation center, according to the diameter of the antenna.
Step 2.2: Mark with a pencil the center where the support will go. With a bubble level, place the bracket on the wall to mark the anchor points.
Step 2.3: Drill all anchor points. It is important that the support is well fixed so that it resists strong winds. Place the plugs flush with the wall, then fix the support and put the screws, in this case hexagonal head.
Step 2.4: Finish tightening well with the ratchet, but without forcing the thread: because the arm must be perfectly fixed so that the antenna does not tune easily. Approach the plate (with the arm of the structure already mounted) before the support tube or mast. Fasten with the jaw or screw. At the same time screw the two nuts to achieve a homogeneous adjustment in both parts. You should place it approximately, both in height and in line with respect to the point of the satellite you wish to tune. Follow the recommended parameters. Tighten the jaw or U-bolt with a flat wrench (if not included in the kit, you will have to buy it) until the antenna arm is secured. The circular support serves to regulate the azimuth of the antenna.
Connect a satellite dish to the receiver or TV / Satellite jack
After installing a satellite dish, there is still an essential step: connect it to the receiver or socket to access the satellite contents. Learn how to do it right:
Step 3.1: Measure and cut the amount of cable needed to cover the distance from the antenna to the receiver or to the TV and satellite jack.
Step 3.2: Strip the wire about 6 mm without cutting the copper wire. Turn back the protective metal mesh and cut the plastic coating without cutting the central copper wire.
Step 3.3: Insert the connector into the cable, screw and cut the central wire to the necessary size of the F connector.
Step 3.4: Connect the cable with the F connector on the head of the LBN and extend it.
Step 3.5: With a flange, secure the cable to the arm of the parabolic support and take it along the mast to the house. Secure the cable with staples in as many points as necessary, as in a wall, terrace, fireplace, etc.
Step 3.6: Pass the cable to the house by drilling the wall or by some simple point; as, for example, next to the window frame. You can put a PVC tube or corrugated tube and fill the remaining hole with silicone.
Step 3.7: Strip the cable at the other end and connect it to the satellite signal receiver that decodes the signal, so that it can be seen correctly on the TV. You should always check if the F connector has to be male or female.
Step 3.8: Regulate the reception following the parameters corresponding to the satellite. Follow the satellite capture instructions to know the right height and orientation: there are computer applications that will help you in the exact location. We need three data to achieve this: azimuth, elevation and polarization of the LNB. You should also know that all this data depends on two factors: the geographical position of the antenna and the position of the satellite whose signal we want to capture.
- Azimuth: it is the position of the plate in horizontal plane with respect to the North (movement towards the sides). It is measured in degrees.
- Polarization: it is the rotation that the LNB must have with respect to the vertical of the ground. It is measured in degrees.
- Elevation: is the inclination in which the satellite signal beam reaches our satellite dish (movement from top to bottom). It is measured in degrees, using whatever is marked on the plate holder.
Step 3.9: Also adjust the position of the LNB. When the signal is good, finish squeezing the device to the support.
Step 3.10: Check that the antenna has been perfectly anchored, both to the mast and to the support (be it wall, floor or collective antenna mast). It must withstand even the strongest winds. Screw the F connectors into the LNB and the digital receiver or PCI card.
Step 3.11: It only remains to tune in. If the receiver or application of the card has any option that shows us the intensity with which the satellite signal arrives, we will activate it and verify that it is acceptable. If it is not, we will try to adjust the three parameters of the parabolic orientation.
Materials and tools
Satellite dish kit
Support or support mast
10 mm screws and plugs
Optional wind mounting kit
How to target a satellite dish: keys
Sometimes, after installing a satellite dish it is hard to tune it. No wonder: in fact, it is often convenient to call an installer, especially if the antenna is on a roof or deck (for security reasons). Therefore, we are going to give you some clues so that you try to do it yourself.
- In principle, in Spain the normal thing is to orient the antenna towards two satellites: Hispasat and Astra 19’2º E. The first one offers the greatest amount of content in open, although many of them are in German. Both include all regional TV channels and some Spanish payment platforms.
- Before adjusting the three values that allow necessary to orient the satellite dish (azimuth, elevation and polarization), the satellites must be located . For this we can use an app for the mobile that will indicate where they are depending on our geographical location and the time of day. There are free applications that work well, such as Satfinder (the most used).
- Imagine that you want to search for the Astra 19’2º E from the East : the application will give you information about your location and the satellite data that you will have selected by default (you can change it). It will also indicate the degrees to orient the satellite dish.