Introduction: How to Safely Install a Satellite Dish DIY Style

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Before you start the installation of your satellite dish, you’ll want to do these seven things.

Step 1: Use a Provider Comparison Chart

To get the most entertainment and value out of your satellite service, use a package comparison chart to compare pricing and specials offered by the country’s top satellite providers.

Step 2: Check Local Regulations

Find out if your homeowners association or city code restricts where you can install your dish. For example, some HOAs may not allow the dish to be mounted to a balcony or the front of a home. If you’re renting, get written permission from your landlord before installing your dish.

Step 3: Find a Helper

Installing your satellite dish will be much easier, and safer, if you have a helper to hand you tools, hold the ladder, and read you the instructions.

Step 4: Check the Weather Forecast

Don’t install the dish when the weather is bad. Elements such as rain, snow, and wind not only make it difficult to position your dish properly, they also make climbing a ladder dangerous.

Step 5: Inspect Your Satellite TV Kit

Generally, satellite kits include the satellite dish, mast, receiver, cables, and all necessary mounting hardware. Before you being installation, check the instructions that come with your satellite kit to be sure you have all the components you need.

Step 6: Gather Tools and Supplies

After you’ve read through the instructions for your satellite kit, gather together any additional supplies you’ll need. Usually, installation requires the following items:

  1. Ladder
  2. Power drill
  3. 3/8-inch drill bit
  4. Phillips screw bit for drill
  5. Level
  6. Compass
  7. Satellite signal meter
  8. Sealant

Step 7: Make Sure You Have Enough Time

Set aside at least two hours to complete the installation.

Now, you should be ready to install a satellite dish!

Step 8: INSTALLATION: Step 1. Choose a Location

Satellite dishes are often installed on a roof, a balcony, or the side of a home. Keep in mind that the location that works best for one homeowner might not work for another, so use these guidelines to help you find the best place to install your satellite dish.

  • To work properly, your dish must have an unobstructed view of the southern sky. This means it’s important to choose a location where the satellite signal won’t be blocked by things like buildings or trees. You’ll also want to make sure the growth of new foliage won’t obstruct the signal.
  • On occasion, you may need to clean snow or debris off the dish or tweak its alignment, so select a location that allows you to reach the dish easily.
  • Don’t install the dish near power lines or other service utilities, as this presents a safety hazard.

Step 9: Installation Step 2. Mount the Mast

Now that you’ve chosen the location for your dish, it’s time to mount the mast, the pole to which you’ll affix the satellite dish. Use the level to ensure the mast is plumb (straight up and down), then follow the instructions provided with the kit and secure the mast in place. Slide the dish onto the mast and face it toward the southern sky. If you’re unsure which direction is south, use a compass.

Step 10: Installation Step 3. Align the Dish

  • Next, you need to align the dish. This simply means positioning the dish at the proper angle or tilt so it can receive the satellite signal. The easiest way to find the correct tilt is by using a satellite signal meter. Adjust the tilt of the dish until the meter shows that you’re getting a strong signal, then tighten the dish onto the mast using the screws provided in the installation kit. You can purchase a basic satellite signal meter at a home improvement store for less than $30.

Step 11: Installation Step 4. Connect the Satellite Dish to the Receiver

Find a location that is close to your TV and drill a hole through the wall of your house using the 3/8-inch bit. Then, attach one end of the cable to the satellite dish, feed the cable through the hole, and secure the other end of the cable to the receiver. Test the system first to make sure it’s working properly. Once you know it is, close the hole around the cable entry point with a weatherproof sealant to help prevent water damage.

Step 12: Installation ​Step 5. Test the System

Connect the receiver to your TV using the cable provided with your receiver. Turn the receiver and the television on and follow any additional installation instructions provided by your satellite service company.

Of course, you can hire a professional to install your
satellite dish, but doing it yourself can save you money and give you a feeling of accomplishment. Follow the steps outlined above and before you know it you’ll be enjoying your new satellite TV service.