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Thread: self alignment of DSTV dish

  1. #1

    Default self alignment of DSTV dish

    I moved this weekend and removed my satellite dish. It is still assembled and was on the north facing wall.
    Will I have trouble aligning the newly mounted dish? or will I have to fork out money for multichoice to come and align it?

    Anyone that have done this before and can give me a few tips??
    If you Pay Peanuts.... you get Monkeys!

  2. #2

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    I've tried this before with no success. When I moved house I figured I could just gauge by the direction of the neighbours dishes - didn't work out too well. Also a while back I accidentally knocked the dish with a ladder which caused a loss of signal and I thought a bit of self alignment would sort it out - once again, no luck.

  3. #3
    Super Grandmaster Nerfherder's Avatar
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    Some people have had success with self alignment... but I think the best thing you can do is get one of those signal indicators. They are like under R300 and you can use it every time your dish goes out of alignment.
    "What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof." ~ Christopher Hitchens

    My idea of "Help from above" is a sniper on a roof.

  4. #4

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    R300 for signal indicator or R400 for multichoice...mmm
    If you Pay Peanuts.... you get Monkeys!

  5. #5
    Super Grandmaster Hemps's Avatar
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    I aligned mine myself - borrowed a signal detector, forgot it in my garage, attached the dish to the wall, looked at the neighbours first and judged by sight - down the ladder, started up the decoder and viola! 100% on both.
    Was just on my way to get the signal detector when I heard TV sounds.

    What a fluke.

  6. #6

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    The decoder has a signal detector in the advanced installation menu (forget the exact name -scratch around.)

    Get that up on the screen, go out to the dish, get someone to stand inside looking at the screen whilst directing you on the phone (or walkie talkie of you roll like I roll)... easy as pie.
    The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species.

    -Christopher Hitchens

  7. #7

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    I'm in a similar situation at the moment. However, I have an added PITA: My dish is apparently too small for all the HD content, and even the slightest mis alignment means I start losing channels. I'm not technically minded enough to know if the installer was just feeding me a fart or if this could be for real - but I wouldn't mind one of those little signal devices in order to check up on this myself. Where can I buy one in Cape Town (Southern Suburbs)?

  8. #8
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    I have used our 2 handset DECT telephone set as a walkie-talkie and the DSTV info screen.
    It's not that difficult, but you will need patience, and whne you're done, tighten all the fastenings and then re-check.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkyMatix View Post
    I'm in a similar situation at the moment. However, I have an added PITA: My dish is apparently too small for all the HD content, and even the slightest mis alignment means I start losing channels. I'm not technically minded enough to know if the installer was just feeding me a fart or if this could be for real - but I wouldn't mind one of those little signal devices in order to check up on this myself. Where can I buy one in Cape Town (Southern Suburbs)?
    While they are still using DVB-S to broadcast all channels, your old 60cm will be good enough. When they switch to DVB-S2 for the HD channels (I don't know when), you will need a bigger dish.

  10. #10

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    Easy to do a self alignment.

    Try this:

    Step 1: The vertical angle is marked on the bracket. I think it needs to be set at 36.6 degrees. That part should be easy.
    Step 2: Make sure that angle on the LNB is set correctly, it's the skew angle. It needs to be 53 degrees below the horizontal clockwise on the right hand side looking at the dish. Better to judge it as being around the half past 4 position on a clock face.
    Step 3: This gets harder ... make sure the dish is facing roughly east, the direct the sun comes up in the morning. You'll need to align this horizontal angle more carefully. Wait until the morning (8 or 9 o'clock) and look at a neighbours dish and the way the shadow of the LNB falls on the dish, like a sundial. Move your dish horizontally to get the same shadow pattern. Now use your decoder to search for signal strength and make small adjustments either way until you get the best strength.

    Try it ... before you spend any money.

  11. #11

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    I also tried a self install a month ago when I was on leave. Had a look at the neigbours dish and pointed in the same direction. It didn't go to well. I waited till the GF got home and looked at the signal strength screen. She screamed while I was sitting on the roof. It didn't go to well either as there is a bit of a delay between the physical aligning and the info on screen. It eventually ended in an argument with a "just fsking get someone out to do it". The funny thing is, I had it for a couple of seconds at 51% signal strength, which is the most I got. I was under the impression that it should be in 90's or something. So I left it and phoned the installer.

    The next day the installer came to my house and aligned it with his signal detector and with a perfect lock to the satelite he got 53% signal strength. Signal QUALITY is at 98% avg though most of the time. I paid him R280 and then facepalmed myself.

  12. #12

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    lots of mixed reactions here. Luckily my dish is still in the same position when I took it off. So I think I might be pointing in the right direction(or not).Will bolt it down the weekend and give it a try. If there is no success, well, where can I find a signal detector anyone?
    thanks for all the feedback guys.
    If you Pay Peanuts.... you get Monkeys!

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by janplank View Post
    lots of mixed reactions here. Luckily my dish is still in the same position when I took it off. So I think I might be pointing in the right direction(or not).Will bolt it down the weekend and give it a try. If there is no success, well, where can I find a signal detector anyone?
    thanks for all the feedback guys.
    Got one at game for R129 about a year ago, believe they're R199 now...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Penquin View Post
    I also tried a self install a month ago when I was on leave. Had a look at the neigbours dish and pointed in the same direction. It didn't go to well. I waited till the GF got home and looked at the signal strength screen. She screamed while I was sitting on the roof. It didn't go to well either as there is a bit of a delay between the physical aligning and the info on screen. It eventually ended in an argument with a "just fsking get someone out to do it". The funny thing is, I had it for a couple of seconds at 51% signal strength, which is the most I got. I was under the impression that it should be in 90's or something. So I left it and phoned the installer.

    The next day the installer came to my house and aligned it with his signal detector and with a perfect lock to the satelite he got 53% signal strength. Signal QUALITY is at 98% avg though most of the time. I paid him R280 and then facepalmed myself.
    I think you got screwed. I do Satellite installations for a living and I know that with a perfectly aligned dish the signal quality can not be that low unless there is a problem with the LNB or a cable (doubtful) or the decoder. The other possibility is that the alignment is out because the installer doesn't know what he's doing. What I suggest you do is check the LNB is aligned correctly. The easiest way to do it is to look at the dish and imagine it's a clock, then align the LNB as if it is pointing to 4 o'clock. Then you can check if there is a better signal. There are a lot of chancers in the satellite business and i think the guy just took the money and then laughed at you. I think it's your LNB out of alignment as from what you say in your post is that the signal quality is 98% most of the time, so it's jumping around. That's a symptom of the LNB being out of alignment.
    Last edited by Ronjay; 02-09-2010 at 05:37 PM.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronjay View Post
    I do Satellite installations for a living
    OK, what about my scenario, I took the dish off the north facing wall where the guys from multichoice (who seemed to have never used a drill and rawlbolts before) stuck it to the wall.
    If I bolt it down to my new houses' north facing wall, bearing in mind that it won't be exactly the same as the other wall, I should be able to get it going with fine tuning? Little up, down, left or right?
    If you Pay Peanuts.... you get Monkeys!

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