Installing a satellite dish using a TV spectrum analyzer

In this post, i will break down steps to align a satellite dish and how to get free satellite tv with a dish. It is very necessary to use an instrument that provides reliable measures to ensure strong reception quality not only just after or at the time of installation but also over the lifespan of the installation. However, weather conditions such as strong wind or rain may cause the antenna to lose the signal.

So, in this article, I am going to breakdown in details how to align a satellite dish using a RANGER Neo spectrum analyzer.

  1. Find out the location and the satellite’s
  2. Select the optimum location
  3. Align the satellite dish on a provisional basis
  4. Choose the adequate configuration for the satellite
  5. Set up the analyzer to take measurements
  6. MER adjustment and polarization
  7. Test signal quality

Aligning a satellite dish with spectrum analyzer

Find out the location and the satellite’s

Use the below website to perform the required calculations for our installation:

  1. Mark-out the physical location of the antenna. Move the marker over the map up to the physical location, or type-in the postal address. Also, you can type the latitude and longitude coordinates in the same space provided (use you mobile phone or GPS to find them out.
    For example, we are going to install a satellite dish (in a location of Latitude 42.8806º and Longitude -8.5450º) to receive the ASTRA 19.2E satellite.
  2. Choose which satellite the antenna will be pointed to. Right on the website, you can select a satellite from the list of functional commercial telecommunication satellites.
  3. Find out the orbital satellite position. After entering the data and, the system shows the Azimuth and Elevation and that we have to apply to the satellite dish to properly receive the satellite:
    • Azimuth: 142.3°
    • Elevation: 33.2°
  4. Select the optimum location. It is necessary to select which wall the antenna is going to be installed in based on the above data. Similarly don’t install the antenna turning it back to the satellite or in a location that has an object that hides the satellite! . How to Align a Satellite Dish Without a Meter: Dstv, DirecTV

Tools required to install the satellite dish?

  • Compass. Used to adjust the Azimuth. Mobile phone can be an alternative.
  • Inclinometer. To adjust the Elevation. This tool is neither indispensable as a result of many masts having an engraved angled guide (useful if it is mounted perpendicular to the ground), and again can be alternated by a cell phone.
  • The satellite dish itself. This comprises the dish, fastening items, LNB, etc.
  • TV spectrum analyzer. It enables performing the fine adjustments to optimize the signal power received from the satellite.

Align the satellite dish on a provisional basis

After all the fastening items are installed, the antenna is set on the mounting and the LNB is set, it is time to perform the…

  1. Approximate orientation adjustment. Set the antenna according to the data calculated in step [3].
Adjusting Azimuth
Adjusting the Azimuth (142º) and the Elevation (33º)

Important! There are also fine adjustments to be made, for this reason, do not tight all the screws that would fix the antenna in its final position. HOW TO STREAM DSTV SUPERSPORT CHANNELS ON PC

«Hunting» the satellite ASTRA 19.2 E

  1. Choose the adequate configuration for the satellite. Connect the RANGER Neo TV spectrum analyzer to the LNB and then set it to provide the antenna with 13 VDC and VERTICAL polarization in LOW band. This configuration is not accidental, but it responds to the following table:
Above is Polarization listings based on LNB supply
  1. The analyzer finds the satellite. Adjust the cursor over one of the digital transponders (rotating the joystick or just adding little pressure on it in the touch screen). The RANGER Neo will let you know what satellite and/or orbital position you are on in few seconds!
The RANGER Neo will  tell what satellite and/or orbital position you are on in a matter of seconds

If you’re unable to receive the satellite signal, confirm if you have followed the above steps correctly, especially the Azimuth and Elevation calculations about the physical location of the antenna.

Fine tuning the dish

When ASTRA 19.2E is locked (see the picture above) it’s time to apply fine adjustments to get a strong and efficient alignment.

Fine tuning is a careful step and this is why professional installers always use a TV analyzer instead of depending on the basic ‘quality measurement’ provided by the satellite receiver. This is because the more robust signal is gotten from the antenna, the greater safety margin there will be for that signal to survive to factors that degrade it: Derivations, aged cables, interference sources. Thus, the installation will have fewer problems both during the installation and during its lifespan.

  1. Set up the analyzer to take measurements. If you yet to perform this, set the RANGER Neo analyzer in one of the split screen modes to view both measurements and spectrum at once.
  2. Accurate antenna position. Apply little corrections to the position of the dish on all axes while checking the measurements. And without unlocking the transponder, try to get the maximum possible power value. When you reach this point, tighten all the screws to ensure that the plate is firmly in its position.
Get Power value as possible
Tilt adjustment to get as much Power value as possible.

As the ASTRA 19.2E transmits in VERTICAL/LOW polarization, we should try to avoid the influence of the transponders at the opposite polarization (HORIZONTAL/HIGH). This is known as Cross polarization adjustment. This will be done in the next step.

 rotating the LNB on its axis
Cross-polarization is adjusted by rotating the LNB on its axis.
  1. MER adjustment and polarization. Rotate the LNB on its axis and visually observe the spectrum analyzer screen. The more defined the transponders lines are, the stronger the quality of the reception, the stronger the MER and LM will be. That is our focus: Defined transponders together with high values of MER and LM. Now, you can tighten the LNB clamp to keep it base.

The LM (Link Margin) refers to how much the signal MER can fall before its reception is impossible. Thus, the higher the better and also necessary to get free satellite tv with a dish.

Testing signal quality

The RANGER Neo is the major instrument for quick and effective checks of signal quality not just as a result of it showing all measurements in one single screen but also because the meter doesn’t require additional configuration processes.


Look what we’ve got

The RANGER Neo can also show free to air programs available in the satellite. That is very practical and not so much for the picture itself but for amount of interesting data related to the transponders we can display as well.

data information
Video, Audio and service related data information.

At any time it is easy to display the service list by making use of the analyzer menus and thereby showing all the programs and services found within the tuned channel. Choosing one particular channel or service turns to be very intuitive using the joystick or just pressing on it in the touch screen.

 ASTRA 19.2E service list
Displaying ASTRA 19.2E service list.

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