Introduction: Free to Air (FTA) Satellite Dish Setup

About: I like finding new uses for things, making things, and improving things. I'm a student who is currently looking for a better job, one where I can make an actual difference.

I was able to receive around 230 international channels just from one satellite using this simple fixed dish setup. There are a few fta satellites out there which broadcast a variety of channels all around the world. The first step would be to do some research on which satellites and channels are available in your area. Keep in mind that for C band channels you need a dish that's around 8 feet across and for KU band you need one around 35 inches in North America. Also Motorized dishes can move from one satellite to another is that's in your budget. I wanted to spend less than $150 so I went with the fixed dish KU band setup. I used two websites primarily during my research to check if a satellite is receivable from my location and to see what channels are on the satellite. I decided that the one satellite I wanted to connect to was Galaxy 19 97.0*W, it is the most popular KU band satellite.

Step 1: Hardware Required and Installation

I bought everything using ebay, I received everything all at once and quickly with free shipping.

FTA Satellite Dish 33" with mounting hardware $70, HD ready KU band LNB $8, DVBS2 HD Generic FTA Receiver with HDMI $55, RG6 100ft Coaxial Cable $10.

I decided not to install the dish on the side of the house but instead made a free standing base for the dish using 2x4's. Once you pick a location for your dish make sure it is clear of obstructions between the dish and the satellite. Run the RG6 Coaxial cable from the location back to where the receiver and tv are. It is easiest to install the mast before sliding the dish over it, keeping in mind that the mast should be installed perfectly vertical. I used a small level to check my mast before tightening it down. next install the LNB onto the dish and skew it for your satellite. Once you have done that slide the dish onto the mast and adjust the elevation (up/down) to what it needs to be for your location. Most dish mounts have marks on them to indicate this. Once the Elevation is adjusted tighten it down and using your compass point your dish toward your satellite (left/right) Azimuth. Connect and check the signal on the receiver and adjust left/right to get the best signal and then tighten down. There are plenty of tutorials online for installing and tuning a satellite if you need more information check them out.